Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11

David asks why Uriah did not return home

2 Samuel 11:10

Uriah was one of a small group of soldiers who were famous in Israel. His name appears last in the list of their names, in 2 Samuel 23:8-39. They were men who were especially loyal to King David. Some of them had risked their lives to satisfy a mere wish that David had expressed (23:13-17). It seems that there was an attitude of genuine love between them and David (1 Corinthians 13:1-6). David hardly had to give his command, and they gladly obeyed, even in the greatest danger (1 Chronicles 12:18).

So, it would have seemed extraordinary to David when Uriah refused to obey his clear instruction. David had told Uriah to spend the night at home with his wife. Instead, Uriah chose to sleep by the gate with the palace servants.

However, David chose not to accuse Uriah of wrong behaviour. Instead, David thought that he might still be able to persuade Uriah. Perhaps Uriah did not really believe that David wanted such a loyal soldier as him to relax. Perhaps Uriah was only carrying out what he believed to be David’s true wishes.

So David reasoned with Uriah. It is quite proper for a soldier who returns after a long journey to go home, David said. Uriah had an opportunity to spend time with his wife; he should gratefully accept that opportunity.

However, that was not the true reason why David wanted Uriah to go home. David was trying to keep secret his wrong act with Uriah’s wife.

Next part: Uriah explains why he refused any comfort (2 Samuel 11:11)


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