David sinned with Bathsheba
1 In that region, kings usually went with their armies to fight their enemies in the springtime. But the following year, in the springtime, David did not do that. Instead, he stayed in Jerusalem, and he sent his commander Joab to lead the army. So Joab went with the other officers and the rest of the Israeli army. They crossed the Jordan River and defeated the army of the Ammon people-group. Then they surrounded the capital city, Rabbah.
2 Late one afternoon, after David got up from taking a nap, he walked around the flat roof of his palace. He saw a woman who was bathing in the courtyard of her house. The woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent a messenger to find out who she was. The messenger returned and said, “She is [RHQ] Bathsheba. She is the daughter of Eliam, and her husband is Uriah, from the Heth people-group.”
4 Then David sent more messengers to get her. They brought her to David, and he ◄slept/had sex► [EUP] with her. [She had just finished performing the rituals to make herself pure after her monthly menstrual period.] Then Bathsheba went back home. 5 After some time, she realized that she was pregnant. So she sent a messenger to tell David that she was pregnant.
6 Then David sent a message to Joab. He said, “Send Uriah, from the Heth people-group, to me.” So Joab did that. He sent Uriah to David. 7 When he arrived, David asked if Joab was well, and if other soldiers were well, and how the war was progressing. 8 Then David, hoping that Uriah would go home and sleep with his wife, said to Uriah, “Okay, go home and relax for a while [IDI].” So Uriah left, and David gave someone a gift of some food to take to Uriah's house. 9 But Uriah did not go home. Instead, he slept at the palace entrance with the king's palace guards.
10 When someone told David that Uriah did not go to his house that night, David summoned him again and said to him, “Why didn't you go home to be with your wife last night, after having been away for a long time?” [RHQ]
11 Uriah replied, “The soldiers of Judah and Israel are camping in the open fields, and even our commander Joab is sleeping in a tent, and the sacred box is with them. ◄How could I/It would not be right for me to►go home, eat and drink, and sleep with my wife. [RHQ] I solemnly declare [IDI] that I will never do such a thing!”
12 Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today. I'll let you return to the battletomorrow.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and that night. 13 The next day, David invited him to a meal. So Uriah had a meal with David, and David made him drink a lot of wine so that he would get drunk, hoping that if he was drunk, he would sleep with his wife. But that night, Uriah again did not go home. Instead, he slept on his cot with the king's servants.
14 Someone reported that to David, so the next morning he wrote a letter to Joab, and gave it to Uriah to take to Joab. 15 In the letter, he wrote, “Put Uriah in the front line, where the fighting is the ◄worst/most severe►. Then command the soldiers to pull back from him, in order that he will be killed by our enemies.”
16 So after Joab got the letter, as his army was surrounding the city, he sent Uriah to a place where he knew that their enemies' strongest and best soldiers would be fighting. 17 The men from the city came out and fought with Joab's soldiers. They killed some of David's officers, including Uriah.
18 Then Joab sent a messenger to David to tell him about the fighting. 19 He said to the messenger, “Tell David the news about the battle. After you finish telling that to him, 20 if David is angry because so many officers were killed, he may ask you, ‘Why did your soldiers go so close to the city to fight [RHQ]? Did you not know that they would shoot arrows at you while they were standing on top of the city wall? [RHQ] 21 Do you not remember how Abimelech, the son of Gideon, was killed? A woman who lived in Thebez threw a huge ◄millstone/stone for grinding grain► on him from the top of a tower, and he died. So why did our troops go near to the city wall?’ If the king asks this, then tell him, ‘Your officer Uriah also was killed.’”
22 So the messenger went and told David everything that Joab told him to say. 23 The messenger said to David, “Our enemies were very brave, and came out of the city to fight us in the fields. They were defeating us but we forced them back to the city gate. 24 Then their archers shot arrows at us from the top of the city wall. They killed some of your officers. They killed your officer Uriah, too.”
25 David said to the messenger, “Go back to Joab and say to him, ‘Do not be distressed about what happened, because no one ever knows who will be killed in a battle.’ Tell him that the next time, his troops should attack the city more strongly, and capture it.”