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1In the spring of the year, the time when kings go forth to battle, David sent Joʹab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

2It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking upon the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, “Is not this Bathsheʹba, the daughter of Eliʹam, the wife of Uriʹah the Hittite?” 4So David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she was purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. 5And the woman conceived; and she sent and told David, “I am with child.”

6So David sent word to Joʹab, “Send me Uriʹah the Hittite.” And Joʹab sent Uriʹah to David. 7When Uriʹah came to him, David asked how Joʹab was doing, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 8Then David said to Uriʹah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” And Uriʹah went out of the king’s house, and there followed him a present from the king. 9But Uriʹah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10When they told David, “Uriʹah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriʹah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriʹah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths; and my lord Joʹab and the 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? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” 12Then David said to Uriʹah, “Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriʹah remained in Jerusalem that day, and the next. 13And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, so that he made him drunk; and in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joʹab, and sent it by the hand of Uriʹah. 15In the letter he wrote, “Set Uriʹah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die.” 16And as Joʹab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriʹah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17And the men of the city came out and fought with Joʹab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriʹah the Hittite was slain also. 18Then Joʹab sent and told David all the news about the fighting; 19and he instructed the messenger, “When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20then, if the king’s anger rises, and if he says to you, ‘Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Abimʹelech the son of Jerubʹbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone upon him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriʹah the Hittite is dead also.’ ”

22So the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joʹab had sent him to tell. 23The messenger said to David, “The men gained an advantage over us, and came out against us in the field; but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall; some of the king’s servants are dead; and your servant Uriʹah the Hittite is dead also.” 25David said to the messenger, “Thus shall you say to Joʹab, ‘Do not let this matter trouble you, for the sword devours now one and now another; strengthen your attack upon the city, and overthrow it.’ And encourage him.”

26When the wife of Uriʹah heard that Uriʹah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. 27And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright © 1946, 1952, and 1971 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America.
Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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