2nd Samuel 11
There Must Be 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover
1 In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out
to battle, David sent Joab with his officers and all Israel with
him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David
remained at Jerusalem. 2 It happened, late one afternoon, when
David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of
the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the
woman was very beautiful. 3 David sent someone to inquire about
the woman. It was reported, "This is Bathsheba daughter of
Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4 So David sent messengers
to get her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she
was purifying herself after her period.) Then she returned to
her house. 5 The woman conceived; and she sent and told David,
"I am pregnant." 6 So David sent word to Joab, "Send
me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When
Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab and the people fared,
and how the war was going. 8 Then David said to Uriah, "Go
down to your house, and wash your feet." Uriah went out of
the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king's house with all
the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10
When they told David, "Uriah did not go down to his house,"
David said to Uriah, "You have just come from a journey.
Why did you not go down to your house?" 11 Uriah said to
David, "The ark and Israel and Judah remain in booths; and
my lord Joab 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 such a thing." 12 Then David said to Uriah, "Remain
here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back." So Uriah
remained in Jerusalem that day. On the next day, 13 David invited
him to eat and drink in his presence and 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. 14 In the morning
David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15 In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of
the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, so that he
may be struck down and die."
Uriah In a Heap (of Trouble)
Probably one of the most damning passages in the Bible is here
where king David commits adultery, tries to cover it up and finally
has Uriah murdered. Uriah is blameless, he follows all of the
proper loyalties and rituals of warfare, only in this case it
works against him. It is clearly David's child as the comment
about Bathsheba's purifying ritual reveals (otherwise too much
information - TMI)! As good a king as David is as a military leader
is just about as bad a king as he is when it comes to his personal
life. This kind of information makes it very hard to like him.
It's a tribute to the Bible not to show their leaders as flawless,
perhaps suggesting that while God is perfect, people are not.
It also goes a long way toward explaining why history didn't always
work out as planned. David goes on to marry Bathsheba and the
cover-up seems to be working, although there are lot of people
privy to it (e.g., servants, Joab).
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