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The Complete Jewish Bible with Rashi Commentary
   

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 12

Shmuel II - II Samuel - Chapter 12

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Rashi's Commentary:

Chapter 12

1. And the Lord sent Nathan to David. And he came to him and said to him: "There were two men in one city, one rich, and one poor.   א. וַיִּשְׁלַח יְהֹוָה אֶת נָתָן אֶל דָּוִד וַיָּבֹא אֵלָיו וַיֹּאמֶר לוֹ שְׁנֵי אֲנָשִׁים הָיוּ בְּעִיר אֶחָת אֶחָד עָשִׁיר וְאֶחָד רָאשׁ:
2. The rich man had very many flocks and herds.   ב. לְעָשִׁיר הָיָה צֹאן וּבָקָר הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד:
3. But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb which he had bought and reared; and it grew up together with him and his sons; of his bread it would eat, and from his cup it would drink, and in his bosom it would lie, and it was to him like a daughter.   ג. וְלָרָשׁ אֵין כֹּל כִּי אִם כִּבְשָֹה אַחַת קְטַנָּה אֲשֶׁר קָנָה וַיְחַיֶּהָ וַתִּגְדַּל עִמּוֹ וְעִם בָּנָיו יַחְדָּו מִפִּתּוֹ תֹאכַל וּמִכֹּסוֹ תִשְׁתֶּה וּבְחֵיקוֹ תִשְׁכָּב וַתְּהִי לוֹ כְּבַת:
4. And there came a wayfarer to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd to prepare for the guest that had come to him, and he took the poor man's lamb, and prepared it for the man that had come to him."   ד. וַיָּבֹא הֵלֶךְ לְאִישׁ הֶעָשִׁיר וַיַּחְמֹל לָקַחַת מִצֹּאנוֹ וּמִבְּקָרוֹ לַעֲשֹוֹת לָאֹרֵחַ הַבָּא לוֹ וַיִּקַּח אֶת כִּבְשַׂת הָאִישׁ הָרָאשׁ וַיַּעֲשֶֹהָ לָאִישׁ הַבָּא אֵלָיו:
wayfarer: The evil inclination is first compared to a traveler who stops by on his way, then to a guest who lodges, and finally to a man, who is master of the household.  
5. And David became very angry at the man; and he said to Nathan: "As the Lord lives, the man who has done this is liable to death.   ה. וַיִּחַר אַף דָּוִד בָּאִישׁ מְאֹד וַיֹּאמֶר אֶל נָתָן חַי יְהֹוָה כִּי בֶן מָוֶת הָאִישׁ הָעֹשֶֹה זֹאת:
liable to death: One who robs the poor is as if he takes his life, for it is written: “the life of the owners he [the thief] takes” (Prov. 1:19).  
6. And the ewe lamb he shall repay fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."   ו. וְאֶת הַכִּבְשָֹה יְשַׁלֵּם אַרְבַּעְתָּיִם עֵקֶב אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה וְעַל אֲשֶׁר לֹא חָמָל:
he shall repay fourfold: This [actually] happened to him, that he was smitten through four children; the child (born to Bathsheba See v. 18.), Amnon (below 13:19), Tamar (below 13:14), and Absalom (below 18:15).  
7. And Nathan said to David, "You are the man. So says the Lord the God of Israel: 'I anointed you as king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul.   ז. וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֶל דָּוִד אַתָּה הָאִישׁ כֹּה אָמַר יְהֹוָה אֱלֹהֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אָנֹכִי מְשַׁחְתִּיךָ לְמֶלֶךְ עַל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְאָנֹכִי הִצַּלְתִּיךָ מִיַּד שָׁאוּל:
8. And I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that were too little, then would I add unto you like them and like them.   ח. וָאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת בֵּית אֲדֹנֶיךָ וְאֶת נְשֵׁי אֲדֹנֶיךָ בְּחֵיקֶךָ וָאֶתְּנָה לְךָ אֶת בֵּית יִשְׂרָאֵל וִיהוּדָה וְאִם מְעָט וְאֹסִפָה לְּךָ כָּהֵנָּה וְכָהֵנָּה:
and your master’s wives: Michal the daughter of Saul.  
I add: I would add for you.  
9. Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in His eyes? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword and you have taken his wife for yourself as a wife, and you have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon.   ט. מַדּוּעַ בָּזִיתָ | אֶת דְּבַר יְהֹוָה לַעֲשֹוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינַי אֵת אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי הִכִּיתָ בַּחֶרֶב וְאֶת אִשְׁתּוֹ לָקַחְתָּ לְּךָ לְאִשָּׁה וְאֹתוֹ הָרַגְתָּ בְּחֶרֶב בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן:
10. And now, the sword shall never depart from your household for ever because you have despised Me and you have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.   י. וְעַתָּה לֹא תָסוּר חֶרֶב מִבֵּיתְךָ עַד עוֹלָם עֵקֶב כִּי בְזִתָנִי וַתִּקַּח אֶת אֵשֶׁת אוּרִיָּה הַחִתִּי לִהְיוֹת לְךָ לְאִשָּׁה:
11. So says the Lord: "Behold I will raise up against you evil out of your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and I will give them to your friend, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.   יא. כֹּה | אָמַר יְהֹוָה הִנְנִי מֵקִים עָלֶיךָ רָעָה מִבֵּיתֶךָ וְלָקַחְתִּי אֶת נָשֶׁיךָ לְעֵינֶיךָ וְנָתַתִּי לְרֵעֶיךָ וְשָׁכַב עִם נָשֶׁיךָ לְעֵינֵי הַשֶּׁמֶשׁ הַזֹּאת:
12. For you have acted in secrecy, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun."   יב. כִּי אַתָּה עָשִֹיתָ בַסָּתֶר וַאֲנִי אֶעֱשֶׂה אֶת הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה נֶגֶד כָּל יִשְׂרָאֵל וְנֶגֶד הַשָּׁמֶשׁ:
13. And David said to Nathan: "I have sinned against the Lord." And Nathan said to David, "Also the Lord has removed your sin; you shall not die.   יג. וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל נָתָן חָטָאתִי לַיהֹוָה וַיֹּאמֶר נָתָן אֶל דָּוִד גַּם יְהֹוָה הֶעֱבִיר חַטָּאתְךָ לֹא תָמוּת:
14. Nevertheless, because you have greatly blasphemed the enemies of the Lord by this thing, the child also that is born to you shall surely die."   יד. אֶפֶס כִּי נִאֵץ נִאַצְתָּ אֶת אֹיְבֵי יְהֹוָה בַּדָּבָר הַזֶּה גַּם הַבֵּן הַיִּלּוֹד לְךָ מוֹת יָמוּת:
the enemies of the Lord: This is a euphemism for ‘the Above.’ Now Jonathan translates it as: Because you have opened the mouths of the enemies of God’s nation.  
15. And Nathan departed to his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and it became mortally ill.   טו. וַיֵּלֶךְ נָתָן אֶל בֵּיתוֹ וַיִּגֹּף יְהֹוָה אֶת הַיֶּלֶד אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה אֵשֶׁת אוּרִיָּה לְדָוִד וַיֵּאָנַשׁ:
became mortally ill: Heb. ויאנש, an expression of sickness.  
16. And David besought God on behalf of the child; and David fasted a fast, and he came in and slept lying on the ground.   טז. וַיְבַקֵּשׁ דָּוִד אֶת הָאֱלֹהִים בְּעַד הַנָּעַר וַיָּצָם דָּוִד צוֹם וּבָא וְלָן וְשָׁכַב אָרְצָה:
and he came in and slept lying on the ground: and he came into the house and slept the night lying on the ground.  
17. And the elders of his house stood over him to raise him up from the ground; but he would not; neither did he eat bread with them.   יז. וַיָּקֻמוּ זִקְנֵי בֵיתוֹ עָלָיו לַהֲקִימוֹ מִן הָאָרֶץ וְלֹא אָבָה וְלֹא בָרָה אִתָּם לָחֶם:
he did not eat: Heb. ברה. A synonym for eating similar to: “that I may eat from her hand” (Heb. ואברה מידה, below 13:6).  
18. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, "Behold, while the child was yet alive we spoke to him and he did not hearken to our voices; how then shall we tell him that the child is dead, so that he do [himself] harm?"   יח. וַיְהִי בַּיּוֹם הַשְּׁבִיעִי וַיָּמָת הַיָּלֶד וַיִּרְאוּ עַבְדֵי דָוִד לְהַגִּיד לוֹ | כִּי מֵת הַיֶּלֶד כִּי אָמְרוּ הִנֵּה בִהְיוֹת הַיֶּלֶד חַי דִּבַּרְנוּ אֵלָיו וְלֹא שָׁמַע בְּקוֹלֵנוּ וְאֵיךְ נֹאמַר אֵלָיו מֵת הַיֶּלֶד וְעָשָֹה רָעָה:
19. And David saw that his servants were whispering and he understood that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, "Is the child dead?" And they said "[He is] dead."   יט. וַיַּרְא דָּוִד כִּי עֲבָדָיו מִתְלַחֲשִׁים וַיָּבֶן דָּוִד כִּי מֵת הַיָּלֶד וַיֹּאמֶר דָּוִד אֶל עֲבָדָיו הֲמֵת הַיֶּלֶד וַיֹּאמְרוּ מֵת:
20. And David got up from the ground, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came to the House of the Lord and kneeled; and he came to his house, and he asked and they set bread before him, and he ate.   כ. וַיָּקָם דָּוִד מֵהָאָרֶץ וַיִּרְחַץ וַיָּסֶךְ וַיְחַלֵּף שִׂמְלֹתָיו וַיָּבֹא בֵית יְהֹוָה וַיִּשְׁתָּחוּ וַיָּבֹא אֶל בֵּיתוֹ וַיִּשְׁאַל וַיָּשִֹימוּ לוֹ לֶחֶם וַיֹּאכַל:
21. And his servants said to him: "What is this thing that you have done? For the live child you fasted and wept, but when the child died, you got up and ate bread?"   כא. וַיֹּאמְרוּ עֲבָדָיו אֵלָיו מָה הַדָּבָר הַזֶּה אֲשֶׁר עָשִֹיתָה בַּעֲבוּר הַיֶּלֶד חַי צַמְתָּ וַתֵּבְךְּ וְכַאֲשֶׁר מֵת הַיֶּלֶד קַמְתָּ וַתֹּאכַל לָחֶם:
22. And he said, "While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, 'Who knows? Perhaps the Lord will be gracious to me, and the child will live.   כב. וַיֹּאמֶר בְּעוֹד הַיֶּלֶד חַי צַמְתִּי וָאֶבְכֶּה כִּי אָמַרְתִּי מִי יוֹדֵעַ וְחַנַּנִי יְהֹוָה וְחַי הַיָּלֶד:
23. But now [that] 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."   כג. וְעַתָּה | מֵת לָמָּה זֶּה אֲנִי צָם הַאוּכַל לַהֲשִׁיבוֹ עוֹד אֲנִי הֹלֵךְ אֵלָיו וְהוּא לֹא יָשׁוּב אֵלָי:
24. And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and he came to her, and he lay with her: and she bore a son, and she called his name Solomon; and the Lord loved him.   כד. וַיְנַחֵם דָּוִד אֵת בַּת שֶׁבַע אִשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּבֹא אֵלֶיהָ וַיִּשְׁכַּב עִמָּהּ וַתֵּלֶד בֵּן וַתִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ שְׁלֹמֹה וַיהֹוָה אֲהֵבוֹ:
25. And He sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he called his name Yedidiah for the Lord's sake.   כה. וַיִּשְׁלַח בְּיַד נָתָן הַנָּבִיא וַיִּקְרָא אֶת שְׁמוֹ יְדִידְיָה בַּעֲבוּר יְהֹוָה:
for the Lord’s sake: who loved him.  
26. And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and captured the royal city.   כו. וַיִּלָּחֶם יוֹאָב בְּרַבַּת בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וַיִּלְכֹּד אֶת עִיר הַמְּלוּכָה:
the royal city: there were two wall supports in it, an outer and an inner one. The outer one was the royal city, and the inner one was for fortification and support.  
27. And Joab sent messengers to David and said "I have fought against Rabbah, I have also captured the city of waters.   כז. וַיִּשְׁלַח יוֹאָב מַלְאָכִים אֶל דָּוִד וַיֹּאמֶר נִלְחַמְתִּי בְרַבָּה גַּם לָכַדְתִּי אֶת עִיר הַמָּיִם:
28. And now gather the rest of the people, and encamp against the city and capture it, lest I capture the city, and my name be called upon it."   כח. וְעַתָּה אֱסֹף אֶת יֶתֶר הָעָם וַחֲנֵה עַל הָעִיר וְלָכְדָהּ פֶּן אֶלְכֹּד אֲנִי אֶת הָעִיר וְנִקְרָא שְׁמִי עָלֶיהָ:
29. And David gathered all the people, and he went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and captured it.   כט. וַיֶּאֱסֹף דָּוִד אֶת כָּל הָעָם וַיֵּלֶךְ רַבָּתָה וַיִּלָּחֶם בָּהּ וַיִּלְכְּדָהּ:
30. And he took the crown of Malkam off his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and [in it was] a precious stone; and it was [set] on David's head. And the spoil of the city he brought forth in great abundance.   ל. וַיִּקַּח אֶת עֲטֶרֶת מַלְכָּם מֵעַל רֹאשׁוֹ וּמִשְׁקָלָהּ כִּכַּר זָהָב וְאֶבֶן יְקָרָה וַתְּהִי עַל רֹאשׁ דָּוִד וּשְׁלַל הָעִיר הוֹצִיא הַרְבֵּה מְאֹד:
and the crown of Malkam: the name of the abomination of the sons of Ammon was Malkam from [the name] Molech.  
and it was set on David’s head: Ittai the Gittite renounced it.  
31. And the people that were therein he brought forth and he put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and he made them pass through the brick kiln; and so he did to all the cities of the children of Ammon. And David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.   לא. וְאֶת הָעָם אֲשֶׁר בָּהּ הוֹצִיא וַיָּשֶׂם בַּמְּגֵרָה וּבַחֲרִצֵי הַבַּרְזֶל וּבְמַגְזְרֹת הַבַּרְזֶל וְהֶעֱבִיר אוֹתָם בַּמַּלְבֵּן וְכֵן יַעֲשֶֹה לְכֹל עָרֵי בְנֵי עַמּוֹן וַיָּשָׁב דָּוִד וְכָל הָעָם יְרוּשָׁלָםִ:
saws: A knife indented with numerous consecutive nicks.  
harrows: A threshing sledge. It is grooved with numerous indentations and is called lime [in French].  
brick kiln: in the mud of the streets. And so did I translate it: and they dragged them in the streets.  
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