1. At the turn of the year, at the time when kings go campaigning, David sent Joab and with him his guards and all Israel. They massacred the Ammonites and laid siege to Rabbah-of-the-Ammonites. David, however, remained in Jerusalem.
2. It happened towards evening when David had got up from resting and was strolling on the palace roof, that from the roof he saw a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful.
3. David made enquiries about this woman and was told, 'Why, that is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam and wife of Uriah the Hittite.'
4. David then sent messengers to fetch her. She came to him, and he lay with her, just after she had purified herself from her period. She then went home again.
5. The woman conceived and sent word to David, 'I am pregnant.'
6. David then sent word to Joab, 'Send me Uriah the Hittite,' whereupon Joab sent Uriah to David.
7. When Uriah reached him, David asked how Joab was and how the army was and how the war was going.
8. David then said to Uriah, 'Go down to your house and wash your feet.' Uriah left the palace and was followed by a present from the king's table.
9. Uriah, however, slept at the palace gate with all his master's bodyguard and did not go down to his house.
10. This was reported to David; 'Uriah', they said 'has not gone down to his house.' So David asked Uriah, 'Haven't you just arrived from the journey? Why didn't you go down to your house?'
11. To which Uriah replied, 'The ark, Israel and Judah are lodged in huts; my master Joab and my lord's guards are camping in the open. Am I to go to my house, then, and eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As Yahweh lives, and as you yourself live, I shall so no such thing!'
12. David then said to Uriah, 'Stay on here today; tomorrow I shall send you off.' So Uriah stayed that day in Jerusalem.
13. The next day, David invited him to eat and drink in his presence and made him drunk. In the evening, Uriah went out and bedded down with his master's bodyguard, but did not go down to his house.
14. Next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah.
15. In the letter he wrote, 'Put Uriah out in front where the fighting is fiercest and then fall back, so that he gets wounded and killed.'
16. Joab, then besieging the city, stationed Uriah at a point where he knew that there would be tough fighters.
17. The people of the city sallied out and engaged Joab; there were casualties in the army, among David's guards, and Uriah the Hittite was killed as well.
18. Joab sent David a full account of the battle.
19. To the messenger he gave this order: 'When you have finished telling the king all about the battle,
20. if the king's anger is aroused and he says, "Why did you go near the town to give battle? Didn't you know that they would shoot from the ramparts?
21. Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbaal? Wasn't it a woman who dropped a millstone on him from the ramparts, causing his death at Thebez? Why did you go near the ramparts?" you are to say, "Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead too." '
22. So the messenger set off and, on his arrival, told David everything that Joab had instructed him to say. David flew into a rage with Joab and said to the messenger, 'Why did you go near the ramparts? Who killed Abimelech son of Jerubbaal? Wasn't it a woman who dropped a millstone on him fom the ramparts, causing his death at Thebez? Why did you go near the ramparts?'
23. The messenger replied to David, 'Their men had won an initial advantage and then came out to engage us in the open. We then drove them back into the gateway,
24. but the archers shot at your retainers from the ramparts; some of the king's retainers lost their lives, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead too.'
25. David then said to the messenger, 'Say this to Joab, "Do not take the matter to heart; the sword devours now one and now another. Attack the town in greater force and destroy it." That will encourage him.'
26. When Uriah's wife heard that her husband Uriah was dead, she mourned for her husband.
27. When the period of mourning was over, David sent to have her brought to his house; she became his wife and bore him a son. But what David had done displeased Yahweh.