In the spring,1 at the time when kings go off to war, David sent Joab2 out with the king's men and the whole Israelite army.3 They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah.4 But David remained in Jerusalem.
One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof5 of the palace. From the roof he saw6 a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful,
and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, "Isn't this Bathsheba,7 the daughter of Eliam8 and the wife of Uriah9 the Hittite?"
Then David sent messengers to get her.10 She came to him, and he slept11 with her. (She had purified herself from her uncleanness.)12 Thena she went back home.
The woman conceived and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant."
So David sent this word to Joab: "Send me Uriah13 the Hittite." And Joab sent him to David.
When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going.
Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house and wash your feet."14 So Uriah left the palace, and a gift from the king was sent after him.
But Uriah slept at the entrance to the palace with all his master's servants and did not go down to his house.
When David was told, "Uriah did not go home," he asked him, "Haven't you just come from a distance? Why didn't you go home?"
Uriah said to David, "The ark15 and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my master Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open fields. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and lie16 with my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"
Then David said to him, "Stay here one more day, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
At David's invitation, he ate and drank with him, and David made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his mat among his master's servants; he did not go home.
In the morning David wrote a letter17 to Joab and sent it with Uriah.
In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down18 and die.19"
So while Joab had the city under siege, he put Uriah at a place where he knew the strongest defenders were.
When the men of the city came out and fought against Joab, some of the men in David's army fell; moreover, Uriah the Hittite died.