2 Samuel 11:6-27

6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David.
7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing.
8 Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax. ” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace.
9 But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.
10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”
11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”
12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.
14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver.
15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.”
16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting.
17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.
18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David.
19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king.
20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls?
21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’”
22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David.
23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate,
24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”
25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done.

2 Samuel 11:6-27 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO SECOND SAMUEL 11

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 11:6-27 In-Context

4 Then David sent messengers to get her; and when she came to the palace, he slept with her. She had just completed the purification rites after having her menstrual period. Then she returned home.
5 Later, when Bathsheba discovered that she was pregnant, she sent David a message, saying, “I’m pregnant.”
6 Then David sent word to Joab: “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent him to David.
7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the army were getting along and how the war was progressing.
8 Then he told Uriah, “Go on home and relax. ” David even sent a gift to Uriah after he had left the palace.
9 But Uriah didn’t go home. He slept that night at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.
10 When David heard that Uriah had not gone home, he summoned him and asked, “What’s the matter? Why didn’t you go home last night after being away for so long?”
11 Uriah replied, “The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master’s men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing.”
12 “Well, stay here today,” David told him, “and tomorrow you may return to the army.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next.
13 Then David invited him to dinner and got him drunk. But even then he couldn’t get Uriah to go home to his wife. Again he slept at the palace entrance with the king’s palace guard.
14 So the next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and gave it to Uriah to deliver.
15 The letter instructed Joab, “Station Uriah on the front lines where the battle is fiercest. Then pull back so that he will be killed.”
16 So Joab assigned Uriah to a spot close to the city wall where he knew the enemy’s strongest men were fighting.
17 And when the enemy soldiers came out of the city to fight, Uriah the Hittite was killed along with several other Israelite soldiers.
18 Then Joab sent a battle report to David.
19 He told his messenger, “Report all the news of the battle to the king.
20 But he might get angry and ask, ‘Why did the troops go so close to the city? Didn’t they know there would be shooting from the walls?
21 Wasn’t Abimelech son of Gideon killed at Thebez by a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall? Why would you get so close to the wall?’ Then tell him, ‘Uriah the Hittite was killed, too.’”
22 So the messenger went to Jerusalem and gave a complete report to David.
23 “The enemy came out against us in the open fields,” he said. “And as we chased them back to the city gate,
24 the archers on the wall shot arrows at us. Some of the king’s men were killed, including Uriah the Hittite.”
25 “Well, tell Joab not to be discouraged,” David said. “The sword devours this one today and that one tomorrow! Fight harder next time, and conquer the city!”
26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him.
27 When the period of mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to the palace, and she became one of his wives. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD was displeased with what David had done.

Footnotes 3

  • [a]. Hebrew and wash your feet, an expression that may also have a connotation of ritualistic washing.
  • [b]. Or at Succoth.
  • [c]. Hebrew son of Jerub-besheth. Jerub-besheth is a variation on the name Jerub-baal, which is another name for Gideon; see Judg 6:32 .
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