David and Bathsheba
1 In the spring of that year, when kings usually set out to fight, David sent out Joab, his officers and all the Israelite troops. They slaughtered the Ammonites and attacked Rabbah, while David re mained in Jerusalem.
2 One afternoon, David got up from his siesta and took a walk on the roof of the royal house. From the rooftop, he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent to inquire about the woman, and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah, the Hittite.” 4 So David sent messengers to have her brought to him; and he had intercourse with her after she had cleansed herself after her monthly period. Then she returned to her house.
5 As the woman saw she was with child, she sent word to David, “I am with child.”
6 David then sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came, David asked him about Joab, how the people were and how the war was proceeding; 8 then he told Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.”
8 Uriah left the palace and the king had a portion from his table sent to him. 9 Uriah, however, did not go down to his house but slept by the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord. 10 David was told that Uriah did not go down to his house, and he said to him, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uriah replied, “The ark, the men of Israel and Judah are housed in tents while my lord Joab and his servants are encamped in the open country. Shall I go to my house to eat and drink there and sleep with my wife? As you live, I will not do this!” 12 So David said to Uriah, “Remain here today also and I will dismiss you tomorrow.” Uriah there fore stayed in Jerusalem that day and the day after. 13 David invited him to table and he ate and drank until he was drunk. When evening fell, however, he went to lie down on his couch with the guards of his lord instead of going down to his house.
14 The next morning, David wrote Joab a letter to be taken by hand by Uriah, 15 in which he said, “Place Uriah in the front row where the fighting is very fierce and then withdraw from him so that he may be struck down and die.” 16 When Joab was attacking the city, he assigned Uriah to a place which he knew was being defended by strong warriors. 17 And the defenders attacked the men of Joab. Some of David’s soldiers and officers were killed; Uriah the Hittite also died.
18 Then Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that had happened during the battle. 19 And he said to him, “When you have finished recounting the outcome of the battle to the king, 20 perhaps he will get angry and ask you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelech, son of Jerubbesheth? Was it not a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so close to the wall?’; then you shall say: Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”
22 So the messenger went to tell David all that Joab instructed him. 23 So he answered the king and explained, “These men had overcome us and pushed us in the field; then we drove them back to the entrance gate. 24 But the archers aimed at your guard from the top of the wall, killing some of them. Your servant Uriah the Hittite has also been killed.”
25 David said to the messenger, “Try to encourage Joab with this message: Do not let this thing disturb you, for the sword devours one this time and another at another time. Intensify your attacks against the city and overthrow it.”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard of the death of her husband, she mourned for him. 27 After her mourning was over, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But Yahweh was dis pleased with what David had done.