Boys Will Be Boys

When Uriah’s wife heard that her husband was dead, she mourned for him. After the time of mourning was over, David had her brought to his house, and she became his wife and bore him a son. But the thing David had done displeased the LORD. (2 Samuel 11:26-27)

We’re talking the infamous Bathsheba incident here.  Recap: King David sends his army to war, Uriah being one of the lucky soldiers.  David sees Uriah’s wife Bathsheba bathing on the roof, likes her, sends for her, beds her, and then arranges for her husband’s death.  Nice guy, that David.

God is a little bit ticked and sends the prophet Nathan to break the news.  David says, “Oops.”  God forgives him but in payback offs the illegitimate tyke and promises that somebody’s going to do the same thing to David’s wives that he did to Uriah’s.  Tit for tit, so to speak.  But after a minimal dose of mutual regret ol’ Dave and Bathsheba jump into the sack again [bidda bing bidda bang] and produce none other than the great Solomon himself.  Nice consolation prize.

This little scenario teaches us a few important things.  First, if you live in an apartment, be sure to close the blinds before taking a shower, especially if you live next to a king with binoculars.  Second, look contrite when caught doing something bad.  Due to a contractual obligation God must forgive you and will have to take his frustrations out on somebody else.  And third, if a king wants to kill you you’re pretty much up a creek without a paddle.

A number of false assumptions have grown up around the David and Bathsheba incident which I need to debunk.  David was not into Amway.  In his day the pyramid scheme was pretty much confined to Egypt.  It is also untrue that Nathan was drummer for a proto speed metal band called “Temple.”  He did, however, supplement his rather meager prophetic income by performing as a mentalist at conventions and a few lounges in the area.  And contrary to popular portrayals, Bathsheba, after giving birth to Solomon, grew somewhat pudgy and unpleasant, and was rarely invited to state occasions.

One last thing.  When Solomon eventually learned of his parents’ indiscretion and God’s rather tepid response, he amassed for himself 700 official wives and 300 concubines, all of whom Solomon discovered from his rooftop using his dad’s binoculars.

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3 Responses

  1. Yeah, I gotta say this is one story in the Bible that has always chapped my ass. David strikes me as your prototypical stupid Alpha male who happened to love God a lot. Don’t get me wrong, he was admirable in a lot of ways, but the dude got away with adultery and murder with barely a slap on a wrist. Unlike, say, Ananias and Sapphira who held back a little lunch money and got instant death.

    I am not sure I like God’s standards of justice. They seem a tad inconsistent. It makes me think the gloss on David’s reputation has a great deal to do with the guys who wrote Samuel, Kings and Chronicles romanticizing their hero and the Golden Age of Israel.

  2. So…the baby dying wasn’t enough? Or the fact the Isreal got torn apart by rebellion and David lost another son because of it (you remember, Absolom, the heir with the flyin’ hair?)? Isreal was never the same after this, even though Solomon did a pretty good job of holding it together during his reign.

  3. Perhaps.

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