The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, "There were two men who lived in the same town; one was rich and the other poor. 1
The rich man had many cattle and sheep,
while the poor man had only one lamb, which he had bought. He took care of it, and it grew up in his home with his children. He would feed it some of his own food, let it drink from his cup, and hold it in his lap. The lamb was like a daughter to him.
One day a visitor arrived at the rich man's home. The rich man didn't want to kill one of his own animals to fix a meal for him; instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal for his guest."
David became very angry at the rich man and said, "I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this ought to die!
For having done such a cruel thing, he must pay back four times as much as he took."
"You are that man," Nathan said to David. "And this is what the Lord God of Israel says: "I made you king of Israel and rescued you from Saul.
I gave you his kingdom and his wives; I made you king over Israel and Judah. If this had not been enough, I would have given you twice as much.
Why, then, have you disobeyed my commands? Why did you do this evil thing? You had Uriah killed in battle; you let the Ammonites kill him, and then you took his wife!
Now, in every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death because you have disobeyed me and have taken Uriah's wife.
I swear to you that I will cause someone from your own family to bring trouble on you. You will see it when I take your wives from you and give them to another man; and he will have intercourse with them in broad daylight. 2
You sinned in secret, but I will make this happen in broad daylight for all Israel to see.' "
"I have sinned against the Lord," David said. Nathan replied, "The Lord forgives you; you will not die.
But because you have shown such contempt for the Lord in doing this, your child will die."
Then Nathan went home. The Lord caused the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David to become very sick.
David prayed to God that the child would get well. He refused to eat anything, and every night he went into his room and spent the night lying on the floor.
His court officials went to him and tried to make him get up, but he refused and would not eat anything with them.
A week later the child died, and David's officials were afraid to tell him the news. They said, "While the child was living, David wouldn't answer us when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that his child is dead? He might do himself some harm!"
When David noticed them whispering to each other, he realized that the child had died. So he asked them, "Is the child dead?" "Yes, he is," they answered.
David got up from the floor, took a bath, combed his hair, and changed his clothes. Then he went and worshiped in the house of the Lord. When he returned to the palace, he asked for food and ate it as soon as it was served.
"We don't understand this," his officials said to him. "While the child was alive, you wept for him and would not eat; but as soon as he died, you got up and ate!"
"Yes," David answered, "I did fast and weep while he was still alive. I thought that the Lord might be merciful to me and not let the child die.
But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Could I bring the child back to life? I will some day go to where he is, but he can never come back to me."
Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He had intercourse with her, and she bore a son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved the boy
and commanded the prophet Nathan to name the boy Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him.
Meanwhile Joab continued his campaign against Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon, and was about to capture it.
He sent messengers to David to report: "I have attacked Rabbah and have captured its water supply.
Now gather the rest of your forces, attack the city and take it yourself. I don't want to get the credit for capturing it."
So David gathered his forces, went to Rabbah, attacked it, and conquered it.
From the head of the idol of the Ammonite god Molech David took a gold crown which weighed about seventy-five pounds and had a jewel in it. David took the jewel and put it in his own crown. He also took a large amount of loot from the city
and put its people to work with saws, iron hoes, and iron axes, and forced them to work at making bricks. He did the same to the people of all the other towns of Ammon. Then he and his men returned to Jerusalem.