"And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem. And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house. And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house? And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing. And David said to Uriah, Tarry here today also, and tomorrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also."

"And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord."


King David had many women in his life but when he first cast eyes on Bathsheba, his reason departed and he coveted her although she was the wife of another. And he said within himself, "I will have this woman though she is forbidden me, for that is my will! Am I not the king? Who will prevent me?"

Bethsheba was brought before David, into his bedroom. While her husband was in the field, fighting the battles of Israel, David's servants took her without her consent. She was in the first days of her purification. That David had seen as he had watched her bathe herself in the ritualarium. His passion for her was inflamed and he said, "Even has she not been in her purity, I would have taken her."

Bathsheba knelt at the king's feet, her head bowed. She dared not speak for fear. David dismissed his servants and ordered them to let no one enter until such time as he would call them.

Minutes passed and neither spoke. David studied the woman at his feet. She was even more beautiful up close than he had imagined her to be. Finally he spoke. "Do you know why you have been brought here?" She shook her head without looking up at him. "No, my lord. I do not", she replied, barely audible.

"Speak up, woman", David said, "I cannot hear you for your soft voice." The woman dared look up now at his face. Instantly she saw the desire in his eyes and understood, but she said, "I do not know why the king has summoned me. Have I transgressed any law that the king's servants brought me here by force?"

David smiled. "Your only transgression is to be so beautiful that the king desires to have you with him this night. Are you afraid?" She looked down again. "Yes, I am afriad," she replied. "Do not fear", he assured her. "No harm will come to you. It is your love I seek, not your hurt."

She looked back up at his face and searched his eyes before speaking again. David spoke, more kindly this time. "What is your question, Bathsheba? I will answer it. Do not hesitate to speak to me. Tonight do not look upon me as the king but only as a man who desires you." Becoming emboldened, she looked at him squarely in the eyes and said, "My lord, if that is so, I will ask this one thing. You have many women in your harem, and I am one already given to another man in marriage. Why then do you wish to be with me?"

David rose from his seat and walked to the window, the very one from which he had first seen her bathing. Indeed, he had walked upon the roof of his house - only to see her again - because he was not able to sleep, thinking about her after he had seen her bathing the first time.

Gazing out the window, he replied, "Hear me, Bathsheba. I am the king of Israel, and the law by which I rule is that very law given to Israel by Heaven at Mount Sinai. In that law is written, 'Thou shalt not covet thy neighbor's wife'. I am well aware of it. And you do not have to ask how much I know the loyalty and bravery of your husband, general of the army of Israel. Yet I am strongly self-willed, and it is my will to have you. The YETSER HARA, the sexual urge, burns intensely inside of me. I cannot get you out of my mind. Night and day, I dream of being with you. I cannot eat. I cannot sleep. I cannot attend to affairs of state. You know how the Ammonites wish a war with us and how I must send the armies of Israel into the field against Ammon, and destroy them. Yet even this pressing war cannot shake the image of your Heaven-given loveliness from my mind, and it came to me that I shall never find rest until I know you the way a man knows his lover. What is the war? What the affairs of state to me? What is the harem of many women to me if I cannot lie with you? If I cannot hold you in my arms and love you?"

Bathsheba, who had remained kneeling and silent, now rose to her feet and approached David. She stood close to him and confronted him unabashedly now, eye to eye. "My lord", she began, "I am much flattered that the king ...". "David", he corrected her, smilingly, "Tonight let me be more David the beloved than the king."

"Very well", she responded, "David, if that is your wish, I am flattered but only think, if we do this thing - the scandal shall reach up to Heaven. Was I given this beauty by Heaven, as you say, to be the cause of the fall of Israel through the king's willfullness and through his sin? Would you have my husband lead the armies of Israel in battle against the enemey while we two sleep in one bed? Shall not Heaven itself punish us by giving victory to the enemy?"

David put his hand on her face and caressed it. "Then your concern is with scandal and punishment, NOT with a wife's loyalty to her husband. Then hear me, beloved woman, if there be sin at all, let it fall upon my own head, and not upon yours, neither upon the nation, but upon the king only - for his willfullness and for the greatness of his YETSER."

Bathsheba looked down again but the king placed his hand under her chin and brought her face up to face his again. "Let us speak to each other in truth tonight, Bathsheba. I love you and I wish there to be truth between us."

Bathsheba spoke. "May I sit, David?" He nodded and Bathsheba sat upon the king's bed.

She continued. "You wish truth. Here is truth. Ever since the first time I beheld you, when my husband first brought me to Jerusalem to live, I felt desire for you. No, not only desire but also love. Do you not know how I have felt, not being able to say these words to anyone? Do you know how I feared Heven itself would strike me down for even having thoughts such as these? Yet heaven did not strike me down. Heaven allowed me to live and suffer unspoken love and desire these past years. Do you not realize that I know your windows look down upon my own home, and did you never wonder why I bathed in plain sight without first drawing the shades? I wanted you to see me, David. I wanted you to see my nakedness and lust for me. I thought perhaps, if I multiply my own sins, at last I would be relieved of my own YETSER HARA burden by being struck down and killed! But it has not happened. Instead my showing myself, a married woman, to the king of all Israel, caused me to be brought directly to your arms. Isn't that ironic, my lord? As though Heaven itself had conspired along with us." She smiled but it was a sad, bitter smile.

The king began to speak but she signalled for him to remain silent. "My lord, David, let me finish what is on my heart. It has been on my heart for too long, unexpressed. In a way, your bringing me here and allowing me to unburden myself is a kindness on your part, though you may not have planned it that way." "Know this. I love my husband. He has always been good to me. But the love I bear him is not as the love I bear you. My marriage to him was arranged by my parents. I was never asked for my feelings on the matter. I knew he was a good man and that he would treat me well, and he has to be sure. I have loved him as a devoted daughter loves her father. He has been a second father to me. But I have never loved him the way a woman feels love for a man, the way a wife loves a husband. He has known that and it has made him sad, yet he has continued to love me without complaint. If he had beaten me, if he had cursed me, if he had mistreated me in any manner, surely this would be easier for me. But he has not done any of these things. And he is saddened more because I have not conceived a child for him. I have felt that Heaven has not given me his child because I do not love him the way he wishes to be loved. This is my witness to you, David. I love you and wish to be with you. Your servants need not have taken me. You merely needed to ask me to come and I would gladly have come and been with you, even being guilty in the eyes of all Jerusalem. Oh, but my poor husband, will his heart not be broken?"

David walked over to her and sat on the bed next to her. He placed his arm around her and softly said, "Do not be burdened in your heart, Bathsheba. I am king. No one will dare speak ill of you. And your husband will not hear of this. I will ensure it. And he shall gain the glory of a warrior in battle. For the honor shall be appointed to him to lead the army of Israel against the Ammonites. Only come to me and be mine at last. I burn for you, and now knowing that you have felt the same love and passion for me, we must love one another the way Heaven ought to have arranged it. Come into my arms and kiss me, beloved woman." So David gladdened the heart of Bathsheba in that he told her that her husband would be a hero. But what the king did not tell her was that he had determined that Uriah should die a hero's death in the battle so that she would be free to be his alone.

Bathsheba began to say something, but she silenced herself as the king brought his lips to hers. She closed her eyes and allowed the sweet excitement of that first kiss flow over her. She felt her body surrender to him as he embraced her and laid her down on his bed. Her hands felt his face. She ran her fingers through his beard and through his hair while his arms tightened their embrace. His own eyes closed. He pressed his face againts hers. He could barely believe that at last she was in his arms, giving herslef to him, completely. As he hed her, she felt the excitement rise within her. She wished to touch and kiss every part of him. Her hands moved swiftly and passionately over his body as he lay beside her, holding her tightly. Their clothing came off quickly, more quickly than either had planned. The nakedness they craved of each other was given to each. The embraces, the kisses, the sighs and moans, increased with in intensity that left them burning. Passionate, loving words passed between them as they laughed and cried in their embraces and caresses. Soon the sheets and the bed they loved upon became drenched with the sweat of their sex. They bathed in it, in each other's veriness. When David entered her at last, he felt as though all the breath had left his body, so excited was he. David buried himself in Bathsheba and loved her, and she, taking him deeply into herself, loved him.

For a moment his mind went back to his beloved friend Jonathan, king Saul's son. David had made love with many women but none of them had satisfied his being as much as the kisses and embraces of his long dead friend and lover, Jonathan. Up to now, Jonathan had been his greatest joy. Jonathan had shown more love to David than to his own father. Indeed the scripture says that he loved David as he loved his own life.

And david remembered his eulogy at the death of his friend, "How are the mighty fallen in the midst of battle. I am distressed for thee, my brother Jonathan. Very pleasant hast thou been unto me. Thy love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women"

Mere seconds passed in these thoughts. David was brought back by the screams of Bathsheba who began to reach the climax of her passions. She drove her fingers deep into her lover's flesh as she crescendoed. David held her tightly and kissed her neck. As she finished, David whispered, "I love you, Bathsheba, I love you". Then he himself felt the fulfilment of his own passion. He lay with her then, silently. She caressed him. Both of them silent, happy. David held her and realized that his love for her matched, and perhaps exceeded, the love he had felt for Jonathan. Never before with another woman, and never again afterwards would he feel such love and passion for another woman the way he felt for the wife of his army's general. As they lay there in silence, wrapped in each other, David determined that this woman would bare him a son one day, and he swore that her son would sit on the throne of Israel after him. And indeed, it came to pass.

     "So David slept with his fathers, and was buried in the city of
      David. And the days that David reigned over Israel were forty
      years; seven years he reigned in Hebron, and thirty and three
      years he reigned in Jerusalem. Then Solomon sat upon the throne
      of David his father, and his kingdom was established greatly."
                         First Kings 2:10-12

  Return To the Biblical Romance index   Return to the literary index   Email Shlomoh