Bathsheba: The Master Manipulator
Matthew does not list Bathsheba by name, but refers to her as “the wife of Uriah.” (Matthew 1:6). Unfortunately, Bathsheba often gets a bad rap for seducing King David by bathing naked where he could see her. However, a careful reading of 2 Samuel 11:1-4 tells another story. Bathsheba was merely following the Jewish law that women must be purified after their monthly periods by bathing in a ritual bath provided by the community. She was just minding her own business and happened to attract the attention of the king, who was standing on the roof, perhaps for a better view of the bathing site. David sends for her, knowing that she was the wife of one of his best soldiers. We don’t know if she was raped or submitted willingly, but she becomes pregnant and David has her husband killed in battle to cover up his sin. Bathsheba gets a certain revenge, however, later in the story. Her son Solomon, is not the rightful heir to the throne, but she convinces David to make him king. As a result, she becomes queen by Jewish tradition that the king’s mother (not his wife) is the queen of Israel.