2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12; 2 Samuel 13

1 In 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. 2 One 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. 3 So David sent someone to inquire about her, and he reported, "This is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4 David 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. Afterwards, she returned home. 5 The woman conceived and sent word to inform David: "I am pregnant." 6 David sent orders to Joab: "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the troops were doing and how the war was going. 8 Then 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. 9 But Uriah slept at the door of the palace with all his master's servants; he did not go down to his house. 10 When 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?" 11 Uriah 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. 13 Then 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. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15 In 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. 16 When Joab was besieging the city, he put Uriah in the place where he knew the best [enemy] soldiers were. 17 Then the men of the city came out and attacked Joab, and some of the men from David's soldiers fell [in battle]; Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Joab sent someone to report to David all the details of the battle. 19 He commanded the messenger, "When you've finished telling the king all the details of the battle- 20 if 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? 21 At 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 Hittite is dead also.' " 22 Then the messenger left. When he arrived, he reported to David all that Joab had sent him [to tell]. 23 The 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 gate. 24 However, the archers shot down on your soldiers from the top of the wall, and some of the king's soldiers died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead." 25 David 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." 26 When Uriah's wife heard that her husband Uriah had died, she mourned for him. 27 When 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.
1 So the Lord sent Nathan to David. When he arrived, he said to him: There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2 The rich man had a large number of sheep and cattle, 3 but the poor man had nothing except one small ewe lamb that he had bought. It lived and grew up with him and his children. It shared his meager food and drank from his cup; it slept in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4 Now a traveler came to the rich man, but the rich man could not bring himself to take one of his own sheep or cattle to prepare for the traveler who had come to him. Instead, he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for his guest. 5 David was infuriated with the man and said to Nathan: "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this deserves to die! 6 Because he has done this thing and shown no pity, he must pay four lambs for that lamb." 7 Nathan replied to David, "You are the man! This is what the Lord God of Israel says: 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8 I gave your master's house to you and your master's wives into your arms, and I gave you the house of Israel and Judah, and if that was not enough, I would have given you even more. 9 Why then have you despised the command of the Lord by doing what I consider evil? You struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and took his wife as your own wife-you murdered him with the Ammonite's sword. 10 Now therefore, the sword will never leave your house because you despised Me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own wife.' 11 "This is what the Lord says, 'I am going to bring disaster on you from your own family: I will take your wives and give them to another before your very eyes, and he will sleep with them publicly. 12 You acted in secret, but I will do this before all Israel and in broad daylight.' " 13 David responded to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Then Nathan replied to David, "The Lord has taken away your sin; you will not die. 14 However, because you treated the Lord with such contempt in this matter, the son born to you will die." 15 Then Nathan went home. The Lord struck the baby that Uriah's wife had borne to David, and he became ill. 16 David pleaded with God for the boy. He fasted, went [home], and spent the night lying on the ground. 17 The elders of his house stood beside him to get him up from the ground, but he was unwilling and would not eat anything with them. 18 On the seventh day the baby died. But David's servants were afraid to tell him the baby was dead. They said, "Look, while the baby was alive, we spoke to him, and he wouldn't listen to us. So how can we tell him the baby is dead? He may do something desperate." 19 When David saw that his servants were whispering to each other, he guessed that the baby was dead. So he asked his servants, "Is the baby dead?" "He is dead," they replied. 20 Then David got up from the ground. He washed, anointed himself, changed his clothes, went to the Lord's house, and worshiped. Then he went home and requested [something to eat]. So they served him food, and he ate. 21 His servants asked him, "What did you just do? While the baby was alive, you fasted and wept, but when he died, you got up and ate food." 22 He answered, "While the baby was alive, I fasted and wept because I thought, 'Who knows? The Lord may be gracious to me and let him live.' 23 But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I'll go to him, but he will never return to me." 24 Then David comforted his wife Bathsheba; he went and slept with her. She gave birth to a son and named him Solomon.The Lord loved him, 25 and He sent [a message] through Nathan the prophet, who named him Jedidiah, because of the Lord. 26 Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured the royal fortress. 27 Then Joab sent messengers to David to say, "I have fought against Rabbah and have also captured the water supply. 28 Now therefore, assemble the rest of the troops, lay siege to the city, and capture it. Otherwise I will be the one to capture the city, and it will be named after me. 29 So David assembled all the troops and went to Rabbah; he fought against it and captured it. 30 He took the crown from the head of their king, and it was [placed] on David's head. The crown weighed 75 pounds of gold, and it had a precious stone [in it]. In addition, David took away a large quantity of plunder from the city. 31 He removed the people who were in the city and put [them to work] with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, and to labor at brickmaking. He did the same to all the Ammonite cities. Then he and all his troops returned to Jerusalem.
1 Some time passed. David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon was infatuated with her. 2 Amnon was frustrated to the point of making himself sick over his sister Tamar because she was a virgin, but it seemed impossible to do anything to her. 3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab, a son of David's brother Shimeah. Jonadab was a very shrewd man, 4 and he asked Amnon, "Why are you, the king's son, so miserable every morning? Won't you tell me?" Amnon replied, "I'm in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister." 5 Jonadab said to him, "Lie down on your bed and pretend you're sick. When your father comes to see you, say to him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come and give me [something] to eat. Let her prepare food in my presence so I can watch and eat from her hand.' " 6 So Amnon lay down and pretended to be sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to him, "Please let my sister Tamar come and make a couple of cakes in my presence so I can eat from her hand." 7 David sent word to Tamar at the palace: "Please go to your brother Amnon's house and prepare a meal for him." 8 Then Tamar went to his house while Amnon was lying down. She took dough, kneaded it, made cakes in his presence, and baked them. 9 She brought the pan and set it down in front of him, but he refused to eat. Amnon said, "Everyone leave me!" And everyone left him. 10 "Bring the meal to the bedroom," Amnon told Tamar, "so I can eat from your hand." Tamar took the cakes she had made and went to her brother Amnon's bedroom. 11 When she brought [them] to him to eat, he grabbed her and said, "Come sleep with me, my sister!" 12 "Don't, my brother!" she cried. "Don't humiliate me, for such a thing should never be done in Israel. Don't do this horrible thing! 13 Where could I ever go with my disgrace? And you-you would be like one of the immoral men in Israel! Please, speak to the king, for he won't keep me from you." 14 But he refused to listen to her, and because he was stronger than she was, he raped her. 15 After this, Amnon hated Tamar with such intensity that the hatred he hated her with was greater than the love he had loved her with. "Get out of here!" he said. 16 "No," she cried, "sending me away is much worse than the great wrong you've already done to me!" But he refused to listen to her. 17 Instead, he called to the servant who waited on him: "Throw this woman out and bolt the door behind her!" 18 Amnon's servant threw her out and bolted the door behind her. Now Tamar was wearing a long-sleeved garment, because this is what the king's virgin daughters wore. 19 Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the long-sleeved garment she was wearing. She put her hand on her head and went away weeping. 20 Her brother Absalom said to her: "Has your brother Amnon been with you? Be quiet for now, my sister. He is your brother. Don't take this thing to heart." So Tamar lived as a desolate woman in the house of her brother Absalom. 21 When King David heard about all these things, he was furious. 22 Absalom didn't say anything to Amnon, either good or bad, because he hated Amnon since he disgraced his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later, Absalom's sheepshearers were at Baal-hazor near Ephraim, and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24 Then he went to the king and said, "Your servant has just hired sheepshearers. Will the king and his servants please come with your servant?" 25 The king replied to Absalom, "No, my son, we should not all go, or we would be a burden to you." Although Absalom urged him, he wasn't willing to go, though he did bless him. 26 "If not," Absalom said, "please let my brother Amnon go with us." The king asked him, "Why should he go with you?" 27 But Absalom urged him, so he sent Amnon and all the king's sons. 28 Now Absalom commanded his young men, "Watch Amnon until he is in a good mood from the wine. When I order you to strike Amnon, then kill him. Don't be afraid. Am I not the one who has commanded you? Be strong and courageous!" 29 So Absalom's young men did to Amnon just as Absalom had commanded. Then all [the rest of] the king's sons got up, and each fled on his mule. 30 While they were on the way, a report reached David: "Absalom struck down all the king's sons; not even one of them survived!" 31 In response the king stood up, tore his clothes, and lay down on the ground, and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32 But Jonadab, son of David's brother Shimeah, spoke up: "My lord must not think they have killed all the young men, the king's sons, because only Amnon is dead. In fact, Absalom has planned this ever since the day Amnon disgraced his sister Tamar. 33 So now, my lord the king, don't take seriously the report that says all the king's sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead." 34 Meanwhile, Absalom had fled. When the young man who was standing watch looked up, there were many people coming from the road west of him from the side of the mountain. 35 Jonadab said to the king, "Look, the king's sons have come! It's exactly like your servant said." 36 Just as he finished speaking, the king's sons entered and wept loudly. Then the king and all his servants also wept bitterly. 37 Now Absalom fled and went to Talmai son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38 Absalom had fled and gone to Geshur where he stayed three years. 39 Then King David longed to go to Absalom, for David had finished grieving over Amnon's death.
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