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However, because by this deed you have shown contempt, yes, contempt for Yahweh, the child also who is born to you will die, yes, die.” Bible

“contempt, yes, contempt…die, yes, die.” The Hebrew text uses a double polyptoton for emphasis. David’s utter contempt for Yahweh had dire consequences. For more on the figure of speech polyptoton and the way it is brought into English, see commentary on Genesis 2:16. In this case, “die, yes, die,” is the same phrase as God used when speaking to Adam, except there God used the second person while here in 2 Sam. 12:14 the second verb is in the third person.

“for Yahweh.” There is very good evidence that “Yahweh” was the reading of the original text and not “the enemies of Yahweh,” and so Yahweh (or “the LORD”) is the translation in a number of modern versions (BBE; CJB; HCSB; ESV; NAB; NET; NIV2011; NJB; NLT; NRSV; Rotherham; RSV). It occasionally happened that the ancient scribes desired to protect Yahweh or someone especially important, so they would alter the Hebrew text but make a notation they did so. E. W. Bullinger refers to these changes as “the emendations of the sopherim” and has an appendix in his Bible on the subject (Appendix 33 in The Companion Bible by E. W. Bullinger). P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. has a good explanation of the emendation (The Anchor Bible: 2 Samuel, p. 296). David showed utter contempt for Yahweh when he committed adultery and murder.


Commentary for: 2 Samuel 12:14