David and Bathsheba

11 In the spring,(A) at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab(B) out with the king’s men and the whole Israelite army.(C) They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.(D) But David remained in Jerusalem.

One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof(E) of the palace. From the roof he saw(F) a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba,(G) the daughter of Eliam(H) and the wife of Uriah(I) the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers to get her.(J) She came to him, and he slept(K) with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her monthly uncleanness.)(L) Then she went back home. The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent this word to Joab: “Send me Uriah(M) the Hittite.” And Joab sent him to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.”(N) So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him. But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master’s servants and did not go down to his house.

10 David was told, “Uriah did not go home.” So he asked Uriah, “Haven’t you just come from a military campaign? Why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah said to David, “The ark(O) and Israel and Judah are staying in tents,[a] and my commander Joab and my lord’s men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love(P) to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!”

12 Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 At David’s invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master’s servants; he did not go home.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter(Q) to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down(R) and die.(S)

16 So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were. 17 When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David’s army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.

18 Joab sent David a full account of the battle. 19 He instructed the messenger: “When you have finished giving the king this account of the battle, 20 the king’s anger may flare up, and he may ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot arrows from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelek(T) son of Jerub-Besheth[b]? Didn’t a woman drop an upper millstone on him from the wall,(U) so that he died in Thebez? Why did you get so close to the wall?’ If he asks you this, then say to him, ‘Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22 The messenger set out, and when he arrived he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and came out against us in the open, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king’s men died. Moreover, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

25 David told the messenger, “Say this to Joab: ‘Don’t let this upset you; the sword devours one as well as another. Press the attack against the city and destroy it.’ Say this to encourage Joab.”

26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. 27 After the time of mourning(V) was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased(W) the Lord.

Nathan Rebukes David(X)

12 The Lord sent Nathan(Y) to David.(Z) When he came to him,(AA) he said, “There were two men in a certain town, one rich and the other poor. The rich man had a very large number of sheep and cattle, but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb he had bought. He raised it, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food, drank from his cup and even slept in his arms. It was like a daughter to him.

“Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man refrained from taking one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the ewe lamb that belonged to the poor man and prepared it for the one who had come to him.”

David(AB) burned with anger(AC) against the man(AD) and said to Nathan, “As surely as the Lord lives,(AE) the man who did this must die! He must pay for that lamb four times over,(AF) because he did such a thing and had no pity.”

Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man!(AG) This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed(AH) you(AI) king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. I gave your master’s house to you,(AJ) and your master’s wives into your arms. I gave you all Israel and Judah. And if all this had been too little, I would have given you even more. Why did you despise(AK) the word of the Lord by doing what is evil in his eyes? You struck down(AL) Uriah(AM) the Hittite with the sword and took his wife to be your own. You killed(AN) him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now, therefore, the sword(AO) will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.’

11 “This is what the Lord says: ‘Out of your own household(AP) I am going to bring calamity on you.(AQ) Before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to one who is close to you, and he will sleep with your wives in broad daylight.(AR) 12 You did it in secret,(AS) but I will do this thing in broad daylight(AT) before all Israel.’”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned(AU) against the Lord.”

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away(AV) your sin.(AW) You are not going to die.(AX) 14 But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for[c] the Lord,(AY) the son born to you will die.”

15 After Nathan had gone home, the Lord struck(AZ) the child that Uriah’s wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the child. He fasted and spent the nights lying(BA) in sackcloth[d] on the ground. 17 The elders of his household stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he refused,(BB) and he would not eat any food with them.(BC)

18 On the seventh day the child died. David’s attendants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, he wouldn’t listen to us when we spoke to him. How can we now tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.”

19 David noticed that his attendants were whispering among themselves, and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked.

“Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.”

20 Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed,(BD) put on lotions and changed his clothes,(BE) he went into the house of the Lord and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate.

21 His attendants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept,(BF) but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!”

22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows?(BG) The Lord may be gracious to me and let the child live.’(BH) 23 But now that he is dead, why should I go on fasting? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him,(BI) but he will not return to me.”(BJ)

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba,(BK) and he went to her and made love to her. She gave birth to a son, and they named him Solomon.(BL) The Lord loved him; 25 and because the Lord loved him, he sent word through Nathan the prophet to name him Jedidiah.[e](BM)

26 Meanwhile Joab fought against Rabbah(BN) of the Ammonites and captured the royal citadel. 27 Joab then sent messengers to David, saying, “I have fought against Rabbah and taken its water supply. 28 Now muster the rest of the troops and besiege the city and capture it. Otherwise I will take the city, and it will be named after me.”

29 So David mustered the entire army and went to Rabbah, and attacked and captured it. 30 David took the crown(BO) from their king’s[f] head, and it was placed on his own head. It weighed a talent[g] of gold, and it was set with precious stones. David took a great quantity of plunder from the city 31 and brought out the people who were there, consigning them to labor with saws and with iron picks and axes, and he made them work at brickmaking.[h] David did this to all the Ammonite(BP) towns. Then he and his entire army returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes

  1. 2 Samuel 11:11 Or staying at Sukkoth
  2. 2 Samuel 11:21 Also known as Jerub-Baal (that is, Gideon)
  3. 2 Samuel 12:14 An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition; Masoretic Text for the enemies of
  4. 2 Samuel 12:16 Dead Sea Scrolls and Septuagint; Masoretic Text does not have in sackcloth.
  5. 2 Samuel 12:25 Jedidiah means loved by the Lord.
  6. 2 Samuel 12:30 Or from Milkom’s (that is, Molek’s)
  7. 2 Samuel 12:30 That is, about 75 pounds or about 34 kilograms
  8. 2 Samuel 12:31 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

Naboth’s Vineyard

21 Some time later there was an incident involving a vineyard belonging to Naboth(A) the Jezreelite. The vineyard was in Jezreel,(B) close to the palace of Ahab king of Samaria. Ahab said to Naboth, “Let me have your vineyard to use for a vegetable garden, since it is close to my palace. In exchange I will give you a better vineyard or, if you prefer, I will pay you whatever it is worth.”

But Naboth replied, “The Lord forbid that I should give you the inheritance(C) of my ancestors.”

So Ahab went home, sullen and angry(D) because Naboth the Jezreelite had said, “I will not give you the inheritance of my ancestors.” He lay on his bed sulking and refused(E) to eat.

His wife Jezebel came in and asked him, “Why are you so sullen? Why won’t you eat?”

He answered her, “Because I said to Naboth the Jezreelite, ‘Sell me your vineyard; or if you prefer, I will give you another vineyard in its place.’ But he said, ‘I will not give you my vineyard.’”

Jezebel his wife said, “Is this how you act as king over Israel? Get up and eat! Cheer up. I’ll get you the vineyard(F) of Naboth the Jezreelite.”

So she wrote letters(G) in Ahab’s name, placed his seal(H) on them, and sent them to the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city with him. In those letters she wrote:

“Proclaim a day of fasting and seat Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 10 But seat two scoundrels(I) opposite him and have them bring charges that he has cursed(J) both God and the king. Then take him out and stone him to death.”

11 So the elders and nobles who lived in Naboth’s city did as Jezebel directed in the letters she had written to them. 12 They proclaimed a fast(K) and seated Naboth in a prominent place among the people. 13 Then two scoundrels came and sat opposite him and brought charges against Naboth before the people, saying, “Naboth has cursed both God and the king.” So they took him outside the city and stoned him to death.(L) 14 Then they sent word to Jezebel: “Naboth has been stoned to death.”

15 As soon as Jezebel heard that Naboth had been stoned to death, she said to Ahab, “Get up and take possession of the vineyard(M) of Naboth the Jezreelite that he refused to sell you. He is no longer alive, but dead.” 16 When Ahab heard that Naboth was dead, he got up and went down to take possession of Naboth’s vineyard.

17 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 18 “Go down to meet Ahab king of Israel, who rules in Samaria. He is now in Naboth’s vineyard, where he has gone to take possession of it. 19 Say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: Have you not murdered a man and seized his property?’(N) Then say to him, ‘This is what the Lord says: In the place where dogs licked up Naboth’s blood,(O) dogs(P) will lick up your blood—yes, yours!’”

20 Ahab said to Elijah, “So you have found me, my enemy!”(Q)

“I have found you,” he answered, “because you have sold(R) yourself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord. 21 He says, ‘I am going to bring disaster on you. I will wipe out your descendants and cut off from Ahab every last male(S) in Israel—slave or free.[a](T) 22 I will make your house(U) like that of Jeroboam son of Nebat and that of Baasha son of Ahijah, because you have aroused my anger and have caused Israel to sin.’(V)

23 “And also concerning Jezebel the Lord says: ‘Dogs(W) will devour Jezebel by the wall of[b] Jezreel.’

24 “Dogs(X) will eat those belonging to Ahab who die in the city, and the birds(Y) will feed on those who die in the country.”

25 (There was never(Z) anyone like Ahab, who sold himself to do evil in the eyes of the Lord, urged on by Jezebel his wife. 26 He behaved in the vilest manner by going after idols, like the Amorites(AA) the Lord drove out before Israel.)

27 When Ahab heard these words, he tore his clothes, put on sackcloth(AB) and fasted. He lay in sackcloth and went around meekly.(AC)

28 Then the word of the Lord came to Elijah the Tishbite: 29 “Have you noticed how Ahab has humbled himself before me? Because he has humbled(AD) himself, I will not bring this disaster in his day,(AE) but I will bring it on his house in the days of his son.”(AF)

Footnotes

  1. 1 Kings 21:21 Or Israel—every ruler or leader
  2. 1 Kings 21:23 Most Hebrew manuscripts; a few Hebrew manuscripts, Vulgate and Syriac (see also 2 Kings 9:26) the plot of ground at