First Reading for the Friday of the 3rd Week in Ordinary Time Cycle 2

2 Samuel 11:1-4a, 5-10a, 13-17

Summary: David, remaining in Jerusalem while his army fought, saw and slept with Bathsheba, resulting in her pregnancy. He tried to conceal it, leading to Uriah's strategic and fatal placement in battle.

David's Sin with Bathsheba

At the turn of the year, when kings go out on campaign, David sent out Joab along with his officers and the army of Israel, and they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David, however, remained in Jerusalem. One evening David rose from his siesta and strolled about on the roof of the palace.

From the roof he saw a woman bathing, who was very beautiful. David had inquiries made about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Joab’s armor bearer Uriah the Hittite.” Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he had relations with her. She then returned to her house. But the woman had conceived, and sent the information to David, “I am with child.”

David therefore sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” So Joab sent Uriah to David. When he came, David questioned him about Joab, the soldiers, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well. David then said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.” Uriah left the palace, and a portion was sent out after him from the king’s table.

But Uriah slept at the entrance of the royal palace with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house. David was told that Uriah had not gone home. On the day following, David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who made him drunk. But in the evening Uriah went out to sleep on his bed among his lord’s servants, and did not go down to his home.

The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah. In it he directed: “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.” So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong. When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David’s army fell, and among them Uriah the Hittite died.

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