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2 Samuel 7:1-17

Context
The Lord Establishes a Covenant with David

7:1 The king settled into his palace, 1  for the Lord gave him relief 2  from all his enemies on all sides. 3  7:2 The king said to Nathan the prophet, “Look! I am living in a palace made from cedar, while the ark of God sits in the middle of a tent.” 7:3 Nathan replied to the king, “You should go 4  and do whatever you have in mind, 5  for the Lord is with you.” 7:4 That night the Lord told Nathan, 6  7:5 “Go, tell my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord says: Do you really intend to build a house for me to live in? 7:6 I have not lived in a house from the time I brought the Israelites up from Egypt to the present day. Instead, I was traveling with them and living in a tent. 7  7:7 Wherever I moved among all the Israelites, I did not say 8  to any of the leaders 9  whom I appointed to care for 10  my people Israel, “Why have you not built me a house made from cedar?”’

7:8 “So now, say this to my servant David: ‘This is what the Lord of hosts says: I took you from the pasture and from your work as a shepherd 11  to make you leader of my people Israel. 7:9 I was with you wherever you went, and I defeated 12  all your enemies before you. Now I will make you as famous as the great men of the earth. 13  7:10 I will establish a place for my people Israel and settle 14  them there; they will live there and not be disturbed 15  any more. Violent men 16  will not oppress them again, as they did in the beginning 7:11 and during the time when I appointed judges to lead my people Israel. Instead, I will give you relief 17  from all your enemies. The Lord declares 18  to you that he himself 19  will build a dynastic house 20  for you. 7:12 When the time comes for you to die, 21  I will raise up your descendant, one of your own sons, to succeed you, 22  and I will establish his kingdom. 7:13 He will build a house for my name, and I will make his dynasty permanent. 23  7:14 I will become his father and he will become my son. When he sins, I will correct him with the rod of men and with wounds inflicted by human beings. 7:15 But my loyal love will not be removed from him as I removed it from Saul, whom I removed from before you. 7:16 Your house and your kingdom will stand before me 24  permanently; your dynasty 25  will be permanent.’” 7:17 Nathan told David all these words that were revealed to him. 26 

2 Samuel 12:1-23

Context
Nathan the Prophet Confronts David

12:1 So the Lord sent Nathan 27  to David. When he came to David, 28  Nathan 29  said, 30  “There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 12:2 The rich man had a great many flocks and herds. 12:3 But the poor man had nothing except for a little lamb he had acquired. He raised it, and it grew up alongside him and his children. 31  It used to 32  eat his food, 33  drink from his cup, and sleep in his arms. 34  It was just like a daughter to him.

12:4 “When a traveler arrived at the rich man’s home, 35  he did not want to use one of his own sheep or cattle to feed 36  the traveler who had come to visit him. 37  Instead, he took the poor man’s lamb and cooked 38  it for the man who had come to visit him.”

12:5 Then David became very angry at this man. He said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 39  12:6 Because he committed this cold-hearted crime, he must pay for the lamb four times over!” 40 

12:7 Nathan said to David, “You are that man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I chose 41  you to be king over Israel and I rescued you from the hand of Saul. 12:8 I gave you your master’s house, and put your master’s wives into your arms. 42  I also gave you the house of Israel and Judah. And if all that somehow seems insignificant, I would have given you so much more as well! 12:9 Why have you shown contempt for the word of the Lord by doing evil in my 43  sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and you have taken his wife as your own! 44  You have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 12:10 So now the sword will never depart from your house. For you have despised me by taking the wife of Uriah the Hittite as your own!’ 12:11 This is what the Lord says: ‘I am about to bring disaster on you 45  from inside your own household! 46  Right before your eyes I will take your wives and hand them over to your companion. 47  He will have sexual relations with 48  your wives in broad daylight! 49  12:12 Although you have acted in secret, I will do this thing before all Israel, and in broad daylight.’” 50 

12:13 Then David exclaimed to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord!” Nathan replied to David, “Yes, and the Lord has forgiven 51  your sin. You are not going to die. 12:14 Nonetheless, because you have treated the Lord with such contempt 52  in this matter, the son who has been born to you will certainly die.”

12:15 Then Nathan went to his home. The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and the child became very ill. 53  12:16 Then David prayed to 54  God for the child and fasted. 55  He would even 56  go and spend the night lying on the ground. 12:17 The elders of his house stood over him and tried to lift him from the ground, but he was unwilling, and refused to eat food with them.

12:18 On the seventh day the child died. But the servants of David were afraid to inform him that the child had died, for they said, “While the child was still alive he would not listen to us 57  when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that the child is dead? He will do himself harm!” 58 

12:19 When David saw that his servants were whispering to one another, he 59  realized that the child was dead. So David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” They replied, “Yes, he’s dead.” 12:20 So David got up from the ground, bathed, put on oil, and changed his clothes. He went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then, when he entered his palace, he requested that food be brought to him, and he ate.

12:21 His servants said to him, “What is this that you have done? While 60  the child was still alive, you fasted and wept. Once the child was dead you got up and ate food!” 12:22 He replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, 61  ‘Perhaps 62  the Lord will show pity and the child will live. 12:23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Am I able to bring him back? I will go to him, but he cannot return to me!’”

1 tn Heb “house” (also in the following verse).

2 tn Or “rest.”

3 tn The translation understands the disjunctive clause in v. 1b as circumstantial-causal.

4 tc Several medieval Hebrew mss and the Syriac Peshitta lack this word.

5 tn Heb “all that is in your heart.”

6 tn Heb “the word of the Lord was [i.e., came] to Nathan.”

7 tn Heb “in a tent and in a dwelling.” The expression is a hendiadys, using two terms to express one idea.

8 tn Heb “Did I speak a word?” In the Hebrew text the statement is phrased as a rhetorical question.

9 tn Heb “tribes” (so KJV, NASB, NCV), but the parallel passage in 1 Chr 17:6 has “judges.”

10 tn Heb “whom I commanded to shepherd” (so NIV, NRSV).

11 tn Heb “and from after the sheep.”

12 tn Heb “cut off.”

13 tn Heb “and I will make for you a great name like the name of the great ones who are in the earth.”

14 tn Heb “plant.”

15 tn Heb “shaken.”

16 tn Heb “the sons of violence.”

17 tn Or “rest.”

18 tn In the Hebrew text the verb is apparently perfect with vav consecutive, which would normally suggest a future sense (“he will declare”; so the LXX, ἀπαγγελεῖ [apangelei]). But the context seems instead to call for a present or past nuance (“he declares” or “he has declared”). The synoptic passage in 1 Chr 17:10 has וָאַגִּד (vaaggid, “and I declared”). The construction used in 2 Sam 7:11 highlights this important statement.

19 tn Heb “the Lord.”

20 tn Heb “house,” but used here in a metaphorical sense, referring to a royal dynasty. Here the Lord’s use of the word plays off the literal sense that David had in mind as he contemplated building a temple for the Lord. To reflect this in the English translation the adjective “dynastic” has been supplied.

21 tn Heb, “when your days are full and you lie down with your ancestors.”

22 tn Heb “your seed after you who comes out from your insides.”

23 tn Heb “and I will establish the throne of his kingdom permanently.”

24 tc Heb “before you.” A few medieval Hebrew mss read instead “before me,” which makes better sense contextually. (See also the LXX and the Syriac Peshitta.) The MT reading is probably the result of dittography (note the כ [kaf] at the beginning of the next form), with the extra כ then being interpreted as a pronominal suffix.

25 tn Heb “throne.”

26 tn Heb “according to all these words and according to all this revelation, so Nathan said to David.”

27 tc A few medieval Hebrew mss, the LXX, and the Syriac Peshitta add “the prophet.” The words are included in a few modern English version (e.g., TEV, CEV, NLT).

28 tn Heb “him”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

29 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Nathan) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

30 tn The Hebrew text repeats “to him.”

31 tn Heb “his sons.”

32 tn The three Hebrew imperfect verbal forms in this sentence have a customary nuance; they describe past actions that were repeated or typical.

33 tn Heb “from his morsel.”

34 tn Heb “and on his chest [or perhaps, “lap”] it would lay.”

35 tn Heb “came to the rich man.” In the translation “arrived at the rich man’s home” has been used for stylistic reasons.

36 tn Heb “and he refused to take from his flock and from his herd to prepare [a meal] for.”

37 tn Heb “who had come to him” (also a second time later in this verse). The word “visit” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarity.

38 tn Heb “and prepared.”

39 tn Heb “the man doing this [is] a son of death.” See 1 Sam 20:31 for another use of this expression, which must mean “he is as good as dead” or “he deserves to die,” as 1 Sam 20:32 makes clear.

40 tc With the exception of the Lucianic recension, the Old Greek translation has here “sevenfold” rather than “fourfold,” a reading that S. R. Driver thought probably to be the original reading (S. R. Driver, Notes on the Hebrew Text and the Topography of the Books of Samuel, 291). However, Exod 22:1 [21:37 HT] specifies fourfold repayment for a stolen sheep, which is consistent with 2 Sam 12:6. Some mss of the Targum and the Syriac Peshitta exaggerate the idea to “fortyfold.”

tn Heb “the lamb he must repay fourfold because he did this thing and because he did not have compassion.”

41 tn Heb “anointed.”

42 tn Heb “and the wives of your lord into your chest [or “lap”].” The words “I put” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons and for clarification.

43 tc So the Qere; the Kethib has “his.”

44 tn Heb “to you for a wife.” This expression also occurs at the end of v. 10.

45 tn Heb “raise up against you disaster.”

46 tn Heb “house” (so NAB, NRSV); NCV, TEV, CEV “family.”

47 tn Or “friend.”

48 tn Heb “will lie with” (so NIV, NRSV); TEV “will have intercourse with”; CEV, NLT “will go to bed with.”

49 tn Heb “in the eyes of this sun.”

50 tn Heb “and before the sun.”

51 tn Heb “removed.”

52 tc The MT has here “because you have caused the enemies of the Lord to treat the Lord with such contempt.” This is one of the so-called tiqqune sopherim, or “emendations of the scribes.” According to this ancient tradition, the scribes changed the text in order to soften somewhat the negative light in which David was presented. If that is the case, the MT reflects the altered text. The present translation departs from the MT here. Elsewhere the Piel stem of this verb means “treat with contempt,” but never “cause someone to treat with contempt.”

53 tn Heb “and the Lord struck the child…and he was ill.” It is necessary to repeat “the child” in the translation to make clear who became ill, since “the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became very ill” could be understood to mean that David himself became ill.

54 tn Heb “sought” or “searched for.”

55 tn Heb “and David fasted.”

56 tn The three Hebrew verbs that follow in this verse are perfects with prefixed vav. They may describe repeated past actions or actions which accompanied David’s praying and fasting.

57 tn Heb “to our voice.”

58 tn Heb “he will do harm.” The object is not stated in the Hebrew text. The statement may be intentionally vague, meaning that he might harm himself or them!

59 tn Heb “David.” The name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

60 tc For the MT בַּעֲבוּר (baavur, “for the sake of”) we should probably read בְּעוֹד (bÿod, “while”). See the Lucianic Greek recension, the Syriac Peshitta, and the Targum.

61 tn Heb “said.”

62 tn Heb “Who knows?”



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