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.
After the year was expired - The next spring after the escape of the Ammonites into their city 2 Samuel 10:14.
The children of Ammon - The marginal reference supplies the word "the land of," which is obviously the right reading.
David tarried at Jerusalem - The Syrians being subdued, the war with Ammon was not of sufficient moment to require David's personal presence. The whole section relating to David's adultery and Uriah's death, from this verse to 2 Samuel 12:26, is omitted in the Book of Chronicles.
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.
An eveningtide - The evening began at three o'clock in the afternoon.
And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
Eliam - Or Ammiel, 1 Chronicles 3:5, the component words being placed in an inverse order. Bath-sheba was the granddaughter of Ahithophel 2 Samuel 23:34.
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.
And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.
And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
David was forced to stoop to falsehood and dissimulation in the vain hope of hiding his sin.
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.
A mess of meat - Compare Genesis 43:34. The word denotes the honorable portion given by the host to his chief guest.
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.
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?
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.
The ark - Perhaps there was a double purpose in taking the ark; one, to excite to the utmost the enthusiasm of the people for its defense and against the Ammonites; the other, to have the means at hand of inquiring of the Lord, which David had found so serviceable.
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.
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.
And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
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.
And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
Observed the city - In the sense of besieging it closely.
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.
The men of the city went out - i. e. they made a sally and attacked the troops which were blockading the city on that side, chiefly to entice them to pursue them, and so come within shot of the archers who lined the wall 2 Samuel 11:20, 2 Samuel 11:24.
There fell some of the people ... - They, too, as well as the brave and faithful Uriah, were victims of David's cruel artifice.
Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,
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?
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.
Who smote Abimelech ... - This reference indicates the existence in David's time of the national annals of that period in an accessible form, and the king's habit of reading, or having read to him, the history of his country. (Compare Esther 6:1.)
So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for.
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.
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.
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.
And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
Bath-sheba's mourning, like that of Abigail 1 Samuel 25:39-42, was probably limited to the customary time of seven days.
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.