9 Aug. 2 Samuel 11:1-17,26-27

9 Aug.  David has an affair with Bathsheba

“In the spring, when the kings normally went out to war, David sent out Joab, his servants and all the Israelites. They destroyed the Ammonites and attacked the city of Rabbah. But David stayed in Jerusalem.”

“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. While he was on the roof, he saw a woman bathing. She was very beautiful. So David sent his servants to find out who she was. A servant answered, ‘That woman is Bathsheba daughter of Eliam. She is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.’”

“So David sent messengers to bring Bathsheba to him. When she came to him, he had sexual relations with her. (Now Bathsheba had purified herself from her monthly period.) Then she went back to her house. But Bathsheba became pregnant and sent word to David saying, ‘I am pregnant.’”

“So David sent a message to Joab: ‘Send Uriah the Hittite to me.’ And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah came to him, David asked him how Joab was, how the soldiers were and how the war was going. Then David said to Uriah, ‘Go home and rest.’”

“So Uriah left the palace, and the king sent a gift to him. But Uriah did not go home. Instead, he slept outside the door of the king’s palace as all the king’s officers did. The officers told David, ‘Uriah did not go home.’”

“Then David said to Uriah, ‘You came from a long trip. Why didn’t you go home?’ Uriah said to him, ‘The Ark and the soldiers of Israel and Judah are staying in tents. My master Joab and his officers are camping out in the fields. It isn’t right for me to go home to eat and drink and have sexual relations with my wife!’”

“David said to Uriah, ‘Stay here today. Tomorrow I’ll send you back to the battle.’ So Uriah stayed in Jerusalem that day and the next. Then David called Uriah to come and see him, so Uriah ate and drank with David. David made Uriah drunk, but he still did not go home. That evening Uriah again slept with the king’s officers.”

“The next morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it by Uriah. In the letter David wrote, ‘Put Uriah on the front lines where the fighting is worst and leave him there alone. Let him be killed in battle.’”

“Joab watched the city and saw where its strongest defenders were and put Uriah there. When the men of the city came out to fight against Joab, some of David’s men were killed. And Uriah the Hittite was one of them…”

“When Bathsheba heard that her husband was dead, she cried for him. After she finished her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to his son, but the LORD did not like what David had done.”

          (2 Samuel 11:1-17 & 26-27)

 

 

David is often regarded as the greatest of all the Israelite kings; but his behaviour was sometimes nothing short of disgusting.

At the time of the siege of Rabbah (the city of Amman in modern-day Jordan) David was no longer a young man. He had several wives and many children (see 2 Samuel 5:13-15). Leading a luxurious life in his palace in the City of David, he no longer led the Israelite army himself, but left that task to his trusted general, Joab.

One night, David was walking on the flat roof of his palace in the cool evening air when he saw a beautiful woman bathing in the courtyard of her house below. The woman was carrying out the purification rites following her monthly period as laid down in the Jewish law (see Leviticus 15:19-30).

David was filled with lust for this beautiful married woman and sent his messengers to bring her to him to have sex. The woman had no choice in the matter and was forced to have sex with the king. David was now guilty of rape; but matters only went from bad to worse.

A short time later, Bathsheba realised that she was pregnant. As her husband Uriah was away fighting for David against the Ammonites, it was clear that the father of her unborn baby must be David. So she informed David that she was carrying his child.

David immediately sent for Uriah to return from Rabbah, and tried his hardest to get him to sleep with his wife – so he would be unaware that the child had been conceived by someone else. But Uriah would not go home and sleep with his wife while the battle was still raging.

So David sent Uriah back to Rabbah, and ordered Joab to place him in the front line where he was likely to get killed – which is what duly happened. David was now not only a rapist but also a murderer – and, once again, Bathsheba, given no choice, was forced to marry the man who had ordered the death of her husband. Little wonder that the Bible records, “the LORD did not like what David had done.” (2 Samuel 11:27)

The photo (by Jean Housen) shows the view from the Citadel of Rabbath Ammon (Rabbah, modern-day Amman).

You can read more about Rabbath Ammon @ https://www.thebiblejourney.org/biblejourney2/30-israel-becomes-a-kingdom-under-saul-and-david/davids-affair-with-bathsheba/


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