View 2nd Samuel 12 in the note window.
Nathan delivers and applies his parable, ver. 1 - 12.
David repents and is forgiven, but punished, ver. 13. 14.
The sickness and death of the child, with David's behaviour on the
occasion, ver. 15 - 23.
The birth of Solomon, ver. 24 - 25.
The taking of Rabbah, ver. 26 - 31.
1: The Lord sent - When the ordinary means did not awaken David
to repentance, God takes an extraordinary course. Thus the merciful God
pities and prevents him who had so horribly forsaken God. He said - He
prudently ushers in his reproof with a parable, after the manner of the
eastern nations, that so he might surprize David, and cause him unawares
to give sentence against himself.
2: Many flocks - Noting David's many wives and concubines.
3: Bought - As men then used to buy their wives:
or, had procured.
5: Is worthy to die - This seems to be more than the fact deserved,
or than he had commission to inflict for it, (Ex 22:1). But it is
observable, that David now when he was most indulgent to himself, and to
his own sin, was most severe and even unjust to others; as appears by this
passage, and the following relation, ver.(31), which was done in the
time of David's impenitent continuance in his sin.
7: Thus saith the Lord God - Nathan now speaks, not as a
petitioner for a poor man, but as an ambassador from the great God.
9: To be thy wife - To marry her whom he had defiled, and whose
husband he had slain, was an affront upon the ordinance of marriage, making
that not only to palliate, but in a manner to consecrate such villainies.
In all this he despised the word of the Lord; (so it is in the
Hebrew.) Not only his commandment in general, but the particular word
of promise, which God had before sent him by Nathan, that he would
build him an house: which sacred promise if he had had a due value for,
he would not have polluted his house with lust and blood.
10: Never depart - During the residue of thy life.
11: Own house - From thy own children and family.
Thine eyes - Openly, so that thou shalt know it as certainly as if thou
didst see it, and yet not be able to hinder it. And give them - I shall
by my providence, give him power over them. Neighbor - To one who is very
near thee. But God expresseth this darkly, that the accomplishment of it
might not be hindered.
13: I have sinned - How serious this confession was, we may see,(Ps 51:1-19).
Put away thy sin - That is, so far as concerns thy own life.
Not die - As by thy own sentence, ver.(5), thou dost deserve, and may
expect to be done by my immediate stroke.
16: Besought - Supposing the threatening might be conditional, and
so the execution of it prevented by prayer. Went - Into his closet.
17: Elders - The chief officers of his kingdom and household. He
would not - This excessive mourning did not proceed simply from the fear
of the loss of the child; but from a deep sense of his sin, and the divine
displeasure manifested herein.
18: Seventh day - From the beginning of the distemper.
20: And came - That is, to the tabernacle, to confess his sin before
the Lord, to own his justice in this stroke, to deprecate his just
displeasure, to acknowledge God's rich mercy, in sparing his own life;
and to offer such sacrifices as were required in such cases.
23: I fast - Seeing fasting and prayer cannot now prevail with God
for his life. I shall go to him - Into the state of the dead in which he
is, and into heaven, where I doubt not I shall find him.
24: His wife - Who was now much dejected, both for her former sin,
and for the loss of the child. Loved him - That is, the Lord declared to
David, that he loved his son, notwithstanding the just cause David
had given to God to alienate his affections from him.
25: Jedidiah - That is, beloved of the Lord. Because - Either,
because of the Lord's love to him, or because the Lord commanded
him to do so.
26: Royal city - That is, that part of the city where was the king's
palace; though now it seems he was retired to a strong fort.
27: Of waters - Rabbah was so called because it was encompassed
28: Take it - For having taken one part of the city, he concluded the
remaining part of it could not long stand out. Lest - Lest I have the
honour of taking it.
30: The weight - Or rather, the price whereof, &c. For the same
words both in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, are used, to signify either
weight, or price. And the addition of precious stones, which are never
valued by the weight of gold, makes this signification most probable.
Moreover, the weight might seem too great either for the king of Ammon,
or for David to wear it upon his head.
31: The people - The words are indefinite, and therefore not
necessarily to be understood of all the people; but of the men of war, and
especially of those who had been the chief actors of that villainous action
against David's ambassadors, and of the dreadful war ensuing upon it;
for which, they deserved severe punishments. Altho' indeed there seems
to have been too much rigour used; especially, because these deaths were
inflicted not only upon those counsellors, who were the only authors of
that vile usage of the ambassadors; but upon some number of the people.
And therefore it is probable, David exercised this cruelty whilst his
heart was hardened, and impenitent; and when he was bereaved of that good
spirit of God, which would have taught him more mercy. Saws - He sawed
them to death of which punishment, we have examples both in scripture, and
in other authors. Brick - kiln - Or, made them to pass through the
furnace of Malchen: that is, of Moloch; punishing them with their
own sin, and with the same kind of punishment which they had inflicted upon
their own children.