When one rereads a section that is familiar ground, does having reflected on the integrity of Uriah (pace Dickens!) change the level of surprise in the text? Not really. I was surprised at the bluntness of David's taking of Bathsheva, at the use of sanctification (not ברר, purity) in verse 4, at the three uses of שׁלם in verse 7.
I don't like the gloss I have used here for שׁלם. Well being for שׁלם is as bad as being for נפשׁ. How silly this would be: and David asked of the peace of Joab and of the peace of the people and of the peace of the battle! You can see why the translations ignore the threefold repetition of the word שׁלם entirely.
The use of נפשׁ in Uriah's response is a usage that demands something more of the stem than I have been able to give it. What is David's נפשׁ? Is it the embodiment of the whole people? Clearly a Hittite has more integrity within that group than David. (Integrity and group are two of the many glosses I have used for נפשׁ.)
What is that load (נשא) that came out following Uriah when he made his exit from David? Traditionally it is a present from the king's table? The word for present or its equivalent is not in the text. Perhaps the text could have read: צוד or נתן or מנחה משׁלחן המלך. If so, why not write it that way? Or is משא referring to the burden the king knew, a little black cloud that followed Uriah? I use burden for סבל (SBL :). I use load for the prophetic use of משא (from נשא).
Verse 14, today one would write a letter, a word I have not used yet in the early Hebrew chapters, but I did use it for ארגא in Esther, Ezra and Nehemiah (but not the Aramaic chapters). So I stuck to record. Perhaps dispatch (if it were available to me).
Verse 26 Every translation I have looked at repeats or ignores the two different stems (אישׁ, בעל) used re husband.
|2 Samuel 11||Fn||Min||Max||Syll|
|וַיְהִי֩ לִתְשׁוּבַ֨ת הַשָּׁנָ֜ה לְעֵ֣ת ׀ צֵ֣את הַמַּלְאֿכִ֗ים וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח דָּוִ֡ד אֶת־יוֹאָב֩ וְאֶת־עֲבָדָ֨יו עִמּ֜וֹ וְאֶת־כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל וַיַּשְׁחִ֙תוּ֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י עַמּ֔וֹן וַיָּצֻ֖רוּ עַל־רַבָּ֑ה |
וְדָוִ֖ד יוֹשֵׁ֥ב בִּירוּשָׁלִָֽם
|1||And it happened at the turn of the year, at the time the messengers go forth, and David reached out to Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel, and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and they laid siege against Rabbah, |
but David sat in Jerusalem.
|וַיְהִ֣י ׀ לְעֵ֣ת הָעֶ֗רֶב וַיָּ֨קָם דָּוִ֜ד מֵעַ֤ל מִשְׁכָּבוֹ֙ וַיִּתְהַלֵּךְ֙ עַל־גַּ֣ג בֵּית־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַיַּ֥רְא אִשָּׁ֛ה רֹחֶ֖צֶת מֵעַ֣ל הַגָּ֑ג |
וְהָ֣אִשָּׁ֔ה טוֹבַ֥ת מַרְאֶ֖ה מְאֹֽד
|2||And it was in the time of evening, and David arose from lying down, and walked on the roof of the house of the king, and saw a woman washing herself from the housetop, |
and the woman, she was of appearance very fine.
|וַיִּשְׁלַ֣ח דָּוִ֔ד וַיִּדְרֹ֖שׁ לָֽאִשָּׁ֑ה |
וַיֹּ֗אמֶר הֲלוֹא־זֹאת֙ בַּת־שֶׁ֣בַע בַּת־אֱלִיעָ֔ם אֵ֖שֶׁת אוּרִיָּ֥ה הַחִתִּֽי
|3||And David sent and searched out the woman, |
and someone said, Is not this Bathsheva the daughter of Elyam the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
|וַיִּשְׁלַח֩ דָּוִ֨ד מַלְאָכִ֜ים וַיִּקָּחֶ֗הָ וַתָּב֤וֹא אֵלָיו֙ וַיִּשְׁכַּ֣ב עִמָּ֔הּ וְהִ֥יא מִתְקַדֶּ֖שֶׁת מִטֻּמְאָתָ֑הּ |
|4||And David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay down with her, and she was sanctified from her uncleanness, |
and she returned to her house.
|וַתַּ֖הַר הָֽאִשָּׁ֑ה |
וַתִּשְׁלַח֙ וַתַּגֵּ֣ד לְדָוִ֔ד וַתֹּ֖אמֶר הָרָ֥ה אָנֹֽכִי
|5||And the woman became pregnant, |
and she sent and she told David, and she said, I am pregnant.
|וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח דָּוִד֙ אֶל־יוֹאָ֔ב שְׁלַ֣ח אֵלַ֔י אֶת־אֽוּרִיָּ֖ה הַחִתִּ֑י |
וַיִּשְׁלַ֥ח יוֹאָ֛ב אֶת־אֽוּרִיָּ֖ה אֶל־דָּוִֽד
|6||And sent David to Joab, Send to me Uriah the Hittite. |
And Joab sent Uriah to David.
|וַיָּבֹ֥א אוּרִיָּ֖ה אֵלָ֑יו |
וַיִּשְׁאַ֣ל דָּוִ֗ד לִשְׁל֤וֹם יוֹאָב֙ וְלִשְׁל֣וֹם הָעָ֔ם וְלִשְׁל֖וֹם הַמִּלְחָמָֽה
|7||And Uriah came to him, |
and David asked of the well being of Joab and of the well being of the people and of the well being of the battle.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר דָּוִד֙ לְא֣וּרִיָּ֔ה רֵ֥ד לְבֵיתְךָ֖ וּרְחַ֣ץ רַגְלֶ֑יךָ |
וַיֵּצֵ֤א אֽוּרִיָּה֙ מִבֵּ֣ית הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וַתֵּצֵ֥א אַחֲרָ֖יו מַשְׂאַ֥ת הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
|8||And David said to Uriah, Go down to your house and wash your feet. |
And Uriah went out from the house of the king, and a load of the king came out after him.
|וַיִּשְׁכַּ֣ב אוּרִיָּ֗ה פֶּ֚תַח בֵּ֣ית הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ אֵ֖ת כָּל־עַבְדֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֑יו |
וְלֹ֥א יָרַ֖ד אֶל־בֵּיתֽוֹ
|9||But Uriah lay down at the door of the house of the king with all the servants of his master, |
and did not go down to his house.
|וַיַּגִּ֤דוּ לְדָוִד֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר לֹֽא־יָרַ֥ד אוּרִיָּ֖ה אֶל־בֵּית֑וֹ |
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר דָּוִ֜ד אֶל־אוּרִיָּ֗ה הֲל֤וֹא מִדֶּ֙רֶךְ֙ אַתָּ֣ה בָ֔א מַדּ֖וּעַ לֹֽא־יָרַ֥דְתָּ אֶל־בֵּיתֶֽךָ
|10||And they told David, saying, Uriah did not go down to his house. |
And David said to Uriah, are you not coming from your journey? Why have you not gone down to your house?
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אוּרִיָּ֜ה אֶל־דָּוִ֗ד הָ֠אָרוֹן וְיִשְׂרָאֵ֨ל וִֽיהוּדָ֜ה יֹשְׁבִ֣ים בַּסֻּכּ֗וֹת וַאדֹנִ֨י יוֹאָ֜ב וְעַבְדֵ֤י אֲדֹנִ֨י עַל־פְּנֵ֤י הַשָּׂדֶה֙ חֹנִ֔ים וַאֲנִ֞י אָב֧וֹא אֶל־בֵּיתִ֛י לֶאֱכֹ֥ל וְלִשְׁתּ֖וֹת וְלִשְׁכַּ֣ב עִם־אִשְׁתִּ֑י |
חַיֶּ֙ךָ֙ וְחֵ֣י נַפְשֶׁ֔ךָ אִֽם־אֶעֱשֶׂ֖ה אֶת־הַדָּבָ֥ר הַזֶּֽה
|11||And Uriah said to David, The ark and Israel and Judah are settled in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord on the surface of the field are encamped, and I, I come to my house to eat and to imbibe and to lie down with my wife? |
You live and your integrity live, I would not do this thing.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר דָּוִ֜ד אֶל־אוּרִיָּ֗ה שֵׁ֥ב בָּזֶ֛ה גַּם־הַיּ֖וֹם וּמָחָ֣ר אֲשַׁלְּחֶ֑ךָּ |
וַיֵּ֨שֶׁב אוּרִיָּ֧ה בִירוּשָׁלִַ֛ם בַּיּ֥וֹם הַה֖וּא וּמִֽמָּחֳרָֽת
|12||And David said to Uriah, Sit here even today and tomorrow I will send you. |
And Uriah sat in Jerusalem on that day and on the morrow.
|וַיִּקְרָא־ל֣וֹ דָוִ֗ד וַיֹּ֧אכַל לְפָנָ֛יו וַיֵּ֖שְׁתְּ וַֽיְשַׁכְּרֵ֑הוּ |
וַיֵּצֵ֣א בָעֶ֗רֶב לִשְׁכַּ֤ב בְּמִשְׁכָּבוֹ֙ עִם־עַבְדֵ֣י אֲדֹנָ֔יו וְאֶל־בֵּית֖וֹ לֹ֥א יָרָֽד
|13||And David called him, and he ate before him, and imbibed, and he made him drunk, |
and he went out in the evening to lie down on his litter with the servants of his master, but to his house he did not go down.
|וַיְהִ֣י בַבֹּ֔קֶר וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב דָּוִ֛ד סֵ֖פֶר אֶל־יוֹאָ֑ב |
וַיִּשְׁלַ֖ח בְּיַ֥ד אוּרִיָּֽה
|14||And it happened in the morning that David wrote a record to Joab, |
that he sent by the hand of Uriah.
|וַיִּכְתֹּ֥ב בַּסֵּ֖פֶר לֵאמֹ֑ר |
הָב֣וּ אֶת־אֽוּרִיָּ֗ה אֶל־מוּל֙ פְּנֵ֤י הַמִּלְחָמָה֙ הַֽחֲזָקָ֔ה וְשַׁבְתֶּ֥ם מֵאַחֲרָ֖יו וְנִכָּ֥ה וָמֵֽת
|15||And he wrote in the record, saying, |
Provide Uriah with cutting-edge presence in the battle at its most resolute, then return from following him that he be struck and die.
|וַיְהִ֕י בִּשְׁמ֥וֹר יוֹאָ֖ב אֶל־הָעִ֑יר |
וַיִּתֵּן֙ אֶת־א֣וּרִיָּ֔ה אֶל־הַמָּקוֹם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר יָדַ֔ע כִּ֥י אַנְשֵׁי־חַ֖יִל שָֽׁם
|16||And it happened as Joab watched over the city, |
that he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew that there were forceful men.
|וַיֵּ֨צְא֜וּ אַנְשֵׁ֤י הָעִיר֙ וַיִּלָּחֲמ֣וּ אֶת־יוֹאָ֔ב וַיִּפֹּ֥ל מִן־הָעָ֖ם מֵעַבְדֵ֣י דָוִ֑ד |
וַיָּ֕מָת גַּ֖ם אוּרִיָּ֥ה הַחִתִּֽי
|17||And the soldiers of the city went forth and they fought Joab, and some fell from the people, from the servants of David, |
And Uriah the Hittite also died.
|וַיִּשְׁלַ֖ח יוֹאָ֑ב |
וַיַּגֵּ֣ד לְדָוִ֔ד אֶת־כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֖י הַמִּלְחָמָֽה
|18||And Joab sent, |
and told David all the matters of the battle.
|וַיְצַ֥ו אֶת־הַמַּלְאָ֖ךְ לֵאמֹ֑ר |
כְּכַלּוֹתְךָ֗ אֵ֛ת כָּל־דִּבְרֵ֥י הַמִּלְחָמָ֖ה לְדַבֵּ֥ר אֶל־הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
|19||And he commanded the messenger, saying, |
When you have finished speaking all the matters of the battle to the king,
|וְהָיָ֗ה אִֽם־תַּעֲלֶה֙ חֲמַ֣ת הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְאָמַ֣ר לְךָ֔ מַדּ֛וּעַ נִגַּשְׁתֶּ֥ם אֶל־הָעִ֖יר לְהִלָּחֵ֑ם |
הֲל֣וֹא יְדַעְתֶּ֔ם אֵ֥ת אֲשֶׁר־יֹר֖וּ מֵעַ֥ל הַחוֹמָֽה
|20||And it will be that if the heat of the king goes up, and he says to you, Why did you come close against the city to make war? |
Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?
|מִֽי־הִכָּ֞ה אֶת־אֲבִימֶ֣לֶךְ בֶּן־יְרֻבֶּ֗שֶׁת הֲלֽוֹא־אִשָּׁ֡ה הִשְׁלִ֣יכָה עָלָיו֩ פֶּ֨לַח רֶ֜כֶב מֵעַ֤ל הַֽחוֹמָה֙ וַיָּ֣מָת בְּתֵבֵ֔ץ לָ֥מָּה נִגַּשְׁתֶּ֖ם אֶל־הַֽחוֹמָ֑ה |
וְאָ֣מַרְתָּ֔ גַּ֗ם עַבְדְּךָ֛ אוּרִיָּ֥ה הַחִתִּ֖י מֵֽת
|21||Who struck Abimelek child of Yerubbeshet? Did not a woman cast down over him a component of a chariot from the wall and he died in Tebets? Why did you come close to the wall? |
Then you will say, Also your servant, Uriah the Hittite, is dead.
|וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ הַמַּלְאָ֑ךְ |
וַיָּבֹא֙ וַיַּגֵּ֣ד לְדָוִ֔ד אֵ֛ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר שְׁלָח֖וֹ יוֹאָֽב
|22||And the messenger went, |
and came and told David all that Joab had sent him for.
|וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמַּלְאָךְ֙ אֶל־דָּוִ֔ד כִּֽי־גָבְר֤וּ עָלֵ֙ינוּ֙ הָֽאֲנָשִׁ֔ים וַיֵּצְא֥וּ אֵלֵ֖ינוּ הַשָּׂדֶ֑ה |
וַנִּהְיֶ֥ה עֲלֵיהֶ֖ם עַד־פֶּ֥תַח הַשָּֽׁעַר
|23||And the messenger said to David, For the soldiers prevailed over us and went forth to us into the field, |
and we were over them even to the door of the gate.
|וַיֹּר֨וּ הַמּוֹרִ֤ים אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֙ךָ֙ מֵעַ֣ל הַחוֹמָ֔ה וַיָּמ֖וּתוּ מֵעַבְדֵ֣י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ |
וְגַ֗ם עַבְדְּךָ֛ אוּרִיָּ֥ה הַחִתִּ֖י מֵֽת
|24||And the archers shot on your servant from the wall, and some died from the servants of the king, |
and also your servant, Uriah the Hittite, is dead.
|וַיֹּ֨אמֶר דָּוִ֜ד אֶל־הַמַּלְאָ֗ךְ כֹּֽה־תֹאמַ֤ר אֶל־יוֹאָב֙ אַל־יֵרַ֤ע בְּעֵינֶ֙יךָ֙ אֶת־הַדָּבָ֣ר הַזֶּ֔ה כִּֽי־כָזֹ֥ה וְכָזֶ֖ה תֹּאכַ֣ל הֶחָ֑רֶב |
הַחֲזֵ֨ק מִלְחַמְתְּךָ֧ אֶל־הָעִ֛יר וְהָרְסָ֖הּ וְחַזְּקֵֽהוּ
|25||And David said to the messenger, Thus you say to Joab, Let not this thing be irritating in your eyes, for as this and as that, the sword will devour. |
Be resolute in your battle against the city and overthrow it. And encourage him.
|וַתִּשְׁמַע֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת אֽוּרִיָּ֔ה כִּי־מֵ֖ת אוּרִיָּ֣ה אִישָׁ֑הּ |
|26||And the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her man was dead, |
and she wailed over her husband.
|וַיַּעֲבֹ֣ר הָאֵ֗בֶל וַיִּשְׁלַ֨ח דָּוִ֜ד וַיַּאַסְפָ֤הּ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ֙ וַתְּהִי־ל֣וֹ לְאִשָּׁ֔ה וַתֵּ֥לֶד ל֖וֹ בֵּ֑ן |
וַיֵּ֧רַע הַדָּבָ֛ר אֲשֶׁר־עָשָׂ֥ה דָוִ֖ד בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהוָֽה
|27||And when the lament was passed, David sent and gathered her to his house, and she became his wife, and she gave birth for him to a son. |
And the thing that David had done was irritating in the eyes of Yahweh.
With over 80% of this puzzle done, I feel as if the whole exercise may fail to give me all that I want from what I am exploring. What do I want? An insight into the character of the human Jesus, the son who embodies Israel. What am I getting? A portrayal of the social and psychological state of the ground of canonical humanity. It is not a pretty picture. (Was this the intent of the formation of the canon that it should include such a dismal record?)