THE CHILDREN'S BIBLE
fiercest fighting, then draw back from behind him, that he may be struck down and die." So Joab, in posting guards over the city, sent Uriah to the place where he knew there were brave men. When the men of the city went out to fight against Joab, some of the soldiers of David fell, and Uriah the Hittite was killed.
Then Joab sent to tell David all about the war, and he gave this command to the messenger: "If, after you have finished telling the ruler all about the war, he is angry and says to you, 'Why did you go so near to the city to fight? Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall ? Who struck down Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal ? Did not a woman cast an upper millstone upon him from the wall, so that he died at Thebez ? Why did you go near the wall?' then say, 'Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.' "
So the messenger of Joab went to Jerusalem and told David all that Joab commanded him. Then David said to the messenger, "Say to Joab, 'Let not this thing trouble you, for the sword takes one and then another. Go on fighting against the city and capture it,' and encourage him."
When Bathsheba heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for him as was the custom. When the mourning was over, David sent for her, and she became his wife and she had a son.
What David had done displeased Jehovah and he sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan went to him and said, "There were two men in one city, the one rich and the other poor. The rich man had many flocks and herds; but the poor man had nothing except one little ewe lamb which he had bought. He fed it, and it grew up with him and with his children. It used to eat of his own small supply of food and drink out of his own cup, and it lay in his bosom and was like a daughter to him.
Now a traveller came to the rich man; and he spared his own flock and did not take an animal from it nor from his own herd to make ready for the traveller who had come to him, but took the poor man's lamb and prepared it for the guest who had come.
Then David was very angry, and he said to Nathan, "As surely as Jehovah lives, the man who has done this deserves to die; he shall repay seven times the value of the lamb, because he showed no pity."
Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Jehovah the God of Israel declares: 'I made you ruler over Israel and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul. I gave you your master's house and your master's wives to be your own, and I gave you the nations of Israel and Judah. If that were too little, I would add as much again. Why