2 Samuel 11:23
And the messenger said to David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out to us into the field, and we were on them even to the entering of the gate.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
11:14-27 Adulteries often occasion murders, and one wickedness is sought to be covered by another. The beginnings of sin are much to be dreaded; for who knows where they will end? Can a real believer ever tread this path? Can such a person be indeed a child of God? Though grace be not lost in such an awful case, the assurance and consolation of it must be suspended. All David's life, spirituality, and comfort in religion, we may be sure were lost. No man in such a case can have evidence to be satisfied that he is a believer. The higher a man's confidence is, who has sunk in wickedness, the greater his presumption and hypocrisy. Let not any one who resembles David in nothing but his transgressions, bolster up his confidence with this example. Let him follow David in his humiliation, repentance, and his other eminent graces, before he thinks himself only a backslider, and not a hypocrite. Let no opposer of the truth say, These are the fruits of faith! No; they are the effects of corrupt nature. Let us all watch against the beginnings of self-indulgence, and keep at the utmost distance from all evil. But with the Lord there is mercy and plenteous redemption. He will cast out no humble, penitent believer; nor will he suffer Satan to pluck his sheep out of his hand. Yet the Lord will recover his people, in such a way as will mark his abhorrence of their crimes, to hinder all who regard his word from abusing the encouragements of his mercy.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.) 2Sa 11:14-27. Uriah Slain.

14, 15. David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah … Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle—The various arts and stratagems by which the king tried to cajole Uriah, till at last he resorted to the horrid crime of murder—the cold-blooded cruelty of despatching the letter by the hands of the gallant but much-wronged soldier himself, the enlistment of Joab to be a partaker of his sin, the heartless affectation of mourning, and the indecent haste of his marriage with Bath-sheba—have left an indelible stain upon the character of David, and exhibit a painfully humiliating proof of the awful lengths to which the best of men may go when they forfeit the restraining grace of God.

We beat them back, and pursued them even to the gate. And the messenger said unto David,.... The particulars of his account follow:

surely the men prevailed against us; the men of the city of Rabbah, the besieged there, in one onset they made upon them:

and came out unto us in the field; the besiegers that lay encamped there; they sallied out upon them:

and we were upon them, even unto the entering of the gate; rallied upon them, and drove them back, and pursued them to the gate of the city.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
23. we were upon them] Or, against them: we repulsed the sally, and pursued them to the gate of the city.Verse 23. - The men prevailed against us. The real meaning is "the men made a sortie against us in force, and came even to the open field; but we were upon them (and drove them back) unto the entry of the gate, and the archers from off the wall shot at thy servants," etc. "And the men of the city came out (i.e., made a sally) and fought with Joab, and some of the people of the servants of David fell, and Uriah the Hethite died also." The literal fulfilment of the king's command does not warrant us in assuming that Joab suspected how the matter stood, or had heard a rumour concerning it. As a general, who was not accustomed to spare human life, he would be a faithful servant of his lord in this point, in order that his own interests might be served another time.
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