2 Samuel 11-13 Bible in Basic English

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David and Bath-sheba

11 1  Now in the spring, at the time when kings go out to war, David sent Joab and his servants and all Israel with him; and they made waste the land of the children of Ammon, and took up their position before Rabbah, shutting it in. But David was still at Jerusalem. 2  Now one evening, David got up from his bed, and while he was walking on the roof of the king's house, he saw from there a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. 3  And David sent to get knowledge who the woman was. And one said, Is this not Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite? 4  And David sent and took her; and she came to him, and he took her to his bed: (for she had been made clean;) then she went back to her house. 5  And the woman became with child; and she sent word to David that she was with child.

6  And David sent to Joab saying, Send Uriah the Hittite to me. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 7  And when Uriah came to him, David put questions to him about how Joab and the people were, and how the war was going. 8  And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and let your feet be washed. And Uriah went away from the king's house, and an offering from the king was sent after him. 9  But Uriah took his rest at the door of the king's house, with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10  And when word was given to David that Uriah had not gone down to his house, David said to Uriah, Have you not come from a journey? why did you not go down to your house? 11  And Uriah said to David, Israel and Judah with the ark are living in tents, and my lord Joab and the other servants of my lord are sleeping in the open field; and am I to go to my house and take food and drink, and go to bed with my wife? By the living Lord, and by the life of your soul, I will not do such a thing. 12  And David said to Uriah, Be here today, and after that I will let you go. So Uriah was in Jerusalem that day and the day after. 13  And when David sent for him, he took meat and drink with him, and David made him the worse for drink: and when evening came, he went to rest on his bed with the servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14  Now in the morning, David gave Uriah a letter to take to Joab. 15  And in the letter he said, Take care to put Uriah in the very front of the line, where the fighting is most violent, and go back from him, so that he may be overcome and put to death. 16  So while Joab was watching the town, he put Uriah in the place where it was clear to him the best fighters were. 17  And the men of the town went out and had a fight with Joab: and a number of David's men came to their death in the fight, and with them Uriah the Hittite. 18  Then Joab sent David news of everything which had taken place in the war: 19  And he gave orders to the man who took the news, saying, After you have given the king all the news about the war, 20  If the king is angry and says, Why did you go so near the town for the fight? was it not certain that their archers would be on the wall? 21  Who put Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, to death? did not a woman send a great stone down on him from the wall, putting him to death at Thebez? why did you go so near the wall? Then say to him, Your servant Uriah the Hittite is among the dead. 22  So the man went, and came to David, and gave him all the news which Joab had sent him to give; then David was angry with Joab and said, Why did you go so near the town for the fight? was it not certain that their archers would be on the wall? who put Abimelech, the son of Jerubbaal, to death? did not a woman send a great stone down on him from the wall, putting him to death at Thebez? why did you go so near the wall? 23  And the man said to David, Truly the men got the better of us, and came out against us into the open country, but we sent them back to the very doors of the town. 24  And the archers sent their arrows at your servants from the wall, and some of the king's servants are dead, and among them is your servant Uriah the Hittite. 25  Then David said to the man, Go and say to Joab, Do not let this be a grief to you; for one man may come to his death by the sword like another: put up an even stronger fight against the town, and take it: and do you put heart into him. 26  And when the wife of Uriah had news that her husband was dead, she gave herself up to weeping for him. 27  And when the days of weeping were past, David sent for her, and took her into his house, and she became his wife and gave him a son. But the Lord was not pleased with the thing David had done.

Nathan Reproves David

12 1  And the Lord sent Nathan to David. And Nathan came to him and said, There were two men in the same town: one a man of great wealth, and the other a poor man. 2  The man of wealth had great numbers of flocks and herds; 3  But the poor man had only one little she-lamb, which he had got and taken care of: from its birth it had been with him like one of his children; his meat was its food, and from his cup it took its drink, resting in his arms, and it was like a daughter to him. 4  Now a traveller came to the house of the man of wealth, but he would not take anything from his flock or his herd to make a meal for the traveller who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and made it ready for the man who had come. 5  And David was full of wrath against that man; and he said to Nathan, By the living Lord, death is the right punishment for the man who has done this: 6  And he will have to give back four times the value of the lamb, because he has done this and because he had no pity. 7  And Nathan said to David, You are that man. The Lord God of Israel says, I made you king over Israel, putting holy oil on you, and I kept you safe from the hands of Saul; 8  I gave you your master's daughter and your master's wives for yourself, and I gave you the daughters of Israel and Judah; and if that had not been enough, I would have given you such and such things. 9  Why then have you had no respect for the word of the Lord, doing what is evil in his eyes? You have put Uriah the Hittite to death with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife; you have put him to death with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10  So now the sword will never be turned away from your family; because you have had no respect for me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11  The Lord says, From those of your family I will send evil against you, and before your very eyes I will take your wives and give them to your neighbour, and he will take your wives to his bed by the light of this sun. 12  You did it secretly; but I will do this thing before all Israel and in the light of the sun. 13  And David said to Nathan, Great is my sin against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, The Lord has put away your sin; death will not come on you. 14  But still, because you have had no respect for the Lord, death will certainly overtake the child who has newly come to birth.

15  Then Nathan went back to his house. And the hand of the Lord was on David's son, the child of Uriah's wife, and it became very ill. 16  So David made prayer to God for the child; and he took no food day after day, and went in and, stretching himself out on the earth, was there all night. 17  And the chief men of his house got up and went to his side to make him get up from the earth, but he would not; and he would not take food with them. 18  And then on the seventh day the child's death took place. And David's servants were in fear of giving him the news of the child's death: for they said, Truly, while the child was still living he gave no attention when we said anything to him: what will he do to himself if we give him word that the child is dead? 19  But when David saw that his servants were talking together quietly, he was certain that the child was dead: and he said to his servants, Is the child dead? and they said, He is. 20  Then David got up from the earth, and after washing and rubbing himself with oil and changing his clothing, he went into the house of the Lord and gave worship: then he went back to his house, and at his order they put food before him and he had a meal. 21  Then his servants said to him, Why have you been acting in this way? you were weeping and going without food while the child was still living; but when the child was dead, you got up and had a meal. 22  And he said, While the child was still living I went without food and gave myself up to weeping: for I said, Who is able to say that the Lord will not have mercy on me and give the child life? 23  But now that the child is dead there is no reason for me to go without food; am I able to make him come back to life? I will go to him, but he will never come back to me. 24  And David gave comfort to his wife Bath-sheba, and he went in to her and had connection with her: and she had a son to whom she gave the name Solomon. And he was dear to the Lord. 25  And he sent word by Nathan the prophet, who gave him the name Jedidiah, by the word of the Lord.

David Captures Rabbah

26  Now Joab was fighting against Rabbah, in the land of the children of Ammon, and he took the water-town. 27  And Joab sent men to David, saying, I have made war against Rabbah and have taken the water-town. 28  So now, get the rest of the people together, and put them in position against the town and take it, for if I take it, it will be named after my name. 29  Then David got all the people together and went to Rabbah and made war on it and took it. 30  And he took the crown of Milcom from his head; the weight of it was a talent of gold, and in it were stones of great price; and it was put on David's head. And he took a great store of goods from the town. 31  And he took the people out of the town and put them to work with wood-cutting instruments, and iron grain-crushers, and iron axes, and at brick-making: this he did to all the towns of the children of Ammon. Then David and all the people went back to Jerusalem.

Amnon and Tamar

13 1  Now after this, it came about that Absalom, David's son, had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and David's son Amnon was in love with her. 2  And he was so deeply in love that he became ill because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin, and so it seemed hard to Amnon to do anything to her. 3  But Amnon had a friend whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother: and Jonadab was a very wise man. 4  And he said to him, O son of the king, why are you getting thinner day by day? will you not say what your trouble is? And Amnon said to him, I am in love with Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister. 5  Then Jonadab said to him, Go to your bed, and let it seem that you are ill: and when your father comes to see you, say to him, Let my sister Tamar come and give me bread, and get the food ready before my eyes, so that I may see it and take it from her hand. 6  So Amnon went to bed and made himself seem ill: and when the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, Please let my sister Tamar come and make me one or two cakes before my eyes, so that I may take food from her hand. 7  Then David sent to the house for Tamar and said, Go now to your brother Amnon's house and get a meal for him. 8  So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was in bed. And she took paste and made cakes before his eyes, cooking them over the fire. 9  And she took the cooking-pot, and put the cakes before him, but he would not take them. And Amnon said, Let everyone go away from me. So they all went out. 10  Then Amnon said to Tamar, Take the food and come into my bedroom, so that I may take it from your hand. So Tamar took the cakes she had made and went with them into her brother Amnon's bedroom. 11  And when she took them to give them to him, he put his arms round her and said, Come to bed, my sister. 12  And answering him, she said, O my brother, do not put shame on me; it is not right for such a thing to be done in Israel: do not this evil thing. 13  What will become of me in my shame? and as for you, you will be looked down on with disgust by all Israel. Now then, go and make your request to the king, for he will not keep me from you. 14  But he would not give attention to what she said: but being stronger than she, he took her by force, and had connection with her. 15  Then Amnon was full of hate for her, hating her with a hate greater than his earlier love for her. And he said to her, Get up and be gone. 16  And she said to him, Not so, my brother, for this great wrong in sending me away is worse than what you did to me before. But he gave no attention to her. 17  Then he gave a cry to the servant who was waiting on him and said, Put this woman out, and let the door be locked after her. 18  Now she had on a long robe, such as in past times the king's virgin daughters were dressed in. Then the servant put her out, locking the door after her. 19  And Tamar, in her grief, put dust on her head; and she put her hand on her head and went away crying loudly.

Absalom's Revenge and Flight

20  And her brother Absalom said to her, Has your brother Amnon been with you? but now, let there be an end to your crying, my sister: he is your brother, do not take this thing to heart. So Tamar went on living uncomforted in her brother's house.

21  But when King David had news of all these things he was very angry; but he did not make trouble for Amnon his son, for he was dear to David, being his oldest son. 22  But Absalom said nothing to his brother Amnon, good or bad: for he was full of hate for him, because he had taken his sister Tamar by force. 23  Now after two full years, Absalom had men cutting the wool of his sheep in Baal-hazor, which is near Ephraim: and he sent for all the king's sons to come to his feast. 24  And Absalom came to the king and said, See now, your servant is cutting the wool of his sheep; will the king and his servants be pleased to come? 25  And the king said to Absalom, No, my son, let us not all go, or the number will be over-great for you. And he made his request again, but he would not go, but he gave him his blessing. 26  Then Absalom said, If you will not go, then let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said to him, Is there any reason for him to go with you? 27  But Absalom went on requesting him till he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. And Absalom made a great feast like a feast for a king. 28  Now Absalom had given orders to his servants, saying, Now take note when Amnon's heart is glad with wine; and when I say to you, Make an attack on Amnon, then put him to death without fear: have I not given you orders? be strong and without fear. 29  So Absalom's servants did to Amnon as Absalom had given them orders. Then all the king's sons got up, and every man got on his beast and went in flight.

30  Now while they were on their way, news was given to David that Absalom had put to death all the sons of the king and that not one of them was still living. 31  Then the king got up in great grief, stretching himself out on the earth: and all his servants were by his side, with their clothing parted. 32  And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David's brother, said, Let not my lord have the idea that all the sons of the king have been put to death; for only Amnon is dead: this has been purposed by Absalom from the day when he took his sister Tamar by force. 33  So now, let not my lord the king take this thing to heart, with the idea that all the king's sons are dead: for only Amnon is dead. 34  But Absalom went in flight. And the young man who kept the watch, lifting up his eyes, saw that a great band of people was coming down the slope by the way of the Horons; and the watchman came and gave word to the king, saying, I saw men coming down by the way of the Horons, from the hillside. 35  And Jonadab said to the king, See, the king's sons are coming; as your servant said, so it is. 36  And while he was talking, the king's sons came, with weeping and loud cries: and the king and all his servants were weeping bitterly. 37  So Absalom went in flight and came to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, the king of Geshur, where he was for three years. 38  And the king was sorrowing for his son all the time. 39  And the heart of David was wasted with desire for Absalom: for he was comforted for the death of Amnon.

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