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Posts Tagged ‘Bathsheba and Solomon’

In our first post about Bathsheba, we saw that God has great compassion for His children. Bathsheba is one of many women in the Scriptures that have been misunderstood or portrayed badly by scholars. We have already seen how the Jewish leaders have portrayed Tamar as a prostitute even though she was not one. Later we will see the same slur against Mary of Magdala’s reputation. That is why it is so important to read the Bible and see what it really says about these women.

Hollywood likes to portray Bathsheba as a temptress. It sells more movies, but their version is not the same as the Bible’s. I believe that Bathsheba had no choice when King David had his men bring her to the palace. As a vassal and a woman she was not allowed to refuse the king. Some commentators want to cast Bathsheba as a seductress and blame her for David’s sin. But the Bible does not describe Bathsheba that way.

In our story in Part 1 (Posted April 3, 2018) – Bathsheba experienced a forced relationship with a man who was not her husband, widowhood, and bereavement of a child. But God blessed her marriage to King David and they had some happy years. David was much older than Bathsheba and so not surprisingly he preceded her in death.

This week in Part 2 – Bathsheba as Queen Mother – we see more evidence of God’s sovereignty and compassion. Bathsheba mourned the loss of a child and then the loss of her husband. But God was not done with this faithful daughter yet.

Let’s turn to the continuation of this story of a very blessed woman – Bathsheba.

The years rolled by and when David was really old and close to death, one of his sons decided not to wait for him to die but to have himself declared king. Nathan’s prophecy was coming true. There was a lot of trouble in David’s family.

Turn to I Kings 1:25:

Adonijah, the son of Haggith, one of David’s other wives, called together all of his other brothers except Solomon and threw a party. Those who attended celebrated with eating and drinking and exclaiming, “Long live King Adonijah!”

 Nathan the prophet, who was not invited to the party either, went to Bathsheba and told her to hurry to the king before it was too late. Nathan honored Bathsheba by going to her as the one who would be able to talk to the king and inform him about what was happening and ask the king for help.

Turn to I Kings 1:15-18:

So Bathsheba sent to see the aged king in his room, where Abishag the Shunammite was attending him. Bathsheba bowed down, prostrating herself before the king. “What is it you want?” the king asked. She said to him, “My lord, you yourself swore to me your servant by the Lord your God: ‘Solomon your son shall be king after me, and he will sit on my throne.’ But now Adonijah has become king, and you, my lord the king, do not know about it.

While Bathsheba was speaking, Nathan the prophet came into the room and confirmed her words. King David called for Bathsheba and promised to make Solomon king that very day.

David assured Bathsheba that Solomon was his choice (and God’s!) to inherit the throne. David gave orders for Zadok the priest and Nathan the prophet to anoint Solomon as king and have him sit on David’s throne immediately. The people watched as Solomon was anointed. Trumpets blew and the people proclaimed, “Long live King Solomon!” (I Kings 1:39)

Adonijah and his followers fled. Solomon showed Adonijah mercy and let him return home. Solomon was safely on the throne now. Adonijah unfortunately would not learn his lesson. More about that in a moment.

Bathsheba had acted wisely and courageously when her son Solomon was threatened. It seemed that all of Israel was going after Adonijah. She and Nathan were alone in approaching David. Yet Bathsheba relied on God’s promise and David’s faithfulness that her son would be the next king. David respected his intelligent, resourceful wife and acted upon her request immediately. Bathsheba’s son was promptly made king.

Bathsheba was a wise woman. But in the last story we read of her in the Bible we see her acting in a rather puzzling way. It has to do with her stepson Adonijah.

Turn to I Kings 2:13-14:

Now Adonijah, the son of Haggith, went to Bathsheba, Solomon’s mother. Bathsheba asked him, “Do you come peacefully?” He answered, “Yes, peacefully.” Then he added, “I have something to say to you.” “You may say it,” she replied.

Adonijah went on to ask Bathsheba to speak to King Solomon for him and get Abishag the Shunammite as his wife.

Though Adonijah tried to make his request seem like a small thing to Bathsheba, he really wanted to be king. He believed that it was his right as the older brother and he thought of a way to usurp Solomon’s rule. In those days, a new ruler would often take the wives of the previous king to prove that he was now the reigning king. Though David had not cohabited with Abishag, she was still considered a concubine. (Another of David’s sons, Absalom had already tried this. See 2 Samuel 16:21-23.)

Either Bathsheba was fooled by Adonijah or perhaps she just had a very tender heart. It is difficult to see why she would even think that Solomon would grant Adonijah’s wicked request. Perhaps she really hoped that Adonijah meant the best. After all, when he greeted her he assured her that he had come “peacefully”.

A more probable explanation is that Bathsheba was wise enough to know that Adonijah had not repented and would always be a threat to her son Solomon. Perhaps Bathsheba took Adonijah’s request to Solomon so that Solomon would have an excuse to remove this rival and consolidate his throne. I guess we’ll have to wait until we get to Heaven to know for sure. I believe that Bathsheba was a kind and forgiving woman, but she had already shown much courage in getting her son on the throne. Whether or not Bathsheba knew what Adonijah was really asking, Solomon did. The king sent one of his men to execute Adonijah immediately.

Again, Bathsheba was exonerated before all of Israel as Solomon set a throne for his mother on his right side. Bathsheba was ruling as the Queen Mother.

Turn to I Kings 2:19, Solomon, “had a throne brought for the king’s mother, and she sat down at this right hand.”

Solomon loved and respected his mother Bathsheba. Some commentators believe that the “Excellent Woman” of Proverbs 31, written by Solomon, was modeled on Bathsheba. The worthy woman in Proverbs 31 is a trusted companion and a devoted mother. Bathsheba fits the description of the honored and noble woman whose “children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.” (Proverbs 31:28-29)

We find Bathsheba one more place in the Bible that is often overlooked. In the Song of Solomon, the bride praises her husband as they prepare for their wedding day.

Turn to Song of Solomon 3:11 where the speaker says:

Come out, and look, you daughters of Zion. Look on King Solomon wearing a crown, the crown with which his mother crowned him on the day of his wedding, the day his heart rejoiced.

Who else can this mother be but Bathsheba? And here we see her as the Queen mother crowning her son on his wedding day. God had compassion on Bathsheba and raised her from the depths of loneliness and sorrow to the heights of comfort and joy!

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