Bathsheba

Bathsheba was the wife of the hero David & the mother of the wise Solomon, who succeeded his father as king.

In just that should sentence you can tell that hers is quite a story, but it gets more intriguing.

You see, Bathsheba was already married to Uriah the Hittite when David first saw her. She was so beautiful that he was overcome & we know from the Bible that David had always been a man of high passions. Well, as such men sometimes do, he found that he simply could not control himself. He seduced Bathsheba & she became pregnant… but her husband, Uriah was off with his warriors on campaign, but how could David conceal his sin?

He tried to get Uriah to come home & be with his wife so that the child would be thought to be Uriah’s, but that didn’t work. The doughty warrior preferred to honor the tradition of his people & stay on the front lines.

Well, David was not only a robust & passionate man, he was also clever & let’s be honest, ruthless. When he couldn’t convince Uriah to return to his wife, he sent an order to his general, Joah, that Uriah was to be placed on the very front lines of the next fight… a position from which he would be unlikely to return. And David’s devious plan worked. Uriah was killed, leaving David free to marry the now widowed Bathsheba.

As you can imagine, the Lord was not best pleased by these actions. He send Nathan the proper to talk with David about his actions. Nathan told a story about how a rich man took away the one little ewe lamb of his poor neighbor & when David was reasonably angry, he showed how the parable related to what David had done to Uriah.

Alas, punishment for such a transgression was necessary, even those David confessed & was sincerely repentant. That little babe that Bathsheba was carrying was to die in infancy, only a few days after birth… & the punishment on David’s house did not end there. Another of his sons, the much loved Absalom (a name familiar to fans of CS Lewis), let an insurrection against his father the king & plunged the kingdom into civil war.

It was not until David’s old age, many years later, that Bathsheba finally secured the succession to the throne for her son Solomon, which had been David’s promise. (This even though David had an older son, Adonijah.)

We know that Solomon went on to be a great & wise ruler, so once again the wisdom of the mother is reflected in her son & in the choice of king.

 

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