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?
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Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, are followers of Adonai. Though Uriah is a Hittite, he not only follows the law to the letter, he believes that the God of King David is the only One that deserves man's praise. Uriah is a member of the Mighty Thirty that protect the king and are part of David's inner circle. It is a life that takes him to the battlefield often, and leaves Bathsheba alone. She misses him when he is away, and resents that even when he is home, his mind is often on military matters.
Lonely, missing Uriah, and no children to occupy her time, Bathsheba fills her life with the keeping of the feast and the purification rituals that Uriah insists she keep even in his absence. One such night, she is taking a bath, alone, and King David spots her from his fortress. With all the men gone to war except for him, the king is restless and bored. But when he spots Bathsheba bathing from his rooftop, he seeks to find who she is. Will the resulting events cause God to turn His face away from David and Bathsheba forever? Will David ever be able to atone for his sin and be restored in the faith to the Lord who gave him everything he has?
This is the final novel in the saga that is the Wives of King David series. I was anticipating Bathsheba'a story, and I was not disappointed. While Smith had to "imagine" a lot of emotions and actions on Bathsheba's part, I did enjoy getting a different perspective than the wide range of possibilities out there. We don't know a lot about Bathsheba's spiritual beliefs from the Biblical perspective, nor do we know how things really happened between her and David. But Smith gives us a glimpse of what could had been, and I have no complaints about the slightly romantic portrayal between David and Bathsheba. It could have finished sooner with the event of Solomon's birth, but it was nice to walk with David to the end of his life. A satisfying conclusion to the series.
One would not necessarily think that the story of David and Bathsheba would be an inspiring one, filled as it is with temptation and sin and murder. However, Jill Eileen Smith has breathed new life into a story recounted through the ages.
Bathsheba is a story rich in contrasts, from loneliness to love, from passion to grief, from the depths of despair to the healing hand of God. Smith has opened my eyes to a deeper understanding of David and Bathsheba's story. These Bible characters have been cloaked in all-too-human frailty, and it was difficult indeed to watch their downfall as displayed through the power of the author's pen. Yet what I truly admire about this book is that it is not one that wallows in the depths of our human condition, but instead rises through the power of God's grace as He forgives sin that should have been punishable by death. Adultery is a sin that, at the time, was to be punished by stoning. Yet although God does punish them through the loss of their son, he also restores what was lost and offers his tender mercy. In the past when contemplataing this Bible story, I had only ever considered how the loss of their first son was such a horrible punishment for their sin; however, I'd never considered that on the other hand there was an element of mercy, for a King's son born out of adultery would have been subject to the vilest of bullying and torment and would have never had a chance to fulfill God's purpose for his life. This book doesn't provide easy answers, but instead allows you to wrestle with the issues of their sin and the consequences. Although the story may be familiar to you, the book is entirely engaging and will keep you turning the pages.
Prepare to be entertained, moved, and inspired by a fabulous story that will stay with you long after the last page. I highly recommend this book and give it 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Book has been provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications, Inc. Available at your favourite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group
David's love (and sin) with Bathsheba has long been one of the most intriguing relationships in Scripture. In one night of senseless passion, God's golden-boy--the chosen shepherd/king--makes a decision that leads him to commit the two most despicable sins of any culture: adultery and murder. How could our hero, David, do such a thing? And how could a righteous God forgive him...let alone allow David to continue as Israel's king? Jill Eileen Smith takes us beyond these questions to struggle with the object of David's sin, Bathsheba. Did she enter the king's bed willingly, or was she simply acting in obedience?
Jill Smith has been one of my favorite writers because of her careful attention to historic accuracy and detail. She remains meticulously true to the biblical account, and because of her cautious respect for Scripture, I trust her interpretation of the characters she portrays. When one reads biblical fiction, it's always important to remember that the story is indeed FICTION. However, because of Jill's intense study, I believe she embraces the fullness of the biblical characters' strengths and weaknesses.
For these reasons, David's torturous mourning over the loss of his wife Abigail makes his longing for love believable. We see a powerful, yet lonely man, surrounded by people. Bathsheba, too, is a believable young wife, yearning for her warrior husband, who has been called away to war more than he's been home. The adulterous encounter is not sensationalized or unnecessarily dramatized. Jill masterfully draws the reader into these main characters' emotions, then allows them to become deeply flawed, broken and then forgiven.
Though this book is the last in the series of three, it can stand alone. But true biblical fiction readers will definitely want to read all three books describing The Wives of King David as seen through the heart and mind of Jill Eileen Smith.
Bathsheba, book three in the Wives of King David series, is the latest book by Jill Eileen Smith, and it doesn't disappoint at all! While the story itself is not new to me, the delivery of the story is what makes this book so special. I love the descriptions of David's palace, like the extravagance of the food and the elegance of his garments, which make the story come to life on the page. I also love the emotion that is displayed in the love triangle which is Bathsheba, David, and Uriah, and Jill does not hold anything back!
Jill Eileen Smith has seriously found her niche in writing Biblical fiction. I'm hard pressed to find anyone else at the top of their game in that genre as well as she is right now. She has such exceptional talent that explodes on every page with her emotional characters and words that breath new life into age-old Biblical stories. I highly recommend Bathsheba for fans of Biblical fiction!
I have been anticipating reading Bathsheba ever since I finished Abigail and once again Jill Eileen Smith has delivered a vivid portrait of one of Kind David's wives, with historical detail and intelligent conjecture. Bathsheba, her husband Uriah and King David are all fleshed out and their thoughts and motivations examined with sensitivity and insight, based on the Biblical storyline. David and Bathsheba's story reveals how pervasive sin can be and lead us to do unthinkable things. God's redemptive love is also displayed in all its power, even as the consequences of David and Bathsheba's choices play out for the rest of their lives. David's reign overflowed with drama and intrigue and no doubt it was impossible for Jill to include it all, resulting in the ending feeling a little rushed. That said, I highly recommend this challenging and thought-provoking story which left me pondering the lessons to be learned. Jill's books always have me turning back to the scriptures to reread the Biblical story and Bathsheba was no exception.
In my opinion Biblical Fiction has to be one of the hardest genres to write in because you are taking something that is fact but there is not a lot of info on and fictionalizing it to bring it to life. So not only are you researching the ways and habits of the time period but you are researching the people as well. Jill Eileen Smith is a master of this. Her Wives of King David series is fantastic and this last book, Bathsheba, is a catch-22 for me. I wanted to see what she did with this difficult story, but I also didn't want to see the series end. I have just turned the last pages and ended it and now sadly put it down. Jill did not disappoint me at all, she handled a hard story of sin, forgiveness, grace and consequences with incredible insight and diplomacy. She continues to bring David to life as a man with flaws and sin, but with a heart that truly desires to follow God. And though this book focuses on Bathsheba, the journey of his wives is a truly fascinating thing. I plan on making this series required reading for my children as they hit high school because there is value in bringing Biblical characters to life... flaws and forgiveness.
Bathsheba by Jill Eileen Smith is the third book in the Wives of King David Series. Bathsheba is the beautiful young wife of Uriah, one of King David's Thirty, his leading warriors. War often keeps Uriah away from home, and Bathsheba is lonely and a bit angry that his absence has kept her from becoming pregnant. She knows a child would fill her heart and keep her from missing her husband quite so much, but Uriah is devoted to all of the various rules and rituals of the church, as well as his king. King David has just faced the death of his beloved Abigail, the only wife he has truly loved and the one that kept him from marrying other wives. Her faith in Adonai fueled his, but now that she's gone, David feels lost and refuses to lead his troops into battle in his depression. Smith has a wonderful talent for bringing to life the well-known stories of the Bible, breathing fresh air into them and giving readers new perspective and insight. The story is rich with historical detail until readers can practically see the bustling markets. King David's court is thick is manipulation and jostling for power from Ahithopel, Bathsheba's grandfather, to David's son's who fear any threat to their control. Smith makes Bathsheba and David both incredibly sympathetic and real. Even readers who are familiar with the story and know how it ends will find themselves holding their breath at each turn of the page. Smith is one of the best writers of biblical fiction today.
I don’t recall if I have ever read Biblical fiction before reading Bathsheba, so I really wasn’t sure if I would enjoy it or not. But, the story of Bathsheba and King David is a well known one and I was interested to see how Jill Eileen Smith would write a novelization of the story.
Let me just say, this book is fantastic. I was very surprised by how quickly I became engaged in this story and really had a hard time putting it down. It always amazed me when I read a story in the Bible that so completely applies to modern day life. The way Jill wrote the story of Bathsheba’s and King David’s I was able to see that slippery slope of temptation and sin that so many people fall into today. Bathsheba’s loneliness caused her mind to go places a married woman’s mind should not go and as Bathsheba and King David learn, there are consequences to their actions. The sin nature of humans has not changed from the days when this story takes place and Jill has done a masterful job of bringing this story to life for her readers to learn from.
Bathsheba is a truly remarkable story and I admire the author for doing such a good job with this book. I loved reading it and I don’t think I’ll ever have to think twice about reading Biblical fiction, especially if it is written by Jill Eileen Smith.
What does a woman do when her husband is away at war for months at a time and she is lonely for love and intimacy? What does she do when the king summons her to his palace? Can she refuse his advances without personal repercussions to herself and her husband? Is she truly aware of her own culpability in the situation?
Jill Eileen Smith, in her book, Bathsheba, gives us an insider’s view of the inner conflicts and feelings of both Bathsheba and King David, both before and after their adulterous relationship. Her rendition is in-depth, personal and real. Although this book is fictional in relation to the actual conversations and specific circumstances, Jill does a superb job of keeping true to the Scriptural account.
When Bathsheba finds herself ‘with child’ and sends a message to King David, Jill’s creative storytelling allowed me to personally feel David’s palpable shock to the message, as well as the silence Bathsheba had to endure until she heard back from him.
The story shows the depths of sin’s consequences emotionally, relationally, and spiritually. The depth of the deceit and depravity are astoundingly told, and brings the Biblical account to a deeper level. Jill brings out God’s solution and consequences to their deceit and depravity, along with His gracious forgiveness when repentance is real.
It was difficult to be ‘included’ in the deceitful plans of murder and the following consequences. Also difficult was dealing with the animosity and jealousy that comes with multiple wives in one home; thus the reminder of being the husband of one wife.
This is a story of what can happen to anyone whose relationship with the Lord is aloof, a story of sowing and reaping, and an example for our admonition; lest we think we are incapable of doing such a thing. God’s forgiveness always comes to a repentant heart, but the consequences remain to be lived out.
Jill’s exemplary version of Bathsheba and David’s story brings a new, personal perspective that won’t be easily forgotten.
This book was provided by Donna Hausler, Publicity Assistant, of Baker Publishing Group in exchange for my honest review. No monetary value was exchanged.
As I opened the pages of, "BATHSHEBA", I felt as though I was delivered back in time. It was as though I had a front row seat into the lives of Bathsheba and David. One temptation. One night. One choice. Everything changed forever.
I was blessed to read, "ABIGAIL", book two in, "THE WIVES OF KING DAVID SERIES", by Jill Eileen Smith. What research and detail she put into this book. Once I began reading I couldn't put this book down. I read it in one afternoon. It left me breathless in my thoughts.
What a mighty God we have. A God that reaches grace to us even in our darkest times of betrayal to Him. We see the heart of David. We see the love Bathsheba has for her husband, Uriah, and the passion they hold. But Uriah is at battle more than he is at home, and that makes Bathesheba yearn even more so for comfort and touch. What she doesn't realize is that, Uriah, feels the same way. He loves his wife with all his heart. Uriah was a man of honor. He held himself as a servant of God. God came first in Uriah's life. Bathsheba was faithful to the Lord. But one temptation led to another and before she knows it, she is called to King David's and finds herself in his bed chambers. What now? Where does she go from here?
David was a man after God's own heart. After the death of, Abigail, his heart was never the same. He allowed his own selfish desires to overcome His faithfulness to God. He began to make one bad choice after the other. Did God punish? Yes, He did. But He also gave mercy and grace.
Through it all, Bathsheba, is blessed to have, Tizrah, at her side. Her faithful servant. Tizrah, is more than her servant. She is a true friend. I loved watching this friendship. This kindred spirit between these two women. No judgement. Only love.
If you love history this book is for you. Love, passion, friendship, redemption and forgiveness. This book is filled with page after page of life lessons we can learn from. This book is beautifully written and will touch your heart giving you a passion to seek God and dive into His Word for more.
If anyone still believes scripture is dead and dusty after reading this book, that person would do better in front of a television set.
Smith faithfully follows scripture in her rendering of King David and Bathsheba in this third story of the Wives of King David. In a different world, a different era, survival often depended on a whim. David had such power and sometimes used it to his and others ruin. Smith's take on David was that he truly loved and felt complemented, first by Michal who had little control of her life and ultimate betrayal; Abigail, the subject of the second novel in the series; and Bathsheba, the wife of Uriah the Hittite, whom he loved in his middle years.
I appreciate that Smith gave a cause to David's reason for not going out to battle – the first time he'd just lost Abigail in childbirth; a reasonable theory, and later for having just added to his harem, a Biblical reason. Thus he was home at a time when Bathsheba's husband was away at war. He saw her in a ritual bath, desired her, and sent for her. Smith fills the story with a daunting catalog of the rituals and legalism which rules this Jewish society, a nice, though sometimes slow, contrast to the struggle over breaking these rules and the agony and punishment that occurs when temptation gives birth to desire, desire leads to sin, and full grown sin to death. Uriah is drawn so lovingly that I hoped perhaps David would change his mind this time and not send the man to his death.
While occasional repetition fills out a couple of chapters of scripture into a whole adult novel, Smith's story is resplendent with the richness and depth of the grace of God to everyone who knows better but continues to struggle with temptation.
Available March 2011 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.
A copy of the book was provided by the publishing company for review.
BATHSHEBA by Jill Eileen Smith is an amazing Biblical fiction set 994 BC Jerusalem. It is the third in her "The Wives of King David",but can be read as a stand alone. Book one, "Michal",Book two, "Abigail".It is written in narrative style with great attention to details and Biblical facts. It is heartwarming story of sin,redemption,love,treachery,triumph and forgiveness. This is an emotional and piognant story of Bathsheba and King David. It shows Bathsheba's anger,and her emotional conflict for what they done. In those days adultery was punished by stoning.Bathsheba would have been in grace danger,also her childrend. David's guilt and grief lead him to write the wonderful Psalms,we all know today. This story is a good example of God's beauty,love,grace and his forgiveness. If you enjoy learning more on Biblical characters than this is definite the series to read, of King David and his wives.The struggles and truimphs Bathsheba goes through are amazing and shows her heart. It re-enforces the fact that God can do all.He can make joy from mourning,beauty from ashes and give uncondiitional love,joy,peace and foregiveness. King David is one of my favorite stories of the Bible.I would recommend this story.This book was received for the purpose of review from the publisher and details can be found at Revell,a division of Baker Publishing Group and My Book Addiction and More. 4