2 Samuel 11-13 World English Bible

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David and Bath-sheba

11 1  It happened, at the return of the year, at the time when kings go out 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 stayed at Jerusalem. 2  It happened at evening, that David arose from off his bed, and walked on the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful to look on. 3  David send and inquired after the woman. One said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 4  David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in to him, and he lay with her (for she was purified from her uncleanness); and she returned to her house. 5  The woman conceived; and she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

6  David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” Joab sent Uriah to David. 7  When Uriah was come to him, David asked of him how Joab did, and how the people fared, and how the war prospered. 8  David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house, and wash your feet.” Uriah departed out of the king’s house, and a gift from the king was sent after him. 9  But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and didn’t go down to his house. 10  When they had told David, saying, “Uriah didn’t go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Haven’t you come from a journey? Why didn’t you go down to your house?” 11  Uriah said to David, “The ark, Israel, and Judah, are staying in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field. 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!” 12  David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you depart.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day, and the next day. 13  When David had called him, he ate and drink before him; and he made him drunk. At evening, he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but didn’t go down to his house.

14  It happened in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15  He wrote in the letter, saying, “Send Uriah to the forefront of the hottest battle, and retreat from him, that he may be struck, and die.” 16  It happened, when Joab kept watch on the city, that he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that valiant men were. 17  The men of the city went out, and fought with Joab. Some of the people fell, even of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also. 18  Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19  and he commanded the messenger, saying, “When you have finished telling all the things concerning the war to the king, 20  it shall be that, if the king’s wrath arise, and he asks you, ‘Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Didn’t you know that they would shoot from the wall? 21  who struck Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Didn’t a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall?’ then you shall say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.’” 22  So the messenger went, and came and showed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23  The messenger said to David, “The men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entrance of the gate. 24  The shooters shot at your servants from off the wall; and some of the king’s servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” 25  Then David said to the messenger, “Thus you shall tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing displease you, for the sword devours one as well as another. Make your battle stronger against the city, and overthrow it.’ Encourage him.” 26  When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she made lamentation for her husband. 27  When the mourning was past, David sent and took her home to his house, and she became his wife, and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased Yahweh.

Nathan Reproves David

12 1  Yahweh sent Nathan to David. He came to him, and said to him, “There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2  The rich man had very many flocks and herds, 3  but the poor man had nothing, except one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and raised. It grew up together with him, and with his children. It ate of his own food, drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was to him like a daughter. 4  A traveler came to the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man who had come to him, but took the poor man’s lamb, and dressed it for the man who had come to him.” 5  David’s anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, “As Yahweh lives, the man who has done this is worthy to die! 6  He shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity!” 7  Nathan said to David, “You are the man. This is what Yahweh, the God of Israel, says: ‘I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. 8  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 would have been too little, I would have added to you many more such things. 9  Why have you despised the word of Yahweh, to do that which is evil in his sight? You have struck 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. 10  Now therefore the sword will never depart from your house, because you have despised me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.’ 11  “This is what Yahweh says: ‘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 to your neighbor, and he will lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12  For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.’” 13  David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against Yahweh.”

Nathan said to David, “Yahweh also has put away your sin. You will not die. 14  However, because by this deed you have given great occasion to Yahweh’s enemies to blaspheme, the child also who is born to you shall surely die.”

15  Nathan departed to his house.

Yahweh struck the child that Uriah’s wife bore to David, and it was very sick. 16  David therefore begged God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night on the earth. 17  The elders of his house arose, and stood beside him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18  It happened on the seventh day, that the child died. 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 to him, and he didn’t listen to our voice. How will he then harm himself, if we tell him that the child is dead?” 19  But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David perceived that the child was dead; and David said to his servants, “Is the child dead?”

They said, “He is dead.” 20  Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his clothing; and he came into the house of Yahweh, and worshiped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he ate. 21  Then said his servants to him, “What is this that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child was dead, you rose up and ate bread.” 22  He said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, ‘Who knows whether Yahweh will not be gracious to me, that the child may live?’ 23  But now he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24  David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her, and lay with her. She bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Yahweh loved him; 25  and he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he named him Jedidiah, for Yahweh’s sake.

David Captures Rabbah

26  Now Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city. 27  Joab sent messengers to David, and said, “I have fought against Rabbah. Yes, I have taken the city of waters. 28  Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it; lest I take the city, and it be called after my name.” 29  David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it. 30  He took the crown of their king from off his head; and its weight was a talent of gold, and in it were precious stones; and it was set on David’s head. He brought forth the spoil of the city, exceeding much. 31  He brought forth the people who were therein, and put them under saws, and under iron picks, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick kiln: and he did so to all the cities of the children of Ammon. David and all the people returned to Jerusalem.

Amnon and Tamar

13 1  It happened after this, that Absalom the son of David had a beautiful sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2  Amnon was so troubled that he fell sick because of his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and 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 subtle man. 4  He said to him, “Why, son of the king, are you so sad from day to day? Won’t you tell me?”

Amnon said to him, “I love Tamar, my brother Absalom’s sister.” 5  Jonadab said to him, “Lay down on your bed, and pretend to be sick. When your father comes to see you, tell him, ‘Please let my sister Tamar come and give me bread to eat, and dress the food in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it from her hand.’” 6  So Amnon lay down and faked being sick. When the king came to see him, Amnon said to the king, “Please let my sister Tamar come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat from her hand.” 7  Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, “Go now to your brother Amnon’s house, and prepare food for him.” 8  So Tamar went to her brother Amnon’s house; and he was laid down. She took dough, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and baked the cakes. 9  She took the pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. Amnon said, “Have all men leave me.” Every man went out from him. 10  Amnon said to Tamar, “Bring the food into the room, that I may eat from your hand.” Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the room to Amnon her brother. 11  When she had brought them near to him to eat, he took hold of her, and said to her, “Come, lie with me, my sister!” 12  She answered him, “No, my brother, do not force me! For no such thing ought to be done in Israel. Don’t you do this folly. 13  I, where would I carry my shame? And as for you, you will be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, please speak to the king; for he will not withhold me from you.” 14  However he would not listen to her voice; but being stronger than she, he forced her, and lay with her. 15  Then Amnon hated her with exceeding great hatred; for the hatred with which he hated her was greater than the love with which he had loved her. Amnon said to her, “Arise, be gone!” 16  She said to him, “Not so, because this great wrong in sending me away is worse than the other that you did to me!”

But he would not listen to her. 17  Then he called his servant who ministered to him, and said, “Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her.” 18  She had a garment of various colors on her; for with such robes were the king’s daughters who were virgins dressed. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. 19  Tamar put ashes on her head, and tore her garment of various colors that was on her; and she laid her hand on her head, and went her way, crying aloud as she went.

Absalom's Revenge and Flight

20  Absalom her brother said to her, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now hold your peace, my sister. He is your brother. Don’t take this thing to heart.”

So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom’s house.

21  But when king David heard of all these things, he was very angry. 22  Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad; for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar. 23  It happened after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal Hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king’s sons. 24  Absalom came to the king, and said, “See now, your servant has sheepshearers. Please let the king and his servants go with your servant.” 25  The king said to Absalom, “No, my son, let us not all go, lest we be burdensome to you.” He pressed him; however he would not go, but blessed him. 26  Then Absalom said, “If not, please let my brother Amnon go with us.”

The king said to him, “Why should he go with you?” 27  But Absalom pressed him, and he let Amnon and all the king’s sons go with him. 28  Absalom commanded his servants, saying, “Mark now, when Amnon’s heart is merry with wine; and when I tell you, ‘Strike Amnon,’ then kill him. Don’t be afraid. Haven’t I commanded you? Be courageous, and be valiant!” 29  The servants of Absalom did to Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king’s sons arose, and every man got him up on his mule, and fled.

30  It happened, while they were in the way, that the news came to David, saying, “Absalom has slain all the king’s sons, and there is not one of them left!” 31  Then the king arose, and tore his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes torn. 32  Jonadab, the son of Shimeah, David’s brother, answered, “Don’t let my lord suppose that they have killed all the young men the king’s sons; for Amnon only is dead; for by the appointment of Absalom this has been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33  Now therefore don’t let my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king’s sons are dead; for Amnon only is dead.” 34  But Absalom fled. The young man who kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and behold, many people were coming by way of the hillside behind him. 35  Jonadab said to the king, “Behold, the king’s sons are coming! It is as your servant said.” 36  It happened, as soon as he had finished speaking, that behold, the king’s sons came, and lifted up their voice, and wept. The king also and all his servants wept bitterly. 37  But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai the son of Ammihur, king of Geshur. David mourned for his son every day. 38  So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39  the soul of king David longed to go forth to Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.

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