2 Samuel 11; 2 Samuel 12; 2 Samuel 13

1 In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants, and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roofn of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful. 3 So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, "That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4 So David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had sexual relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house. 5 But Bathsheba became pregnant and sent word to David, saying, "I am pregnant." 6 So David sent a message to Joab: "Send Uriah the Hittite to me." And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were, and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go home and rest." So Uriah left the palace, and the king sent a gift to him. 9 But Uriah did not go home. Instead, he slept outside the door of the palace as all the king's officers did. 10 The officers told David, "Uriah did not go home." Then David said to Uriah, "You came from a long trip. Why didn't you go home?" 11 Uriah said to him, "The Ark and the soldiers of Israel and Judah are staying in tents. My master Joab and his officers are camping out in the fields. It isn't right for me to go home to eat and drink and have sexual relations with my wife!" 12 David said to Uriah, "Stay here today. Tomorrow I'll send you back to the battle." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 Then David called Uriah to come to see him, so Uriah ate and drank with David. David made Uriah drunk, but he still did not go home. That evening Uriah again slept with the king's officers. 14 The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. 15 In the letter David wrote, "Put Uriah on the front lines where the fighting is worst and leave him there alone. Let him be killed in battle." 16 Joab watched the city and saw where its strongest defenders were and put Uriah there. 17 When the men of the city came out to fight against Joab, some of David's men were killed. And Uriah the Hittite was one of them. 18 Then Joab sent David a complete account of the war. 19 Joab told the messenger, "Tell King David what happened in the war. 20 After you finish, the king may be angry and ask, 'Why did you go so near the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot arrows from the city wall? 21 Do you remember who killed Abimelech son of Jerub-Besheth? It was a woman on the city wall. She threw a large stone for grinding grain on Abimelech and killed him there in Thebez. Why did you go so near the wall?' If King David asks that, tell him, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite also died.'" 22 The messenger left and went to David and told him everything Joab had told him to say. 23 The messenger told David, "The men of Ammon were winning. They came out and attacked us in the field, but we fought them back to the city gate. 24 The archers on the city wall shot at your servants, and some of your men were killed. Your servant Uriah the Hittite also died." 25 David said to the messenger, "Say this to Joab: 'Don't be upset about this. The sword kills everyone the same. Make a stronger attack against the city and capture it.' Encourage Joab with these words." 26 When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she cried for him. 27 After she finished her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David's wife and gave birth to his son, but the Lord did not like what David had done.
1 The Lord sent Nathan to David. When he came to David, he said, "There were two men in a city. One was rich, but the other was poor. 2 The rich man had many sheep and cattle. 3 But the poor man had nothing except one little female lamb he had bought. The poor man fed the lamb, and it grew up with him and his children. It shared his food and drank from his cup and slept in his arms. The lamb was like a daughter to him. 4 "Then a traveler stopped to visit the rich man. The rich man wanted to feed the traveler, but he didn't want to take one of his own sheep or cattle. Instead, he took the lamb from the poor man and cooked it for his visitor." 5 David became very angry at the rich man. He said to Nathan, "As surely as the Lord lives, the man who did this should die! 6 He must pay for the lamb four times for doing such a thing. He had no mercy!" 7 Then Nathan said to David, "You are the man! This is what the Lord, the God of Israel, says: 'I appointed you king of Israel and saved you from Saul. 8 I gave you his kingdom and his wives. And I made you king of Israel and Judah. And if that had not been enough, I would have given you even more. 9 So why did you ignore the Lord's command? Why did you do what he says is wrong? You killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword of the Ammonites and took his wife to be your wife! 10 Now there will always be people in your family who will die by a sword, because you did not respect me; you took the wife of Uriah the Hittite for yourself!' 11 "This is what the Lord says: 'I am bringing trouble to you from your own family. While you watch, I will take your wives from you and give them to someone who is very close to you. He will have sexual relations with your wives, and everyone will know it. 12 You had sexual relations with Bathsheba in secret, but I will do this so all the people of Israel can see it.'" 13 Then David said to Nathan, "I have sinned against the Lord." Nathan answered, "The Lord has taken away your sin. You will not die. 14 But what you did caused the Lord's enemies to lose all respect for him. For this reason the son who was born to you will die." 15 Then Nathan went home. And the Lord caused the son of David and Bathsheba, Uriah's widow, to be very sick. 16 David prayed to God for the baby. David refused to eat or drink. He went into his house and stayed there, lying on the ground all night. 17 The older leaders of David's family came to him and tried to pull him up from the ground, but he refused to get up or to eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the baby died. David's servants were afraid to tell him that the baby was dead. They said, "Look, we tried to talk to David while the baby was alive, but he refused to listen to us. If we tell him the baby is dead, he may do something awful." 19 When David saw his servants whispering, he knew that the baby was dead. So he asked them, "Is the baby dead?" They answered, "Yes, he is dead." 20 Then David got up from the floor, washed himself, put lotions on, and changed his clothes. Then he went into the Lord's house to worship. After that, he went home and asked for something to eat. His servants gave him some food, and he ate. 21 David's servants said to him, "Why are you doing this? When the baby was still alive, you refused to eat and you cried. Now that the baby is dead, you get up and eat food." 22 David said, "While the baby was still alive, I refused to eat, and I cried. I thought, 'Who knows? Maybe the Lord will feel sorry for me and let the baby live.' 23 But now that the baby is dead, why should I go without food? I can't bring him back to life. Some day I will go to him, but he cannot come back to me." 24 Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife. He slept with her and had sexual relations with her. She became pregnant again and had another son, whom David named Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon. 25 The Lord sent word through Nathan the prophet to name the baby Jedidiah, because the Lord loved the child. 26 Joab fought against Rabbah, a royal city of the Ammonites, and he was about to capture it. 27 Joab sent messengers to David and said, "I have fought against Rabbah and have captured its water supply. 28 Now bring the other soldiers together and attack this city. Capture it before I capture it myself and it is called by my name!" 29 So David gathered all the army and went to Rabbah and fought against it and captured it. 30 David took the crown off their king's head and had it placed on his own head. That gold crown weighed about seventy-five pounds, and it had valuable gems in it. And David took many valuable things from the city. 31 He also brought out the people of the city and forced them to work with saws, iron picks, and axes. He also made them build with bricks. David did this to all the Ammonite cities. Then David and all his army returned to Jerusalem.
1 David had a son named Absalom and a son named Amnon. Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and Amnon loved her. 2 Tamar was a virgin. Amnon made himself sick just thinking about her, because he could not find any chance to be alone with her. 3 Amnon had a friend named Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother. Jonadab was a very clever man. 4 He asked Amnon, "Son of the king, why do you look so sad day after day? Tell me what's wrong!" Amnon told him, "I love Tamar, the sister of my half-brother Absalom." 5 Jonadab said to Amnon, "Go to bed and act as if you are sick. Then your father will come to see you. Tell him, 'Please let my sister Tamar come in and give me food to eat. Let her make the food in front of me so I can watch and eat it from her hand.'" 6 So Amnon went to bed and acted sick. When King David came in to see him, Amnon said to him, "Please let my sister Tamar come in. Let her make two of her special cakes for me while I watch. Then I will eat them from her hands." 7 David sent for Tamar in the palace, saying, "Go to your brother Amnon's house and make some food for him." 8 So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house, and he was in bed. Tamar took some dough and pressed it together with her hands. She made some special cakes while Amnon watched. Then she baked them. 9 Next she took the pan and served him, but he refused to eat. He said to his servants, "All of you, leave me alone!" So they all left him alone. 10 Amnon said to Tamar, "Bring the food into the bedroom so I may eat from your hand." Tamar took the cakes she had made and brought them to her brother Amnon in the bedroom. 11 She went to him so he could eat from her hands, but Amnon grabbed her. He said, "Sister, come and have sexual relations with me." 12 Tamar said to him, "No, brother! Don't force me! This should never be done in Israel! Don't do this shameful thing! 13 I could never get rid of my shame! And you will be like the shameful fools in Israel! Please talk with the king, and he will let you marry me." 14 But Amnon refused to listen to her. He was stronger than she was, so he forced her to have sexual relations with him. 15 After that, Amnon hated Tamar. He hated her more than he had loved her before. Amnon said to her, "Get up and leave!" 16 Tamar said to him, "No! Sending me away would be worse than what you've already done!" But he refused to listen to her. 17 He called his young servant back in and said, "Get this woman out of here and away from me! Lock the door after her." 18 So his servant led her out of the room and bolted the door after her. Tamar was wearing a special robe with long sleeves, because the king's virgin daughters wore this kind of robe. 19 To show how upset she was, Tamar put ashes on her head and tore her special robe and put her hand on her head. Then she went away, crying loudly. 20 Absalom, Tamar's brother, said to her, "Has Amnon, your brother, forced you to have sexual relations with him? For now, sister, be quiet. He is your half-brother. Don't let this upset you so much!" So Tamar lived in her brother Absalom's house and was sad and lonely. 21 When King David heard the news, he was very angry. 22 Absalom did not say a word, good or bad, to Amnon. But he hated Amnon for disgracing his sister Tamar. 23 Two years later Absalom had some men come to Baal Hazor, near Ephraim, to cut the wool from his sheep. Absalom invited all the king's sons to come also. 24 Absalom went to the king and said, "I have men coming to cut the wool. Please come with your officers and join me." 25 King David said to Absalom, "No, my son. We won't all go, because it would be too much trouble for you." Although Absalom begged David, he would not go, but he did give his blessing. 26 Absalom said, "If you don't want to come, then please let my brother Amnon come with us." King David asked, "Why should he go with you?" 27 Absalom kept begging David until he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with Absalom. 28 Then Absalom instructed his servants, "Watch Amnon. When he is drunk, I will tell you, 'Kill Amnon.' Right then, kill him! Don't be afraid, because I have commanded you! Be strong and brave!" 29 So Absalom's young men killed Amnon as Absalom commanded, but all of David's other sons got on their mules and escaped. 30 While the king's sons were on their way, the news came to David, "Absalom has killed all of the king's sons! Not one of them is left alive!" 31 King David tore his clothes and lay on the ground to show his sadness. All his servants standing nearby tore their clothes also. 32 Jonadab son of Shimeah, David's brother, said to David, "Don't think all the young men, your sons, are killed. No, only Amnon is dead! Absalom has planned this ever since Amnon forced his sister Tamar to have sexual relations with him. 33 My master and king, don't think that all of the king's sons are dead. Only Amnon is dead!" 34 In the meantime Absalom had run away. A guard standing on the city wall saw many people coming from the other side of the hill. 35 So Jonadab said to King David, "Look, I was right! The king's sons are coming!" 36 As soon as Jonadab had said this, the king's sons arrived, crying loudly. David and all his servants began crying also. 37 David cried for his son every day. But Absalom ran away to Talmain son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur. 38 After Absalom ran away to Geshur, he stayed there for three years. 39 When King David got over Amnon's death, he missed Absalom greatly.
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