Daily Tanach Wednesday Shmuel 2 Chapter 12: The son of Dovid and Batsheva dies

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

1.      The son of Dovid and Batsheva dies:

  • Nassan returned home and Hashem smote with an illness the child that was born to Dovid from the wife of Uriah, and he became sick on the ground.
  • Dovid pleads for the life of the child and practices mortification of his body: Dovid pleaded to Hashem on behalf of the child, and he fasted for his speedy recovery. Dovid went and laid and slept on the ground and could not be lifted. The elders of his household got up and tried to lift him from the ground, but he would not listen and he did not eat bread with them [for a period of seven days].
  • The child dies on the seventh day: It was on the seventh day, that the child died and the servants of Dovid feared telling him of the child’s death, as they said to themselves that if when the child was alive when we spoke to him Dovid refused to listen to us, how can we tell him that the child has died, and he will do evil to himself [i.e. commit suicide[1]].
  • Dovid discovers the death: Dovid saw that his servants were speaking discreetly amongst each other and thus Dovid understood that indeed the child had died. So Dovid asked his servants if the child had died, and they answered him that indeed he had died.
  • Dovid rises from his state of mortification: Dovid arose from the ground and washed and anointed his body and changed his clothing and he arrived to the house of G-d and prostrated himself [to bless G-d for the evil just as he would bless him for the good[2]]. He arrived home and asked [for food] and so a meal was prepared for him, and he ate.
  • Dovid servants question his behavior: Dovid’s servants asked him as to an explanation behind his behavior, as how is it that when the child was alive, he fasted and cried [acting in a state of mourning] and when the child died, he got up and ate bread [and did not mourn the child as one is supposed to do after a death]? Dovid answered them as follows, “So long as the child was alive, I fasted and cried as I said to myself, who knows, perhaps G-d will have mercy and let the child live. But now that the child has died, why should I continue fasting? Am I able to revive him? I can go to him [i.e. die and join him in the grave[3]], but he will not return to me.”

[1] See Metzudos Dovid 12:20

[2] Metzudos Dovid 12:20

[3] Metzudos Dovid 12:23

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