Chapter 4

  1. And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
  2. And it came to pass, in an evening, that David arose from off his bed and walked upon the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof, he saw a woman washing herself, and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers and took her, and she came in unto him and he lay with her, for she was purified from her uncleanness. And she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
  3. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah had come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and wash your feet. And Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and there followed him a mess of food from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord and went not down to his house.
  4. And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Did you not come from your journey? Why then did you not go down unto your house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents; and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go into 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.
  5. And David said to Uriah, Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart. So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next day. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him, and he made him drunk. And at evening, he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
  6. And it came to pass in the morning that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire from him, that he may be smitten and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. And the men of the city went out and fought with Joab. And there fell some of the people of the servants of David, and Uriah the Hittite died also.
  7. Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war, and charged the messenger, saying, When you have made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, and if it so be that the king’s wrath arise and he say unto you, Why did you approach so near unto the city when you did fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall? — then say you, Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
  8. So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. And the shooters shot from off the wall upon your servants, and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
  9. Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shall you say unto Joab: Let not this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it; and encourage him.
  10. And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.
  11. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord, and the Lord sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him and said unto him, There were two men in one city — the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceedingly many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb which he had bought and nourished up. And it grew up together with him, and with his children. It did eat of his own food, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveler unto the rich man, and he refrained from taking of his own flock and of his own herd to dress for the wayfaring man that had come unto him, but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man that had come to him.
  12. And David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, As the Lord lives, the man that has done this thing shall surely die. And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing and because he had no pity.
  13. And Nathan said to David, You are the man. Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul, and I gave you your master’s house and your master’s wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto you such and such things.
  14. Why have you despised the commandment of the Lord, to do evil in his sight? You have killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.
  15. Thus says the Lord: Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house, and I will take your wives before your eyes and give them unto your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun; for you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.
  16. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also has not put away your sin, that you shall not die. Nevertheless, because by this deed you have given great occasion to the enemies of the Lord to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto you shall surely die. And Nathan departed unto his house.
  17. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore implored God for the child. And David fasted, and went in and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose and went to him, to raise him up from the earth, but he would not; neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day that the child died.
  18. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke unto him and he would not listen unto our voice. How will he then vex himself if we tell him that the child is dead? But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead. Therefore, David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead.
  19. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped. Then he came to his own house, and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
  20. Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that you have done? You did fast and weep for the child while it was alive, but when the child was dead, you did rise and eat bread. And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
  21. And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her and lay with her. And she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon, and the Lord loved him. And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet, and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord.