Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Book Review: "Bathsheba" by Jill Eileen Smith

Bathsheba is a woman who longs for love. With her devout husband away fighting the king's wars for many months at a time, discontent and loneliness dog her steps—and make it frighteningly easy to succumb to King David's charm and attention. Though she immediately regrets her involvement with the powerful king, the pieces are set in motion that will destroy everything she holds dear. Can she find forgiveness at the feet of the Almighty? Or has her sin separated her from God—and David—forever?

With a historian's sharp eye for detail and a novelist's creative spirit, Jill Eileen Smith brings to life the passionate and emotional story of David's most famous—and infamous—wife. Smith uses her gentle hand to draw out the humanity in her characters, allowing readers to see themselves in the three-dimensional lives and minds of people who are often viewed in starkly moralistic terms. You will never read the story of David and Bathsheba in the same way again.

I don't know about you but when I was growing up 2 Samuel 11 was a raunchy chapter for a kid to read. A guy is watching a woman take a bath and then he wants to sleep with her? Pretty adult stuff for a 8 year old to read. It's really funny when I look back because I always thought I'd get in trouble for reading such mature stuff even though it was in the Bible. Since then, Bathsheba has always been a character in the Bible I wanted to know more about.

I felt sorry for Bathsheba throughout the book. She really loved her first husband Uriah. Even though he was very devoted to his duty to the army, I could see that he loved her too. However, her feelings about being abandoned and not feeling loved were just, she was pretty much a war widow. It wasn't fair for the women of the time even if it was the custom. Then when the whole seduction scene takes place (which is rather tame), again her reasons for doing it are understandable. Well first off, the king has summoned her and you can't really deny the king. Two, she just wants to feel love and she's not getting that at all from her husband. It's the reason why many people end up straying away though I'm not saying that it's right of them to do so. Then her baby, the child that she has been wanting forever, ends up dying because of David's sins. I just felt like she's the victim throughout all this.

Since reading this series, David no longer holds such a high standing in my eye. Oh there's no doubt that he was a great king and he loved God very much. However, I think churches and Sunday School lessons tend to avoid the fact that he wasn't always such a good guy in terms of women or his own children. Yes there are great things that he did but I think that a good study in his faults would make him more easy to relate to with people.

While I really did enjoy learning about about Bathsheba, Abigail and Michal, I did still feel a tad disappointed when finishing up this series. The havoc among most of David's children happens with children born to him by wives that do not get their own books in this series. They are mentioned briefly and we learn a bit about them, but their stories aren't very fleshed out. I would have loved to have read about what may have really caused Amnon, Tamar and Absalom act the way that they did. If you like Biblical fiction and learning more about familiar characters from the Bible, this series is a good way to learn more about them.

Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith is published by Revell (2011)

This review copy was provided by the publisher

Other books in the series that I've reviewed
Michal (Book 1)
Abigail (Book 2)


  1. It's so funny to see you review this book! I recently downloaded "Michal" for free on my Nook and just started it yesterday! I'm looking forward to reading this series. I'm going to check out your review of "Michal" now! :)

  2. Sounds interesting -- I don't know that much about this story :)

  3. The sermon Sunday was on this story. The pastor said if David (a man after God's heart) can fall like this anyone can -- don't be too complacent. I have Michal on my Kindle too, but am thinking of suggesting Bathsheba for my book club. Thanks for the review.

  4. I really enjoyed this book, but compared to Michal and Abigail it fell just a smidge short for me. However, that said I thought the redemption aspect was superbly handled. Great review!


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