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2 Samuel 11:15-27

11:15 In the letter he wrote: “Station Uriah in the thick of the battle and then withdraw from him so he will be cut down and killed.”

11:16 So as Joab kept watch on the city, he stationed Uriah at the place where he knew the best enemy soldiers 1  were. 11:17 When the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, some of David’s soldiers 2  fell in battle. Uriah the Hittite also died.

11:18 Then Joab sent a full battle report to David. 3  11:19 He instructed the messenger as follows: “When you finish giving the battle report to the king, 11:20 if the king becomes angry and asks you, ‘Why did you go so close to the city to fight? Didn’t you realize they would shoot from the wall? 11:21 Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerub-Besheth? Didn’t a woman throw an upper millstone 4  down on him from the wall so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go so close to the wall?’ just say to him, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’”

11:22 So the messenger departed. When he arrived, he informed David of all the news that Joab had sent with him. 11:23 The messenger said to David, “The men overpowered us and attacked us 5  in the field. But we forced them to retreat all the way 6  to the door of the city gate. 11:24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall and some of the king’s soldiers 7  died. Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 11:25 David said to the messenger, “Tell Joab, ‘Don’t let this thing upset you. 8  There is no way to anticipate whom the sword will cut down. 9  Press the battle against the city and conquer 10  it.’ Encourage him with these words.” 11 

11:26 When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for him. 12  11:27 When the time of mourning passed, David had her brought to his palace. 13  She became his wife and she bore him a son. But what David had done upset the Lord. 14 

1 tn Heb “the valiant men.” This refers in context to the strongest or most valiant defenders of the city Joab and the Israelite army were besieging, so the present translation uses “the best enemy soldiers” for clarity.

2 tn Heb “some of the people from the servants of David.”

3 tn Heb “Joab sent and related to David all the matters of the battle.”

4 sn The upper millstone (Heb “millstone of riding”) refers to the heavy circular stone that was commonly rolled over a circular base in order to crush and grind such things as olives.

5 tn Heb “and came out to us.”

6 tn Heb “but we were on them.”

7 tc The translation follows the Qere (“your servants”) rather than the Kethib (“your servant”).

8 tn Heb “let not this matter be evil in your eyes.”

9 tn Heb “according to this and according to this the sword devours.”

10 tn Heb “overthrow.”

11 tn The Hebrew text does not have “with these words.” They are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

12 tn Heb “for her lord.”

13 tn Heb “David sent and gathered her to his house.”

14 tn Heb “and the thing which David had done was evil in the eyes of the Lord.” Note the verbal connection with v. 25. Though David did not regard the matter as evil, the Lord certainly did.

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