2 Samuel 11
David and Bathsheba
1In the spring the kings would go out to war. So in the spring David sent out Joab, his servants and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof# In Bible times houses were built with flat roofs. The roof was used for drying things such as flax and fruit. And it was used as an extra room, as a place for worship and as a place to sleep in the summer. of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful. 3So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, “That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had physical relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house. 5But Bathsheba became pregnant. She sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”
6So David sent this message to Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7Uriah came to David. And David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go home and rest.”
So Uriah left the palace. The king also sent a gift to him. 9But Uriah did not go home. He slept outside the door of the palace. He slept there as all the king’s officers did.
10The officers told David, “Uriah did not go home.”
Then David said to Uriah, “You came from a long trip. Why didn’t you go home?”
11Uriah said to him, “The Ark of the Covenant and the soldiers of Israel and Judah are staying in tents. My master Joab and his officers are camping out in the fields. It isn’t right for me to go home to eat and drink and have intimate relations with my wife!”
12David said to Uriah, “Stay here today. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13Then David called Uriah to come to see him. Uriah ate and drank with David. David made Uriah drunk, but he still did not go home. That evening Uriah went to sleep with the king’s officers outside the king’s door.
14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15In the letter David wrote, “Put Uriah on the front lines where the fighting is worst. Then leave him there alone. Let him be killed in battle.”
16Joab watched the city and saw where its strongest defenders were. He put Uriah there. 17The men of the city came out to fight against Joab. Some of David’s men were killed. And Uriah the Hittite was one of them.
18Then Joab sent a report to David about everything that had happened in the war. 19Joab told the messenger, “Tell King David what happened in the war. 20After you finish, the king may become angry. He may ask you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the city wall? 21Do you remember who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth?# Another name for Gideon. It was a woman on the city wall. She threw a large stone for grinding grain on Abimelech. She killed him there in Thebez. Why did you go so near the wall?’ If King David asks that, you must answer, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite also died.’”
22The messenger went in and told David everything Joab had told him to say. 23The messenger told David, “The men of Ammon were winning. They came out and attacked us in the field. But we fought them back to the city gate. 24The men on the city wall shot arrows at your servants. Some of your men were killed. Your servant Uriah the Hittite also died.”
25David said to the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t be upset about this. The sword kills everyone the same. Make a stronger attack against the city and capture it.’ Encourage Joab with these words.”
26When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she cried for him. 27After she finished her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to his son. But the Lord did not like what David had done.
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