Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah the Hittite (1 of David’s Mighty Men), and, later, of King David of Israel. She is most known for committing adultery with David.
She was a daughter of Eliam (another of David’s Mighty Men), and the granddaughter of Ahithophel, one of David’s chief advisors. She was from the tribe of Judah, the same as that of David. She would be the mother of Solomon, who succeeded David as king, making her the Queen Mother.
I. David’s Sins (2Sam. 11:1-27)
– Adultery (v.1-5)
* Laziness (v.1)
* Lust (v.2-5)
David, while walking on the roof of his palace, saw Bathsheba, who was then the wife of Uriah, taking a bath. He immediately wanted her… and seduced her… committing adultery with her… and conceived a son with her.
1) Bathsheba would not have been expecting any men to be around.
2) Bathsheba bathed at night, when she might have expected others to have been sleeping.
3) Bathsheba bathed in the courtyard of her own home, where she expected privacy.
4) David could have turned away – SHOULD have turned away – and respected her privacy; he did not.
5) David took the initiative.
6) Bathsheba was a woman at home alone; her husband was off to war (where David should have been). David was the king. When his men came to get her, it might have been “impossible” to refuse. A classic case of sexual-harassment.
7) David is cast as the actor; Bathsheba was acted upon. It could be inferred this was little more than rape.
– Deceit (v.6-13)
In an effort to conceal his sin, David summoned Uriah from the army (with whom he was in battle) in the hope Uriah would sleep with his wife, and think the child was his. But, Uriah was not willing to violate the ancient kingdom rule applying to warriors in active service. Rather than go home to his own bed, he preferred to remain with the palace troops.
– Murder (v.14-27)
After repeated efforts to arrange for Uriah to have sex with Bathsheba, the king gave the order to his general, Joab, that Uriah should be placed in the front lines of the battles, where it was most dangerous, and be left to the enemy (where he would surely die). Ironically, David let Uriah unknowingly carry the message that ordered his death.
After Uriah was dead, David made the now-widowed Bathsheba his wife… giving the appearance that he “valiantly” rescued her from widowhood.
II. David’s Sorrow (2Sam. 12:1-13)
– The Confrontation (v.1-12)
David’s act was displeasing to God, who sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king.
After telling David a parable of a rich man who took away the one little ewe lamb of his poor neighbor, David was furious! Then, David applied the parable to David’s sin regarding Bathsheba.
– The Confession (v.13)
The king immediately confessed his sin, and showed real remorse and repentance. The story of David’s adultery set up the context for Psalm 51.
III. David’s Submission (2Sam. 12:14-25)
– The Bitter Event: the Death of Bathsheba’s First Son (v.15-23)
Bathsheba’s child by David was struck with a severe illness, and died a few days after birth, which David accepted as punishment on him.
Nathan also told David his house would be cursed with turmoil because of the murder of Uriah. This came to pass years later when one of David’s much-loved sons, Absalom, led an insurrection that plunged the kingdom into civil war.
Bathsheba knew the pain of losing a child. David explained that he couldn’t bring his child back from the dead, but he would be with his son one day in the future. These words must have soothed Bathsheba’s aching heart.
The Bible doesn’t answer all our questions about situations in which babies die by miscarriage, abortion, illness, or accidents, but God does promise these babies are safe with Him. Those are the most comforting words a mother could hear.
– The Blessed Event: the Birth of Bathsheba’s Foremost Son (v.24,25)
In David’s old age, Bathsheba secured the succession to the throne of her son Solomon, instead of David’s oldest surviving son, Adonijah; see 1Kings 1.
The prophet, Nathan, heard of Adonijah’s plan and worked to secure Solomon as the next king.
– Nathan Meets with Bathsheba (1Ki. 1:11-21)
Nathan told Solomon’s mother, Bathsheba, to report Adonijah’s behavior to David, reminding the dying king he had already promised the throne to Solomon.
– Nathan Meets with David (1Ki. 1:22-27)
As planned, Nathan came in just as Bathsheba was finishing talking with David, and he told David the same thing Bathsheba had told him.
– David’s Intentions (1Ki. 1:28-31)
David reassured them that Solomon would be Israel’s next king.
– David’s Instructions (1Ki. 1:32-37)
Zadok the priest & Nathan the prophet anointed Solomon… publicly.
Bathsheba filled many roles during her lifetime:
– The wife of one of David’s key men.
– The victim of a king’s unrestrained lust, seduction, and sexual advances.
– The wife of a king, who found the grace to live through whatever guilt and shame would have been hers.
– The wife who was able to put the past behind her, and build a strong marriage on one of the shakiest foundations imaginable.
– The mother who was a strong advocate for her son.
Bathsheba is one of the more interesting women in all of history! And, you should take the time to read her story.
You can read the story of Bathsheba in 2Samuel 11,12; 1Kings 1.