Why did God punish David's son instead of David himself for his sin?

Why didn't God punish David instead of taking the life of his child, which had done nothing to deserve death?

One could argue that it was a great punishment to have the life of his child taken.

If so, how was it fair for the baby to be punished for the sin of his father, David? Why not directly punish David?

2 Samuel 12:14

LS1910 - 14 Mais, parce que tu as fait blasphémer les ennemis de l'Eternel, en commettant cette action, le fils qui t'est né mourra.

Clarify Share Report Asked December 27 2013 Mini Samuel Bourassa

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Mini Jennifer Henkel Bible/History Middle School Teacher, Lover of the OT!
In 2 Samuel 12, the prophet Nathan comes and tells David a story about a rich man who steals his poor neighbor's ewe to cook it for a guest, though he had many of his own sheep. King David angrily pronounces judgment on this man, that he should die and repay the poor man four times over for the loss of the ewe.

When Nathan reveals that David is the rich man in the story, David realizes that the judgment he pronounced will fall on HIM. Nathan tells David that he will not die, but the child will, thereby becoming a "type" of Christ, an innocent dying for the sin of the guilty.

Then in subsequent chapters, David "pays" fourfold, two penalties for the adultery (rape of daughter Tamar, and the rape of David's wives by Absalom) and two penalties for the murder of Uriah (Crown Prince Amnon's murder by Absalom, and Absalom's murder by Joab).

December 28 2013 5 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini Ann Wood Retired widow.
My opinion is that when a baby dies it returns to the Father who gave it. David needed to suffer the pain of his sin.....not the baby.

December 28 2013 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

84924d6f 9be5 4261 9e07 ab5f6a8c5842 Lena Wms Student @Christ Gospel Church, S.S.Teacher, Observer
I have a bit of a different take on the first child of David and Bathsheba being taken by the LORD. Yes, it was a punishment on David, and David should have paid the debt. But what about Bathsheba? Was she totally innocent in the sin? 

Yes, David was the King, and she was obligated to obey his commands. However, remember Abigail, the wife of Nabal? When David was very angry and ready to slay every man in her family, she went to him in humility and spoke to him turning David from his hot anger. 1Sam 25:23-35. 

The point I'm making is David was King, but he could be reasoned with, even when his passions were flared. We don't read where Bathsheba tried to reason with him, tried to tell him what they were doing was wrong on so many levels. 

Sin is sin, shared by two people it has to be paid by two people. Innocents get hurt in the process. David fasted and prayed for 7 days to see if he could change God's mind about the child. No, but what did he say.. "I can go to where my child is." 2 Sam 12:23 

David knew that God had his child. He also know that through repentance he would be reunited with his child again. He went and comforted Bathsheba, she bore him Soloman, a child God loved. 2Sam 12:24

Obviously, David and Bathsheba had repented. 

Hebrew history tells us that for years they had to nightly change King David's bedcloths as they were soaked with tears of repentance. 

The question was why did God take the innocent child? How much suffering do you think it was to watch Solomon grow up, even favored by the LORD, and not think of his older brother? Would they have been close? Would they have looked alike? All those questions David and Bathsheba must have asked through the years as they watched their son grow and mature... knowing it was their sin that put him in an early grave. 

How awful the guilt must have been. No wonder those sheets were soaked in tears. Every thought of the sin, how it broke God's law, exactly what had happened.. would have brought a fresh round of tears. Remember King David did not live under grace. Jesus had not yet died on the cross. Forgiveness was not easily available like it is today. 

King David was the light of Israel and God promised him a light always in Jerusalem. (2Sam 21:17, 
1Kings 11:36, 2Kings 8:19). 

I believe this is why God did not kill David and Bathsheba as punishment for their sin. Instead, God took their child and put a sword in the home that almost destroyed them. 

Be Blessed, 

August 13 2018 2 responses Vote Up Share Report

Data Danny Hickman Supporter Believer in The Gospel Of Jesus Christ
David and Bathsheba's baby was born of sin and in sin, the same as we all are. And so, this unnamed baby was on a path of going from life to death, as we all are (Heb 9:27). Nothing extra happened to the baby. Whether the baby lived seven days or seven decades, he was destined for the grave.

We belong to God, not our parents. Our parents belong to God. (I think this "fact of life" is the source of the disconnect. Some of us seem to think our lives are about us and what we think, how we feel. When we discover that not to be the case, we want to charge God with being self-centered. A Father who only wants to show His awesome love for us). 

With that in mind, was God grieved with the death of the baby? We read that David was greatly distressed by the baby's illness. How did he act when the baby died? He got cleaned up and went back to his normal routine. He blessed the Lord. He "went into the house of the LORD and worshipped"(2 Sam 12:20). 

It is a gross misunderstanding of the teachings being offered here to insinuate that the baby was unjustly punished by God. Again, the baby died the same as we all do.

If you want to complain about the death of an innocent person you'll have to use Jesus. Jesus was not born of sin or in sin. He was sent by God to die for our sin. The difference is He came voluntarily. This story is a shadow of that truth. 

The baby was a sinner by birth. I realize we don't all believe that, but that doesn't change it from being so. If we're not born sinners, then God is unjust when an infant dies before ever committing a sinful act. The wages of sin is death (Rom 6:23). If the baby isn't a sinner it's not right for him to die before committing a sinful act.

This should vindicate God. I won't be surprised when it doesn't. Read and ponder Romans 3:5.

Is God unrighteous to inflict wrath on us, the unrighteous?

August 13 2021 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Mini C G
I often wondered if the death of the child was for more than one purpose. Had the child lived would the kingdom have been given to him instead of Solomon? He would have been the first born of the relationship thus likely to have that position. That would not have been God’s plan.

October 07 2022 1 response Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
You asked a difficult question, Samuel! The law is holy, and the commandment holy, and just, and good. In a sense, God did directly punish David. He predicted through the prophet, Nathan, that David would have to be punished for his sin of theft, adultery and murder. He would be punished four-fold for this sin. You remember that Nathan had told David that the theft of another man’s sheep would have to be repaid “four-fold” (2 Samuel 12)?

4 	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. 	
5 	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:	
6 	And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 

First, David did die later as all men do because of sin (“the wages of sin is death”). From Nathan’s story, then “David concluded that the man “deserves to die” (v.5) and he deserved a “fourfold” punishment for his sin (v.6). David’s own judgment of a “fourfold” judgment came to fruition: His four sons died terrible deaths because of the result of his sin. Bathsheba’s first son (2 Sam. 12:14-18), Amnon (2 Sam. 13:28-29), Absalom (2 Sam. 18:14), and Adonijah (1 Kings 2:25) all died prematurely because of David’s sin.” 

Source: https://www.evidenceunseen.com/bible-difficulties-2/ot-difficulties/1-samuel-2-chronicles/2-sam-1215-why-did-god-kill-davids-boy-for-davids-sin/

October 09 2022 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

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