Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 12:3

"But the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb Which he bought and nourished; And it grew up together with him and his children. It would eat of his bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom, And was like a daughter to him.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Cup;   David;   Minister, Christian;   Nathan;   Parables;   Reproof;   Scofield Reference Index - Parables;   Thompson Chain Reference - Bible Stories for Children;   Children;   Cups;   David;   Home;   Pleasant Sunday Afternoons;   Religion;   Stories for Children;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Lamb, the;   Parables;   Poor, the;   Prophets;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Bathsheba;   Nathan;   Parables;   Prophecy, prophet;   Wisdom literature;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Allegory;   Lamb, Lamb of God;   Parable;   Poor and Poverty, Theology of;   CARM Theological Dictionary - Parable;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Allegory;   David;   Tekoa, Tekoah;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Nathan;   Parable;   Uriah;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Court Systems;   David;   Jonah;   King, Kingship;   Meat;   Parables;   Poor, Orphan, Widow;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ammon, Ammonites;   Cup;   Nathan;   Parable;   Poverty;   Samuel, Books of;   Wisdom;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nathan ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nathan;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Chief parables and miracles in the bible;   David;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Law of Moses;   Na'than;   Uri'ah;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Nathan;   Parable;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Lamb;   Nathan (1);   Nourish;   Parable;   Samuel, Books of;   Sheep;   Sin (1);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Allegory;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Bath-Sheba;   Drinking-Vessels;   Judge;   Nathan;   Parable;   Poetry;   Satire;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And lay in his bosom - This can only mean that this lamb was what we call a pet or favourite in the family, else the circumstance would be very unnatural, and most likely would have prevented David from making the application which he did, as otherwise it would have appeared absurd. It is the only part of this parable which is at variance with nature and fact.

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Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-12.html. 1832.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb,.... Uriah had but one wife, who was much younger than he, called a lamb, an ewe lamb, a little one. Abarbinel thinks Uriah had been a widower; and had children by another wife, supposed in the parable, and was much older than Bathsheba:

which he had bought; for men in those times and countries did not receive portions with their wives, but gave dowries to them, and for them:

and nourished up; as his own flesh, as husbands should their wives, Ephesians 5:29,

and it grew up together with him, and with his children; which Kimchi also supposes Uriah had by a former wife:

it did eat of his own meat, and drink of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter; all which are expressive of the care, kindness, love, and tenderness of a loving husband, whose affections are endeared to his wife, making her partaker of all he has, and to share in whatever he eats and drinks, and in his dearest embraces; and as there were instances of creatures, lambs and others, particularly tame or pet lambs, used in this way in a literal sense, to which the reference in the parable is, David had no suspicion of its being a parable. BochartF17Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 46. col. 521, 522. has given many instances of creatures nourished and brought up in such a familiar manner.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-12.html. 1999.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

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.

Bought — As men then used to buy their wives: or, had procured.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/2-samuel-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 12:3 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.

Ver. 3. But the poor man.] Poor Uriah; poor in comparison of David, who had all that heart could wish.

Save one little ewe lamb.] This was his Bathsheba, he had no more wives but her: as Isaac never had more than Rebecca, whom therefore he loved tenderly and entirely.

And it grew up together with him, and with his children.] Which he had by a former wife, as some think.

It did eat of his own meat.] Heb., Morsel; he spared it out of his own belly for his favoured lamb; neither was anything good to him, whereof his wife had not part.

And lay in his bosom.] Where he nourished and cherished her, [Ephesians 5:29] as the hen doth her chickens, or as the cock pigeon doth the eggs.

And was unto him as a daughter.] Yea, much dearer. The greater was her disloyalty against so loving a husband, and so gallant a man: the more heinous also was David’s offence in wronging and robbing him of such an only jewel.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/2-samuel-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

The poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb; designing Uriah, with his own and only wife. Which he had bought; as men then used to buy their wives; or, had procured. Lay in his bosom; which David might take for hyperbolical expressions of his tender care of and affection to it; although there want not instances of some who have treated such brute creatures in this manner.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/2-samuel-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3.One little ewe lamb — Referring tenderly to Bathsheba.

Lay in his bosom — As a family pet. Perhaps designed to indicate that Uriah was passionately devoted to his wife.

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Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-12.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Daughter. All these expressions tended to shew the affection of the owner for this pet lamb. (Haydock) --- In Arabia, one of the finest is commonly fed in the house along with the children. (Bochart, Anim. T. i. B. ii. 46.) --- It is not necessary that every word of this parable should have been verified in Bethsabee. (Calmet) --- Many things are usually added for ornament. (Menochius) --- Yet she had been treated in the most tender manner by her husband, who had her alone, while David had eighteen wives. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-12.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

meat = morsel.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/2-samuel-12.html. 1909-1922.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(3) It grew up together.—“All these circumstances are exquisitely contrived to heighten the pity of the hearer for the oppressed, and his indignation against the oppressor.”—Speaker’s Commentary.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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

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These files are public domain.
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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-12.html.