Then Uriah said to David, “The ark, Israel and Judah are staying in booths, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open field. How can I then go into my house to eat and to drink and to lie with my wife? As you live and as your soul lives I will not do this thing!” Bible other translations

“the ark.” Uriah’s statement shows us that the army carried the Ark of the Covenant to the battlefield with them, a seemingly precarious move. Given that the ark had been captured by the Philistines years earlier, one would think that David and his advisors would have left the ark in Jerusalem.

“staying in booths.” The bedouin had tents, and lived in them, but the army would not have had tents, they would have constructed temporary dwellings wherever they camped.

“encamped in the open field.” More literally, “are camping on the face (“surface”) of the field.” It seems most of the army simply laid on the ground at night.

Commentary for: 2 Samuel 11:11