Bible Commentaries

2 Samuel 11

Verses 1-27

In the whole of the Old Testament literature there is no chapter more tragic or full of solemn and searching warning than this.

Carefully pondering it, we notice the downward steps logically following each other in rapid succession. First, "David tarried at Jerusalem." It was the time of war, and his place was with the army. Instead of being there, he had remained behind, in the sphere of temptation. This is not to say that the place of peace is more perilous than that of war, but rather that any place other than that of duty is one of extreme danger.

From this, events moved rapidly but surely onward. In briefest quotation we may indicate the movement: "He saw"; "he sent and inquired"; "he took."

The king had fallen from the high level of purity to sin in yielding to the inner weakness which had already become manifested. One sin led to another, and in all likelihood his sin against Uriah, one of the bravest of his soldiers, was more dastardly than his sin with Bathsheba.

From the merely human standpoint, the unutterable folly of the whole affair is evident as he puts himself in Joab's power by sharing with him the secret of his guilt. Even more fitting than in his own use of them, his words concerning the death of Saul and Jonathan are true, "How are the mighty fallen!"