David and Bathsheba ... who was truly at fault in the eyes of God?

Discussion in 'General Baptist Discussions' started by righteousdude2, Jun 22, 2015.

  1. righteousdude2

    righteousdude2
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    https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=2+Samuel+11

    I was listening to a message today, while riding my recumbent bike, and the preacher laid full blame for this sin on David's doorstep!

    That left me to wonder ... was he truly, the person God held accountable, or did Bathsheba have some part of the blame to shoulder?

    It is my opinion that David was, in fact, fully at fault, because he knew God and the laws. Since he was God's chosen King, I feel he should have known better, and that his sin with her led to other sins, in order to keep the sinful act under wraps! I can say this, because Bathsheba was a gentile, and not a child of Jehovah, chosen to lead a nation! Sure she was unfaithful and committed adultery, but because David was a Jew, and the Knig of Israel, in the eyes of God, David led her into an act of sin that the 10 commandments strictly prohibited, and he should have known better. Plus, she was a citizen of the Kingdom, and he was the king. I believe she felt obligated to oblige his invitation and desires for her! Even if she knew it was against her marriage vows, this may have come down to a matter of mental force, on David's behalf?

    Well, that is my opinion; and I truly look forward to your views on this subject.
     
  2. Deacon

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    The books of Samuel deal primarily with Saul, David and God.
    Bathsheba was a bit player.
    The bible doesn't deal with her personal story because it doesn't advance the storyline.

    You ask did she bear some blame?

    • She openly bathed on a rooftop in open view of the palace during a time when she was most able to become pregnant.
    • She willingly submitted to the kings advances.
    • She did not tell her husband about the affair.
    • She married the king following the murder of her husband.

    Rob
     
  3. beameup

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    She positioned herself in such a way that she knew that David would see her naked.
     
  4. Rolfe

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    It can also be rationalised that had she not been displaying the goods in view of the palace (how could she not know?), David would not have been tempted and sinned.

    She was responsible for her sin.
     
  5. wpe3bql

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    FWIW, IMHO both persons were "at fault" to at least some extent (cf. I Kings 8:46 [the part in parentheses]).

    OTOH, God, being a God who is "full of compassion" (cf., e.g., Psalm 78:38), ultimately seems to have "forgiven" both persons in that the second son of their "union" was Solomon.
     
  6. JonC

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    What suggests that she positioned herself in such a way that she knew that David would see her naked? I think that you may be adding to the account more than is suggested in Scripture (she could very well have been bathing on her roof, which was her custom, and David simply walked out and noticed her. Or am I missing something here?
     
  7. Tom Bryant

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    She was bathing at night, because David got up from his bed. She wasn't putting herself on full display. The roof was where the water was stored. When was she supposed to bathe?

    David was supposed to be with the soldiers. His men were off at battle and he was home.

    David was king. Do you really think she was in a position to say no to the king.

    Personally, I think he was the one to blame.
     
  8. Scarlett O.

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    We have all been conditioned to believe what we believe. Sometimes we just take it for granted what a parent, preacher, or teacher tells us about the Bible and we do not seek the truth themselves.

    I was also taught that Bathsheba was "tempting" David - bathing "on her roof".

    Then I read the story for myself. 2 Samuel 11.

    [1.] Was Bathsheba tempting David on her roof? Was she naked?

    The Bible says nothing about the position of her bath. The Bible says that David was on HIS roof - when he should have been asleep (it was "evening" and he "got up from his bed") and when he should have been with his men fighting. Her husband, Uriah was gone, so what is to make her think King David wouldn't be gone to war?

    Was she naked? The Bible doesn't say. Sometimes a woman was considered unclean for the duration of her menstrual cycle and sometimes she was considered unclean for up to 7 days after the bleeding stopped. (Leviticus 12 and 15). That would put her very close to ovulation. This could have very well been a mivkah (sp??) and not a seduction. Lots of people, history books and knowledge of those cultures today, tells us that open "baths" around community places while people were/are wearing an over garment. I think because she was exiting the "unclean" phase, that she was performing a "cleanliness" ritual.

    2. Why didn't she tell Uriah?

    According to the Biblical account, after Uriah went to war, she never saw him again. The Bible says that she sent word to David that she was pregnant and immediately David sent for Uriah. We know why. He wanted Uriah to go home and sleep with Bathsheba, but the first night Uriah refused and slept at David's palace. David even tried a second night and "made Uriah drunk" hoping he would go home, but Uriah with all David's personal servants, spent the night on David's doorstep again. There was no third night. The day after Uriah was "made drunk", David wrote the infamous letter and sent Uriah back to war. Bathsheba was a her house and never saw Uriah. She didn't return to King David until after her period of mourning for her husband was over.

    3. Did Bathsheba have sex with King David willingly? Why did she marry him?

    Did David rape Bathsheba? No. But there's "force" and then there's "force". Could she have refused him? I highly doubt it. The consent of a woman in those days was many times moot and irrelevant. She might have been fearful of what would happen to her or her husband if she said no.

    But she did said yes. And bore some responsibility.

    But exactly what kind of "yes" was it? An eager and equally fulfilling roll in the hay? Or a closing-your-eyes and hoping-it's-over-soon agreement out of duty or some other unhealthy motivation? I believe her reaction to finding her husband was dead - the Bible says she grieved terribly - speaks to her motivations of being with King David in the first place.

    Why did she marry him? She was now eligible to be married. She was pregnant, her husband was dead, and who was going to take care of her and that baby? Again, the Bible say that David sent for her. Did she have a choice? It isn't like she was the only woman in David's life. He had a harem of wives and concubines. It wasn't for love obviously. But someone needed to take care of her and that baby - who later and unfortunately died.

    Even AFTER David sent for her, married her, and she had the baby, the Bible says that God was angry at the evil that David had done.

    4. Was Bathsheba innocent in all of this?

    There are no true innocents and perhaps she should TRIED to hold King David off - but as I said what choice did she have. Her protector was away.

    All I know is that when Nathan called David on this terrible sin of adultery and murder, he tells that now famous parable. The poor man was Uriah. Bathsheba was the beloved pet lamb that meant so much to the poor man.

    The Bible says that God was "angry with David". And David's punishment - said God - was that even though his sin was in private that God would take David's wives - publicly - and give them to other men.

    It takes two to commit adultery, but I have seen too much extra-Biblical condemnation of Bathsheba that just isn't in 2 Samuel 11.
     
  9. preachinjesus

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    Given that the biblical text, at least in the Hebrew, uses language that indicates the view of the author(s) was David raped Bathsheba...her actions concerning the initial event are not to blame.
     
  10. robycop3

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    In that time/place, women were generally submissive to men, and David was KING, so naturally, Bathsheba woulda been quite submissive to him.

    David knew who she was, and who her hubby was...one of David's highly-ranked officers. So, he knew full well he was committing adultery.

    Under the laws of most states, rape includes virtually all sexual activities performed without the full free will of all paticipants, while prostitution includes any sex-for-hire. So, under today's law, David woulda been guilty of rape. But GOD was most-angered by David's ADULTERY, then his MURDER of Uriah. While this act fooled everyone but David and Joab, it didn't trick GOD, of course. This carries over into today's practice of holding he/she who hires the hitman to be even more-guilty than the hitman himself. (Football player Rae Carruth received a stiffer sentence than the hitmen he hired to shoot his girlfriend.)

    Nothing in Scripture suggests Bathsheba deliberately tempted David, but, given the customs of that time/place, and the fact that David was king, HE bore the guilt for the affair. And the fact that GOD chose David & Bathsheba's son Solomon to succeed David shows God didn't hold her guilty in that affair.
     
  11. Rolfe

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    Did she cry out when the deed was done? The passage does not mention it. One may suppose that she willingly submitted.

    But a few tusen years later, no one really knows.
     
    #11 Rolfe, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
  12. Tom Bryant

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    since God never said anything about her repenting, one may suppose that God didn't think she had sinned but had been forced into it.

    No one really knows, so it's all opinion.
     
  13. kyredneck

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    Thank you.
     
  14. Rolfe

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    You make a good point. Especially when one considers that Solomon was favored for the throne.
     
  15. kyredneck

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    Especially when one considers that she was in the direct lineage of Christ; but so was David for that matter.
     
  16. Rolfe

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    I do not see what that has to do with the question of the blame for sin.
     
  17. kyredneck

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    ........ok
     
  18. Deacon

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    I'll be teaching the books of Samuel within this year so I've gathered a sizable amount of reading material.

    Here's some of my notes related to this question

    1. There is much purposefully left unsaid in these stories.

    2. The story's focus is on David. The purpose in this story lies not with 'Is Bathsheba culpable? …but that David the king is culpable; he has turned away from his God-given responsibilities and position and SENT [key-word] others to do his job.

    3. We are much separated from this story's background by time and culture, particularly as it relates to a woman acts (even today few men can figure them out!). We know very little about practices of bathing at that time.

    4. Time references are distinctly inexact; "the turning of the year" (11:1), "late one afternoon" (11:2), ["her beauty and the moonlight overtook you", Leonard Cohen] "she had just purified herself" (11:4), "the woman became pregnant", "she sent word" (11:5,6)…

    5. Bat-sheva means 'daughter of abundance' or 'daughter of an oath'. She came from a prominent family that David was well acquainted with (this helps to explain the close proximity of her house to David's residence).

    6. Could there be possible abuse of Bathsheba alluded to in 2 Sam. 11:4? ... "David sent messengers, and had her taken: she came to him and he lay with her…" Her intent, if there was any, is unstated and unclear. David Alter writes, "What is unusual is that one verb in the middle of this sequence switches grammatical subject—from David to Bathsheba. When the verb "come to" or "come into" has a masculine subject and "into" is followed by a feminine object, it designates a first act of s*xual intercourse. One wonders whether the writer is boldly toying with this double meaning, intimating an element of active participation by Bathsheba in David's s*xual summons. The text is otherwise silent on her feelings, giving the impression that she is passive as others act on her. But her later behavior in the matter of her son's succession to the throne (1 Kings 1-2) suggests a woman who has her eye on the main chance, and it is possible that opportunism, not merely passive submission, explains her behavior here as well." (Robert Alter, Ancient Israel , p 481).

    7. Everyone in the royal household would have known of the episode. "David’s adultery with Bathsheba was not a private affair. He asked a servant to find out who the woman was. As soon as the king sent a servant to inquire who the woman was, everyone in the palace would be talking. Then he sent messengers (plural) to bring her to the palace. The entire palace would know that David sent for the wife of Uriah." Richards, E. R., & O’Brien, B. J. (2012). Misreading Scripture with Western Eyes (p. 122).

    8. For a king to take a woman and then not keep her would be dishonorable. To have her return to her house would have been shaming for her.

    Rob
     
    #18 Deacon, Jun 22, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: Jun 22, 2015
  19. beameup

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    The scripture uses the word 'ereb, which could also mean sunset.
    Unless there was sufficient light, how could David ever see what she looked like?
    What Hebrew woman would be so bold so as to put herself out in the open where she could be observed naked?
    Didn't they have "curtains" in those days? They had cloth to make "tents", did they not?
    The Holy Spirit does not "fill us in all the details", otherwise the "Bible" would be an entire Library.
    Those "details" are left to us to "fill-in" by deduction, with His help. Often it is just as important what the H.S. "left-out"...
    and we wrongly "fill-in" with our erroneous "human" thinking.
     
  20. MNJacob

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    We are all responsible for our own sin, no matter the temptation.
     

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