2 Samuel 11:11
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my commander Joab and my lord's men are camped in the open country. How could I go to my house to eat and drink and make love to my wife? As surely as you live, I will not do such a thing!"

New Living Translation
Uriah replied, "The Ark and the armies of Israel and Judah are living in tents, and Joab and my master's men are camping in the open fields. How could I go home to wine and dine and sleep with my wife? I swear that I would never do such a thing."

English Standard Version
Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.”

New American Standard Bible
Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing."

King James Bible
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.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Uriah answered David, "The ark, Israel, and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my master Joab and his soldiers are camping in the open field. How can I enter my house to eat and drink and sleep with my wife? As surely as you live and by your life, I will not do this!""

International Standard Version
Uriah replied, "The ark, along with Israel and Judah, are encamped in tents, while my commanding officer Joab and my master's staff members are camping out in the open fields. Should I go home, eat, drink, and have sex with my wife? Not on your life! I won't do something like this, will I?"

NET Bible
Uriah replied to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah reside in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and my lord's soldiers are camping in the open field. Should I go to my house to eat and drink and have marital relations with my wife? As surely as you are alive, I will not do this thing!"

New Heart English Bible
Uriah said to David, "The ark, Israel, and Judah, are staying in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are camped in the open field. Shall I then go into my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing."

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Uriah answered David, "The ark and [the army of] Israel and Judah are in temporary shelters, and my commander Joab and Your Majesty's mercenaries are living in the field. Should I then go to my house to eat and drink and go to bed with my wife? I solemnly swear, as sure as you're living, I won't do this!"

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Uriah said unto David: 'The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my 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.'

New American Standard 1977
And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing.”

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Uriah said unto David, The ark and Israel and Judah abide in tents, and my lord Joab and the slaves of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By thy life and by the life of thy soul, I will not do this thing.

King James 2000 Bible
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 my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.

American King James Version
And Uriah said to 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 my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.

American Standard Version
And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; shall I then go into my 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.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And Urias said to David: The ark of God and Israel and Juda dwell in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord abide upon the face of the earth: and shall I go into my house, to eat and to drink, and to sleep with my wife? By thy welfare and by the welfare of thy soul I will not do this thing.

Darby Bible Translation
And Urijah said to David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields: shall I then go into my 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.

English Revised Version
And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in booths; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field; 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.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Uriah said to 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 my 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.

World English Bible
Uriah said to David, "The ark, Israel, and Judah, are staying in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open field. Shall I then go into my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing!"

Young's Literal Translation
And Uriah saith unto David, 'The ark, and Israel, and Judah, are abiding in booths, and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, on the face of the field are encamping; and I -- I go in unto my house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife! -- thy life, and the life of thy soul -- if I do this thing.'
Study Bible
David and Bathsheba
10Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?" 11Uriah said to David, "The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in temporary shelters, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? By your life and the life of your soul, I will not do this thing." 12Then David said to Uriah, "Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will let you go." So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next.…
Cross References
2 Samuel 7:2
that the king said to Nathan the prophet, "See now, I dwell in a house of cedar, but the ark of God dwells within tent curtains."

2 Samuel 7:6
"For I have not dwelt in a house since the day I brought up the sons of Israel from Egypt, even to this day; but I have been moving about in a tent, even in a tabernacle.

2 Samuel 11:10
Now when they told David, saying, "Uriah did not go down to his house," David said to Uriah, "Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?"

2 Samuel 20:6
And David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba the son of Bichri will do us more harm than Absalom; take your lord's servants and pursue him, so that he does not find for himself fortified cities and escape from our sight."
Treasury of Scripture

And Uriah said to 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 my house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.

The ark

2 Samuel 7:2,6 That the king said to Nathan the prophet, See now, I dwell in an …

1 Samuel 4:4 So the people sent to Shiloh, that they might bring from there the …

1 Samuel 14:18 And Saul said to Ahiah, Bring here the ark of God. For the ark of …

my lord

2 Samuel 20:6 And David said to Abishai, Now shall Sheba the son of Bichri do us …

Matthew 10:24,25 The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his lord…

John 13:14 If I then, your Lord and Master, have washed your feet; you also …

1 Corinthians 9:25-27 And every man that strives for the mastery is temperate in all things. …

2 Timothy 2:3,4,12 You therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ…

Hebrews 12:1,2 Why seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, …

shall I then

Isaiah 22:12-14 And in that day did the Lord GOD of hosts call to weeping, and to …

as they livest

2 Samuel 14:19 And the king said, Is not the hand of Joab with you in all this? …

1 Samuel 1:26 And she said, Oh my lord, as your soul lives, my lord, I am the woman …

1 Samuel 17:55 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said …

1 Samuel 20:3 And David swore moreover, and said, Your father certainly knows that …

1 Samuel 25:26 Now therefore, my lord, as the LORD lives, and as your soul lives, …

(11) The ark, and Israel, and Judah.--notwithstanding the experience of the capture of the Ark by the Philistines in the days of Eli (1Samuel 4:11), it seems to have been still customary to carry it out in war as a symbol of God's presence and pledge of His favour. (Comp. 1Samuel 14:18.) The separate mention of Israel and Judah gives no indication of a late date for this book, since these two parts of the nation had already been separated, and even hostile to each other in the early years of David's reign. This noble answer of Uriah should have stung David to the quick, but his conscience was so deadened by his sin that the only effect was to lead him to yet baser means of concealment.

Verse 11. - The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents. The presence of the ark with the army in the field is puzzling, and shows us how little we know of the religious practices of the Jews, as, but for this chance mention of it, we should have affirmed that it was never taken out of its place in Zion, and that in previous times the conduct of Eli's sons in carrying it out of the sanctuary to war was an irregular act. The Jews themselves feel the difficulty, and some of their rabbins affirm that this was not the ark of the covenant, but a chest containing the ephod whereby inquiries were made of Jehovah. Certainly in 1 Samuel 4:3, 4 it is expressly called "the ark of the covenant;" and in 2 Samuel 6:2 "the ark of God." The use in our version of the special word "ark" obliges us to think of the ark of the covenant, whereas really it is a general word, rendered "chest" in 2 Kings 12:9, 10. It is said, too, that the war with Ammon was not a holy war, nor was it of such importance as to call for David's presence at the head of his troops. But, on the other hand, if it was not the ark of God, why did Uriah lay so great stress upon its presence in the field? Moreover, we find the ark with Saul in his war with the Philistines (l 1 Samuel 14:18), where it is expressly called "the ark of God," and is used for the purpose of inquiring the will of Jehovah. On comparing 1 Samuel 7:2 with 2 Samuel 6:3, we should have imagined that the ark abode uncared for at the house of Abinadab at Kirjath-jearim, did we not plainly find it in attendance upon Saul. We are thus compelled to conclude that David sent it, with its attendant priests, with Joab, that he might consult the Deity by its moans. In the Talmud ('Shek. Jerus.,' 9. 2) the idea of there being an inferior or second ark used for this purpose is condemned. David, in his remonstrance with Uriah, shows signs of displeasure, and the conduct of the latter suggests the idea that his suspicious had been aroused. The war was going on prosperously; he had been summoned home on an honourable pretext to give the king a report of it; and it is, to say the least, strange that he should have cared so little for a wife, to whom apparently he had not long been married, and for his domestic affairs, as not even to go to his house, which was close by. The tone, too, of Uriah's answer is excited, and his military ardour too warm. David had assumed that, as a matter of course, he would hasten to visit his wife, and Uriah's unexpected refusal upsets his devices, and leaves him with all his difficulties increased rather than done away with. Very probably, in the conversation in the guard room, Uriah had received hints that his wife was too high in the royal favour. For "tents" the Hebrew has "booths," and so the Revised Version; and for "fields" the singular, "field." The Israelites still lived mostly in tents, and in war were content with very slight and temporary shelter, and if there were any parks, or enclosures, they were called Naioth, while "the field" was the open unenclosed land, which formed the mass of the country. The separate mention of "Israel and Judah" is no indication of the book having been written after the disruption of the kingdom. Uriah had been in David's service when he was king only at Hebron, and had taken part in the long war between Judah and the house of Saul. And Uriah said unto David,.... As an apology for this conduct:

the ark, and Israel and Judah, abide in tents; meaning not the people of Israel and Judah in the land of Canaan; for they did not now dwell in tents, though indeed the ark of the Lord did, 2 Samuel 7:2, which some think is here referred to; but the armies of Israel and Judah besieging Rabbah, with whom it seems the ark was, which sometimes was carried with them when they went out to war, 1 Samuel 4:4, though Abarbinel thinks this was not the ark in which were the two tables of stone, and therefore is not called the ark of the covenant, but an ark which was made to put the ephod, and Urim and Thummim in that they might upon occasion inquire of the Lord by them:

and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields: around Rabbah they were besieging; he calls Joab his lord, because he was the chief general under whom he served and the rest of the commanding officers he calls the servants of his lord as distinguished from the common soldiers. The Jews, who are for excusing David from blame in the case of Uriah, observe (l), that he was guilty of rebellion against David, and so worthy of death not only because he disobeyed his command, in not going to his house when he ordered him but by calling "Joab my lord" in his presence: but this was only a respectable character of his general and no overt act of treason to his king; nor did David so understand it, nor in the least resent it: now seeing such great men, who were far superior to him in rank and office were obliged to lie on the bare ground, he argues:

shall I then go into mine house to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? if he had any suspicion of David's crime, he might purposely add the last clause; and if not, it was enough to awaken the conscience of David, and cut him to the quick had he not been greatly hardened through the deceitfulness of sin to observe, that a faithful subject and a soldier of his would not allow himself the enjoyment of lawful pleasures, when his fellow soldiers were exposing their lives to danger for their country; and yet he under such circumstances indulged to sinful lusts and criminal pleasures:

as thou livest and as thy soul liveth I will not do this thing; he swears to it for the confirmation of it; this he did to prevent any further solicitations from the king, or his wife unto it, who were both anxiously desirous of it; for though no mention is made of his wife, yet no doubt she did all she could to prevail upon him to come to his house but all to no purpose; his mind was so bent to the contrary through the overruling providence of God to which it must be ascribed.

(l) T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 56. 1.11:6-13 Giving way to sin hardens the heart, and provokes the departure of the Holy Spirit. Robbing a man of his reason, is worse than robbing him of his money; and drawing him into sin, is worse than drawing him into any wordly trouble whatever.
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