Batsheba
16 X 20 ON OIL BOARD

In the first painting, as Batsheba bathes one evening in her courtyard, she is seen by King David. Like David (and us), the servant is peeking at her from behind a door. David's palace was at the crest of a hill overlooking Jerusalem. Struggling with the challenges of ruling his nation, he would go up to his roof to think. From there, he could see over all the houses in the city. When he spied Batsheba bathing in her courtyard, he was instantly enchanted and immediately sent for this lovely woman.

After this first meeting, he found out that she was married to Uriah, one of his top generals. At that time, Uriah was on a battlefield fighting a war for his king. David's attraction for Batsheba was greater than any possible sense of guilt and he called her back to him.

Although she had no choice but to respond the king, I believe she must have returned David's love. In the second painting, I show Batsheba early in their relationship longing for David and waiting to be sent for by him. They fell in love, and Batsheba became pregnant. David called Uriah home in order that no one would know it was David's child.

Uriah was a very devoted servant of David and he thanked for David for having brought him home. But he lamented that he couldn't go into his house and be with his wife when there were people dying in battle so he stayed with his troops. David couldn't convince Uriah to return home to his wife. At that point, desperate and afraid, David did something very human and very wrong: David sent Uriah into a dangerous battle where the chances of death were almost certain and where Uriah was in fact killed. And though David mourned the loss, he immediately married Uriah's widow

They were every happy. When their baby was born, however, it was sickly and seemed to be on the verge of death. David fasted and prayed for seven days in the hope that God would save this child. The child died which supposedly was their punishment for the sin they had committed. They subsequently had a second child named Solomon.

As the mother of King Solomon, Batsheba made a great contribution to the lineage. It is thought Batsheba was of Phoenician origin. This culture was regarded as the most sophisticated culture in the era. It is my theory that Batsheba's knowledge and education helped form the basis of the pivotal intellectual and societal beliefs that made Solomon a great ruler.  

David is very special figure in the Bible beginning in childhood as the boy who killed Goliath, the giant, and then as a shepherd, a musician, a great warrior and king who united all the separate of tribes of Israel, making Jerusalem the center of power. Under King Solomon, those disjointed tribes became a civilization with libraries, the first temple, courts of law and all the social amenities that had never existed before. He developed the concepts of justice through a court of law. All the important aspects of what we consider civilization were developed and implemented by Solomon, Batsheba and David's son.

Batsheba had to have been incredibly strong to bear the death of her first husband, the claiming by the king, the death of their first child, and then be able to raise the son who would become one of the most influential rulers of the Israelites. Further, I believe that Batsheba and David had a great love; she was not just a pawn being used by him because of her beauty. She was a capable, smart, strong woman.

Batsheba Longing For  David
16 X 20 ON OIL BOARD

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