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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

2 Samuel 11

 

 

Verses 1-31

11:1-20:26 CONFLICTS IN DAVID'S FAMILY

David takes Bathsheba as wife (11:1-12:31)

While the Israelite army was out fighting another battle against Ammon, David, back in Jerusalem, committed a series of sins that brought him sorrow and trouble for the rest of his life. To begin with, he was guilty of sexual immorality with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah, one of David's top soldiers (11:1-5; cf. 23:39).

On discovering that Bathsheba was pregnant, David thought of a plan to cover up his sin. He recalled Uriah from the battle and sent him home to sleep with Bathsheba, hoping that this would make people think that Uriah was the cause of Bathsheba's pregnancy. But Uriah refused to go near his wife (6-13). David therefore sent Uriah back to the battle and arranged for him to be killed during the fighting (14-17). After waiting for confirmation from the battlefield that Uriah was dead (18-25), David took Bathsheba into his palace as a royal wife (26-27).

David was unaware that anyone in the palace knew of his sin. But Nathan knew, and he trapped David by seeking his judgment in a case where a rich sheep-owner stole and killed a poor man's pet lamb to provide food for his own meal. As expected, David condemned the guilty person (12:1-6). Nathan pointed out that David had condemned himself. In punishment for his murder of Uriah, his own family would be torn apart by murder. In punishment for his adultery with Bathsheba, his own family would be morally disgraced in the eyes of all Israel (7-12).

In genuine sorrow David confessed his sins to God (see Ps. 51) and God graciously pardoned him. But that did not remove the distress that David would suffer as a result of his sins (13-14). (For the fulfilment of the judgments announced by Nathan see 13:10-19,28-33; 16:21-22; 18:9-15,31-33; 1 Kings 2:13-15; 2 Kings 11:1-2.)

When the child born to David and Bathsheba became sick, David prayed earnestly for it. But the child died, as Nathan had foretold (15-18). David accepted what had happened and realized it was part of God's judgment upon him (19-23). Some time later another son, Solomon, was born to David and Bathsheba (24-25).

The story now returns to the battle with the Ammonites in Rabbah that had provided David with the opportunity for his misdeeds (see 11:1,7,15). The Israelites had captured Rabbah's most strongly defended area and cut off the city's water supply. They could now easily take the whole city, and Joab called David down from Jerusalem to have the honour of leading the triumphal entry. David became king of Ammon and forced the Ammonites to work for Israel (26-31).

 


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Bibliography Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on 2 Samuel 11:4". "Brideway Bible Commentary". http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/bbc/2-samuel-11.html. 2005.

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