(Bath-sheʹba) [daughter of an oath; daughter of abundance].
Daughter of Eliam (Ammiel, 1 Chron. 3:5); possibly a granddaughter of Ahithophel. (2 Sam. 11:3; 23:34) First the wife of Uriah the Hittite, one of David’s mighty men; later married to David after being involved in one of the blackest episodes of David’s life.—2 Sam. 23:39.
Late one spring day, Bath-sheba was bathing herself, when a neighbor, King David, on the rooftop of his palace, caught sight of this beautiful woman, described as “very good in appearance.” Upon learning that her husband was off to war, the passion-aroused king had Bath-sheba brought to the palace, where he cohabited with her. “Later she returned to her house,” and after some weeks informed David she was pregnant. Thereupon David plotted to have Uriah sleep with his wife as a cover-up for the adulterous crime, but when this scheme failed, the king had Uriah killed in battle. Her mourning period over—probably a week (1 Sam. 31:13)—Bath-sheba became David’s wife and bore the child.—2 Sam. 11:1-27.
“But the thing . . . appeared bad in the eyes of Jehovah.” His prophet Nathan rebuked the king with an illustration in which he represented Bath-sheba as the “one female lamb” of the poor man, Uriah, that the rich man, David, took to entertain a visitor. In great sorrow David repented (Psalm 51), but by divine decree the adulterine child, which remains nameless, died. Further distress also came to David for his sin, his own concubines being defiled by his son Absalom.—2 Sam. 11:27–12:23; 16:21, 22.
Bath-sheba found comfort in her repentant husband, repeatedly addressed him as “my lord,” as Sarah had done to her husband (1 Ki. 1:15-21; 1 Pet. 3:6), and in time bore him a son named Solomon, whom Jehovah loved and blessed. (2 Sam. 12:24, 25) She also had three other sons, Shimea, Shobab and Nathan, the latter being an ancestor of Jesus’ mother Mary. Since Joseph descended from Solomon, both Jesus’ earthly parents traced their ancestry to Bath-sheba as well as David.—1 Chron. 3:5; Matt. 1:6, 16; Luke 3:23, 31.
Bath-sheba comes forward in the account again toward the close of David’s forty-year reign. David had sworn to her: “Solomon your son is the one that will become king after me.” So when Solomon’s older half-brother Adonijah attempted to usurp the throne just before David’s death, Bath-sheba, on the suggestion of the prophet Nathan, reminded David of his oath. Immediately David put Solomon on the throne and Bath-sheba thus became the queen mother.—1 Ki. 1:5-37.
After Solomon’s throne was firmly established, Bath-sheba appeared before him as an influential intermediary with a request in behalf of Adonijah. Solomon immediately “rose to meet her and bowed down,” and ordered that a throne be placed for his mother, “that she might sit at his right.”—1 Ki. 2:13-25.