2 Samuel 12:3
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(3) It grew up together.—“All these circumstances are exquisitely contrived to heighten the pity of the hearer for the oppressed, and his indignation against the oppressor.”—Speaker’s Commentary.

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.Nathan came to David as if to ask his judicial decision on the case about to be submitted to him (compare 2 Samuel 14:2-11; 1 Kings 20:35-41). The circumstances of the story are exquisitely contrived to heighten the pity of David for the oppressed, and his indignation against the oppressor 1 Samuel 25:13, 1 Samuel 25:22. CHAPTER 12

2Sa 12:1-6. Nathan's Parable.

1. the Lord sent Nathan unto David—The use of parables is a favorite style of speaking among Oriental people, especially in the conveyance of unwelcome truth. This exquisitely pathetic parable was founded on a common custom of pastoral people who have pet lambs, which they bring up with their children, and which they address in terms of endearment. The atrocity of the real, however, far exceeded that of the fictitious offense.

The poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb; designing Uriah, with his own and only wife. Which he had bought; as men then used to buy their wives; or, had procured. Lay in his bosom; which David might take for hyperbolical expressions of his tender care of and affection to it; although there want not instances of some who have treated such brute creatures in this manner.

But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb,.... Uriah had but one wife, who was much younger than he, called a lamb, an ewe lamb, a little one. Abarbinel thinks Uriah had been a widower; and had children by another wife, supposed in the parable, and was much older than Bathsheba:

which he had bought; for men in those times and countries did not receive portions with their wives, but gave dowries to them, and for them:

and nourished up; as his own flesh, as husbands should their wives, Ephesians 5:29,

and it grew up together with him, and with his children; which Kimchi also supposes Uriah had by a former wife:

it did eat of his own meat, and drink of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter; all which are expressive of the care, kindness, love, and tenderness of a loving husband, whose affections are endeared to his wife, making her partaker of all he has, and to share in whatever he eats and drinks, and in his dearest embraces; and as there were instances of creatures, lambs and others, particularly tame or pet lambs, used in this way in a literal sense, to which the reference in the parable is, David had no suspicion of its being a parable. Bochart (q) has given many instances of creatures nourished and brought up in such a familiar manner.

(q) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 46. col. 521, 522.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. of his own meat] Of his own morsel. The E. V. misses something of the graphic tenderness of the original, describing how the lamb actually shared the poor man’s meal.

Verse 3. - Was unto him as a daughter. The Orientals are excessively fond of pet animals, and, as the dog is with them unclean, its place is taken by fawns, kids, or lambs. The description, therefore, is not overcharged, for in many an English home the dog or cat takes its place as one of the family. The Revised Version preserves the tenderness of the original in translating "it did eat of his own morsel." 2 Samuel 12:3Nathan's Reproof. - 2 Samuel 12:1. To ensure the success of his mission, viz., to charge the king with his crimes, Nathan resorted to a parable by which he led on the king to pronounce sentence of death upon himself. The parable is a very simple one, and drawn from life. Two men were living in a certain city: the one was rich, and had many sheep and oxen; the other was poor, and possessed nothing at all but one small lamb which he had bought and nourished (יחיּה, lit. kept alive), so that it grew up in his house along with his son, and was treated most tenderly and loved like a daughter. The custom of keeping pet-sheep in the house, as we keep lap-dogs, is still met with among the Arabs (vid., Bochart, Hieroz. i. p. 594). There came a traveller (הלך, a journey, for a traveller) to the rich man (לאישׁ without an article, the express definition being introduced afterwards in connection with the adjective העשׁיר; vid., Ewald, 293a, p. 741), and he grudged to take of his own sheep and oxen to prepare (sc., a meal) for the traveller who had come to his house; "and he took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that had come to him."
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