2 Samuel 12:17
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.
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2 Samuel 12:17. The elders of his house — The chief officers of his kingdom and household. He would not — This excessive mourning did not proceed simply from the fear of the loss of the child, but from a deep sense of his sin, and the divine displeasure manifested herein.12:15-25 David now penned the 51st Psalm, in which, though he had been assured that his sin was pardoned, he prays earnestly for pardon, and greatly laments his sin. He was willing to bear the shame of it, to have it ever before him, to be continually upbraided with it. God gives us leave to be earnest with him in prayer for particular blessings, from trust in his power and general mercy, though we have no particular promise to build upon. David patiently submitted to the will of God in the death of one child, and God made up the loss to his advantage, in the birth of another. The way to have creature comforts continued or restored, or the loss made up some other way, is cheerfully to resign them to God. God, by his grace, particularly owned and favoured that son, and ordered him to be called Jedidiah, Beloved of the Lord. Our prayers for our children are graciously and as fully answered when some of them die in their infancy, for they are well taken care of, and when others live, beloved of the Lord.The death of the infant child of one of the numerous harem of an Oriental monarch would in general be a matter of little moment to the father. The deep feeling shown by David on this occasion is both an indication of his affectionate and tender nature, and also a proof of the strength of his passion for Bath-sheba. He went into his most private chamber, his closet Matthew 6:6, and "lay upon the earth" 2 Samuel 13:31, rather "the ground," meaning the floor of his chamber as opposed to his couch. 15-23. the Lord struck the child … and it was very sick—The first visible chastisement inflicted on David appeared on the person of that child which was the evidence and monument of his guilt. His domestics were surprised at his conduct, and in explanation of its singularity, it is necessary to remark that the custom in the East is to leave the nearest relative of a deceased person to the full and undisturbed indulgence of his grief, till on the third or fourth day at farthest (Joh 11:17). Then the other relatives and friends visit him, invite him to eat, lead him to a bath, and bring him a change of dress, which is necessary from his having sat or lain on the ground. The surprise of David's servants, then, who had seen his bitter anguish while the child was sick, arose apparently from this, that when he found it was dead, he who had so deeply lamented arose of himself from the earth, without waiting for their coming to him, immediately bathed and anointed himself, instead of appearing as a mourner, and after worshiping God with solemnity, returned to his wonted repast, without any interposition of others. The elders of his house; the chief officers of his kingdom and household who were there present.

This excessive mourning did not proceed simply from the fear of the loss of the child; but from a deep sense of his sin, and from the Divine displeasure manifested herein; and particularly from a just apprehension of the injury which he had done to the child by his sin, which justice obliged him to do his utmost to repair by prayer or other means. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth,.... To persuade him to rise up, and sit upon a seat, and go to bed, after having taken some food; these were some of the chief officers at court, and had the management of the affairs of his household:

but he would not; they could not persuade him to it:

neither did he eat bread with them; that evening, as he had used to do; they being the princes of his court, who were wont to sit at table with him.

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 {k} bread with them.

(k) Thinking by his constant prayer that God would have restored his child, but God had determined otherwise.

17. the elders of his house] His oldest and most confidential servants. Cp. Genesis 24:2; Genesis 50:7.But David had also sinned in committing adultery. It was therefore announced to him by Jehovah, "Behold, I raise up mischief over thee out of thine own house, and will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them to thy neighbour, that he may lie with thy wives before the eyes of this sun (for the fulfilment of this by Absalom, see 2 Samuel 16:21-22). "For thou hast done it in secret; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before (in the face of) the sun." David's twofold sin was to be followed by a twofold punishment. For his murder he would have to witness the commission of murder in his own family, and for his adultery the violation of his wives, and both of them in an intensified form. As his sin began with adultery, and was consummated in murder, so the law of just retribution was also carried out in the punishment, in the fact that the judgments which fell upon his house commenced with Amnon's incest, whilst Absalom's rebellion culminated in the open violation of his father's concubines, and even Adonijah lost his life, simply because he asked for Abishag the Shunammite, who had lain in David's bosom to warm and cherish him in his old age (1 Kings 2:23-24).
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