2 Samuel, 11
B The Troubles of David
David and Bathsheba
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. 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. 3: And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? 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. 5: And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. 6: And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 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. 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. 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. 10: And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? 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. 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. 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. 14: And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 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. 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. 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. 18: Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war; 19: And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king, 20: And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall? 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. 22: So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for. 23: And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate. 24: And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 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. 26: And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 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.
2 Samuel, 12
Nathan confronts David
1: And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 2: The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 3: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. 4: And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him. 5: And David's anger was greatly kindled against the man; and he said to Nathan, As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: 6: And he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity. 7: And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; 8: And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. 9: Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of the LORD, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. 10: Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife. 11: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12: For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun. 13: And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 14: Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
The child dies
15: And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 16: David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 17: And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth: but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. 18: And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead: for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice: how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead? 19: But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead: therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. 20: Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he came to his own house; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat. 21: Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread. 22: And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept: for I said, Who can tell whether GOD will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23: But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
Solomon is born
24: And David comforted Bath-sheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 25: And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD.
Ammon defeated again
26: And Joab fought against Rabbah of the children of Ammon, and took the royal city. 27: And Joab sent messengers to David, and said, I have fought against Rabbah, and have taken the city of waters. 28: Now therefore gather the rest of the people together, and encamp against the city, and take it: lest I take the city, and it be called after my name. 29: And David gathered all the people together, and went to Rabbah, and fought against it, and took it. 30: And he took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. 31: And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.
2 Samuel, 13
Amnon rapes Tamar
1: And it came to pass after this, that Absalom the son of David had a fair sister, whose name was Tamar; and Amnon the son of David loved her. 2: And Amnon was so vexed, that he fell sick for his sister Tamar; for she was a virgin; and Amnon thought it hard for him to do any thing to her. 3: But Amnon had a friend, whose name was Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother: and Jonadab was a very subtil man. 4: And he said unto him, Why art thou, being the king's son, lean from day to day? wilt thou not tell me? And Amnon said unto him, I love Tamar, my brother Absalom's sister. 5: And Jonadab said unto him, Lay thee down on thy bed, and make thyself sick: and when thy father cometh to see thee, say unto him, I pray thee, let my sister Tamar come, and give me meat, and dress the meat in my sight, that I may see it, and eat it at her hand. 6: So Amnon lay down, and made himself sick: and when the king was come to see him, Amnon said unto the king, I pray thee, let Tamar my sister come, and make me a couple of cakes in my sight, that I may eat at her hand. 7: Then David sent home to Tamar, saying, Go now to thy brother Amnon's house, and dress him meat. 8: So Tamar went to her brother Amnon's house; and he was laid down. And she took flour, and kneaded it, and made cakes in his sight, and did bake the cakes. 9: And she took a pan, and poured them out before him; but he refused to eat. And Amnon said, Have out all men from me. And they went out every man from him. 10: And Amnon said unto Tamar, Bring the meat into the chamber, that I may eat of thine hand. And Tamar took the cakes which she had made, and brought them into the chamber to Amnon her brother. 11: And when she had brought them unto him to eat, he took hold of her, and said unto her, Come lie with me, my sister. 12: And she answered him, Nay, my brother, do not force me; for no such thing ought to be done in Israel: do not thou this folly. 13: And I, whither shall I cause my shame to go? and as for thee, thou shalt be as one of the fools in Israel. Now therefore, I pray thee, speak unto the king; for he will not withhold me from thee. 14: Howbeit he would not hearken unto her voice: but, being stronger than she, forced her, and lay with her. 15: Then Amnon hated her exceedingly; so that the hatred wherewith he hated her was greater than the love wherewith he had loved her. And Amnon said unto her, Arise, be gone. 16: And she said unto him, There is no cause: this evil in sending me away is greater than the other that thou didst unto me. But he would not hearken unto her. 17: Then he called his servant that ministered unto him, and said, Put now this woman out from me, and bolt the door after her. 18: And she had a garment of divers colours upon her: for with such robes were the king's daughters that were virgins apparelled. Then his servant brought her out, and bolted the door after her. 19: And Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours that was on her, and laid her hand on her head, and went on crying.
Absalom avenges Amnon
20: And Absalom her brother said unto her, Hath Amnon thy brother been with thee? but hold now thy peace, my sister: he is thy brother; regard not this thing. So Tamar remained desolate in her brother Absalom's house. 21: But when king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth. 22: And Absalom spake unto his brother Amnon neither good nor bad: for Absalom hated Amnon, because he had forced his sister Tamar. 23: And it came to pass after two full years, that Absalom had sheepshearers in Baal-hazor, which is beside Ephraim: and Absalom invited all the king's sons. 24: And Absalom came to the king, and said, Behold now, thy servant hath sheepshearers; let the king, I beseech thee, and his servants go with thy servant. 25: And the king said to Absalom, Nay, my son, let us not all now go, lest we be chargeable unto thee. And he pressed him: howbeit he would not go, but blessed him. 26: Then said Absalom, If not, I pray thee, let my brother Amnon go with us. And the king said unto him, Why should he go with thee? 27: But Absalom pressed him, that he let Amnon and all the king's sons go with him. 28: Now Absalom had commanded his servants, saying, Mark ye now when Amnon's heart is merry with wine, and when I say unto you, Smite Amnon; then kill him, fear not: have not I commanded you? be courageous and be valiant. 29: And the servants of Absalom did unto Amnon as Absalom had commanded. Then all the king's sons arose, and every man gat him up upon his mule, and fled. 30: And it came to pass, while they were in the way, that tidings came to David, saying, Absalom hath slain all the king's sons, and there is not one of them left. 31: Then the king arose, and tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent. 32: And Jonadab, the son of Shimeah David's brother, answered and said, Let not my lord suppose that they have slain all the young men the king's sons; for Amnon only is dead: for by the appointment of Absalom this hath been determined from the day that he forced his sister Tamar. 33: Now therefore let not my lord the king take the thing to his heart, to think that all the king's sons are dead: for Amnon only is dead.
34: But Absalom fled. And the young man that kept the watch lifted up his eyes, and looked, and, behold, there came much people by the way of the hill side behind him. 35: And Jonadab said unto the king, Behold, the king's sons come: as thy servant said, so it is. 36: And it came to pass, as soon as he had made an end of speaking, that, behold, the king's sons came, and lifted up their voice and wept: and the king also and all his servants wept very sore. 37: But Absalom fled, and went to Talmai, the son of Ammihud, king of Geshur. And David mourned for his son every day. 38: So Absalom fled, and went to Geshur, and was there three years. 39: And the soul of king David longed to go forth unto Absalom: for he was comforted concerning Amnon, seeing he was dead.
The next three chapters are the beginnings of the troubles of David. It is fair to say that David’s public life was better than his private life. He was unconquerable in battle but could not conquer himself. We have today the record of the disgrace of David and Bathsheba. But we also see the faithful man of God Nathan when he confronts David with his sin. We read of the death of a child and the birth of a child - the child of the relationship dies but Solomon is born. We also will read of the victory over Ammon and of the rape of Tamar and the revenge of Absalom and his escape from justice. But first we must come back to David and Bathsheba. David sent Joab his trusted general to fight against Ammon, but David stayed behind in Jerusalem. David couldn’t sleep so he walked on the roof of his house and there he saw a woman washing herself and she was very beautiful. What would he do? Would he look away? No David found out who she was. He was told that she was married. That should have been the end of it. But David had lust for her and being another mans wife would not deter him. David sent for her and lay with her. However she became pregnant and told David. Now what would he do? Well he tried to cover up his sin. He recalled Uriah to return to his wife hoping that he would be with her and the pregnancy would he thought to be his. However Uriah slept at the door of David’s house and not with his wife. David found out and asked Uriah why he had not slept at his own house? He said the Ark is in a tent and Israel are in tents and the army is in the field, why would l sleep in a house. This should have been the spirit of David. He should have been at the head of his army. So David called Uriah and fed him and got him drunk but he could not get him to sleep with his wife. David was now panicking. Maybe if Uriah died in battle David could marry his wife and then all would be made right he thought. He sent a sealed letter to Joab giving instructions to put Uriah in the front line and withdraw from him – David was hoping that he would die and die he did. He died honourably thinking that he was serving his master David. Joab was concerned that David might be angry with him for putting men in danger. So he sent a messenger giving news and he instructed him to observe David’s response. David sent a message back to Joab saying you have done well. When Uriah’s wife heard that he husband was dead she mourned for him. But when the mourning was past David sent for her and married her and she gave birth to a son. But all this evil did not please the Lord. David had added to his immorality murder. So the LORD sent Nathan the prophet to David. And he told him a parable. It was a story of a rich man and a poor man. The rich man stole a lamb from the poor man. David was incensed – tell me who it is and l will avenge him. Nathan said you are the man. And the conviction of God fell on him and he knew he had sinned. Then Nathan gave David the message from the LORD. The LORD said l have given you everything yet you stole another mans wife and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now because of this you will always be at war because you have despised me. And l will bring up evil against you from your own house and l will take away your wives and give them to others. You did everything in secret but l will do everything openly in front of Israel. David fell down and said I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan responded, the LORD has taken away your sin. Confession leads to forgiveness and restoration. You will not die but this sin will give your enemies an opportunity to curse the Lord, but the child must die. Nathan left and the Lord stuck the child with sickness and was very ill. David pleaded for the child’s life and fasted and lay before the LORD all night on the dirt. The elders tried to get him to get up and eat but he refused. After seven days the child died. And they were afraid to tell David because he wouldn’t listen while the child was alive what would he do if he knew the child was dead. David heard them whispering and realised that the child was dead. So he asked is the child dead? And they said yes. David got up eventually and washed and changed and came before the LORD and worshiped and then he returned home and ate food. His servants asked him why he had got up so soon after hearing of the child’s death and David answered, while he was alive God might hear my prayer but now that he is dead its no use carrying on. I will go to the grave where he is but he cannot return to me now. David went and gave support to Bathsheba and in the process of time she had another child that David called Solomon. The LORD loved Solomon. The Lord called him Jedidiah, which means loved of the LORD. Later Joab began to conquer the city and he sent for David to come and fight and take the credit. They took the king’s crown which was very heavy (About 67lbs in weight) and full of precious stones and gave it to David. They totally destroyed the people of the city in the most horrendous manner. Then we find that David’s son Absalom had a beautiful sister called Tamar and Amnon another son of David loved for her. He wanted her so much that he was sick for her. She was a virgin. Amnon had a friend called Jonadab who was very clever. He said go to your bed and pretend to be sick and when your father David asks what he can do say give me Tamar to look after me while l am sick and tell her to bring me some cakes to eat. Tamar was sent for and she made cakes of meat for him. Amnon made everyone lave him alone with his sister and when they were alone he forced himself on his sister. But when he had finished with her he hated her more than he had loved her. Then he sent her away and she said that the sending away was a greater sin that to lie with her. He would not listen. He cast her out and bolted the door to her. Tamar tore her clothes and put ash on her head and wept. Absalom told her to stay in his house and be quite. When David heard of this he was furious. Absalom hated his brother for what he had done. After two whole years Absalom arranged for Amnon to go with him to the sheep-shearing. And he plotted with his servants to kill him when he was drunk. Absalom killed the king son there. When David heard it he tore his clothes a mourned in the dirt. David mourned for his son every day. So Absalom ran away and lived with the king of Geshur. He was there three years. David longed in his soul after Absalom. We see the judgment of God fall on the family of David and all because of his sin.