2 Samuel 12
Nathan pronounces God’s judgment
12 So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When Nathan arrived he said, “There were two men in the same city, one rich, one poor. 2 The rich man had a lot of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing—just one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He raised that lamb, and it grew up with him and his children. It would eat from his food and drink from his cup—even sleep in his arms! It was like a daughter to him.
4 “Now a traveler came to visit the rich man, but he wasn’t willing to take anything from his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had arrived. Instead, he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the visitor.”
5 David got very angry at the man, and he said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the one who did this is demonic![a] 6 He must restore the ewe lamb seven times over[b] because he did this and because he had no compassion.”
7 “You are that man!” Nathan told David. “This is what the Lord God of Israel says: I anointed you king over Israel and delivered you from Saul’s power. 8 I gave your master’s house[c] to you, and gave his wives into your embrace. I gave you the house[d] of Israel and Judah. If that was too little, I would have given even more. 9 Why have you despised the Lord’s word by doing what is evil in his eyes? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and taken his wife as your own. You used the Ammonites to kill him. 10 Because of that, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your own, the sword will never leave your own house.
11 “This is what the Lord says: I am making trouble come against you from inside your own family. Before your very eyes I will take your wives away and give them to your friend, and he will have sex with your wives in broad daylight. 12 You did what you did secretly, but I will do what I am doing before all Israel in the light of day.”
13 “I’ve sinned against the Lord!” David said to Nathan.
“The Lord has removed your sin,” Nathan replied to David. “You won’t die. 14 However, because you have utterly disrespected the Lord[e] by doing this, the son born to you will definitely die.” 15 Then Nathan went home.
Bathsheba’s child dies
The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne for David, and he became very sick. 16 David begged God for the boy. He fasted and spent the night sleeping on the ground. 17 The senior servants of his house approached[f] him to lift him up off the ground, but he refused, and he wouldn’t eat with them either.
18 On the seventh day, the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child had died. “David wouldn’t listen to us when we talked to him while the child was still alive,” they said. “How can we tell him the child has died? He’ll do something terrible!”
19 But when David saw his servants whispering, he realized the child had died.
“Is the child dead?” David asked his servants.
“Yes,” they said, “he is dead.”
20 Then David rose from the ground, bathed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. He entered the Lord’s house and bowed down. Then he entered his own house. He requested food, which was brought to him, and he ate.
21 “Why are you acting this way?” his servants asked. “When the child was alive, you fasted and cried and kept watch,[g] but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat food!”
22 David replied, “While the child was alive I fasted and wept because I thought, Who knows? The Lord may have mercy on me and let the child live. 23 But he is dead now. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? No. I am going where he is, but he won’t come back to me.”
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and had sex with her. She gave birth to a son and named him Solomon.[h] The Lord loved him 25 and sent word by the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah[i] because of the Lord’s grace.[j]
Defeat of the Ammonites
26 Meanwhile, Joab fought the Ammonites at Rabbah and captured the royal city. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and captured the city’s water supply.[k] 28 So gather the rest of the troops, attack the city, and capture it. Otherwise, I will capture the city myself, and it will be named after me.”
29 So David gathered all the troops, marched to Rabbah, fought against it, and captured it. 30 David took Milcom’s[l] crown off his head. It weighed one kikkar of gold and was set with a valuable stone. It was placed on David’s head. The amount of loot David took from the city was huge. 31 He brought out the people who were in the city and put them to work making bricks. David demolished the city with saws, iron picks, and axes;[m] he did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all the troops returned to Jerusalem.
- 2 Samuel 12:5 Or as good as dead; MT a son of death
- 2 Samuel 12:6 LXX; MT fourfold ( cf Exod 22:1)
- 2 Samuel 12:8 Syr daughters
- 2 Samuel 12:8 Syr daughters
- 2 Samuel 12:14 MT the Lord’s enemies—a euphemism or ancient scribal correction (cf note at 1 Sam 25:22)
- 2 Samuel 12:17 LXXL, DSS(4QSama); MT stood over
- 2 Samuel 12:21 LXXL, OL; MT lacks kept watch.
- 2 Samuel 12:24 Qere; Kethib he (David) named
- 2 Samuel 12:25 Jedidiah means Loved by the Lord.
- 2 Samuel 12:25 Heb uncertain; some Heb and LXX manuscripts by the Lord’s word
- 2 Samuel 12:27 Heb uncertain
- 2 Samuel 12:30 LXX; MT their king’s crown
- 2 Samuel 12:31 Cf LXXL, OL, Tg, 1 Chron 20:3
16 1 I have said these things to you so that you won’t fall away. 2 They will expel you from the synagogue. The time is coming when those who kill you will think that they are doing a service to God. 3 They will do these things because they don’t know the Father or me. 4 But I have said these things to you so that when their time comes, you will remember that I told you about them.
I go away
“I didn’t say these things to you from the beginning, because I was with you. 5 But now I go away to the one who sent me. None of you ask me, ‘Where are you going?’ 6 Yet because I have said these things to you, you are filled with sorrow. 7 I assure you that it is better for you that I go away. If I don’t go away, the Companion[a] won’t come to you. But if I go, I will send him to you. 8 When he comes, he will show the world it was wrong about sin, righteousness, and judgment. 9 He will show the world it was wrong about sin because they don’t believe in me. 10 He will show the world it was wrong about righteousness because I’m going to the Father and you won’t see me anymore. 11 He will show the world it was wrong about judgment because this world’s ruler stands condemned.
I still have many things to say
12 “I have much more to say to you, but you can’t handle it now. 13 However, when the Spirit of Truth comes, he will guide you in all truth. He won’t speak on his own, but will say whatever he hears and will proclaim to you what is to come. 14 He will glorify me, because he will take what is mine and proclaim it to you. 15 Everything that the Father has is mine. That’s why I said that the Spirit takes what is mine and will proclaim it to you. 16 Soon you won’t be able to see me; soon after that, you will see me.”
I will see you again
17 Some of Jesus’ disciples said to each other, “What does he mean: ‘Soon you won’t see me, and soon after that you will see me’ and ‘Because I’m going to the Father’? 18 What does he mean by ‘soon’? We don’t understand what he’s talking about.”
19 Jesus knew they wanted to ask him, so he said, “Are you trying to find out from each other what I meant when I said, ‘Soon you won’t see me, and soon after that you will see me’? 20 I assure you that you will cry and lament, and the world will be happy. You will be sorrowful, but your sorrow will turn into joy. 21 When a woman gives birth, she has pain because her time has come. But when the child is born, she no longer remembers her distress because of her joy that a child has been born into the world. 22 In the same way, you have sorrow now; but I will see you again, and you will be overjoyed. No one takes away your joy. 23 In that day, you won’t ask me anything. I assure you that the Father will give you whatever you ask in my name. 24 Up to now, you have asked nothing in my name. Ask and you will receive so that your joy will be complete.
I have conquered the world
25 “I’ve been using figures of speech with you. The time is coming when I will no longer speak to you in such analogies. Instead, I will tell you plainly about the Father. 26 In that day you will ask in my name. I’m not saying that I will ask the Father on your behalf. 27 The Father himself loves you, because you have loved me and believed that I came from God. 28 I left the Father and came into the world. I tell you again: I am leaving the world and returning to the Father.”
29 His disciples said, “See! Now you speak plainly; you aren’t using figures of speech. 30 Now we know that you know everything and you don’t need anyone to ask you. Because of this we believe you have come from God.”
31 Jesus replied, “Now you believe? 32 Look! A time is coming—and is here!—when each of you will be scattered to your own homes and you will leave me alone. I’m not really alone, for the Father is with me. 33 I’ve said these things to you so that you will have peace in me. In the world you have distress. But be encouraged! I have conquered the world.”
- John 16:7 Or Advocate
65 You have treated your servant well,
Lord, according to your promise.
66 Teach me knowledge and good judgment
because I’ve put my trust in your commandments.
67 Before I suffered, I took the wrong way,
but now I do what you say.
68 You are good and you do good.
Teach me your statutes!
69 The arrogant cover me with their lies,
but I guard your precepts with all my heart.
70 Their hearts are unfeeling, like blubber,
but I rejoice in your Instruction.
71 My suffering was good for me,
because through it I learned your statutes.
72 The Instruction you’ve given to me is better
than thousands of pieces of gold and silver!
73 Your hands have made me and set me in place.
Help me understand so I can learn your commandments.
74 Then those who honor you will see me and be glad
because I have waited for your promise.
75 Lord, I know that your rules are right
and that you rightly made me suffer.
76 Please let your faithful love comfort me,
according to what you’ve said to your servant.
77 Let your compassion come to me so I can live again,
because your Instruction is my joy!
78 But let the arrogant be ashamed
because they oppressed me with lies—
meanwhile, I will be contemplating your precepts!
79 Let the people who honor you come back to me;
let those who know your precepts return to me.
80 Let my heart be blameless in your statutes
so that I am not put to shame.
4 The Lord made everything for a purpose,
even the wicked for an evil day.
5 The Lord detests all who are arrogant;
they surely won’t go unpunished.