Nathan told David he did a bad thing
God talked to Nathan, the man that told God’s message to people. God said, “Go to David and tell him this story, ‘2 men lived in the same town. One was very rich and had all kinds of things. But the other one was very poor. He had nothing.* The rich man had big mobs of sheep, goats, cows and bulls, but the poor man had only one little girl sheep. He paid money for it. He grew it up in his own house, just like one of his kids. It ate food from his plate and drank water from his cup. It slept on his lap like it was his own kid.
One day, a friend of the rich man came from another place, and he stayed at the rich man’s house. The rich man wanted to cook meat for his friend, but he didn’t want to kill one of his own animals. He took the little sheep from the poor man instead, and he killed it and cooked its meat for his friend.’ ” That’s the story Nathan told to David.
David heard that story and got wild with that rich man. He said to Nathan, “I’m telling you straight, and God hears us. That rich man did wrong. Somebody has to punish him. He has to die. He had no shame, and he did not care about the poor man. He has to give that poor man 4 little sheep, to pay for the one he took.”
Nathan said to David, “You are that rich man. This is a picture story from God, and it is about you. You took Uriah’s wife, just like that rich man took the poor man’s little sheep. You know that God picked you to be the big boss for the Israel mob. When Saul tried to kill you, God looked after you and saved you. Then he made you the big boss, instead of Saul. God made you the big boss of all the people of Judah and all Israel. And he gave you Saul’s wives too. Maybe you think all that is not enough. All right, God can give you more. But you didn’t take notice of God’s word. You did something that is really wrong. God says it is really bad. You took Uriah’s wife, and you killed him. Yes, you sent Uriah into the middle of the fight. You knew that the Ammon mob would kill him. So really, you murdered him to get his wife for yourself.
10 This bad thing you did will make big trouble for you and your family. You turned against me and didn’t listen to me. You took Uriah’s wife for yourself. So bad things will keep on happening to your family. People will kill lots of your family dead. That will go on for ever.
11 And now God has another story for you. One day, he will tell a man from your own family to give you big trouble. God will take away your wives and give them to that man. And that man will sleep with them as if they are his wives. Everybody will see him do that. 12 You did wrong in secret, but God will make sure everybody sees that man do wrong to you.”*
13 David said to Nathan, “I’m sorry. I did wrong things. I did not listen to God.”*
Nathan said, “Yes, that’s true. But he will not do payback to you. He will let it go, he will not kill you dead. 14 But you did something very wrong against God, so your baby boy will die.”
David’s little boy died
15 After Nathan went home, God made David and Bathsheba’s baby boy really sick. 16 So David prayed to God and asked him strongly to make the baby better. David didn’t eat any food, and he slept all night on the hard floor. He didn’t sleep on a soft bed. 17 Some of his important working men came to see him. They tried to make him get up. They tried to make him eat some food. But nothing. He did not want to eat anything with them.
18 After 7 days the baby died. David’s working men were afraid to tell him the bad news. They said to each other, “While the baby was alive, we tried to talk to him, but he didn’t listen to us. We can’t tell him this bad news, or he might hurt himself.”
19 But David saw that his working men talked quietly to each other like that. He worked out that the baby died. So he asked them, “Is the baby dead?”
They answered, “Yes.”
20 Then David got up from the floor and washed himself, and he rubbed himself with perfume. Then he put on some clean clothes. He went into God’s ceremony house and got down on his knees to show respect to God, and to pray. Then he went back to his own house and told his working men to bring him some food to eat.
21 His working men were confused. They said, “What’s going on? While the baby was alive, you lay on the floor. You cried, and you ate nothing. But after he died, you got up and ate. We don’t understand. Why didn’t you cry after he died?”
22 He answered, “While the baby was alive, I lay on the floor. I cried, and I ate nothing. I thought, ‘Maybe God will be sorry for me. Maybe he will make the baby better again.’ 23 But now he is dead. Even if I don’t eat food now, I can’t make him alive again. I know that one day I will die too, and I will go to the place where he is. But he can’t come back here to me now.”
24 David talked gently to his wife, Bathsheba, to make her feel better. And he slept with her, as a man sleeps with his wife. And she had another baby boy, and David named him Solomon. God loved that little boy very much. 25 So he told Nathan, “Go and tell them to name him Jedidiah.” That name means God loves him very much. That is why God gave him that name.
(We have not yet translated 12:26—14:33.)
* 12:1 Psalm 51 * 12:12 2 Samuel 16:22 * 12:13 Psalm 51:1