New International Reader's Version

2 Samuel 11:1-27

David and Bathsheba

1It was spring. It was the time when kings go off to war. So David sent Joab out with the king’s special troops and the whole army of Israel. They destroyed the Ammonites. They marched to the city of Rabbah. They surrounded it and got ready to attack it. But David remained in Jerusalem.

2One evening David got up from his bed. He walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful. 3David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, “She is Bathsheba. She’s the daughter of Eliam. She’s the wife of Uriah. He’s a Hittite.” 4Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him. And he slept with her. Then she went back home. All of that took place after she had already made herself “clean” from her monthly period. 5Later, Bathsheba found out she was pregnant. She sent a message to David. She said, “I’m pregnant.”

6So David sent a message to Joab. David said, “Send me Uriah, the Hittite.” Joab sent him to David. 7Uriah came to David. David asked him how Joab and the soldiers were doing. He also asked him how the war was going. 8David said to Uriah, “Go home and enjoy some time with your wife.” So Uriah left the palace. Then the king sent him a gift. 9But Uriah didn’t go home. Instead, he slept at the entrance to the palace. He stayed there with all his master’s servants.

10David was told, “Uriah didn’t go home.” So he sent for Uriah. David said to him, “You have been away for a long time. Why didn’t you go home?”

11Uriah said to David, “The ark and the army of Israel and Judah are out there in tents. My commander Joab and your special troops are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink? How could I go there and sleep with my wife? I could never do a thing like that. And that’s just as sure as you are alive!”

12Then David said to him, “Stay here one more day. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13David invited Uriah to eat and drink with him. David got him drunk. But Uriah still didn’t go home. In the evening he went out and slept on his mat. He stayed there among his master’s servants.

14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab. He sent it along with Uriah. 15In it he wrote, “Put Uriah out in front. That’s where the fighting is the heaviest. Then pull your men back from him. When you do, the Ammonites will strike him down and kill him.”

16So Joab attacked the city. He put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest enemy fighters were. 17The troops came out of the city. They fought against Joab. Some of the men in David’s army were killed. Uriah, the Hittite, also died.

18Joab sent David a full report of the battle. 19He told the messenger, “Tell the king everything that happened in the battle. When you are finished, 20his anger might explode. He might ask you, ‘Why did you go so close to the city to fight against it? Didn’t you know that the enemy soldiers would shoot arrows down from the wall? 21Don’t you remember how Abimelek, the son of Jerub-Besheth, was killed? A woman dropped a large millstone on him from the wall. That’s how he died in Thebez. So why did you go so close to the wall?’ If the king asks you that, tell him, ‘And your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.’ ”

22The messenger started out for Jerusalem. When he arrived there, he told David everything Joab had sent him to say. 23The messenger said to David, “The men in the city were more powerful than we were. They came out to fight against us in the open. But we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24Then those who were armed with bows shot arrows at us from the wall. Some of your special troops were killed. Your servant Uriah, the Hittite, is also dead.”

25David told the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t get upset over what happened. Swords kill one person as well as another. So keep on attacking the city. Destroy it.’ Tell that to Joab. It will cheer him up.”

26Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead. She mourned over him. 27When her time of sadness was over, David had her brought to his house. She became his wife. And she had a son by him. But the Lord wasn’t pleased with what David had done.

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2. Samuelsbog 11:1-27

Davids forhold til Batsheba

1Næste forår omkring den tid, hvor kongerne sædvanligvis drager i krig, sendte David Joab og Israels hær af sted til kamp. De besejrede den ammonitiske hær og belejrede Rabba.11,1 Ammons hovedstad, svarende til det nuværende Amman i Jordan. Men David selv blev hjemme i Jerusalem.

2En dag ved aftenstid, efter at David havde rejst sig fra sit eftermiddagshvil, spadserede han rundt på paladsets flade tag. Derfra fik han øje på en kvinde, der var i færd med at tage bad. Hun var usædvanlig smuk. 3Han forhørte sig om, hvem hun var, og fik at vide, at hun hed Batsheba og var en datter af Eliam. Hun var gift med hittitten Urias. 4David sendte bud efter hende, og det endte med, at han gik i seng med hende. (Hun var netop færdig med det ugelange renselsesritual efter sin menstruation.) Bagefter gik hun hjem. 5Da Batsheba senere opdagede, at hun var gravid, gav hun David besked om det.

David skaffer Urias af vejen

6David sendte nu bud til Joab og bad ham om at sende hittitten Urias hjem til Jerusalem. 7Da Urias havde meldt sin ankomst i paladset, kaldte David ham ind og spurgte, hvordan det gik med Joab og hæren, og hvordan det gik med krigen. 8Derefter bad han ham om at gå hjem og få sig et velfortjent hvil. Så gik Urias sin vej, og kongen sørgede for at sende en gave hjem til ham. 9Men Urias gik ikke hjem. I stedet overnattede han i paladsets portrum sammen med andre af kongens folk.

10Da David næste dag fik at vide, at Urias ikke var taget hjem, kaldte han ham til sig og spurgte: „Hvorfor gik du ikke hjem til din kone i går aftes? Du har jo været væk hjemmefra meget længe!”

11Urias svarede: „Alle andre må nøjes med at sove i telt eller på den bare jord, både Joab og hærens officerer, Herrens Ark, og alle Israels og Judas krigere. Skulle jeg så tage hjem til mit komfortable hus for at spise og drikke og sove hos min kone? Jeg sværger på, at sådan ville jeg aldrig opføre mig.”

12„Godt,” sagde David. „Men bliv nu her i byen en dag mere. I morgen kan du tage tilbage til hæren.” Det accepterede Urias, 13og senere på dagen inviterede David ham til middag, hvor han sørgede for, at han blev beruset. Men også den nat overnattede Urias i portrummet i stedet for at gå hjem.

14Næste morgen skrev David et brev, som han bad Urias aflevere til Joab. 15I brevet blev Joab beordret til at placere Urias helt fremme i fronten, på den mest udsatte post. På et passende tidspunkt skulle Joab så trække hovedstyrken tilbage, så Urias blev ladt i stikken og dræbt. 16Joab placerede derfor Urias i frontlinien op mod bymuren, hvor han vidste, at fjendens bedste krigere befandt sig, 17og Urias faldt på sin post sammen med adskillige andre israelitiske soldater.

18-20I sin næste rapport til David gjorde Joab rede for slagets gang, og til sendebudet, som skulle overbringe den, sagde han: „Det kan godt være, at kongen bliver vred og spørger: ‚Hvorfor i alverden kom I så tæt på bymuren? Vidste I ikke, at I der ville blive skudt fra muren? 21Har I glemt Abimelek, der i sin tid blev dræbt ved Tebetz, fordi en kvinde smed en møllesten ned fra muren?’ Hvis kongen siger noget i den retning, skal du sige: ‚Urias blev også dræbt!’ ”

22Så kom sendebudet til Jerusalem, hvor han aflagde rapport for David. 23„Fjenden gjorde et udfald imod os,” forklarede han, „og det lykkedes os at tvinge dem tilbage til byporten. 24Men mændene på muren sendte en regn af pile ned over os, så flere af vores folk blev dræbt. Også Urias mistede livet!”

25„Sig til Joab, at han ikke skal tage det så tungt,” svarede David. „Soldater falder nu engang i krig. Sig til ham, at han ikke må opgive angrebet, før byen er indtaget.”

26Da Batsheba fik at vide, at hendes mand var død, sørgede hun over ham i adskillige dage. 27Da sørgetiden var omme, sendte David bud efter hende og giftede sig med hende. Og inden længe fødte hun en søn.

Men Herren blev vred over Davids onde handlemåde.