Bathsheba

Her name means “daughter of an oath.”  She will forever be known as the married woman who committed adultery with the king of Israel.  Who was Bathsheba?  She was the wife of Uriah, a Hittite.  A Hittite is a descendant of Heth, the 2nd son of Canaan.  They were once inhabitants of central Anatolia (modern Turkey), later in North Lebanon.

She was the daughter of Eliam.  Eliam was one of King David’s thirty (2 Samuel 23:34; 1 Chronicles 3:5).  Her grandfather was Ahitophel, one of David’s chief advisors (Joshua 15:51; 2 Samuel 15:12).  Ahitophel was from Giloh (Joshua 15:51; 2 Samuel 15:12). Giloh is a city in the mountains of Judah.

Bathsheba was the mother of Solomon, Shimea, Shobab and Nathan.  She became the Queen Mother when her son Solomon succeeded David as king.  She secured Solomon’s succession to the throne instead of David’s eldest surviving son, Adonijah (1 Kings 1:11-31).  She was from David’s own tribe.  We don’t know who her mother was.  There’s no mention of her anywhere in the Bible.

Some Bible commentators have come to the conclusion that Bathsheba may have written at least part of Proverbs 31 because of the connections between king Lemuel aka King Solomon.

Bathsheba was married to a good, loyal man.  What would drive her to sleep with the king?  Why didn’t she refuse him?  He was married.  In fact, he was a polygamist.  Personally, I would be insulted if someone, and I don’t care who he is, thought he could sleep with me even though I am a married woman.  What is troubling is that David knew who her husband was.  When he saw her bathing, he asked who she was and found out that she was married to one of his men.  Did that deter him?  No.  It was as if her marriage didn’t make any difference to him.  He wanted her and was determined to have her.  He acted like a tyrant.  He arranged for her to go to him the same evening he saw her taking a bath and he slept with her.  After they were done, she went back home.

What would drive a woman to sleep with another man while her husband was away at war?  Was it loneliness?  Was she flattered by the king’s attention?  Did she feel that she didn’t have a choice?  Whatever her reason, she allowed herself to be seduced by a king who should have been away at war with his men.

Not long after she became pregnant and she told the king about it.  His response was to try to get her husband to sleep with her so that he could cover up what he had done.  Uriah declined to go to his wife.  The army was on a campaign and the rule was that the men abstained from sex.  Uriah was a man of principle and that was why he did not go home to his wife.  One commentator said that if he had gone home, he would have been a man of less principle, the child might have been passed off as his and he would not have been killed.  It is possible that Uriah already suspected the truth.  When David failed to get Uriah to sleep with his wife, he had him killed in battle.  After she finished mourning her husband’s death, David married Bathsheba.  The child conceived in adultery died soon after he was born.

Unfortunately, Bathsheba will always be seen as an adulteress.  In Matthew 1:6, the apostle makes the following reference:  David the king begot Solomon by her [who had been the wife] of Uriah.  Bathsheba is not even mentioned by name.  She is  simply referred to as the woman who had been Uriah’s wife.

Bathsheba was known first and foremost as the “wife of Uriah”.  2 Samuel 11:26 states:  And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. Note, it does not say “And when Bathsheba heard that Uriah was dead, she mourned for him”.  The writer emphasized the relationship between these two people and at the same time pointed out the enormity of David’s sin.  He had separated two people who had been bound in marriage.  What God had joined together, David had put asunder.

In all fairness, David, when confronted by the prophet Nathan, confessed his sin and God forgave him.  When he and Bathsheba lost their son, he comforted her and she became pregnant with Solomon whom God loved.  The Lord gave the child another name through the prophet Nathan.  It was Jedidiah which means “beloved of Jehovah”  In the end, Bathsheba was blessed with four sons, one of whom was beloved of God and became Israel’s 3rd king, celebrated for his riches, splendor and wisdom.

I am confident that God forgave Bathsheba for committing adultery.  If you have committed adultery, ask for His forgiveness.  If someone approaches you about having an affair, make it clear to him that you are not interested because you or he is or both of you are married.  Marriage is sacred and should be treated with the utmost respect.  Too many marriages are falling by the wayside because people are not investing in them.  They have affairs or quit because they can’t cope.  Successful and lasting marriages take work.  Christian couples who have been married for fifty years or more have had their share of ups and downs, but with God’s help they were able to weather the storms.

Marriage is an institution set up by God and He expects those who enter into it to remain faithful to each and to stay together until death parts them.  This is why marriage should be entered into carefully and wisely.  Make sure you are ready.   It is recommended that people who are thinking of getting married, should go for premarital counselling first.  Marriages should last long–definitely much longer than 72 days!  Couples should strive to meet each others’ needs so that there is no possibility of straying outside of the marriage.

 

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s