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New American Bible

2002 11 11
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Chapter 12


1 The LORD sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: "Judge this case for me! In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor.


The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers.


But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. She shared the little food he had and drank from his cup and slept in his bosom. She was like a daughter to him.


Now, the rich man received a visitor, but he would not take from his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the wayfarer who had come to him. Instead he took the poor man's ewe lamb and made a meal of it for his visitor."


David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: "As the LORD lives, the man who has done this merits death!


He shall restore the ewe lamb fourfold because he has done this and has had no pity."


Then Nathan said to David: "You are the man! Thus says the LORD God of Israel: 'I anointed you king of Israel. I rescued you from the hand of Saul.


I gave you your lord's house and your lord's wives for your own. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more.


Why have you spurned the LORD and done evil in his sight? You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you took his wife as your own, and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites.


Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah to be your wife.'


Thus says the LORD: 'I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives while you live to see it, and will give them to your neighbor. He shall lie with your wives in broad daylight.


You have done this deed in secret, but I will bring it about in the presence of all Israel, and with the sun looking down.'"


Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the LORD." Nathan answered David: "The LORD on his part has forgiven your sin: you shall not die.


But since you have utterly spurned the LORD by this deed, the child born to you must surely die."


Then Nathan returned to his house. The LORD struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill.


David besought God for the child. He kept a fast, retiring for the night to lie on the ground clothed in sackcloth.


The elders of his house stood beside him urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them.


On the seventh day, the child died. David's servants, however, were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said: "When the child was alive, we spoke to him, but he would not listen to what we said. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do some harm!"


But David noticed his servants whispering among themselves and realized that the child was dead. He asked his servants, "Is the child dead?" They replied, "Yes, he is."


Rising from the ground, David washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the house of the LORD and worshiped. He returned to his own house, where at his request food was set before him, and he ate.


His servants said to him: "What is this you are doing? While the child was living, you fasted and wept and kept vigil; now that the child is dead, you rise and take food."


He replied: "While the child was living, I fasted and wept, thinking, 'Perhaps the LORD will grant me the child's life.'


But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me."


Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He went and slept with her; and she conceived and bore him a son, who was named Solomon. The LORD loved him


and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the LORD.


Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured this royal city.


He sent messengers to David with the word: "I have fought against Rabbah and have taken the water-city.


Therefore, assemble the rest of the soldiers, join the siege against the city and capture it, lest it be I that capture the city and it be credited to me."


So David assembled the rest of the soldiers and went to Rabbah. When he had fought against it and captured it,


2 he took the crown from Milcom's head. It weighed a talent, of gold and precious stones; it was placed on David's head. He brought out immense booty from the city,


and also led away the inhabitants, whom he assigned to work with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, or put to work at the brickmold. This is what he did to all the Ammonite cities. David and all the soldiers then returned to Jerusalem.



1 [1-4] This utterance of Nathan is in regular lines in Hebrew, resembling English blank verse.

2 [30] Weighed a talent: since this would be more than 75 pounds, some commentators picture the idol's crown as displaying a single precious stone of large size, which David took to wear; but the text does not say this.

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