With all of the drama in our “Bathsheba series” of the former episodes, there is still need to conclude on a good note…. therefore, we…
Really, who is King David?
Still on the series: The Four Most Unlikely Ancestresses of Jesus Christ. We shall be considering a woman called Bathsheba and her encounter with a powerful King (David) in those times.
King David had just scribbled the last line of his praise-poem. He thought of adding some finishing touches to its rhyming scheme. Fortunately, It was winter, and this meant that Israel’s battles were less fierce, so he could relish on one of his favorite past times. It was his second anthology within a space of seven months. He heaved a sigh of relief, perceiving some level of satisfaction in his word piece!
He gently slumped into one the settees of his beautifully furnished study, whilst he recollected on the happenings over the last six years of his kingship over the entire territory of Israel, considering the long days of travail, while he was on the run from the frustrated King Saul.
KING DAVID ON THE RUN!
His troubles began the day he slew Goliath, the six-foot-tall Anakite giant. For all of Israel, it was a time of great revelry. Nevertheless, David could literally feel his fears when the women who often sang the praises of Saul now did much more for him. Saul reneged on his promise to give his daughter Merab to David to wife. (1 Samuel 17)
However, Saul perceived a threat to his reign and sought for subtle means to eliminate him… the stars seemed to smile on him when he learned that his second daughter. Michal was head over heels in love with David. He requested for a hundred Philistine foreskins as dowry, hiding under the guise of wanting to prove his masculine prowess in fighting the LORD’S battles, (realizing it was quite a risky venture). Against all odds, David showed his mettle by providing 200 foreskins instead, thus he married Michal. She had uncovered her father’s murderous plots and had helped him escape. How his father-in-law had robbed him of his wife, Michal (Saul’s daughter) while he was on the run.
His encounters at Ramah, Nob, Gath and at Cave Adullam as a social fugitive. He had two opportunities to kill the King, (one of which was at the wilderness of Engedi) but he wouldn’t yield to the temptation(1Samuel 25). He had married two wives in the course of his adventures. They were Ahinoam of Jezreel, and Abigail (widow of Nabal), a politically shrewd woman (1Samuel 25, 27:4).
David finally settled in Gath, being rejected by the Philistine Elders and having established a peaceful relationship with the Philistine King Achish. He dwelt in the town of Ziklag (A suburb of Gath), alongside his two wives. Later on, his family and that of his warriors were captured by the Amalekites, and how that he rescued them all in one piece. ( 1Samuel 30)
It was as though the Almighty fought his battles whilst he held his peace as the tables were turned in his favor. Saul was killed in battle, alongside Jonathan, his son. (1 Samuel 31)
KING DAVID REIGNS
David ruled as King over Judah (the capital city of Hebron) for over 7 years (2 Samuel 5) where he married more wives: Macaah, Haggith, Shephatiah and Eglah, and had many sons by them. It was true that he had won the loyalty of the people of Judah, but his claim to the throne of Israel might forever remain invalid. Thus, he sought for ways to win back his wife. He was able to achieve this later on. He reclaimed Michal, who was married off (by Saul) to Palti from Gillam (2 Samuel 3). This was a subtle attempt to subvert any chance of David having access to the throne. To David, the northern parts of Israel, especially of the household of Saul were much of a resistance.
However, this was soon history as Ishbosheth (the heir apparent to the throne) and Abner (leader of Saul’s army) were killed. Hence David assumed Kingship over entire Israel.
Obviously, Michal was not expecting to have her one-time prince-charming all to herself, as she has to contend with 6 other wives, who saw her more as a fair-weather spouse.
KING DAVID’S HAREM
Hostility rages in the household of David as the women clamored for the recently crowned King’s attention, which seemed to be divested into more pressing matters of state!
Ahinoam was the first wife of King David, though he had encountered Abigail beforehand. Ahinoam prided herself in being the would-be Queen-mother; she bore Amnon, the heir apparent.
David’s second wife and widow of Nabal. She bore him Daniel. Abigail was highly intelligent and politically shrewd, David wasted no further time to make her his wife when Nabal died. David often summoned her to his chambers to discuss discrete matters of state, more than what often precedes a man and woman being alone in a room.
David’s third wife, she bore him the handsome lad; Absalom.
David’s fourth wife and mother of Adonijah
David’s fifth wife and mother of Abital
David’s sixth wife and mother of Ithream
She had lost her position as first wife. She bore no children, having invoked the wrath of God. She lived as an embittered woman.
Excluding the first two wives, the others were much more interested in garnering as much royal supplies as possible for their sons.
Undoubtedly, David was attracted to beauty, but much more to mental shrewdness!
It was one week remaining to the end of General Uriah’s absence leave from active service to be with his wife, Bathsheba. He had been away for months. He geared himself up again to the reality of being an officer as he swiftly prepared for an emergency military intelligence meeting as summoned by Joab; the leader of the 37 mighty men of David. Top security informants had reported that the Ammonites were erecting massive forts at the capital city, Rabbah.
It happened that the resistance had grown stronger over the years, after the crushing defeat dealt by King Saul (1 Sam11). They must act quickly if their victory must be complete!
This Gilonite was a sharp-witted adviser to King David, father of Eliam and grandfather of Bathsheba. His agedness seemed not to have him lose his cognitive abilities nor act senilely. He was a minefield of wisdom and he was often spotted with the King in the dead of the night, advising him on matters of security and political sagacity.
As an advocate of diligence, he was drawn to Uriah, a blood-thirsty warlord whose commitment to duty was more of a hobby than the simple pleasures of life. He spoke to the king on Uriah’s behalf and David promoted him after seeing the cogent need to.
Ahithophel was quite influential and greatly renowned for his sagacity amongst the Jews.
To be continued…
Stay tuned as we journey together in the subsequent episodes!
God bless you