|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
11:14-27 Adulteries often occasion murders, and one wickedness is sought to be covered by another. The beginnings of sin are much to be dreaded; for who knows where they will end? Can a real believer ever tread this path? Can such a person be indeed a child of God? Though grace be not lost in such an awful case, the assurance and consolation of it must be suspended. All David's life, spirituality, and comfort in religion, we may be sure were lost. No man in such a case can have evidence to be satisfied that he is a believer. The higher a man's confidence is, who has sunk in wickedness, the greater his presumption and hypocrisy. Let not any one who resembles David in nothing but his transgressions, bolster up his confidence with this example. Let him follow David in his humiliation, repentance, and his other eminent graces, before he thinks himself only a backslider, and not a hypocrite. Let no opposer of the truth say, These are the fruits of faith! No; they are the effects of corrupt nature. Let us all watch against the beginnings of self-indulgence, and keep at the utmost distance from all evil. But with the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption. He will cast out no humble, penitent believer; nor will he suffer Satan to pluck his sheep out of his hand. Yet the Lord will recover his people, in such a way as will mark his abhorrence of their crimes, to hinder all who regard his word from abusing the encouragements of his mercy.
Verse 27. - She... bare him a son. This would be the child whose death is recorded in the next chapter. Afterwards she bare David four sons (1 Chronicles 3:5), of whom one was Solomon, and another Nathan, the ancestor of our Lord. The thing... displeased the Lord. It was probably during the time of David's victories that success began to work in him its usual results. Too commonly men who have conquered kingdoms have been vanquished by their own strong passions; and David had always evinced a keen appetite for sensuous pleasures. Even at Hebron he had multiplied unto himself wives, and now, raised by repeated victory to be the lord of a vast empire, he ceased to be "base in his own sight" (2 Samuel 6:22), and lost his self control. And, as was to be expected in a man of such strong qualities, his fall was terrible. But this declaration of the inspired narrator is not made solely for ethical reasons, but is the key to all that follows up to the end of ch. 20. In this chapter we have had the history of David's sin; a year's respite succeeds, as if God would wait and see whether the sinner's own conscience would waken up, and bring him to repentance; but it slumbers on. Then comes the message of reproof, fellowed by earnest penitence, and severe punishment. It was, perhaps, during this year of hardened persistence in crime that Amnon and his cousin Jonadab also gave the reins to their passions, and prepared the way for the first of the series of crimes that polluted David's home. An early repentance might have saved the son; but the absence of paternal discipline, the loss of respect for his father, and the evil influence of that father's bad example, all urged on the son to the commission of his abominable crime.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when the mourning was past,.... The seven days were at an end, or sooner; for he stayed not ninety days from the death of her husband, which the Jews in later times enjoined (n), that it might be known whether with child by her former husband, and so to whom it belonged; and because David did not wait this time, Abarbinel charges it upon him as an additional sin:
David sent, and fetched her to his house; took her home to his palace to live with him:
and she became his wife; he married her according to the usual form of marriage in those days:
and bare him a son; begotten in adultery:
but the thing that David had done displeased the Lord; or "was evil in the eyes of the Lord" (o); for though it was not done in the eyes of men, being scarcely or very little known, yet was in the eyes of the Lord, which run to and fro throughout the earth, and sees all things that are done: the adultery he had been guilty of with another man's wife was abominable to the Lord, and for which, according to the law, both he and she ought to have been put to death, Leviticus 20:10; the murder of her husband, which he was accessory to, as well as the death of many others, and the marriage of her under such circumstances, were all displeasing to God, and of such an heinous nature, that his pure eyes could not look upon with approbation: the Jews (p) endeavour to excuse David from sin; from the sin of murder, by making Uriah guilty of rebellion and treason, as before observed; and from the sin of adultery, by affirming that it was the constant custom for men, when they went out to war, to give their wives a bill of divorce; so that from the time of giving the bill they were not their wives, and such as lay with them were not guilty of adultery; but for this there is no foundation: it is certain David was charged with it by the Lord; he himself owned it, and bewailed it, both that and his blood guiltiness, and the following chapter abundantly proves it.
(n) Misn. Yebamot, c. 11. sect. 6. (o) "malum in oculis Domini", Montanus. (p) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 56. 1. Gloss. in ib.
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