Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 12:8

I also gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - David;   Ingratitude;   Minister, Christian;   Nathan;   Polygamy;   Repentance;   Reproof;   Thompson Chain Reference - David;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Ingratitude to God;   Kings;   Prophets;   Reproof;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Parable;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Abishag;   Bathsheba;   Concubine;   David;   Nathan;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - King, Kingship;   Samuel, First and Second, Theology of;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Bosom;   David;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Bosom;   Nathan;   Holman Bible Dictionary - David;   King, Kingship;   Parables;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Ammon, Ammonites;   Mercy, Merciful;   Nathan;   Samuel, Books of;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Nathan ;   The Hawker's Poor Man's Concordance And Dictionary - Nathan;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Concubine;   David;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Na'than;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Nathan;  
Encyclopedias:
Condensed Biblical Cyclopedia - Hebrew Monarchy, the;   International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Bosom;   Foreknow;   Nathan (1);   Samuel, Books of;   Saul;   Sin (1);   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Allegory;   Bosom;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Incest;   Judge;   Polygamy;   Satire;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Thy master's wives into thy bosom - Perhaps this means no more than that he had given him absolute power over every thing possessed by Saul; and as it was the custom for the new king to succeed even to the wives and concubines, the whole harem of the deceased king, so it was in this case; and the possession of the wives was a sure proof that he had got all regal rights. But could David, as the son-in-law of Saul, take the wives of his father-in-law? However, we find delicacy was seldom consulted in these cases; and Absalom lay with his own father's wives in the most public manner, to show that he had seized on the kingdom, because the wives of the preceding belonged to the succeeding king, and to none other.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/2-samuel-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And thy master‘s wives … - According to Eastern custom, the royal harem was a part of the royal inheritance. The prophets spoke in such matters according to the received opinions of their day, and not always according to the abstract rule of right. (Compare Matthew 19:4-9.)

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/2-samuel-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And I gave thee thy master's house,.... Not his palace at Gibeah, but rather his family, his wives, servants, wealth, and riches, all being confiscated through the rebellion of Ishbosheth; or rather his kingdom he succeeded him in:

and thy master's wives into thy bosom; though we read of no more than one that belonged to Saul, if he is meant by his master, excepting Rizpah his concubine, nor ever of David taking them into his bosom and bed; wherefore this can be understood only of his having them at his disposal, to give them to whom he pleased; the word may be rendered his "women", as well as his "wives", and may design his daughters, Merab and Michal, who were both given to David, though taken again and given to others: the Jews say, that Eglah, David's sixth wife, was the wife of Saul; see Gill on 2 Samuel 3:5,

and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; the kingdom of both; gave him to be king over all the tribes of Israel:

and if that had been too little; either his wives too few, as the Jews interpret it, or his kingdom too small:

I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things; more and greater favours; and indeed such he had promised him, as a firm or stable house or kingdom, and that the Messiah should spring from him.

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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 12:8". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/2-samuel-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And I gave thee thy master's b house, and thy master's c 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 d such and such things.

(b) For David succeeded Saul in his kingdom.

(c) The Jews take this to be Eglah and Michal, or Rizpah and Michal.

(d) That is, greater things than these: for God's love and benefits increase toward his own, if they do not hinder him by their ingratitude.

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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/2-samuel-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

I gave thee thy master‘s house, and thy master‘s wives — The phraseology means nothing more than that God in His providence had given David, as king of Israel, everything that was Saul‘s. The history furnishes conclusive evidence that he never actually married any of the wives of Saul. But the harem of the preceding king belongs, according to Oriental notions, as a part of the regalia to his successor.

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/2-samuel-12.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 Samuel 12:8 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.

Ver. 8. And I gave thee thy master’s house.] What! to hire thee hereby to be thus wicked? Shouldst thou again, after such deliverances and benefices, break my commandments, [Ezra 9:13-14] kick against my bowels, fight against me with mine own weapons, &c.

And thy master’s wives into thy bosom.] That is, Into thy subjection: for David could never have married the wives of Saul, since that had been incest: though some think that he might lawfully have married any of them save Michal’s mother; but yet never actually did, because they were too old.

And gave thee the house of Israel.] Qui exprobat reposcit. If God upbraid any man, it is a sign of great anger, and of a danger that he will ere long take his own again and be gone. [Hosea 2:2-3]

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". 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

Thy master’s wives, or, women, as that word is elsewhere used; as Numbers 31:18. And though we read not a word of God’s giving, or of David’s taking, any of Saul’s wives into his bosom; or, which is all one, into his bed; yet (which I think to be aimed at here) it might be according to the manner of that time, that the wives and concubines of the precedent king belonged to the successor, to be at least at his dispose. And to pretend to them, was interpreted little less than pretending to the crown; which made it fatal to Adonijah to ask Abishag, 1 Kings 2:23; and to Abner to be suspected for Rizpah, 2 Samuel 3:8. And Absalom, usurping the crown, usurped the concubines also; which is looked on as a crime unpardonable, 2 Samuel 16:21. Nor would this have been reckoned amongst the mercies and blessings which God here is said to give him, and which are opposed to that which he sinfully took. But we do read, that Merab, Saul’s daughter, was given to him for his wife by Saul’s promise, and consequently by God’s grant; though afterwards Saul perfidiously gave her to another man; and that Michal, the other daughter, was actually given to him, 1Sa 18. And it is very possible that some other of David’s wives were nearly related to the house of Saul; whereby David might design to enlarge and strengthen his interest in the kingdom; although there is no absolute necessity of restraining this to Saul, seeing the word is plural, masters, and may belong to others also, who sometimes were owned by David as his masters, lords, or superiors, such as Nabal was, and some others not elsewhere named might be, whose houses and wives, or, at least, women, God might give to David. Such and such things; such other things as thou hadst wanted, or in reason desired.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". 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

8.Thy master’s wives — In the East, when the king died or was superseded by another, his successor received his wives and concubines together with the kingdom. Hence for Absalom to go in unto his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel (2 Samuel 16:21-22) was to be a proof to Israel that he had taken possession of all the prerogatives of the kingdom. Thus David had succeeded Saul in all the rights of the kingdom, though we have no record of his touching any of his wives or concubines.

Such and such things — Literally, according to these and according to those; that is, whatsoever thou mightest have desired.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/2-samuel-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

2 Samuel 12:8. I gave thee thy master’s house — All that pertained to him as a king, which came, of course, to David, as his successor. Thy master’s wives into thy bosom — For the wives of a king went along with his lands and goods unto his successor, it being unlawful for the widow of a king to be wife to any but a king, as appears by the story of Adonijah. The expression in the text, however, does not necessarily signify that David married any of them; nor have we any proof that he did. Indeed, it is doubtful whether he could consistently with the law of God. See Leviticus 18:8; Leviticus 18:15. The meaning seems only to be, that God put them into David’s power, together with Saul’s house and other property. And gave thee the house of Israel — Dominion over the twelve tribes. And if that had been too little, &c. — He needed but have asked, and God would have given him all he could have reasonably desired.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/2-samuel-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Wives. We know of none that David married. But, as king, he enjoyed alone that privilege. (Grotius) (Chap. ii. 7., and xvi. 21.) --- Unto thee. Hebrew, "I would have given thee such and such." (Calmet) --- Septuagint, "I will moreover give thee like unto these;" a continuation of prosperity. (Haydock) --- This singular love, which God was still disposed to manifest unto David, touched his heart with peculiar force. (Salien)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/2-samuel-12.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives. The phraseology means nothing more than that God in His providence, had given David, as king of Israel, everything that was Saul's. The history furnishes conclusive evidence that he never actually married any of the wives of Saul. But the harem of the preceding king belongs, according to Oriental notions, as a part of the regalia, to his successor (see the notes at 2 Samuel 3:7; 2 Samuel 16:21; 1 Kings 2:22).

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Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/2-samuel-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(8) Thy master’s wives.—In 2 Samuel 12:7-8 the prophet enumerates the chief favours and blessings shown to David, and these are so brought out as to show not only his base ingratitude, but also the unreasonableness of this particular sin. We are told of only one wife of Saul (1 Samuel 14:50) and of one concubine (2 Samuel 3:7) who was taken by Abner. If he had others, David certainly could not have taken them until more than seven and a half years after Saul’s death. The prophet refers to the Oriental custom that the new king had a right to the harem of his predecessor.

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Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/2-samuel-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:8". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/2-samuel-12.html.