II Samuel Chapter 11

"David's Sin [1-5]."
"David and Uriah [6-15]."
"Uriah's Death 16-24."
"David's Cover-Up [25-27]."

This Bible Study is written by Roger Christopherson, and it's transcription is provided with written permission by http://www.theseason.org

David was very successful in all that he did, and as he lived in comfort and with the blessings of God, he is going to commit a sin in the chapter, that is hard for any military man to understand. David was at his weak point when he allowed one sin of adultery to cause another sin of murder. David will not loose his kingdom over this, but God will let David know in no uncertain terms that the things that he did was not acceptable to Him.

II Samuel 11:1 "And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth 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 tarried still at Jerusalem."

It was the time of the year that the troops were marching into battle against the Ammorites, only David stayed behind. Joab lead the army into battle and David did not go with them. David's kingdom was well established by this time. All of the enemies of David's kingdom had fallen except Ammon, and David was going to "tarry" or take time to wait and do nothing but rest. David had much time on his hands, for the army was off to battle, and David stayed behind to wait on the reports from the battle field.

Any time you get to a point where you have too much time on your hand's, the mind gets to work and the flesh nature can get very difficult to deal with.

II Samuel 11:2 "And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the kings house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon."

The afternoon sleep time was over and David got up from his nap, and took a stroll out on roof patio of the palace. And from the roof, he looked down and saw a woman taking a bath below. David was taken in by this woman's beauty right from the first glance. Remember that David is the king, and his subject did not have the right to refuse him.

There can arise a lot of questions from this verse, first of all why would this woman be taking a bath out in the open yard in the light of day, when all passing could watch? She knew that David could see her as she was doing this act. We will never know if she did this just to tempt David. However from other reports in the Scriptures, this woman was very beautiful and she knew it.

David had a lot of time to kill, for the battle was miles away, and it was just a peaceful time of day. It was at this time that David's flesh nature took over.

II Samuel 11:3 "And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, "Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

When we compare this passage with another report in I Chronicles 3:5, "Bath-sheba" is called "Bath-shua", and "Eliam" is referred to as "Ammial". "Uriah" means the "light of God", for Uriah is from the land that was possessed by the Hittites. The Israelites possess it, and Uriah an Israelite came from that land. Bath-sheba was Uriah's wife.

II Samuel 11:4 "And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house."

Did Bath-sheba put up a fight to keep from being taken by David? When you observe the fact that David was the king, and had power over the entire kingdom, there would be no objection to any order that the king gave. David had the right to order a man or woman's death, and he had complete authority to do what every he desired. Bath-sheba simply did not have the right to refuse the command of a king, any more than you have the right to refuse to obey the laws of our land. The emotions of Bath-sheba simply are not stated in the Scriptures, for the subject here is David's emotions and actions and not Bath-sheba's.

Was this love at first sight, even though there was a sin committed here? Lust is still one of the weakness of the flesh.

II Samuel 11:5 "And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, "I am with child."

Was that the intention of Bath-sheba all the time? We will never know.

II Samuel 11:6 "And David sent to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." And Joab sent Uriah to David."

David was in a spot, and he is going to try to cover up the sin that he has committed. Naturally everyone is going to do exactly as David the king requests. David wanted to get Uriah back to Jerusalem immediately, and lie with his wife so that Uriah would think that the child was his.

II Samuel 11:7 "And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered."

When Uriah arrived at David's house, of course David tried to make it look like he was requesting a report of how the battle was going. This is just political double talk to throw Uriah off from what the real reasons were for calling him back to Jerusalem. David wanted Uriah to think that he was nothing more than a messenger.

II Samuel 11:8 "And David said to Uriah, "Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet." And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king."

When the talk was over David sent Uriah home to have a night with his wife. David is setting Uriah up with a feast with plenty of meat, and all the extras that goes with the feast. The servants were to follow Uriah to his house and bring the food after he arrived home. Of course David thought that if Uriah had a night with his wife, Uriah would think that this child conceived by Bath-sheba from David was his. Then that sinful act of adultery would be completely covered up by Uriah's presence.

II Samuel 11:9 "But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of the lord, and went not down to his house."

Uriah did go to his house, but he went to the tent city where the troops protecting Jerusalem were camped. Uriah was a soldier's soldier, and he was loyal to his fellow comrades. He figured, why should I be at ease in comfort with my wife at home, when they are out there in battle against the enemy.

II Samuel 11:10 "And when they had told David, saying, "Uriah went not down unto his house," David said unto Uriah, "Camest thou not from thy journey: why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?"

These servants arrived at Uriah's home, and delivered the food, Uriah was not there. It didn't take long to get the message back to David that Uriah did not go home, there would be no feast, nor would Uriah be with his wife. David had his plot all set up, only Uriah did not fulfill that part of David's scheme. David immediately called Uriah in and asked him point blank, "Why did you not go home when I sent you there?"

II Samuel 11:11 "And Uriah said unto David, "The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine own house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing."

The loyalty to the very ark of God, to his nation and to his family as well as to his comrades in arms would not allow him to do such a thing. Uriah would not take the time for enjoyment when all these were in danger. All the while, David lay back in the palace and letting his passions run wild. David was committing acts that were in fact going against everything that the Ark of the Covenant stood for. David was not disciplined, where as Uriah was the perfect example of discipline and order. David just did not count of this happening, so he had to go to another plan to get Uriah out of the way. So how does David handle this person that was so loyal to David.

II Samuel 11:12 "And David said to Uriah, "Tarry here today also, and to morrow I will let thee depart." So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow."

Uriah stayed in Jerusalem and the palace of David the rest of that day, and the next day he departed to go back to the battle field.

II Samuel 11:13 "And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: And at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house."

That first night David planned another attempt to get Uriah drunk to where he would go in to his wife, but it just did not work. Uriah was completely committed and would not go home to his wife.

To this point, it is easy to see these sins of David, to try to cover up a sin of adultery that was committed at a time leisure, when David's guard was down. The flesh part of man can carry a person away for a moment, and afterward he feels sorry for the thing that he has done. However, any military man would have a hard time understanding this next sin of cover-up that David will do. Men do lose their lives on the battle field, but to plan the murder of a loyal person by military means is just not acceptable under any condition to a military person.

II Samuel 11:14 "And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah."

Uriah is going to carry his own death sentence to Joab, and the entire time would be completely ignorant as to the murder plot that is taking place. It all happened because Uriah was willing even to his death, to fight for his king, and his people.

II Samuel 11:15 "And he wrote in the letter, saying, "Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die."

David knew that Uriah was completely loyal to him, and there was no way that Uriah would open that letter that was written by the king, with the king's seal upon it. David is ordering the top general Joab, his nephew, to send Uriah into the hottest battle, where there is no way that he could come out alive. Then Joab was to pull all protection away from Uriah. David trusted Uriah to carry his own death warrant to the executioner, Joab. This is what is so hard to understand about David and his sins. David compounded the sin of adultery with the sin of murder. There was no need to go to this degree of sin.

However Bath-sheba would be the mother of Solomon, and the mother of Nathan, the very seed to which Jesus the Christ would be born. Luke 3:31; "Which was the son of Melea, which was the son of Menan, which was the son of Mattatha, which was the son of Nathan, which was the son of David." God has His ways, and it was from this adulteress woman that the seed line of Christ came. Nathan was the youngest living son of Bath-sheba. When Nathan was conceived and born, Bath-sheba was David's wife, and Uriah was dead. God allows us to mess up the way that we do, and even from our sins, upon repentance he will take what was wrong and make something right out of it. In the future David had grown to regret what he did to Uriah many times.

This is given in God's Word for a very important purpose, for David was a man after God's own heart, yet God gave him a flesh nature just as you and I have, and He made each of us a soul with a free will. We have the right to chose what we will or will not do, and many times we just mess up. David messed up to the point far beyond what we would commit, but when David's sin was brought to his face by the prophet, he repented. The hard part after repentance is to forgive yourself, and if God has forgiven you, why would you not forgive yourself. That is like telling God that His sacrifice on the cross was not sufficient to cover all sin, but only a part. It is mocking God and blaspheming the Holy Spirit of God, when you pray for forgiveness in Jesus Name and than will not let that sin go, and forgive yourself.

God forgave David after this, and used David to accomplish many great acts, even in writing the great book of the Psalms. Get off your guilt trip after you see that you have done something, and repented of that thing, and get you mind focused to where you can be of service to God. Make it right and keep moving ahead.

II Samuel 11:16 "And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were."

Joab is going to assign Uriah to a place in the heat of battle, than order them up so close to the wall to where the arrows shot from the wall will be sure to find their mark. Uriah is going to be killed by the archers.

II Samuel 11:17 "And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the People of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also."

David in a round about way planned the murder and Joab carried out the orders of David. The entire time Uriah was completely ignorant to the plot that was taking place against him. This was out and out murder, the orders were to go right up to the wall, a place to where normal fighting men would not think of going, but Uriah followed the orders. Sure this action can be hid from all the people, but it cannot be hid from God. God can read even the thoughts of a man as they are being thought. There is a lesson here, for you can't hide one thing from God. When you do fall short, and you see what you have done, than repent to the Father in Jesus name, and forgive yourself also.

II Samuel 11:18 "Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;"

II Samuel 11:19 "And charged the messenger, saying, "When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,"

II Samuel 11:20 "And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, `Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?"

Joab knew that David would see this stupid act of war that caused so many of the men to fall and would inquire the reason from Joab. Why did he do such a stupid thing? When you see David getting angry, then you tell him this.

II Samuel 11:21 "Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? `why went ye nigh the wall?' Then say thou, `Thy servant Uriah the Hettite is dead also.' "

This is to remind David of a point in past history, dealing with a king that got to close to the wall, and just a woman with a millstone killed the Abimelech by tossing the millstone over the wall. Joab wanted David to know that his order for Uriah's life was the thing that caused him to send Uriah and the rest of the men up to the wall to their death. David's orders to kill Uriah were carried out. To the rest of Israel, it would look like an error in judgment on the battlefield that caused Uriah's life, but David knew that it was not an error. The messenger has no idea in the world what is being relayed here from Joab to David.

II Samuel 11:22 "So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for."

II Samuel 11:23 "And the messenger said unto David, "Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate."

This messenger is telling David that the battle was going fine in the field, and we chased them all the way back to the gate of the city.

II Samuel 11:24 "And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also."

This messenger knew now that Joab messed up, and he is not going to let David have time to get mad, so he let Uriah's death be known right from the start. The messenger got the clue that Uriah's death was what the king was after in the first place.

II Samuel 11:25 "Then David said unto the messenger, "Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, `Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it:' and encourage thou him. "

To understand the scope of this sin; The murder of Urah puts David at a disadvantage as far as Joab is concerned. Even though Joab is David's nephew, this general has something on David that he can use in the future to gain an advantage. David forced Joab to commit this abomination against Uriah, but to a disciplined military person, what David has force upon Joab was unthinkable. Joab had lost much respect here even for his own uncle.

II Samuel 11:26 "And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband."

Bath-sheba now knew what David had done to her husband, and she mourned for Uriah. This was a genuine sorrow for she knew she was part of what took place. She probably truly loved him, for remember when the king called for her, as a subject to David, she could not refuse.

II Samuel 11:27 "And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."

Remember that David left the Lord completely out of all his plans. The adultery, the plotting of the murder and the murder was not an act of God, but a planned murder. It will be through the womb of Bath-shebah that both Solomon and Nathan were born. It would be through the lineage of Solomon that the lineage of Joseph, the wife of Mary would come, and through Nathan, Mary and the Christ child would come. God forgave these sins of David so much that He allow the very Messiah to come through David and Bath-shebah. Remember it takes two to produce a child, and the lineage of the wife is just as important as the husband.

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