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.

King James Version

2 Samuel 11:1-27

1And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.11.1 after…: Heb. at the return of the year, or, in the spring

2¶ And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. 3And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?11.3 Bath-sheba: or, Bath-shuah11.3 Eliam: or Ammiel 4And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.11.4 for she…: or, and when she had purified herself, etc, she returned 5And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

6¶ And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.11.7 how Joab…: Heb. of the peace of, etc 8And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.11.8 followed…: Heb. went out after him 9But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. 10And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? 11And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. 12And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. 13And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.

14¶ And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.11.15 hottest: Heb. strong11.15 from him: Heb. from after him 16And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

18¶ Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, 20And if so be that the king’s wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.11.21 Jerubbesheth: also called, Jerubbaal

22¶ So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. 24And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king’s servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 25Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.11.25 displease…: Heb. be evil in thine eyes11.25 one…: Heb. so and such

26¶ And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.11.27 displeased: Heb. was evil in the eyes of