Wednesday, July 13, 2022

Did David Rape Bathsheba?

This is a hot topic, at least in the twitterverse. And nobody on either side of this debate will agree with me.

Let us approach it with two propositions: 

  1. Bathsheba did not entice or seduce David. The bible makes it clear that David alone is responsible for this sin. There is no condemnation of Bathsheba anywhere in scripture.
  2. Bathsheba acquiesced to the liaison because David was King of the Land. 

Was it rape?

By the definition of rape in the modern western world, it was. We now accept that taking advantage of a massive power differential is a form of irresistible force, ergo rape. Bill and Monica; David and Bathsheba; professor and student.

But by the definition of rape prior to, say, the 1990s, it was not. It was atrocious, cad behavior. Cause for dismissal and disgrace perhaps, but not meeting the legal definition of rape. We may not like that view, but that's the way it was. 

And it was not rape 3000 years ago in Palestine, otherwise the Bible would have referred to it as rape, lest you think the Holy Spirit is incapable of inspiring truth and accuracy. But the sin the Bible ascribes to the incident is adultery, not rape and not adultery and rape.

I wish people would use a qualifier, such as: By the currently accepted definition of rape, David raped Bathsheba. It would be impossible to argue with such a conclusion assuming you accept the two propositions above.

1 comment:

  1. I think you are right. Perhaps I should be glad I'm not in the twitterverse.