2 Samuel 11

David sees Bathsheba and he sleeps with her

1 Kings fight each other in the spring. So David sent Joab with the whole Israelite army to fight the Ammonites. They beat the Ammonites completely and Israel's army started to live all round Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem.

11:1Kings did not want to fight wars in the winter. It was wet and cold and the roads were muddy.

2 One evening, David got out of bed and he walked on the roof of the king's house. From the roof he saw a woman who was washing herself. She was very beautiful. 3 And David sent a servant to ask who she was. Someone said, ‘She is Eliam's daughter, Bathsheba. And she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’ 4 Then David sent servants to fetch her. She came to him and he slept with her. (She had cleaned herself from her monthly blood loss.) Then she returned to her home. 5 Bathsheba now had David's baby inside her. So she sent a message to tell David about it.

David asks Joab to send Uriah to him

6 David sent a message to Joab. He said, ‘Send Uriah the Hittite to me.’ And Joab sent him to David. 7 Uriah arrived. Then David asked him how Joab was. And David asked him how the soldiers were. And he asked him about the war. 8 Then David said to Uriah, ‘Now go to your house and wash your feet.’ So Uriah left the king's house and David sent a gift after him. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with his master's servants. He did not go to his house.

10 David's servants told him that Uriah had not gone to his house. So David asked him, ‘You have had a long journey. Why did you not go to your house?’

11 Uriah spoke to David. ‘Israel and Judah and the Covenant Box are all staying in tents. My master Joab and your soldiers are sleeping in the fields. So I certainly should not go to my house and eat there. I should not drink there and sleep with my wife. I believe strongly that I must not do anything like that.’

12 David said, ‘Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will let you leave.’ So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day. 13 David asked him to eat and to drink with him and David caused him to drink too much wine. But in the evening Uriah went and he slept with his master's servants. He did not go to his house.

David writes to Joab

14 In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab and Uriah carried it to Joab. 15 In it he wrote, ‘Put Uriah in front of all the soldiers, where it is most dangerous. Then pull your men away from him so that he is alone. And so the enemy will kill him.’

16 So while Joab's soldiers were round the city, Joab put Uriah in front of all the other soldiers. And that was where the enemy was strongest. 17 When some of the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, some of David's men died. And Uriah the Hittite died too.

Joab tells David that Uriah is dead

18 Joab wrote to David to tell him all about the war. 19 He spoke to the man with the message. ‘When you have finished giving my report to the king, 20 the king may be angry. He may ask you, “Why did you get so near to the city? Surely you knew that they would shoot arrows from the walls. 21 Remember what a woman did to Jerub-Besheth's son, Abimelech, in Thebez. She threw a heavy stone from the city wall and she killed him. You should not have gone so near to the wall.” If he does ask you that, say, “Your servant, Uriah the Hittite is dead too.” ’

22 The man that Joab sent went to David. And he said everything that Joab had sent him to say. 23 The man said to David, ‘The men were certainly stronger than us and they came out of the city to fight. But we pushed them into their own city gate. 24 Some of them shot arrows from the wall and some of your men died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’

25 ‘Say this to Joab,’ David said to the man that Joab had sent. ‘Do not be too sad, any man can die in a fight. He must fight more strongly and win the city. And he must destroy it. That should help Joab to feel better.’

26 People told Uriah's wife that her husband was dead. And she was very sad and she cried about it very much. 27 Then it was time to stop crying so much. Then David sent men to bring her to his king's house. He married her and she had a baby son. But the Lord was very angry with David because he had done these bad things.