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2 Samuel 11-12 Good News Translation (GNT)

David and Bathsheba

11 The following spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army; they defeated the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. But David himself stayed in Jerusalem.

One day, late in the afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. As he walked around up there, he saw a woman taking a bath in her house. She was very beautiful. So he sent a messenger to find out who she was, and learned that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite. David sent messengers to get her; they brought her to him and he made love to her. (She had just finished her monthly ritual of purification.) Then she went back home. Afterward she discovered that she was pregnant and sent a message to David to tell him.

David then sent a message to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David. When Uriah arrived, David asked him if Joab and the troops were well, and how the fighting was going. Then he said to Uriah, “Go on home and rest a while.” Uriah left, and David had a present sent to his home. But Uriah did not go home; instead he slept at the palace gate with the king's guards. 10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he asked him, “You have just returned after a long absence; why didn't you go home?”

11 Uriah answered, “The men of Israel and Judah are away in battle, and the Covenant Box is with them; my commander Joab and his officers are camping out in the open. How could I go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife? By all that's sacred, I swear that I could never do such a thing!”

12 So David said, “Then stay here the rest of the day, and tomorrow I'll send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 David invited him to supper and got him drunk. But again that night Uriah did not go home; instead he slept on his blanket[a] in the palace guardroom.

14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15 He wrote: “Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is heaviest, then retreat and let him be killed.” 16 So while Joab was besieging the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew the enemy was strong. 17 The enemy troops came out of the city and fought Joab's forces; some of David's officers were killed, and so was Uriah.

18 Then Joab sent a report to David telling him about the battle, 19 and he instructed the messenger, “After you have told the king all about the battle, 20 he may get angry and ask you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight them? Didn't you realize that they would shoot arrows from the walls? 21 Don't you remember how Abimelech son of Gideon was killed? It was at Thebez, where a woman threw a millstone down from the wall and killed him. Why, then, did you go so near the wall?’ If the king asks you this, tell him, ‘Your officer Uriah was also killed.’”

22 So the messenger went to David and told him what Joab had commanded him to say. 23 He said, “Our enemies were stronger than we were and came out of the city to fight us in the open, but we drove them back to the city gate. 24 Then they shot arrows at us from the wall, and some of Your Majesty's officers were killed; your officer Uriah was also killed.”

25 David said to the messenger, “Encourage Joab and tell him not to be upset, since you never can tell who will die in battle. Tell him to launch a stronger attack on the city and capture it.”

26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband had been killed, she mourned for him. 27 When the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to the palace; she became his wife and bore him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with what David had done.

Nathan's Message and David's Repentance

12 The Lord sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, “There were two men who lived in the same town; one was rich and the other poor. The rich man had many cattle and sheep, while the poor man had only one lamb, which he had bought. He took care of it, and it grew up in his home with his children. He would feed it some of his own food, let it drink from his cup, and hold it in his lap. The lamb was like a daughter to him. One day a visitor arrived at the rich man's home. The rich man didn't want to kill one of his own animals to fix a meal for him; instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared a meal for his guest.”

David became very angry at the rich man and said, “I swear by the living Lord that the man who did this ought to die! For having done such a cruel thing, he must pay back four times as much as he took.”

“You are that man,” Nathan said to David. “And this is what the Lord God of Israel says: ‘I made you king of Israel and rescued you from Saul. I gave you his kingdom and his wives; I made you king over Israel and Judah. If this had not been enough, I would have given you twice as much. Why, then, have you disobeyed my commands? Why did you do this evil thing? You had Uriah killed in battle; you let the Ammonites kill him, and then you took his wife! 10 Now, in every generation some of your descendants will die a violent death because you have disobeyed me and have taken Uriah's wife. 11 I swear to you that I will cause someone from your own family to bring trouble on you. You will see it when I take your wives from you and give them to another man; and he will have intercourse with them in broad daylight. 12 You sinned in secret, but I will make this happen in broad daylight for all Israel to see.’”

13 “I have sinned against the Lord,” David said.

Nathan replied, “The Lord forgives you; you will not die. 14 But because you have shown such contempt for the Lord in doing this, your child will die.” 15 Then Nathan went home.

David's Son Dies

The Lord caused the child that Uriah's wife had borne to David to become very sick. 16 David prayed to God that the child would get well. He refused to eat anything, and every night he went into his room and spent the night lying on the floor. 17 His court officials went to him and tried to make him get up, but he refused and would not eat anything with them. 18 A week later the child died, and David's officials were afraid to tell him the news. They said, “While the child was living, David wouldn't answer us when we spoke to him. How can we tell him that his child is dead? He might do himself some harm!”

19 When David noticed them whispering to each other, he realized that the child had died. So he asked them, “Is the child dead?”

“Yes, he is,” they answered.

20 David got up from the floor, took a bath, combed his hair, and changed his clothes. Then he went and worshiped in the house of the Lord. When he returned to the palace, he asked for food and ate it as soon as it was served. 21 “We don't understand this,” his officials said to him. “While the child was alive, you wept for him and would not eat; but as soon as he died, you got up and ate!”

22 “Yes,” David answered, “I did fast and weep while he was still alive. I thought that the Lord might be merciful to me and not let the child die. 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Could I bring the child back to life? I will some day go to where he is, but he can never come back to me.”

Solomon Is Born

24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba. He had intercourse with her, and she bore a son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved the boy 25 and commanded the prophet Nathan to name the boy Jedidiah,[b] because the Lord loved him.

David Captures Rabbah

26 Meanwhile Joab continued his campaign against Rabbah, the capital city of Ammon, and was about to capture it. 27 He sent messengers to David to report: “I have attacked Rabbah and have captured its water supply. 28 Now gather the rest of your forces, attack the city and take it yourself. I don't want to get the credit for capturing it.” 29 So David gathered his forces, went to Rabbah, attacked it, and conquered it. 30 From the head of the idol of the Ammonite god Molech[c] David took a gold crown which weighed about seventy-five pounds and had a jewel in it. David took the jewel and put it in his own crown.[d] He also took a large amount of loot from the city 31 and put its people to work with saws, iron hoes, and iron axes, and forced them to work at[e] making bricks. He did the same to the people of all the other towns of Ammon. Then he and his men returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 11:13 blanket; or cot.
  2. 2 Samuel 12:25 This name in Hebrew means “Beloved of the Lord.”
  3. 2 Samuel 12:30 idol of the Ammonite god Molech; or Ammonite king.
  4. 2 Samuel 12:30 jewel … crown; or crown and put it on his own head.
  5. 2 Samuel 12:31 Probable text (see 1 Ch 20.3) work at; Hebrew pass through.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

2 Samuel 11-12 New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

David Commits Adultery with Bathsheba

11 In 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.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful. David sent someone to inquire about the woman. It was reported, “This is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite.” So 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. The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am pregnant.”

So David sent word to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared, and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When 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?” 11 Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths;[a] 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.” 12 Then 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, 13 David 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.

David Has Uriah Killed

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In 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.” 16 As Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant warriors. 17 The 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. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting; 19 and he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling the king all the news about the fighting, 20 then, if the king’s 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? 21 Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbaal?[b] 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.’”

22 So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The 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. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of the king’s servants are dead; and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25 David 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.”

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband was dead, she made lamentation for him. 27 When the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son.

Nathan Condemns David

But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, 12 and 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. The rich man had very many flocks and herds; but 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. Now 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 man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him.” Then David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man. He said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.”

Nathan 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; I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s 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. Why 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. 10 Now 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. 11 Thus 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. 12 For you did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.” 13 David 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. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly scorned the Lord,[c] the child that is born to you shall die.” 15 Then Nathan went to his house.

Bathsheba’s Child Dies

The Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it became very ill. 16 David therefore pleaded with God for the child; David fasted, and went in and lay all night on the ground. 17 The 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. 18 On 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.” 19 But 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.”

20 Then 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. 21 Then 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.” 22 He 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.’ 23 But 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.”

Solomon Is Born

24 Then 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, 25 and sent a message by the prophet Nathan; so he named him Jedidiah,[d] because of the Lord.

The Ammonites Crushed

26 Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites, and took the royal city. 27 Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah; moreover, I have taken the water city. 28 Now, then, gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; or I myself will take the city, and it will be called by my name.” 29 So David gathered all the people together and went to Rabbah, and fought against it and took it. 30 He took the crown of Milcom[e] from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it was a precious stone; and it was placed on David’s head. He also brought forth the spoil of the city, a very great amount. 31 He brought out the people who were in it, and set them to work with saws and iron picks and iron axes, or sent them to the brickworks. Thus he did to all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Footnotes:

  1. 2 Samuel 11:11 Or at Succoth
  2. 2 Samuel 11:21 Gk Syr Judg 7.1: Heb Jerubbesheth
  3. 2 Samuel 12:14 Ancient scribal tradition: Compare 1 Sam 25.22 note: Heb scorned the enemies of the Lord
  4. 2 Samuel 12:25 That is Beloved of the Lord
  5. 2 Samuel 12:30 Gk See 1 Kings 11.5, 33: Heb their kings
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 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.

2 Samuel 11-12 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

11 In the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, David sent out Yo’av, his servants who were with him and all Isra’el. They ravaged the people of ‘Amon and laid siege to Rabbah. But David stayed in Yerushalayim. Once, after his afternoon nap, David got up from his bed and went strolling on the roof of the king’s palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. David made inquiries about the woman and was told that she was Bat-Sheva the daughter of Eli‘am, the wife of Uriyah the Hitti. David sent messengers to get her, and she came to him, and he went to bed with her (for she had been purified from her uncleanness). Then she returned to her house. The woman conceived; and she sent a message to David, “I am pregnant.”

David sent this order to Yo’av: “Send me Uriyah the Hitti.” Yo’av sent Uriyah to David. When Uriyah had come to him, David asked him how Yo’av was doing, how the people were feeling and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriyah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” Uriyah left the king’s palace and was followed by a present of food from the king. But Uriyah slept at the door of the king’s palace with all the servants of his lord and didn’t go down to his house. 10 When they told David, “Uriyah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriyah, “Haven’t you just arrived from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11 Uriyah answered David, “The ark, Isra’el and Y’hudah stay in tents; and my lord Yo’av and the servants of my lord are camping in the countryside. So should I go into my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!” 12 David said to Uriyah, “Stay here today also; tomorrow I will let you leave.” So Uriyah stayed in Yerushalayim that day and the following day. 13 David summoned him, ate and drank with him, and got him drunk. But in the evening he went out and lay on his bed with his lord’s servants and did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David wrote a letter to Yo’av and sent it with Uriyah. 15 In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriyah on the front lines of the fiercest fighting; then pull back from him, so that he will be wounded and killed.” 16 So while Yo’av had the city under siege, he assigned Uriyah to the place where he knew the toughest defenders were. 17 The men of the city went out and fought Yo’av; a number of people fell, including some of David’s servants, with Uriyah the Hitti among the dead.

18 Yo’av sent a message to David reporting all the news concerning the war, 19 and he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling the king all the news about the war, 20 he may become angry and ask you, ‘Why did you get so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you know they would shoot from the wall? 21 Didn’t you think about the person who struck Avimelekh the son of Yerubeshet, that a woman threw an upper millstone down on him from the wall, so that he died at Tevetz? Why did you go so near the wall?’ If he says this, tell him, ‘Your servant Uriyah is dead also.’” 22 So the messenger left, and on arrival he told David all that Yo’av had sent him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “The men were overpowering us and came out after us into the countryside. But we chased them back all the way to the entrance of the city gate. 24 The archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of the king’s servants are dead; also your servant Uriyah the Hitti is dead.” 25 David said to the messenger, “Tell Yo’av, ‘Don’t let this matter get you down — the sword devours in one way or another. Intensify your battle against the city, and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26 When the wife of Uriyah heard that Uriyah her husband was dead, she mourned her husband. 27 When the mourning was over, David sent and took her home to his palace, and she became his wife and bore him a son.

But Adonai saw what David had done as evil.

12 Adonai sent Natan to David. He came and said to him, “In a certain city there were two men, one rich, the other poor. The rich man had vast flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing, except for one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and reared. It had grown up with him and his children; it ate from his plate, drank from his cup, lay on his chest — it was like a daughter to him. One day a traveler visited the rich man, and instead of picking an animal from his own flock or herd to cook for his visitor, he took the poor man’s lamb and cooked it for the man who had come to him.”

David exploded with anger against the man and said to Natan, “As Adonai lives, the man who did this deserves to die! For doing such a thing, he has to pay back four times the value of the lamb — and also because he had no pity.”

Natan said to David, “You are the man.

“Here is what Adonai, the God of Isra’el says: ‘I anointed you king over Isra’el. I rescued you from the power of Sha’ul. I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives to embrace. I gave you the house of Isra’el and the house of Y’hudah. And if that had been too little, I would have added to you a lot more.

“‘So why have you shown such contempt for the word of Adonai and done what I see as evil? You murdered Uriyah the Hitti with the sword and taken his wife as your own wife; you put him to death with the sword of the people of ‘Amon. 10 Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house — because you have shown contempt for me and taken the wife of Uriyah the Hitti as your own wife.’ 11 Here is what Adonai says: ‘I will generate evil against you out of your own household. I will take your wives before your very eyes and give them to your neighbor; he will go to bed with your wives, and everyone will know about it. 12 For you did it secretly, but I will do this before all Isra’el in broad daylight.’”

13 David said to Natan, “I have sinned against Adonai.”

Natan said to David, “Adonai also has taken away your sin. You will not die. 14 However, because by this act you have so greatly blasphemed Adonai, the child born to you must die.” 15 Then Natan returned to his house.

Adonai struck the child that Uriyah’s wife had borne to David, and it became very ill. 16 David prayed to God on behalf of the child; David fasted, then came and lay all night on the ground. 17 The court officials got up and stood next to him trying to get him off the ground, but he refused, and he wouldn’t eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day, the child died. The servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, because they said, “While the child was still alive, we spoke to him, and he didn’t listen to us; if we tell him now that the child is dead, he may do himself some harm.” 19 But when David saw his servants whispering to each other, he suspected that the child was dead. David asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” and they answered, “He is dead.”

20 Then David got up off the ground, washed, anointed himself and changed his clothes. He went into the house of Adonai and worshipped; then he went to his own palace; and when he asked for food, they served it to him; and he ate. 21 His servants asked him, “What are you doing? You fasted and wept for the child while it was alive; but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat food!” 22 He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept; because I thought, ‘Maybe Adonai will show his grace to me and let the child live.’ 23 But now that he’s dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me.”

24 David comforted his wife Bat-Sheva, came to her and went to bed with her; she gave birth to a son and named him Shlomo. Adonai loved him 25 and sent through Natan the prophet to have him named Y’didyah [loved by God], for Adonai’s sake.

26 Yo’av fought against Rabbah of the people of ‘Amon and took the royal city. 27 Yo’av sent people to David with this message: “I have fought against Rabbah and captured its water supply. 28 Therefore, assemble the rest of the people; lay siege to the city; and capture it. Otherwise, I will capture the city; and it will be named after me!” 29 David assembled all the people, went to Rabbah, fought against it and captured it. 30 He took the crown off Malkam’s head; it weighed sixty-six pounds, with its gold and precious stones; and it was placed on David’s head. He carried off great quantities of spoil from the city. 31 In addition, he expelled the people who were in it and set them to work with saws, iron harrows and iron axes, or had them cross over to work in the brick factory. This is what he did to all the cities of the people of ‘Amon. Then David and all the people returned to Yerushalayim.

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

2 Samuel 11-12 The Message (MSG)

David’s Sin and Sorrow

11 When that time of year came around again, the anniversary of the Ammonite aggression, David dispatched Joab and his fighting men of Israel in full force to destroy the Ammonites for good. They laid siege to Rabbah, but David stayed in Jerusalem.

2-5 One late afternoon, David got up from taking his nap and was strolling on the roof of the palace. From his vantage point on the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was stunningly beautiful. David sent to ask about her, and was told, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite?” David sent his agents to get her. After she arrived, he went to bed with her. (This occurred during the time of “purification” following her period.) Then she returned home. Before long she realized she was pregnant.

Later she sent word to David: “I’m pregnant.”

David then got in touch with Joab: “Send Uriah the Hittite to me.” Joab sent him.

7-8 When he arrived, David asked him for news from the front—how things were going with Joab and the troops and with the fighting. Then he said to Uriah, “Go home. Have a refreshing bath and a good night’s rest.”

8-9 After Uriah left the palace, an informant of the king was sent after him. But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance, along with the king’s servants.

10 David was told that Uriah had not gone home. He asked Uriah, “Didn’t you just come off a hard trip? So why didn’t you go home?”

11 Uriah replied to David, “The Chest is out there with the fighting men of Israel and Judah—in tents. My master Joab and his servants are roughing it out in the fields. So, how can I go home and eat and drink and enjoy my wife? On your life, I’ll not do it!”

12-13 “All right,” said David, “have it your way. Stay for the day and I’ll send you back tomorrow.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem the rest of the day.

The next day David invited him to eat and drink with him, and David got him drunk. But in the evening Uriah again went out and slept with his master’s servants. He didn’t go home.

14-15 In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In the letter he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front lines where the fighting is the fiercest. Then pull back and leave him exposed so that he’s sure to be killed.”

16-17 So Joab, holding the city under siege, put Uriah in a place where he knew there were fierce enemy fighters. When the city’s defenders came out to fight Joab, some of David’s soldiers were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.

18-21 Joab sent David a full report on the battle. He instructed the messenger, “After you have given to the king a detailed report on the battle, if he flares in anger, say, ‘And by the way, your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.’”

22-24 Joab’s messenger arrived in Jerusalem and gave the king a full report. He said, “The enemy was too much for us. They advanced on us in the open field, and we pushed them back to the city gate. But then arrows came hot and heavy on us from the city wall, and eighteen of the king’s soldiers died.”

25 When the messenger completed his report of the battle, David got angry at Joab. He vented it on the messenger: “Why did you get so close to the city? Didn’t you know you’d be attacked from the wall? Didn’t you remember how Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth got killed? Wasn’t it a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the wall and crushed him at Thebez? Why did you go close to the wall!”

“By the way,” said Joab’s messenger, “your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead.”

Then David told the messenger, “Oh. I see. Tell Joab, ‘Don’t trouble yourself over this. War kills—sometimes one, sometimes another—you never know who’s next. Redouble your assault on the city and destroy it.’ Encourage Joab.”

26-27 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she grieved for her husband. When the time of mourning was over, David sent someone to bring her to his house. She became his wife and bore him a son.

27 But God was not at all pleased with what David had done, 12 1-3 and sent Nathan to David. Nathan said to him, “There were two men in the same city—one rich, the other poor. The rich man had huge flocks of sheep, herds of cattle. The poor man had nothing but one little female lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up with him and his children as a member of the family. It ate off his plate and drank from his cup and slept on his bed. It was like a daughter to him.

“One day a traveler dropped in on the rich man. He was too stingy to take an animal from his own herds or flocks to make a meal for his visitor, so he took the poor man’s lamb and prepared a meal to set before his guest.”

5-6 David exploded in anger. “As surely as God lives,” he said to Nathan, “the man who did this ought to be lynched! He must repay for the lamb four times over for his crime and his stinginess!”

7-12 “You’re the man!” said Nathan. “And here’s what God, the God of Israel, has to say to you: I made you king over Israel. I freed you from the fist of Saul. I gave you your master’s daughter and other wives to have and to hold. I gave you both Israel and Judah. And if that hadn’t been enough, I’d have gladly thrown in much more. So why have you treated the word of God with brazen contempt, doing this great evil? You murdered Uriah the Hittite, then took his wife as your wife. Worse, you killed him with an Ammonite sword! And now, because you treated God with such contempt and took Uriah the Hittite’s wife as your wife, killing and murder will continually plague your family. This is God speaking, remember! I’ll make trouble for you out of your own family. I’ll take your wives from right out in front of you. I’ll give them to some neighbor, and he’ll go to bed with them openly. You did your deed in secret; I’m doing mine with the whole country watching!”

13-14 Then David confessed to Nathan, “I’ve sinned against God.”

Nathan pronounced, “Yes, but that’s not the last word. God forgives your sin. You won’t die for it. But because of your blasphemous behavior, the son born to you will die.”

15-18 After Nathan went home, God afflicted the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and he came down sick. David prayed desperately to God for the little boy. He fasted, wouldn’t go out, and slept on the floor. The elders in his family came in and tried to get him off the floor, but he wouldn’t budge. Nor could they get him to eat anything. On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him. They said, “What do we do now? While the child was living he wouldn’t listen to a word we said. Now, with the child dead, if we speak to him there’s no telling what he’ll do.”

19 David noticed that the servants were whispering behind his back, and realized that the boy must have died.

He asked the servants, “Is the boy dead?”

“Yes,” they answered. “He’s dead.”

20 David got up from the floor, washed his face and combed his hair, put on a fresh change of clothes, then went into the sanctuary and worshiped. Then he came home and asked for something to eat. They set it before him and he ate.

21 His servants asked him, “What’s going on with you? While the child was alive you fasted and wept and stayed up all night. Now that he’s dead, you get up and eat.”

22-23 “While the child was alive,” he said, “I fasted and wept, thinking God might have mercy on me and the child would live. But now that he’s dead, why fast? Can I bring him back now? I can go to him, but he can’t come to me.”

24-25 David went and comforted his wife Bathsheba. And when he slept with her, they conceived a son. When he was born they named him Solomon. God had a special love for him and sent word by Nathan the prophet that God wanted him named Jedidiah (God’s Beloved).

26-30 Joab, at war in Rabbah against the Ammonites, captured the royal city. He sent messengers to David saying, “I’m fighting at Rabbah, and I’ve just captured the city’s water supply. Hurry and get the rest of the troops together and set up camp here at the city and complete the capture yourself. Otherwise, I’ll capture it and get all the credit instead of you.” So David marshaled all the troops, went to Rabbah, and fought and captured it. He took the crown from their king’s head—very heavy with gold, and with a precious stone in it. It ended up on David’s head. And they plundered the city, carrying off a great quantity of loot.

31 David emptied the city of its people and put them to slave labor using saws, picks, and axes, and making bricks. He did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and the whole army returned to Jerusalem.

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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