1The Lord sent Nathan to see David. When he got there, he said, “Once there were two men living in the same town. One was rich, and one was poor.
2The rich man had many thousands of sheep and cattle,
3but the poor man didn't have anything but one small ewe lamb that he had bought. He cared for it, and it grew up with him and his children. It would eat from his plate and drank from his cup. It slept on his lap and was like a daughter to him.
4One day the rich man had a visitor. He didn't want to take one of his own sheep or cattle to feed his visitor. He took the poor man's lamb instead to prepare a meal for his visitor.”
5David became absolutely furious with what that man did, and angrily told Nathan. “As the Lord lives, the man who did this should be put to death!
6He must repay that lamb with four of his own for doing this, for being so heartless.”
7“You are that man!” Nathan told David. “This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: I anointed you king of Israel, and I saved you from Saul.
8I gave your master's house to you and placed your master's wives in your lap. I gave you the kingdom of Israel and Judah, and if that hadn't been enough, I would have given you so much more.
9So why have you treated what Lord said with contempt by doing evil in his sight? You killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword and stole his wife—you killed him using the sword of the Ammonites.
10So your descendants will always face the sword that kills because you treated me with contempt and stole Uriah's wife.
11This is what the Lord says: I'm going to bring disaster in you from your own family. I will take your wives before your very eyes and give them to someone else, and he will sleep openly with your wives where everyone can see.
12You did it all in secret, but I will do it openly where everyone in all of Israel can see.”
13David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” “The Lord has forgiven your sins. You're not going to die,” Nathan replied.
14“But because by doing this you have treated the Lord with complete contempt, the son you have will die.”
15Then Nathan went home. The Lord made the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David become very sick.
16David pleaded with God on behalf of the boy. He fasted, went to his bedroom, and spent the night lying in sackcloth on the ground.
17His senior officials approached him and tried to help him up from the ground, but he didn't want to, and he refused their appeals to eat.
18On the seventh day the child died. But David's officials were scared to tell him that the child was dead, for they said to each other, “Look, while the child was still alive, we talked with him, and he refused to listen to us. How on earth can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something really bad!”
19But David saw his officials were whispering among themselves, he realized that the child was dead. So he asked his officials, “Did the child die?” “Yes, he died,” they replied.
20David got up from the ground, washed and put on scented oils, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. Afterwards he went back home, and asked for some food. So they served him a meal which he ate.
21“Why are you acting like this?” his officials asked him. “While the child was still alive, you fasted and cried aloud, but now that he's dead, you get up and eat.”
22David replied, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and cried aloud, for I thought to myself, ‘Who knows? Maybe the Lord will be gracious to me and let him live.’
23But now that he's dead, what's the point for me to go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? One day I will die and go to him, but he will never come back to me.”
24David consoled his wife Bathsheba, and he made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and named him Solomon. The Lord loved the child,
25so he sent a message through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah, because the Lord loved him.
26At this time Joab had been fighting against the Ammonite town of Rabbah, and had captured the royal fortress.
27Joab sent messengers to David to tell him, “I have attacked Rabbah and I have also captured its water supply.
28So please call up the rest of the army, besiege the town, and capture it. Otherwise I will capture the city, and I will get the credit.”
29So David called up the rest of the army and marched on Rabbah. He attacked it and captured it.
30He took the crown from the head of their king, and it was placed on David's head. It weighed a talent of gold and was decorated with precious stones. David took a large amount of plunder from the town.
31David took the inhabitants and forced them to work with saws, iron picks, and axes, and he also made them work making bricks. He did the same in all the Ammonite towns. Then David and the whole Israelite army returned to Jerusalem.