Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

2 Samuel 11

Introduction

1While Joab besieges Rabbah, David commits adultery with Bath-sheba.
6Uriah, sent for by David to cover the adultery, would not go home.
14He carries to Joab the letter of his death.
18Joab sends the news thereof to David.
26David takes Bath-sheba to wife.

Verse 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.
A. M. 2969. B.C. 1035. An. Ex. Is. 456. after the year, etc. Heb. at the return of the year
1 Kings 20:22,26; 2 Chronicles 36:10; Ecclesiastes 3:8
at the time
The sacred historian seems to intimate that there was one particular time of the year to which military operations were limited; and Josephus informs us that this took place in the beginning of spring. In another part of his works he says, that as soon as spring was begun, Adad levied and led forth his army against the Hebrews. Antiochus also prepared to invade Judea at the first appearance of spring; and Vespasian marched to Antipatris at the commencement of the same season. The kings and armies of the East, says Chardin, do not march but when there is grass, and when they can encamp, which is in April. This rule, however, seems to be disregarded in modern times.
David sent
1 Chronicles 20:1; Zechariah 14:3
Rabbah
12:26; Deuteronomy 3:11; 1 Chronicles 20:1; Ezekiel 21:20
Reciprocal: Joshua 13:25 - Rabbah;  1 Samuel 18:30 - went forth;  2 Samuel 12:27 - Rabbah;  Psalm 60:9 - strong city;  Jeremiah 49:2 - her daughters

Verse 2

And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
arose from
4:5,7; Proverbs 19:15; 24:33,34; Matthew 26:40,41; 1 Thessalonians 5:6,7; 1 Peter 4:7
the roof of
Deuteronomy 22:8; Jeremiah 19:13; Matthew 10:27; Acts 10:9
he saw
Genesis 3:6; 6:2; 34:2; Job 31:1; Psalms 119:37; Matthew 5:28; 1 John 2:16
very beautiful
Genesis 39:6; Proverbs 6:25; 31:30
Reciprocal: Genesis 12:11 - a fair;  Genesis 38:2 - saw;  Exodus 20:17 - wife;  Joshua 2:6 - to the roof;  Joshua 7:21 - I saw;  Judges 14:1 - Timnath;  Judges 16:27 - the roof;  1 Samuel 9:25 - the top;  2 Samuel 13:1 - a fair sister;  2 Samuel 16:22 - the top;  Nehemiah 8:16 - the roof;  Job 20:14 - his meat;  Psalm 51:1 - after;  Psalm 101:3 - set;  Psalm 119:67 - Before;  Psalm 139:3 - my path;  Proverbs 7:8 - GeneralProverbs 23:31 - GeneralEcclesiastes 11:9 - in the sight;  Jeremiah 5:8 - every one;  Ezekiel 23:16 - as soon as she saw them with her eyes;  Luke 5:19 - housetop;  Romans 7:7 - Thou shalt;  Galatians 6:1 - overtaken;  James 1:14 - when;  2 Peter 2:14 - eyes

Verse 3

And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
sent
Jeremiah 5:8; Hosea 7:6,7; James 1:14,15
Bath-sheba
or, Bath-shua. Eliam. or, Ammiel.
1 Chronicles 3:5
Uriah
23:39; 1 Chronicles 11:41
Reciprocal: Genesis 10:15 - Heth;  Leviticus 18:20 - General2 Samuel 12:3 - one little;  2 Samuel 12:4 - took the;  2 Samuel 23:34 - Eliam;  Psalm 101:3 - set;  Proverbs 6:29 - he that;  Proverbs 7:8 - GeneralMatthew 1:6 - her

Verse 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.
sent messengers
Genesis 39:7; Job 31:9-11; Psalms 50:18
he lay
Psalms 51:1; *title; James 1:14,15
she was, etc
or, and when she had purified herself, etc., she returned.
Proverbs 30:20
purified
Leviticus 12:2-5; 15:19-28,29-33; 18:19
Reciprocal: Exodus 20:14 - GeneralLeviticus 18:20 - General2 Samuel 12:4 - took the;  2 Samuel 12:9 - despised;  2 Samuel 12:12 - secretly;  1 Kings 15:5 - save only;  2 Chronicles 16:10 - the same time;  Job 24:15 - eye;  Proverbs 6:29 - he that

Verse 5

And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
I am with child
Deuteronomy 22:22; Proverbs 6:34
Reciprocal: Exodus 20:14 - General

Verse 6

And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
Send me
Genesis 4:7; 38:18-23; 1 Samuel 15:30; Job 20:12-14; Proverbs 28:13; Isaiah 29:13; Matthew 26:70,72,74
Reciprocal: Joshua 7:21 - they are hid;  1 Samuel 26:6 - Hittite;  2 Samuel 20:22 - And Joab;  2 Samuel 23:39 - Uriah;  1 Chronicles 1:13 - Heth;  1 Chronicles 11:41 - Uriah

Verse 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.
how Joab did
Heb. of the peace of Joab.
Genesis 29:6; 37:14; 1 Samuel 17:22
Reciprocal: Exodus 18:7 - welfare

Verse 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.
go down
Psalms 44:21; Isaiah 29:15; Luke 12:2; Hebrews 4:13
wash
Genesis 18:4; 19:2
there followed him
Heb. there went out after him.
Psalms 12:2; 55:21
a mess
Genesis 43:34
Reciprocal: Judges 19:21 - they washed;  2 Samuel 12:12 - secretly;  2 Samuel 13:24 - let the king;  Proverbs 10:18 - that hideth

Verse 9

But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
Job 5:12-14; Proverbs 21:30
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 11:13 - with the servants

Verse 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 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 ark
7:2,6; 1 Samuel 4:4; 14:18
my lord
20:6; Matthew 10:24,25; John 13:14; 1 Corinthians 9:25-27; 2 Timothy 2:3,4,12; Hebrews 12:1,2
shall I then
Isaiah 22:12-14
as thou livest
14:19; 1 Samuel 1:26; 17:55; 20:3; 25:26
Reciprocal: Numbers 31:6 - the holy instruments;  Numbers 32:6 - shall ye sit here;  1 Samuel 17:8 - servants to Saul

Verse 12

And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
Jeremiah 2:22,23,37

Verse 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.
made him
Genesis 19:32-35; Exodus 32:21; Habakkuk 2:15
with the servants
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 12:12 - secretly;  2 Samuel 13:26 - let my brother;  2 Samuel 13:28 - heart is merry;  Proverbs 20:1 - General

Verse 14

And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
wrote a letter
It was resolved in David's breast that Uriah must die--that innocent, valiant, and gallant man, who was ready to sacrifice his life for the honour of his prince; and, worse than all, by being himself made the bearer of letters to Joab which prescribed the mode by which he was to be murdered. This was the greatest treachery and villany on the part of David; while Joab appears to enter as fully upon the execution of the murder, being perhaps pleased to have this opportunity of further enthralling his king, and thus increasing his own power.
1 Kings 21:8-10; Psalms 19:13; 52:2; 62:9; Jeremiah 9:1-4; 17:9; Micah 7:3-5
Reciprocal: Genesis 37:27 - let not;  2 Samuel 12:9 - despised;  2 Samuel 14:19 - of Joab;  1 Kings 21:14 - Naboth is stoned;  Job 24:14 - murderer

Verse 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.
Set ye
17; 1 Samuel 18:17,21,25; Psalms 51:4,14; Jeremiah 20:13
hottest
Heb. strong. from him. Heb. from after him. and die.
12:9
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 27:24 - General2 Samuel 12:12 - secretly;  2 Samuel 13:28 - commanded;  2 Samuel 14:19 - of Joab;  2 Samuel 16:7 - bloody man;  1 Kings 15:5 - save only;  1 Kings 21:8 - she wrote;  1 Chronicles 21:6 - Joab

Verse 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.
he assigned
21; 3:27; 20:9,10; 1 Samuel 22:17-19; 1 Kings 2:5,31-34; 21:12-14; 2 Kings 10:6; Proverbs 29:12; Hosea 5:11; Acts 5:29
Reciprocal: 1 Chronicles 20:1 - Joab smote

Verse 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.
there fell
12:9; Psalms 51:14
Reciprocal: 2 Samuel 11:15 - Set ye

Verse 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 Hittite is dead also.
Abimelech
Judges 9:53
Jerubbesheth
Judges 6:32; 7:1
Jerubbaal
Thy servant.
3:27,34; Psalms 39:8; Isaiah 14:10; Ezekiel 16:51,52
Reciprocal: 1 Samuel 26:6 - Hittite;  2 Samuel 11:16 - he assigned

Verse 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.
displease thee
Heb. be evil in thine eyes. for the sword.
Joshua 7:8,9; 1 Samuel 6:9; Ecclesiastes 9:1-3,11,12
one
Heb. so and such. What abominable hypocrisy was here! He well knew that the death of this noble and gallant man was no chance-medley: he was by his own order thrust on the sword.
make
12:26
Reciprocal: Judges 20:22 - encouraged;  2 Samuel 2:26 - sword;  2 Samuel 12:1 - unto David;  2 Samuel 14:14 - we must;  1 Kings 21:16 - Ahab rose up

Verse 26

And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
she mourned
3:31; 14:2; Genesis 27:41
Reciprocal: Matthew 1:6 - her

Verse 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.
And when, etc
The whole of her conduct indicates that she observed the form, without feeling the power of sorrow. She lost a captain, and got a king for her husband: and therefore, Lacrymas non sponte cadentes effudit; gemitusque expressit pectore laeto; "She shed reluctant tears; and forced out groans from a joyful breast!"
fetched her
3:2-5; 5:13-16; 12:9; Deuteronomy 22:29
But the thing
Genesis 38:10; 1 Chronicles 21:7
displeased
Heb. was evil in the eyes of.
Psalms 5:6; 51:4,5; Hebrews 13:4 Reciprocal: Genesis 39:9 - how then;  Exodus 20:14 - GeneralLeviticus 18:20 - GeneralNumbers 11:1 - it displeased the Lord;  Numbers 12:2 - And the;  1 Kings 11:9 - angry;  Psalm 32:3 - When;  Psalm 139:3 - my path;  Ecclesiastes 4:10 - if;  Isaiah 59:15 - displeased him;  Lamentations 3:36 - the Lord;  Matthew 1:6 - her

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 11". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/tsk/2-samuel-11.html.