2 Samuel 12:14
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(14) Thou hast given great occasion.—Although David was forgiven, yet since his sin had brought great scandal on the church, it was necessary that he should suffer publicly the consequences of that sin. We can see that this was especially important in David’s case, both for the vindication of God’s justice, and to destroy the hope that other sins also might go unpunished; yet it is not to be forgotten that the effect of sin generally is similar. The far greater part of David’s sufferings were from what are called “the natural consequences” of his sin, i.e., from consequences which flowed from it under the immutable laws of the world’s moral government. These laws are always in force, and bring home the earthly consequences of sin, however the sinner may have repented and been forgiven.

The child also that is born.—The death of a little infant in the harem of a great Oriental monarch might seem of small significance, and but a light punishment; David, however, saw it in its true light—as an evidence of God’s unalterable purpose, and a sign of the greater judgments that must come upon him. The people also, no doubt, saw and felt the appropriateness of this punishment.

2 Samuel 12:14. Great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme — To reproach God and his people, and the true religion. For, although these were not concerned in David’s sin, but the blame and shame of it belonged entirely to himself, yet heathen and wicked men would, according to their own evil hearts, endeavour to throw the reproach of it upon God and religion; as if God were unholy because the man whom he had termed a man after his own heart was so; and partial in conniving at so great a crime in him, when Saul was cast off for an apparently less sin; and negligent in the government of the world and of his church, in suffering such wickedness, as even heathen have abhorred, to go unpunished; and as if all religion were but hypocrisy and imposture, and a pretence for villanies. The neighbouring nations in particular might well take occasion to object to the Israelites, that they had no room to boast much about the purity of their religion; since he whom they acknowledged to be their best king, and the great favourite of their God, was guilty of such atrocious crimes. And the Ammonites, upon their success against Uriah and his party, would, doubtless, magnify and praise their idols, and blaspheme the God of Israel. The child that is born unto thee shall surely die — David seems to have been much taken with Bath-sheba, and very desirous of having a child by her, otherwise it is hardly to be supposed that he would have been so distressed at the denunciation of its death; especially, as its life must needs have been a standing monument of his adultery, and of the murder of Uriah. It must be observed, that the immediate infliction of this punishment was a certain token that Nathan was sent by God, and that the other threatenings which he had denounced would be executed.

12:1-14 God will not suffer his people to lie still in sin. By this parable Nathan drew from David a sentence against himself. Great need there is of prudence in giving reproofs. In his application, he was faithful. He says in plain terms, Thou art the man. God shows how much he hates sin, even in his own people; and wherever he finds it, he will not let it go unpunished. David says not a word to excuse himself or make light of his sin, but freely owns it. When David said, I have sinned, and Nathan perceived that he was a true penitent, he assured him his sin was forgiven. Thou shalt not die: that is, not die eternally, nor be for ever put away from God, as thou wouldest have been, if thou hadst not put away the sin. Though thou shalt all thy days be chastened of the Lord, yet thou shalt not be condemned with the world. There is this great evil in the sins of those who profess religion and relation to God, that they furnish the enemies of God and religion with matter for reproach and blasphemy. And it appears from David's case, that even where pardon is obtained, the Lord will visit the transgression of his people with the rod, and their iniquity with stripes. For one momentary gratification of a vile lust, David had to endure many days and years of extreme distress.For a comment on David's words, read Psalm 51; Psalm 32:1-11.

Thou shalt not die - Not spoken of the punishment of death as affixed to adultery by the Mosaic Law: the application of that law Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22; John 8:5 to an absolute Eastern monarch was out of the question. The death of the soul is meant (compare Ezekiel 18:4, Ezekiel 18:13, Ezekiel 18:18).

11. I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, &c.—The prophet speaks of God threatening to do what He only permitted to be done. The fact is, that David's loss of character by the discovery of his crimes, tended, in the natural course of things, to diminish the respect of his family, to weaken the authority of his government, and to encourage the prevalence of many disorders throughout his kingdom. To blaspheme, i. e. to reproach both God and his people, and the true religion. For though these were not concerned in David’s sin, the blame and shame of which should have been appropriated to him; yet heathens and wicked men would, according to their own evil minds and malicious hearts, fasten the reproach of this upon God and religion; as if God were unholy, because the man after God’s own heart was so; and partial, in conniving at so great a crime, when Saul was cast off for a far less sin; and negligent in the government of the world, and of his church, in suffering such a wickedness as even heathens have abhorred to go unpunished; and as if all religion were but hypocrisy and imposture, and a pretence for villainies. Besides, the Ammonites, upon their success against Uriah and his party, did doubtless magnify and praise their idols, and blaspheme the God of Israel.

The child shall surely die; which, considering his affection to it, and the punishment threatened to the poor innocent infant for his sake, must needs be grievous to him.

Howbeit, because by this deed,.... This complicated wickedness, adultery with Bathsheba, and the murder of her husband, and occasioning the death of others:

thou hast given great reason to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme; to insult over Israel, and the God of Israel, and to magnify their own idols on account of the advantage they got when Uriah and other Israelites were slain; and to speak ill of God as a respecter of persons, who had cast off Saul and his family from the kingdom, and yet established David in it, guilty of crimes the other was not; and of the word, ways, and worship of God, and of the true religion, as all hypocrisy and deceit, when men that made such pretensions to it were guilty of such atrocious crimes; wherefore to let such see and know that the Lord did not approve of and countenance such actions, but abhorred and resented them:

the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die; which would be a visible testimony of God's displeasure at his sin, to all men that should hear of it, and know it; and being taken away in such a manner would be a great affliction to him, and the more as his affections were much towards the child, as appears by what follows; or otherwise the removal of it might have been considered as a mercy, since its life would have kept up the remembrance of the sin, and have been a standing reproach to him.

Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to {h} blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.

(h) In saying, that the Lord has appointed a wicked man to reign over his people.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
14. thou hast given great occasion, &c.] The enemies of Jehovah would mock and blaspheme Him, when they saw His chosen representative, the King of Israel, thus breaking His law. To divorce Bath-sheba now would be a further wrong. Yet if he was not punished men might answer yes to the question “May one be pardoned and retain the offence?” And therefore a long series of chastisements, beginning with the death of the child, must unequivocally declare the divine judgment on such sin.

Verse 14. - Thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of Jehovah to blaspheme; Hebrew, thou hast made the enemies of Jehovah to despise; that is, to despise Jehovah's government, the theocracy, of which David was the visible head and earthly representative. Jehovah's enemies are not the heathen, but Israelitish unbelievers, who would scoff at all religion when one in David's position fell into terrible open sin. But the death of the adulterous offspring of David and Bathsheba would prove to these irreligious men that Jehovah's righteous rule could reach and punish the king himself, and would thus vindicate his justice from their reproach. 2 Samuel 12:14These words went to David's heart, and removed the ban of hardening which pressed upon it. He confessed to the prophet, "I have sinned against the Lord." "The words are very few, just as in the case of the publican in the Gospel of Luke (Luke 18:13). But that is a good sign of a thoroughly broken spirit ... There is no excuse, no cloaking, no palliation of the sin. There is no searching for a loophole, ... no pretext put forward, no human weakness pleaded. He acknowledges his guilt openly, candidly, and without prevarication" (Berleb. Bible). In response to this candid confession of his sin, Nathan announced to him, "The Lord also hath let thy sin pass by (i.e., forgiven it). Thou wilt not die. Only because by this deed thou hast given the enemies of the Lord occasion to blaspheme, the son that is born unto thee shall die." נאץ, inf. abs. Piel, with chirek, because of its similarity in sound to the following perfect (see Ewald, 240, c.). גּם, with which the apodosis commences, belongs to the הבּן which follows, and serves to give emphasis to the expression: "Nevertheless the son" (vid., Ges. 155, 2, a.). David himself had deserved to die as an adulterer and murderer. The Lord remitted the punishment of death, not so much because of his heartfelt repentance, as from His own fatherly grace and compassion, and because of the promise that He had given to David (2 Samuel 7:11-12), - a promise which rested upon the assumption that David would not altogether fall away from a state of grace, or commit a mortal sin, but that even in the worst cases he would turn to the Lord again and seek forgiveness. The Lord therefore punished him for this sin with the judgments announced in 2 Samuel 12:10-12, as about to break upon him and his house. But as his sin had given occasion to the enemies of the Lord - i.e., not only to the heathen, but also to the unbelieving among the Israelites themselves - to blaspheme or ridicule his religion and that of all other believers also, the child that was begotten in adultery and had just been born should die; in order, on the one hand, that the father should atone for his adultery in the death of the son, and, on the other hand, that the visible occasion for any further blasphemy should be taken away: so that David was not only to feel the pain of punishment in the death of his son, but was also to discern in it a distinct token of the grace of God.
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