Modesty & The Sin of Bathsheba: One Man’s Appeal

“Your brethren in Christ may be weak, and the devil does all he can do to weaken them further. They’re forced to live in a world where they are continually bombarded with sights, which are designed by the enemy of their souls to weaken their morals and destroy their purity of heart, and must Christian women help the devil to do his work? Must they make themselves a temptation to their brethren, even in the congregation of God?

“Oh that you women could understand the fierce and bitter conflict in the souls of your brethren when you arouse their desires by the careless display of your feminine beauty. Never again would you plead for your right to dress as you please.

The fact is you have no such right. You have no right to destroy by your careless dress, the brother for whom Christ died. “You were bought with a price and are not your own” (see 1 Corinthians 6:20).

You are duty bound to glorify God in your body, to clothe that body not as you will but as God wills, and a little love for the souls of your brethren would remove forever from your heart the desire to dress as you please.”

Article by an anonymous man:  “The Sin of Bathsheba” from Revive Our Hearts with Nancy Leigh Demoss, Modesty:  Does God Really Care What I Wear

78 Responses to “Modesty & The Sin of Bathsheba: One Man’s Appeal”

  1. Jennifer says:

    Is he joking?? Bathsheba was bathing on her own house; does he really think she did this to entice a man?? It was on a roof, and I’ve gotten the impression from other scholars that she had every reason to assume she had total privacy.

  2. Kelly L says:

    Jenifer,I do not think the article was blaming her for David’s sin. Just pointing out that David was “a man after God’s own heart” and he fell into sin because he saw more than he was supposed to. So maybe that was the reference? (I think, but I really am a Pollyanna, or so I’m told).
    I agree with the premise of this letter. I have heard women say “my eyes are up here” complaining that someone is looking at her revealed breasts! Really, then don’t put them on display like they are for sale! It used to be the only women who displayed their “goods” like that were doing so to make money with them/their body. It is sad that Christian women have fell for the lie that they have to compete with the world in a “beauty” contest. It is only a flesh contest in which no one but the enemy wins. I wear tank tops. but modest, lest anyone think I am advocating long skirts and long sleeves. I do live in Vegas! I’d melt!

  3. Kelly L says:

    I just saw it again and it did say the sin of Batsheba..sorry…not sure I agree with that, but who knows what God laid on her heart before she went bathing.

  4. From what I understand about the passage (which is admittedly limited), she should not have been bathing on her roof out in the open. Even if David had not seen her from the higher palace walls, a guard or servant could have: her sin was that she was not taking the precaution to conceal herself either within her own house or by using opaque screens around her tub.

    Also, though the Bible doesn’t specify that Bathsheba did or did not go kicking and screaming to David’s bed, most scholars I’ve heard discuss the topic assume that she didn’t. David isn’t accused of *raping* another man’s wife, rather of committing adultery, which takes two.

    Just some thoughts of my own, but Doug Phillips with Vision Forum has a good CD on this topic called “David and Bathsheba: A Parable for Our Times.” 🙂

  5. SavebyGrace says:

    First – from our stand point, bathing out in the open on the roof is sort of flaunting ourselves 😉 But apparently it was perfectly normal then. She may have even thought she was “safe” in doing so. Who knew David was a “peeping Tom”? So, perhaps she was completely innocent.

    Secondly one must ask – when David approached her – did she say no? Did she hesitate? Scripture doesn’t say so we can’t really discuss it w/o a lot of supposition. But I’m sure that as a “man after God’s own heart” if she had been kicking and screaming he would have left her alone. Maybe that is where Bathesheba’s sin comes from?

    All of that aside- as the article pertains to us today, we as Christian women, need to be alert to our Brothers in Christ and not deliberately / innocently entice them. Which means that our dress and behavior need to be such that we are above reproach. Reflect on the way we dress and ask ourselves if Jesus is honored or not. There is much information to be found for the seeker if we are willing to look for it and weigh it all on the balance of God’s word. Which is our only source of Absolute Truth.

  6. Jennifer says:

    Stephanie, Bathsheba was bathing where NO ONE was supposed to see her; David only saw her because of his elevated castle, and I highly doubt she went out with the intention of catching him. He didn’t rape her, or Scripture would have said so, but it’s possible she knew darn well not to risk refusing the king. From what I’ve seen from the VF and patriarchy elsewhere, I know I wouldn’t care for Phillips’ CD.

    Thanks for the open thoughts, Grace and Kelly L. Kelly, I think what was on her heart or mind was cleaning herself of her menstrual flow. Here’s an excerpt from a friend of mine, Anne, from another blog on this topic:

    “In Judaism when a woman menstruates, she enters a time of niddah or separation. While Bathsheba’s husband Uriah was a Hittite, Bathsheba was a Jewish woman, and would have observed this custom. During niddah she would not have slept in her husbands bed or even touched him. When menstruation ended, she would have waited seven days before being cleansed in a ritual bath called a mikvah. Jewish law requires that a woman be completely immersed in the waters of the mikvah, and there can be nothing that separates her body from the water. No clothing, no jewelry, no nothing. Not even dirt. She has to clean herself well before she enters. It is a ritual cleansing for which she must be nude.

    If that were the end of the story, it wouldn’t justify Bathsheba doing her nude bathing on the roof of her home. But, when we look at the mikvah further, we find that it is actually required that the waters be naturally gathered. That means you can’t take water from a local stream or well and pour it into a tub in a private room of the house. Mikvah’s weren’t just used for women, but for cleaning cooking utensils in accordance with Jewish dietary laws, cleansing after coming in contact with a dead body, or other situations in which Jewish law calls for ritual cleansing. So men and women used it. In fact, it made sense for ancient Isrealites, if they could, to build one in their home. Often, on the roof where it could collect water naturally.

    When we study the time, the rituals, and what we know of the architecture of homes in Isreal at the time of Bathsheba, it seems more than likely that Bathsheba wasn’t sinning by bathing on the roof. She wasn’t being immodest. She was cleansing herself in accordance with Jewish law. That’s the reason that the Scripture includes the line “She had purified herself from her uncleanness.” The sin was David’s and the Bible rightfully makes that clear as it says “the thing David had done displeased the LORD.””

  7. Kristen says:

    Was it really “normal” then? I’m trying to think of other references in the Bible when people bathed on their roofs. Of course, this is all speculation, but I’m not so willing to give Bathsheba a free ride on this one. She knew where she lived and who could see her. She wasn’t a stupid woman. I also believe there had to be more than just lust on both their parts – David really grieved when the baby died (well, before he died) and then another of Bathsheba’s sons was Solomon, who became king. Unfortunately (or maybe fortunately) the Bible doesn’t give us the juicy details – did they have a relationship before this story began even if it wasn’t physical? Perhaps. We’ll never know, and that’s not the point of the story, really.

  8. Mommaof10 says:

    The reason why Bathsheba was bathing on the rooftop within view of the high palace is irrelevant. That’s a bunny trail, a straw man argument.

    The fact is that she was within view of the high palace, something she had to have known and should have done something to shield her nakedness from the possible view of others.

    Even if she was thoughtlessly unaware that she could be in view of others, there’s something for us to learn. As women, we need to be aware, thinking and preventative of stumbling the men we meet in our daily lives, churches and communities at large.

    We need to stop raising up our “rights” to dress as we please or our culture pleases, and to start caring if our dress pleases man or God and if our dress is or could possibly be a stumbling block to the men with whom we come in contact.

    It is far too often that the men in my life must take protective measure for their eyes with women at work or in the community or even at Church.

    Women should be sensitive to what they communicate with their dress and not defraud their brothers or be a stumbling block, either knowingly or unknowingly.

  9. Jennifer says:

    “Did they have a relationship before this story began even if it wasn’t physical?”

    Are you kidding? We shouldn’t suggest things that have no evidence. What you’re syaing is pure speculation and not backed up at all, unlike the Jewish practice of Bathsheba’s bathing and the fact that God laid the sin on David’s head.

    For the record, I get the point of modesty in this article. I just hate it when people try to manipulate Bible stories to prove their points (like, for ex, blaming Dinah for her own rape as a scare tactic story to keep girls from leaving their daddies). Modern parable, my foot.

  10. Jennifer says:

    “should have done something to shield her nakedness from the possible view of others”

    For all we know, she could have had drapes around the tub, which David would have seen over anyway. She couldn’t drape her own body; please see my second post.

  11. Mommaof10 says:

    >>>>>>>>”For all we know, she could have had drapes around the tub, which David would have seen over anyway.”<<<<<<<<<>>>>>>”We shouldn’t suggest things that have no evidence. What you’re saying is pure speculation and not backed up at all”…….<<<<<<<<<<<<<

    I would suggest that these rules apply on all sides of the issue……..

  12. Mommaof10 says:

    Don’t know what happened to my last comment but some of it was omitted.

    This is what I originally wrote:

    ”For all we know, she could have had drapes around the tub, which David would have seen over anyway.”

    This statement is speculation. And yet you said in a previous comment:

    ”We shouldn’t suggest things that have no evidence. What you’re saying is pure speculation and not backed up at all.”

    I would suggest that these rules apply on all sides of the issue……..

  13. Jennifer says:

    It’s far more likely that she had drapes than to suggest that she had a relationship with David beforehand; which do you think is less likely to have been omitted by the Bible? If she had drapes around her, David would have seen over them, so this would have been irrelevant and he would have seen her anyway, making the mention of them unnecessary in the Bible. And yes, this would be irrelevant in the question of her guilt too, because we have the fact that the Bible laid the sin at DAVID’S feet, not hers. This latter fact suggests both that the idea of them having a relationship beforehand is almost nonsensical and that God saw Bathsheba (I HATE typing that name) as the innocent party, at least as far as modesty went. I think this is all a pretty simple logical process. Plus, it’s wiser to attribute unproven innocence than unproven guilt, I think.

  14. Millie says:

    If a man sees a woman as an object, it won’t make a bit of difference if she’s covered head to foot. In fact, it was considered shamefully sexual in Victorian times to show an ANKLE. This whole discussion comes dangerously close to the old “she asked for it” rape response.

    Tempest in a teapot, if you ask me. Don’t show your “goods” and walk proudly. The rest must be up to the men to be grown ups about too.

  15. Mommaof10 says:

    I never said anything about them having a relationship prior to this incident. That’s irrelevant to the topic at hand.

    I merely stated that whether her revealing of herself on the rooftop was innocently naive of the possibility of others seeing her or not, the point is that we women, need to be aware of what we’re revealing. We need to care about it. We need to dress in such a way as to not entice men who are not our husbands.

    The debate you bring to the table is not relevant to that point, which is the real point of this post.

  16. Jennifer says:

    Since Bathsheba was blamed, the points I brought were quite relevant to THAT. We have to be very careful about how we interpret the Bible. I already said I agreed with the other point, but the man writing that article would have been far wiser to leave Bathsheba out of it. Come to think of it, as far as their story goes, I think THIS message “We need to dress in such a way as to not entice men who are not our husbands” is completely irrelevant to it.

  17. Jamie says:

    I think the biggest thing that stands out to me is that someone DID see her. So whatever she did or didn’t do to cover herself didn’t work and therein lies the problem. Saying that David could only see her because his palace was elevated, may be true, but is something she should’ve considered. Saying she may have had drapes, may also be true, but obviously they didn’t work. I think the point it is, if we’re going to go out on our rooftops naked, whether because of a ritual or whatever, we better be darn sure no one can see us, lest we fall into the trap of sin. I don’t know, that just seems kind of simple to me. I don’t know her hearts intentions of course, but whether planned or accident, she takes at least partial blame for not covering appropriately. Ignorance of whether or not she knew she could be seen is no excuse. Now if he had taken extreme measures to see her such as installing closed circuit cameras in her private quarters or using high powered binoculars to see into a miniscule spot, I’d definitely throw all blame to him. (Yes, I realize those were not available at the time 🙂 No, he had just awoken and looked out and saw her. Now of course, what happened after that, they both share blame in, but had she taken the time to be sure she was in private, perhaps the whole thing wouldn’t have happened. So I think that’s a big lesson for us to learn as women to be sure that how we present ourselves in public won’t lead to a situation as this. Many things can happen as a result of “tempting” a man with our dress. None of which lead to any good. I myself am fully aware of the ramifications as I once used those feminine wiles myself and wound up pregnant after knowing someone only a month. By the grace of God, that man became my husband (10 years now) and we now have 3 children. I so much wish to help women see where their actions can lead and stop them from following in my own ways. Anyway, that’s my two cents on the matter!

    • Sylvia Woodie says:

      The way I understood the story from my reading is this is what women did. Bethsheba had just finished her menstrual cycle and she was cleaning her body. It happens that David happens to see her. David was the King who says no to a King? This story is hope and encouragement for me. No matter how awful our sins are (murder, adultery, deception,etc). If we love the Lord ans have a sincere heart for repentance, He will forgive us. In this sin sick evil world I thank the good Lord. AMEN

  18. Jennifer says:

    If she’d truly been partially responsible, don’t you think the Bible would have said so? If she had used drapes and they hadn’t worked, how is that her fault? She’d get no credit for trying?

  19. SavebyGrace says:

    We have no way of knowing whether or not she had drapes and it’s irrelevant. We also have no way of knowing whether or not she was punished – altho’ maybe we do because she did lose a child. Perhaps that was punishment for her part in the sin.

    Technically, she most certainly was able to say “no”. King or not we still have the option to say “no”. It kind of comes down to obedience to the point of death. Which sounds familiar doesn’t it? But apparently she didn’t say no. So she most certainly does bear some of the guilt for the consequences. Why defend her so hard? She’s dead and doesn’t care anymore? Picking on this one thing w/o addressing what the article was about is silly.

    The point was and still is – Christian women honor God with how you dress. Don’t intentionally set out to gain attention unless in the privacy of your own home with hubby – then “Katie bar the door” 😉

    For the record, I firmly believe that if a gal is going to run around in a mini skirt and a blouse down to there with stiletto heals that she most certainly is asking for the type of attention that she’s going to get. Most women are smart enough to know what they’re doing when they wear that sort of get up. So they shouldn’t get their undies in a wad when that attention comes their way.

  20. Jennifer says:

    I’ve already addressed the point of the article and the faulty use it made of the Bible cannot simply be ignored. Why CONDEMN her so hard? Those who do the most severly seem to malign her, following the ‘ol blame the woman line. The point is, I think this Biblical story is irrelevant to the point of the article. David’s story should serve primarily as a cautionary tale for men, not women.

  21. Jennifer says:

    Bathsheba may not care whether she’s defended, but leaping to conviction of a mostly innocent Biblical figure harms the mindsets of those who heed such examples, just as blaming Dinah even in PART for her rape harms young minds who buy into this.

  22. Jamie says:

    My point was just that if you’re going to sit out naked on your rooftop, trying isn’t enough. You’d better be sure. And if he could see her, I’m sure she could also see him or at least where he would be standing (I don’t believe the palace was hidden) and should’ve known someone could possibly see her. That’s all. Responsibility needs to be placed where it is deserved. Trying isn’t enough. No one here is condemning anyone, at least I don’t think so. I think that’s just trying to stir up unnecessary emotional responses. I’m simply just trying to make certain that we as women realize, that we are also (included with the man) responsible for the outcomes that can occur when we are not careful about displaying our feminine body. That’s all. No condemnation there. Just responsibility: to ourselves and to our brethren.

  23. I am a little uncomfortable with Bathsheba’s bathing choices being used as an example of immodesty. We (or at least I) don’t know enough about what was customary during that time to make such a leap. And the Bible does say that the thing that David did displeased the Lord.

    That said, I have always felt that Bathsheba was guilty inasmuch as she could have done what Abigail did, and appealed to David’s righteousness. That the Scripture offers no evidence that she objected to spending the night with the king is telling, I believe.

    David was where he shouldn’t have been. He should’ve been out to battle. He didn’t shield his eyes from Bathsheba, who I believe probably thought she was bathing privately. Think about it. It must have been very late at night because they assumed their liason was a private matter until she came up pregnant.

    Though I often disagree with Jennifer’s comments, this is one time that I have to agree. Taking Scriptural stories out of context and using them to make a point that they are not relevant to is a bad idea.

    Modesty is good and right. We all agree. I agree with the original author’s statements concerning modesty and the need for women to treat their brothers with more care and respect by the way we dress, but I think the Bathsheba example is a faulty one.

  24. SavebyGrace says:

    I don’t particularly see Bathsheba as an innocent. It is not mentioned a single time in Scripture as far as I know. Some may assume innocence but I do not. I’ve been around long enough to know that it takes 2 to tango and I don’t believe she was unwilling. Honestly, I think if she had been unwilling and praying for the Lord’s help that HE would have helped her.

    I also do not think that enough is known about Dinah to determine whether or not she really played a part in her rape. Women do you know – most don’t but some do. I do not mean to offend any women who have experienced rape. I’m just going of my own knowledge and experience. I have not noticed that anyone on this blog has blamed Dinah either for that matter.

    For the record, I don’t think Bathsheba has been condemned “hard” as you put it. She has not been given the blame alone but in association with David. ( I may be getting a bit muddled, think I’ll stop. :))

    I will give you credit Jennifer, if I’m ever in a position of being treated unfairly I’d love to have you defend me 🙂 You seem take it to heart when you feel that someone is being mistreated. Sometimes I feel that it’s misguided but I do admire your ferocity. I’m not being snotty – I really mean it.

  25. Jennifer says:

    I very strongly doubt she could see him, elevated as he was in a place where the sun would probably get in her eyes, and the unnecessary emotions I’ve seen are in articles like this one and in anyone who tosses out unfounded blame.

  26. Word Warrior says:

    Though honestly, the title of the article didn’t even prompt me to consider “whose fault is it”, but rather the article was just a good reminder to me of the need to err on the side of love for our brother where our dress is in question.

    But, since the title was such a hot topic, I think it’s at least fair to consider the author’s intent. I found the rest of the article and below is his summary:

    “Bath-sheba only carelessly and undesignedly exposed herself before David’s eyes. We have no doubt that David’s sin was great, and Bath-sheba’s small. Yet it remains a fact that Bath-sheba’s little sin was the cause of David’s great sin. Her little sin of ignorance, her little thoughtless and careless exposure of herself, was the spark that kindled a great devouring flame. “Behold how great a forest is set aflame by such a small fire!” “

  27. Millie says:

    Thanks for not publishing my comment! I see you are simply who you are. Sad, that. This is neither hateful nor angry. I’m laughing!

  28. Jasmine says:

    I understood the point of this article, and most certainly agree that we women should be extremely careful in the way we present ourselves to the men in our lives…

    *However,* I do have to admit that I recoiled at the title of this particular article. I’ve heard my dad preach from this particular passage several times over the years (it’s a part of a CD set we used to sell), and I’m used to hearing the story from an entirely different perspective, hearing my dad admonish men to steer clear of the sin that was strong enough to take down the strongest man in the Bible (Samson), the wisest man in the Bible (Solomon) and the godliest man in the Bible (King David). He contested that this probably wasn’t the first time David had seen Bathsheba —

    And his remedy for the problem was that David -knowing where Bathsheba would be bathing -should not have been on the rooftop watching her last night -should have erected a wall in between his house and hers -should have turned away and gone into his own wife -should have, instead of trying to fool her husband into going in to sleep with her, drawn his sword and offered his life in exchange for defiling Uriah’s marriage bed.

    In short, when this tale comes up, I’m very used to hearing men asked to take responsibility for their own actions (or the evil intentions of their heart -Matthew 5:28). 😉 In 2 Samuel 12, when Nathan confronts David about his sin, he makes no mention of the “harlotry” of Bathsheba.

    I do not contest that Bathsheba was not in sin. I am of the opinion that the Bible doesn’t give us enough details to clearly ascertain her level of responsibility, so I am uncomfortable exonerating her *or*casting too many stones at her. But I will say that I am uncomfortable seeing what I have always understood as a cautionary tale for Christian men to use discretion and self-control flipped on its head.

    Modesty is an important way to safeguard ourselves and our brothers in Christ -that’s definitely a premise with which I agree. One way that we can show love and deference to our brothers in Christ is by guarding ourselves in this way -I agree with this premise as well. But, I’ll admit, seeming to blame David’s sin on what is perceived as Bathsheba’s wanton carelessness *does* make me a bit uncomfortable.

  29. Jennifer says:

    Thoughtless and careless? From what I’ve heard, sounds like that guy has no idea of what her practice was meant for and how it was supposed to be accomplished; it actually required a great deal of meticulous thought. Thanks for the remainder, I didn’t know there was more of the article.

  30. Jasmine says:

    Mrs. Kelly, I wrote a rather long comment and think it might need to be rescued from your spam folder. 🙂

  31. I hope I was clear that I don’t think Bathsheba was at all innocent. I just question whether her guilt stemmed from her bathing choice or what came afterward.

  32. Jenny Straight says:

    The point is – WE are responsible if we cause another to stumble. The Bible tells us clearly. We wouldn’t offer an alcoholic a drink, if we cared at all, so, knowing that God designed men, and that they are visually tempted, why would we cause them to have to fight? So, whether the man is a “grown-up” about it or not, we are at fault if we are tempting him. Knowledge brings with it accountability, and I think we all know what we are doing when we dress.

  33. Jennifer says:

    I’d say the evidence points to her actions afterward, Terry. Seems pretty cut and dry.

  34. savedbygrace says:

    Scripture does not say whether Bathsheba sinned. Her nakedness wasn’t the cause of David’s sin. David’s failure to keep his heart was the cause of Davids sin.

    The point of the article was modesty. Was she immodest? We don’t know. Scripture doesn’t say. Was she innocent? Scripture doesn’t say. Should we be modest? Scripture is loud & clear – yes we should be!

  35. Jennifer says:

    THANK you, Grace. Summed it up better than I did.

  36. Lori says:

    Terry, perfectly said, thanks.

  37. Jennifer says:

    Terry, I didn’t even catch your original comment. Very well-said.

  38. Word Warrior says:

    Millie,

    Sorry to disappoint, I have published every comment in this thread. Yours is here: http://www.generationcedar.com/main/2010/04/modesty-the-sin-of-bathsheba-one-mans-appeal.html/comment-page-1#comment-20785). Your eagerness to attack is completely uncalled for.

  39. SavebyGrace says:

    Yes, I think Terri’s comment was well said.

    Jennifer, that was mostly DH 😉 I have to admit that he’s far more logical than I am. I’m too fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants to be considered logical – ha! I do agree with him – he’s usually always right – we don’t know. Because Scripture doesn’t supply an answer. We can theorize all we want to but won’t know until we get there IF the Lord chooses for us to know even then.

    But as far as modesty is concerned. I do agree with the original post- we are not our own and we, Christian women, must be on guard for how our appearance and our actions affects those around us. I would hope that all of our goals would be to hear “Well done good and faithful servant” from our Lord and Master Jesus Christ.

  40. Lucy says:

    Unfortunately, David had a history of being, in modern day parlance, a low-life. I think God loved him because David truly tried to do what was good and right, and really did repent his sins. If there is a moral to modesty in the story of Bathsheba, perhaps it is more about protecting oneself from low-lifes, than *making* a very sinful man sin.

  41. Word Warrior says:

    I’ve thought a lot about the points brought up in the thread as well as the article as well as the context in which I originally heard the excerpt (Revive Our Hearts).

    My summary thoughts are that

    1. We are completely responsible for our own sins, thus David stands alone and accountable for his sin with Bathsheba.

    2. Bathsheba committed her own sin, albeit probably a sin of omission in her “carelessness”. The moral I think the author was trying to prove is that though a man is responsible for sin, a woman can bear the weight of the sin of being a stumbling block. The Bible speaks harshly of such sin (woe to him through whom offenses come).

    So, perhaps they each committed their own sins, each responsible before God for those, but not for “making” another sin…just my thoughts at the moment.

  42. Jennifer says:

    Jasmine, excellent thoughts 🙂

  43. Lori says:

    I would like to point out that Bathsheba is described by Samuel as a lamb (2 Samuel 12).
    Now, I do not suggest that Bathsheba was sinless, but of all the ways Samuel could have described her, it can be no small matter that he chose “lamb” The foremost recogized animal of innocence, defenselessness, and stupidity.

    Bathsheba’s sin was that she “did not cry out in the city” (Deut 22:24) but because God allowed David his life, He also allowed Bathsheba’s (God was just in His application of Grace, see also John 8, Jesus protecting an adulturess’s life when the adulturer was not brought on same charges).

    Also, the sin of murdering Uriah is David’s over Joab’s (2 Sam 12:9). Samuel did not bring Joab up on charges.

    It is worth noting that David did not know who she was (2 Sam 11:3), so it’s not like he was a stalker either.

    God makes a big distinction between the seducer and the seduced (Prov 7:22 for example) the seduced was a fool and it cost him his life (v. 23), but the sin was primarily hers. So casually mentioning the stumbling rock passage isn’t enough to cleanse this article (the man’s not Kelly’s).

    I believe this anonymous man’s article is Very.Bad.Theology. It slanders Bathsheba, it villanizes her (adds to her sin), and holds her up as an example for other woman on false premise (makes her and her false representation a prototypical woman for us). It promotes the over-sexualization of women and the feminization of men. David was lounging around the house instead of going to war with the other men! The house was the woman’s place! Any Hebrew man would have known that, any non-Hebrew man knew that (2 Sam 11 – “king s go to war, not just Hebrew kings). I don’t think that saying “he made a good point” is enough to let this very bad writing slide by. It could have been a good article. But he screwed up, and it’s not. It’s *very* bad.

  44. Lori says:

    Oh, and in case I wasn’t clear enough in my last comment (currently yet to be published), David is the seducer, not Bathsheba.

  45. Lori says:

    I’m sorry, I just can’t let this go yet, it’s been itching me since it was posted.

    Let’s revisit Samuel’s story (since it’s biblical, it’s whole heck of a lot more relavant than some man who dosen’t even have his reputation on the line since IT’S ANON!)

    Bathsheba is a lamb. Stupid, defenseless.
    David is a weathly, powerful man who uses his influence to take the lamb to which he has no right. Stupid, defenseless lamb.
    Then what? He *devoures* this lamb. Stupid, defenseless animal.

    “Immediately (she) went after (David), as an ox goes to the slaughter, Or as a fool to the correction of the stocks” Prov 7:22, parenthetical alterations mine for emphasis.

    For this man to suggest that she was a stumbling block abusing her rights is as absurd to no less degree than an alchoholic man going to a BAR and whining about others taking advantage of their biblical freedom.

    It is surely applicable to some women, but not Bathsheba – so don’t use her as some sort of female prototype of unknowing harlotry. MAN UP!

    This is not to Kelly or any specific commenter(s). It is a response to an ANON man’s slander.

    Thanks for tolerating my rant.

  46. Word Warrior says:

    Lori,

    LOL! Rant tolerated (and since I know you it tickles me to “see” your face doing it ;-))

    I’m sorry I posted an excerpt with such “bad theology”. Honestly, I didn’t give much thought to his using Bathsheba as an example–truly I didn’t. I heard the excerpt read on ROH (the title wasn’t even mentioned),thought it was a great reminder for women to be careful with dress, and posted the excerpt to encourage others with the same reminder I received.

    I’m thankful for the careful observations so many of you have made, and for the initiative to point out faulty logic. “Iron sharpens iron”.

    If I could drop the article completely, forget about Bathsheba, and just say what I should have said instead,

    “Women, let’s be careful. What may seem harmless to us could be a stumbling block to men and our “freedom” doesn’t cover that offense.”

    On a side note, when in doubt about my dress, I ask my husband.

  47. Lori says:

    Kelly – “LOL! Rant tolerated (and since I know you it tickles me to “see” your face doing it )”

    Thanks, that’s a releif!

    “Women, let’s be careful. What may seem harmless to us could be a stumbling block to men and our “freedom” doesn’t cover that offense.”

    -Totally agree!

    Thanks again. 🙂

  48. SavedbyGrace says:

    Now I have to admit – I had never thought of it that way! I wasn’t even going to come back and check this thread but I am so glad that I did. I hadn’t equated Samuel’s story to referring to Bathsheba as a “lamb”. I stand corrected.

    That’s exactly the reference point in 2 Samuel 12. Lori, I’m so glad that you commented and that I read it. It always amazes the “new” stuff I find in Bible texts that I’ve read many times.

    Guess I’ll have to forward this to DH – he’ll be so happy to proven right yet again – sigh! One of these days I’ll learn 🙂

    Thank you Ladies.

  49. SavedbyGrace says:

    It amazes “me” the “new” stuff…. I’ve got 2 children building space stations behind me and I’m eating lunch – far to many distractions.

  50. Jennifer says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to call Bathsheba stupid at all; we have no idea what happened. She could have attempted to refuse, than been too afraid or tempted to do so any further; she could have been afraid of his power as the king, since we all know how kings often behaved back then. Screaming would most certainly have not been a question; not only is it VERY unlikely he showed any inclination of doing actual violence to her, but screaming in the king’s face? Who would defend her anyway? Calling her stupid three times is just unfair. The term “sheep” may be used to describe foolish people, but “lamb” is more of a gentle term often used to describe one who’s merely gentle and harmless. The old rule about crying out in the city is stupid anyway; very typical of ignorant men back then, thinking a woman with a knife to her throat could scream. I suppose she could just run away too because women run faster with their dresses up then men do with their pants down? Same ‘ol pattern of thinking.

    Other than that, Lori, I agree with your post. I’m so glad others see this! Nancy Demoss is great, but she does sometimes take the issue of modesty and female sins to the extreme. No need to apologize Kelly, as with many other articles I figured you just focused on the relevant parts.

  51. Jennifer says:

    Grace, your hubby’s a smart one 🙂 The new stuff is awesome, isn’t it? The Bible’s like a clear, yet complex stain glass work of art.

  52. Lori says:

    Jennifer – “I don’t think it’s fair to call Bathsheba stupid at all”

    I didn’t, God did. Take it up with Him. Even today calling someone a sheep is synonamous with stupidity and gullibility. Consider also Psalm 23 – “He leads me beside the still water.” Sheep are too stupid to know that rushing water is usually clean water and still water is more likely to be fetid, and rely on the shepherd to find still, clean water.

    “She could have attempted to refuse, than been too afraid or tempted to do so any further;”
    -Too true! But it’s still stupid to trust in your own understanding over God. Like Terry said, she could have appealed to David’s righteousness (and love of God’s law) as Abigail did.

    “The old rule about crying out in the city is stupid anyway”
    -Jennifer, watch yourself. While it might be difficult to understand (and it is), that was a direct quote from God’s law. Do not presume to be wiser than God.

    Otherwise thanks.

    And SavedbyGrace, thanks also, I too am amazed at what I discover (and more often am shown) in familiar passages. 🙂

  53. Jennifer says:

    Wasn’t crying out in the city a Mosaic law, Lori? And once again, calling someone a lamb is not the same as calling them a sheep. Jesus several times is referred to as a lamb; do you think God called Himself stupid?

  54. Jennifer says:

    “It’s still stupid to trust in your own understanding over God”

    Several women have not refused men out of fear, whether they were rapists or simply powerful. Do you think that’s just stupidity and distrust in God?

  55. Lori says:

    Yes, Jennifer, “crying out in the city was a Mosaic law.” Which was and still is the Word of God – inspired and perfect. And whether or not you think it’s still applicable is probably another discussion for another day and thread, it is the Law that Bathsheba and David would have been held to except for God’s divine intervention.

    Jennifer – “And once again, calling someone a lamb is not the same as calling them a sheep.”

    Whatever your opinion on the subject is beside the point – inHebrew, the word in 2 Samuel 12:3 is kabsah/kisbah, the feminine version of kebes – sheep/ram in English.

    “Jesus several times is referred to as a lamb”
    Jesus was fully God while fully man, so the description is limited and earthly, not divine and enless. So no, Jesus was not a fool. You’re carrying a limited description too far.

  56. Lucy says:

    Very interesting discussion about this story. Sheep and lamb are used interchangeably in some places, interestingly in Isaiah 53:7 “he is brought as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth.” while Acts 8:32 reverses it “He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth:”

    I think Nathan’s use of the term “lamb” in 2 Samuel 12 clearly puts emphasis on the innocence and helplessness of Bathsheba, at least at the moment of “slaughter”.

    And it is also worth noting, that the second child of David and Bathsheba was none other than Solomon. Solomon had his flaws too, but to use Bathsheba’s “sin” as an object lesson when it resulted in a child like Solomon is, perhaps a bit flawed too.

  57. SavedbyGrace says:

    Yes, Jennifer, I do have a VERY smart hubby! It’s interesting that during our conversation he pointed our several times that we don’t know that Bathsheba was innocent but just referred to as a lamb. Innocence is never directly stated and it is foolish to keep insisting upon it. Can’t it be enough to have it acknowledged that she was more innocent than “Anon” made her out to be?

    Jennifer, you’ve stated that we “must be careful” how we treat the word of God. I think “Jesus several times is referred to as a lamb; do you think God called Himself stupid?” might be border line blasphemy. I wouldn’t necessarily stake my life on it but I do know that I am very careful how I refer to Our Saviour and Lord.

    Lori, I get “shown” all the time 🙂 God has taught me much over the last few years. I feel so privileged that He takes the time. I think maybe He’d save Himself a lot of trouble if He’d just zap me! But isn’t amazing what the Creation (6 literal days here) says about Him?

    Isn’t it amazing that He cared so much about modesty that He made clothes for Adam and Eve? I mean Adam was smart enough to name all the animals on the day of his creation – you’d think he would have been smart enough to make something more substantial than leaves – if it had occurred to him that it was necessary.

    How awesome is it that He took the time to explain in His word that modesty is as much about the Heart being pure, meek, teachable & moldable to His will as it is about clothing?

    Now THAT is something! It’s a shame that we all got bogged down with Bathsheba instead of dealing with the important topic of modesty as Kelly intended. I’ll say this though it was interesting and I learned something.

  58. Lori says:

    Oops!

    “InHebrew, the word in 2 Samuel 12:3 is kabsah/kisbah”

    Should be “In Hebrew, the word in 2 Samuel 12:3 is kabsah/kibsah”

    And in my previous posts, I referred to Samuel’s story, and for the record Nathan was the prophet in question. Sorry!

  59. SavedbyGrace says:

    Yes, Solomon was a king and a very wise man. But it is notable that the first child died. Sin is always judged unless washed in the blood of Christ. David fasted and prayed until the child died and then he got up. His hope was that God would spare the child but it was not to be.

    God also put Rahab (a prostitute) and Ruth ( a moabite woman) in Jesus lineage. Oh, yes, He also put Tamar in His lineage. God’s ways are not our ways, nor are His purposes our purposes. He is going to do what He wants to do, how He wants to do.

  60. Jennifer says:

    “I think “Jesus several times is referred to as a lamb; do you think God called Himself stupid?” might be border line blasphemy”

    Grace. That was very clearly a rhetorical question, quite obviously borderline-to-extreme sarcasm. Obviously God would NOT call Himself stupid. Hence, calling Jesus a lamb would not be calling Him stupid, hence using the term “lamb” is not always meant to be an insult. Point being.

  61. Lori says:

    SavedbyGrace – “It’s a shame that we all got bogged down with Bathsheba instead of dealing with the important topic of modesty as Kelly intended.”

    I appreciate your sweet exhortation for what it is, and yet I can hardly consider defending a woman from slander (even if she is dead)is incedental. As someone esle mentioned, assuming innocence is preferable to assuming guilt (it is also more biblical).

    Nor do I consider incedental protecting God’s Word from mis-use – the result of which tends to be tyrrany on one side and antinomianism on the other. And for the record, it needs protection from me also, I don’t consider myself an expert. Like Kelly says, “iron sharpening iron.”

    I totally agree that Kelly “anon” made good points – but at the expense of Scripture. It’s something I consider bogging for.

    Thank you for sharing, I mean that. 🙂

  62. SavedbyGrace says:

    Gotcha’

    But tell me can it not be enough to have it acknowledged that Bathsheba was misrepresented by Anon?

  63. Jennifer says:

    Yes, it’s enough. Sorry for my impatience :S My last few lines of argumentation had to do with the state of her mind rather than her heart.

  64. Lori says:

    Sorry to pick this up again, but a bried comment came to mind today: Lucy “Unfortunately, David had a history of being, in modern day parlance, a low-life”

    I don’t think that’s accurate. This is a guy who happened to stumble upon his would-be assassin in a cave and would NOT kill him. He could easily have thought “God briught me here to this cave for a reason – I’m meant to kill him – It’s to preserve my life (preemtive strike as it’s called today), it’s God’s plan to make me king and not he anyway. But he didn’t. He just cut a corner of Saul’s cloak. He honored God and honored Saul as king. Just one of lots of examples. If he would be considered a low-life by today’s standard, then it’s a testimony against modern mne, that’s all. Just my two cents.

  65. Molly says:

    Hello ladies 🙂 Like you, I found “The Sin of Bathsheba” and clicked my way around until I found this site. Very interesting conversations here. Also like you.. I assume :)… I believe in modesty in women AND men. I just wanted to point out one thing:
    I read many ladies saying indignantly that she should have not been on a rooftop naked. In our culture, this certainly seems obviously dumb. But you are thinking in terms of OUR culture. Why was she bathing on the rooftop, you say? The architect of those ancient cities were designed in layers with stairs leading up to each layer… ending with the roof, of course 🙂 The way they bathed was by rain water. They built baths into the roofs of their houses to collect the water to bathe. It was common practice and common knowledge. It was also common knowledge WHERE those baths on the roofs were located. David knew. He could have turned away from the window and walked away. Bathsheba was just following the common practice she was taught, just as we find washing our dishes in our sinks common. Anyways.. thats all really…Just thought I would give my two cents. 🙂 God bless.

  66. Jennifer says:

    “Yes, Jennifer, “crying out in the city was a Mosaic law.” Which was and still is the Word of God – inspired and perfect.”

    Um, just because something is RECORDED in the Bible doesn’t mean that God ORDAINED or approved the original deed/law being done.

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  69. Kathleen says:

    I’ve been reading this passage carefully and there are a couple of givens that everyone commenting above assumes although the passage doesn’t support such assumptions:

    1) Nowhere does the passage inform us that Bathsheba was on the roof or that she was naked. One has to look into ritual immersion practices of the time, not the 1st century mikvehs. In addition, naked was considered wearing only the flowing undertunic (the outfit David wore when his wife, Michal, accused him of dancing naked before the ark of the Lord). Often women would not remove even the outer tunic prior to entering the ritual bath (which was not a scrubbing bath but more like a baptism). All these artists’ renderings depicting her naked in some public square have taken on a life of their own in the popular imagination.

    2) The passage says David went out on his palace roof in the evening (twilight). Reason suggests he could not get a good look at Bathsheba in that light but clearly wanted a closer look.

    3) After inquiring who the woman was, David was clearly informed that Bathsheba was married to and the daughter of two of his most loyal warriors (the Thirty, the Vallient Ones, the Mighty Men) as well as the granddaughter of his close military advisor, Ahitophel. Pretty cheeky to pursue sending more than one messenger to “take” a married woman to him for sex while all three of her protectors were out in the battlefield. David knew full well the story of Pharoh being outraged with Abraham for not informing him Sarah was his wife. Even Pharoh (a worshipper of idols) knew God’s punishment was inevitable if he took a married woman into his harem!

    I could go on. My main point is that most people go off on flights of fancy rather than carefully reading the passage and considering companion scriptures that a writer of scripture like David should have used as a check for his actions.

    Also the absence of explicit condemnation for Bathsheba by God should tell us her inaction was less abborhent to God than David’s calculated actions (which carried heavy, explicit consequences). Those who want to equate lack of screaming with calculated adultery are insensitive to scripture that speaks clearly of levels of reward in heaven as well as levels of punishment in hell.

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  72. David was the one on the roof, not Bathsheba. A few of you might need to brush up on the story.

  73. Jennifer says:

    Thanks for the reminder, Micah.

  74. melissa says:

    People are missing the whole purpose of this story. Number one King David should have never been on top of his rooptop, because in those days kings went to war with their people. That was his first mistake because we know that David was a man after Gods own heart. He Should have been doing his duties and none of this would have happen. Bathsheba was only doing what the law required her to do. She had to take the bath or she would be unclean. How was she to know that he was watching her. Her husband had gone to war so David should have been right there with him. When David sent for her she had to do what king said to do or she would lose her life. So make a long story short this story was placed in the bible to be a example to us. we know temptation is out there just like it was for David. But we can learn from his mistakes. If he had been doing what he was suppose to do he won’t have gotten into this mess. James 1:14 But every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust, and enticed. James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived ti bringeth forth sin: and sin, when it is finished, bringeth forth death. David didn’t just stop at lust he went the whole way. If when he looked down at her and seen what he seen he could have stopped right there. but no he had to have her. Instead of crying to God to take this desire from him he followed his flesh instead of following God. we as christian has to relize that we have 2 nations in us our flesh and our spirit. walk after the spirit and you will not fulfil of lust of the flesh. All thru this story David never did acknowledge God. If he had he would have stopped the lies and made things right. But he didnt and so he had to try and hid all that he had done. One mistake, you can’t hid from Thy All Mighty God. By doing all the things he did God still loved him. But David had to reap what he sowed. But when David cryed out with a sorrowful heart {Psalms 51}
    God forgave him. And we must reliaze lust is out there but we must be doing what we are suppose to be doing not to fall into it. we must be prayed up. He told the disciples, pray least you enter into temptation. But the bible says when we mess up. That we have a
    advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. So take this story and apply it to your lifes. We don’t have to make the same mistakes as David did. God allowed this to be in bible for us to learn by it. To show us what a merciful God he is.. If we just ask for forgiveness with a sorrowful heart for what we have done to him. God Bless have a good day

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  76. Nick C says:

    To speak of the “sin of Bathsheba” is to add something to Scripture which simply isn’t there. There is no mention of Bathsheba doing anything other than a monthly ritual, nothing more, nothing less. Show me. God makes no mention of any “sin” on her part.

    God says nothing about her modesty or lack thereof. It is shocking that any one here would consider anything of the sort. All God says is that she was performing her ritual purification, whether that was on her roof, or in middle of the street, or in a closet is completely irrelevant. She was obliged to conduct a ritual, David looked. Whether or not she was visible to him has nothing to do with it. He looked when he should not have been looking (he should have been at the front.) Any Bathsheba should have done this or didn’t do that, is pure supposition, unsupported by Scripture. To make these suppositions is to put one’s self in the position of God and to re-write Scripture.

    Even saying the “sin of Bathsheba” is to justify the “she asked for it” mentality, and putting words into God’s mouth! There is no sin of Bathsheba, show me where in God’s word it says anything of the sort.

    Other commentators here are also justifying the wrong headed concept that “silence is consent.” If you don’t scream, it isn’t rape. If she didn’t appeal to his righteousness (as one commentator put it) she consented, therefore she is partially at fault. That is an absurd leap of logic, which again is simply not supported in Scripture. Silence is not consent

    Also, consider that David wasn’t just the king, he was anointed by God to be king, to go against his will was to go against the (perceived) will of God.

  77. nichtschoen says:

    We are all responsible foe our own sins. Don’t give men more power to become gods. Totally disagree with what the article sad, it is not Biblical.

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