Nathan the Prophet Confronts David
12:1 So the Lord sent Nathan 1 to David. When he came to David, 2 Nathan 3 said, 4 “There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 12:2 The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 12:3 But the poor man had nothing except for a little lamb he had acquired. He raised it, and it grew up alongside him and his children. 5 It used to 6 eat his food, 7 drink from his cup, and sleep in his arms. 8 It was just like a daughter to him.
12:4 “When a traveler arrived at the rich man’s home, 9 he did not want to use one of his own sheep or cattle to feed 10 the traveler who had come to visit him. 11 Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and cooked 12 it for the man who had come to visit him.”
12:5 Then David became very angry at this man. He said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 13 12:6 Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!” 14
12:7 Nathan said to David, “You are that man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I chose 15 you to be king over Israel and I rescued you from the hand of Saul. 12:8 I gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your arms. 16 I also gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all that somehow seems insignificant, I would have given you so much more as well! 12:9 Why have you shown contempt for the word of the Lord by doing evil in my 17 sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and you have taken his wife as your own! 18 You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 12:10 So now the sword will never depart from your house. For you have despised me by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your own!’ 12:11 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to bring disaster on you 19 from inside your own household! 20 Right before your eyes I will take your wives and hand them over to your companion. 21 He will have sexual relations with 22 your wives in broad daylight! 23 12:12 Although you have acted in secret, I will do this thing before all Israel, and in broad daylight.’” 24
12:13 Then David exclaimed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord!” Nathan replied to David, “Yes, and the Lord has forgiven 25 your sin. You are not going to die. 12:14 Nonetheless, because you have treated the Lord with such contempt 26 in this matter, the son who has been born to you will certainly die.”
12:15 Then Nathan went to his home. The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and the child became very ill. 27 12:16 Then David prayed to 28 God for the child and fasted. 29 He would even 30 go and spend the night lying on the ground. 12:17 The elders of his house stood over him and tried to lift him from the ground, but he was unwilling, and refused to eat food with them.
12:18 On the seventh day the child died. But the servants of David were afraid to inform him that the child had died, for they said, “While the child was still alive he would not listen to us 31 when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He will do himself harm!” 32
12:19 When David saw that his servants were whispering to one another, he 33 realized that the child was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” They replied, “Yes, he’s dead.” 12:20 So David got up from the ground, bathed, put on oil, and changed his clothes. He went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then, when he entered his palace, he requested that food be brought to him, and he ate.
12:21 His servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? While 34 the child was still alive, you fasted and wept. Once the child was dead you got up and ate food!” 12:22 He replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, 35 ‘Perhaps 36 the Lord will show pity and the child will live. 12:23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Am I able to bring him back? I will go to him, but he cannot return to me!’”