2 Kingdoms 12, 13
1 And the Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. And he came to him and said to him, “There were two men in one city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had very many flocks and herds. 3 But the poor man had nothing but one little lamb he had bought and nourished and reared; and it grew up together with him and with his sons. It ate of his own food and drank from his own cup and lay in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 And a traveler came to the rich man, who refused to take from his own flock and from his own herd to prepare for the foreign traveler who had come to him; but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”
5 So David’s anger was greatly aroused against the man, and David said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who did this shall surely die! 6 And he shall restore fourfold for the lamb, because he did this and because he had no pity.”
7 Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man who did this! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘I am the one who anointed you king over Israel, and I am the one who delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I have given you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your arms, and have given you the house of Israel and Judah. And if that had been too little, I also would have given you much more! 9 Why did you despise the word of the Lord and do evil in His sight? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; you took his wife to be your wife, and you killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon. 10 Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house forever, because you scorned Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11 Thus says the Lord: ‘Behold, I will raise up adversity against you from your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sunlight. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this before all Israel in the sunlight.’ ”
13 So David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has put away your sin. You shall not die. 14 However, because by this deed you have greatly provoked the enemies of the Lord, your son who is born to you shall surely die.” 15 Then Nathan departed to his house.
The Death of David’s Son
And the Lord made feeble the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became ill. 16 David therefore sought after God for the child, and he fasted and went in and lay on the ground in sackcloth. 17 So the elders of his house arose and went to him to raise him up from the ground. But he did not want to do so, nor did he eat food with them. 18 Then on the seventh day the child died. And David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, because they said, “Indeed, while the child was alive we spoke to him, and he would not heed our voice. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He may do some harm!”
19 When David became aware his servants were whispering, he perceived the child was dead. Therefore David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.” 20 So David arose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of God and worshiped Him. Then he went to his own house. And when he requested food to eat, they set food before him and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, “What have you done? You fasted and wept and lay awake for the child while he was alive, but when the child died you arose and ate food and drank.”
22 And he said, “While the child was alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, ‘Who can tell whether the Lord will be merciful to me, so that the child may live?’ 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.”
The Birth of Solomon
24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife and went in to her and lay with her. So she conceived and bore a son, and he called him Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, 25 and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet. So he called him Jedidiah, because of the Lord.
The Capture of Rabbah
26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the sons of Ammon and took the royal city. 27 And Joab sent messengers to David and said, “I fought against Rabbah, and I took the city’s water supply. 28 Now gather the rest of the people together and encamp against the city and take it, or I will take the city and it will be named after me.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, fought against it, and took it. 30 Then he took the crown of Melchol their king from his head. Its weight was a talent of gold, with precious stones. And it was set on David’s head. Also he brought out the spoil of the city in great abundance. 31 And leading out the people who were in it, he put them to work with saws and iron threshing machines and made them work as brick-makers. He did the same to all the cities of the sons of Ammon. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.
Amnon and Tamar
1 And it came to pass that Absalom the son of David had a very lovely sister, whose name was Tamar. Amnon the son of David loved her. 2 Amnon was so lovesick over his sister Tamar that he became ill; for she was a virgin and also aloof. It was nearly impossible, in the eyes of Amnon, for him to gain her affection.
3 But Amnon had a companion whose name was Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother. Now Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 And he said to him, “What is the matter with you, son of the king? Why are you becoming weaker day after day? Will you not tell me?” Amnon said to him, “I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5 So Jonadab said to him, “Lie down on your bed and pretend to be ill. And when your father comes to see you, say to him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me food, and prepare the food in my sight, so that I may see it and eat it from her hand.’ ” 6 Then Amnon lay down and pretended to be ill. And when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let Tamar my sister come and make a couple of cakes for me in my sight, so that I may eat from her hand.”
7 And David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go to your brother Amnon’s house and prepare food for him.” 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house, and he was lying down. Then she took flour and kneaded it, made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9 And she took the pan and placed them before him, but he refused to eat. Then Amnon said, “Have everyone go out from me.” And they all went out from him. 10 Then Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the inner chamber, so that I may eat from your hand.” And Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them to Amnon her brother in the bedroom. 11 Now when she had brought them for him to eat, he took hold of her and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister.”
12 And she answered him, “No, my brother, do not shame me, because it is not done this way in Israel. Do not do this foolishness! 13 And how could I bear my disgrace? As for you, you would be like one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you.” 14 However, Amnon would not heed her voice, and since he was stronger than she, he violated her and lay with her. 15 Then Amnon hated her exceedingly, so much so that the intense hatred he bore against her was greater than the love with which he at first loved her. And Amnon said to her, “Get up and get out!” 16 But Tamar said to him, “No, my brother! Because the hateful malice in your casting me out is far worse than the first thing you did to me.”
But Amnon would not listen to her. 17 Then he called the servant he had put in charge of his house and said, “Here! Take her away from me, and bolt the door behind her.” 18 At the time, she wore a robe that reached to her wrists, for the daughters of the king who were virgins wore such apparel. And his servant put her out and bolted the door behind her. 19 Then Tamar put ashes on her head. She tore the special robe she was wearing and then laid her hands on her head and went on her way, crying bitterly.
20 And Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? Now then my sister, keep quiet. Because he is your brother, do not put it into your heart to speak about this.” So Tamar lived her life as a widow in her brother Absalom’s house. 21 But when King David heard all these things, he was very angry. But he did not grieve the spirit of his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn. 22 However, Absalom said nothing to his brother Amnon, neither good nor bad. For Absalom hated Amnon because he had violated his sister Tamar.
Absalom Slays Amnon
23 It came about after two years passed by, to the day, they were shearing sheep for Absalom in Baal Hazor, near Ephraim. Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24 Then Absalom came to the king and said, “See, your servant has sheep shearers; let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25 But the king said to Absalom, “No, my son. Let us not all go at once and become burdensome to you.” Absalom persisted, but he would not go. Instead he blessed him. 26 Then Absalom said, “Well then, please let my brother Amnon go with us.” And the king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27 But Absalom persisted; so the king sent Amnon and all his sons with him.
Absalom made a banquet like the banquet of the king. 28 Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, “Take notice, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine, and when I say to you, ‘Strike Amnon and kill him,’ do not be afraid in any way, because I will give the command to you. Be courageous and valiant.” 29 So the servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons jumped up and each mounted his mule and fled. 30 While they were yet on the way, news came to David, saying, “Absalom has killed all the king’s sons. Not one of them is left!” 31 So the king arose and tore his garments and lay on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 Then Jonadab the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, spoke up and said, “Let not my lord the king suppose the servants killed all the young men, the king’s sons, for only Amnon is dead. For by the command of Absalom this has been determined from the day Amnon violated his sister Tamar. 33 Now therefore, let my lord the king not take the thing to heart, thinking that all the king’s sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead.” 34 Then Absalom escaped.
And the servant keeping watch looked up and saw many people coming down the road from the mountainside behind him. The watchman came and told the king and said, “I saw men on the road of Oronen coming from the direction of the mountain.” 35 And Jonadab said to the king, “Look, the king’s sons are coming. It is as your servant said.” 36 As he finished speaking, the king’s sons arrived and wept aloud. And the king and all his servants wept very bitterly. 37 But Absalom escaped and went to Talmai the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur, in the land of Machad. King David mourned for his son every day.
38 So Absalom fled and escaped to Geshur. He stayed there three years. 39 And the motivation of the king to seek out Absalom ceased, for he was consoled and at peace concerning the death of Amnon.
1 A psalm of an ode; for the Sabbath day.
2 It is good to give thanks to the Lord
And to sing to Your name, O Most High,
3 To proclaim Your mercy in the morning
And Your truth at night,
4 On the harp of ten strings, with an ode on the lyre.
5 For You make me glad, O Lord, with Your work,
And I will greatly rejoice in the works of Your hands.
6 How magnificent are Your works, O Lord;
Your thoughts are exceedingly deep.
7 A man without discernment shall not know these things,
And a senseless man shall not understand them.
8 When sinners grow like grass,
And all the workers of lawlessness have arrogant looks,
It is so that they may be destroyed unto ages of ages.
9 But You, O Lord, are Most High forever;
10 For behold, Your enemies shall perish,
And all who work lawlessness shall be scattered abroad;
11 And my horn shall be exalted like the unicorn,
And my old age shall be blessed with rich mercy;
12 My eye looked upon my enemies,
And my ear shall hear of evildoers who rise up against me.
13 The righteous shall flourish like a palm tree;
He shall be multiplied like the cedar in Lebanon.
14 Those planted in the house of the Lord
Shall blossom forth in the courts of our God;
15 They shall still be increased in a rich old age,
And shall be prospering
16 So as to proclaim, “The Lord my God is upright,
And there is no wrongdoing in Him.”
25 When a pestilent man is punished, a man without discernment becomes more astute,
But if you reprove a discerning man, he will understand perception.
26 He who dishonors his father and pushes away his mother,
He will be shamed and reproached.
27 A son who forsakes guarding his father’s instruction,
He will think about evil sayings.
28 He who becomes surety for an undiscerning child despises the ordinance,
And the mouth of the ungodly swallows judgments.
29 Lashes are prepared for the intemperate
And punishments for the shoulders of those without discernment.
1 Then all the tax collectors and the sinners drew near to Him to hear Him.
2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, “This Man receives sinners and eats with them.”
3 So He spoke this parable to them, saying:
4 “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he loses one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost until he finds it?
5 “And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.
6 “And when he comes home, he calls together his friends and neighbors, saying to them, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found my sheep which was lost!’
7 “I say to you that likewise there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine just persons who need no repentance.
The Parable of the Lost Coin
8 “Or what woman, having ten silver coins, if she loses one coin, does not light a lamp, sweep the house, and search carefully until she finds it?
9 “And when she has found it, she calls her friends and neighbors together, saying, ‘Rejoice with me, for I have found the piece which I lost!’
10 “Likewise, I say to you, there is joy in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents.”