2 Samuel 11
David and Bathsheba
(1 Chronicles 20.1a)
- 1 It was now spring, the time when kings go to war.
David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his
officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city
of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.
2 Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and
was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman
was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required. David happened
to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was.
The servant came back and told David, Her name
is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the
David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace.
She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. 5 But later,
when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to
David with this message: Im pregnant!
6 David sent a message to Joab: Send Uriah the
Hittite to me.
Joab sent Uriah 7 to Davids palace, and David
asked him, Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?
8 Then David told Uriah, Go home and clean up. Uriah left the
kings palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriahs house. 9 But
Uriah didnt go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal
palace, where the kings guards slept.
10 Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home.
So the next morning David asked him, Why didnt you go home? Havent
you been away for a long time?
11 Uriah answered, The sacred chest and the
armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields with our
commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go
home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I
12 Then David said, Stay here in Jerusalem today,
and I will send you back tomorrow.
Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next
day, 13 David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much
that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on
his mat near the palace guards. 14 Early the next morning, David wrote a letter
and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15 The letter said: Put Uriah
on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back
from him, so that he will be wounded and die.
16 Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah,
and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemys
best soldiers. 17 When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed
some of Davids soldiersUriah the Hittite was one of them.
18 Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything
that was happening in the war. 19 He gave the messenger these orders:
- When you finish telling the king everything that
has happened, 20 he may get angry and ask, Why did you go so near the
city to fight? Didnt you know they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Dont you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon was killed at Thebez?
Didnt a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the
city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?
Then you tell him, One of your soldiers who
was killed was Uriah the Hittite.
- 22 The messenger went to David and reported everything
Joab had told him. 23 He added, The enemy chased us from the wall and
out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate.
24 Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers
were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite.
25 David replied, Tell Joab to cheer up and
not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in
a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through
26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead,
she mourned for him. 27 Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent
someone to bring her to the palace. She became Davids wife, and they
had a son.
The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary