2 Samuel 12

Nathan warns David

1 The Lord sent Nathan to go and speak to David. Nathan told this story to David, ‘There were two men who lived in the same town. One man was rich and the other man was poor. 2 The rich man had very many sheep, goats and cows. 3 But the poor man had only one little female lamb. He had bought it and he had taken care of it. It had grown up with his own children. It ate his bits of food and it drank water from his cup. It even slept while he held it. It was like a daughter for him.

12:1Nathan was a prophet who spoke God's messages.

4 One day, the rich man had a visitor to his home. The rich man needed to make a meal for his visitor. But he did not want to kill one of his own animals. Instead, he took the poor man's lamb away from him. He cooked the lamb to feed his visitor.’

5 When David heard what the rich man had done, he became very angry. He said to Nathan, ‘As surely as the Lord lives, that man deserves to die. 6 He did that cruel thing and he was not sorry for the poor man. So he must pay the poor man enough money to buy four lambs.’

7 Then Nathan said to David, ‘You are that man! This is what the Lord, Israel's God, says: “I chose you as king to rule over Israel. I saved you from Saul's power. 8 I gave your master's palace to you, and his wives as well. I gave the kingdoms of Israel and Judah to you. And if that was not enough for you, I would have given you even more than that. 9 But now you have not respected the Lord's command. You have done an evil thing. You caused Uriah the Hittite to die in a battle. You used the Ammonite soldiers to kill Uriah. 10 So now your family will always have people who die in battle. When you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife, you showed that you did not respect me.”

11 This is what the Lord says, “I will cause someone from your own family to bring trouble to you. You yourself will see it happen! I will take your wives from you and I will give them to someone else. He will have sex with them in the daytime, for everyone to see. 12 What you did, you did secretly. But I will cause this to happen in the light of day, so that all Israel can see it.” ’

13 Then David said to Nathan, ‘I have sinned against the Lord.’

Nathan replied, ‘The Lord has forgiven your sin. He will not punish you with death. 14 But you did not respect the Lord when you did this bad thing. Because of that, your baby son will certainly die.’ 15 Then Nathan went home.

David's son dies

After that, the Lord caused the child of Uriah's wife to become very ill. 16 David asked the Lord to make his child well again. He lay on the floor of his house all night and he ate no food. 17 His palace officers stood around him. They tried to help him to get up from the ground. But he refused and he would not eat anything with them.

18 On the seventh day, the child died. David's officers were afraid to tell him. They thought, ‘Even when the child was alive, David refused to listen to us. So what will happen if we tell him that the child is dead? He might try to hurt himself.’

19 But David saw that his officers were speaking secretly to each other. So he realized that the child had died. He asked them, ‘Is the child dead?’

They replied, ‘Yes, he is dead.’

20 Then David got up from the ground and he washed himself. He put special oil on his body and he dressed himself in clean clothes. Then he went into the Lord's house to worship him. After that, he went back to his palace. He asked his servants to bring some food and he ate it.

21 His officers said to him, ‘We do not understand what you are doing. While the child was still alive, you refused to eat food and you wept. But now that the child is dead you are no longer weeping. You are moving around and you are eating. Why?’

22 David replied, ‘While the child was still alive, I wept and I did not eat anything. I thought that perhaps the Lord would be kind to me. I thought that he might let the child live. 23 But now the child is dead. Even if I fast and I pray, I cannot bring him back to me. One day, I will go to the place where he is. But he will never come back here to me.’

24 Then David went to comfort his wife, Bathsheba. He had sex with her as his wife. Later, she gave birth to a son. David gave him the name ‘Solomon’. The Lord loved the child, 25 so he sent a message to David with Nathan, the prophet. He told David to call his son Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him.

12:25Jedidiah means ‘The Lord loves him’.

David wins Rabbah

26 At this time, Joab was attacking Rabbah, the Ammonite city. He had taken from the enemy the king's strong place in the city. 27 Joab sent men to take this message to David: ‘I have attacked Rabbah. Now I have taken the place that holds the city's water. 28 So you should bring the other soldiers of our army to make their camp here. Then you can attack the city and you can take it for us. If you do not do that, I will take the city myself. Then the city will have my name instead of yours.’

29 So David brought all the soldiers of the army together. He led them to Rabbah. They attacked the city and they won against it. 30 He took the crown off the Ammonite king's head. The crown was made of gold. It weighed 34 kilograms. There was a valuable jewel fixed on it. David's men then put the crown on David's head. David also took a lot of valuable things from the city. 31 He brought the people out from the city to do hard work for him. He made them cut wood with saws, and use iron tools and axes. He also made them work at the brick ovens. He did the same thing to the people of all the other Ammonite cities.

Then David and all his army returned to Jerusalem.