πετροστελος

August 1, 2009

A note on the sin of David

Filed under: biblical studies — Petros @ 6:58 pm
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This Sunday we will be reading 2 Samuel 11.26-12.13a, which is  the passage where Nathan the prophet goes to David to rebuke him for the sin of Bathsheba.  While studying this passage in preparation for Sunday’s message, I discoverd an interesting detail (known to commentators, but doubted by some) I think is pertinent.  Bathsheba was the daughter of Eliam, “Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”  Undoubtedly, we are dealing with the Eliam, who like Uriah the Hittite was a member of David’s thirty-seven bodyguards (2 Sam 23.23-39).  This force was made up of David’s most renown warriors who had established their reputations for bravery and efficiency in battle.  The name Eliam only appears twice in the Bible and it only makes sense that we are dealing with one person who as a fellow warrior in the same bodyguard as Uriah; he would have became good friends with the Hittite and gave him one of his many daughters (Bathsheba probably means, “daughter number seven”).  Uriah, being a foreigner, who have thus could benefit from the special relationship with Eliam in order to find himself a wife during his sojourn in Israel.

David must have destroyed the trust that this group of mighty warriors had in him.  Not only had he taken one of their wives but he had the man killed too.  Undoubtedly Uriah’s friend Eliam harbored great resentment.  But we hear no more about him, but only of his father, Ahithophel (see 2 Sam 23.34), whom when Absalom ursurped David’s throne, he summoned Ahithophel who was David’s adviser (2 Sam 15.12). Evidently, he was remarkable counselor, for 2 Sam 16.23 says that he counseled as though an oracle of God. Ahithophel is the one who advised Absalom to sleep with David’s concubines so that all Israel would know (2 Sam 16.21)–a fulfillment of Nathan’s prophecy; so Ahithophel was able to humiliate David in this act of revenge for destroying the marriage Uriah.  Later, Absalom fails to heed Ahithophel’s advice, in favor of the advice of David’s mole Hushai the Archite; Ahithophel hangs himself, undoubtedly because he could foresee Absalom’s soon demise.

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