Psalm 51; 2 Samuel 11–12:25

Create in Me a Clean Heart, O God

To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when vNathan the prophet went to him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.

51  wHave mercy on me,1 O God,

according to your steadfast love;

according to your xabundant mercy

yblot out my transgressions.

zWash me thoroughly from my iniquity,

and acleanse me from my sin!

bFor I know my transgressions,

and my sin is ever before me.

cAgainst you, you only, have I sinned

and done what is evil din your sight,

eso that you may be justified in your words

and blameless in your judgment.

Behold, fI was brought forth in iniquity,

and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Behold, you delight in truth in gthe inward being,

and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.

Purge me hwith hyssop, and I shall be clean;

zwash me, and I shall be iwhiter than snow.

Let me hear joy and gladness;

jlet the bones kthat you have broken rejoice.

lHide your face from my sins,

and yblot out all my iniquities.

10  mCreate in me a nclean heart, O God,

and orenew a right2 spirit within me.

11  pCast me not away from your presence,

and take not qyour Holy Spirit from me.

12  Restore to me the joy of your salvation,

and uphold me with a willing spirit.

13  Then I will teach transgressors your ways,

and sinners will rreturn to you.

14  Deliver me from sbloodguiltiness, O God,

O tGod of my salvation,

and umy tongue will sing aloud of your vrighteousness.

15  O Lord, open my lips,

and my mouth will declare your praise.

16  wFor you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;

you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.

17  The sacrifices of God are xa broken spirit;

a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.

18  yDo good to Zion in your good pleasure;

zbuild up the walls of Jerusalem;

19  then will you delight in aright sacrifices,

in burnt offerings and bwhole burnt offerings;

then bulls will be offered on your altar.


David and Bathsheba

11 hiIn the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged jRabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on kthe roof of the king's house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. And David sent and inquired about the woman. And one said, Is not this lBathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of mUriah the Hittite? So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (nNow she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house. And the woman conceived, and she sent and told David, I am pregnant.

So David sent word to Joab, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked how Joab was doing and how the people were doing and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and owash your feet. And Uriah went out of the king's house, and there followed him a present from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. 10 When they told David, Uriah did not go down to his house, David said to Uriah, Have you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house? 11 Uriah said to David, pThe ark and Israel and Judah dwell in booths, and my lord Joab and qthe servants of my lord are camping in the open field. Shall I then go to my house, to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live, and ras your soul lives, I will not do this thing. 12 Then David said to Uriah, Remain here today also, and tomorrow I will send you back. So Uriah remained in Jerusalem that day and the next. 13 And David invited him, and he ate in his presence and drank, sso that he made him drunk. And in the evening he went out to lie on his couch with qthe servants of his lord, but he did not go down to his house.

14 In the morning David twrote a letter to Joab and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 15 In the letter he wrote, Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, uthat he may be struck down, and die. 16 And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. 17 And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab, and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite also died. 18 Then Joab sent and told David all the news about the fighting. 19 And he instructed the messenger, When you have finished telling all the news about the fighting to the king, 20 then, if the king's anger rises, and if he says to you, Why did you go so near the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall? 21 vWho killed Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone on him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez? Why did you go so near the wall? then you shall say, Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

22 So the messenger went and came and told David all that Joab had sent him to tell. 23 The messenger said to David, The men gained an advantage over us and came out against us in the field, but we drove them back to the entrance of the gate. 24 Then the archers shot at your servants from the wall. Some of the king's servants are dead, and your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also. 25 David said to the messenger, Thus shall you say to Joab, Do not let this matter displease you, for the sword devours now one and now another. Strengthen your attack against the city and overthrow it. And encourage him.

26 When the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she lamented over her husband. 27 And when the mourning was over, David sent and brought her to his house, and wshe became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.

Nathan Rebukes David

12 And the Lord sent xNathan to David. He came to him and said to him, yThere were two men in a certain city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had very many flocks and herds, but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb, which he had bought. And he brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his morsel and drink from his cup and lie in his arms,1 and it was like a daughter to him. Now there came a traveler to the rich man, and he was unwilling to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the guest who had come to him, but he took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the man who had come to him. Then David's anger was greatly kindled against the man, and he said to Nathan, zAs the Lord lives, the man who has done this deserves to die, and he shall restore the lamb afourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity.

Nathan said to David, You are the man! Thus says the Lord, the God of Israel, bI anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. And I gave you your master's house and your master's wives into your arms and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah. And if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. cWhy have you despised the word of the Lord, dto do what is evil in his sight? eYou have struck down Uriah the Hittite with the sword and fhave taken his wife to be your wife and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. 10 Now 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. 11 Thus says the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun. 12 For you did it secretly, gbut I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun. 13 hDavid said to Nathan, iI have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said to David, jThe Lord also has put away your sin; you shall not die. 14 Nevertheless, because by this deed you have utterly kscorned the Lord,2 the child who is born to you shall die. 15 Then Nathan went to his house.

David's Child Dies

And the Lord afflicted the child that Uriah's wife bore to David, and he became sick. 16 David therefore sought God on behalf of the child. And David lfasted and went in mand lay all night on the ground. 17 And the elders of his house stood beside him, to raise him from the ground, but he would not, nor did he eat food with them. 18 On the seventh day the child died. And the servants of David were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spoke to him, and he did not listen to us. How then can we say to him the child is dead? He may do himself some harm. 19 But when David saw that his servants were whispering together, David understood that the child was dead. And David said to his servants, Is the child dead? They said, He is dead. 20 Then David arose from the earth nand washed and anointed himself and changed his clothes. And he went into the house of the Lord oand worshiped. He then went to his own house. And when he asked, they set food before him, and he ate. 21 Then his servants said to him, What is this thing that you have done? You fasted and wept for the child while he was alive; but when the child died, you arose and ate food. 22 He said, While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept, for I said, pWho knows whether the Lord will be gracious to me, that the child may live? 23 But now he is dead. Why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, qbut he will not return to me.

Solomon's Birth

24 Then David comforted his wife, Bathsheba, and went in to her and lay with her, and rshe bore a son, and he called his name sSolomon. And the Lord loved him 25 and sent a message by Nathan the prophet. So he called his name Jedidiah,3 because of the Lord.