David’s Sin. 1At the turn of the year, the time when kings go to war, David sent out Joab along with his officers and all Israel, and they laid waste the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. David himself remained in Jerusalem. 2One evening David rose from his bed and strolled about on the roof of the king’s house. From the roof he saw a woman bathing; she was very beautiful. 3David sent people to inquire about the woman and was told, “She is Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, and wife of Uriah the Hittite, Joab’s armor-bearer.” 4Then David sent messengers and took her. When she came to him, he took her to bed, at a time when she was just purified after her period; and she returned to her house. 5But the woman had become pregnant; she sent a message to inform David, “I am pregnant.”
6So David sent a message to Joab, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” Joab sent Uriah to David. 7And when he came, David asked him how Joab was, how the army was, and how the war was going, and Uriah answered that all was well. 8David then said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and bathe your feet.” Uriah left the king’s house, and a portion from the king’s table was sent after him. 9But Uriah slept at the entrance of the king’s house with the other officers of his lord, and did not go down to his own house. 10David was told, “Uriah has not gone down to his house.” So he said to Uriah, “Have you not come from a journey? Why, then, did you not go down to your house?” 11Uriah answered David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are staying in tents, and my lord Joab and my lord’s servants are encamped in the open field. Can I go home to eat and to drink and to sleep with my wife? As the Lord lives and as you live, I will do no such thing.” 12Then David said to Uriah, “Stay here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back.” So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day. On the following day, 13David summoned him, and he ate and drank with David, who got him drunk. But in the evening he went out to sleep on his bed among his lord’s servants, and did not go down to his house. 14The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab which he sent by Uriah. 15This is what he wrote in the letter: “Place Uriah up front, where the fighting is fierce. Then pull back and leave him to be struck down dead.” 16So while Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to a place where he knew the defenders were strong. 17When the men of the city made a sortie against Joab, some officers of David’s army fell, and Uriah the Hittite also died.
18Then Joab sent David a report of all the details of the battle, 19instructing the messenger, “When you have finished giving the king all the details of the battle, 20the king may become angry and say to you: ‘Why did you go near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall above? 21Who killed Abimelech, son of Jerubbaal? Was it not a woman who threw a millstone down on him from the wall above, so that he died in Thebez? Why did you go near the wall?’ Then you in turn are to say, ‘Your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.’” 22The messenger set out, and on his arrival he reported to David everything Joab had sent him to tell. 23He told David: “The men had the advantage over us and came out into the open against us, but we pushed them back to the entrance of the city gate. 24Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall above, and some of the king’s servants died; and your servant Uriah the Hittite is also dead.” 25David said to the messenger: “This is what you shall say to Joab: ‘Do not let this be a great evil in your sight, for the sword devours now here and now there. Strengthen your attack on the city and destroy it.’ Encourage him.”
26When the wife of Uriah heard that her husband had died, she mourned her lord. 27But once the mourning was over, David sent for her and brought her into his house. She became his wife and bore him a son. But in the sight of the Lord what David had done was evil.
Nathan’s Parable. 1The Lord sent Nathan to David, and when he came to him, he said: “Tell me how you judge this case: In a certain town there were two men, one rich, the other poor. 2The rich man had flocks and herds in great numbers. 3But the poor man had nothing at all except one little ewe lamb that he had bought. He nourished her, and she grew up with him and his children. Of what little he had she ate; from his own cup she drank; in his bosom she slept; she was like a daughter to him. 4Now, a visitor came to the rich man, but he spared his own flocks and herds to prepare a meal for the traveler who had come to him: he took the poor man’s ewe lamb and prepared it for the one who had come to him.” 5David grew very angry with that man and said to Nathan: “As the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves death! 6He shall make fourfold restitution for the lamb because he has done this and was unsparing.” 7Then Nathan said to David: “You are the man!
Nathan’s Indictment. “Thus says the Lord God of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel. I delivered you from the hand of Saul. 8I gave you your lord’s house and your lord’s wives for your own. I gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were not enough, I could count up for you still more. 9Why have you despised the Lord and done what is evil in his sight? You have cut down Uriah the Hittite with the sword; his wife you took as your own, and him you killed with the sword of the Ammonites. 10Now, therefore, the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised me and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife. 11Thus says the Lord: I will bring evil upon you out of your own house. I will take your wives before your very eyes, and will give them to your neighbor: he shall lie with your wives in broad daylight. 12You have acted in secret, but I will do this in the presence of all Israel, in the presence of the sun itself.”
David’s Repentance. 13Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” Nathan answered David: “For his part, the Lord has removed your sin. You shall not die, 14but since you have utterly spurned the Lord by this deed, the child born to you will surely die.” 15Then Nathan returned to his house.
The Lord struck the child that the wife of Uriah had borne to David, and it became desperately ill. 16David pleaded with God on behalf of the child. He kept a total fast, and spent the night lying on the ground clothed in sackcloth. 17The elders of his house stood beside him to get him to rise from the ground; but he would not, nor would he take food with them. 18On the seventh day, the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said: “When the child was alive, we spoke to him, but he would not listen to what we said. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do some harm!” 19But David noticed his servants whispering among themselves and realized that the child was dead. He asked his servants, “Is the child dead?” They said, “Yes.” 20Rising from the ground, David washed and anointed himself, and changed his clothes. Then he went to the house of the Lord and worshiped. He returned to his own house and asked for food; they set it before him, and he ate. 21His servants said to him: “What is this you are doing? While the child was living, you fasted and wept and kept vigil; now that the child is dead, you rise and take food.” 22He replied: “While the child was living, I fasted and wept, thinking, ‘Who knows? The Lord may grant me the child’s life.’ 23But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he will not return to me.” 24Then David consoled Bathsheba his wife. He went and slept with her; and she conceived and bore him a son, who was named Solomon. The Lord loved him 25and sent the prophet Nathan to name him Jedidiah, on behalf of the Lord.
End of the Ammonite War. 26Joab fought against Rabbah of the Ammonites and captured that royal city. 27He sent messengers to David to say: “I have fought against Rabbah and have taken the water-city. 28Therefore, assemble the rest of the soldiers, join the siege against the city, and capture it, lest I be the one to capture the city and mine be the name people mention, not yours.” 29So David assembled the rest of the soldiers, went to Rabbah, fought against it, and captured it. 30He took the crown of Milcom from the idol’s head, a talent of gold in weight, with precious stones; this crown David wore on his own head. He also brought out a great amount of spoil from the city. 31He deported the people of the city and set them to work with saws, iron picks, and iron axes, or put them to work at the brickmold. He dealt thus with all the cities of the Ammonites. Then David and his whole army returned to Jerusalem.
Dedication of the Temple. 1Then Solomon assembled the elders of Israel and all the heads of the tribes, the princes in the ancestral houses of the Israelites. They came to King Solomon in Jerusalem, to bring up the ark of the Lord’s covenant from the city of David (which is Zion). 2All the people of Israel assembled before King Solomon during the festival in the month of Ethanim (the seventh month). 3When all the elders of Israel had arrived, the priests took up the ark; 4and they brought up the ark of the Lord and the tent of meeting with all the sacred vessels that were in the tent. The priests and Levites brought them up. 5King Solomon and the entire community of Israel, gathered for the occasion before the ark, sacrificed sheep and oxen too many to number or count. 6The priests brought the ark of the covenant of the Lord to its place, the inner sanctuary of the house, the holy of holies, beneath the wings of the cherubim. 7The cherubim had their wings spread out over the place of the ark, sheltering the ark and its poles from above. 8The poles were so long that their ends could be seen from the holy place in front of the inner sanctuary. They cannot be seen from outside, but they remain there to this day. 9There was nothing in the ark but the two stone tablets which Moses had put there at Horeb, when the Lord made a covenant with the Israelites after they went forth from the land of Egypt. 10When the priests left the holy place, the cloud filled the house of the Lord 11so that the priests could no longer minister because of the cloud, since the glory of the Lord had filled the house of the Lord. 12Then Solomon said,
“The Lord intends to dwell in the dark cloud;
13 I have indeed built you a princely house,
the base for your enthronement forever.”
14The king turned and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, while the whole assembly of Israel stood. 15He said: “Blessed be the Lord, the God of Israel, who with his own mouth spoke a promise to David my father and by his hand fulfilled it, saying: 16Since the day I brought my people Israel out of Egypt, I have not chosen a city out of any tribe of Israel for the building of a house, that my name might be there; but I have chosen David to rule my people Israel. 17When David my father wished to build a house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel, 18the Lord said to him: In wishing to build a house for my name, you did well. 19But it is not you who will build the house, but your son, who comes from your loins; he shall build the house for my name. 20Now the Lord has fulfilled the word he spoke: I have succeeded David my father, and I sit on the throne of Israel, as the Lord has spoken, and I have built this house for the name of the Lord, the God of Israel. 21I have provided there a place for the ark in which is the covenant of the Lord that he made with our ancestors when he brought them out of the land of Egypt.”
Solomon’s Prayer. 22Solomon stood before the altar of the Lord in the presence of the whole assembly of Israel, and stretching forth his hands toward heaven, 23he said, “Lord, God of Israel, there is no God like you in heaven above or on earth below; you keep covenant and love toward your servants who walk before you with their whole heart, 24the covenant that you kept toward your servant, David my father, what you promised him; your mouth has spoken and your hand has fulfilled this very day. 25And now, Lord, God of Israel, keep toward your servant, David my father, what you promised: There shall never be wanting someone from your line to sit before me on the throne of Israel, provided that your descendants keep to their way, walking before me as you have. 26Now, God of Israel, may the words you spoke to your servant, David my father, be confirmed.
27“Is God indeed to dwell on earth? If the heavens and the highest heavens cannot contain you, how much less this house which I have built! 28Regard kindly the prayer and petition of your servant, Lord, my God, and listen to the cry of supplication which I, your servant, utter before you this day. 29May your eyes be open night and day toward this house, the place of which you said, My name shall be there; listen to the prayer your servant makes toward this place. 30Listen to the petition of your servant and of your people Israel which they offer toward this place. Listen, from the place of your enthronement, heaven, listen and forgive.
31“If someone sins in some way against a neighbor and is required to take an oath sanctioned by a curse, and comes and takes the oath before your altar in this house, 32listen in heaven; act and judge your servants. Condemn the wicked, requiting their ways; acquit the just, rewarding their justice.
33“When your people Israel are defeated by an enemy because they sinned against you, and then they return to you, praise your name, pray to you, and entreat you in this house, 34listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your people Israel, and bring them back to the land you gave their ancestors.
35“When the heavens are closed, so that there is no rain, because they have sinned against you, but they pray toward this place and praise your name, and turn from their sin because you have afflicted them, 36listen in heaven and forgive the sin of your servants, your people Israel (for you teach them the good way in which they should walk). Give rain to this land of yours which you have given to your people as their heritage.
37“If there is famine in the land or pestilence; or if blight comes, or mildew, or locusts, or caterpillars; if an enemy of your people presses upon them in the land and at their gates; whatever plague or sickness there may be; 38whatever prayer or petition any may make, any of your people Israel, who know heartfelt remorse and stretch out their hands toward this house, 39listen in heaven, the place of your enthronement; forgive and take action. Render to each and all according to their ways, you who know every heart; for it is you alone who know the heart of every human being. 40So may they revere you as long as they live on the land you gave our ancestors.
41“To the foreigners, likewise, who are not of your people Israel, but who come from a distant land for the sake of your name 42(since people will hear of your great name and your mighty hand and your outstretched arm), when they come and pray toward this house, 43listen in heaven, the place of your enthronement. Do all that the foreigner asks of you, that all the peoples of the earth may know your name, may revere you as do your people Israel, and may know that your name has been invoked upon this house that I have built.
44“When your people go out to war against their enemies, by whatever way you send them, and they pray to the Lord toward the city you have chosen and the house I have built for your name, 45listen in heaven to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause.
46“When they sin against you (for there is no one who does not sin), and in your anger against them you deliver them to an enemy, so that their captors carry them off to the land of the enemy, far or near, 47and they have a change of heart in the land of their captivity and they turn and entreat you in the land of their captors and say, ‘We have sinned and done wrong; we have been wicked’; 48if with their whole heart and soul they turn back to you in the land of their enemies who took them captive, and pray to you toward the land you gave their ancestors, the city you have chosen, and the house I have built for your name, 49listen in heaven, your dwelling place, to their prayer and petition, and uphold their cause. 50Forgive your people who have sinned against you and all the offenses they have committed against you, and grant them mercy in the sight of their captors, so that these will be merciful to them. 51For they are your people and your heritage, whom you brought out of Egypt, from the midst of the iron furnace.
52“Thus may your eyes be open to the petition of your servant and to the petition of your people Israel; thus may you listen to them whenever they call upon you. 53For you have set them apart from all the peoples of the earth to be your heritage, as you declared through Moses your servant when you brought our ancestors out of Egypt, Lord my God.”
54After Solomon finished offering this entire prayer and petition to the Lord, he rose from before the altar of the Lord, where he had been kneeling, hands outstretched toward heaven. 55He stood and blessed the whole assembly of Israel, saying in a loud voice: 56“Blessed be the Lord who has given rest to his people Israel, just as he promised. Not a single word has gone unfulfilled of the entire gracious promise he made through Moses his servant. 57May the Lord, our God, be with us as he was with our ancestors and may he not forsake us nor cast us off. 58May he draw our hearts to himself, that we may walk in his ways and keep the commands, statutes, and ordinances that he enjoined on our ancestors. 59May these words of mine, the petition I have offered before the Lord, our God, be present to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel as each day requires, 60so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and there is no other. 61Your heart must be wholly devoted to the Lord, our God, observing his statutes and keeping his commandments, as on this day.”
62The king and all Israel with him offered sacrifices before the Lord. 63Solomon offered as communion offerings to the Lord twenty-two thousand oxen and one hundred twenty thousand sheep. Thus the king and all the Israelites dedicated the house of the Lord. 64On that day the king consecrated the middle of the court facing the house of the Lord; he offered there the burnt offerings, the grain offerings, and the fat of the communion offerings, because the bronze altar before the Lord was too small to hold the burnt offering, the grain offering, and the fat of the communion offering. 65On this occasion Solomon and all Israel with him, a great assembly from Lebo-hamath to the Wadi of Egypt, celebrated the festival before the Lord, our God, for seven days. 66On the eighth day he dismissed the people, who blessed the king and went to their tents, rejoicing and glad of heart because of all the blessings the Lord had given to David his servant and to his people Israel.