2 Samuel Chapter 11 |
1At the turn of the year, the season when kings go out [to battle], David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him, and they devastated Ammon and besieged Rabbah; David remained in Jerusalem. 2Late one afternoon, David rose from his couch and strolled on the roof of the royal palace; and from the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and the king sent someone to make inquiries about the woman. He reported, “She is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam [and] wife of Uriah the Hittite.” 4David sent messengers to fetch her; she came to him and he lay with her—she had just purified herself after her period—and she went back home. 5The woman conceived, and she sent word to David, “I am pregnant.” 6Thereupon David sent a message to Joab, “Send Uriah the Hittite to me”; and Joab sent Uriah to David.
7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab and the troops were faring and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.” When Uriah left the royal palace, a present from the king followed him. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace, along with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10When David was told that Uriah had not gone down to his house, he said to Uriah, “You just came from a journey; why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11Uriah answered David, “The Ark and Israel and Judah are located at Succoth, and my master Joab and Your Majesty’s men are camped in the open; how can I go home and eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As you live, by your very life, I will not do this!” 12David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you off.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. The next day, 13David summoned him, and he ate and drank with him until he got him drunk; but in the evening, [Uriah] went out to sleep in the same place, with his lord’s officers; he did not go down to his home.
14In the morning, David wrote a letter to Joab, which he sent with Uriah. 15He wrote in the letter as follows: “Place Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest; then fall back so that he may be killed.” 16So when Joab was besieging the city, he stationed Uriah at the point where he knew that there were able warriors. 17The men of the city sallied out and attacked Joab, and some of David’s officers among the troops fell; Uriah the Hittite was among those who died.
18Joab sent a full report of the battle to David. 19He instructed the messenger as follows: “When you finish reporting to the king all about the battle, 20the king may get angry and say to you, ‘Why did you come so close to the city to attack it? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who struck down Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who dropped an upper millstone on him from the wall at Thebez, from which he died? Why did you come so close to the wall?’ Then say: ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite was among those killed.’”
22The messenger set out; he came and told David all that Joab had sent him to say. 23The messenger said to David, “First the men prevailed against us and sallied out against us into the open; then we drove them back up to the entrance to the gate. 24But the archers shot at your men from the wall and some of Your Majesty’s men fell; your servant Uriah the Hittite also fell.” 25Whereupon David said to the messenger, “Give Joab this message: ‘Do not be distressed about the matter. The sword always takes its toll. Press your attack on the city and destroy it!’ Encourage him!”
26When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27After the period of mourning was over, David sent and had her brought into his palace; she became his wife and she bore him a son.