2 Samuel 11:1

Bathsheba, David's Great Sin

1 1Then it happened 2in 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 3besieged * Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.

2 Samuel 11:1 Meaning and Commentary

2 Samuel 11:1

And it came to pass, that after the year was expired
Or at the end of the year, as the Targum, which concluded with the month Adar or February, the spring of the year:

at the time when kings go forth [to battle];
in the month Nisan, as the Targum on ( 1 Chronicles 20:1 ) ; adds, the same with Abib, which was the first month of the year, ( Exodus 12:2 ) ( 13:4 ) , a fit time to go out to war; when, as the Jewish commentators observe, the rains were over, and there were grass in the fields, and fruit on the trees, and corn ripe, and so food for horse and men. This month was called Nisan, as some think F4, from (Myon) , the military banners then erected; so by the Romans it is called Martius, and by us March, from Mars, the god of war; though some F5 take this to be the month Tisri, answering to part of September, and part of October, when all the fruits of the earth were gathered in, and supposed to be a fit time for war, when the heat of the year was declining:

that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel;
his whole army under Joab as general; in ( 1 Chronicles 20:1 ) ; it is "the power of the army"; the whole body of it: and they destroyed the children of Ammon; burnt their cities, and slew the inhabitants of them, and laid their land waste wherever they came:

and besieged Rabbah;
their chief city, called Rabathamana by Polybius {f}, that is, Rabbah of Ammon, and afterwards. Philadelphia, from Philadelphus, king of Egypt, as it was in the times of Jerom F7:

but David tarried still at Jerusalem;
which is observed for the sake of the following history; it would have been well for him if he had gone forth with the army himself, then the sin he fell into would have been prevented.


F4 Vid. Bochart. Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 2. c. 50. col. 557.
F5 Weemse of the Judicial Law, c. 28. p. 106.
F6 Hist. l. 5. p. 414.
F7 De loc. Heb. fol. 94. C.

2 Samuel 11:1 In-Context

1 Then it happened in 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 besieged Rabbah. But David stayed at Jerusalem.
2 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on the 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 Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, he lay with her; and 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, "I am pregnant."

Cross References 3

  • 1. 1 Chronicles 20:1
  • 2. 2 Samuel 10:14; 1 Kings 20:22, 26
  • 3. 2 Samuel 12:26-29; Jeremiah 49:2, 3; Amos 1:14

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Lit "at the return of the year"