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Encyclopedia > Bathsheba

Bathsheba (בת שבע) is the wife of Uriah the Hittite and later of King David in the Hebrew Bible. She is the mother of King Solomon. Bathsheba means seventh daughter or daughter of the oath. Uriah the Hittite was the husband of Bathsheba, and a soldier in Davids army, whom David ordered the soldiers to let him be killed in Battle after he kept refusing to see his own wife as ordered by David. ... This page is about the Biblical king David. ... 11th century manuscript of the Hebrew Bible with Targum This article is about the term Hebrew Bible. For the Hebrew Bible itself, see Tanakh (Jewish term) or Old Testament (Christian term). ... It has been suggested that Sulayman be merged into this article or section. ...


Biblical data

The daughter of Eliam (II Samuel 11:3; but of Ammiel according to I Chronicles 3:5), who became the wife of Uriah the Hittite, and afterward of David, by whom she became the mother of Solomon. Her father is identified by some scholars with Eliam mentioned in II Samuel 23:34 as the son of Ahithophel. The real meaning of the Hebrew form of the name "Bathsheba" is not clear. The second part of the name appears in I Chronicles 3:5 as "shua" (compare Genesis 37:2). The Books of Samuel (Hebrew: Sefer Shmuel ספר שמואל), are part of the Tanakh (part of Judaisms Hebrew Bible) and also of the Old Testament (of Christianity). ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... Uriah or Urijah (אוּרִיָּה (My) light/flame of/is the Lord, Standard Hebrew Uriyya, Tiberian Hebrew ʾÛriyyāh; Uriah is pronounced yoo ri uh, Urijah is pronounced yoo ri juh in English. ... The Hittites (also Hethites) and Children of Heth, translating Hebrew HTY and BNY-HT are the second of the eleven Canaanite nations in the Hebrew Bible. ... David and Goliath by Caravaggio, c. ... It has been suggested that Sulayman be merged into this article or section. ... See Absalom and Achitophel for the political allegory about the Monmouth Rebellion by John Dryden. ... Hebrew redirects here. ... Genesis (Hebrew: ‎, Greek: Γένεσις, having the meanings of birth, creation, cause, beginning, source and origin) is the first book of the Torah, the first book of the Tanakh and also the first book of the Christian Old Testament. ...

The story of David's seduction of Bath-sheba, told in II Samuel 11: et seq., is omitted in Chronicles. The king, while walking on the roof of his house, saw Bath-sheba, who was the wife of Uriah the Hittite, taking a bath. He immediately fell in love with her. David then committed adultery with her and she conceived. In an effort to cover up his sin, David summoned Uriah from the army (with whom he was on campaign) in the hopes that Uriah would sleep with Bathsheba, and thus the child could be passed off as his. However, Uriah was unwilling to violate the ancient kingdom rule applying to warriors in active service (see Robertson Smith, "Religion of the Semites," pp. 455, 488). Rather than go home to his own bed, he preferred to remain with the palace troops. After repeated efforts to get Uriah to lie with Bathsheba,the king gave the order to his general, Joab, that Uriah should be abandoned during a heated battle, and left to the hands of the enemy. Ironically, David had Uriah himself unknowingly carry the message that ordered his death. After Uriah was gone, David made the now widowed Bath-sheba his wife. Joab (יוֹאָב The LORD is father, Standard Hebrew Yoʾav, Tiberian Hebrew Yôʾāḇ) was the nephew of King David, the son of Zeruiah in the Bible. ...

According to the account in Samuel, David's action was displeasing to the Lord, who accordingly sent Nathan the prophet to reprove the king. After relating the parable of the rich man who took away the one little ewe lamb of his poor neighbor (II Samuel 12:1-6), and exciting the king's anger against the unrighteous act, the prophet applied the case directly to David's action with regard to Bath-sheba. The king at once confessed his sin and expressed sincere repentance. Bath-sheba's child by David was smitten with a severe illness and died at a few days old, which the king accepted as his punishment. However, Nathan also noted that David's house would be cursed with turmoil because of this murder. This came to pass years later when one of David's much-loved sons, Absalom, lead an insurrection that plunged the kingdom into civil war. David and BathSheba's son, Solomon, eventually obtained the succession-rights. (I Kings 1:11-31). Absalom or Avshalom (אַבְשָׁלוֹם Father/Leader of/is peace, Standard Hebrew Avšalom, Tiberian Hebrew ʾAḇšālôm), in the Bible, is the third son of David, king of Israel. ... A civil war is a war in which parties within the same culture, society or nationality fight against each other for the control of political power. ...

In rabbinical literature

Sheba was the granddaughter of Ahithophel, David's famous counselor. See Absalom and Achitophel for the political allegory about the Monmouth Rebellion by John Dryden. ...

The Midrash portrays the influence of Satan bringing about the sinful relation of David and Bathsheba as follows: Bathsheba was on the roof of her house, perhaps behind a screen of wickerwork. Satan is depicted as coming in the disguise of a bird. David, shoots at it, strikes the screen, splitting it; thus Bath-sheba is revealed in her beauty to David (??? 107a). Bath-sheba may have been providentially destined from the Creation to become in due time the legitimate wife of David, but this relation was prematurely precipitated by David's impetuous act. Midrash (Hebrew: מדרש; plural midrashim) is a Hebrew word referring to a method of exegesis of a Biblical text. ... For other uses, see Satan (disambiguation). ...


In the Gospel of Matthew (1:6) she is listed as an ancestor of Jesus. The Gospel of Matthew (literally, according to Matthew; Greek, Κατά Μαθθαίον or Κατά Ματθαίον) is one of the four Gospel accounts of the New Testament. ... This article is about Jesus of Nazareth. ...

In Qur'an and Islamic tradition

The only passage in the Qur'an which has been brought into connection with the story of Bath-sheba is sura xxxviii. 20-25: The Qurān [1] (Arabic: ‎, literally the recitation; also called The Noble Qurān; also transliterated as Quran, Koran, and Al-Quran) is the central religious text of Islam. ...

"And has the story of the antagonists come to you; when they climbed the wall of the upper chamber, when they came in to David? And when he feared them, they said, 'Fear not; we are two antagonists, one of us hath wronged the other, so judge justly between us. . . . This my brother had ninety-nine ewes and I had one. Then he said, "Give me control of her," and he overcame me in his plea.' David said, 'Verily he hath wronged thee by asking for thy ewe as an addition to his ewes, and verily most partners act injuriously the one to the other, except those who believe and work righteous works; and such are few.' And David supposed that we had tried him; so he sought pardon of his Lord and fell, worshiping, and repented. And we forgave him that fault, and he hath near approach unto us and beauty of ultimate abode."

From this passage one can judge only some similarities of Nathan's parable. The Muslim world has shown an indisposition, to a certain extent, to go further, and especially to ascribe sin to David. Baidawi would seem to favor that view, but other commentators reject it. Baidawi (in loc.) remarks, this passage signifies only that David desired something which belonged to another, and that God rebuked him by this parable. At the very most, Baidawi continues, he may have asked in marriage a woman who had been asked in marriage by another, or he may have desired that another should abandon his wife to him—a circumstance which was customary at that time. The Biblical story of Uriah is then regarded as a slander, filled with unnecessary violences and immorality, not the sort of thing that would happen to a man who is close to God.

The story is dissimilar to the Biblical one, with the following differences: There is no story of sin with Bath-sheba before the death of Uriah, nor is there the episode of the return of Uriah and his sleeping in the king's house. There is no story of a child that dies, and in the Qur'anic narrative there is no mention of Nathan or his part for Solomon's succession.

According to some sources of Islamic tradition, David marries Bath-sheba after the death of Uriah, and she becomes the mother of Solomon. To Muslims, the legendary Bath-sheba herself is a not a very known figure, being generally called simply the wife of Uriah. See Al-Tha'labi, "ḳiṣaṣ-anbiyya," pp. 243 et seq., ed. Cairo, 1298; and Ibn al-Athir, i. 95 et seq., ed. Cairo, 1301.

Critical view

Her name, which perhaps means "daughter of the oath," is in I Chronicles 3:5 spelled "Bath-shua," the form becomes merely a variant reading of "Bath-sheba." The passages in which Bath-sheba is mentioned are II Samuel 11:2-12:24, and I Kings 1, 2.—both of which are parts of the oldest stratum of the books of Samuel and Kings. It is part of that court history of David, written by someone who stood very near the events and who did not idealize David. The material contained in it is of higher historical value than that in the later strata of these books. Budde would connect it with the J document of the Hexateuch. According to most modern Biblical critics, this is one of the source documents of the Hebrew Bible. ...

The only interpolations in it which concern the story of Bath-sheba are some verses in the early part of the twelfth chapter, that heighten the moral tone of Nathan's rebuke of David; according to Karl Budde ("S. B. O. T."), the interpolated portion is xii. 7, 8, and 10-12; according to Friedrich Schwally (Stade's "Zeitschrift," xii. 154 et seq.) and H. P. Smith ("Samuel," in "International Critical Commentary"), the whole of xii. 1-15a is an interpolation, and xii. 15b should be joined directly to xi. 27. This does not directly affect the narrative concerning Bath-sheba herself. Chronicles, which draws a kindly veil over David's faults, omits all reference to the way in which Bathsheba became David's wife, and gives only the names of her children.

The father of Bath-sheba was Eliam (spelled "Ammiel" in I Chronicles 3:5). As this was also the name of a son of Ahithophel, one of David's heroes (II Samuel 23:34), it has been conjectured that Bathsheba was a granddaughter of Ahithophel and that the latter's desertion of David at the time of Absalom's rebellion was in revenge for David's conduct toward Bath-sheba.


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  Results from FactBites:
CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Solomon (2106 words)
e., "beloved of Yahweh", was the second son of David by his wife Bathsheba, and the acknowledged favourite of his father.
This may have been due partly to the fact that he, as a late offspring, considerably younger than David's other sons, was born in his father's old age, and partly to the intense love of David for Bathsheba and the beautiful qualities of Solomon himself.
Solomon was not the logical heir to the throne, but David conferred it upon him instead of his older brothers, and in doing so he committed no wrong according to Israelitish ideas.
Geometric Sculpture of George W. Hart, mathematical sculptor (1169 words)
If you like this stuff, here are some links to some other geometric sculptors you may like:
Brent Collins, Helaman Ferguson, Robinson Fredenthal, Bathsheba Grossman, Jean-Pierre Hébert, Chris Palmer, Charles O. Perry, John Robinson,
For more, see the International Society for Art, Math, and Architecture.
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