Bathsheba

King Solomon, wrote towards the end of his life, a eulogy about you: Proverbs 31, where he described “The Virtuous Woman.” The rest of your life is veiled in silence, but we can imagine how noble calmness, gentle dignity, and queenly courage became yours.

You each are so very unique and special. Your stories and encouragement have blessed me immensely. Thank you for being the woman the Father created you to be. I know we are all on a journey as we “walk in the Way” — and I, for one, am blessed to be walking it out with you.

Bathsheba has been unjustly criticised and judged by a number of people. She is described as a seductress by some, and as a conniving political opportunist by others, but I do not believe either of these descriptions match with how she is portrayed in Scripture.

In this article, I present a more sympathetic view of Bathsheba, and I aim to highlight, without imaginative or salacious embellishments, how Scripture depicted her.

One of the advantages of paying very close attention to the details in the Bible, especially chronological and genealogical details, is that they can shed light on situations that don’t seem to make much sense apart from them. One such situation is that of Bathsheba.

One should not conclude that Bathsheba was a callous woman, but rather that the narrator has intentionally shaped the portrayal of her character for a purpose. Bathsheba’s role is intentionally minimized to focus the story on David. David bears the responsibility and the condemnation, and from this point on he is beset by problems within his family that have political implications for his reign. See Jewish Women.

The midrash also examines Bathsheba’s role as the mother of Solomon, the heir to the throne. Her standing did not diminish after David’s death, and she continued to educate her son, reproaching him for his unseemly behavior when he drank to excess and married the daughter of Pharaoh. The rabbis apply to Bathsheba the verse from the “Woman of Valor” poem (Prov. 31:22): “She makes covers for herself; her clothing is linen and purple,” since she bore Solomon, who was dressed in linen and purple, and ruled from one end of the world to the other (Midrash Eshet Hayil 31:22). See Bathsheba, A Fitting Wife For David

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