2 Samuel 12:21-23

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’
23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

2 Samuel 12:21 in Other Translations

KJV
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.
ESV
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 alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food."
NLT
21 His advisers were amazed. “We don’t understand you,” they told him. “While the child was still living, you wept and refused to eat. But now that the child is dead, you have stopped your mourning and are eating again.”
MSG
21 His servants asked him, "What's going on with you? While the child was alive you fasted and wept and stayed up all night. Now that he's dead, you get up and eat."
CSB
21 His servants asked him, "What did you just do? While the baby was alive, you fasted and wept, but when he died, you got up and ate food."

2 Samuel 12:21-23 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 12

Nathan is sent to David to charge him with his sin, and convince him of it by a parable, 2Sa 12:1-6; which being accommodated and applied to David's case, brought him to a conviction and acknowledgment of it, and repentance for it, which was forgiven him, 2Sa 12:7-13; though he is told the child begotten in adultery should die, and it was quickly struck with sickness and died; and David's behaviour during its sickness and at its death is recorded, 2Sa 12:14-23; after which Solomon was born to him of the same woman, and had the name of Jedidiah given him by the Lord, which signifies the beloved of the Lord, and as a token of reconciliation, and a confirmation of his sin being forgiven him, 2Sa 12:24,25; and the chapter is concluded with the taking of the city of Rabbah, and the spoil in it, and the usage of the inhabitants of it, 2Sa 12:26-31.

2 Samuel 12:21-23 In-Context

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”
20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.
21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’
23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”
24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba, and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon. The LORD loved him;
25 and because the LORD loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.

Cross References 5

  • 1. Judges 20:26
  • 2. John 3:9
  • 3. Isaiah 38:1-5
  • 4. Genesis 37:35
  • 5. S 1 Samuel 31:13; 2 Samuel 13:39; Job 7:10; Job 10:21
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