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"Thou art the man"
by Wayne Blank
"Is not this Bathsheba ... the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
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 later committed as part of an attempted cover up.
"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 inquired 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 11:2-5 KJV)
Bathsheba's husband was Uriah, a loyal soldier of King David. 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:
"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 KJV)
Although David, of all people, should have known that nothing is hidden from God, he apparently thought that he could get away with it. He didn't. The Lord sent Nathan the prophet to first deliver the parable as written in the opening paragraph, and then further:
"And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith The Lord God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul; And I gave thee thy master's house, and thy master's wives into thy bosom, and gave thee the house of Israel and of Judah; and if that had been too little, I would moreover have given unto thee such and such things. Wherefore hast thou despised the commandment of The Lord, to do evil in his sight? thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife, and hast slain him with the sword of the children of Ammon. Now therefore the sword shall never depart from thine house; because thou hast despised me, and hast taken the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be thy wife." (2 Samuel 12:7-10 KJV)
God forgave David, not only because David truly repented (2 Samuel 12:13), but moreover for the sake of the assigned role that the royal line of Judah (see Israelite Dynasties) had been 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: What does the Holy Bible say about adultery?