Penitence of David; left, David, crowned, gold nimbus, darkhaired and -bearded, wearing white robe under purple mantle (chlamys?), sitting on cushioned throne, shod feet resting on suppedaneum, holding head with raised left hand, lifting right hand as if to stem rebuke of Nathan, darkhaired and -bearded, transparent white nimbus, wearing blue robe under mantle (pallium) which covers left hand, standing and speaking to David, right hand raised making gesture with two fingers (admonishing?); right foreground, David, dressed as above genuflecting in act of penitence for his sin; behind him, nimbed woman, lost in thought, wearing chiton and himaton, leaning on 'podium' with right arm, raising left hand to face, personifying David's prayer of repentance; background, buildings and tree; frame, double gold border, inner decorated with gold lozenges, outer with blue-and-gold triangles forming zigzag.Illustrates II Samuel 12:1-25.David had displeased Yahweh by having Uriah, the Hittite, killed because he coveted his wife Bathsheba. Yahweh sent the prophet Nathan to David, for he had taken her as his wife and she had borne him a child. Nathan told David the story of the rich man who took the poor man's only possession - a ewe lamb. David was indignant and wanted the man punished, until Nathan rebuked him for the murder of Uriah. Then David realized that he had sinned against Yahweh, but Nathan reassured him that he was not to die. However, the child born of the union to Bathsheba would not survive.

David pleaded with Yahweh for the child; he kept a strict face 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. [--Jerusalem Bible.]

Still, the price had to be paid, and the child died after seven days. However, David's penitence had been heard, and when the next child - Solomon - was born, Nathan called him Jedidiah, which means the "beloved of Yahweh."The birth of Solomon is an assurance of God's pardon. Moreover, it is Solomon whom God freely chooses to place on David's throne, rather than the better qualified heirs. [--Jerusalem Bible.]

Additional Information

"Aristocratic" psalter of 449 leaves written in Greek tenth-century miniscules, bound with fourteen miniatures of different parchment, which are the work of five artists. For additional MS information, see 5Ck.007.