2 Samuel 11
David and Bathsheba
1 In the spring, David sent out his army to attack the Ammonites. That was the time of year when kings go out to fight battles. Joab led the whole Israelite army, together with his officers. They attacked the Ammonites and they won against them. Israel's army made their camp all around Rabbah city. But David had stayed in Jerusalem.
11:1Kings did not want to fight wars in the winter. It was wet and cold. Travel was difficult.
2 One evening, David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman who was washing herself. She was very beautiful. 3 David sent a servant to ask who she was. The servant told him, ‘She is Eliam's daughter, Bathsheba. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’
11:2Many houses had flat roofs.
4 Then David sent some servants to bring Bathsheba to him. She came to him and he slept with her. (She had just made herself clean from her monthly blood loss.) Then she returned to her home. 5 Later, Bathsheba realized that she was pregnant. She sent a message to tell David about it.
6 So David sent a message to Joab. He said, ‘Send Uriah the Hittite to me.’ So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him about Joab and the Israelite army. He asked Uriah about the war. 8 Then David said to Uriah, ‘Now go to your house and rest for a time.’ So Uriah left the palace. Then King David sent a gift to him at home. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the palace, together with his master's servants. He did not go to his house.
10 David's servants told him, ‘Uriah did not go to his house last night.’ So David said to Uriah, ‘You have just arrived after a long journey. Why did you not go to your house?’
11 Uriah said to David, ‘The armies of Israel and Judah are all living in tents, as well as the Covenant Box. My master Joab and the soldiers of your army are sleeping in the fields. So I cannot go to my house and eat a meal there. It would not be right for me to go home and sleep with my wife. As surely as you live, I promise that I would never do that!’
12 David said to Uriah, ‘Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I will send you back to the war.’ So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day. 13 David asked him to come and eat a meal with him. David caused Uriah to drink a lot of wine so that he became drunk. But in the evening Uriah still did not go to his own house. He slept on his mat, where his master's servants all slept.
14 In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab. Uriah took the letter to Joab. 15 In the letter, David told Joab, ‘Put Uriah at the front of all our soldiers, where the battle is most dangerous. Then tell the other soldiers to move back away from him. Then he will be alone and the enemy's soldiers will kill him.’
16 Joab's soldiers were all around Rabbah city and they were watching it carefully. Joab sent Uriah to fight near to the city, where the enemy's best soldiers were. 17 When some of the Ammonite soldiers came out of the city to fight Joab's army, they killed some of David's men. Uriah the Hittite was one of the men who died there.
Joab tells David that Uriah is dead
18 Joab wrote a report to tell David about the battle. 19 He told the man who was taking the message, ‘When you finish giving my report to the king, 20 the king may be angry. He may ask you, “Why did you go and fight so near to the city? Surely you knew that they would shoot arrows from the walls. 21 Remember how a woman killed Jerub-Besheth's son, Abimelech. She threw a heavy stone down on him from the city wall in Thebez. You should not have gone so near to Rabbah's city wall.” If King David does say that, tell him, “Your servant, Uriah the Hittite is dead too.” ’
22 The man that Joab sent to David with his message arrived. He told David all the news that Joab had sent with him. 23 The man said to David, ‘The enemy's men were stronger than us and they attacked us in the fields. But we chased them back as far as the gate of their city. 24 Then enemy soldiers shot arrows from the city wall and some of your men died. Your servant, Uriah the Hittite, is also dead.’
25 David said to the man that Joab had sent, ‘Tell Joab, “Do not be too upset. The enemy will always kill some of our men, and it could be anyone. Continue to attack the city even more strongly and then you will take it for us.” If you say that to Joab, he will not be so sad.’
26 Uriah's wife heard the news that her husband was dead. She was very sad and she wept because of his death. 27 The time for Uriah's wife to weep for her husband came to an end. Then David sent some of his men to bring her to his palace. She became David's wife. Later, she gave birth to a son. But the Lord was not pleased with David because of the bad things that David had done.