2 Samuel 11

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 Now when evening came David arose from his bed and walked around on 4the 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 5Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of 6Uriah the Hittite?"
4 David sent messengers and took her, and when she came to him, 7he lay with her; 8and 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, "9I am pregnant."
6 Then David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 When Uriah came to him, 10David asked concerning the welfare of Joab and the people and the state of the war.
8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go down to your house, and 11wash your feet." And Uriah went out of the king's house, and a present from the king was sent out after him.
9 But Uriah slept 12at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house.
10 Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?"
11 Uriah said to David, "13The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and 14the 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? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing."
12 Then David said to Uriah, "15Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 Now David called him, and he ate and drank before him, and he 16made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his bed 17with his lord's servants, but he did not go down to his house.
14 Now in the morning David 18wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 19He had written in the letter, saying, "Place Uriah in the front line of the fiercest battle and withdraw from him, 20so that he may be struck down and die."
16 So it was as Joab kept watch on the city, that he put Uriah at the place where * he knew there were valiant men.
17 The men of the city went out and fought against Joab, and some of the people among David's servants fell; and 21Uriah the Hittite also died.
18 Then Joab sent and reported to David all the events of the war.
19 He charged the messenger, saying, "When you have finished telling all the events of the war to the king,
20 and if it happens that the king's wrath rises and he says to you, 'Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?
21 'Who 22struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman throw an upper millstone on him from the wall so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?'-then you shall say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.' "
22 So the messenger departed and came and reported to David all that Joab had sent him to tell.
23 The messenger said to David, "The men prevailed against us and came out against us in the field, but we pressed * them as far as the entrance of the gate.
24 "Moreover, the archers shot at your servants from the wall; so some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead."
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 against the city stronger and overthrow it'; and so encourage him."
26 Now when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, 23she mourned for her husband.
27 When the time of mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house and 24she became his wife; then she bore him a son. But 25the thing that David had done was evil in the sight of the LORD.

2 Samuel 11 Commentary

Chapter 11

David's adultery. (1-5) He tries to conceal his crime. (6-13) Uriah murdered. (14-27)

Verses 1-5 Observe the occasions of David's sin; what led to it. 1. Neglect of his business. He tarried at Jerusalem. When we are out of the way of our duty, we are in temptation. 2. Love of ease: idleness gives great advantage to the tempter. 3. A wandering eye. He had not, like Job, made a covenant with his eyes, or, at this time, he had forgotten it. And observe the steps of the sin. See how the way of sin is down-hill; when men begin to do evil, they cannot soon stop. Observe the aggravations of the sin. How could David rebuke or punish that in others, of which he was conscious that he himself was guilty?

Verses 6-13 Giving way to sin hardens the heart, and provokes the departure of the Holy Spirit. Robbing a man of his reason, is worse than robbing him of his money; and drawing him into sin, is worse than drawing him into any wordly trouble whatever.

Verses 14-27 Adulteries often occasion murders, and one wickedness is sought to be covered by another. The beginnings of sin are much to be dreaded; for who knows where they will end? Can a real believer ever tread this path? Can such a person be indeed a child of God? Though grace be not lost in such an awful case, the assurance and consolation of it must be suspended. All David's life, spirituality, and comfort in religion, we may be sure were lost. No man in such a case can have evidence to be satisfied that he is a believer. The higher a man's confidence is, who has sunk in wickedness, the greater his presumption and hypocrisy. Let not any one who resembles David in nothing but his transgressions, bolster up his confidence with this example. Let him follow David in his humiliation, repentance, and his other eminent graces, before he thinks himself only a backslider, and not a hypocrite. Let no opposer of the truth say, These are the fruits of faith! No; they are the effects of corrupt nature. Let us all watch against the beginnings of self-indulgence, and keep at the utmost distance from all evil. But with the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption. He will cast out no humble, penitent believer; nor will he suffer Satan to pluck his sheep out of his hand. Yet the Lord will recover his people, in such a way as will mark his abhorrence of their crimes, to hinder all who regard his word from abusing the encouragements of his mercy.

Cross References 25

  • 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
  • 4. Deuteronomy 22:8; 1 Samuel 9:25; Matthew 24:17; Acts 10:9
  • 5. 1 Chronicles 3:5
  • 6. 2 Samuel 23:39
  • 7. Ps 51: title; James 1:14, 15
  • 8. Leviticus 12:2-5; Leviticus 15:18-28; Leviticus 18:19
  • 9. Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22
  • 10. Genesis 37:14; 1 Samuel 17:22
  • 11. Genesis 43:24; Luke 7:44
  • 12. 1 Kings 14:27, 28
  • 13. 2 Samuel 7:2, 6
  • 14. 2 Samuel 20:6
  • 15. Job 20:12-14
  • 16. Proverbs 20:1; Proverbs 23:29-35
  • 17. 2 Samuel 11:9
  • 18. 1 Kings 21:8-10
  • 19. Ecclesiastes 8:11; Jeremiah 17:9
  • 20. 2 Samuel 12:9
  • 21. 2 Samuel 11:21
  • 22. Judges 9:50-54
  • 23. Genesis 50:10; Deuteronomy 34:8; 1 Samuel 31:13
  • 24. 2 Samuel 12:9
  • 25. Psalms 51:4, 5

Footnotes 10

Chapter Summary


This chapter begins with the destruction of the Ammonites, and the siege of Rabbah their chief city, 2Sa 11:1; and enlarges on the sins of David in committing adultery with Bathsheba, 2Sa 11:2-5; in contriving to conceal his sin by sending for her husband home from the army, 2Sa 11:6-13; in laying a scheme for the death of him by the hand of the Ammonites, 2Sa 11:14-25; and in marrying Bathsheba when he was dead, 2Sa 11:26,27.

2 Samuel 11 Commentaries

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