Nathan Tells David He Has Sinned
1The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. When Nathan came to him, he said, “Two men lived in the same town. One was rich. The other was poor. 2The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle. 3But all the poor man had was one little female lamb. He had bought it. He raised it. It grew up with him and his children. It shared his food. It drank from his cup. It even slept in his arms. It was just like a daughter to him.
4“One day a traveler came to the rich man. The rich man wanted to prepare a meal for him. But he didn’t want to kill one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the little female lamb that belonged to the poor man. Then the rich man cooked it for the traveler who had come to him.”
5David was very angry with the rich man. He said to Nathan, “The man who did this must die! And that’s just as sure as the Lord is alive. 6The man must pay back four times as much as that lamb was worth. How could he do such a thing? And he wasn’t even sorry he had done it.”
7Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man! The Lord, the God of Israel, says, ‘I anointed you king over Israel. I saved you from Saul. 8I gave you everything that belonged to your master Saul. I even put his wives into your arms. I made you king over all the people of Israel and Judah. And if all of that had not been enough for you, I would have given you even more. 9Why did you turn your back on what I told you to do? You did what is evil in my sight. You made sure that Uriah, the Hittite, would be killed in battle. You took his wife to be your own. You let the men of Ammon kill him with their swords. 10So time after time members of your own royal house will be killed with swords. That’s because you turned your back on me. You took the wife of Uriah, the Hittite, to be your own.’
11“The Lord also says, ‘I am going to bring trouble on you. It will come from your own family. I will take your wives away. Your own eyes will see it. I will give your wives to a man who is close to you. He will sleep with them in the middle of the day. 12You committed your sins in secret. But I will make sure that the man commits his sin in the middle of the day. Everyone in Israel will see it.’ ”
13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.”
Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You aren’t going to die. 14But you have dared to show great disrespect for the Lord. So the son who has been born to you will die.”
15Nathan went home. Then the Lord made David’s child very sick. That was the child David had by Uriah’s wife. 16David begged God to heal the child. David didn’t eat anything. He spent his nights lying on the ground. He put on the rough clothes people wear when they’re sad. 17His most trusted servants stood beside him. They wanted him to get up from the ground. But he refused to do it. And he wouldn’t eat any food with them.
18On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him the child was dead. They thought, “While the child was still alive, we spoke to David. But he wouldn’t listen to us. So how can we now tell him the child is dead? He might do something terrible to himself.”
19David saw that his attendants were whispering to one another. Then he realized the child was dead. “Has the child died?” he asked.
“Yes,” they replied. “He’s dead.”
20Then David got up from the ground. After he washed himself, he put on lotions. He changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord and worshiped him. Then he went to his own house. He asked for some food. They served it to him. And he ate it.
21His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting like this? While the child was still alive, you wouldn’t eat anything. You cried a lot. But now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”
22He answered, “While the child was still alive, I didn’t eat anything. And I cried a lot. I thought, ‘Who knows? The Lord might have mercy on me. He might let the child live.’ 23But now he’s dead. So why should I continue to go without food? Can I bring him back to life again? Someday I’ll go to him. But he won’t return to me.”
24Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and slept with her. Some time later she had a son. He was given the name Solomon. The Lord loved him. 25So the Lord sent a message through Nathan the prophet. The Lord said, “Name the boy Jedidiah.”
26During that time, Joab fought against Rabbah. It was the royal city of the Ammonites. It had high walls around it. Joab was about to capture it. 27He sent messengers to David. He told them to say, “I have fought against Rabbah. I’ve taken control of its water supply. 28So bring the rest of the troops together. Surround the city and get ready to attack it. Then capture it. If you don’t, I’ll capture it myself. Then it will be named after me.”
29So David brought together the whole army and went to Rabbah. He attacked it and captured it. 30David took the gold crown off the head of the king of Ammon. Then the crown was placed on David’s head. The crown weighed 75 pounds. It had jewels in it. David took a huge amount of goods from the city. 31He brought out the people who were there. He made them work with saws and iron picks and axes. He forced them to make bricks. David did that to all the towns in Ammon. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.