Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Bathsheba: harlot or innocent?

Soon my brain will be empty. Once I have poured out everything that crowded it at 4 o'clock this morning I can do something useful.

Zac's Bible studies resumed after the summer break. Some of us gathered last week to enjoy food together but the serious stuff waited until last night. And what a crowd of old and familiar faces was there! I said to Sean, 'Everyone has come creeping out of the ... bin.' (It should have been woodwork but I couldn't remember the phrase.)

We picked up where we left off with our study of the life of David and we looked at the story of David and Bathsheba.

(Quick summary - ignore this if you are familiar with the story: King David is outside one evening when he sees a beautiful woman. He asks who she is and is told she is Bathsheba, wife of Uriah. Uriah is away fighting with David’s army. David sends for her and they commit adultery. Soon after that Bathsheba sends a message to David that she is pregnant. Now the law says that they should both be executed so David sends for Uriah under the pretence of finding out how the battle is going. After they’ve spoken David tells Uriah to go home for the night but Uriah being a jolly soldier type refuses to sleep in a comfortable bed with his wife while his men are still on the battle grounds. The next night David tries getting Uriah drunk but he still doesn’t go back and sleep with his wife so in the end David has to arrange for him to be killed.)

I've been thinking about Bathsheba. We don't really get a lot of information about her so I made some up! I couldn't decide what sort of woman she would have been so I wrote two monologues suggesting different motives and reactions. I'll post them in full on my bits that are too long blog but here are two short tasters.

Harlot
You look surprised. Surely you do not believe – as I feel sure the king does – that this story is of his making? As if a mere man can outwit or stand against the plans of woman. Was it coincidence did you think that the King should chance to see me bathing? Did you imagine that I had not watched him for long nights until I was sure that he would be on the roof when I took my bath?

Innocent
But he seemed to understand my yearning for a touch, to feel another’s skin upon my own. He who had brought a giant to his feet now knelt at my feet and stroked them, his fingers long and tender. He whispered and smiled at my shyness, bringing his hand up to raise my chin so that I was looking into his eyes, and seeing in them my own longing reflected back at me.

3 comments:

James Higham said...

You're looking at Bathsheba, I'm looking at Messalina. Great minds?

Berni said...

She probably was a bit of both like most women.

Liz said...

well, yours is a great mind, james!

Indeed, berni.