|2 Samuel 11 |
1 The next year at the time of spring when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joab, his servants with him, and all Israel to war with the Ammonites. They destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.
2 And it came to pass one evening that David had risen from his bed and was walking upon the roof of the king's house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
3 And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, "Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
4 And David sent messengers, and summoned her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her. When she was purified from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.
5 And the woman conceived, and sent words to tell David, "I am with child."
6 And David sent word to Joab, saying, "Send Uriah the Hittite to me." So Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 And when Uriah had come to him, David questioned him how Joab was, how the people were doing, and how the war progressed.
8 And David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." Uriah departed out of the king's house, and a gift of food from the king was sent to follow him .
9 But that night Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.
10 And when they had told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from your long journey? Why then did you not go down to your house?"
11 And Uriah said to David, "The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing."1
12 And David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day.
13 And when David had called him, he ate and drank with him; and he made him drunk; and at night he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but did not go down to his house.
14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it carried by Uriah.
15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set Uriah at the front of the most intense battle, and then withdraw from him, so that he may be struck down and die."
16 And it came to pass, when Joab was besieging the city, that Joab assigned Uriah to a place where he knew that the strongest fighters of the enemy were.
17 The men of the city came out and fought with the forces of Joab; and some of the army of David fell in the battle, including Uriah the Hittite, who also died.
18 Then Joab sent a messenger to tell David all the events concerning the war;
19 And charged the messenger, saying, "When you have finished telling the events of the war to the king,
20 And should the king's anger arise, and he say to you, 'Why did you go so near the city in the battle? Did you not know that they would shoot arrows from the wall?
21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman on the wall who threw a piece of a millstone on him so that he died in Thebez? Why then did you go so near the wall?' Then you are to reply, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.'"
22 So the messenger went, and came and reported to David all that Joab had told him to say.
23 And the messenger said to David, "Surely the enemy overcame us and came out against us in the open field, but we fought them back as far as the entrance of the gate.
24 And the archers on the wall shot their arrows into your servants; and some of the king's servants are dead,2 including your servant Uriah the Hittite, who is also dead."
25 Then David said to the messenger, "You shall say to this to Joab, 'Do not let this thing discourage you because the sword devours one as well as another; make your attack even stronger against the city and overthrow it.' With these words you will encourage him."
26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27 And when the mourning was past, David sent for and brought her to his house to become his wife, and she gave birth to a son fathered by David. But what David had done displeased the LORD.
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1 Compounding the tragedy of this fall of David to his despicable acts is the remarkable nobility of Uriah, who felt unworthy to enjoy the comforts of a bed, food, and wife in his own house because his comrades were without such comforts in the battlefield. He was truly a trustworthy comrade in arms, as well as a humble servant to David; and David knew this to be true, yet he still had him killed. Why? Because lust for a woman blinds a man's eye to all reason. David brought Uriah back, hoping he would lie with his wife and then he would think she was pregnant with his child; but it was not to be because Uriah was too noble.
2 some of the king's servants are dead, including your servant Uriah the Hittite, who is also dead. And to add further to this tragedy, in order to kill Uriah, Joab sacrificed the lives of other soldiers with him, deliberately sending a troop too close to the wall, exposing them to the archers on the wall. Lust for a woman blinds a man's eye to all reason.
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