David and Bathsheba

2 Samuel 11:1–15 (RSV)

David Commits Adultery with Bathsheba

11 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Jo′ab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathshe′ba, the daughter of Eli′am, the wife of Uri′ah the Hittite?” So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am with child.”

So David sent word to Jo′ab, “Send me Uri′ah the Hittite.” And Jo′ab sent Uri′ah to David. When Uri′ah came to him, David asked how Jo′ab was doing, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. Then David said to Uri′ah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uri′ah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uri′ah slept at the door 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, “Uri′ah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uri′ah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11 Uri′ah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths; and my lord Jo′ab 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 this thing.” 12 Then David said to Uri′ah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uri′ah remained in Jerusalem that day, and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he 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 Jo′ab, and sent it by the hand of Uri′ah.15 In the letter he wrote, “Set Uri′ah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.”

Revised Standard Version (RSV)

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 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.

From the “Bedford Hours” circa 1410-1430
British Library, London; Ms. Additional 18850, fol. 96r

Categories: Old Testament