I HAVE SINNED AGAINST THE LORD.
The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to David. He came to him and said:
“In the same town were two men,
one rich, the other poor.
The rich man had flocks and herds
in great abundance;
the poor man had nothing but a ewe lamb,
only one, a small one he had bought.
This he fed, and it grew up with him and his children,
eating his bread, drinking from his cup,
sleeping on his breast; it was like a daughter to him.
When there came a traveller to stay the rich man
refused to take one of his own flock or herd
to provide for the wayfarer who had come to him.
Instead he took the poor man’s lamb
and prepared it for his guest.”
David’s anger flared up against the man. “As the Lord lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this deserves to die! He must make fourfold restitution for the lamb, for doing such a thing and showing no compassion.”
Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man. So now the sword will never be far from your House, since you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.”
“Thus the Lord speaks, ‘I will stir up evil for you out of your own House. Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbour, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. You worked in secret, I will work this in the face of all Israel and in the face of the sun.'”
David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Then Nathan said to David, “The Lord, for his part, forgives your sin; you are not to die. Yet because you have outraged the Lord by doing this, the child that is born to you is to die.” Then Nathan went home.
The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David and it fell gravely ill. David pleaded with the Lord for the child; he kept a strict fast and went home and spent the night on the bare ground, covered with sacking. The officials of his household came and stood round him to get him to rise from the ground, but he refused, nor would he take food with them.
V. The word of the Lord.
R. Thanks be to God.