2 Samuel 12

Nathan Rebukes David

12 Then the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and [a]said,

“There were two men in a city, the one wealthy and the other poor.
The wealthy man had a great many flocks and herds.
But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb
Which he bought and nurtured;
And it grew up together with him and his children.
It would eat [b]scraps from him and drink from his cup and lie [c]in his lap,
And was like a daughter to him.
Now a visitor came to the wealthy man,
And he could not bring himself to take any animal from his own flock or his own herd,
To prepare for the traveler who had come to him;
So he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this certainly [d]deserves to die! So he must make restitution for the lamb four times over, since he did this thing and [e]had no compassion.”

Nathan then said to David, “You yourself are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel says: ‘It is I who anointed you as king over Israel, and it is I who rescued you from the hand of Saul. I also gave you your master’s house and put your master’s wives [f]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 [g]many more things like these! Why have you despised the word of the Lord, by doing evil in His sight? You have struck and killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, you have taken his wife as your wife, and you have slaughtered him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 Now then, the sword shall never leave your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 This is what the Lord says: ‘Behold, I am going to raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will sleep with your wives in [h]broad daylight. 12 Indeed, you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and [i]in open daylight.’” 13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has allowed your sin to pass; you shall not die. 14 However, since by this deed you have shown utter disrespect for the [j]Lord, the child himself who is born to you shall certainly die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

Later the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s [k]widow bore to David, so that he was very sick. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child; and David fasted and went and lay all night on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him in order to help him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them. 18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to [l]us. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm?” 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David got up from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and when he asked, they served him food, and he ate.

21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was [m]alive; but when the child died, you got up and ate food.” 22 And he said, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live.’ 23 But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I am going to him, but he will not return to me.”

Solomon Born

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and went in to her and slept with her; and she gave birth to a son, and [n]he named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, 25 and sent word through Nathan the prophet, and he named him [o]Jedidiah for the Lords sake.

War Again

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon, and captured the royal city. 27 Then Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I have fought against Rabbah, I have even captured the city of waters. 28 Now then, gather the rest of the people and camp opposite the city and capture it, or I will capture the city myself and it will be named after me.” 29 So David gathered all the people and went to Rabbah, and he fought against it and captured it. 30 Then he took the crown of [p]their king from his head; and its weight was a [q]talent of gold, and it had a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. And he brought out the plunder of the city in great amounts. 31 He also brought out the people who were in it, and put some to work at saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and made [r]others [s]serve at the brick [t]works. And he did the same to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.


  1. 2 Samuel 12:1 Lit said to him
  2. 2 Samuel 12:3 Lit his piece
  3. 2 Samuel 12:3 Or on his chest
  4. 2 Samuel 12:5 Lit is a son of death
  5. 2 Samuel 12:6 Or showed no consideration
  6. 2 Samuel 12:8 Lit on your lap; or chest
  7. 2 Samuel 12:8 Lit like these and like these
  8. 2 Samuel 12:11 Lit the sight of this sun
  9. 2 Samuel 12:12 Lit before the sun
  10. 2 Samuel 12:14 Lit enemies of the Lord (a euphemistic reference to God); DSS word of the Lord
  11. 2 Samuel 12:15 Lit wife
  12. 2 Samuel 12:18 Lit our voice
  13. 2 Samuel 12:21 Some ancient versions still alive
  14. 2 Samuel 12:24 Some mss she
  15. 2 Samuel 12:25 I.e., beloved of the Lord
  16. 2 Samuel 12:30 Or Milcom; MT Malcam, prob. a variant spelling of Milcom; cf. Zeph 1:5
  17. 2 Samuel 12:30 About 75 lb. or 34 kg
  18. 2 Samuel 12:31 Lit them
  19. 2 Samuel 12:31 Another reading of MT lit pass through
  20. 2 Samuel 12:31 Lit mold; i.e., for molding bricks