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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

2 Samuel 12



Verses 1-31

2 Samuel 12:1-15 — Nathan's Prophecy of Judgment - 2 Samuel 12:1-15 contains a parable and prophecy that predicts divine judgment upon David's seed because of his sin. The question must be asked of why the Lord judged King David so harshly, when these sins of murder and adultery were taking place throughout his kingdom. Perhaps the reason lies in the fact that the Davidic lineage must be purged so that it would procreate righteous kings. In this judgment, David lost his two eldest sons, Amnon and Absalom, who would normally have inherited the kingship after their father.

2 Samuel 12:5 And David"s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:

2 Samuel 12:5 — "the man that hath done this thing shall surely die" - Comments- Because David repented, God forgives, and annuls, this part of the curse.

2 Samuel 12:6 And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

2 Samuel 12:6 — "he shall restore the lamb fourfold" - Comments- This decree was according to the Law ( Exodus 22:1). Note how closely David attempted to follow the Law for others, yet he is violating the Law for himself.

Exodus 22:1, "If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep."

However, David decreed this curse upon himself. The exact deeds that he committed of murder and fornication came upon his children four fold.

1. David lost his first son by Bathsheba at birth:

2 Samuel 12:18, "And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?"

2. His daughter Tamar was raped:

2 Samuel 13:14, "Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her."

3. He lost his son Amnon to murder:

2 Samuel 13:28-29, "Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon"s heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous, and be valiant. And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king"s sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled."

4. He lost his son Absalom to war:

2 Samuel 18:15, "And ten young men that bare Joab"s armour compassed about and smote Absalom, and slew him."

Also, ten of David"s concubines were raped by Absalom ( 2 Samuel 16:21-22).

2 Samuel 16:21-22, "And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father"s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong. So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father"s concubines in the sight of all Israel."

Another illustration of a man that pronounced a curse upon his family was Jacob, who unknowingly placed a curse upon his wife ( Genesis 31:32).

Genesis 31:32, "With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them."

2 Samuel 12:10 Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife.

2 Samuel 12:10"Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house" - Comments- David showed evil towards Uriah, who had shown David much good. Therefore God pronounced the very judgment of His eternal Word upon David according to Proverbs 17:13.

Proverbs 17:13, "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house."

God could have pronounced a judgment of seven years famine, or thee months of war, or three days of pestilence, as He did to David in 2 Samuel 24:13.

2 Samuel 24:13, "So Gad came to David, and told him, and said unto him, Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days" pestilence in thy land? now advise, and see what answer I shall return to him that sent me."

The judgment at the end of David"s life was a judgment upon the nation of Israel. In contrast, the judgment in David"s sin against Bathsheba was a judgment upon an individual, which judgment matched the laws of God"s Word according to Proverbs 17:13.

Proverbs 17:13, "Whoso rewardeth evil for good, evil shall not depart from his house."

2 Samuel 12:10"because thou hast despised me" - Comments- How well David knew that his sin was against God Himself. Note his prayer of repentance in Psalm 51.

Psalm 51:4, "Against thee, thee only, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight: that thou mightest be justified when thou speakest, and be clear when thou judgest."

2 Samuel 12:11 Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.

2 Samuel 12:11"I will raise up evil" - Comments- Note the next few chapter where his children, Amnon and Absalom, fall into deadly sins as a fulfilment of this prophecy.

2 Samuel 12:11 — "he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of the sun" - Comments- This was fulfilled in 2 Samuel 16:21-22.

2 Samuel 16:21-22, "And Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father"s concubines, which he hath left to keep the house; and all Israel shall hear that thou art abhorred of thy father: then shall the hands of all that are with thee be strong.So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father"s concubines in the sight of all Israel."

2 Samuel 12:12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.

2 Samuel 12:12"I will do this thing before all Israel" - Scripture Reference- Note:

Matthew 10:26, "Fear them not therefore: for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed; and hid, that shall not be known."

2 Samuel 12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.

2 Samuel 12:13Comments- The Law commanded both the adulterer and the adulteress to be killed ( Leviticus 20:10). The Law gave the penalty of death for this sin; but in God's mercy and forgiveness, He was ready to pardon King David ( Nehemiah 9:17). Note how quickly David confesses his sin. In 2009 the king of the Buganda kingdom in south-central Uganda used two radio stations to incite riots in the capital city of Kampala against the government, resulting in the death of around eighty people and injuring hundreds. This king should have apologized for causing this tragedy, but he refused. One of the local, Ugandan ministers explained to me that in a kingdom, the king believes that he is never wrong; therefore, a king never apologizes. This makes King David's confession of sin all the more amazing, showing his tender heart towards the Lord.

With a confession of our sin, God is gracious to forgive ( 1 John 1:9). Mercy triumphs over judgement ( James 2:13). God showed David mercy. David had often shown mercy to others. He showed Saul mercy by not taking Saul's life on two occasions.

Leviticus 20:10, "And the man that committeth adultery with another man"s wife, even he that committeth adultery with his neighbour"s wife, the adulterer and the adulteress shall surely be put to death."

Nehemiah 9:17, "but thou art a God ready to pardon, gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and forsookest them not."

1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness."

James 2:13, "For he shall have judgment without mercy, that hath shewed no mercy; and mercy rejoiceth against judgment."

2 Samuel 12:13Comments- One major difference between King Saul and King David was that David never rejected or disobeyed the prophet of the Lord, while Saul rejected the office of the prophet and priest. For example, in the midst of David's sin with Bathsheba, he humbled himself at the voice of Nathan the prophet. In contrast, Saul disobeyed the voice of Samuel, and because Saul did not repent, God never sent Samuel back to Saul with a word from God. (Perhaps this is because the Holy Spirit is a gentleman and will not impose Himself upon us.) In addition, Saul killed the Ahimelech the priest, the son of Ahitub, and all his father"s house, the priests that were in Nob, and their families ( 1 Samuel 22:6-19). At this point Saul's heart was hardened so that God could no longer speak to him. When he was facing death, he sought a word from Samuel through the witch of Endor ( 1 Samuel 28:7-19).

2 Samuel 12:14 Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

2 Samuel 12:14Comments- Many of the sins that we commit cause God's enemies to blaspheme God and to become hardened towards God. How careful we must be with our lives towards a lost world.

2 Samuel 12:15 And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah"s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

2 Samuel 12:15Comments- The Scriptures call Bathsheba the wife of Uriah, not the wife of David.

2 Samuel 12:16 David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth.

2 Samuel 12:16Comments- David knew that God was a God who "repenteth concerning evil," but in this case God did not repent.

2 Samuel 12:20 Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.

2 Samuel 12:20 — "and came into the house of the LORD" - Comments- This event most likely took place in the city of Jerusalem, since there is no reference to David travelling to Gibeon, as Solomon is noted as travelling to Gibeon. This would mean that David went to the tent that housed the ark, located in Jerusalem, since the tabernacle dwelt at Gibeon during the days of King David.

1 Chronicles 15:1, "And David made him houses in the city of David, and prepared a place for the ark of God, and pitched for it a tent."

1 Chronicles 21:29, "For the tabernacle of the LORD, which Moses made in the wilderness, and the altar of the burnt offering, were at that season in the high place at Gibeon."

2 Chronicles 1:3-4, "So Song of Solomon , and all the congregation with him, went to the high place that was at Gibeon; for there was the tabernacle of the congregation of God, which Moses the servant of the LORD had made in the wilderness. But the ark of God had David brought up from Kirjathjearim to the place which David had prepared for it: for he had pitched a tent for it at Jerusalem."

2 Samuel 12:20 — "and worshipped" - Comments- I have had several dreams lately, December thru February 2000, where I have been brought into the presence of the Lord in worship. In that experience, I found a strengthening of my spirit, my inner man. I knew in this dream that the Lord was showing me that I could face any situation in life if I knew how to take refuge in His presence. King David had learned this lesson. He knew that coming into the presence of the Lord was a source of great inner strength and peace. The Psalm were written in the presence of the Lord, and were a source of great strength to him to carry on.

2 Samuel 12:22 And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?

2 Samuel 12:22Comments- Here David sought God's grace. Note how David also pursues God's mercy in 2 Samuel 24:14, "And David said unto Gad, I am in a great strait: let us fall now into the hand of the LORD for his mercies are great: and let me not fall into the hand of man."

2 Samuel 12:18-23Comments - David's Peace in the Midst of Loss- During one of the greatest trials of David"s life, the loss of a Song of Solomon , he had such peace that even his servants could not understand why this was so. The reason he had such peace in his heart is that he had learned to cast his cares upon the Lord ( Philippians 4:6-7).

Philippians 4:6-7, "Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus."

2 Samuel 12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a Song of Solomon , and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.

2 Samuel 12:24Word Study on "Solomon" - Strong and PTW says the name "Solomon" means, "peace."

2 Samuel 12:24Comments- We see in the life of Bathsheba a willingness to consent to the king, after the death of her husband by this same king. Why do the Scriptures not show a woman devastated at the lost of her husband and child and repulsed at the presence of King David? One reason might be the fact that in this culture, as in many cultures today, the fathers chose the husband for the bride. A wedding was not consummated out of love, but out of a mutual arrangement by a father and a daughter"s obedience to a father. The wife was to learn to love her husband. Perhaps Uriah and Bathsheba were newly married and therefore, she had not yet developed a deep love for her husband. Therefore, her heart was not as torn apart as a person who had lost one who was dearly loved.

2 Samuel 12:24Comments- We see from other Scriptures that God had previously spoken to King David about a son being born to him and his name would be called "Solomon" ( 1 Chronicles 22:8-9). God revealed to King David that Solomon was to succeed him on the throne ( 1 Chronicles 28:5-6).

1 Chronicles 22:8-9, "But the word of the LORD came to me, saying, Thou hast shed blood abundantly, and hast made great wars: thou shalt not build an house unto my name, because thou hast shed much blood upon the earth in my sight. Behold, a son shall be born to thee, who shall be a man of rest; and I will give him rest from all his enemies round about: for his name shall be Song of Solomon , and I will give peace and quietness unto Israel in his days."

1 Chronicles 28:5-6, "And of all my sons, (for the LORD hath given me many sons,) he hath chosen Solomon my son to sit upon the throne of the kingdom of the LORD over Israel. And he said unto me, Solomon thy Song of Solomon , he shall build my house and my courts: for I have chosen him to be my Song of Solomon , and I will be his father."

2 Samuel 12:25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.

2 Samuel 12:25Word Study on "Jedidiah" - PTW says the name "Jedidiah" means, "beloved of Jehovah."

2 Samuel 12:26 And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city.

2 Samuel 12:26Comments- The city of Rabbah was the same city mentioned in 2 Samuel 11:1, against which David's men fought. The battle against Rabbah in 2 Samuel 12:26 occurred at least eighteen months later, since Bathsheba had already born David two children, the second being Solomon. God did not give this city into the hands of David's until he had dealt with the sin.

2 Samuel 11:1, "And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem."


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 12:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. 2013.

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