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2 Samuel 11 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

David and Bathsheba

11 It was now spring, the time when kings go to war.[a] David sent out the whole Israelite army under the command of Joab and his officers. They destroyed the Ammonite army and surrounded the capital city of Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.

2-4 Late one afternoon, David got up from a nap and was walking around on the flat roof of his palace. A beautiful young woman was down below in her courtyard, bathing as her religion required.[b] David happened to see her, and he sent one of his servants to find out who she was.

The servant came back and told David, “Her name is Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

David sent some messengers to bring her to his palace. She came to him, and he slept with her. Then she returned home. But later, when she found out that she was going to have a baby, she sent someone to David with this message: “I’m pregnant!”

David sent a message to Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.”

Joab sent Uriah to David’s palace, and David asked him, “Is Joab well? How is the army doing? And how about the war?” Then David told Uriah, “Go home and clean up.”[c] Uriah left the king’s palace, and David had dinner sent to Uriah’s house. But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept outside the entrance to the royal palace, where the king’s guards slept.

10 Someone told David that Uriah had not gone home. So the next morning David asked him, “Why didn’t you go home? Haven’t you been away for a long time?”

11 Uriah answered, “The sacred chest and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields[d] with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you really think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!”

12 Then David said, “Stay here in Jerusalem today, and I will send you back tomorrow.”

Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. Then the next day, 13 David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk, but he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards. 14 Early the next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab. 15 The letter said: “Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Then pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die.”

16 Joab had been carefully watching the city of Rabbah, and he put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemy’s best soldiers. 17 When the men of the city came out, they fought and killed some of David’s soldiers—Uriah the Hittite was one of them.

18 Joab sent a messenger to tell David everything that was happening in the war. 19 He gave the messenger these orders:

When you finish telling the king everything that has happened, 20 he may get angry and ask, “Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Don’t you know how Abimelech the son of Gideon[e] was killed at Thebez? Didn’t a woman kill him by dropping a large rock from the top of the city wall? Why did you go so close to the city walls?”

Then you tell him, “One of your soldiers who was killed was Uriah the Hittite.”

22 The messenger went to David and reported everything Joab had told him. 23 He added, “The enemy chased us from the wall and out into the open fields. But we pushed them back as far as the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the top of the wall. Some of your soldiers were killed, and one of them was Uriah the Hittite.”

25 David replied, “Tell Joab to cheer up and not to be upset about what happened. You never know who will be killed in a war. Tell him to strengthen his attack against the city and break through its walls.”[f]

26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 Then after the time for mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to the palace. She became David’s wife, and they had a son.

The Lord’s Message for David

The Lord was angry at what David had done,

Footnotes:

  1. 11.1 when. . . war: Or “when the messengers had gone to Ammon” (see 10.2) or “the time when the kings had gone to war” (see 10.6-8).
  2. 11.2-4 as. . . required: This bathing was often a requirement for worshiping God.
  3. 11.8 and clean up: Or “and sleep with your wife.”
  4. 11.11 somewhere in the fields: Or “at Succoth.”
  5. 11.21 Gideon: The Hebrew text has Jerubbesheth, which stands for “Jerubbaal,” another name for Gideon. See Judges 6.32 and the note on “bosheth” at 2.8 (“besheth” means the same as “bosheth”).
  6. 11.25 break. . . walls: Or “destroy it.”

2 Samuel 11 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

David’s Adultery with Bathsheba

11 In the spring when kings march out to war, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem.

One evening David got up from his bed and strolled around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing—a very beautiful woman. So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, “This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.”[a]

David sent messengers to get her, and when she came to him, he slept with her. Now she had just been purifying herself from her uncleanness. Afterward, she returned home. The woman conceived and sent word to inform David: “I am pregnant.”

David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. Then he said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house.

10 When it was reported to David, “Uriah didn’t go home,” David questioned Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a journey? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers[b] are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!”

12 “Stay here today also,” David said to Uriah, “and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. He went out in the evening to lie down on his cot with his master’s servants, but he did not go home.

Uriah’s Death Arranged

14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote:

Put Uriah at the front of the fiercest fighting, then withdraw from him so that he is struck down and dies.

16 When Joab was besieging the city, he put Uriah in the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers were. 17 Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the men from David’s soldiers fell in battle; Uriah the Hittite also died.

18 Joab sent someone to report to David all the details of the battle. 19 He commanded the messenger, “When you’ve finished telling the king all the details of the battle— 20 if the king’s anger gets stirred up and he asks you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you realize they would shoot from the top of the wall? 21 At Thebez, who struck Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth?[c][d] Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the top of the wall so that he died? Why did you get so close to the wall?’—then say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’” 22 Then the messenger left.

When he arrived, he reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger reported to David, “The men gained the advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we counterattacked right up to the entrance of the gate. 24 However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this matter upset you because the sword devours all alike. Intensify your fight against the city and demolish it.’ Encourage him.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned for him.[e] 27 When the time of mourning ended, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. However, the Lord considered what David had done to be evil.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 11:3 DSS add Joab’s armor-bearer
  2. 2 Samuel 11:11 Lit servants
  3. 2 Samuel 11:21 LXX reads Jerubbaal
  4. 2 Samuel 11:21 = Gideon
  5. 2 Samuel 11:26 Lit her husband
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