If there were an award for the most criticized woman in the Bible, Bathsheba would most likely receive the majority of votes. From preachers to religious commentators, the woman known as the ‘daughter of the oath’ is involved in a tale of deceit, murder, and several other wrongdoings. In this article, we explore the reason she is one of the most controversial women in the Bible.
Throughout his life, King David faced many trials and tribulations, but none as serious and most damaging to his character as his encounter with Bathsheba. While the transgression of adultery alone is a serious offence, David went beyond unfaithfulness and committed murder as a way to cover up his misdeeds. The wheels of this Biblical story are set in motion in 2 Samuel 1:11, where it is stated: “In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab swith his officers and all Israel with him; they ravaged the Ammonites, and besieged Rabbah. But David remained in Jerusalem.”
Critics differ on the reason David did campaign with his officers, but some believe he was either too old or that kings really didn’t govern battles in the field, but instead, ruled from home. The Bible states that David stays home, but it is clear, that he wandered off into a troublesome situation.
In 2 Samuel 1:12, we learn, “It happened on afternoon, when David rose from his couch and was walking about on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; the woman was very beautiful.” Some people have interpreted these lines as the romantic beginnings of love and passion, but in fact, it was an attractive that David felt for Bathsheba, not love. He thinks she is beautiful and in no way is Bathsheba portrayed as knowing she was being watched or encouraged the King.
David was curious about the woman so he sent someone to ask about her identity. It was reported to him that the woman’s name was Bathsheba, she was the daughter of Eliam, and also the wife of Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba has a reputation as seducing King David, but before they have an encounter, it is clear that David knew she was a woman already spoken for. David is often portrayed as a man who gives into his passion for Bathsheba after being pursued, but in fact, David is the one who investigates the woman who has caught his eye. Even though she has a husband, he does not relent.
In 2 Samuel 11:4, David sends messengers to retrieve Bathsheba and she came to him. “He lay with her. Then she returned to her home.” When it comes to blame, some people feel Bathsheba could have refused to come, but at what price? In the second part of this article devoted to Bathsheba, you will learn the