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2 Samuel 11:1–12:23

Bathsheba, David’s Great Sin

1 aThen it happened 1bin the spring, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him and all Israel, and they destroyed the sons of Ammon and cbesieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.

2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on athe roof of the king’s house, and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful in appearance.

3 So David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is this not aBathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of bUriah the Hittite?”

4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, ahe lay with her; band when she had purified herself from her uncleanness, she returned to her house.

5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “aI am pregnant.”

6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David.

7 When Uriah came to him, aDavid asked concerning the welfare of Joab and 1the people and the state of the war.

8 Then David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and awash your feet.” And Uriah went out of the king’s house, and a present from the king 1was sent out after him.

9 But Uriah slept aat the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.

10 Now when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”

11 Uriah said to David, “aThe ark and Israel and Judah are staying in 1temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and bthe 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? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”

12 Then David said to Uriah, “aStay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go.” So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the 1next.

13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he amade him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed bwith his lord’s servants, but he did not go down to his house.

14 Now in the morning David awrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

15 aHe had written in the letter, saying, “1Place Uriah in the front line of the 2fiercest battle and withdraw from him, bso that he may be struck down and die.”

16 So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where he knew there were valiant men.

17 The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David’s servants fell; and aUriah the Hittite also died.

18 Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war.

19 He charged the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king,

20 and if it happens that the king’s wrath rises and he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?

21 ‘Who astruck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? 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 also.’ ”

22 So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell.

23 The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we 1pressed them as far as the entrance of the gate.

24 “Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.”

25 Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing 1displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it’; and so encourage him.”

26 Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, ashe mourned for her husband.

27 When the time of mourning was over, David sent and 1brought her to his house and ashe became his wife; then she bore him a son. But bthe thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the Lord.

Chapter 12

Nathan Rebukes David

1 Then the Lord sent aNathan to David. And bhe came to him and 1said,

“There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor.

2 “The rich man had a great many flocks and herds.

3 “But the poor man had nothing except aone little ewe lamb

Which he bought and nourished;

And it grew up together with him and his children.

It would eat of his 1bread and drink of his cup and lie in his bosom,

And was like a daughter to him.

4 “Now a traveler came to the rich man,

And he 1was unwilling to take from his own flock or his own herd,

To prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him;

Rather he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him.”

5 Then David’s anger burned greatly against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As the Lord lives, surely the man who has done this 1adeserves to die.

6 “He must make restitution for the lamb afourfold, because he did this thing and had no compassion.”

7 Nathan then said to David, “aYou are the man! Thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘bIt is I who anointed you king over Israel and it is I who delivered you from the hand of Saul.

8 ‘I also gave you ayour master’s house and your master’s wives into your 1care, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah; and if that had been too little, I would have added to you many more things like these!

9 ‘Why ahave you despised the word of the Lord by doing evil in His sight? bYou have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword, chave taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the sons of Ammon.

10 ‘Now therefore, athe sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’

11 “Thus says the Lord, ‘Behold, I will raise up evil against you from your own household; aI will even take your wives before your eyes and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in 1broad daylight.

12 ‘Indeed ayou did it secretly, but bI will do this thing before all Israel, and 1under the sun.’ ”

13 Then David said to Nathan, “aI have sinned against the Lord.” And Nathan said to David, “The Lord also has 1btaken away your sin; you shall not die.

14 “However, because by this deed you have agiven occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born to you shall surely die.”

15 So Nathan went to his house.

Loss of a Child

Then the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s 1widow bore to David, so that he was very sick.

16 David therefore inquired of God for the child; and David afasted and went and blay all night on the ground.

17 aThe elders of his household stood beside him in order to raise him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat food with them.

18 Then it happened on the seventh day that the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, “Behold, while the child was still alive, we spoke to him and he did not listen to our voice. How then can we tell him that the child is dead, since he might do himself harm!”

19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; so David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?” And they said, “He is dead.”

20 So David arose from the ground, awashed, anointed himself, and changed his clothes; and he came into the house of the Lord and bworshiped. Then he came to his own house, and when he requested, they set food before him and he ate.

21 Then his servants said to him, “What is this thing that you have done? 1While the child was alive, you fasted and wept; but when the child died, you arose and ate food.”

22 He said, “While the child was still alive, aI fasted and wept; for I said, ‘bWho knows, the Lord may be gracious to me, that the child may live.’

23 “But now he has died; why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? aI will go to him, but bhe will not return to me.”

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