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Bible Commentaries

Layman's Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 11

Verses 1-27

Bathsheba (11:1-27)

David had in his army a high-ranking mercenary soldier from the Hittite people named Uriah, with a Hebrew wife named Bathsheba. We may presume that Uriah’s home was a typical Eastern house with open courtyard, and that it was sufficiently near the ridge on which David’s palace was built for the king to overlook it. In any case, David developed a passion for Bathsheba which led to adultery. When Bathsheba conceived, David sought for a means to evade the consequences of his crime. He summoned Uriah home from the campaign against Ammon on the pretense of seeking news about the fighting, and offered him a night at home. Uriah, true to the warrior’s oath to abstain from sexual intercourse in time of battle, slept at the door of the king’s house and did not visit his home. Having failed in this first attempt, David sought to make Uriah drunk, but again he failed to accomplish his purpose. Uriah was sent back to Joab, bearing a letter which instructed the general to set Uriah in the center of the fighting. This ruse succeeded. Uriah was slain and David married Bathsheba, who bore him a son.

This story has little if anything to redeem it. It shows David in an evil light. The consequences of his sin bore down upon him all his days, as the subsequent story of his life discloses. He at least had enough sense of responsibility to marry Bathsheba. Through the story Uriah stands out as a man of loyalty, who remained true to his warrior’s oath. His nobility of character shows up David’s sin all the more. The remaining years of David’s life are a reminder that the judgment of God on sin cannot be avoided even by his "anointed." The wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men.

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Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on 2 Samuel 11". "Layman's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lbc/2-samuel-11.html.