“contempt, yes, contempt…die, yes, die.” The Hebrew text uses a double polyptoton for emphasis. David’s utter contempt for Yahweh had dire consequences. 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 more on the figure of speech polyptoton and the way it is brought into English, see commentary on Genesis 2:16.]
“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.a P. Kyle McCarter, Jr. has a good explanation of the emendation.b David showed utter contempt for Yahweh when he committed adultery and murder.