2 Samuel 12:1-14 Sunday School Notes

Here are some of my notes for Sunday, November 16, 2008 based on the Lifeway Explore the Bible curriculum

 Reference works cited include:

1)IVP Bible Background Commentary: Old Testament by Walton, Matthews, and Chavalas

2)The David Story by Robert Alter 

Yes, this is really all of them. 😉 Not much technical to add about these verses.

2 Sam 12:1
The LORD sent Nathan- “Sent”, Hebrew shalah, figures prominently in the story of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam 11:3-18), with David sending to find who she was, sending someone to bring her to him, Bathsheba sending word of her pregnancy to David, David sending to Joab to send Uriah to him, David sending Uriah back to the front carrying his own death warrant, and Joab sending a messenger with the report of Joab’s death to David..(Alter)

2 Sam 12:3
eat…drink…lie: The lamb’s actions mirror Uriah’s statement in 2 Sam 11:11. (Alter)

2 Sam 12:5
As surely as the LORD lives: David takes the most solemn oath he can in his outburst of indignation against the rich man of the parable.

deserves to die: In fact, Ex 22:1 is very clear that the penalty for theft and slaughter of sheep is not execution, but fourfold restitution. If the sheep is recovered alive, restitution of double that stolen is required. (Ex. 22:4). If the thief is too poor to repay, he is made a slave to pay off the debt. (Ex. 22:3)

There is some speculation that David was not fooled by Nathan’s story, and was in fact consumed with guilt at his adultery and murder, and thus condemned himself knowingly in this sentence, knowing that the penalties for adultery and murder were in fact death.

2 Sam 12:6
The Septuagint has repayment at seven times here. That has engendered a lot of speculation as to the different number. Other nations doubtless required more repayment: The Code of Hammurabi specifies repayment ten times that which was stolen in regard to livestock. One wonders if seven, the number symbolizing perfection, was not routinely used here to indicate that restitution must be complete, full, perfect.(BBCOT)

2 Sam 12:8
house and wives: In the ANE many a treaty and alliance was sealed with marriages. Thus a new king was wise to take his predecessor’s wives as his own if at all possible to maintain continuity of government. Occupying the former king’s palace and spending his treasury were sure signs that a new king was in legitimate control as the new ruler. (BBCOT)

Some people focus on mention of Samuel’s wife Ahinoam (1 Sam 14:50) and David’s wife Ahinoam (1 Sam 25:43) as proof of David taking Saul’s wives. But the chronology is against these two Ahinoams being the same woman, since Saul was far from being dead at the time of David’s Ahinoam mention. She is also the mother of David’s eldest son, Amnon, who, though born to Ahinoam while David reigned in Hebron, after Saul’s death, was not likely born of Saul’s widow, as the persistence of Saul’s heirs in the North makes it unlikely that Saul’s wives and concubines came to David until after David’s seven years in Hebron and acceptance by the Northern tribes in Israel.(BBCOT)

2 Sam 12:9
There is no defense here that David himself did not kill Uriah. The Ammonites are simply David’s tool, a sword in his own hand, with which he killed Uriah.

2 Sam 12:13
I have sinned: Note the difference in David’s confession and those given by Saul in 1 Sam 13 and 15. David simply confesses his guilt.