11In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. 2It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the kings house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. 3David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite. 4So David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to her house. 5The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, I am pregnant.
6So David sent word to Joab, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. 8Then David said to Uriah, Go down to your house, and wash your feet. Uriah went out of the kings house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the kings house 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, You have just come from a journey. Why did you not go down to your house? 11Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field; shall I then go to 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 such a thing. 12Then David said to Uriah, Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back. So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15In the letter he wrote, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he may be struck down and die. 16As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant warriors. 17The men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was killed as well. 18Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting; 19and he instructed the messenger, When you have finished telling the king all the news about the fighting, 20then, if the kings anger rises, and if he says to you, Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbaal? Did not a woman throw 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 dead too. 22So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23The messenger said to David, The men gained an advantage over us, and came out against us in the field; but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of the kings servants are dead; and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 25David said to the messenger, Thus you shall say to Joab, Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours now one and now another; press your attack on the city, and overthrow it. And encourage him. 26When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. 27When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord,
12and the Lord sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, There were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had very many flocks and herds; 3but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of his meager fare, and drink from his cup, and lie in his bosom, and it was like a daughter to him. 4Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was loath to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, but he took the poor mans lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him. 5Then Davids anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; 6he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7Nathan said to David, You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; 8I gave you your masters house, and your masters wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, for you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11Thus says the Lord: I will raise up trouble against you from within your own house; and I will take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this very sun. 12For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13David said to Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. Nathan said to David, Now the Lord has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord, the child that is born to you shall die.
15Then Nathan went to his house. The Lord struck the child that Uriahs wife bore to David, and it became very ill. 16David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17The elders of his house stood beside him, urging him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead; for they said, While the child was still alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us; how then can we tell him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm. 19But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, he perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, Is the child dead? They said, He is dead. 20Then David rose from the ground, washed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes. He went into the house of the Lord, and worshiped; he then went to his own house; and when he asked, they set food before him and he ate. 21Then his servants said to him, What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while it was alive; but when the child died, you rose and ate food. 22He said, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me, and the child may live. 23But now he is dead; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me. 24Then David consoled his wife Bathsheba, and went to her, and lay with her; and she bore a son, and he named him Solomon. The Lord loved him, 25and sent a message by the prophet Nathan; so he named him Jedidiah, because of the Lord.
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011