The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to David, he said, "There were two men in a city. One was rich, but the other was poor.
The rich man had many sheep and cattle.
But the poor man had nothing except one little female lamb he had bought. The poor man fed the lamb, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food and drank from his cup and slept in his arms. The lamb was like a daughter to him.
"Then a traveler stopped to visit the rich man. The rich man wanted to feed the traveler, but he didn't want to take one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the lamb from the poor man and cooked it for his visitor."
David became very angry at the rich man. He said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this should die!
He must pay for the lamb four times for doing such a thing. He had no mercy!"
Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I appointed you king of Israel and saved you from Saul.
I gave you his kingdom and his wives. And I made you king of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you even more.
So why did you ignore the Lord's command? Why did you do what he says is wrong? You killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and took his wife to be your wife!
Now there will always be people in your family who will die by a sword, because you did not respect me; you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite for yourself!'
"This is what the Lord says: 'I am bringing trouble to you from your own family. While you watch, I will take your wives from you and give them to someone who is very close to you. He will have sexual relations with your wives, and everyone will know it.
You had sexual relations with Bathsheba in secret, but I will do this so all the people of Israel can see it.'"
Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You will not die.
But what you did caused the Lord's enemies to lose all respect for him. For this reason the son who was born to you will die."
Then Nathan went home. And the Lord caused the son of David and Bathsheba, Uriah's widow, to be very sick.
David prayed to God for the baby. David refused to eat or drink. He went into his house and stayed there, lying on the ground all night.
The older leaders of David's family came to him and tried to pull him up from the ground, but he refused to get up or to eat food with them.
On the seventh day the baby died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the baby was dead. They said, "Look, we tried to talk to David while the baby was alive, but he refused to listen to us. If we tell him the baby is dead, he may do something awful."
When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead. So he asked them, "Is the baby dead?" They answered, "Yes, he is dead."
Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord's house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate.
David's servants said to him, "Why are you doing this? When the baby was still alive, you refused to eat and you cried. Now that the baby is dead, you get up and eat food."
David said, "While the baby was still alive, I refused to eat, and I cried. I thought, 'Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.'
But now that the baby is dead, why should I go without food? I can't bring him back to life. Some day I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me."
Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife. He slept with her and had sexual relations with her. She became pregnant again and had another son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon.
The Lord sent word through Nathan the prophet to name the baby Jedidiah, because the Lord loved the child.
Joab fought against Rabbah, a royal city of the Ammonites, and he was about to capture it.
Joab sent messengers to David and said, "I have fought against Rabbah and have captured its water supply.
Now bring the other soldiers together and attack this city. Capture it before I capture it myself and it is called by my name!"
So David gathered all the army and went to Rabbah and fought against it and captured it.
David took the crown off their king's head and had it placed on his own head. That gold crown weighed about seventy-five pounds, and it had valuable gems in it. And David took many valuable things from the city.
He also brought out the people of the city and forced them to work with saws, iron picks, and axes. He also made them build with bricks. David did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all his army returned to Jerusalem.
Scripture taken from the New Century Version. Copyright © 1987, 1988, 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.