"On the seventh day the child died" (2 Sam. 12:18). Is there a way textually or contextually to know if these seven days refer to the age of the infant, or instead, seven days of sickness?

  • 4
    +1 Good question. Seems to me that since the infant was not named, it died before the 8th day when naming/circumcision/covenant of Jewish faith took place. Today, death before 30 days is considered 'stillborn'. Back in the day, perhaps an infant dying before the 8th day was also considered as 'never having lived'. However, clearly David thought he would see the child in the afterlife. Curious, to be sure.
    – tblue
    Nov 24, 2018 at 4:04
  • @tblue - I think you should turn this into a formal answer
    – user25930
    Nov 24, 2018 at 20:43

1 Answer 1


From the passage itself (2 Samuel 12:15b-23), once he was born the child immediately was struck with the sickness and died on the 7th day.

So David's first unnamed child with Bathsheba was 7 days old when he died.

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