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David and Bathsheba
2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9 Commentary
by Gennifer Benjamin Brooks
The appearance of this text at a time when news reports are inundated with stories of the abuse and victimization of women by men of power offers both an opportunity and a challenge for the faithful preacher.1
When viewed from the perspective of Israel’s history that the books of Samuel reflect, its focus on the man, on David, the King, is understandable. But in doing so, Bathsheba, the woman in the story, the victim on multiple counts, gets overlooked. She becomes incidental to the story and over time even gets a bad rap from interpreters. This is a story of rape and murder, of sexual misconduct of the highest order and egregious abuse of power. Appearing as it does in the climate of the “Me Too” movement, and the everyday occurrence of powerful men being brought low by similar misconduct, extra care must be given to the interpretation of the text and the development of the sermon preached from this text.
One way of doing that and bringing Bathsheba’s story and the plight of abused women to light is to tell the story from the woman, the victim, Bathsheba’s point of view; to make Bathsheba the primary figure and David secondary. Bathsheba, the victim has a story ...
| Bible Text
2020-21 Readings (Year 3)
2020-21 Worship Resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
NL Podcast 330: David and Bathsheba
October 21, 2018
Podcast on 2 Samuel 11:1-5,26-27; 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9, the Narrative Lectionary readings for Oct. 21, 2018 (David and Bathsheba) featuring Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker. Recorded at Luther Seminary, Saint Paul, Minn., for Working Preacher.