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Bible Commentaries
2 Samuel 11

Bell's Commentary on the BibleBell's Commentary

Verses 1-27

  1. INTRO:
    1. Mothers Day: Video & Pray for moms.
    2. I’m going to do 2 Sam.11 in 2 Parts.
      1. This week: Part 1 Redeeming a Mom; center on Bathsheba’s life.
      2. Next week: Part 2 Redeeming a Man; center on David’s most notable sin.
    3. Every Mothers Day inevitably I talk with those who say, but my mom wasn’t a good mom.
      1. I want to speak to the less-than-perfect moms.
      2. I want to speak to moms who have made mistakes in mothering/motherhood.
      3. I want to show you a God who shows mercy, gives grace, & Redeems moms!
    2. (1) In the spring - or “at the turn of the year”. March/April. Jewish New Year.
    3. And of course David’s in bed when he should have been in battle!
    4. Family Counselor J. Allan Pettersen lists in his book, The Myth of the Greener Grass:
      1. No one however chosen, blessed & used of God, is immune to an extramarital affair
      2. Anyone, regardless of how many victories he has won, can fall disastrously.
      3. The act of infidelity is the result of uncontrolled desires, thoughts, and fantasies.
      4. Your body is your servant or it becomes your master.
      5. A Christian who falls will excuse, rationalize, and conceal, the same as anyone else.
      6. Sin can be enjoyable but it can never be successfully covered.
      7. One night of passion can spark years of family pain.
      8. [Listen to this!] Failure is neither fatal nor final!
    5. Bathsheba - Not sure what you think of her?
      1. ​​​​​​​You might think she’s a seductress right out of a romantic-novel. Purposely hoping to catch the eye of the most powerful man in the known world. Who just moved in to his new palace.Which happens to command a view of her house, right across the little valley. Who also happens to know he walks his porch right before nightfall.
      2. You might think she’s an innocent victim of a crime of rape; or at least one who was taken advantage of.
      3. What do we know? We know she’s good looking (11:2); & We know she came from a God fearing family (dad’s name was Eliam/Ammiel = People of God.
    6. Outline: [1] Becoming a mom doesn’t always start off well [2] Being a mom isn’t always easy esp regarding the death of a child [3] Moms & their faulty Motherhood can always be Redeemed
  3. [1] Becoming a mom doesn’t always “start” off well! (2 Sam.11:5)
    1. David, I’m pregnant! I am with child - When is Happy Mothers Day not a Happy Mothers Day?
      1. Unmarried mothers gave birth to 4 out of every 10 babies born in the US in 2007.
      2. Number of live births to unmarried women: 1,726,566 (2008 CDC stats)
      3. Ok, thats heard enough not being married, but being married & coming up w/ someone else’s baby...even worse.
    2. We are told Bathsheba could not have resisted had she desired, for a woman in these ancient times was completely subject to a king’s will.
      1. Consequently, her part in the story is neither praiseworthy nor blameworthy.
      2. Even Sarah, some centuries before, because of her beauty, had been taken into the harems of 2 kings, Pharaoh & Abimelech (though not touched).
    3. There is no indication of Bathsheba’s thoughts or feelings in the matter.
      1. I am with child was the message she sent to David; & she left him to deal with the situation.
      2. She did mourn for her husband(26) but was her grief routine, or guilt, or sincere?
    4. So, Becoming a mom doesn’t always “start” off well!
  4. [2] Being a mom isn’t always easy, esp regarding the death of a child!(2 Sam.12:15b, 19)
    1. No greater grief a mother could ever face...the death of one of her children, even a baby.
      1. With Mary, the mother of Jesus, the death of her Son was defined, or alluded to, as a sword.
      2. The massacre of the children under 2 in Bethlehem & its districts brought about, “A voice was heard in Ramah, Lamentation, weeping, and great mourning, Rachel weeping for her children, Refusing to be comforted, Because they are no more.”
        1. Rachel? The mother of Joseph & Benj.
          1. Joseph had Ephraim & Mannaseh (2 leading tribes in the North of Israel)
        2. Ramah? – Jeremiah had heard Rachel weeping at Ramah, “where the Jewish prisoners were assembled for their long journey to Babylon”.
        3. Rachel’s descendants thru Joseph (North Is.) captured by Assyria; Her descendants thru Benj. (South Is.) now captured by Babylon.
          1. God reassured her both Eph. & Benj. would be restored (16,17)
        4. Q: Why is this quoted in Mt.2:16-18?
        5. The mothers of Bethlehem, like Rachel, could only weep cuz of their present situation; but like Rachel, the tears were not in vain & not forever. See, “These children died that Jesus might live, so Jesus could die that they might live!”
    2. So, Being a mom isn’t always easy. Especially regarding the rebellion of their child, the lack of spirituality of their child, or the death of their child!
  5. ​​​​​​​[3]Moms & Mistakes in Motherhood can always be Redeemed(Prov31; Mt1:6)
    1. It is as the Mother of Solomon where she takes her honored place among the famous women of the bible. And, as the great, great, great, great, great,...grandmother of Jesus.
    2. [1] As the Mother of Solomon.
      1. ​​​​​​​During the years of Solomon’s youth there is no record of her.
      2. But, when King David was old & dying, she carried out the most important mission of her life(moms on a mission!). The establishing of Solomon as king!
        1. 1 Kings 1, She intervened to have her son Solomon succeed his father as king of Israel.
        2. Adonijah was exalting himself to be king, & David didn’t rebuke him for it. (1:5,6)
      3. The Prophet Nathan conspired with Bathsheba to have Solomon made king as David had promised earlier.
      4. In Bathsheba’s plea before the aged king she shows wisdom, finesse, courtesy, & vision. See 1 Kings 1:28,30 (obviously she had won great respect from her husband; from the prophet; from her son)
        1. Only an intelligent, respected woman could have won so great a victory from the king.
        2. Only a righteous woman could have been sought out by the prophet Nathan.
        3. Only a much loved mother could have been so warmly greeted when she went to her son after he became king.
          1. See 1 Kings 2:19. Right side (place of power/authority) & Queen mother!
          2. Make your Mom Queen Mother today! :)
      5. Jewish tradition has it that Bathsheba recited the 31st Proverb on chastity, temperance, & the qualities of a good wife, to her son Solomon at his 1st marriage. (Edith Deen, All the Women in the BIble, pg.113)
        1. ​​​​​​​Many believe Prov.31 was written by Solomon(King Lemuel) in memory of his mother.
        2. She encouraged her son the king to: Beware of Wine, Women, & Words (vs.1-9)
        3. The rest of the chapter becomes an anthem to the virtuous woman.
        4. A Hebrew Acrostic of: How Rare she is(10); How Restful she is(11,12); How Resourceful she is(13-15); How Rich she is(16-19); How Responsive she is(20); How Ready she is(21);Her Personal Appearance(22); Her Public Applause(23); Her Popular Approval(24-25) How Right she is(26,27); How Rewarded she is(28); How Renowned she is(29-31) (John Phillips commentary on Proverbs.)
      6. The stormy scenes of her young womanhood had all passed.
        1. Though she had lost the child born of adultery, it had been her pleasure to educate for the kingdom another son to see him anointed king & then to sit by him when he began to rule
      7. Her story opens w/a dark picture of a woman as man’s seductress; but closes happily w/the picture of the ideal woman, who is a trusted companion & devoted mother.
    3. [2] As the great, great, great, great,...GrandMother of Jesus.
    4. Bathsheba is also given a special place in the genealogy of Jesus!
      1. Mt.1:6 (NLT) Jesse was the father of King David. David was the father of Solomon (whose mother was Bathsheba, the widow of Uriah).
      2. An interesting fact about Matthew’s genealogy is the inclusion of 4 OT women:
        1. Tamar (Matt.1:3), Rahab (5), Ruth (5), and Solomon’s mother Bathsheba (6).
        2. All of these women (as well as most of the men) were questionable in some way.
          1. Tamar and Rahab were prostitutes (Gen. 38:24; Josh. 2:1),
          2. Ruth was a foreigner, a Moabitess (Ruth 1:4)
          3. Bathsheba committed adultery (2 Sam. 11:2-5).
        3. Matthew may have included these women in order to emphasize that God’s choices in dealing with people are all of His Grace!!!
          1. Let’s remember 2 things: There is a clean path to hell as well as a dirty one. And, No one can out-sin the Grace of God!
    5. Edith Dean, in All the Women in the Bible said, “Bathsheba lives on, even today 30 centuries later, as the honored & serene mother of Israel’s wisest king, as a wife possessing a noble calmness & gentle dignity, & as a woman of queenly carriage as well as one who was “very beautiful to look upon.” (Edith Dean pg.117)

Verses 1-27

  1. INTRO:
    1. Belize/Machaca: John Gotz.
    1. Prayer: (read 1 Kings 15:5) We are thankful our sins are not written down for all to read. May we learn from our friend David, during his darkest hour.
    1. Why ch.11 in 2 parts?
      1. Last week: Part 1 Redeeming a Mom; center on Bathsheba’s life.
      1. This week: Part 2 Redeeming a Man; center on David’s most notable sin.
        1. The bible never flatters its heroes. All had feet of clay. [How the mighty have fallen!]
        1. Many families this morning, have lived through this very sin. :(
        1. I again remind us, if we leave the story on adultery, we learn little; but if we learn about God’s mercy, redemption & grace, then we surely have learned something tremendous.
    1. Outline: How It Happens. How To Prevent It. How To Fix It. How to Move On.
    1. Dropping Your Guard!
    1. “The devil tempts all men; but idle men tempt the devil.” F.B.Meyer
      1. There are perils of the indulgent life, unguarded moments, leisure hours, slackness, & lack of discipline w/the flesh.
      1. Tell me if James doesn’t describe David’s situation But each 1 is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. James 1:14,15
    1. David’s mid-life crisis (age 50).
      1. He took off his armor...both physical & spiritual.
      1. W/o your helmet of salvation, we don’t think like saved people; W/o your breastplate of rt, we have nothing to protect our heart;

W/o your, belt of truth, we will easily believe lies; (i.e. “we can get away w/this!”) W/o the sword of the Spirit & shield of faith, we are helpless before the enemy; W/o prayer we have no power.

    1. David’s most difficult battle, one that would even cripple his kingdom waited for him in the ease & comfort of his own palace.
      1. Our military men & women face the same things today. Oversees, away from home, even on base, there is such order, respect for rank, command, authority, “hear & obey”. Then they come home.


        1. They go from commanding troops, being respected, & now they face a toddler or teenager talking back. Your spouse can careless what rank it says on your sleeve or patch on your arm...the dog poop needs picking up & dirty diapers need-a-changin!
      1. Often for our soldiers, men & women alike, find like David did, the greater battlefield might be when they walk through the front door.
    1. David was tempted when he woke up from his mid-day siesta. (Is there a pattern/time when u sin)
    1. One sin never abides alone! Unless, it is immediately confessed.
      1. Sin hardens the heart, & makes repentance difficult.
      1. No excuse David: He made the victim carry his own death instructions; he sacrificed other lives as well as Uriah’s; he makes Joab a part of his plot; the marriage has to be hurriedly consummated.
        1. David, What were the 6 things God hates? There are six things the Lord hates - no, seven things he detests: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that kill the innocent, a heart that plots evil, feet that race to do wrong, a false witness who pours out lies, a person who sows discord in a family. Prov.6:16-19
    1. David was tempted through the look! Like Eve (Gen3:6) & Achan (Josh7:21).
      1. We must put our eyes into the Lord’s keeping.
      1. Mt.6:22,23 NLT Your eye is a lamp that provides light for your body. When your eye is good, your whole body is filled with light. But when your eye is bad, your whole body is filled with darkness.
    1. I heard a great illustration from a free Download of The Next Story by Tim Challies, from

ChristianAudio.com. Tim Provides a framework we all can apply to any technology, he explains how and why our society has become reliant on digital technology, what it means for our lives, and how it impacts the Christian faith. (Illustration from ch.4)

    1. It was the old British war hero Admiral Lord Nelson who declared, that every man became a bachelor once he went beyond Gibraltar. That Giant chunk of rock jutting into the Mediterranean Sea guarding against anyone who wanted to sail in or out.
      1. Gibraltar was, & Gibraltar represented, anything beyond the civilized world! Beyond Gibraltar laid the frontier. When a ship sailed through Gibraltar heading south down the African coast the men were leaving the known world & heading into the unknown.
      1. Beyond civilization w/all its rules, religion, & morality lay uninhibited freedom. And here, every man was a bachelor. Every man free from the watchful eye of society could now behave however he pleased.


    1. If you know the story of John Newton you know he enjoyed all that the world had to offer him. Until God did his work of Amazing Grace in his life.
    1. Beyond Gibraltar there was no law. It was Beyond the watching eyes of friends & family & neighbors & pastors. Every man could be who he wanted to be.
    1. Without law & without oversight there was great freedom…And great captivity.
      1. In all the freedom to sin, he became bound to sin. Beyond Gibraltar you left behind accountability, & close on its heals morality!
    1. Now in our digital lives we spend much time Beyond Gibraltar, beyond accountability through visibility. Able to say & do & look at & enjoy whatever our hearts desire. It has never been easier for everyone to be who he wants to be. (choose your own status). Yet for all the freedom it brings us, it can also bring captivity.
      1. How are you protecting yourself when you digitally sail Beyond Gibraltar?
      1. Accountability? Do you have a problem giving your spouse/parent your password.
      1. Your freedom can very quickly turn into captivity. And it all comes into the eye-gate!
        1. The lust for sensual things (pornography on-line; 50% men w/in the church?) The lust for $ or the thrill of chance (gambling on-line. We as Americans are now more addicted to gambling than alcohol. Peaks at age 31-40 & is now 3x’s as common as alcoholism for that age group)

The need for constant communication w/others (all social media)

        1. I am pro-social media. I am pro-digital media. But I am also pro-healthy boundaries.
          1. A 2010 study by Oxygen Media & Lightspeed Research found...1/3 of woman ages 18-34 check Facebook when 1st wake up even before using the bathroom. 21% check in the middle of the night. 39% admit being addicted to F.B.
        1. So how does one battle: cybersex & cyberporn addiction; online affairs which have led to surprising new trends in divorce & marital separation; addictions to eBay, or online gambling, or multi-user role-playing online games?
  1. How do we resist temptation...especially Beyond Gibraltar?
  1. How do we not yield to temptation?
    1. Look back & recall God’s goodness to you;
    1. Look ahead & remember “the wages of sin”;
    1. Look around you & think of all the people who will be affected by what you do;
    1. Look up & ask God for the strength to say no.
      1. 1 Cor.10:13 The temptations in your life are no different from what others experience. And God is faithful. He will not allow the temptation to be more than you can stand. When you are tempted, he will show you a way out so that you can endure.
  1. Other Tips?
    1. Establish boundaries that keep you out of compromising situations.


  1. Don't wait until you’re tempted to weigh the consequences of your actions. Consider the consequences ahead of time.
  1. Invite someone you trust to hold you to your standards this side of Gibraltar.
  1. Cultivate healthy pursuits that keep your thoughts on things that are honorable & pure & good.
  1. Most importantly, cling to the Lord in daily dependence.1

IV. HOW TO FIX IT! (Ps.51:1-9)

    1. This Psalm will explore both the depths of sin, but also the farthest reaches of salvation.
    1. Ps.51 is a model for recovery!!!
      1. Admit the failure to yourself - For I acknowledge my transgressions, And my sin is always before me. (3)
        1. Don’t blame others, rationalize, deny, or make excuses.
      1. Admit the failure to the Lord - Against You, You only, have I sinned, And done this evil in Your sight. (4)
        1. Wait! Against You, You only, have I sinned, Adultery/murder are hardly private wrongs?
          1. This was a biblical way of going to the heart of the matter!
        1. Of course sin can be against oneself, Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. (1 Cor. 6:18);
        1. Or against your neighbor, If your brother sins against you…, (Lk.17:3).
          1. But the sinning against God is always the length/breadth of any & every sin!
      1. See God’s faithfulness & forgiveness - Have mercy upon me, O God, According to Your lovingkindness; According to the multitude of Your tender mercies, Blot out my transgressions. Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, & cleanse me from my sin(1,2)
      1. Come to terms w/your sinful humanity - Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, And in sin my mother conceived me. (5)
        1. David’s whole being was affected by his sin: his eyes(3b); mind(6b); ears(8); heart(10); spirit(10); fellowship w/God(11); he lost his joy(12); & mouth(13-15, he stopped teaching & singing)
    1. Had David stopped in vs.9, it would have led him to despair.
      1. Instead, it enlarged his praying…he goes on!

V. HOW TO MOVE ON! (Ps.51:10-17)

    1. David turns the corner & takes hold of God’s pleasure in restoring the broken.


Charles Swindoll; David, pg.134


  1. Ask God to put you together again - Create in me a clean heart, O God, And renew a steadfast spirit within me. (10)
  1. Prepare to be used again - Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, And sinners shall be converted to You. (13)
    1. This is after he has dealt with his failing & restored his relationship w/God; now he gets on with it. He deals with the new realities & makes the most of them.
    2. Once right after Dan Marino, former quarterback of the Miami Dolphins, had thrown an interception, the commentator said, “One great strength of Marino is, like all great quarterbacks, he has a short memory.” In other words, he doesn’t dwell on interceptions. He knows what he did wrong. Instead of being paralyzed by an interception, he thinks, What’s the next play?
      1. Obviously one is a mistake & the other a major transgression. But both must move push past the event or it will be crippling!
  1. Here is the worse consequence of sin in our life…loss of close fellowship w/God! (11)
    1. No, God doesn’t remove His H.S. from us today (as he did in OT)!
    1. Jn.14:16 And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever
      1. When we sin against the Lord, we lose that closeness of the H.S.
  1. David didn’t lose his salvation, but the joy of Your salvation! (12)
  1. (13) Then I will teach – Yes, you’re not shelved for ever!!!
    1. Jesus to Peter, When you have turned again, strengthen your brothers!
    1. Yes, saved sinners, there will again come a time, when God will use you & even your sin situation to share with others! Build your testimony again!
  1. (14) Bloodshed – plainly name your sin! David doesn’t call it a moral lapse or an indiscretion!
    1. “Do not give fair names to foul sins!” (Spurg)
  1. (17) Broken – A whole heart is a senseless thing…but when it is broken & bruised, it is useful to God.
    1. My Society Garlic plant gives off its aroma when it is bruised.
    1. Do you like Lemon slice in your ice tea? 1st thing I do take it & bend in ½ or twist it.
      1. Then & only then does it give off its wonderful full scent/flavor.
  1. Micah 7:18,19 Who is a God like You, Pardoning iniquity And passing over the transgression of the remnant of His heritage? He does not retain His anger forever, Because He delights in mercy. He will again have compassion on us, And will subdue our iniquities. You will cast all our sins Into the depths of the sea.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 11". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/2-samuel-11.html. 2017.
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