Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

2 Samuel 12

Introduction

1Nathan's parable of the ewe lamb causes David to be his own judge.
7David, reproved by Nathan, confesses his sin, and is pardoned.
15David mourns and prays for the child while it lives.
24Solomon is born, and named Jedidiah.
26David takes Rabbah, and tortures the people thereof.

Verse 1

And 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.
A. M. 2970. B.C. 1034. An. Ex. Is. 457. the Lord
7:1-5; 24:11-13; 1 Kings 13:1; 18:1; 2 Kings 1:3
unto David
11:10-17,25; 14:14; Isaiah 57:17,18
he came
Psalms 51:1; *title
There were
There is nothing in this parable which requires illustration. Its bent is evident; and it was wisely constructed, by not having too near a resemblance, to make David unwittingly pass sentence on himself. The parable was in David's hand what his own letter was in the hands of the brave Uriah. Nathan at length closed in with him in the application of it. In beginning with a parable he shewed his prudence, and great need there is of prudence in giving reproof; but now he speaks as an ambassador from God. He reminds David of the great things God had designed and done for him, and then charges him with a high contempt of the Divine authority, and threatens an entail of judgments upon his family for this sin. Those who despise the word and law of God, despise God himself, and will assuredly suffer for such contempt.
14:5-11; Judges 9:7-15; 1 Kings 20:35-41; Isaiah 5:1-7; Matthew 21:33-45; Luke 15:11-32; 16:19-31
Reciprocal: Judges 3:20 - I have;  2 Samuel 5:14 - Nathan;  2 Samuel 7:2 - Nathan;  2 Samuel 12:25 - Nathan;  1 Kings 1:8 - Nathan;  1 Kings 1:10 - General1 Kings 4:5 - son of Nathan;  1 Kings 20:39 - Thy servant;  2 Kings 14:9 - The thistle;  1 Chronicles 3:5 - Nathan;  1 Chronicles 14:4 - Nathan;  1 Chronicles 17:1 - Nathan;  1 Chronicles 29:29 - Nathan;  2 Chronicles 9:29 - Nathan;  2 Chronicles 25:7 - a man of God;  2 Chronicles 25:15 - a prophet;  2 Chronicles 29:25 - Nathan;  Psalm 32:3 - When;  Isaiah 39:3 - came Isaiah;  Jeremiah 22:1 - Go;  Ezekiel 17:2 - GeneralZechariah 12:12 - Nathan;  Matthew 13:3 - in;  Galatians 6:1 - restore

Verse 2

The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
exceeding
8; 3:2-5; 5:13-16; 15:16; Job 1:3

Verse 3

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.
one little
11:3; Proverbs 5:18,19
meat
Heb. morsel. lay in his.
Deuteronomy 13:6; Micah 7:5
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 28:54 - and toward;  1 Kings 1:2 - lie;  John 13:23 - leaning;  Ephesians 5:25 - love

Verse 4

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.
a traveller
Genesis 18:2-7; James 1:14
took the
11:3,4
Reciprocal: Proverbs 5:19 - be thou ravished always with her love

Verse 5

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:
David's
Genesis 38:24; 1 Samuel 25:21,22; Luke 6:41,42; 9:55; Romans 2:1
As the Lord
1 Samuel 14:39
shall surely die
or, is worthy to die. Heb. is a son of death.
1 Samuel 20:31; 26:16; *marg:
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:9 - a great;  1 Samuel 14:44 - thou shalt;  2 Samuel 13:21 - he was very wroth;  2 Samuel 14:8 - I will give;  1 Kings 1:29 - As the;  1 Kings 2:26 - worthy of death;  1 Kings 20:40 - So shall thy judgment be;  Matthew 7:3 - but;  Matthew 21:31 - The first;  Romans 6:21 - for the;  2 Corinthians 7:11 - indignation

Verse 6

And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.
restore
Exodus 22:1; Proverbs 6:31; Luke 19:8
because
James 2:13
Reciprocal: Leviticus 6:5 - restore;  2 Samuel 14:8 - I will give;  Nehemiah 5:11 - Restore;  Job 20:10 - his hands;  Proverbs 19:17 - that hath;  Proverbs 28:8 - pity;  Matthew 7:3 - but

Verse 7

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;
Thou art
1 Samuel 13:13; 1 Kings 18:18; 21:19,20; Matthew 14:14
I anointed
7:8; 1 Samuel 15:17; 16:13
I delivered
22:1,49; 1 Samuel 18:11,21; 19:10-15; 23:7,14,26-28; Psalms 18:1; *title
Reciprocal: Genesis 38:24 - let her;  1 Samuel 2:28 - And did I:2 Samuel 14:13 - Wherefore;  1 Kings 3:6 - great;  1 Kings 14:7 - Forasmuch;  1 Kings 16:2 - I exalted thee;  2 Kings 20:14 - What said;  2 Chronicles 1:8 - Thou has showed;  2 Chronicles 16:9 - Herein;  Job 21:31 - declare;  Psalm 65:3 - prevail;  Psalm 141:5 - the righteous;  Proverbs 9:8 - rebuke;  Proverbs 27:6 - the wounds;  Proverbs 28:23 - GeneralEcclesiastes 4:10 - if;  Jeremiah 2:31 - Have I been;  Jeremiah 34:6 - GeneralEzekiel 3:20 - because;  Daniel 4:22 - thou;  Matthew 14:4 - GeneralMatthew 21:46 - they sought;  Mark 12:12 - knew

Verse 8

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.
thy master's wives
11; 1 Kings 2:22
gave thee
2:4; 5:5; 1 Samuel 15:19
I would
7:19; Psalms 84:11; 86:15; Romans 8:32
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 3:7 - gone in;  2 Samuel 12:2 - exceeding;  1 Kings 2:17 - Abishag;  1 Kings 3:6 - great;  1 Kings 14:7 - Forasmuch;  1 Chronicles 17:17 - a small thing;  2 Chronicles 1:8 - Thou has showed

Verse 9

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.
despised
10; 11:4,14-17; Genesis 9:5,6; Exodus 20:13,14; Numbers 15:30,31; 1 Samuel 15:19,23; Isaiah 5:24; Amos 2:4; Hebrews 10:28,29
to do evil
2 Chronicles 33:6; Psalms 51:4; 90:8; 139:1,2; Jeremiah 18:10
thou hast
11:15-27
Reciprocal: Genesis 3:13 - What;  Genesis 37:27 - let not;  Genesis 38:23 - lest we;  Exodus 32:30 - Ye have;  Exodus 32:35 - GeneralLeviticus 26:15 - despise;  Deuteronomy 27:24 - General1 Samuel 2:30 - that despise;  1 Samuel 18:17 - Let not mine;  1 Samuel 24:5 - David's heart;  1 Samuel 26:6 - Hittite;  2 Samuel 11:17 - there fell;  2 Samuel 11:27 - fetched her;  2 Samuel 16:7 - bloody man;  2 Samuel 23:39 - Uriah;  2 Samuel 24:12 - that 1may;  1 Kings 11:11 - I will surely;  1 Kings 13:21 - thou hast disobeyed;  1 Kings 15:5 - save only;  1 Kings 21:19 - Hast thou killed;  2 Chronicles 24:20 - transgress;  Psalm 10:13 - contemn;  Psalm 32:5 - iniquity;  Psalm 51:14 - Deliver;  Psalm 139:3 - and art acquainted;  Proverbs 6:29 - he that;  Proverbs 7:26 - GeneralProverbs 11:31 - GeneralProverbs 13:13 - despiseth;  Isaiah 30:12 - Because;  Ezekiel 20:13 - and they

Verse 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.
the sword
13:28,29; 18:14,15,33; 1 Kings 2:23-25; Amos 7:9; Matthew 26:52
because
Numbers 11:20; 1 Samuel 2:30; Malachi 1:6,7; Matthew 6:24; Romans 2:4; 1 Thessalonians 4:8
hast taken
Genesis 20:3; Proverbs 6:32,33
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:9 - a great;  Exodus 20:13 - GeneralExodus 32:35 - GeneralLeviticus 26:15 - despise;  2 Samuel 12:9 - despised;  2 Samuel 13:21 - he was very wroth;  2 Samuel 15:25 - Carry back;  2 Samuel 23:5 - Although;  2 Samuel 24:12 - that 1may;  1 Kings 13:26 - the man;  1 Kings 15:5 - save only;  1 Chronicles 21:10 - that 1may;  1 Chronicles 21:17 - on my father's;  2 Chronicles 24:20 - transgress;  Job 20:14 - his meat;  Psalm 10:13 - contemn;  Psalm 51:4 - Against;  Psalm 118:18 - chastened;  Proverbs 6:29 - he that;  Proverbs 13:13 - despiseth;  Isaiah 5:24 - despised;  Isaiah 30:12 - Because;  Jeremiah 23:17 - that despise;  Hosea 4:13 - therefore;  Amos 2:4 - because

Verse 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.
I will raise
13:1-14,28,29; 15:6,10
I will take
That is, in the course of my providence I will permit this to be done. Such phrases in Scripture do not mean that God either does or can do evil himself; but only that he permits such evil to be done as he foresaw would be done, and which, had he pleased, he might have prevented.
16:21,22; Deuteronomy 28:30; Ezekiel 14:9; 20:25,26; Hosea 4:13,14
Reciprocal: Genesis 20:9 - a great;  Genesis 30:4 - to wife;  2 Samuel 12:8 - thy master's wives;  2 Samuel 13:14 - forced her;  2 Samuel 15:16 - ten women;  2 Samuel 15:25 - Carry back;  2 Samuel 16:11 - Behold;  2 Samuel 24:1 - moved;  1 Kings 21:19 - In the place;  Job 20:14 - his meat;  Job 31:10 - and let;  Job 34:26 - in;  Psalm 71:20 - which

Verse 12

For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
secretly
11:4,8,13,15; Ecclesiastes 12:14; Luke 12:1,2; 1 Corinthians 4:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 45:5 - God;  2 Samuel 16:11 - Behold;  2 Samuel 16:22 - went in;  Job 24:15 - eye;  Job 34:26 - in;  Ezekiel 14:9 - if the;  Ephesians 5:12 - in

Verse 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.
David
1 Samuel 15:20,24; 1 Kings 13:4; 21:20; 22:8; 2 Kings 1:9; 2 Chronicles 16:10; 24:20-22; 2 Chronicles 25:16; Matthew 14:3-5,10
I have sinned
24:10; 1 Samuel 15:24,25,30; Job 7:20; 33:27; Psalms 32:3-5; 51:4; Proverbs 25:12; Proverbs 28:13; Luke 15:21; Acts 2:37; 1 John 1:8-10
The Lord
Job 7:21; Psalms 32:1,2; 130:3,4; Isaiah 6:5-7; 38:17; 43:24; 44:22; Lamentations 3:32; Micah 7:18,19; Zechariah 3:4; Hebrews 9:26; 1 John 1:7,9; 2:1; Revelation 1:5
thou
Leviticus 20:10; Numbers 35:31-33; Psalms 51:16; Acts 13:38,39; Romans 8:33,34
Reciprocal: Genesis 39:9 - sin;  Genesis 42:21 - they said;  Exodus 21:12 - GeneralLeviticus 13:23 - GeneralNumbers 22:34 - I Have sinned;  Judges 10:15 - We have sinned;  1 Chronicles 21:8 - I have sinned;  Psalm 32:5 - acknowledged;  Psalm 103:3 - forgiveth;  Jeremiah 14:20 - for;  Hosea 14:2 - away;  2 Corinthians 7:10 - repentance;  Hebrews 10:28 - despised

Verse 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.
by this deed
Nehemiah 5:9; Psalms 74:10; Isaiah 52:5; Ezekiel 36:20-23; Matthew 18:7; Romans 2:24
the child
Psalms 89:31-33; 94:12; Proverbs 3:11,12; Amos 3:2; 1 Corinthians 11:32; Hebrews 12:6; Revelation 3:19
Reciprocal: Leviticus 24:11 - blasphemed;  2 Samuel 24:12 - that 1may;  1 Kings 13:26 - the man;  Psalm 5:8 - mine;  Psalm 51:4 - Against;  Psalm 119:39 - Turn;  Amos 2:7 - to profane;  Malachi 1:12 - ye have;  Romans 14:13 - or;  1 Corinthians 11:30 - many;  1 Timothy 5:14 - give;  1 Timothy 6:1 - that the;  Titus 2:5 - that

Verse 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.
struck the child
Deuteronomy 32:39; 1 Samuel 25:38; 26:10; 2 Kings 15:5; 2 Chronicles 13:20; Psalms 104:29; Acts 12:23
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 14:1 - the son;  Mark 5:23 - besought

Verse 16

David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.
besought
22; Psalms 50:15; Isaiah 26:16; Joel 2:12-14; Jonah 3:9
fasted
Heb. fasted a fast.
Esther 4:16; Psalms 69:10; Isaiah 22:12; Acts 9:9
lay all night
13:31; Job 20:12-14
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 9:18 - I fell down;  Joshua 7:6 - fell;  1 Samuel 1:8 - why weepest;  1 Kings 18:42 - he cast himself;  Job 1:20 - fell;  Daniel 6:18 - and passed;  Joel 1:13 - lie;  Matthew 6:16 - when;  Mark 5:23 - besought;  John 11:31 - She goeth;  1 Corinthians 2:15 - yet;  2 Corinthians 12:8 - I besought

Verse 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.
the elders
3:35; 1 Samuel 28:23
Reciprocal: Genesis 37:35 - rose up;  1 Samuel 1:8 - why weepest;  2 Samuel 14:7 - quench;  1 Kings 21:27 - lay in sackcloth;  Daniel 6:18 - and passed

Verse 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?
seventh day
vex. Heb. do hurt to.
18; Numbers 20:15

Verse 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.
arose
Job 1:20; 2:10; Psalms 39:9; Lamentations 3:39-41
anointed
Ruth 3:3; Ecclesiastes 9:8
the house
6:17; 7:18; Job 1:20
Reciprocal: Luke 17:8 - Make;  1 Thessalonians 4:13 - ye sorrow

Verse 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.
What thing
1 Corinthians 2:15
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 13:36 - very sore;  2 Kings 20:3 - wept sore;  Isaiah 38:3 - wept;  Matthew 6:16 - when

Verse 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?
I fasted
Isaiah 38:1-3,5; Joel 1:14; 2:14; Amos 5:15; Jonah 1:6; 3:9,10; James 4:9,10
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 12:16 - besought;  2 Kings 20:3 - wept sore;  Isaiah 38:3 - wept;  Zephaniah 2:3 - it may

Verse 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.
I shall go
Genesis 37:35; Job 30:23; Luke 23:43
he shall not
Job 7:8-10
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 13:39 - comforted;  Job 7:9 - he;  Job 10:21 - I go whence

Verse 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.
A. M. 2971. B.C. 1033. An. Ex. Is. 458. she bare
7:12; 1 Chronicles 3:5; 22:9,10; 28:5,6; 29:1; Matthew 1:6
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 5:14 - Solomon;  1 Kings 1:11 - Nathan;  1 Kings 2:15 - for it was;  1 Kings 3:3 - loved;  1 Chronicles 14:4 - Solomon;  1 Chronicles 17:11 - I will raise;  Nehemiah 13:26 - yet among;  Proverbs 1:1 - Solomon;  Proverbs 4:3 - General

Verse 25

And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
Nathan
1-14; 7:4; 1 Kings 1:11,23
Jedidiah
that is, Beloved of the Lord.
Nehemiah 13:26; Matthew 3:17; 17:5
Reciprocal: Genesis 17:5 - but thy name;  Genesis 17:15 - As;  Genesis 32:28 - Thy name;  2 Samuel 5:14 - Solomon;  1 Kings 1:26 - General1 Kings 3:3 - loved;  1 Kings 4:5 - son of Nathan;  2 Kings 9:36 - by his;  1 Chronicles 3:5 - Solomon;  1 Chronicles 14:4 - Solomon;  1 Chronicles 17:1 - Nathan;  1 Chronicles 17:11 - I will raise;  1 Chronicles 22:9 - Solomon;  2 Chronicles 9:29 - Nathan;  Psalm 108:6 - That thy;  Proverbs 1:1 - Solomon;  Proverbs 4:3 - GeneralJeremiah 37:2 - the prophet;  Matthew 1:6 - Solomon;  Luke 1:60 - Not;  2 Thessalonians 2:13 - beloved

Verse 26

And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.
Joab
11:25; 1 Chronicles 20:1
Rabbah
Rabbah, or Rabbath-Ammon, also called Philadelphia, from Ptolemy Philadelphus, king of Egypt, was situated east of Jordan, and, according to Eusebius, ten miles east from Jazer. It is sometimes mentioned as belonging to Arabia, sometimes to Coelo-Syria; and was one of the cities of the Decapolis east of Jordan. Josephus extends the region of Perea as far as Philadelphia. It is now, says Burckhardt, called Amman, distant about 19 miles to the S. E. by E. of Szalt, and lies along the banks of a river called Moiet Amman, which has its source in a pond, at a few hundred paces from the south-western end of the town, and empties itself in the Zerka, or Jabbok, about four hours to the northward. This river runs in a valley bordered on both sides by barren hills of flint, which advance on the south side close to the edge of the stream. The edifices which still remain, though in a decaying state, from being built of a calcareous stone of moderate hardness, sufficiently attest the former greatness and splendour of this metropolis of the children of Ammon.
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 3:11 - Rabbath;  Joshua 10:2 - the royal cities;  Joshua 13:25 - Rabbah;  2 Samuel 8:12 - Syria;  2 Samuel 11:1 - Rabbah;  Psalm 60:9 - strong city;  Ezekiel 21:20 - Rabbath;  Ezekiel 25:4 - men;  Ezekiel 25:5 - Rabbah;  Amos 1:14 - Rabbah

Verse 27

And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters.
Rabbah
11:1; Deuteronomy 3:11; Ezekiel 21:20
the city of waters
Probably that part of the city situated near the pond, from which the rest received their water.
Reciprocal: Jeremiah 49:2 - her daughters

Verse 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.
it be called after my name
Heb. my name be called upon it.
John 7:18
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 17:11 - in thine

Verse 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.
took
1 Chronicles 20:2
the weight
If this talent was only seven pounds, as Whiston says, David might have carried it on his head with little difficulty; but this weight, according to common computation, would amount to nearly 114 pounds! Some, therefore, think, that mishkelah should be taken for its value, not weight; which renders it perfectly plain, as the worth of the crown will be about 5,074£. 15s. 7d. sterling. The ancients mention several such large crowns, made more for sight than use. Athenæus describes a crown of gold that was 24 feet in circumference; and mentions others that were two, some four, and others five feet deep. Pliny takes notice of some that were no less than eight pounds weight. Besides the crown usually worn, it was customary for kings, in some nations, to have such large ones as described, either hung or supported over the throne, where they sat at their coronation or other solemn occasions.
in great abundance
Heb. very great.
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 1:10 - crown;  2 Samuel 17:27 - the son of Nahash;  2 Kings 11:12 - put the crown;  Psalm 21:3 - settest

Verse 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 brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
and put them
Rather, as the particle [b] frequently signifies, "And he put them to saws, and to harrows, and to axes," etc., as we say, to put a person to the plough, to the anvil, to the last, etc.
1 Chronicles 20:3
Also
8:2; Psalms 21:8,9; Amos 1:3 Reciprocal: Genesis 11:3 - brick;  Deuteronomy 23:6 - Thou shalt;  1 Samuel 14:44 - thou shalt;  2 Chronicles 16:10 - the same time;  2 Chronicles 25:12 - cast them;  Proverbs 20:26 - bringeth;  Jeremiah 43:9 - in the brickkiln

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/2-samuel-12.html.