2 Samuel 12:21
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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. No text from Poole on this verse.

Then said his servants unto him, what thing is this that thou hast done?.... Or what is the reason of such conduct and behaviour? they knew what was done, but they did not know the meaning of it, which is what they inquired after:

thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; prayed with fasting and weeping for it, that it might live and not die:

but when the child was dead thou didst rise and eat bread; and appeared cheerful; this seemed strange to them, when they expected his sorrow would be increased.

Then {m} 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.

(m) As they who did not consider that God grants many things to the sobs and tears of the faithful.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
2 Samuel 12:21When his servants expressed their astonishment at all this, David replied, "As long as the boy lived, I fasted and wept: for I thought (said), Perhaps (who knows) the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may remain alive. But now he is dead, why should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me." On this O. v. Gerlach has the following admirable remarks: "In the case of a man whose penitence was so earnest and so deep, the prayer for the preservation of his child must have sprung from some other source than excessive love of any created object. His great desire was to avert the stroke, as a sign of the wrath of God, in the hope that he might be able to discern, in the preservation of the child, a proof of divine favour consequent upon the restoration of his fellowship with God. But when the child was dead, he humbled himself under the mighty hand of God, and rested satisfied with His grace, without giving himself up to fruitless pain." This state of mind is fully explained in Psalm 51, though his servants could not comprehend it. The form יחנּני is the imperfect Kal, יחנּני according to the Chethibh, though the Masoretes have substituted as the Keri וחנּני, the perfect with vav consec.
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