Study Guide

2 Samuel Chapter 11

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Chapter 11

"You Saw Her Bathing on the Roof"

  • Now, David's personal life really heats up—in a bad way.
  • It's springtime, which is also wartime, and David has sent Joab and the army out to fight the Ammonites, while he stays in Jerusalem.
  • One day, David is taking a stroll on his palace's roof, and he happens to see a beautiful woman bathing nearby.
  • David is smitten, and he sends someone to figure out who the woman is. Turns out, it's Bathsheba, the wife of one of David's generals, Uriah the Hittite.
  • David sends his messengers to bring Bathsheba to him (she was bathing to purify herself after her period).
  • They sleep together, and Bathsheba gets pregnant.

An Awkward Houseguest

  • As if nothing is going on, David sends for Uriah and asks him how the army is doing, and then tells him to go wash his feet in his (Uriah's) house. Uriah goes and does this, and then David sends him a gift.
  • But Uriah doesn't go to sleep in his own house—he sleeps on David's steps. When David asks him why he's doing this, Uriah says it's because the rest of Israel's army (along with the Ark) is still camping and roughing it, so it would feel wrong for him to go into his own house and sleep with his wife (which is, you know, what ol' Davey just did).
  • David keeps him for another day, and gets Uriah drunk in the evening during a feast, but Uriah still doesn't go into his own house. Uh oh.

Murder Most Foul

  • Deviously, David sends a letter to Joab (Uriah himself unwittingly delivers it, actually) telling him to put Uriah out in the fiercest part of the battle, and then draw back, so he gets killed.
  • Joab accomplishes this, but other Israelite warriors are killed in the process, as well.
  • Joab tells the messenger that if David is angry about the other warriors being killed, he should tell him that Uriah the Hittite is dead.
  • The messenger gives David the full story, and David tells him to tell Joab not to worry about it, and to keep trying hard to overthrow the city they're attacking.
  • Bathsheba is pretty upset about Uriah's death—but David takes her into his house and marries her, and she gives birth to David's son.
  • Yet someone is displeased by all of these murderous shenanigans: God.

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