Proverbs 31: Bathsheba's Life, Part 2


 
By Chris Hammond

Bathsheba’s Background.  She was the daughter of Eliam (2 Samuel 11:3) who was one of David’s thirty mighty men (2 Samuel 23:34) and she was married to Uriah the Hittite (2 Samuel 11:3), a commander in David’s army.  However close her husband and father were to David, she was not known to David by sight as he had to ask who she was (2 Samuel 11:3).

David’s Betrayal.  Despite the loyalty Eliam and Uriah had shown to David in his army, David does not return the same level of loyalty and instead requests that Bathsheba be sent to him while her husband was out at war, fighting for Israel.  At this time, David had already acquired several wives and concubines so he was not at loss for attention, rather his lust for Bathsheba took over and he committed adultery (2 Samuel 11:2-4).

Bathsheba’s pregnancy.  Bathsheba becomes pregnant and all David’s attempts cover-up their sin fail, so he has Uriah killed (2 Samuel 11:6-25) in battle.  Bathsheba, now free to be married again, is then taken to be David’s wife but miscarries their first child as God’s punishment for their sin (2 Samuel 11:26-12:23).  They conceive their second child, Solomon (2 Samuel 12:24-25) immediately following the loss of their first child and after much grieving.

Bathsheba as David’s wife.  Bathsheba would not have been the most popular of wives among David’s other wives as clearly she quickly became his favorite.  For at some point in time David promises that Solomon will take over the kingdom (1 Kings 1:28-30) despite the numerous older sons he had with other wives.  Whether or not the wives knew this is debatable but they would have sensed a difference in David as soon as Bathsheba entered the picture. 

David’s continued punishment.  Losing their first child was one punishment for committing adultery.  But God gives David further punishment with turmoil, trouble, and rebellion in his house (2 Samuel 12:11-12).  And problems there were.  One son raped his half-sister (2 Samuel 13:1-22).  Another son plots to kill that son (2 Samuel 13:23-37), tries to take over the kingdom through civil war (2 Samuel 15) and sleeps with some of David’s concubines (2 Samuel 16:22).  Still another son tries to steal the kingdom while David was dying (1 Kings 1).  David’s wives must have deeply resented Bathsheba, knowing full well that all of this happened after she came into the picture.  Bathsheba would have been resented and hated by David’s other wives as evidenced by her anxious statement made to Solomon’s half-brother when he went to visit her (1 Kings 2:13) adding to his punishment.

Bathsheba keeps the peace.  However she was viewed by the other wives, Bathsheba still tried to keep the peace in the family by asking her son Solomon who was just named King to agree to his half-brother getting married (1 Kings 2:14-21).  Solomon sees through the request as his half-brother’s manipulation and despite his respect for his mother refuses to grant it (1 Kings 2:19-25).

Bathsheba gains respect.  Bathsheba, securing her role as Queen Mother when Solomon became King, finally gains the respect that would have alluded her as the wife of David.  As the “problem maker” wife, Bathsheba was kept under wraps as there was no throne next to David that she already sat on (1 Kings 2:19).  This new respect is in direct contrast to the very public trouble that she would have been seen as having inflected on David’s kingdom with over the years.  Most likely she was an outcast among the wives and inside Israel as the civil war would have affected everyone and took the lives of many (2 Samuel 15). 

Bathsheba and gossip.  The gossip about Bathsheba’s life would have been severe as indicated by Psalms 41 and 69 written by her husband David where he laments about the gossiping of others after he committed adultery.  In addition, seven times in Proverbs Solomon warns of the pitfalls of gossiping further indicating that he had personal experience with the negative consequences (Proverbs 11:13, 16:28, 17:4, 20:19, 25:10, 25:23, 26:20).  This could have been of his making or it could have been from hearing the gossip about his mother.

Bathsheba’s regret.  Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life. She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.” (Proverbs 31:11-12).  The advice Bathsheba gives in this passage is therefore not a reflection on her own life as her and David’s adulterous actions clearly brought harm to his Kingdom and not good.  Instead these passages contain remorse and regret for having lived a life which brought her husband harm.

 

 

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About the author-
Chris Hammond is a
Registered Mental Health Counselor Intern at LifeWorks Group w/ over 15 years of experience as a counselor, mentor & teacher for children, teenagers & adults.

 

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