The Second Book of Samuel

Chapter 11

While Joab besieges Rabbah, David commits adultery with Bath-sheba, 1-5. Uriah, sent for by David to cover the adultery, would not go home. 6-13. He carries to Joab the letter of his death, 14-17. Joab sends the news thereof to David, 18-25. David takes Bath-sheba to be his wife, 26, 27.

1 And it came to pass, after the year had 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 destroyed Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.

2 And it came to pass in an evening, 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. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, "Is this not Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?" 4 And David sent messengers and took her, and she came in to him, and he lay with her, for she was purified from her uncleanness. And she returned to her house. 5 And 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. 7 And when Uriah had come to him, David asked him how Joab did, how the people did, and how the war prospered. 8 And David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet." And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and a gift from the king followed him. 9 But Uriah 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 And when they had told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Did you not come from your journey? Why then did you not go down to your house?" 11 And Uriah said to David, "The ark, 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 my house to eat, to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing." 12 And David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day. 13 And when David had called him, he ate and drank before him, and he made him drunk. And at evening he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but did not go 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. 15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set Uriah in the front of the hottest battle and retire from him so that he may be smitten and die." 16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew that valiant men were. 17 And the men of the city went out and fought with Joab, and some of the people of the servants of David fell there. And Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, 19 And charged the messenger, saying, "When you have made an end of telling the matters of the war to the king, 20 And if the king's wrath rises and he says to you, 'Why did you approach so near to the city for the fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did a woman not cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?' then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.'"

22 So the messenger went and came and related to David all that Joab had sent him for. 23 And the messenger said to David, "Surely the men prevailed against us and came out to us into the field, and we were upon them even to the entrance of the gate. 24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon your servants. And some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also." 25 Then David said to the messenger, "Thus you shall say to Joab: 'Do not let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle stronger against the city and overthrow it.' And encourage him."

26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.


Matthew Henry Commentary - 2nd Samuel, Chapter 11[➚]


[v.13] - This is the second attempt, which of course fails, that David made to trick Uriah to go and lie with his wife to cover up his sin of adultery committed with Bathsheba. This failure is of course by the hand of the Lord, for the Lord renders to every man according to his works (Psalm 62:12), whether good or bad. Finally, David has Uriah put into the fierce part of the battle knowing that he would be killed. The intents of David are revealed to Nathan by the Lord so that David's sin would be made known. It is written in the Proverbs concerning the wicked, or the sinner, that, "His hatred is covered by deceit, his wickedness shall be shown before the whole congregation" (Proverbs 26:26). In the next chapter, Nathan presents David with a parable that catches David in his sin, which is followed by the Lord's judgment upon David for his transgression.