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Bathsheba

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Bathsheba, daughter of Eliam, was the seventh and last recorded wife of David, King of Israel. She had been the wife of Uriah the Hittite,[1] Since the only other mention of the name Eliam is in connection with David's elite forces, it is likely that Bathsheba was both the daughter and wife of two of the closest men to the king.

Having chosen to bathe outdoors, she was visited by an officer from the court of King David, who lived nearby. The king had summoned her to come visit her. Having caught his eye, she consented to sleep with the king.

In a sin that ruined his career and brought shame to the integrity of Yahweh among Israel's enemies from that day forward, Bathsheba not only had become pregnant, but lost her husband Uriah in David's desperate cover up.

Bathsheba would lose this child within a week of delivery, but would go on to give birth to four sons by him, two of whom would be in the royal line leading to the Messiah.

Etymology

In an odd reference in the first book of the Chronicles, penned years after the account in the second book of Samuel, both Bathsheba and her father are given slightly different names. Bathsheba was called "Bathshua" while her father Eliam was called "Ammiel". This is not a contradiction.

In the process of time the pronunciation of some letters changed in the Hebrew language. Or probably more likely, Israelites became influenced by the Aramaic spoken in the exile. The sound of the letter wau went from "wuh" to "vuh" and then to "buh." And then, the "B" and "V" became interchangeable, Though one loyal to an oath (sheba`) might come into wealth (shua), the transfer of sounds is more likely.

With Eliam, the transfer of syllables moves "El" (God) to the back of Eliam's name. Instead of "My God is kin" the name changed to "God is my kin." The two parts: El and `Am swapped the use of the first person possessive ending.

Biography

Early life

Bathsheba was born into the house of Ahithophel, to his son Eliam[2] (later called Ammiel.[3]) late in the reign of King Saul. Ahithophel was a political operative in David's administration. [1]

Her younger years were most likely spent within the ranks of the band of rebels that were loyal to David while he was a refugee from the courts of of King Saul. Her grandfather supported the efforts of the crown prince, while fearing that the king would take his wrath out on him.

Adultery with David

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Modesty was to be expected of young women of her stature, but Bathsheba may have had her eyes cast toward the nearby castle when she chose to bathe outdoors one evening. She most likely knew that David was home. Her husband Uriah was away on a routine military mission that the king had not joined.[4]

Whether by her efforts or those of David, the results were a private visit to see her king. A messenger had come by to see if she was available, so she agreed to go into him even though she knew that she might become pregnant.[5] When she missed her period, she notified David.[6] His response was to bring her husband home to make it look like regular conjugal visits produced the child. When Uriah proved unwilling to enjoy his wife while his men were in danger in battle,[7] David got desperate. Ironically, when Uriah died after being sent to the frontlines, the brave soldier justified his actions at home.[8]

After a period of mourning for her husband,[9] Bathsheba became David's seventh wife.[10] The child she carried would be the talk around the court in the months following the royal wedding. The treachery of Uriah's death seemed a safe secret among David's closest advisors.

Having children

In the process of time, a son was born to Bathsheba. But things did not seem right with the child. He was deathly sick, and there looked like nothing could be done. The words of Nathan the prophet were fulfilled and before the week was out, the child was dead. As soon as her days of impurity were passed, David once again brought her into his bed. The child born from this was named "Solomon," meaning peace.[11] They had paid the price of their sin and were at peace with God. When Nathan heard that the child had been born, he sent his blessings, naming the one God had chosen to be Israel's third king, Jedidiah (meaning "beloved of Yahweh," from DWD, the root from which his father's name came).[12]

Later, Bathsheba would have three more sons: Shammua, Shobab, and the prophet's name sake Nathan.[3] Though God had chosen Solomon to be King, his brother Nathan would bear the blood of the Messianic line[13] which would bring forth Mary, mother of Jesus Christ. Mary's husband Joseph, as direct descendant from Solomon,[14] would adopt Jesus as the rightful heir. In this Bathsheba joined a select few that were twice ancestors of the Messiah.

Queen Mother

As her husband David aged, the couple began to see the fruit of their sin. A lust for power [verse needed] had moved David to take a woman he knew was not his to have — and she had agreed. Nathan had warned that this kind of power politics would plague his family for the rest of David's life.[15] Though Bathsheba's son Solomon was the promised King, There had six sons born to six wives that all had eyes on the throne. Two had died, but Adonijah, the next in line, did not think Solomon should be king.

When word came by way of Nathan, Bathsheba notified David, putting into motion the coronation of Solomon as co-regent in Jerusalem.[16] This stopped the rebel prince in his tracks, but he did not give up. Once David had died, Adonijah sought to make David's final concubine, a slave girl named Abishag, his wife. He came to his stepmother for permission, but Solomon saw the ruse (in marrying the King's woman, the prince became heir) and had his half-brother executed for treason.[17]

Verses

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