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24 So David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He came to her[a] and went to bed with her.[b] Later she gave birth to a son, and David[c] named him Solomon. Now the Lord loved the child[d]

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  1. 2 Samuel 12:24 tn The combination of the verb בּוֹא (boʾ; “to come, enter”) and the preposition אֶל (ʾel; “to”) means “to approach, to come to” (HALOT 1:113). This common expression is also used as a euphemism for coming together for sexual relations. Although some take the phrase to be a graphic depiction of a man actions in sexual relations with a woman, certain factors clarify that it is a euphemism. First, the phrase also describes a woman approaching a man for sexual relations (2 Sam 11:4), a situation where this phrase cannot be explicitly descriptive. Second, the phrase is paired here with שָׁכַב (shakhav), “to lie down,” which only makes sense if the two are complementary (compare also Gen 19:33-34 which uses both verbs of Lot’s daughters, but without the preposition). The verb שָׁכַב can imply lying down for sleep or for sexual relations. When בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) is used with שָׁכַב (shakhav), they state the natural progression of approaching and then lying with. Hebrew can use the two together, or either separately, as a euphemism for sexual relations. But if the phrase בּוֹא אֶל were already an explicit depiction of sex, then the latter phrase with שָׁכַב, “to lie with,” would be pointless. So 2 Sam 11:4 and 2 Sam 12:24 are important evidence for how this phrase really works, and it is appropriate to also use euphemisms in translation.
  2. 2 Samuel 12:24 tn Heb “and he lay with her.” The phrase is a euphemism for sexual relations.
  3. 2 Samuel 12:24 tc The Kethiv reads “he named” while the Qere reads “she named.”tn Heb “he”; the referent (David) has been specified in the translation for clarity. While some translations render the pronoun as third person plural (“they”), implying that both David and Bathsheba together named the child, it is likely that the name “Solomon,” which is related to the Hebrew word for “peace” (and may be derived from it) had special significance for David, who would have regarded the birth of a second child to Bathsheba as a confirming sign that God had forgiven his sin and was at peace with him.
  4. 2 Samuel 12:24 tn Heb “him,” referring to the child.

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