Bathsheba has been one of the most interesting characters of the last book. I had been given the Sunday School line about the harlot who seduced the good king, with little to no mention of the fact that she had been married at the time.

David begehrt Batseba, 17th century

David begehrt Batseba, 17th century

Yet what I saw in reading the story for myself was something entirely different. I mentioned in my reading that she seemed far more like a victim – both of rape and of the later dismantling of her life through the murder of her husband, the marriage to her rapist and her husband’s murderer, and the death of her baby.

In fact, reading the story, I found it hard to see how any interpretation might even be possible, let alone so prevalent. Not without a hefty patriarchal nudge, anyway.

Given our place in the narrative, it was quite timely for Marg Mowczko’s post about Bathsheba to be included in the December Biblical Studies Carnival. Reading through the various mentions of Bathsheba, she comes to the same conclusion I did – that Bathsheba was not, and was not originally understood to be, a temptress.