Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 12

David’s officials tell him about his son’s death

2 Samuel 12:18-19

During the illness of David’s child, David continued in prayer both night and day. He refused any food. He lay on the ground.

During all this time, the oldest and most honourable officials in the palace remained with him. However they could not understand what David was doing. They did not realise that he was in a deep state of prayer. They did not recognise that David had chosen to be humble in front of God.

So, they thought that the state of David’s mind was dangerously ill. They believed that his worry about his son had upset him too much. Then they received news that made them greatly afraid for David’s safety. The boy had died.

The officials did not know whether they should tell David. If they did not tell him, he would continue in this desperate state. If they told him, it would be a terrible shock for him. They worried what he might do.

They tried to discuss this together, in whispers, while they remained in the room with David. They did not expect David, in such a desperate state, to realise that they were whispering.

They had not understood that, through this experience, David’s mind remained clear, aware and intelligent. David had simply been praying in a way that they did not understand. So, David knew at once the reason for their whispers. He asked whether his son was now dead. So, they told him.

Next part: David's reaction to the death of his son (2 Samuel 12:20-21)


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