2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27 & 12:1-9

2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27 & 12:1-9
Narrative Lectionary 107


11:1 IIn the springII of the year,III the timeIV when kingsV go outVI to battle,

Notes on verse 11:1a

I {untranslated} = hayah. This is to be or become, to happen.
II “spring” = teshubah. 8x in OT. From shub (to turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively; not necessarily implying going back to where you started from). This is a return, answer, reply. It can also be a time or place that has returned, i.e. the springtime.
III “year” = shanah. From shana (to change, alter). This is a year, age, old. It can also mean yearly.
IV “time” = et. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
V “kings” = melek. From malak (to be or become king or queen, to rise to the throne, to be crowned; by implication, to take counsel). This is king or royal.
VI “go out” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.

DavidVII sentVIII JoabIX with his officersX

Notes on verse 11:1b

VII “David” = David. From the same as dod (beloved, love, uncle); the root may mean to boil, which is used figuratively to describe love. So, this implies someone you love such as a friend, a lover, or a close family member like an uncle. David’s name likely means something like “beloved one.”
VIII “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
IX “Joab” = Yoab. Related to {untranslated} in v11:1. From YHVH (proper name of the God of Israel; God, Lord; the self-existent or eternal one); {from havah (to become) or hayah (see note I above)}. + ab (father, ancestor, grandfather; father in a literal or figurative sense). This is Joab or Yoab, meaning “the Lord is father.”
X “officers” = ebed. From abad (to work, serve, compel; any kind of work; used causatively, can mean to enslave or keep in bondage). This is a servant, slave, or bondservant.

and allXI IsraelXII with him; they ravagedXIII the AmmonitesXIV

Notes on verse 11:1c

XI “all” = kol. From kalal (to complete). This is all or every.
XII “Israel” = Yisrael. From sarah (to persist, exert oneself, contend, persevere, wrestle, prevail) + el (God or god). This is Israel, meaning God strives or one who strives with God; new name for Jacob and for his offspring. This refers to the people and to the land.
XIII “ravaged” = shachath. This is to go to ruin, perish, decay, batter, cast off, lose, one who destroys. This can be used in a literal or figurative sense.
XIV “Ammonites” = ben + Ammon. Literally, “children of Ammon.” Ben is from banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense. Ammon is from im (with, against, before, beside); {perhaps from amam (to darken, hide, associate; creating shadows by huddling together)} OR from am (people or nation; a tribe, troops or armies, or figuratively to refer to a flock of animals); {from amam (see above)}. This is Ammon or Ammonite. It may mean “a people,” “a great people,” or “inbred.”  See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Ammon.html

and besiegedXV Rabbah.XVI But David remainedXVII at Jerusalem.XVIII

Notes on verse 11:1d

XV “besieged” = tsur. This is to confine, assault, bind up, be an adversary.
XVI “Rabbah” = Rabbah. 15x in OT. From rab (abundance, many, elder, exceedingly, great; abundance of amount, rank, or status); from rabab (increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.). This is Rabbah, a place whose name means “great,” “great city,” or “populous.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Rabbah.html
XVII “remained” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
XVIII “Jerusalem” = Yerushalaim. From yarah (to throw, shoot, be stunned; to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach) + shalam (to make amends, to be complete or sound). This is Jerusalem, dwelling of peace.

It happened,XIX late one afternoonXX when David roseXXI from his couchXXII

Notes on verse 11:2a

XIX “happened” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v11:1. See note I above.
XX “late one afternoon” = et + ereb. Literally “in the time of evening.” Et is the same as “time” in v11:1. See note IV above. Ereb is evening, night, twilight.
XXI “rose” = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
XXII “couch” = mishkab. From shakab (to lie down, lodge; lying for sleep, sex, or other reasons). This is a place where one lies down i.e. a bed, couch, or bedchamber. It can also be used in an abstract sense to refer to sleep or euphemistically for sex.

and was walkingXXIII about on the roofXXIV of the king’s house,XXV that he sawXXVI from the roof

Notes on verse 11:2b

XXIII “walking” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XXIV “roof” = gag. Perhaps from ga’ah (to rise up, increase, grow, be highly exalted; figuratively to be majestic). This is a housetop or other top. It can refer to the surface of an altar.
XXV “house” = bayit. Related to “Ammonites” in v11:1. Probably from banah (see note XIV above). This is house, court, family, palace, temple.
XXVI “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.

a womanXXVII bathing;XXVIII the woman was veryXXIX beautiful.XXX 

Notes on verse 11:2c

XXVII “woman” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
XXVIII “bathing” = rachats. This is to wash, wash away – it can be complete or partial.
XXIX “very” = meod. Perhaps from the same as uwd (firebrand, a poker). This is very, greatly, exceedingly. It can also mean vehemence, force, abundance.
XXX “beautiful” = tob + mareh. Literally “good looking.” Tob is from tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good. Mareh is related to “saw” in v11:2. From raah (see note XXVI above). This is sight, appearance, or vision. It can be a view, seeing itself, that which is seen, something real, or a vision one sees

David sent someone to inquireXXXI about the woman. It was reported, “This is BathshebaXXXII daughterXXXIII of Eliam,XXXIV

Notes on verse 11:3a

XXXI “inquire” = darash. This is seek, ask, inquire, care for. Generally it means following in pursuit or following as part of a search, which implies seeking or asking. Also used specially to mean worship.
XXXII “Bathsheba” = Bath-sheba. Related to “Ammonites” in v11:1 & “house” in v11:2. 11x in OT. From bath (daughter in a literal or figurative sense; can also be branch) {from ben (see note XIV above)} + perhaps shaba (to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant; properly, to be complete; this is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times) {perhaps from sheba (seven – the number of perfection/sacred fullness)}. This is Bathsheba, perhaps meaning “daughter of oath.”
XXXIII “daughter” = bat. Related to “Ammonites” in v11:1 & “house” in v11:2 & “Bathsheba” in v11:3. See note XXXII above.
XXXIV “Eliam” = Eliam. Related to “Ammonites” and “Israel” in v11:1. 2x in OT. From el (see note XII above) + am (see note XIV above). This is Eliam, a name meaning “God is kinsman,” “God of the people,” or “God’s people.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Eliam.html

the wifeXXXV of UriahXXXVI the Hittite.”XXXVII 

Notes on verse 11:3b

XXXV “wife” = ishshah. Same as “woman” in v11:2. See note XXVII above.
XXXVI “Uriah” = Uriyah. Related to {untranslated} and “Joab” in v11:1. From ur (fire, light, the east); {from or (to be or become light, shine)} + Yah (the shortened form of the name of the God of Israel; God, Lord); {from YHVH (see note IX above)}. This is Uriah or Urijah, a name meaning “flame of the Lord,” “the Lord is light,” “light of the Lord.” See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Uriah.html
XXXVII “Hittite” = Chitti. From cheth (Heth or Cheth; one of Canaan’s sons from whom perhaps the Hittites descend) OR from hatat (terror, lacking strength or courage); perhaps from hata (to seize; often used of coals from a fire). This is Hittite – perhaps meaning terrors or terrible. See https://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Hittite.html#.XyMgpp5KhPY

So David sent messengersXXXVIII to getXXXIX her, and she cameXL to him, and he layXLI with her.

Notes on verse 11:4a

XXXVIII “messengers” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
XXXIX “get” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
XL “came” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XLI “lay” = shakab. Related to “couch” in v11:2. See note XXII above.

(Now she was purifyingXLII herself after her period.)XLIII Then she returnedXLIV to her house. 

The woman conceived,XLV and she sent and toldXLVI David, “I am pregnant.”XLVII

Notes on verses 11:4b-5

XLII “purifying” = qadash. From qodesh (set apart and so sacred; God is different from us and so God is holy/set apart; things we dedicate to God’s service are set apart for God and so they, too, are holy). This is set apart, consecrated, hallowed, sanctified. This is something or someone that is set apart for a holy purpose or use – ceremonially or morally clean.
XLIII “period” = tum’ah. From tame (becoming unclean, foul, defiled; polluted, particularly in a ritual or moral sense). This is filthiness or uncleanness. It can refer to ritual or moral impurity.
XLIV “returned” = shub. Related to “spring” in v11:1. See note II above.
XLV “conceived” = harah. This is to conceive or be pregnant – it can be literal or figurative.
XLVI “told” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
XLVII “pregnant” = harah. Related to “conceived” in v11:5. 16x in OT. From harah (see note XLV above). This is conceive or pregnant.

26 When the wife of Uriah heardXLVIII that her husbandXLIX was dead,L she made lamentationLI for him.LII 

Notes on verse 11:26

XLVIII “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
XLIX “husband” = ish. Related to “woman” in v11:2. See note XXVII above.
L “was dead” = mut. This is to die in a literal or figurative sense. It can also refer to being a dead body.
LI “made lamentation” = saphad. This is to wail, mourn. Properly, it is lamenting by tearing one’s hair and beating one’s chest. It implies wailing.
LII “him” = baal. From ba’al (to marry, have dominion, be master). This is lord, owner, ally, master, or archer.

27 When the mourningLIII was over,LIV David sent and broughtLV her to his house, and she becameLVI his wife and boreLVII him a son.LVIII

Notes on verse 11:27a

LIII “mourning” = ebel. From abal (to mourn, bewail). This is mourning or lamentation.
LIV “was over” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
LV “brought” = asaph. This is to gather, assemble, or bring. It can also mean to take away, destroy, or remove.
LVI “became” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v11:1. See note I above.
LVII “bore” = yalad. This is to bear or bring forth. It can mean to act as midwife or to show one’s lineage. This is often used for birth or begetting.
LVIII “son” = ben. Same as “Ammonites” in v11:1. See note XIV above.

But the thingLIX that David had doneLX displeasedLXI theLXII Lord,LXIII

Notes on verse 11:27b

LIX “thing” = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
LX “done” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
LXI “displeased” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.
LXII {untranslated} = ayin. This is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).
LXIII “Lord” = YHVH. Related to {untranslated} and “Joab” in v11:1 & “Uriah” in v11:3. See note IX above.

12:1 and the Lord sent NathanLXIV to David. He came to him and said to him, “There wereLXV twoLXVI menLXVII

Notes on verse 12:1a

LXIV “Nathan” = Natan. From natan (to give, put, set, offer; to give literally or figuratively). This is Nathan, meaning “given” or “[God] gives.”
LXV “were” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v11:1. See note I above.
LXVI “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
LXVII “men” = enosh. Related to “woman” in v11:2 & “husband” in v11:26. See note XXVII above.

in a certainLXVIII city,LXIX the oneLXX richLXXI and the otherLXXII poor.LXXIII 

Notes on verse 12:1b

LXVIII “certain” = echad. Perhaps from achad (to unify, continue on a path; figuratively, to gather one’s thoughts). This is the number one, first, united. It can also be alone, altogether, a certain, a few.
LXIX “city” = iyr. From uwr (to awaken or wake oneself up). This can mean excitement in the sense of wakefulness or city. Properly, this is a place that is guarded. Guards kept schedules according to watches. This sense of the word would include cities as well as encampments or posts that were guarded.
LXX “one” = echad. Same as “certain” in v12:1. See note LXVIII above.
LXXI “rich” = ashir. From ashar (to be rich, gain, accumulate). This is rich in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be noble or a rich person.
LXXII “other” = echad. Same as “certain” in v12:1. See note LXVIII above.
LXXIII “poor” = rush. This is in want, lack, poor, needy.

The rich man hadLXXIV very manyLXXV flocksLXXVI and herds,LXXVII 

Notes on verse 12:2

LXXIV “had” = hayah. Same as {untranslated} in v11:1. See note I above.
LXXV “many” = rabah. This is increasing in any aspect whether quantity, authority, size, quality, greatness, etc.
LXXVI “flocks” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.
LXXVII “herds” = baqar. From baqar (to plow, break forth; figuratively, to inquire, inspect, consider). This is cattle – an animal used for plowing.

but the poor man had nothingLXXVIII but one littleLXXIX ewe lambLXXX that he had bought.LXXXI He brought it up,LXXXII and it grew upLXXXIII with him

Notes on verse 12:3a

LXXVIII {untranslated} = kol. Same as “all” in v11:1. See note XI above.
LXXIX “little” = qatan. From quwt (grieved, cut off, to detest). This is least, small, young, little one. It is literally smaller whether in amount or size. Figuratively it is smaller in the sense of younger or less important.
LXXX “ewe lamb” = kibsah. 8x in OT. From the same as kebes (young male sheep – having just reached the age where it can butt other sheep). This is a ewe lamb.
LXXXI “bought” = qanah. This is to acquire, create, purchase, own. Its root may mean to smith or to produce.
LXXXII “brought…up” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it can be revive, nourish, or save.
LXXXIII “grew up” = gadal. This is to grow up, become great, become wealthy – to advance. The root meaning may be to twist in the sense of the process of growing.

andLXXXIV with his children;LXXXV it used to eatLXXXVI of his meager fareLXXXVII and drinkLXXXVIII from his cupLXXXIX and lie in his bosom,XC and it was like a daughter to him. 

Notes on verse 12:3b

LXXXIV {untranslated} = yachad. From yachad (to join, be united). This is a unit, both, altogether, unitedness, alike.
LXXXV “children” = ben. Same as “Ammonites” in v11:1. See note XIV above.
LXXXVI “eat” = akal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense.
LXXXVII “meager fare” = path. 15x in OT. From pathath (to crumble, open, break). This is a piece, morsel, or fragment.
LXXXVIII “drink” = shathah. This is to drink literally or figuratively. It could also be a drinker.
LXXXIX “cup” = kos. This is a cup or it could refer to an owl since theirs eyes look similar to cups.
XC “bosom” = cheq. Root may mean to enclose. This is bosom in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be arms, lap, or midst. It can also be care or cherish.

Now there came a travelerXCI to the rich man,XCII and he was loathXCIII to takeXCIV one of his own flock or herd to prepareXCV for the wayfarerXCVI who had come to him, but he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared that for the guestXCVII who had come to him.” 

Notes on verse 12:4

XCI “traveler” = helek. Related to “walking” in v11:2. 2x in OT. From halak (see note XXIII above). This is a journey, traveler, or a flowing.
XCII “man” = ish. Same as “husband” in v11:26. See note XLIX above.
XCIII “was loath” = chamal. This is to spare, commiserate, show compassion.
XCIV “take” = laqach. Same as “get” in v11:4. See note XXXIX above.
XCV “prepare” = asah. Same as “done” in v11:27. See note LX above.
XCVI “wayfarer” = arach. 5x in OT. This is to go, travel, wander.
XCVII “guest” = ish. Same as “husband” in v11:26. See note XLIX above.

Then David’s angerXCVIII was greatlyXCIX kindledC against the man.

Notes on verse 12:5a

XCVIII “anger” = aph. From anaph (to be angry; properly, breathing hard as a signifier of being enraged). This properly refers to the nose or nostril and by extension the face. It can specifically refer to anger or wrath as one breathes hard and nostrils flare in times of great anger.
XCIX “greatly” = meod. Same as “very” in v11:2. See note XXIX above.
C “kindled” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.

He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives,CI the man who has done thisCII deserves to die;CIII 

Notes on verse 12:5b

CI “lives” = chay. Related to “brought…up” in v12:3. From chayah (see note LXXXII above). This is alive, living, lifetime. It can also be used to describe someone’s age. It can refer to animals, plants, water, or a company or congregation of people. It is life in a very broad sense.
CII {untranslated} = ben. Same as “Ammonites” in v11:1. See note XIV above.
CIII “die” = mavet. Related to “was dead” in v11:26. From mut (see note L above). This can be death, deadliness, the dead, or the place where the dead go. It can be used figuratively for pestilence or ruin.

he shall restoreCIV the lamb fourfoldCV becauseCVI he did this thing and because he had no pity.”CVII

Notes on verse 12:6

CIV “restore” = shalam. Related to “Jerusalem” in v11:1. See note XVIII above.
CV “fourfold” = arbatayim. 1x in OT. From arba (four); perhaps from raba (to make square or be four-sided); perhaps from raba (to lie down flat; can be to lie for mating). This is fourfold.
CVI “because” = eqeb. 15x in OT. Perhaps from aqab (to assail, supplant, overreach, follow or grab someone’s heel, to trip someone up); perhaps from aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is a heel as the final part of something i.e. the result, consequence, or reward. It can also be used as an adverb to mean as ever.
CVII “had…pity” = chamal. Same as “was loath” in v12:4. See note XCIII above.

Nathan said to David, “You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the GodCVIII of Israel: I anointedCIX you king over Israel, and I rescuedCX you from the handCXI of Saul;CXII 

Notes on verse 12:7

CVIII “God” = Elohim. Related to “Israel” in v11:1 & “Eliam” in v11:3. See note XII above.
CIX “anointed” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
CX “rescued” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
CXI “hand” = yad. This is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CXII “Saul” = Shaul. From shaal (to ask, inquire, beg, borrow, desire, request; can also mean demand). This is Saul or Shaul, meaning “asked of the Lord.”

I gaveCXIII you your master’sCXIV house and your master’s wives into your bosom and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah,CXV and if that had been too little,CXVI I would have addedCXVII as much more.CXVIII 

Notes on verse 12:8

CXIII “gave” = natan. Related to “Nathan” in v12:1. See note LXIV above.
CXIV “master’s” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
CXV “Judah” = Yehudah. Probably from yadah (to throw one’s hands into the air in a gesture of praise); from yad (hand). This is Judah, meaning “praised.”
CXVI “too little” = me’at. From ma’at (being or becoming small, decrease, diminish, pare off). This is a little or few, lightly little while, very small matter.
CXVII “added” = yasaph. This is to add, increase, continue, exceed.
CXVIII “as much more” = hennah + hennah. Literally, “like them and like them.” Perhaps from hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is here in a location or here in a time, i.e. now.

WhyCXIX have you despisedCXX the wordCXXI of the Lord, to do what is evilCXXII in his sight?CXXIII

Notes on verse 12:9a

CXIX “why” = maddua. From mah (what, how long) + yada (to know, be aware, see and so understand – includes observation, care, recognition; can also be used as a euphemism). This is why or how.
CXX “despised” = bazah. This is to despise, hold in contempt, disesteem, or a person who is vile.
CXXI “word” = dabar. Same as “thing” in v11:27. See note LIX above.
CXXII “evil” = ra’. Related to “displeased” in v11:27. From ra’a’ (see note LXI above). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.
CXXIII “sight” = ayin. Same as {untranslated} in v11:27. See note LXII above.

You have struck downCXXIV Uriah the Hittite with the swordCXXV and have taken his wife to be your wife and have killedCXXVI him with the sword of the Ammonites.

Notes on verse 12:9b

CXXIV “struck down” = nakah. This is to hit whether lightly or severely. It can be used in a literal or figurative sense. So, this could be beat, punish, give wounds, kill, or slaughter.
CXXV “sword” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.
CXXVI “killed” = harag. This is to strike with deadly intent so it can be kill, destroy, murder, or put to death.

Image credit: “Bathsheba” by Shoshi Chayat, 2007.

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