Bathsheba or Bathshua was the seventh and last recorded wife of David, the King of Israel, notable for committing adultery with David prior to their marriage. Originally she was married to Uriah the Hittite, one of David's thirty most elite soldiers in the Israelite army. She was the daughter of Eliam (or Ammiel), also one of the thirty elite.
While bathing outdoors, she was visited by an officer from the court of King David, who had spotted and lusted for her from the rooftop of the Royal Palace. After being summoned to David's bedroom, she slept with the King either for desire, power or fear.
Afterwards she discovered and revealed to David she was pregnant, thus prompting David to eventually kill Uriah in an attempt to conceal his actions.
Bathsheba would lose this child within a week of delivery, but would go on to give birth to four sons, one of them being Solomon. Two of them would be in the royal line leading to the Messiah, Jesus of Nazareth.
In an odd reference in the first book of the Chronicles, penned years after the account in the second book of Samuel, both Bathsheba and her father are given slightly different names. Bathsheba was called "Bathshua" while her father Eliam was called "Ammiel". This is not a contradiction.
In the process of time the pronunciation of some letters changed in the Hebrew language. Or probably more likely, Israelites became influenced by the Aramaic spoken in the exile. The sound of the letter wau went from "wuh" to "vuh" and then to "buh." And then, the "B" and "V" became interchangeable, Though one loyal to an oath (sheba`) might come into wealth (shua), the transfer of sounds is more likely.
With Eliam, the transfer of syllables moves "El" (God) to the back of Eliam's name. Instead of "My God is kin" the name changed to "God is my kin." The two parts: El and `Am swapped the use of the first person possessive ending.
At one point in her life she was married to Uriah the Hittite, likely arranged by her father as was the standard in the culture. Her husband was an elite member of the military, noted as one of David's thirty best men. Her father was part of the same group as Uriah, perhaps explaining how it came for Uriah to be married to her. Bathsheba was able to spend the first year of her marriage with Uriah who was waived of any military obligation he may have had.
Adultery with David
After this guaranteed year, Uriah was sent on military deployments, usually in the springtime. During one particular deployment against Rabbah in Ammon, King David did not travel like he usually did. He chose to stay at the Palace and decided to take a stroll on the Palace roof. It just so happened that Bathsheba was experiencing her seven day uncleanliness due to her period and was bathing as the law prescribed. While she was bathing, King David noticed her great beauty her from his vantage point . Having met with a messenger from David, Bathsheba was brought to the Palace. When David made advances toward her, Bathsheba consented--either out of fear (of the King) or temptation to sin--thereby committing adultery.
After returning home, it is likely she suspected this affair was not over. Within a month Bathsheba knew that she was pregnant and informed David. He sent for Uriah and tried twice to get him to sleep with his wife, but failed. His solution was to sent Uriah back to the battlefield to give the general Joab a message. The message was Uriah's death sentence. Uriah was to be in the front where the fighting was fierce, but the men were to fall back, leaving Uriah to be killed. It was successful, resulting in the death of Uriah.
After a period of mourning for her husband, Bathsheba became David's seventh wife. The child she carried would be the talk around the court in the months following the royal wedding. The treachery of Uriah's death seemed a safe secret among David's closest advisers.
Despite this, God knew of David's sin. He sent the prophet Nathan to convict David of his sin. Nathan did not outright condemn David, but told him a story of an injustice, a story of two men. One was rich and had many sheep, while the other was poor and had only one sheep. The poor man loved his sheep as if it were one of his children. One day the rich man had a guest but didn't want to use his sheep for a meal for the guest. So he had his servants go and take the poor man's sheep and prepare it for the meal.
This story enraged the king and said that rich man deserved to die and had to pay the poor man for the lamb four times over. Then Nathan revealed that the rich man was the king himself, and that he had stolen Uriah's wife and killed him with the sword of the Ammonites. As a result, the sword would never depart from David's house. Even in his own household there was to be calamity on him. Before David's eyes would his wives be taken from him and be given to one who was close to him, and that person would sleep with them in broad daylight.
David confessed his sin and repented, and Nathan said that the LORD took away his sin, therefore he would not die. Yet because he should contempt for the LORD, Bathsheba's son that she had born would die.
Sometime prior to Nathan's visit, a son was born to Bathsheba. But things did not seem right with the child. When Nathan left David after confronting him, the child became deathly sick, and there looked like nothing could be done. David fasted and wept before the LORD, praying that God would spare the child. The words of Nathan the prophet were fulfilled and before the week was out, the child was dead. Yet when the child died, David stopped weeping and fasting and got up and cleaned himself up. He then worshiped God and later ate. As soon as her days of impurity were passed, David once again brought her into his bed. The child born from this was named "Solomon," meaning peace. They had paid the price of their sin and were at peace with God. When Nathan heard that the child had been born, he sent his blessings, naming the one God had chosen to be Israel's third king, Jedidiah (meaning "beloved of Yahweh," from DWD, the root from which his father's name came).
Later, Bathsheba would have three more sons: Shammua, Shobab, and the prophet's name sake Nathan. Though God had chosen Solomon to be King, his brother Nathan would bear the blood of the Messianic line which would bring forth Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. Mary's husband Joseph, as direct descendant from Solomon, would adopt Jesus as the rightful heir. In this Bathsheba joined a select few that were twice ancestors of the Messiah.
As her husband David aged, the couple began to see the fruit of their sin. A lust for power[verse needed] had moved David to take a woman he knew was not his to have — and she had agreed. Nathan had warned that this kind of power politics would plague his family for the rest of David's life. Though Bathsheba's son Solomon was the promised King, there had six sons born to six wives that all had eyes on the throne. Two had died, but Adonijah, the next in line, did not think Solomon should be king.
When word came by way of Nathan, Bathsheba notified David, putting into motion the coronation of Solomon as co-regent in Jerusalem. This stopped the rebel prince in his tracks, but he did not give up. Once David had died, Adonijah sought to make David's final concubine, a slave girl named Abishag, his wife. He came to his stepmother for permission, but Solomon saw the ruse (in marrying the King's woman, the prince became heir) and had his half-brother executed for treason.
- 2 Samuel 11:3 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 23:34 (Link)
- 1 Chronicles 3:5 (Link)
- ↑ 1 Chron. 11:41; 2 Sam. 23:39 (Link)
- ↑ Deut 24:5, 20:7 (Link)
- ↑ Lev 15:19-24 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:3-4 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:5 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:6-13 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:14-25 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:26 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 11:27 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:1-4 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:5-6 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:17-12 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:13-14 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:15-23 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:24 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:25 (Link)
- ↑ Luke 3:31 (Link)
- ↑ Matthew 1:6, 16 (Link)
- ↑ 2 Samuel 12:10 (Link)
- ↑ 1 Kings 1:34 (Link)
- ↑ 1 Kings 1:11-24 (Link)