5 Women in Matthew 1: Bathsheba

Though her life was filled with suffering and grief, the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness prevailed.

Bathsheba, noted in 2 Samuel 11, can easily be considered an outlier compared to the previous three women. Her name isn’t even directly included. Matthew calls her “the wife of Uriah,” which seems to bring honor to her husband who was murdered by King David. As well-known as Bathsheba’s story is, when you take a closer look many details seem vague. 

David wasn’t with his army on the front lines, which was his responsibility as king. One day he sees a woman in the middle of her cleansing bath (the ceremonial bath for cleansing after her period, which makes her unclean) on her roof. Seeing her beauty, David sends for her. 

Bathsheba could have assumed David had news of her husband or father, both great soldiers in the army, but as we know, that was not the case. Regardless of why the king asked for her, Bathsheba isn’t exactly in a place to refuse his request. David is the king, and she lives during a time when women are thought of as property, and any refusal can be seen as treason. 

A woman grieving

A few months later Bathsheba discovers she’s pregnant but her husband is away fighting David’s war. She sends word to David, whose response is to invite Uriah home on leave, hoping he will visit his wife. Uriah stays faithful to his duty, refusing to see his wife while his men are fighting. David then sends Uriah back to the battle with instructions to have him moved to the front lines so he will be killed.

Upon hearing of Uriah’s death, Bathsheba “lamented over her husband” (2 Sam. 11:26).

David brings Bathsheba into his house and she gives birth to a son, “but the thing that David had done displeased the LORD” (2 Sam. 11:27). Because of his sin, their son becomes sick and dies. Bathsheba now is left to grieve her husband, Uriah, and her son but the Lord redeems her by giving her a second son, Solomon, who becomes the wisest man ever to live. 

God’s redemption

From a passage in 1 Kings, Solomon shows deep respect for his mother. He calls on Bathsheba for counsel, and when she entered the room “the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right” (1 Kings 2:19).

Though her life was filled with suffering and grief, the Lord’s sovereignty and goodness prevailed.

Bathsheba’s situation was not a secret; many would have known exactly what she had done. Many blamed her, but ultimately, she was a victim since David was the king. Despite the opinion of others, the Lord does not let her remain victimized. Through God’s eyes, Bathsheba is redeemed, no longer a victim. She becomes respected and renowned both in society and as a mother.

Don’t miss the first four parts of this series: introduction, Tamar, Rahab and Ruth.


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