The Holy Bible – Knox Translation
The Second Book of Kings
Chapter 12
So it was that the Lord sent Nathan on an errand to David; and this was the mes-sage he brought him. There were two men that lived in the same town, one rich, one poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds in great abundance;
the poor man had nothing except one ewe-lamb which he had bought and reared, letting it grow up in his house like his own children, share his own food and drink, sleep in his bosom; it was like a daughter to him.
The rich man was to entertain a friend, who was on his travels; and, to make a feast for this foreign guest, he would take no toll of his own flocks and herds; he robbed the poor man of the one lamb that was his, and welcomed the traveller with that.
David, burning with indignation at the wrong, said to Nathan, As the Lord is a living God, death is the due of such a man as this;
for this cruel deed of his, he shall make compensation fourfold.
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man.

Here is a message for thee, said he, from the Lord God of Israel: I anointed thee king of Israel, I saved thy life when Saul threatened it;
I gave thee thy master’s goods to enjoy, thy master’s wives to cherish in thy bosom; all Israel and Juda are in thy power, and if that were not enough, more should be thine for the asking.
And thou, wouldst thou defy the Lord’s commandment, and do the wrong he hates, putting Urias the Hethite to the sword, so as to take his wife for thy own? The men of Ammon struck the blow, but thou art his murderer.
For the wrong thou hast done in robbing Urias the Hethite of his wife, to make her thine, murder shall be the heirloom of thy own race.
This is the Lord’s message to thee: I mean to stir up rebellion against thee in thy own household; before thy very eyes take thy own wives from thee and give them to another, that shall bed them in the full light of yonder sun.
Thou didst go to work secretly; when this threat of mine is fulfilled, all Israel and yonder sun shall witness it.

Then David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord; and Nathan answered, The Lord has given thy sin quittance, thou shalt not die for it.
But thou hast brought on the Lord the contempt of his enemies, and the son that has been born to thee is doomed to die.
So Nathan went home, and now the little son Urias’ wife had borne to David was struck down by the Lord, and no hope was left for him.
David still interceded for him with the Lord, keeping strict fast and passing his nights on the ground;
he would not humour his counsellors when they came and bade him rise to his feet again, nor would he take food with them.
Then, after six days, the child died; and David’s servants had not the courage to tell him it was so. If he would not listen to our remonstrances, they thought, while the child yet lived, what penance will he do when we tell him it is dead!
But David, as he marked them whispering to one another, guessed what had befallen; The child is dead? he asked, and when he heard that it was,
he rose from the ground, washed and anointed himself, changed his garments, and went into the Lord’s house to do reverence there. Then he came back to his house, asked for food, and ate.
And when his servants asked what his meaning was, that he should fast and lament over the child still living, rise up and take food once the child was dead,
he answered, Fast and lament I would, for the child’s sake, while he lived; It may be, I thought, the Lord will grant me his life.
Now that he is dead, what need to fast? Can I bring him back from the grave? I shall go to be with him, he will not come back to me.
Then David comforted his wife Bethsabee, and took her to his bed; and she bore him a son whom he called Solomon. Him the Lord loved,
and sent word by the prophet Nathan that he was to be called The Lord’s Favourite, in proof of his great love.

Meanwhile, Joab was attacking Rabbath, and took the royal quarter of it.
Then he sent a message to David, I have been attacking Rabbath, but the river-side part of the city remains yet to be won.
Muster all the rest of thy army to attack the city and take it; I would not earn the credit of the victory by taking it myself.
So David, mustering all his forces, marched on Rabbath and stormed it.
He took the king’s crown from his head, a crown of gold weighing a full talent, set with the rarest jewels, and wore it himself; much plunder he carried off from the city besides.
As for the people, he had them brought out and sawed in pieces, or crushed under iron chariots, or cut up with knives, or passed through a brick-kiln; and the same treatment he gave to all the cities of Ammon. Then David and his army returned to Jerusalem.