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BATH-SHBEBA

The wife of Uriah the Hittite. She was coveted by King David, who connived with his military leader, Joab, to send Uriah into such a dangerous part of the battlefield that he would be killed. His plot succeeded, and then he made Bath-Sheba his queen. A child resulted from this unholy union, but Yahweh was angered by the king's shameful conduct (II Samuel 11:14-27). The prophet Nathan appeared in David's court and delivered a stinging rebuke. David's repentance was expressed eloquently in Psalm 51, and he willingly offered penance for his crime, but the child died within a week. Later Bath-Sheba bore him another child. This was Solomon, destined to become the famous successor to David (II Samuel 12:1-25). Years later the rivalry of Solomon's half-brother, Adonijah, impelled Bath-Sheba to persuade the aging king to have Solomon secretly anointed and crowned (I Kings 1:25-40).

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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