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Wednesday, April 30 2014
2 Samuel 11: Bathsheba, The Wife Of Uriah
"Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?"
King David's latest war with the Ammonites began when the Ammonites abused David's peaceful ambassadors (see 2 Samuel 10: The Ambassadors Incident).
"11:1 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." (2 Samuel 11:1 KJV)
One night during that time of war, David, while on his palace terrace, witnessed a woman bathing in a nearby pool. It resulted in the infamous incident of adultery that became the worst event of David's life.
The act was consensual. 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 in the war with the Ammonites, knew that she would be observed from the king's nearby palace). Both were married; Bathsheba to Uriah, and David already to more than one wife (see the Fact Finder question below).
"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 enquired after the woman.
David then made a clumsy attempt to cover up the adulterous pregnancy. Even if the superficial facade had worked, an obviously full-term infant born only about six months after the only time in which the woman's husband could have been the father of her child would have caused many questions and suspicions.
"11:6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. 11:7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. 11:8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. 11:9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
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 "mourned for her husband" but then quickly married David in order to give the questionable appearance that David was the father of her child (again, keeping in mind that a full-term infant would have seemingly been born, by then, only five or six months after the marriage), which he was anyway. If humans knew about it (Joab very likely did - see the verses above), none were saying, but the whole matter was in full sight of the LORD: "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)
Fact Finder: How many wives did King David have?
This Day In History, April 30
311: Galerius Valerius Maximianus issued an edict which allowed (the Roman version of) Christianity in the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad and Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy).
313: Licinius unified the whole of the eastern Roman empire under his own rule after the Battle of Tzirallum.
1006: The brightest supernova in recorded history was observed.
1156: Moscow was founded.
1303: When German king Albrecht (Albert) obtained confirmation of his election from Pope Boniface VIII, he swore an oath of obedience to the papacy, and promised that none of his sons would be elected German king without papal consent (see Emperors and Popes).
1492: The Papacy and the Roman Catholic king and queen of Spain, Ferdinand and Isabella, granted the Italian sailor Christopher Columbus (actual name in Italian: Cristoforo Colombo) his commission of exploration to the "New World." As shown on the map, the four voyages of Columbus were actually limited to the area of the islands in the Caribbean, not to what is today called "America" (see also Thanksgiving In History and Prophecy).
1513: Edmund de la Pole, the Yorkist pretender to the throne of England, was executed on the orders of King Henry VIII.
1527: Henry VIII and King Francis of France signed the Treaty of Westminster.
1563: Jews were expelled from France by order of King Charles VI.
1725: Spain withdrew from the Quadruple Alliance.
1803: The treaty was signed for the Louisiana Purchase. France, under Napoleon, found itself requiring the funds for Napoleon's European wars of conquest (when Britain was at war with the U.S. during the War of 1812-14, Britain was also at war to stop Napoleon in Europe; to Britain, the War of 1812 was a relative "side show" from the great war in Europe against Napoleon at the same time).
1804: Shrapnel, named after British soldier Henry Shrapnel, was used for the first time in warfare by the British against the Dutch in Suriname.
1849: Giuseppe Garibaldi, Italian patriot and guerrilla leader, repulsed a French attack on Rome.
1902: In Vienna, Theodore Herzl completed his novel Altneuland.
1917: German submarines in the First World War, total ships sunk for month: 335
1943: The British submarine HMS Seraph dropped the "man who never was," a dead man planted with false invasion papers, off the coast of Spain. It turned out to be one of the greatest deceptions in military history.
1945: Adolf Hitler, 56, and his wife of 1 day, Eva Braun, 33, committed suicide in their underground "Fuhrerbunker" in Berlin as Russian troops penetrated central Berlin.
1966: The "Church of Satan" was established at the Black House in San Francisco, California.
1975: In South Vietnam, with the last of the U.S. military forces and diplomatic (i.e. CIA and mercenary "contractors") personnel having evacuated the previous day, President Minh announced an unconditional surrender to the Vietcong, ending the 20th Century's longest civil war. Vietnam became a single country again, after having been divided by imperial France earlier in the 20th century - which triggered the civil war that the U.S. involved itself in later, in the 1960s.
1980: Terrorists seized the Iranian Embassy in London.
1980: Queen Juliana of the Netherlands signed the Act of Abdication, ending 31 years as monarch. She was succeeded by Queen Beatrix.
1991: A cyclone (hurricane) killed 125,000 people in Bangladesh.
2004: Photographs of U.S. soldiers abusing and sexually humiliating live and dead Iraqi prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison in Baghdad (where Saddam Hussein's thugs tortured and abused prisoners in the same way before Iraq was "liberated") were leaked to the public.
2009: The Chrysler automobile company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.
2009: Seven people were killed and 17 others injured at a Queen's Day parade in Apeldoorn, Netherlands during an attempted assassination of Queen Beatrix.