Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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2 Samuel 12
And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto
him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.||
God kills a baby
The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:
But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had
bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his
children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in
his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his
own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come
unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was
come to him.||
And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to
Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely
And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and
because he had no pity.||
And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of
Israel, I anointed
thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;||
"Thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I
anointed thee king over Israel ... and I gave thee ... thy master's wives."
God gave the wives of king Saul to David.
Is polygamy OK?
What the Bible says about polygamy
And I gave thee thy
master's house, and thy
master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of
Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto
thee such and such things."
Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in
his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken
his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children
"I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour,
and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun."
God is angry at David for having Uriah
killed. As a punishment, he will have David's wives raped by his neighbor while
everyone else watches. It turns out that the "neighbor" that God sends
to do his dirty work is David's own son, Absalom (16:22).
"The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die."
(12:14-18) To punish David for having Uriah killed and causing others
to blaspheme, God kills Bathsheba's baby boy. (According to Lev.20:10,
David should have been killed.)
God's 82nd Killing
Are we punished for the sins of others?
What the Bible says about abortion and
(12:14) "The child also that is born unto thee shall surely die."
(12:15) "The LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick."
(12:18) "On the seventh day, that the child died."
(12:20-21) "David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and
changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped:
then he ... did eat."
After the baby died, David washed, got dressed, had a nice meal, and worshiped the God who killed his son.
"And David comforted
Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her."
After Bathsheba's baby is killed by God,
David comforts her by going "in unto her." (He's such a nice guy!) She conceives and bears
another son (Solomon).
she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon."
Was Solomon David's second or fourth son by Bathsheba?
"The Lord loved him ... and called his his name
After God killed Bathsheba's baby boy, David got her pregnant again. God loved this baby (and so he decided not to kill it) and
he called him Jedidiah, but everyone else called him Solomon.
Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou
hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy
Thus saith the LORD,
Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house,
and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour,
and he shall lie with thy
wives in the sight of this sun.
For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel,
and before the sun.
And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan
said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
Howbeit, because by
this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to
blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's
wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.
David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in,
and lay all night upon the earth.
And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from
the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them.
And it came to pass on
the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared
to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child
was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice:
how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the
child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead?
And they said, He is dead.
Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and
changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped:
then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before
him, and he did eat.
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done?
thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the
child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said,
Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live?
But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I
shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
And David comforted
Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and
she bare a son,
and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him.
And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name
Jedidiah/span>, because of the LORD.
And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the
And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah,
and have taken the city of waters.||
People of Rabbah Enslaved
Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against
the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.
And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought
against it, and took it.||
(12:30) "The weight whereof was a talent of gold."|
David puts on a gold crown weighing 1 talent (somewhere between 26 and 60
(He had a very strong neck.)
"He ... put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln."
David tortured or enslaved (depending on translation) all the inhabitants of several cities.
What the Bible says about torture and slavery
And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a
talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And
he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance.
And he brought forth
the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of
iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and
thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and
all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
- Dwindling in Unbelief
- Top 50 Bible stories for kids
(2 Samuel 12:13-18)
- God on Trial: The Rabbi Speaks
(12:14, 16, 18)
- Is there anything the God of the
Bible could do that a believer wouldn't call good? (12:14)
- Happy Blasphemy Day! (12:14-18)
- David, a man after God's own
heart (WWDD?) (12:31)
- The Heroes of Faith (12:31)
- The Bible's guide to torture (12:31)
- God's 82nd Killing: God
slowly kills a baby (12:15-18)
- Thus did David
unto all the children of Ammon (12:30-31)
- What if we could edit the Bible? (Opening Karl Giberson's can of worms) (12:14-18)
- Slate Blogs the Bible by David Plotz
- The Brilliance of the Bathsheba Story
- Christian Response
- SAB Author Answered