1 One spring day, during the time of year when kings go off to war, David sent out Joab, along with his personal staff and all of Israel's army. They utterly destroyed the Ammonites and then attacked Rabbah while David remained in Jerusalem.
2 Late one afternoon about dusk, David got up from his couch and was walking around on the roof of the royal palace. From there he watched a woman taking a bath, and she was very beautiful to look at. 3 David sent word to inquire about her, and someone told him, "This is Eliam's daughter Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, isn't it?"
4 So David sent some messengers, took her from her home, and she went to him, and he had sex with her. (She had been consecrating herself following her menstrual separation.) Then she returned to her home. 5 The woman conceived, and she sent this message to David: "I'm pregnant."
6 So David summoned Joab, and told him, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7 When Uriah arrived, David inquired about how Joab was doing, how the army was doing, and how the war was progressing. 8 Then David told Uriah, "Go on down to your house and relax a while." So Uriah left the king's palace, and the king sent a gift along after him. 9 But Uriah spent the night sleeping in the alcove of the king's palace in the company of all his master's staff members. He refused to go down to his own home.
10 When David was told that Uriah hadn't gone home the previous night, he quizzed him, "You just arrived from a long journey, so why didn't you go down to your own house?"
11 Uriah replied, "The ark, along with Israel and Judah, are encamped in tents, while my commanding officer Joab and my master's staff members are camping out in the open fields. Should I go home, eat, drink, and have sex with my wife? Not on your life! I won't do something like this, will I?"
12 Then David invited Uriah, "Stay here today, and tomorrow I'll send you back." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem all that day and the next.
12 Meanwhile, what David had done grieved the LORD, so the LORD sent Nathan to David. 13 Then at David's invitation, he and Uriah dined and drank wine together, and David got him drunk. Later that evening, Uriah went out to lie on a couch in the company of his lord's servants, and he did not go down to his house.
14 The next morning, David sent a message to Joab that Uriah took with him in his hand. 15 In the message, he wrote: "Assign Uriah to the most difficult fighting at the battle front, and then withdraw from him so that he will be struck down and killed."
16 So as Joab began to attack the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew valiant men would be stationed. 17 When the men of the city came out to fight Joab, some of David's army staff members fell, and Uriah the Hittite died, too.
18 Then Joab sent word to David about everything that had happened at the battle. 19 He instructed the courier, "When you have finished conveying all the news about the battle to the king, 20 if the king starts to get angry and asks you, "Why did you get so near the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot from the wall? 21 Who killed Jerubbesheth's son Abimelech? Didn't a woman kill him by throwing an upper millstone on him from the wall at Thebez? Why did you go so close to the wall?' then tell him, "Your servant Uriah the Hittite also died.'" 22 So the messenger left Joab, set out for Jerusalem, and disclosed to David everything that Joab had sent him to say. 23 The messenger told David, "The men surprised us and attacked us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king's staff members are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite has died as well."
25 David responded to the messenger, "Here's what you're to tell Joab: "Don't be troubled by this incident, because the battle sword consumes one or another from time to time. Consolidate your attack against the city and conquer it.' Be sure to encourage him."