Shmuel Bais 12

1 2 And Hashem sent Natan unto Dovid. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two anashim in one town; the one an oisher, and the other poor.
2 The oisher had exceeding many tzon and bakar;
3 But the poor man had nothing, except one kivsah ketanah (little ewe [female] lamb), which he had acquired and nourished; and she grew up together with him [the poor man], and with his banim; it did eat of his own bread, and drank of his own kos (cup), and slept in his kheyk (bosom), and was unto him as a bat.
4 And there came a helech (traveler) unto the oisher, and he refused to take of his own tzon and of his own bakar, to prepare for the ore’ach (wayfaring man, traveller, guest) that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s kivsah (ewe lamb), and prepared her for the ish that was come to him.
5 And af Dovid (Dovid’s anger) was greatly kindled against the ish; and he said to Natan, As Hashem liveth, the ish that hath done this thing is ben mavet (a son of death, worthy of death);
6 And he shall restore the kivsah fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no khamal (pity).
7 And Natan said to Dovid, Atah haIsh (thou art the Man). Thus saith Hashem Elohei Yisroel: Meshachticha (I anointed thee) Melech over Yisroel, and I delivered thee out of the yad Sha’ul;
8 And I gave thee the bais adonecha, and the nashim of adonecha into thy kheyk (bosom), and gave thee Bais Yisroel and Yehudah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such as this and such as that.
9 Why hast thou despised the Davar Hashem, to do the rah in His eyes? Thou hast killed Uriyah the Chitti with the cherev, and hast taken his isha to be thy isha, and hast slain him with the cherev of the Bnei Ammon.
10 Now therefore the cherev shall not depart from thine Bais ad olam; because thou hast despised Me, hast taken the isha Uriyah the Chitti as thy isha.
11 Thus saith Hashem, Hineni, I will raise up ra’ah (adversity) against thee out of thine own Bais, and I will take thy nashim before thine eyes, and give them unto thy re’a, and he shall lie with thy nashim in the sight of this shemesh.
12 For thou didst it baseter (secretly); but I will do this thing before kol Yisroel, and before the shemesh.
13 And Dovid said unto Natan, I have sinned against Hashem. And Natan said unto Dovid, Hashem also hath put away thy chattat; thou shalt not die.
14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the oyevim of Hashem to ni’etz (deride, ridicule, revile, blaspheme), also haben (the son) that is born unto thee shall surely die.
15 And Natan departed unto his bais. And Hashem struck the yeled that Uriyah’s isha bore unto Dovid, and it was very ill.
16 Dovid therefore pleaded with HaElohim for the na’ar; and Dovid did a tzom, and went in, and lay all night upon ha’aretz.
17 And the zekenim of his Bais arose, and went to him, to raise him up from ha’aretz; but he would not, neither did he eat lechem with them.
18 And it came to pass on the yom hashevi’i, that the yeled died. And the avadim of Dovid feared to tell him that the yeled was dead; for they said, Hinei, while the yeled was yet chai (alive), we spoke unto him, and he would not pay heed unto koleinu (our voice); so if we tell him that the yeled is dead, will he then do something horrendous?
19 But when Dovid saw that his avadim were mitlachashim (whisperers), Dovid perceived that the yeled was dead; therefore Dovid said unto his avadim, Is the yeled dead? And they said, Met (dead, he is dead).
20 Then Dovid arose from ha’aretz, and bathed [See 2 Sm 11:2], and put on lotion, and changed his apparel, and came into the Bais Hashem, and worshiped; then he came to his own Bais; and when he requested, they set lechem before him, and he did eat.
21 Then said his avadim unto him, What davar is this that thou hast done? Thou didst undergo a tzom and weep for the sake of the yeled, while it was alive; but when the yeled was dead, thou didst rise and eat lechem.
22 And he said, While the yeled was yet chai, I underwent a tzom and wept; for I said, Who can tell whether Hashem will be gracious to me, that the yeled may live?
23 But now he is met (dead), why should I undergo a tzom? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
24 And Dovid [Beloved] comforted Bat-Sheva his isha, and went in unto her, and lay with her; and she bore ben, and he called shmo Sh’lomo; and Hashem loved him.
25 And He sent by the yad Natan HaNavi; and he called shmo Yedidyah (Beloved of Hashem), for the sake of Hashem.
26 And Yoav fought against Rabbah of the Bnei Ammon, and captured ir hameluchah (the royal city).
27 And Yoav sent malachim to Dovid, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the Ir HaMayim.
28 Now therefore gather the rest of HaAm (the army) together, and encamp against the Ir, and capture it; lest I take the Ir, and it be called after my shem.
29 And Dovid gathered kol haAm together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and captured it.
30 And he took their melech’s ateret from off his rosh, the weight whereof was a talent of zahav with the precious stones; and it was set on Dovid’s rosh. And he brought forth the plunder of the ir (city) in great abundance.
31 And he brought forth ha’am that were therein, and put them under saws, and under threshing tools of barzel, and under axes of barzel, and made them go through the brickkilns; and thus did he unto all the towns of the Bnei Ammon. So Dovid and kol haAm returned unto Yerushalayim.

Shmuel Bais 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Nathan's parable-David confesses his sin. (1-14) The birth of Solomon. (15-25) David's severity to the Ammonites. (26-31)

Verses 1-14 God will not suffer his people to lie still in sin. By this parable Nathan drew from David a sentence against himself. Great need there is of prudence in giving reproofs. In his application, he was faithful. He says in plain terms, Thou art the man. God shows how much he hates sin, even in his own people; and wherever he finds it, he will not let it go unpunished. David says not a word to excuse himself or make light of his sin, but freely owns it. When David said, I have sinned, and Nathan perceived that he was a true penitent, he assured him his sin was forgiven. Thou shalt not die: that is, not die eternally, nor be for ever put away from God, as thou wouldest have been, if thou hadst not put away the sin. Though thou shalt all thy days be chastened of the Lord, yet thou shalt not be condemned with the world. There is this great evil in the sins of those who profess religion and relation to God, that they furnish the enemies of God and religion with matter for reproach and blasphemy. And it appears from David's case, that even where pardon is obtained, the Lord will visit the transgression of his people with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. For one momentary gratification of a vile lust, David had to endure many days and years of extreme distress.

Verses 15-25 David now penned the 51st Psalm, in which, though he had been assured that his sin was pardoned, he prays earnestly for pardon, and greatly laments his sin. He was willing to bear the shame of it, to have it ever before him, to be continually upbraided with it. God gives us leave to be earnest with him in prayer for particular blessings, from trust in his power and general mercy, though we have no particular promise to build upon. David patiently submitted to the will of God in the death of one child, and God made up the loss to his advantage, in the birth of another. The way to have creature comforts continued or restored, or the loss made up some other way, is cheerfully to resign them to God. God, by his grace, particularly owned and favoured that son, and ordered him to be called Jedidiah, Beloved of the Lord. Our prayers for our children are graciously and as fully answered when some of them die in their infancy, for they are well taken care of, and when others live, "beloved of the Lord."

Verses 26-31 To be thus severe in putting the children of Ammon to slavery was a sign that David's heart was not yet made soft by repentance, at the time when this took place. We shall be most compassionate, kind, and forgiving to others, when we most feel our need of the Lord's forgiving love, and taste the sweetness of it in our own souls.

Chapter Summary


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.

Shmuel Bais 12 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.