וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהוָה אֶת־נָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד וַיָּבֹא אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ שְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים הָיוּ בְּעִיר אֶחָת אֶחָד עָשִׁיר וְאֶחָד 12:1 רָאשׁ׃
2Sam. 12:1 And the Lord sent Nathan to David, and he came to him and said to him, “Two men were in one city, one rich and one poor.”
לְעָשִׁיר הָיָה צֹאן וּבָקָר הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃ 12:2
2Sam. 12:2 “The rich man had very many flocks and herds,
וְלָרָשׁ אֵין־כֹּל כִּי אִם־כִּבְשָׂה אַחַת קְטַנָּה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה וַיְחַיֶּהָ וַתִּגְדַּל עִמּוֹ וְעִם־בָּנָיו יַחְדָּו מִפִּתּוֹ 12:3
תֹאכַל וּמִכֹּסוֹ תִשְׁתֶּה וּבְחֵיקוֹ תִשְׁכָּב וַתְּהִי־לוֹ כְּבַת׃
2Sam. 12:3 but the poor man had nothing except for one small ewe lamb that he had bought and nourished, and it grew up with him and with his children together. It ate from his morsel and it drank from his cup and it slept in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him.
וַיָּבֹא הֵלֶךְ לְאִישׁ הֶעָשִׁיר וַיַּחְמֹל לָקַחַת מִצֹּאנוֹ וּמִבְּקָרוֹ לַעֲשׂוֹת לָאֹרֵחַ הַבָּא־לוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת־כִּבְשַׂת 12:4 הָאִישׁ הָרָאשׁ וַיַּעֲשֶׂהָ לָאִישׁ הַבָּא אֵלָיו׃
2Sam. 12:4 And a traveler came to the rich man, and he refrained from taking from his own flock or from his own herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the lamb of the man who was poor and prepared it for the man who had come to him.
וַיִּחַר־אַף דָּוִד בָּאִישׁ מְאֹד וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל־נָתָן חַי־יְהוָה כִּי בֶן־מָוֶת הָאִישׁ הָעֹשֶׂה זֹאת׃ 12:5
2Sam. 12:5 And the anger of David was greatly kindled against the man and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who did this is a son of death,
A son of death: i.e., he deserves to die.
וְאֶת־הַכִּבְשָׂה יְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבַּעְתָּיִם עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְעַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא־חָמָל׃ 12:6
2Sam. 12:6 but he should restore the lamb fourfold, because that he did this thing and because that he had no compassion.”
David seems to be aware of the penalty for stealing a sheep as per Exod. 21:37.
וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד אַתָּה הָאִישׁ כֹּה־אָמַר יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָנֹכִי מְשַׁחְתִּיךָ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵל 12:7 וְאָנֹכִי הִצַּלְתִּיךָ מִיַּד שָׁאוּל׃
2Sam. 12:7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man. Thus says the Lord, God of Israel: ‘I anointed you to be king over Israel and I defended you from the hand of Saul,
וָאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־בֵּית אֲדֹנֶיךָ וְאֶת־נְשֵׁי אֲדֹנֶיךָ בְּחֵיקֶךָ וָאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת־בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה וְאִם־מְעָט 12:8 וְאֹסִפָה לְּךָ כָּהֵנָּה וְכָהֵנָּה׃
2Sam. 12:8 and I gave the house of your master to you, and the wives of your master, into your bosom, and I gave the house of Israel and of Judah to you. And if it was too little, I would have added to you such and such things.’
מַדּוּעַ בָּזִיתָ אֶת־דְּבַר יְהוָה לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינוֹ אֵת אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי הִכִּיתָ בַחֶרֶב וְאֶת־אִשְׁתּוֹ 12:9
לָקַחְתָּ לְּךָ לְאִשָּׁה וְאֹתוֹ הָרַגְתָּ בְּחֶרֶב בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן׃
2Sam. 12:9 ‘Why have you disdained the word of the Lord, doing what is evil in His ‘eyes?’ You have smitten Uriah, the Hittite, by the sword, and you have taken his wife to you for a wife, and you have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.’
וְעַתָּה לֹא־תָסוּר חֶרֶב מִבֵּיתְךָ עַד־עוֹלָם עֵקֶב כִּי בְזִתָנִי וַתִּקַּח אֶת־אֵשֶׁת אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי לִהְיוֹת לְךָ 12:10 לְאִשָּׁה׃
2Sam. 12:10 ’So now the sword shall not depart from your house forever, for the reason that you disdained Me when you took the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be for a wife to you.’”
כֹּה אָמַר יְהוָה הִנְנִי מֵקִים עָלֶיךָ רָעָה מִבֵּיתֶךָ וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶת־נָשֶׁיךָ לְעֵינֶיךָ וְנָתַתִּי לְרֵעֶיךָ וְשָׁכַב עִם־ 12:11 נָשֶׁיךָ לְעֵינֵי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ הַזֹּאת׃
2Sam. 12:11 “Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I am raising up evil from your own house against you, and I will take away your wives for your eyes and give to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.’
כִּי אַתָּה עָשִׂיתָ בַסָּתֶר וַאֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה אֶת־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה נֶגֶד כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנֶגֶד הַשָּׁמֶשׁ׃ 12:12
2Sam. 12:12 ‘Though you did in secret, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.’”
וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־נָתָן חָטָאתִי לַיהוָה ס וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֶל־דָּוִד גַּם־יְהוָה הֶעֱבִיר חַטָּאתְךָ לֹא תָמוּת׃ 12:13
2Sam. 12:13 And David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “Also the Lord has removed your sin. You will not die.”
אֶפֶס כִּי־נִאֵץ נִאַצְתָּ אֶת־אֹיְבֵי יְהוָה בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה גַּם הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד לְךָ מוֹת יָמוּת׃ 12:14
2Sam. 12:14 “Nevertheless, because you have greatly provoked the enemies of the Lord by this act, then the child that will be born to you shall surely die.”
וַיֵּלֶךְ נָתָן אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיִּגֹּף יְהוָה אֶת־הַיֶּלֶד אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה אֵשֶׁת־אוּרִיָּה לְדָוִד וַיֵּאָנַשׁ׃ 12:15
2Sam. 12:15 Then Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that the wife of Uriah bore to David and it was sick.
וַיְבַקֵּשׁ דָּוִד אֶת־הָאֱלֹהִים בְּעַד הַנָּעַר וַיָּצָם דָּוִד צוֹם וּבָא וְלָן וְשָׁכַב אָרְצָה׃ 12:16
2Sam. 12:16 And David besought He Who is God on behalf of the child, and David fasted a fast, and he went and lay all night and he lay on the earth.
וַיָּקֻמוּ זִקְנֵי בֵיתוֹ עָלָיו לַהֲקִימוֹ מִן־הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא אָבָה וְלֹא־בָרָא אִתָּם לָחֶם׃ 12:17
2Sam. 12:17 And the elders of his house stood over him to raise him up from the ground, but he would not, and he would not eat bread with them.
וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיָּמָת הַיָּלֶד וַיִּרְאוּ עַבְדֵי דָוִד לְהַגִּיד לוֹ כִּי־מֵת הַיֶּלֶד כִּי אָמְרוּ הִנֵּה בִהְיוֹת הַיֶּלֶד 12:18 חַי דִּבַּרְנוּ אֵלָיו וְלֹא־שָׁמַע בְּקוֹלֵנוּ וְאֵיךְ נֹאמַר אֵלָיו מֵת הַיֶּלֶד וְעָשָׂה רָעָה׃
2Sam. 12:18 And it was on the seventh day that the child died. But the servants of David feared to tell him that the child had died, for they said, “Behold, while the child was yet living, we spoke to him, but he did not listen into our voice. Then how can we say to him the child has died, that he did wickedness?
וַיַּרְא דָּוִד כִּי עֲבָדָיו מִתְלַחֲשִׁים וַיָּבֶן דָּוִד כִּי מֵת הַיָּלֶד וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל־עֲבָדָיו הֲמֵת הַיֶּלֶד וַיֹּאמְרוּ 12:19 מֵת׃
2Sam. 12:19 But David saw that his servants were whispering together and David realized that the child had died, and David said to his servants, “Has the child died?” And they said, “It has died.”
וַיָּקָם דָּוִד מֵהָאָרֶץ וַיִּרְחַץ וַיָּסֶךְ וַיְחַלֵּף (שִׂמְלֹתוֹ) [שִׂמְלֹתָיו] וַיָּבֹא בֵית־יְהוָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ וַיָּבֹא 12:20
אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ וַיִּשְׁאַל וַיָּשִׂימוּ לוֹ לֶחֶם וַיֹּאכַל׃
2Sam. 12:20 Then David rose from the earth and washed and anointed himself and changed his garments. Then he went in to the house of the Lord and worshipped Him. Then he went in to his own house and he asked and they set food for him and he ate.
The word in parentheses has a missing yad, making its translation be garment instead of garments. The correction is in the brackets.
וַיֹּאמְרוּ עֲבָדָיו אֵלָיו מָה־הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר עָשִׂיתָה בַּעֲבוּר הַיֶּלֶד חַי צַמְתָּ וַתֵּבְךְּ וְכַאֲשֶׁר מֵת הַיֶּלֶד 12:21 קַמְתָּ וַתֹּאכַל לָחֶם׃
2Sam. 12:21 And his servants said to him, “What thing is this that you do, in that when the child lived you fasted and mourned, but as the child has died you rise and eat bread?”
וַיֹּאמֶר בְּעוֹד הַיֶּלֶד חַי צַמְתִּי וָאֶבְכֶּה כִּי אָמַרְתִּי מִי יוֹדֵעַ יְחַנַּנִי יְהוָה וְחַי הַיָּלֶד׃ 12:22
2Sam. 12:22 And he said, “When yet the child lived I fasted and mourned because I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord might have mercy on me and let the boy live?’”
וְעַתָּה מֵת לָמָּה זֶּה אֲנִי צָם הַאוּכַל לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ עוֹד אֲנִי הֹלֵךְ אֵלָיו וְהוּא לֹא־יָשׁוּב אֵלָי׃ 12:23
2Sam. 12:23 “But now he has died. Why is it I was fasting? Might I have been able to bring him back again? I was going to him, but he could not come back to me.”
וַיְנַחֵם דָּוִד אֵת בַּת־שֶׁבַע אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן (וַיִקְרָא) [וַתִּקְרָא] אֶת־שְׁמוֹ 12:24
שְׁלֹמֹה וַיהוָה אֲהֵבוֹ׃
2Sam. 12:24 Then David comforted Bath-sheba, his wife, and he went in to her and lay with her, and she bore a son, and she called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him.
The word in parentheses has a yad where it has been assumed a tav should be, the alleged error making the word’s translation be he called instead of the assumed she called. The assumed correction is in the brackets. I am not convinced the word is an error. It could be equally likely that David named Solomon. Corroboration of either point of view appears nowhere in the bible.
וַיִּשְׁלַח בְּיַד נָתָן הַנָּבִיא וַיִּקְרָא אֶת־שְׁמוֹ יְדִידְיָהּ בַּעֲבוּר יְהוָה׃ 12:25
2Sam. 12:25 And He sent by the hand of the prophet, Nathan, and he called his name Jedidiah for the sake of the Lord. [Return to Zech. 12:14]
The name Solomon means peace. Presumably this is a prophetic name, as there was peace during Solomon’s reign. The name Jedediah means beloved of the Lord, which may also be prophetic. However, I believe it is descriptive. Either may be possible, although unlikely to me. Solomon failed the Lord in so many ways, as far as I am concerned. Perhaps the Lord did love him despite his many failings, because He allowed him to succeed and didn’t chastise or condemn him. It wasn’t until after his death that his kingdom was divided. Notice that the previous verse (v. 12:24) informs us that the Lord did indeed love Solomon.
וַיִּלָּחֶם יוֹאָב בְּרַבַּת בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת־עִיר הַמְּלוּכָה׃ 12:26
2Sam. 12:26 And Joab battled against Rabbah of the children of Ammon and he took the royal city.
וַיִּשְׁלַ֥ח יֹואָ֛ב מַלְאָכִ֖ים אֶל־דָּוִ֑ד וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ נִלְחַ֣מְתִּי בְרַבָּ֔ה גַּם־לָכַ֖דְתִּי אֶת־עִ֥יר הַמָּֽיִם׃ 12:27
2Sam. 12:27 And Joab sent messengers to David and he said, “I battled against Rabbah, yes, I took the city of water.”
וְעַתָּה אֱסֹף אֶת־יֶתֶר הָעָם וַחֲנֵה עַל־הָעִיר וְלָכְדָהּ פֶּן־אֶלְכֹּד אֲנִי אֶת־הָעִיר וְנִקְרָא שְׁמִי עָלֶיהָ׃ 12:28
2Sam. 12:28 “And now gather together the rest of the people and camp against the city and take it, lest I take the city and my name is proclaimed on it.”
וַיֶּאֱסֹף דָּוִד אֶת־כָּל־הָעָם וַיֵּלֶךְ רַבָּתָה וַיִּלָּחֶם בָּהּ וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ׃ 12:29
2Sam. 12:29 So David gathered together all the people and went to Rabbah and fought with it and took it.
וַיִּקַּח אֶת־עֲטֶרֶת־מַלְכָּם מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ וּמִשְׁקָלָהּ כִּכַּר זָהָב וְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה וַתְּהִי עַל־רֹאשׁ דָּוִד וּשְׁלַל 12:30 הָעִיר הוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד׃
2Sam. 12:30 And he took the crown of Malcam from off his head, and the weight of it was a talent of gold with a precious stone, and it was on the head of David. And he brought out very much of the spoil of the city.
Malcam was the main deity of Ammon. Presumably the king of Ammon would have worn this crown. A talent of gold is about 58 pounds, an uncomfortable weight to carry on one’s head. I doubt that the king or David could wear it for more than a few minutes. [Return to Zeph. 1:6] [Return to 1Chr. 20:2]
וְאֶת־הָעָם אֲשֶׁר־בָּהּ הוֹצִיא וַיָּשֶׂם בַּמְּגֵרָה וּבַחֲרִצֵי הַבַּרְזֶל וּבְמַגְזְרֹת הַבַּרְזֶל וְהֶעֱבִיר אוֹתָם 12:31
בַּמַּלְכֶּן) [בַּמַּלְבֵּן] וְכֵן יַעֲשֶׂה לְכֹל עָרֵי בְנֵי־עַמֹּון וַיָּשָׁב דָּוִד וְכָל־הָעָם יְרוּשָׁלִָם׃
2Sam. 12:31 And he brought out the people who were in it and put to saws and to slicers of iron and to axes of iron and made them pass in a brick mold [or kiln]. And thus he would do to all the cities of the children of Ammon. Then David returned, with all the people, to Jerusalem.
This verse has stirred much controversy. The word בַּמַּלְבֵּן (as corrected in the brackets) can mean through a brick kiln or into a brick kiln, rather than in a brick mold. Does the alternative translation imply that the children of Ammon were tortured by the instruments mentioned and then burned (alive)? This was actually an early interpretation of this verse. But later investigation of the meaning of the word in brackets seems to have led to the new translation shown above. I am suspicious of the change, however. Why would the verse say that [he] made them pass in a brick mold. Does the word for brick mold refer to a mold that is made of bricks or to a mold that is made for forming bricks? In addition, what does it mean that [he] made them pass? That sounds as if they were (tortured) alive. Still there is another possible interpretation of the verse based on the pronoun them. Does the word refer to the Ammonites or to weapons that were destroyed and melted down? It’s entirely possible that David left all his conquests with no weapons. I leave it to you to decide or to derive your own interpretation. Naturally, I prefer this last suggestion.
Beside all this, the (infamous) word before the left parenthesis, addressed in the above paragraph, has a kaph where there should be a beth. The word in error does not exist in biblical Hebrew. The correction, whose root may be translated as either brick kiln or brick mold, is in the brackets.
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