Amplified Bible

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

1And the Lord sent Nathan [the prophet] to David. He came and said to him,

“There were two men in a city, one rich and the other poor.

“The rich man had a very large number of flocks and herds,

But the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb
Which he had purchased and nourished;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It ate his food, drank from his cup, it lay in his arms,
And was like a daughter to him.

“Now a traveler (visitor) came to the rich man,
And to avoid taking one from his own flock or herd
To prepare [a meal] for the traveler who had come to him,
He took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for [a]his guest.”

Then David’s anger burned intensely against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die. He shall make restitution for the ewe lamb four times as much [as the lamb was worth], because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, ‘I anointed you as king over Israel, and I spared you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your [b]care and under your protection, and I gave you the house (royal dynasty) of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have given you much more! Why have you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and have taken his wife to be your wife. You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will stir up evil against you from your [c]own household; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in [d]broad daylight. 12 Indeed you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and [e]in broad daylight.’” 13 David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has allowed your sin to pass [without further punishment]; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have given [a great] opportunity to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme [Him], the son that is born to you shall certainly die.” 15 Then Nathan went [back] to his home.

Loss of a Child

And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s widow bore to David, and he was very sick. 16 David therefore appealed to God for the child [to be healed]; and David fasted and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood by him [in the night] to lift him up from the ground, but he was unwilling [to get up] and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “While the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he would not listen to our voices. How then can we tell him the child is dead, since he might harm himself [or us]?” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering to one another, he realized that the child was dead. So David said to them, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 Then David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself [with olive oil], changed his clothes, and went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he came [back] to his own house, and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate.

21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? While the child was alive you fasted and wept, but when the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22 David said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I thought, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me and the child may live.’ 23 But now he is dead; why should I [continue to] fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him [when I die], but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Born

24 David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went to her and lay with her; and she gave birth to a son, and David named him Solomon. And the Lord loved the child; 25 and He sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him Jedidiah (beloved of the Lord) for the sake of the Lord [who loved the child].

War Again

26 Now Joab fought against [f]Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; I have even taken the city of waters. 28 So now, assemble the rest of the men, and camp against the city and capture it, or I will take the city myself, and it will be named after me.” 29 So David gathered all the men together and went to Rabbah, then fought against it and captured it. 30 And he took the crown of their king from his head; it weighed a [g]talent of gold, and [set in it was] a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought the spoil out of the city in great amounts. 31 He also brought out the people who were there, and put them to [work with] the saws and sharp iron instruments and iron axes, and made them work at the brickkiln. And he did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the men returned to Jerusalem.

  1. 2 Samuel 12:4 Lit the man who had come to him.
  2. 2 Samuel 12:8 Lit bosom.
  3. 2 Samuel 12:11 This prophesy was fulfilled by David’s lawless children: Amnon’s attack on his half-sister Tamar (13:14) and his subsequent murder by his half-brother Absalom (13:28, 29); Absalom’s escape to a foreign land (13:38) and his three years in exile, followed by his estrangement from David for two more years (14:28); Absalom’s deliberate, rebellious attempt to win the hearts of the people and supplant his father (15:6); David’s flight from Jerusalem, with the mass of the people against him (15:14), the terrible battle in the forest of Ephraim, won by David’s forces, with Absalom killed in flight (18:6). David’s heartbreak is echoed repeatedly in the history of these tragedies (2 Sam 13:1; 19:4) and in some of his psalms. Even when David was dying, his son Adonijah was attempting to usurp the throne, and was later executed as a traitor (1 Kin 1:5; 2:25).
  4. 2 Samuel 12:11 Lit the sight of this sun.
  5. 2 Samuel 12:12 Lit before the sun.
  6. 2 Samuel 12:26 The modern city of Amman, Jordan, is located approximately on the same site as Rabbah.
  7. 2 Samuel 12:30 I.e. about 75 lbs. If the crown actually weighed 75 lbs. it must have been used primarily as a decorative symbol of power.

New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 12

Nathan Tells David He Has Sinned

1The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. When Nathan came to him, he said, “Two men lived in the same town. One was rich. The other was poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle. But all the poor man had was one little female lamb. He had bought it. He raised it. It grew up with him and his children. It shared his food. It drank from his cup. It even slept in his arms. It was just like a daughter to him.

“One day a traveler came to the rich man. The rich man wanted to prepare a meal for him. But he didn’t want to kill one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the little female lamb that belonged to the poor man. Then the rich man cooked it for the traveler who had come to him.”

David was very angry with the rich man. He said to Nathan, “The man who did this must die! And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. The man must pay back four times as much as that lamb was worth. How could he do such a thing? And he wasn’t even sorry he had done it.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I anointed you king over Israel. I saved you from Saul. I gave you everything that belonged to your master Saul. I even put his wives into your arms. I made you king over all the people of Israel and Judah. And if all of that had not been enough for you, I would have given you even more. Why did you turn your back on what I told you to do? You did what is evil in my sight. You made sure that Uriah, the Hittite, would be killed in battle. You took his wife to be your own. You let the men of Ammon kill him with their swords. 10 So time after time members of your own royal house will be killed with swords. That’s because you turned your back on me. You took the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be your own.’

11 “The Lord also says, ‘I am going to bring trouble on you. It will come from your own family. I will take your wives away. Your own eyes will see it. I will give your wives to a man who is close to you. He will sleep with them in the middle of the day. 12 You committed your sins in secret. But I will make sure that the man commits his sin in the middle of the day. Everyone in Israel will see it.’ ”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You aren’t going to die. 14 But you have dared to show great disrespect for the Lord. So the son who has been born to you will die.”

15 Nathan went home. Then the Lord made David’s child very sick. That was the child David had by Uriah’s wife. 16 David begged God to heal the child. David didn’t eat anything. He spent his nights lying on the ground. He put on the rough clothes people wear when they’re sad. 17 His most trusted servants stood beside him. They wanted him to get up from the ground. But he refused to do it. And he wouldn’t eat any food with them.

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him the child was dead. They thought, “While the child was still alive, we spoke to David. But he wouldn’t listen to us. So how can we now tell him the child is dead? He might do something terrible to himself.”

19 David saw that his attendants were whispering to one another. Then he realized the child was dead. “Has the child died?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied. “He’s dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he washed himself, he put on lotions. He changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord and worshiped him. Then he went to his own house. He asked for some food. They served it to him. And he ate it.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting like this? While the child was still alive, you wouldn’t eat anything. You cried a lot. But now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I didn’t eat anything. And I cried a lot. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord might have mercy on me. He might let the child live.’ 23 But now he’s dead. So why should I continue to go without food? Can I bring him back to life again? Someday I’ll go to him. But he won’t return to me.”

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and slept with her. Some time later she had a son. He was given the name Solomon. The Lord loved him. 25 So the Lord sent a message through Nathan the prophet. The Lord said, “Name the boy Jedidiah.”

26 During that time, Joab fought against Rabbah. It was the royal city of the Ammonites. It had high walls around it. Joab was about to capture it. 27 He sent messengers to David. He told them to say, “I have fought against Rabbah. I’ve taken control of its water supply. 28 So bring the rest of the troops together. Surround the city and get ready to attack it. Then capture it. If you don’t, I’ll capture it myself. Then it will be named after me.”

29 So David brought together the whole army and went to Rabbah. He attacked it and captured it. 30 David took the gold crown off the head of the king of Ammon. Then the crown was placed on David’s head. The crown weighed 75 pounds. It had jewels in it. David took a huge amount of goods from the city. 31 He brought out the people who were there. He made them work with saws and iron picks and axes. He forced them to make bricks. David did that to all the towns in Ammon. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.