Reblame means when you place blame on someone or something over and over, as if it will alleviate the problem.
Blaming and shaming is something we’ve done to sexual abuse victims over and over again. In this day and age with the #MeToo movement, I find it striking that a sexually assaulted and harrassed woman made it into the lineage of Jesus — Bathsheba. (I know I haven’t talked about Rehab or Ruth yet, but it is my intention to get to them in later posts before Christmas.)
While studying the story, I chose to ignore some Christian interpretation — because — raise your hand if you’ve heard a male minister preach that Bathsheba tempted David. Instead, I turned to my favorite Jewish websites.
Bathsheba according to Jewish Virtual Libraray was following the laws of purification following her mentstral cycle. The process is very prescribed and included near perfect cleansing before entering the water and reciting a specific blessing. There’s some speculation that Bathsheba was not Jewish as her husband Uriah was a Hittite. Yet, the mere fact that she was practicing the purification process meant that she may have converted.
Often the mikveh, the body of water where the actual purification happened, was located in a specific place. Bathsheba’s bathing may have been in preparation for the cleansing ritual.
Nonetheless, the king sent for her.
Let me say that again, the king sent for her.
He was in a position of power, while Bathsheba was the wife of one of David’s best and devoted soldiers, Uriah. What choice did she have? Defy the king? She had no legal standing to do such a thing.
I wonder what happened when she arrived at the palace. David had many wives. But he took Bathsheba and had sex with her. Could Bathsheba had called out for help? Could she have accused a king of rape? Could she have denied the king?
The bible is very clear, what David did displeased the Lord.
Then this king embarks on a cover-up that’s been repeated over and over again in our modern times — make the husband think it’s his baby. He schemes to get Uriah to return to the comforts of home and sex with his wife.
But Uriah is an honorable man and refuses to go home while his men are out fighting for the king. David sends him to the frontlines in a murder by battle plot, and Uriah is killed in battle.
Bathsheba mourns the loss of her husband.
Later after things settled down, Nathan the prophet comes to David and tells him a story. Interestingly, David’s wisdom calls out for repayment of this terrible debt. When David realizes the story is about him, he is sorry for his sin.
Yet, I cannot help but think of Bathsheba. She is the true victim of the story. She has virtually no voice and only the words, “I am pregnant,” are attributed to her. Because of David’s sin it is her husband who is murdered. Because of David’s sin it is her precious boy that is struck dead. Because of David’s sin she is now a wife among many. Because of David’s sin her life is not what she had planned.
I wonder, did she appear in the lineage of Jesus for Mary’s sake? I wonder if the story of Bathsheba losing her son to someone else’s sin is one of the stories Mary ponders in her heart? I wonder if Mary knows that the death of her child will cover many sins? ❤