1 In the spring, at the time of the year when kings usually go to war, David sent out Joab with his officers and the Israelite army. They destroyed the Ammonites and besieged the city of Rabbah. David stayed in Jerusalem.
2 Late one afternoon, David got up from his nap and went to the palace roof. He walked around on the roof. He saw a woman taking a bath. She was very beautiful.
3 He sent a messenger to find out who she was. He learned that she was Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.
4 So David sent messengers to get her. She came to him and they had sexual intercourse. She had just cleansed herself after her monthly period. Then she went home.
5 The woman became pregnant. So she sent someone to tell David that she was pregnant.
6 David sent a messenger to Joab, saying: »Send me Uriah the Hittite.« So Joab sent Uriah to David.
7 When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the troops were and how the war was going.
8 »Go home,« David said to Uriah, »and wash your feet.« Uriah left the royal palace, and the king sent a present to him.
9 But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace among his superiors mercenaries. He did not go home.
10 Someone told David that Uriah did not go home. So the next morning David asked him: »Why did you not go home? Have you been away for a long time?«
11 Uriah answered: »The Ark of the Covenant and the armies of Israel and Judah are camping out somewhere in the fields with our commander Joab and his officers and troops. Do you think I would go home to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? I swear by your life that I would not!«
12 David said: »Stay here in Jerusalem and I will send you back tomorrow.« Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day.
13 David invited him for dinner. Uriah ate with David and drank so much that he got drunk. However he still did not go home. He went out and slept on his mat near the palace guards.
14 The next morning, David wrote a letter and told Uriah to deliver it to Joab.
15 The letter said: »Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is the worst. Pull the troops back from him, so that he will be wounded and die.«
16 Joab carefully watched the city of Rabbah. He put Uriah in a place where he knew there were some of the enemys best soldiers.
17 The men of the city came out and fought Joab. Some of Davids mercenaries fell and died. This included Uriah the Hittite.
18 Joab sent a messenger to report to David all the details of the battle.
19 And he commanded the messenger: »When you finish telling the king about the battle,
20 the king may become angry. He might ask you: Why did you go so close to the city to fight? Did you not know they would shoot from the wall?
21 »Who killed Jerubbesheths son Abimelech? Did a woman on the wall of Thebez throw a small millstone at him and kill him? Why did you go so close to the wall? If the king asks this, tell him: Your man Uriah the Hittite is also dead.«
22 The messenger left. When he arrived he reported to David everything Joab told him to say.
23 The messenger said to David: »Their men overpowered us when they came to attack us in the field. Then we forced them back to the entrance of the city gate.
24 »The archers on the wall shot down at your mercenaries. Some of Your Majestys mercenaries died. Your man Uriah the Hittite also is dead.«
25 David replied: »This is what you are to say to Joab: Do not let this thing trouble you. After all a sword can kill one person as easily as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and destroy it. Say this to encourage him.«
26 Uriahs wife heard that her husband was dead and she mourned for him.
27 When her mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to his home. She became his wife. Then she gave birth to a son. However, Jehovah considered Davids actions evil.