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by Wayne Blank
Of all of the troubles that King David faced during his lifetime, the incident of adultery with Bathsheba was the most grave. The unfaithful act was itself very serious, but then a murder was committed as part of an attempted cover up.
The Killing of Uriah
Bathsheba's husband was Uriah, a loyal soldier of the king. When attempts failed to make it appear that Uriah was the father of the child that his wife was expecting (2 Samuel 11:6-13), David resorted to making her a widow so that he could take her as his own wife. Incredibly, Uriah was even used to deliver his own death warrant:
"In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. In the letter he wrote, "Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, and then draw back from him, that he may be struck down, and die." And as Joab was besieging the city, he assigned Uriah to the place where he knew there were valiant men. And the men of the city came out and fought with Joab; and some of the servants of David among the people fell. Uriah the Hittite was slain also." (2 Samuel 11:14-17 RSV)
Everything Is Known To God
Although David, of all people, should have known that nothing is hidden from God (see Glass Houses), he apparently thought that he could get away with it. He didn't. Ironically, it was the then distant-future "son of David" Himself (see Rock Of Ages) that rebuked him:
"Thus says The Lord, the God of Israel, 'I anointed you king over Israel, and I delivered you out of the hand of Saul; and I gave you your master's house, and your master's wives into your bosom, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if this were too little, I would add to you as much more. Why have you despised the word of The Lord, to do what is evil in his sight? You have smitten Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have slain him with the sword of the Ammonites. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from your house, because you have despised Me, and have taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your wife.'" (2 Samuel 12:7-10 RSV)
Forgiven - For Salvation's Sake
God forgave David, not only because David repented (2 Samuel 12:13), but moreover for the sake of the assigned role that The Chosen People were given in God's plan of salvation for all humans, all sinners.
David then married Bathsheba, but the child from the adulterous incident died (2 Samuel 12:14-18). Later, Bathsheba had another son, Solomon, who she helped to succeed David as king in place of Adonijah, the son of another of David's wives (1 Kings 1:5-53).
Fact Finder: In the genealogy of Jesus Christ, is Bathsheba listed as "the wife of Uriah"?