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David and Bathsheba. By Gillian Marshall Kate Blackburn Tina Llanes Tochi Anueyiagu Diamond Williams. Version 1: King James Bible.

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David and bathsheba

David and Bathsheba

By Gillian Marshall

Kate Blackburn

Tina Llanes

Tochi Anueyiagu

Diamond Williams

David and bathsheba

Version 1: King James Bible

10 And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?

11 And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.

12 And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to day also, and to morrow I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.

13 And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.

14 And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.

15 And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.

16 And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.

17 And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

18 Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;

1 And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.

2 And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.

3 And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

4 And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.

5 And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

6 And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite. And Joab sent Uriah to David.

7 And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.

8 And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.

9 But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.

David and bathsheba

19 And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,

20 And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?

21 Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

22 So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab had sent him for.

23 And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.

24 And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.

25 Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.

26 And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.

27 And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

Second version qur an sura xxxviii 20 25
Second Version : Qur’an – end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,sura xxxviii. 20-25

“And has the story of the antagonists come to you; when they climbed the wall of the upper chamber, when they came in to David? And when he feared them, they said, 'Fear not; we are two antagonists, one of us hath wronged the other, so judge justly between us. . . . This my brother had ninety-nine ewes and I had one. Then he said, "Give me control of her," and he overcame me in his plea.' David said, 'Verily he hath wronged thee by asking for thy ewe as an addition to his ewes, and verily most partners act injuriously the one to the other, except those who believe and work righteous works; and such are few.' And David supposed that we had tried him; so he sought pardon of his Lord and fell, worshiping, and repented. And we forgave him that fault, and he hath near approach unto us and beauty of ultimate abode."

Bethsabe s song by george peele 1556 1596
“Bethsabe’s Song” end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,By George Peele (1556-1596)

Hot sun, cool fire, tempered with sweet air,

Black shade, fair nurse, shadow my white hair;

Shine sun; burn, fire; breathe air, and ease me;

Shadow, my sweet nurse, keep me from burning,

Make not my glad cause of mourning.

Let not my beauty’s fire

Inflame my unstaid desire,

Nor pierce any bright eye

That wandereth lightly.

Notes end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,

  • Talks about Bathsheba’s beauty/beauty in general

    • Delicate – must be “shrouded” in “black shade”

    • Dangerous – “cause of mourning”

  • Irony between the delicacy of her beauty and how it ends up being dangerous (David sent Uriah to death because he wanted Bathsheba)

    • Universal: makes a comment on vanity and how easily humans are swayed by beauty & good looks.

  • Contrasts

    • “hot sun, cool fire”

    • “black shade, fair nurse”

  • Short choppy phrases

  • Fire imagery

    • Burn, inflame, bright, hot, shine

  • Dark/death imagery

    • Black, shadow, shroud

  • From Bathsheba’s point of view.

    • She seems mischievous at first but then says that she doesn’t want her beauty to “inflame unstaid desire”

    • From a different point of view than the original texts.

    • Makes her seem more innocent

Bathsheba by lucille clifton 1936
Bathsheba end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,By Lucille Clifton (1936)

How it was

It was as if all my blood in my body

Gorged into my loin

So that even my fingers grew stiff

But cold and the heat of my rod

Was my only burning desire

And whether I loved her

I could not say but

I wanted her whatever she was

Whether a curse

Or the wife of Uriah

Notes end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,

  • Shows David to be very sinful and thoughtless

    • Definitely blows his bad traits out of proportion

      • “I wanted her whatever she was” – very shallow and unlike the famous and righteous King David of the rest of the bible.

      • Places all blame for situation on David – king has lots of influence…whether she wanted to or not Bathsheba had to sleep with him .

  • Imagery

    • Stiff fingers, gorged loin

  • Alliteration : “blood” “body”

  • First part talks about David’s first impression of Bathsheba

    • Shocked, speechless, “cold” vs “hot”

  • Lots of sexual references

    • “burning desire”

    • “whether I loved her I could not say”

      • David willingly went into temptation and sin

      • Knew she was the wife of Uriah

David and bathsheba

Maybe I’ve been here before end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,I know this room, I’ve walked this floorI used to live alone before I knew youI’ve seen your flag on the marble archLove is not a victory marchIt’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahThere was a time when you let me knowWhat’s real and going on belowBut now you never show it to me, do you?And remember when I moved in youThe Holy Dark was moving tooAnd every breath we drew was hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahMaybe there’s a God aboveAnd all I ever learned from loveWas how to shoot at someone who outdrew youAnd it’s not a cry you can hear at nightIt’s not somebody who’s seen the lightIt’s a cold and it’s a broken hallelujah

Hallelujah -Rufus Wainwright (1973) I’ve heard there was a secret chordThat David played and it pleased the LordBut you don’t really care for music do you?It goes like this, the fourth, the fifthThe minor fall, the major liftThe baffled King composing HallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahYour faith was strong but you needed proofYou saw her bathing on the roofHer beauty in the moonlight overthrew youShe tied you to a kitchen chairShe broke your throne, and she cut your hairAnd from your lips she drew the hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujahHallelujah, hallelujah

Notes end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,

-Rhetorical Questions

-Bathsheba is being addressed when Wainwright asks, “but you don’t really care for music, do you?”

-David is addressed, Wainwright says, “you saw her bathing on the roof.”



-”Hallelujah” is repeated in every chorus, and at the end of every stanza

- Rhyme

-Slant Rhyme: “It goes like this, the fourth, the fifth, the minor fall, the major lift”

-End Rhyme: “Your faith was strong but you needed proof, you saw her bathing on the roof”


- “I’ve seen your flag on the marble arch”

-Lament of society

- lack of faith in yourself vs. lack of faith in each other

-” Your faith was strong but you needed proof”-Assures both David and Bathsheba’s guilt and sin