questions, historical background
Bible Women: Bathsheba
David, the flawed hero
Bible People: David
on the roof top? Houses in ancient Israel
in ancient Israel - Bathsheba was from a warrior (samurai?) family
Bible Archaeology: War
king? Foolish man? The story of Solomon, Bathsheba's son
Bible People: Solomon
advantages of living in a royal harem were considerable....
Bible Archaeology: Jewelry
individuals or groups
What Is Truth?
The story of Bathsheba as we have it was probably written for court
records during the reign of Solomon - when Bathsheba was still alive.
is biased in her favor, and omits any details or events that would show her in a bad light, only including them if they were
common knowledge and could not be disputed.
Re-write Bathsheba's story from a different, less sympathetic perspective,
for example from the viewpoint of Uriah's sister, or Adonijah's mother.
study: political intrigue
Stage 1: Make up a list
some films about politics. You can choose
recent films or classics. If this is a group activity, choose films most
2: Glance over your list
Have you chosen films that are realistic, showing the nitty-gritty of politics, or do you prefer films that are inspiring/uplifting?
Do your favorites have both these qualities?
What does this say about you and what you need to believe about
3: Choose your favorite
What are the central questions in this film?
Is the politician/political situation shown in a realistic light?
Do any of the scenes remind you of recent events?
7. Or does the film portray politicians as we would like them to
4: Think about your choices
activity: discuss these questions, making sure everyone in the group has
a chance to talk about their ideas.
Bathsheba Sends the Letter to David, Jan Steen
1. What are the most interesting moments in Bathsheba's story?
2. In the story, who speaks and who listens? Who acts? Who gets what they
want? If you were in the story, which person would you want to be friends
with? Which person would you want to avoid?
3. What is happening on either side of the story, in the chapters before
and after it? Does this help you understand what is happening?
4. The narrator/editor has chosen to tell some things and leave other
things out. What has been left out of the story that you would like to
5. Are the characteristics and actions of the people in the story still
present in the world? How is the story relevant to modern life, especially
Reconstruction of the
Temple of Solomon
impression of the Temple
built by Solomon
Details of the Palace of Solomon where Bathsheba lived in her old age can be found in 1
As well as the throne room, it contained the royal apartments.
Here the harem lived in a separate area surrounding an interior courtyard. It was a
magnificent building, decorated with costly Lebanese cedar, gold, bronze
The Temple of Solomon has completely vanished, but it is still possible to
estimate the details of its construction.
Top Ten Buildings
for images and information. Also look at
the description given in 1 Kings 5, 6 and the end
section of 7
archaeological remains of temples built in
modern reconstructions of the Temple.
Using this information, write a full description of the Temple, or make a drawing of
as it was when new.
' ....he saw from the roof a woman
bathing; the woman was very beautiful.'
(2 Samuel 11:2)
'Set Uriah in the forefront of the hardest fighting, then draw
'You are the man!' (12:7)
from the Book of Hours of King Louis XII
quotes are either about David, spoken by him, or accusing him.
The biblical story of Bathsheba seems to be all about David. But
look more closely, and ask the questions a journalist might
who is telling
why is it
being told, when so much else is left out?
of history are we getting?
now believe the Bathsheba stories were told to justify Solomon's
seizure of the throne in Jerusalem, over his older brother
Websites in the left column have background information