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Sunday, November 27 2011
David And Bathsheba
The English rendering of the name Bathsheba is based on the Hebrew name, pronounced bawth-sheh-bawh, which means daughter of the oath i.e. the Hebrew word, pronounced bawth, means daughter, and the Hebrew word, pronounced sheh-bawh, means oath (the Hebrew words for both seven and Sabbath are also based on that same root word). Although some regard Bathsheba to be an ironic name for the woman whose taking a bath set off a chain of events in Bible History (circumstances of events sometimes affect future events far more than the event itself), the English word for "bath" is not the same; the Hebrew word, as used extensively in the Holy Scriptures, for bathing or washing is pronounced raw-khawts.
The infamous incident was a consensual act of adultery; both were equally guilty, regardless of how it came about (some debate which of them was the actual mischief-maker, suggesting that the lonely Bathsheba, whose military-serving husband was away for some time, knew that she would be observed from the king's nearby palace, while David was with a number of always-present women). Both were married; Bathsheba to Uriah, and David to more than one wife (see the Fact Finder question below). The timing of the result ("the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child") of the incident however greatly complicated the matter because the chronology of the conception would prove that her absent husband was not the father of her child.
"11:2 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. 11:3 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? 11:4 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. 11:5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child." (2 Samuel 11:2-5 KJV)
When David's attempts to get Uriah to return home failed, in order to attempt to cover up their violation of the Seventh Commandment (against adultery), David violated the Sixth Commandment (against murder) - David arranged to have Uriah killed in battle.
"11:14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. 11:15 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.
After the death of Uriah, Bathsheba quickly married David in order to give the appearance that David was the father of her child, which he was anyway. If any humans knew about it (Joab very likely did - see the verses above), none were saying, "But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD."
"11:26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. 11:27 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 KJV)
"The thing that David had done displeased the LORD"
The LORD sent the prophet Nathan to confront David (see also Who Has A Spirit Of Confrontation?). The royal rebuke began with a parable that was used to impress upon David that he was a hypocrite.
"12:1 And the LORD sent Nathan unto David. And he came unto him, and said unto him, There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. 12:2 The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: 12:3 But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter.
Nathan then extinguished David's self-righteous anger by revealing that David himself was the man in the parable.
"12:7 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; 12:8 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. 12:9 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. 12:10 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)
"12:13 And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD.
One of David's famous Psalms was written at that time, as his confession of that sin - in which he obviously realized how close that he came to losing everything i.e. "Cast me not away from thy presence ... Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation." What David did, in an attempt that no one would know, turned out to be something that everyone will know (even Uriah, who, when he was killed, was not aware of his wife's adultery; Uriah will live again when he is resurrected - see The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?).
"51:1 To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.
David and Bathsheba then settled down to a normal marriage (or at least as normal as David's complex family of numerous wives would allow - see the Fact Finder question below). They eventually had another child; David "called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him." The LORD however "called his name Jedidiah."
"12:24 And David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her, and lay with her: and she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon: and the LORD loved him. 12:25 And he sent by the hand of Nathan the prophet; and he called his name Jedidiah, because of the LORD." (2 Samuel 12:24-25 KJV)
Nothing more is written of Bathsheba until David had grown feeble and was about to die. The still-vigorous Bathsheba (either because she was much younger, and/or she had taken better care of her health) played a key role in having her son Solomon succeed David, according to the will of the LORD, rather than Adonijah, a son of Haggith (another of David's wives), who was about to seize the throne for himself.
"1:11 Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bathsheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not? 1:12 Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon. 1:13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign? 1:14 Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words." (1 Kings 1:11-14 KJV)
Bathsheba lived out the remainder of her life, having gone from just one of the wives of a king, to the only mother of the next king.
"1:31 Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live for ever.
This Day In History, November 27
176: Emperor Marcus Aurelius promoted his son Commodus to the rank of Imperator ("empire maker) and made him Supreme Commander of the Roman legions (see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire).
511: Clovis, founder of the Frankish monarchy, died at age 45. His European kingdom was then divided among his four sons (large areas of both France and Germany were settled or conquered by tribes of the Franks).
1095: At the Council of Clermont, Pope Urban II called for the First Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). Its goals were to defend the Eastern Roman Empire from the Seljuk Turks and to open Jerusalem to "Christian" pilgrims.
1382: The French nobility, led by Olivier de Clisson, defeated Flemish rebels in Flanders.
1701: Anders Celsius, inventor of the Celsius temperature scale and the Celsius thermometer, was born in Sweden.
1868: In a "punitive" raid ordered by General Philip Sheridan for attacks committed by other warriors in the area who were still trying to defend their native homelands, George Custer's 7th Cavalry slaughtered elderly Chief Black Kettle (who had already signed a peace treaty with "the white devils"), his wife (both Black Kettle and his wife were shot in the back) and about 100 Cheyenne (mostly women and children who couldn't outrun soldiers on horseback) in their winter encampment on the Washita River.
1895: Swedish inventor (e.g. of dynamite) and industrialist (e.g. manufacturing cannons and other war supplies) Alfred Nobel established the Nobel Prizes, including, ironically, the Nobel Peace Prize (considering how the originator of the prize made his fortune, and many of the war-making recipients of the "peace" prize ever since, some historians suggest that it should have been called the Nobel Hypocrite Prize).
1936: Prime Minister Anthony Eden warned Hitler that Britain would fight to protect Belgium.
1940: In Romania, the pro-Nazi Iron Guard slaughtered over 60 aides of the exiled king, including former prime minister Nicolae Jorga.
1942: The French navy at Toulon scuttled its own ships and submarines to prevent their capture by conquering German forces.
1967: French president Charles DeGaulle vetoed Britain's entry into the European Common Market.
1975: Ross McWhirter, co-editor and compiler of the Guiness Book of World Records, was shot dead in his home by "Irish Republican Army" gunmen.
1990: Britain's Conservative Party chose John Major to succeed Margaret Thatcher as party leader and prime minister.
2006: The Canadian House of Commons endorsed Prime Minister Stephen Harper's motion to declare Quebec "a nation within a unified Canada."