The Women of Jesus // Part 4
Tonight we are continuing the study of the women recorded in the genealogy of Jesus found in Matthew.
The wife of Uriah the Hittite
This evening, we look at the womn who is probably the most speculated about on the list: Bathsheba. Bathsheba enters the lineage of Jesus through the lust of Jesus’ ancestor, King David.
It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.
Then it happened one evening that David arose from his bed and walked on the roof of the king’s house. And from the roof he saw a woman bathing, and the woman was very beautiful to behold. So David sent and inquired about the woman. And someone said, “Is this not Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” Then David sent messengers, and took her; and she came to him, and he lay with her, for she was cleansed from her impurity; and she returned to her house. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”
Then David sent to Joab, saying, “Send me Uriah the Hittite.” And Joab sent Uriah to David. When Uriah had come to him, David asked how Joab was doing, and how the people were doing, and how the war prospered. /// 2 Samuel 11:1-7
There is a lot of speculation about the role that Bathsheba played in this encounter. Many, seeking to sanitize David’s part have said that Bathsheba enticed David by bathing in his line of sight. While it is unknown to us how this played out, trying to sanitize David’s role is missing what truly happened. Bathsheba’s name means: “Seventh Daughter” or “Daughter of the Oath”. She is the daughter of a man named Eliam who is one of David’s mighty men – a group of thirty- seven men who are renowned for their bravery. Her grandfather is Ahithophel the Gilonite, one of David’s counselors. She is married to a man named Uriah the Hittite. Bathsheba’s husband is a descendant of an ethnic group who had deep roots in Canaan. They were supposed to be wiped out by the Israelites but many remained alive. Apparently, Uriah’s family had become converts to Judaism because Uriah’s name is Jewish and means: “The Lord is my Light”. Uriah is also one of David’s mighty men.
David may have not recognized the woman from a distance but when he sent to inquire about her, he knew her family very well and would have to betray them in order to have her. Bathsheba’s husband and father would be gone to war during this episode. It is highly likely that Bathsheba assumed David was gone as well. Her bath was a ritual one to cleanse her from her monthly period. The likelihood she knew David was watching is disputable. David sends messengers to bring her to his house. She probably expected this call had something to do with either her father or husband. David defies the laws of the God he says he loves by having sex with another man’s wife. He defies the law of brotherhood and honor by sleeping with a married family member of a family in his service. The sentence for such an action in Israel was death (Leviticus 20:10). David tries to cover his sin by calling Uriah for a conference – getting him drunk and sending him home to sleep with Bathsheba so that he can pass the child of as Uriah’s.
And David said to Uriah, “Go down to your house and wash your feet.” So Uriah departed from the king’s house, and a gift of food from the king followed him. But Uriah slept at the door of the king’s house with all the servants of his lord, and did not go down to his house. So when they told David, saying, “Uriah did not go down to his house,” David said to Uriah, “Did you not come from a journey? Why did you not go down to your house?”
And Uriah said to David, “The ark and Israel and Judah are dwelling in tents, and my lord Joab and the servants of my lord are encamped in the open fields. Shall I then go to my house to eat and drink, and to lie with my wife? As you live, and as your soul lives, I will not do this thing.” /// 2 Samuel 11:8-11
Uriah’s honor is a shame to David. David ends up setting up Uriah’s death by having Joab put him where the strongest warriors are and leaving him to be killed by the enemy. David calls Bathsheba to his house to become his wife. She bears him a son.
But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
Nathan the prophet confronts David. David should have been killed along with Bathsheba. But, God in His infinite mercy spares them both. But, the son of the affair will die. David and Bathsheba pay a dear price for David’s sin. Why would Jesus want this story of such failure included in His family history? To encourage all those who have failed Him. True repentance brings true forgiveness.
Then David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in to her and lay with her. So she bore a son, and he called his name Solomon. Now the Lord loved him, and He sent word by the hand of Nathan the prophet: So he called his name Jedidiah, because of the Lord. /// 2 Samuel 12:24-25
The word “comforted” used here also means “repented”. Solomon ends up being the next king of Israel. For Bathsheba – what Satan meant for evil, God turned around and brought good out of it! As for David, his decision to dishonor Bathsheba and her family sets in motion a series of painful events. David’s son Amnon rapes David’s daughter named after the courageous Tamar. David’s son Absalom avenges her by killing Amnon. His anger causes him to raise a rebellion against David, his father. Guess who one of the conspirators against David is? Ahithophel the Gilonite – grandfather of Bathsheba! Bathsheba’s son Solomon ends up bringing Israel to a new zenith and he builds the Temple of God in Jerusalem.
- 2 Samuel 11:1-11
- Leviticus 20:10
- 2 Samuel 12:24-25
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