2 Samuel 11
Bathsheba, David’s Great Sin
1Then it happened in the spring, at the time when the kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all [the fighting men of] Israel, and they destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2One evening David got up from his couch and was walking on the [flat] roof of the king’s palace, and from there he saw a woman bathing; and she was very beautiful in appearance. 3David sent word and inquired about the woman. Someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he lay with her. And when she was purified from her uncleanness, she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent word and told David, “I am pregnant.”
6Then David sent word to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the people were doing, and how the war was progressing. 8Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet (spend time at home).” Uriah left the king’s palace, and a gift from the king was sent out after him. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10When they told David, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not [just] come from a [long] journey? Why did you not go to your house?” 11Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in huts (temporary shelters), and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Should I go to my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today as well, and tomorrow I will let you leave.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13Now David called him [to dinner], and he ate and drank with him, so that he made Uriah drunk; in the evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, and [still] did not go down to his house.
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15He wrote in the letter, “Put Uriah in the front line of the heaviest fighting and leave him, so that he may be struck down and die.” 16So it happened that as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew the [enemy’s] valiant men were positioned. 17And the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among the servants of David fell; Uriah the Hittite also died. 18Then Joab sent word and informed David of all the events of the war. 19And he commanded the messenger, “When you have finished reporting all the events of the war to the king, 20then if the king becomes angry and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot [arrows] from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth (Gideon)? Was it not a woman who threw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ Then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’ ”
22So the messenger left, and he came and told David everything that Joab had sent him to report. 23The messenger said to David, “The men indeed prevailed against us and came out to us in the field, but we were on them and pushed them as far as the entrance of the [city] gate. 24Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25Then David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab this, ‘Do not let this thing disturb you, for the sword devours one [side] as well as another. Strengthen your battle against the city and overthrow it’; and so encourage Joab.”
26When Uriah’s wife [Bathsheba] heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27And when the time of mourning was past, David sent word and had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done [with Bathsheba] was evil in the sight of the Lord.