Following King David’s appropriation of Bathsheba and his role in the killing of her husband Uriah, YHWH dispatches the prophet Nathan to present a parable (2 Samuel 12:1–4). The parable features a ewe-lamb adopted by a poor man, which highlights David’s attempts to evade responsibility for his actions.
Bathsheba first appears as the object of David’s lust, then as the mother of Solomon, who pleads with the king to make her son his heir. And yet, a close look at her actions shows her to be someone with agency, able to manipulate her husband and even her son to ensure Solomon’s safety and rule.
Carl S. Ehrlich