Some of y’all who talk a lot about the sufficiency of Scripture don’t read Scripture very closely, and it shows.
So what you’re really saying is that *your parochial understanding of Scripture* is sufficient.
(I still don’t know what you think it’s sufficient *for*, exactly. It’s clear that you don’t have in mind the Protestant doctrine as traditionally understood. But I digress.)
Case in point: some of y’all lost your minds when it was suggested that David raped Bathsheba—throwing out words like ‘eisegesis’ and ‘emotional’. It’s one thing to think that David didn’t rape Bathsheba.
But it’s entirely another thing to suggest that one’s judgment must be compromised by emotion or personal trauma in order to believe that David raped Bathsheba.
Because if you think that ‘David raped Bathsheba’ isn’t a perfectly eligible interpretation (if not the most eligible), then you haven’t studied the text or read the scholarship.
Look at how the episode is couched. How does the narrative open? In the spring, at the time when kings go off to war... David remained in Jerusalem. Uh-oh: David’s not where he’s supposed to be. (With no excuse.) He might be about to get himself into some trouble.
In confronting David after the fact, Nathan frames out a story in which Bathsheba is represented by a lamb. Now, I don’t know of any place in Scripture where a lamb represents anything but purity and blamelessness. You might think I’m reading too much into the text there.
But I don’t think so: Nathan could’ve chosen anything to represent Bathsheba—a cow (OT prophets love that one, esp. when speaking of immoral women), or a horse, or even a vineyard or a house. He chose a lamb, specifically; and a very young (ewe) lamb at that.
This doesn’t demonstrate Bathsheba’s innocence conclusively; but it’s highly suggestive, isn’t it? So I’ll be pretty surprised if it turns out that she’s to blame for something that transpired in the narrative.
Bathsheba was inseminated by David. Since she was married to Uriah and not David at the time, if she chose to be inseminated by David then she’s not innocent. It follows (by modus tollens) that if she’s innocent then she was inseminated against her will.
When a woman is inseminated against her will, it’s called ‘rape’. So (by hypothetical syllogism) if Bathsheba is innocent then she was raped by David.
So, was Bathsheba innocent? Let’s see. She sends word to David that she’s pregnant. *Thereupon* (i.e., immediately, without delay) David sends for Uriah, etc.
Thereupon? Really...? David is the one guy in all of human history who spends a single night with a strange woman and asks *not a single question* when she says she’s pregnant?
Perhaps David had special reason to *know* that if Bathsheba was pregnant, the baby was most likely his. How might that be? As it turns out, the text gives us a clue:
Shortly before being summoned to the palace by David, Bathsheba had performed a ritual purification on the evening of the seventh day following the onset of menstruation (cf. Lev. 15).
Indeed, as the text makes clear (the Hebrew more so), this was the very bath that Bathsheba was taking when David saw her and sent his palace guards to “take” her (the Hebrew attributes the “taking” to David, singular).
So David knew two things. First, when he slept with that Bathsheba, she wasn’t pregnant. And second, she was at a point in her fertility cycle that made her amenable to becoming pregnant. (Yet he did it anyway—which says something about his state of mind, doesn’t it?).
So, what did Bathsheba do? She obeyed the Torah. That’s the only agency attributed to her by the text. If Scripture is sufficient, you must concede that all Bathsheba did was obey the Torah. So she’s innocent. Which, as we noted above, means that David raped Bathsheba.
But that’s just how I read the text, fwiw.
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