2 Samuel 11
David and Bathsheba
1It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the king’s special troops and the whole army of Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites. They marched to the city of Rabbah. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful. 3David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, “She is Bathsheba. She’s the daughter of Eliam. She’s the wife of Uriah. He’s a Hittite.” 4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. And he slept with her. Then she went back home. All of that took place after she had already made herself “clean” from her monthly period. 5Later, Bathsheba found out she was pregnant. She sent a message to David. She said, “I’m pregnant.”
6So David sent a message to Joab. David said, “Send me Uriah, the Hittite.” Joab sent him to David. 7Uriah came to David. David asked him how Joab and the soldiers were doing. He also asked him how the war was going. 8David said to Uriah, “Go home and enjoy some time with your wife.” So Uriah left the palace. Then the king sent him a gift. 9But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace. He stayed there with all his master’s servants.
10David was told, “Uriah didn’t go home.” So he sent for Uriah. David said to him, “You have been away for a long time. Why didn’t you go home?”
11Uriah said to David, “The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are out there in tents. My commander Joab and your special troops are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink? How could I go there and sleep with my wife? I could never do a thing like that. And that’s just as sure as you are alive!”
12Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him. David got him drunk. But Uriah still didn’t go home. In the evening he went out and slept on his mat. He stayed there among his master’s servants.
14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab. He sent it along with Uriah. 15In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front. That’s where the fighting is the heaviest. Then pull your men back from him. When you do, the Ammonites will strike him down and kill him.”
16So Joab attacked the city. He put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest enemy fighters were. 17The troops came out of the city. They fought against Joab. Some of the men in David’s army were killed. Uriah, the Hittite, also died.
18Joab sent David a full report of the battle. 19He told the messenger, “Tell the king everything that happened in the battle. When you are finished, 20his anger might explode. He might ask you, ‘Why did you go so close to the city to fight against it? Didn’t you know that the enemy soldiers would shoot arrows down from the wall? 21Don’t you remember how Abimelek, the son of Jerub-Besheth, was killed? A woman dropped a large millstone on him from the wall. That’s how he died in Thebez. So why did you go so close to the wall?’ If the king asks you that, tell him, ‘And your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.’ ”
22The messenger started out for Jerusalem. When he arrived there, he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23The messenger said to David, “The men in the city were more powerful than we were. They came out to fight against us in the open. But we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24Then those who were armed with bows shot arrows at us from the wall. Some of your special troops were killed. Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.”
25David told the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t get upset over what happened. Swords kill one person as well as another. So keep on attacking the city. Destroy it.’ Tell that to Joab. It will cheer him up.”
26Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead. She mourned over him. 27When her time of sadness was over, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife. And she had a son by him. But the Lord wasn’t pleased with what David had done.