Useful Bible Studies > 2 Samuel Commentary > chapter 11

The death of Uriah

2 Samuel 11:14-17

David’s evil acts suddenly became much more serious. He did not want anyone to know that he was the father of the child of Uriah’s wife. So, David decided that Uriah must die. It would clearly be impossible to convince Uriah that he, Uriah, was the father.

It was not difficult for David to arrange Uriah’s death. It only took a few moments for David to write his instructions to Joab, the commander of the army. Uriah was one of the best soldiers in that army. David told Joab to attack the city that his army was surrounding. Joab must send Uriah into the most dangerous part of the battle; then, he should leave Uriah there, alone. Uriah was a very loyal man; David knew that he would fight bravely until his death. David even trusted Uriah to take his letter, with these instructions in it, to Joab.

Joab did not ask whether it was right to obey such a cruel instruction. He was not a good or holy man; he too had been guilty of a murder (3:22-39). He simply followed David’s instructions. It was foolish to try to attack a city in the way that David had described - and Joab knew it (11:20-21). Several of Israel’s men died that day, including of course Uriah.

We ask how such a good and holy man as David could have carried out such an evil act. The answer is that he allowed himself to become too comfortable and lazy. He was doing what pleased himself. He no longer desired, as he formerly did, to please God. He was no longer caring about other people - he only cared to give them a good impression of himself.

Next part: Abimelech, son of Jerub-Besheth (2 Samuel 11:18-21)


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