The sin of David, rape?

Discussion in '2003 Archive' started by go2church, Sep 9, 2003.

  1. go2church

    go2church
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    It is very common to refer to the sin of David with Bathsheba as the sin of adultery. Considering the powerful position of David as king and the fact that Bathsheba wasn't really in a position to say "No", couldn't (shouldn't) we also refer to David's sin as rape?
     
  2. Pete Richert

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    The Bible is not clear on whether Basheba was a willing participate or not. Some woman's groups (and a Bible study produced by Calvery Chapel that I know of) try to make this claim that she didn't want to but it is complete speculation. Perhaps she didn't. What the Bible ephesises is that he took another man's wife, and this led to murder on top of that. This is all we can know for certain and what we must stress. I agree that is might even be likely that this was indeed rape, but we can not say this for certain and must not less we find we are actually wrong.
     
  3. Bugman

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    Very interesting subject.

    Bryan
    SDG
     
  4. Dr. Bob

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    We would say (21st Century mindset) that the adultery - NO indication of rape - was minor and that the real sin was in the cover-up and cold-blooded murder of Bath Sheba's husband.

    II Samuel 12 indicates that the ADULTERY was the root sin. The "sword" - murder of Uriah - gets attention only as symbolic of the judgment that is going to come to David's family.

    (Not downplaying the murder part. It is certainly there in the judgment part. But the "stealing another's lamb" is the gist of the argument.)

    BTW, some argue for the "rape" of Bathsheba because later David's daughter will be raped by her half-brother. They see a parallel. But that is sucking it out of your thumb; there is NO indication that Bathsheba was anything other than a willing partner.
     
  5. Pete Richert

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    Perhaps I am wrong here, but I don't think there is any indication that she was a willing partner either. There is no indication either way. It simply wasn't important for the Biblical writer to record this fact because it wasn't his point for the story; and therefor shouldn't be the point of the story for us either.
     
  6. Dr. Bob

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    Thoughts on why Bathsheba may have been a willing adultress, not a rape victim:

    She could have gone to the priests at the Tabernacle and pled her case.

    She could have gone only a coupla miles to a city of Refuge where the legal courts were.

    She could have said something to her husband.

    She could have shown remorse, instead of cover up.

    If she were "innocent", I think there might be more to the story. Then again, Pete, I understand the bias in OT records against womenand their lack of importance.
     
  7. go2church

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    Would hardly consider adultery minor, but you make a good point about how we look back on scripture with a mindset of our times. I did consider that when I was studying this passage for Sunday. We can never be careful enough about overlaying our mindset onto scripture. I hope everyone understands this thread is speculation and curiousity on my part. Just fishing for others insight.

    Interesting to bring up the rape of Tamar and the possible "link" between the two passages. Does make me wander about the commonality of rape in Old Testament times, especially considering the second class status of women during that time.
     
  8. Gunther

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    What about the fact that she was out in plain view NAKED for those in two story or higher buildings could see?

    Did all women bathe out in the open?

    Perhaps she was lonely and knew that her home was in plain view of David's home and knew it was possible to be seen.
     
  9. Pete Richert

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    I completly forgot about that and it brings up an interesting point.

    When I was in junior high sunday school the teacher presented this story as if Bathsheba was flaunting her stuff, indeed, that she was purposly exposing herself in the open, and the name Bathsheba wasn't seen in the best light.

    But over the years and attending different sunday schools it seems that sediments have changed on her actions, even to the point where now she is one of the victums of the story. Even to the wonderful narrative tale my Calvery Chapel Bible study presented where afterword she threw herself in the shower to wash off the dirtiness of being violated.

    I have heard people say that everyone baths on the roof, and heard others say that this was very uncommon, so no one agrees on that.

    I have also heard that David should have been huming his favorite hymns because such keeps you from temptation :D (I think that was back in junior high . . . I hope it wasn't calvery chapel).

    I have also heard that David's first sin was to not to his job and go out to battle, though this seems like speculation on what the text presents us as well.
     
  10. Dr. Bob

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    #1 - DAVID was on the roof looking down. Bathsheba was NOT on the roof. Most houses (esp. those of the wealthy and powerful who would build in the upscale palace subdivision) were built with an INNER court, surrounded by walls from view of the public (usually) in a hidden garden.
    #2 - David had no idea who she was. She was following the Judaic tradition of cermonial washing 14 days after the end of her menstrual cycle. He knew she was beautiful but would have no idea if she was single and available for his harem. It was NOT a strip tease or enticing performance; it was like baptismal to us today.
    #3 - Filled with lust, even though he knew she was married and daughter of his greatest general, he ordered his personal guard (not soldiers, since they would have known Uriah) to "take" her. No implication of "force", for this word is take as in a gift offered. He knew she was ritually "pure" - and most vulnerable to conception as the "pure" time corresponds to ovulation.
    #4 - What was most likely to happen - she would conceive - did. Almost like DAVID had it planned all along. And the conspiracy began.

    BTW, because Uriah was NOT an Israeli, he was a second-class citizen without property rights in Israel. And a wife was property. Hmmmm.
     
  11. TheOliveBranch

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    Dr Bob,

    Do you think Bathsheba was a willing participant by her response to the pregnancy? She sent and told David of the pregnancy, something she could have hidden to save herself fromt the Laws written for women in adulterous relationships? It seems she was willing to admit her pregnancy to him so he would know he was the father.
     
  12. go2church

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    Thanks for the insight Dr. Bob, very interesting! The more I read and study the more I think there is "more" to the story then we have recorded. BTW, the focal passage for Sunday is Psalm 51, the questions stem out of the background study in Samuel. I am also interested, and wish more was said about Nathan.
     
  13. blackbird

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    And hear O great king--the sword will not depart from your house---that's all Nathan had to say! He was going to reap what he had sown! He was going to reap more than he sowed! And tragically, others will get in on reaping what David had sown!

    Steep price for spiritual laziness!!

    Blackbird
     
  14. Wisdom Seeker

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    I always wondered about this too G2C. Why was Bathsheba so complacent? Did she not like her husband or something? Did she have stars in her eyes over the King desiring her? If it was rape, why did she later marry him?

    Who knows. I sure don't.
     
  15. Gunther

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    My point was - what was Bethsheba doing giving the opportunity for men to feast their eyes upon? Was there no one to hold a towel? Could she not block a window?

    If she knew the kingdom was in view, and someone up high could see, I seriously question her morals.

    Would their not be guards that could look on her?

    Didn't David turn and ask someone who that was?

    This was hardly rape.
     
  16. mortenview

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    Ahhh... Interesting topic.

    How about this slant on David's sin ...

    II Samuel 11:1b "... but David tarried still at Jerusalem."

    If David had been where he was supposed to be, he would not have seen Bathsheba.

    Could we go to the root of this and say that David was disobedient unto the Lord and that He was not where he was supposed to be?

    If David had gone to work/done his job that day, he would not have fallen into the rest of the sins that he committed.

    The root: David was in the wrong place/ David was disobedient.
     
  17. Gunther

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    Can you point out where it says that God had commanded him to go and fight?

    Root: David looked upon another man's wife instead of turning away.

    Root: Bethsheba was in view of men during her little bath.
     
  18. Artimaeus

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    Just for my own sense of curiosity, where does it say that Bathsheba was naked? It says she was washing herself, but, was it a sponge bath, a spit bath, washing her face and hands, her feet? given that modesty was more prevalent then than now, just how much "skin" was David observing?
     
  19. GODzThunder

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    Jewish tradition says that David and Bathsheba were a loving couple happy with one another in their final days. (Remember that she did become his wife afterwards and gave birth to Solomon).

    This aludes that she was a willing participant, though it is not a fact.
     
  20. Paul of Eugene

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    I once raised this question in a bible study class and one of the very attractive women present spoke up and said that since the Bible says that David was a man after God's own heart, surely if Bathsheba had offered any resistance or objection, David would have respected her wishes in this matter. I have always suspected she was speaking from personal experience but never had the nerve to ask. But her words made a lot of sense to me
     

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