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.

King James Version

2 Samuel 12

1And the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:

But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.

And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.

And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things.

Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.

10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

11 Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

17 And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.

18 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?

19 But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.

20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

21 Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.

22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

23 But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.

24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the Lord loved him.

25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.

26 And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

27 And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.

28 Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.

29 And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it.

30 And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.

31 And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.