Monday, October 5, 2015

Women in the Life of Jesus: Bathsheba, Part 1

The book of the genealogy of Jesus Christ, the Son of David, the Son of Abraham
Abraham begot Isaac, Isaac begot Jacob, and Jacob begot Judah and his brothers.  Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.  Ram begot Amminadab, Amminadab begot Nahshon, and Nahshon begot Salmon.  Salmon begot Boaz by Rahab, Boaz begot Obed by Ruth, Obed begot Jesse, and Jesse begot David the king.
David the king begot Solomon by her who had been the wife of Uriah.
Matthew 1:1-6

Scripture where she can be found: 2 Samuel 11 & 12, 1 Kings 1 & 2, 1 Chronicles 3, Matthew 1 (listed as wife of Uriah)

Her Story:  

The part of her story that most people are familiar with is when we are first introduced to her in the scriptures, in 2 Samuel 11 & 12.  Her story also continues elsewhere, but we are going to focus on just this portion.  

If you have a Bible, please read 2 Samuel 11 & 12.  You can also read it in its entirety online starting here.

And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.
-2 Samuel 11:1-5

A couple of things to note about this portion of the story are:

1.  David was the King of Israel and should have been in battle.

2.  This took place during the time of her purification.  I don't know that much about the purification laws (something to study), but it was beyond the time of her menstrual cycle, which probably made her extremely fertile.

In order to fix the situation, David calls for her husband, who was in battle and where he should have been.

He sends a letter and the husband, who is a soldier, returns home.  David tells him to rest and go home.  But Uriah does not comply.

So, David calls him back, and this is Uriah's reply,

 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing

.-2 Samuel 11:11 (KJV)

David is no faced with another choice.  He cannot trick Uriah into going and sleeping with his wife, so the child will appear to be his, so he has to come up with another solution.  This one is not good, and is going to compound the situation even further for David.

And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.-2 Samuel 11:14-17

Bathsheba is now a widow, and pregnant with another man's child.

Some people think that she was a willing active participant to the events, but I am not sure.  The Bible doesn't record David sending a message to her when she told him she was pregnant.  It only says he sent one to Uriah.  And since Uriah would not go home, she may not have known that he had even been sent for or was there in Jerusalem.  

The last two verses of Samuel 11 also support my thoughts.  

And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
-2 Samuel 11:26-27

She was sad that her husband had died.  She loved him and mourned the loss of him.  And the Bible says, "the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."  Her name was not included in that.

Tomorrow, I will share more about Bathsheba in Part 2, which will be taken from 2 Samuel, chapter 12.

l fiction book about Bathsheba, check out my review of Bathsheba Bathed in Grace: How 8 Scandalous Women Changed the World by Carol Cook.

To read more posts in this series, go here to Women in the Life of Jesus.

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