Daily Tanach Sunday Shmuel 2 Chapter 11: Dovid and Batsheva

* The article below is an excerpt from the above Sefer

Chapter 11:  Dovid and Batsheva

1.      A second battle against Amon:

  • And it was in the summer when the kings would go out to the field[1] that Dovid sent Yoev and his army to wage war against the nation of Amon. They destroyed the nation of Amon although it took a long time to battle them.
  • Dovid remained in Yerushalayim at the time [and did not come to the battlefield to help his brothers in war[2]].

2.      Dovid sleeps with Batsheva:

  • Dovid sees her bathing: Towards evening, Dovid arose from his bed and went to the roof of the palace and from above his roof saw a very beautiful woman bathing [and immersing for her Nida impurity[3] inside her home[4]]. [Batsheva was bathing modestly under a hovering, although the Satan came along in the appearance of a deer or bird and caused Dovid to shoot an arrow and accidently take down the partition, thus revealing her body to Dovid.[5]]
  • Dovid inquires as to who she is: After seeing her, Dovid summoned his guards to ask her to appear before him. The woman told Dovid that she is Batsheva, the daughter of Eliam [the son of Achitofel[6]], and is the wife of Uriah Hachiti [one of the 37 warriors of Dovid[7], who was awarded to marry Batsheva due to his help in decapitating Golias[8]].
  • Dovid summoned her and sleeps with her: Dovid sent messengers and took her. She arrived to him and he slept with her, and when he saw her bathing, she was sanctifying herself from her Nida impurity [and thus it ends up that Dovid did not sleep with a Nida.]. After he lay with her, she returned home.
  • She becomes pregnant: She became pregnant [from the encounter with Dovid, and knew so right away being that her womb was moist[9]].
  • The cover up plan: She informed Dovid of her pregnancy [in order so he urge her husband Uriah to return home and cover up the pregnancy[10]]. [After hearing this news,] Dovid sent his general Yoav a telegram telling him that Uriah Hachiti should be sent back home, to Dovid [in order so he be intimate with his wife, and the pregnancy not be traced back to him[11]]. So Yoav sent Uriah to Dovid.
  • Uriah arrives and refuses to go home to be intimate with his wife: Uriah arrived to Dovid and Dovid asked him as to the peace of Yoav, and the peace of the nation and of the situation by the battlefield. Dovid [then] said to Uriah, “Go down to your home and wash your feet” [which is a metaphor to being intimate with his wife[12]]. Uriah left the home of the king only after having been given a large feast with festive eating and drinking [in order to arouse his desire to go home and be intimate with his wife[13]]. Uriah however did not return home and instead remained by the palace entrance together with the palace guards. [The next day,] Dovid was informed that Uriah had not gone down to his home and so Dovid said to Uriah, “Have you not arrived from a journey, why have you not returned home?” Uriah replied to Dovid, “The ark and the Jewish people and Judea are dwelling in temporary homes, and my master Yoav, and the servants of my master, are dwelling in the field, and so how can I go to my home and eat and drink and lie with my wife [i.e. he did not feel it was morally right for him to return home and be intimate with his wife when the Jewish people were out at war and in a state of suffering].

[1] Rashi 11:1; Ralbag 11:1; Alternatively, this refers to the anniversary of the war with Amon the previous year. [Metzudos Dovid11:1]

[2] Radak 11:1

[3] Pasuk 4; Rashi 11:4; Radak 11:4; Mahariy Karo; Ralbag; Metzudas David 11:4

[4] Radak 11:2

[5] Sanhedrin 107a [bird]; Yalkut Shimoni 148 [deer]

[6] Shmuel Beis 23:24 “Eliam the son of Achitofel”; Yalkut Shimoni 148; Student of Rav Sadya Gaon in Otzer Hageonim on Kiddushin 76b

[7] Shmuel Beis 23:39

[8] Alshich Maros Hatzevaos Shmuel 2:12-1 and Keli Yakar Shmuel 2:11-3 in name of Midrash

[9] Ralbag 11:5

[10] Mahariy Karo 11:5

[11] Rashi 11:6; Radak 11:6

[12] Metzudos David 11:8

[13] Mahariy Karo 11:8; Metzudos David 11:8

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