So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to tell David this story: "There were two men in a certain town. One was rich, and one was poor.
The rich man owned many sheep and cattle.
The poor man owned nothing but a little lamb he had worked hard to buy. He raised that little lamb, and it grew up with his children. It ate from the man's own plate and drank from his cup. He cuddled it in his arms like a baby daughter.
One day a guest arrived at the home of the rich man. But instead of killing a lamb from his own flocks for food, he took the poor man's lamb and killed it and served it to his guest."
David was furious. "As surely as the LORD lives," he vowed, "any man who would do such a thing deserves to die!
He must repay four lambs to the poor man for the one he stole and for having no pity."
Then Nathan said to David, "You are that man! The LORD, the God of Israel, says, 'I anointed you king of Israel and saved you from the power of Saul.
I gave you his house and his wives and the kingdoms of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you much, much more.
Why, then, have you despised the word of the LORD and done this horrible deed? For you have murdered Uriah and stolen his wife.
From this time on, the sword will be a constant threat to your family, because you have despised me by taking Uriah's wife to be your own.
"'Because of what you have done, I, the LORD, will cause your own household to rebel against you. I will give your wives to another man, and he will go to bed with them in public view.
You did it secretly, but I will do this to you openly in the sight of all Israel.'"
Then David confessed to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD. "Nathan replied, "Yes, but the LORD has forgiven you, and you won't die for this sin.
But you have given the enemies of the LORD great opportunity to despise and blaspheme him, so your child will die."
After Nathan returned to his home, the LORD made Bathsheba's baby deathly ill.
David begged God to spare the child. He went without food and lay all night on the bare ground.
The leaders of the nation pleaded with him to get up and eat with them, but he refused.
Then on the seventh day the baby died. David's advisers were afraid to tell him. "He was so broken up about the baby being sick," they said. "What will he do to himself when we tell him the child is dead?"
But when David saw them whispering, he realized what had happened. "Is the baby dead?" he asked. "Yes," they replied.
Then David got up from the ground, washed himself, put on lotions, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the Tabernacle and worshiped the LORD. After that, he returned to the palace and ate.
His advisers were amazed. "We don't understand you," they told him. "While the baby was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the baby is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again."
David replied, "I fasted and wept while the child was alive, for I said, 'Perhaps the LORD will be gracious to me and let the child live.'
But why should I fast when he is dead? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him one day, but he cannot return to me."
Then David comforted Bathsheba, his wife, and slept with her. She became pregnant and gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved the child
and sent word through Nathan the prophet that his name should be Jedidiah -- "beloved of the LORD" -- because the LORD loved him.
Meanwhile, Joab and the Israelite army were successfully ending their siege of Rabbah, the capital of Ammon.
Joab sent messengers to tell David, "I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply. a28
Now bring the rest of the army and finish the job, so you will get credit for the victory instead of me."
So David led the rest of his army to Rabbah and captured it.
David removed the crown from the king's head, b and it was placed on David's own head. The crown was made of gold and set with gems, and it weighed about seventy-five pounds. c David took a vast amount of plunder from the city.
He also made slaves of the people of Rabbah and forced them to labor with saws, picks, and axes, and to work in the brick kilns. That is how he dealt with the people of all the Ammonite cities. Then David and his army returned to Jerusalem.
Scripture quotations marked NLT are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright 1996. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Wheaton, Illinois 60189. All rights reserved. (New Living Translation - The Bible Online)