The episode and David and Bathsheba (1 Sam. 11-12) marks the pivotal point of decline in the king’s reign; its sequel (2 Kgs. 1-2), the accession of their Solomon to the throne, suggests a redemptive turn. Bathsheba plays a bivalent role in both the making (and breaking) of the king. In the narrative paradigm of the “female ruse” that lead up to the establishment of David’s kingship (the daughters of Lot, Tamar, and Ruth), Bathsheba is unique in that she does not play the seductress; she does however ensure Solomon becomes heir to throne, and in her subtle invocation of an oath (in the name of God) affirms David’s return to grace.
See Also: The Female Ruse: Women’s Deception and Divine Sanction in the Hebrew Bible (Sheffield Phoenix Press 2015).
By Rachel Adelman
Assistant Professor of Hebrew Bible
Hebrew College, Newton Center, MA
Click here for article.
Some points and questions. I find the idea of Bathsheba as speaking truth to power odd: surely what she produces is the exact opposite, a carefully concocted lie?
I can't see that royal power is humbled or takes a humbler form. The curse laid on the house had been that the sword would not depart from it, that it would have to maintain itself amid violence, at first fulfilled via Absalom. Humility does not then set in - on the contrary, the power of the house is re-established through a military coup and a rather horrific
purge. Only then does Solomon see the need for wisdom, but this insight does not lead, through God's providence, to a more restrained or
modest government but to one marked by extreme riches and
#1 - Martin Hughes - 06/18/2016 - 20:26