Thursday, February 15, 2018
“If a man shall steal an ox, or a sheep, and kill it, or sell it; he shall restore five oxen for an ox, and four sheep for a sheep” (Exodus 22:1 KJV).
How can this help us understand some of the tragic deaths associated with the Davidic dynasty?
In 2 Samuel chapter 11, we find the familiar account of King David lusting after and committing adultery with Bathsheba. After learning of her pregnancy, David had her husband, Uriah, one of his most dedicated soldiers, killed in battle. David then took Bathsheba to be his wife.
Chapter 12 reports: “ And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor.  The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds:  But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.  And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him.”
Once David has intimate relations with Bathsheba, murders her husband, and marries her, the LORD, displeased, sends a spokesman to tell David a story. A rich man, who owns many sheep, has stolen and slaughtered his poor neighbor’s solitary lamb. “ And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die:  And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.” David, outraged, demands the thief’s execution and the poor man’s compensation fourfold. The rich man will not escape justice.
In verse 7, God’s Spirit speaks through the Prophet Nathan to utter grave words to King David: “Thou art the man!”
Our latest Bible Q&A: “What is a ‘daysman?’”