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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

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

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

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:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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.

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

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.

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

 


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Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-12.html.

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