GOD'S WORD® Translation
1In the spring, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, his mercenaries, and Israel's army [to war]. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked Rabbah, while David stayed in Jerusalem.
2Now, when evening came, David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the royal palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing, and she was very pretty. 3David sent someone to ask about the woman. The man said, "She's Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4So David sent messengers and took her. She came to him, and he went to bed with her. (She had just cleansed herself after her monthly period.) Then she went home. 5The woman had become pregnant. So she sent someone to tell David that she was pregnant.
6Then David sent a messenger to Joab, saying, "Send me Uriah the Hittite." So Joab sent Uriah to David. 7When Uriah arrived, David asked him how Joab and the troops were and how the war was going. 8"Go home," David said to Uriah, "and wash your feet." Uriah left the royal palace, and the king sent a present to him. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace among his superior's mercenaries. He didn't go home. 10When they told David, "Uriah didn't go home," David asked Uriah, "Didn't you just come from a journey? Why didn't you go home?" 11Uriah answered David, "The ark and [the army of] Israel and Judah are in temporary shelters, and my commander Joab and Your Majesty's mercenaries are living in the field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? I solemnly swear, as sure as you're living, I won't do this!" 12David said to Uriah, "Then stay here today, and tomorrow I'll send you back." So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13David summoned him, ate and drank with him, and got him drunk. But that evening Uriah went to lie down on his bed among his superior's mercenaries. He didn't go home.
14In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. 15In the letter he wrote, "Put Uriah on the front line where the fighting is heaviest. Then abandon him so that he'll be struck down and die." 16Since Joab had kept the city under observation, he put Uriah at the place where he knew the experienced warriors were. 17The men of the city came out and fought Joab. Some of the people, namely, some of David's mercenaries, fell and died-including Uriah the Hittite. 18Then Joab sent [a messenger] to report to David all the details of the battle. 19And he commanded the messenger, "When you finish telling the king about the battle, 20the king may become angry. He might ask you, 'Why did you go so close to the city to fight? Didn't you know they would shoot from the wall? 21Who killed Jerubbesheth's son Abimelech? Didn't a woman on the wall of Thebez throw a small millstone at him and kill him? Why did you go so close to the wall?' If the king asks this, then say, 'Your man Uriah the Hittite is also dead.' "
22The messenger left, and when he arrived, he reported to David everything Joab told him to say. 23The messenger said, "Their men overpowered us and came to attack us in the field. Then we forced them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24The archers on the wall shot down at your mercenaries, and some of Your Majesty's mercenaries died. Your man Uriah the Hittite also is dead." 25David said to the messenger, "This is what you are to say to Joab, 'Don't let this thing trouble you, because a sword can kill one person as easily as another. Strengthen your attack against the city, and destroy it.' Say this to encourage him."
26When Uriah's wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for him. 27When her mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her to his home, and she became his wife. Then she gave birth to a son. But the LORD considered David's actions evil.