And Nathan said to David, You are the man. Thus said the LORD God of Israel, I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Thou art the man.—The boldness and suddenness of this application bring a shock to David which at once aroused his slumbering conscience. This could not have been the case had David been essentially a bad man. He was a man whose main purpose in life was to do God’s will, but he had yielded to temptation, had been entangled in further and greater guilt in the effort to conceal his sin, and all the while his conscience had been stupefied by the delirium of prosperity and power. Now what he had done is suddenly brought before him in its true light. For like prophetic rebukes of royal offenders see 1Samuel 15:21-23; 1Kings 21:21-24; Isaiah 7:3-25; Matthew 14:3-5.2 Samuel 12:7. Nathan said to David, Thou art the man — Though he took such a mild, gentle, and prudent manner to bring David to a proper view and just sense of his sin, yet he deals faithfully with him at the last, and sets his iniquity before him in all its aggravations. Thus, in a similar way, by most appropriate and striking parables, our Lord set the sin which the Jews were about to commit in crucifying him before them in so clear a light, and showed it to be so inexcusable, that they were led, before they were aware, to pass an equally severe sentence against themselves. See Matthew 21:28-46. The Jews, however, when they perceived that Christ referred to them in his parables, were only exasperated the more, and sought the sooner to lay hands on him. But David being, although greatly fallen, of a different spirit, was brought by Nathan’s words to deep and lasting repentance. O, how did Nathan’s application of his parable, Thou art the man, pronounced in all the dignity and authority of the prophetic character, sink into David’s soul! especially when he proceeded to a further explication of the greatness of his iniquity, which he does in the following words. Thus saith the Lord God of Israel — Nathan now speaks, not as a petitioner from a poor man, but as an ambassador from the great Jehovah, I anointed thee king over Israel, &c. — Thus he aggravates David’s sin, from the obligations he was under to God, who had raised him to the highest dignity from a very low condition, and had extricated him from the greatest dangers and distresses.Proverbs 6:31.
7. Nathan said to David, Thou art the man—These awful words pierced his heart, aroused his conscience, and brought him to his knees. The sincerity and depth of his penitent sorrow are evinced by the Psalms he composed (Ps 32:1-11; 51:1-19; 103:1-22). He was pardoned, so far as related to the restoration of the divine favor. But as from his high character for piety, and his eminent rank in society, his deplorable fall was calculated to do great injury to the cause of religion, it was necessary that God should testify His abhorrence of sin by leaving even His own servant to reap the bitter temporal fruits. David was not himself doomed, according to his own view of what justice demanded (2Sa 12:5); but he had to suffer a quadruple expiation in the successive deaths of four sons, besides a lengthened train of other evils.Thou art the man; thou hast committed this crime with great aggravations; and out of thine own mouth thy sentence hath proceeded, and thou art worthy of death.
thus saith the Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel; that is, ordered Samuel to anoint him, who did, 1 Samuel 16:1; to which this chiefly refers; and after that he was anointed first by the tribe of Judah, and then by all the tribes of Israel, by the appointment and providence of God; and this was great dignity he designed for him, and raised him to:
and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; when he persecuted him, and sought to take away his life.And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
7. Thou art the man] The consciousness that they were God’s messengers inspired the prophets with fearless courage. Samuel rebuked Saul for his disobedience: the prophet from Judah reproved Jeroboam for his idolatry: Elijah pronounced sentence on Ahab for his murder of Naboth: Isaiah chid Ahaz for his faithlessness: John the Baptist condemned Herod for his adultery.
I anointed thee, &c.] God’s successive favours to David are enumerated, to bring out the baseness of his ingratitude and the folly of his sin.Verse 7. - Thou art the man! Abruptly and with sudden vehemence comes the application to David himself. So skilfully had the parable been contrived, that up to this point David had had no suspicion that he was the rich man who had acted so meanly by his poorer neighbour Uriah. And now he stood self-condemned. Yet even so self-love might have made his indignation break forth against Nathan; but probably the reproof only completed a work that had long been secretly in progress, and brushed away the last obstacles to repentance. I anointed thee. The solemn anointing made David the representative of Jehovah, and thus his sin was aggravated by the degradation in the eyes of the people, beth of the kingly office and also of Jehovah himself. Rank and authority are given to men that they may lead others to do right; it is a fearful misuse of them when they give prestige to sin. 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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