Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: 2 Samuel
Book: 2 Samuel
Chapter: 12

Nathan's Parable-David confesses his Sin. (1-14) The Birth of
Solomon. (15-25) David's severity to the Ammonites. (26-31)

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.

15-25 David now penned the 51st Psalm, in which, though he had
been assured that his Sin was pardoned, he prays earnestly for
Pardon, and greatly laments his Sin. He was willing to Bear the
shame of it, to have it ever before him, to be continually
upbraided with it. God gives us leave to be Earnest with him in
Prayer for particular blessings, from trust in his power and
general Mercy, though we have No particular promise to build
upon. David patiently submitted to the will of God in the Death
of one Child, and God made up the loss to his advantage, in the
Birth of another. The way to have Creature comforts continued or
restored, or the loss made up some other way, is cheerfully to
resign them to God. God, By his Grace, particularly owned and
favoured that son, and ordered him to be called Jedidiah,
Beloved of the Lord. Our prayers for our children are graciously
and as fully answered when some of them die in their infancy,
for they are Well taken care of, and when others live, "beloved
of the Lord."

26-31 To be thus severe in putting the children of Ammon to
slavery was a sign that David's Heart was not yet made soft By
Repentance, at the time when this took place. We shall be most
compassionate, kind, and forgiving to others, when we most feel
our need of the Lord's forgiving Love, and taste the sweetness
of it in our own souls.