David’s Adultery with Bathsheba
1In 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.
2One 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. 3So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hethite?”
4David 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. 5The woman conceived and sent word to inform David, “I am pregnant.”
6David sent orders to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hethite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. 8Then 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. 9But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master’s servants; he did not go down to his house.
10When 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?”
11Uriah answered David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers 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. 13Then 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
14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15In 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.
16When Joab was besieging the city, he put Uriah in the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers were. 17Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the men from David’s soldiers fell in battle; Uriah the Hethite also died.
18Joab sent someone to report to David all the details of the battle. 19He commanded the messenger, “When you’ve finished telling the king all the details of the battle — 20if 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? 21At Thebez, who struck Abimelech son of Jerubbesheth? 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 Hethite is dead also.’” 22Then the messenger left.
When he arrived, he reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23The 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 city gate. 24However, the archers shot down on your servants from the top of the wall, and some of the king’s servants died. Your servant Uriah the Hethite is also dead.”
25David 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.”
26When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband, Uriah, had died, she mourned for him. 27When 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.