The Damsel Queen Esther

(c) Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation
A usual portrayal of Salome…nubile, partially naked with some sort of veils. More later.

We saw in the last blog that Salome was not a “damsel;” i.e.; 12 years old as Mark defined “damsel.

And when the daughter of the said Herodias came in, and danced, and pleased Herod and them that sat with him, the king said unto the damsel, Ask of me whatsoever thou wilt, and I will give it thee. And he sware unto her, Whatsoever thou shalt ask of me, I will give it thee, unto the half of my kingdom…Mark 6 and Matthew 14

Continue reading “The Damsel Queen Esther”

Bathsheba, from Consort to Queen Mother

rembrandt_bathseba_brief_kln
Bathseba at her bath was a popular subject for the old masters. This one by Rembrandt is one of the nudest. http://www.artbible.info/images/rembrandt_bathseba_brief_kln.jpg

Bathsheba’s story in II Samuel 11 is another beloved tale. King David from his tower in the City of David spies Bathsheba taking a bath on a rooftop and calls her to him. When she is pregnant, David sent her husband Uriah off to the front lines of the current war to be killed. But again, we have two stories. In the other version she is called “daughter of Eliam.” According to Wikipedia:

Bathsheba was a daughter of Eliam, one of David’s “thirty” (2 Sam. 23:34; cf 1 Chr. 3:5); Eliam was also the son of Ahitophel, one of David’s chief advisors…and thus Bathsheba was from David’s own tribe and the granddaughter of one of David’s closest advisors (2 Sam.15:12).

So, again, love had very little to do with it. The parties had negotiated a marriage alliance, albeit a nasty one. She would bring to the relationship the backing of her military family and David was in the middle of a war. For her part, David’s marriage to Bathsheba gave her the promise that a son of hers would inherit the kingdom.

The Role of a Wife of the King

We learn a lot from Bathsheba. She was given speaking parts like Queen Michal as she pursued her primary duty at court; fighting for the rights of her son. The author of I Kings gives this speech:

And Bathsheba went in unto the king into the chamber…and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou? And she said unto him, My lord, thou swarest by the LORD thy God unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me…And now Adonijah reigneth and…thou knowest it not…And the king sware, and said…Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me…Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and did reverence to the king, and said, Let my lord king David live forever. I Kings 1:10-31 Continue reading “Bathsheba, from Consort to Queen Mother”