11 * And at the return of the year, at the time when the messengers went out, David sent Joab, and with him his soldiers and all Israel, and they ravaged the Bene-ʽAmmon and laid siege to Rabbah, and David was staying in Jerusalem. 2 And at evening time David rose from his couch and took a walk on the palace roof; and from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and it was a very handsome woman. 3 And David sent and inquired about the woman, and they said “Why, that is Bath-Shebaʽ, Eliʽam’s daughter, Urijah the Hittite’s wife.” 4 And David sent messengers and fetched her; and she came to him and he lay with her, when she was in purification from her uncleanness; and she went back to her home. 5 And the woman became pregnant, and sent and told David “I am pregnant.” 6 And David sent to Joab, “Send Urijah the Hittite to me”; and Joab sent Urijah to David. 7 And Urijah came to him, and David asked him how Joab was doing and how the men were doing and how the war was doing; 8 and David said to Urijah “Go down to your house and wash your feet”; and Urijah went out of the palace, and after him a portion of the king’s food. 9 And Urijah slept at the palace door with all his fellow-soldiers and did not go down to his house; 10 and they told David “Urijah did not go down to his house,” and David said to Urijah “Why, you have been away and just got home; how is it that you do not go down to your house?” 11 * And Urijah said to David “The Ark and the Israelites and Judahites are living in booths, and his highness Joab and your majesty’s officers are camping in the open field; and shall I go into my house to eat and drink and lie with my wife? by Jehovah and by your life, I will not do any such thing.” 12 And David said to Urijah “Stay here one day more, and tomorrow I will send you off.” And Urijah stayed in Jerusalem that day; and on the next day 13 David invited him to eat and drink before him, and made him drunk; and at evening he went out to sleep in his sleeping-place with his fellow-officers, and did not go down to his house. 14 And in the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Urijah; 15 and in the letter he wrote “Put Urijah at the front in the place where the fighting is hardest, and fall back from supporting him, so that he shall get killed.” 16 And while he was besieging the city Joab stationed Urijah at a place where he knew there were stalwart men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought Joab, and some of the troops, of David’s soldiers, fell; and Urijah the Hittite also lost his life. 18 And Joab sent and reported to David all about the war, 19 and in instructing the messenger he said “When you have finished telling the king all about the war, 20 if the king is out of temper and says to you ‘How came you to go fighting close to the city? did you not know they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Abimelec the son of Jerubbaal? did not a woman throw the upper stone of a mill on him from the wall so that it was his death, at Tebes? why did you go close to the wall?’ then say ‘Urijah the Hittite is dead too.’” 22 And the messenger went, and came and told David all that Joab sent him to say, all about the war; and David was angry and said to the messenger “Why did you go fighting close to the city? did you not know you would be shot down from the wall?” 23 and the messenger said to David “Because the men braved us and came out to meet us in the open; and we pressed them clear to the gate, 24 and the archers shot at your soldiers off the wall, and of the royal soldiers about eighteen men were killed—and your servant Urijah the Hittite was killed too.” 25 And David said to the messenger “You will say to Joab ‘Do not feel badly about this matter, that the sword makes such havoc; push the war against the city, and demolish it’; encourage him.” 26 And Urijah’s wife heard that her husband Urijah was dead, and wailed over her husband; 27 and when the mourning-time was past David sent and brought her into his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son.
The Bible in Living English