David seeking forgiveness through Natan

Why is it that David did not burn any animals as an atonement to God in 2 Samuel 12:13.
I found it interesting that David was forgiven through Nathan (a priest too?) and not directly by God.

2 Samuel 12:13-14

“Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

Yes I see this as a foreshadowing of the Christian priesthood to come, symbolizing confession and the absolving of sins through a priest: how God forgives us through the person of the priest. And giving a “penance” of sorts by saying that the consequence would be the death of his son.

It is also interesting that the Lord told Nathan ahead of time what David did (Nathan walks in and tells the story of the poor man and the lamb, symbolizing what David did, then when David is disgusted at the man in the parable, Nathan says, “You are the man!”

Not sure about the priestly role of Nathan (his prophetic role is clear), but David’s prayer in Psalm 51 says something about ritual sacrifice and burnt offerings.

For you do not desire sacrifice or I would give it; a burnt offering you would not accept. My sacrifice, O God, is a contrite spirit; a contrite, humbled heart, O God, you will not scorn.

1 Like

Only the priests were to offer the sacrifices to God. David was not a priest (descended from Aaron).

It’s possible he brought an animal to the priest to be offered in atonement. You could read thru Leviticus to see if that was required. If it was, then David no doubt did it.

I thought he was a priest himself , being from the order a melchizedek a priest forever. Hence Jesus shared that lineage not as a levite but from Juda(Judea?).

Melchizedek lived hundreds of years before Judah was even born. There is no record that Melchizedek had descendants; we don’t know.
Melchizedek was not a priest thru physical lineage, and, like Melchizedek, neither would Jesus be a priest thru physical lineage.

Of 12 tribes, the tribe of Levi was set apart for religious duties. Within that tribe, it was Aaron and his sons who were appointed to be the first priests, Aaron being the high priest (Ex. 28 and Num. 16:8 et seq.) Only descendants of Aaron could be priests. It’s called the Aaronic priesthood. The other members of the tribe of Levi had various other duties.

There may be differing opinions as to whether or not David was considered a priest - presumably because of how great a king he was. Mention is made of how he and his men ate the Bread of the Presence (1 Samuel 21) which only priests could eat. However, to my knowledge no one has ever claimed that his men must also have been priests since they ate the Bread of the Presence too.

Jesus indicates allowance was made because of need in the above instance:
Mt. 12: 1-4 … He said to them, “Have you not read what David did, when he was hungry, and those who were with him: 4 how he entered the house of God and ate the bread of the Presence, which it was not lawful for him to eat nor for those who were with him, but only for the priests?

Psalm 110 is sometimes said to refer to David as being a priest like Melchizedek. But the psalm says “you are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek”. I don’t think David is considered to have an eternal priesthood. The psalm verse is most often seen as messianic - fulfilled in Jesus, our eternal priest. Paul speak of it in his letter to the Hebrews 5:1-10. See also Hebrews 6:20 thru 7:28.

A foreshadowing.

This topic was automatically closed 14 days after the last reply. New replies are no longer allowed.

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.