This is an earlier post, prior to the re-booting of the blog as a lectionary blog, but it’s well worth re-posting given the times ….
Proper 12B/Ordinary 17B/Pentecost 9
July 29, 2012
2 Samuel 11
King David’s “romantic” episode with Bathsheba, wife of Uriah the Hittite, has been immortalized in both art and film
– with Bathsheba portrayed as either star-struck lover or as siren and temptress. Hebrew Bible scholar Bruce Birch points out that the actual Biblical text supports neither of these images (Ft. 1). The encounter between King David and Bathsheba is not romance, or even simple adultery (which implies mutual consent). It is, quite bluntly, rape.
Prior to encountering Bathsheba, King David already had two wives: Michal – daughter of King Saul – and Avigail. Apparently, two were not sufficient to satisfy him. One spring, when all his armies are off in battle, David sees Bathsheba bathing from the roof of his house, notices her beauty, and inquires into her identity. His messengers clearly tell him that she…
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