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Authors: Jill Eileen Smith

Bathsheba

BOOK: Bathsheba
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“With attention to detail and a narrative style that draws one in, Jill Eileen Smith brings the biblical days of King David to life. I find her works thoroughly engrossing, and she receives my highest recommendation as an author of biblical fiction.”

Kim Vogel Sawyer
, award-winning author of
My Heart Remembers


Bathsheba
is a wonderful illumination of David and Bathsheba’s story, ultimately one of redemption and restoration with Adonai. The historical detail drew me in as much as the vivid emotional drama, making this biblical account one that will stay with me forever.”

Maureen Lang
, author of
The Oak Leaves
and the Great War series


Bathsheba
is Jill Eileen Smith’s finest work to date. It vividly portrays the devastation caused by selfish passion and betrayal, and the incredible blessing of repentance and restoration through God’s grace. Readers will savor this final chapter of the Wives of King David.”

Jill Stengl
, award-winning author of
Wisconsin Brides

“This well-researched and beautifully crafted story will resonate in your heart and mind long after you’ve read the final page. With beauty and truth, Jill Eileen Smith will take you back in time to reveal the consequences of sin coupled with the depth of God’s grace and forgiveness. An excellent read with a message that transcends time.”

Judith Miller
, author of the Daughters of Amana series

“Jill Eileen Smith has written a beautiful, poignant tale about one of the most well-known women in the Bible. Bathsheba’s story is complex and deftly handled, a fitting end to Smith’s acclaimed Wives of King David series. Highly recommended.”

Kathleen Fuller
, author of
A Summer Secret
,
A Hand to Hold
, and
The Secrets Beneath

© 2011 by Jill Eileen Smith

Published by Revell

a division of Baker Publishing Group

P.O. Box 6287, Grand Rapids, MI 49516-6287

www.revellbooks.com

E-book edition created 2011

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted in any form or by any means—for example, electronic, photocopy, recording—without the prior written permission of the publisher. The only exception is brief quotations in printed reviews.

ISBN 978-1-4412-1426-3

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data is on file at the Library of Congress, Washington, DC.

Unless otherwise indicated, Scripture is taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by Biblica, Inc.™ Used by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved worldwide.
www.zondervan.com

Scripture marked KJV is taken from the King James Version of the Bible.

Scripture marked NKJV is taken from the New King James Version. Copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

This is a work of historical reconstruction; the appearance of certain historical figures is therefore inevitable. All other characters, however, are products of the author’s imagination, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, is coincidental.

Published in association with the Books & Such Literary Agency, Wendy Lawton, Central Valley Office, P.O. Box 1227, Hilmar, CA 95324.
[email protected]

To Mom and Dad:
I couldn’t ask for more supportive or loving parents.

Mom,
you nurtured my love of books from the earliest days. I can still see you with a book in one hand and a spoon stirring whatever was on the stove in the other. You always listened and supported even my far-fetched dreams. Deep down, I think you’re a writer at heart.

Dad,
you were always there for me, standing on the sidelines, cheering my achievements. Your example, your faith, has made me want to live to make you proud. I know if you could, you would read every word I’ve written. Just knowing you love me is enough.

 

These are the names of David’s mighty men. . . . Among the Thirty were . . . Eliam son of Ahithophel the Gilonite . . . and Uriah the Hittite. There were thirty-seven in all.

2 Samuel 23:8, 24, 34, 39

 

Ahithophel was the king’s counselor. Hushai the Arkite was the king’s friend.

1 Chronicles 27:33

 

And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?

2 Samuel 11:3 KJV

 
1
 

Jerusalem, 994 BC

 

Darkness curtained the sky, hiding the stars, sheltering Bathsheba in the inner courtyard of her home. She clutched the soft linen towel to her chest, shivering, while Uriah stood with his back to her, a sentry guarding her privacy.

“Of course you must do this, but hurry, dear wife.” His mischievous tone heated her blood. Suddenly the chilly spring breeze seeping from her bare feet to the rest of her robe-draped body didn’t seem quite so cold.

“Yes, husband. Would you like to help?” Her tone teased him, and she took courage from his own playful manner. She had Tirzah, her maid, to pour the water over her head, but if he was in such a hurry to be with her . . .

He turned to face her, his dark eyes pools of interest. She had never suggested such a thing before. Tirzah always helped her do this. It was a woman’s place, a woman’s ritual. Would his strict adherence to the law of Moses let him help her? Did she want him to?

She pulled the robe tighter about her, watching him. He seemed to be assessing her question, and she knew him well enough to know he was thinking through every purification law and tradition to determine whether such a thing was proper before Adonai.

“We would defeat the purpose, Bathsheba,” he said at last. “Though if Tirzah were not available to help . . . I am your husband, after all.” Gentleness filled his expression, his eyes revealing how much he longed to do as she asked.

“It is a sacred moment.” She looked into his face as he took a step closer. “To remind a woman she is set apart unto God, and for her husband alone.” She placed a hand on his arm, seeing him warm to the thought.

“The law of Moses—it would allow for such a thing?” He rubbed a hand over his beard, the thought clearly troubling. He worked so hard to obey the law . . . If only he could relax and not take every jot, every little word, so strictly. But even after three years of marriage, she trod carefully in matters of the law lest she be party to his guilt. Guilt that was not worth the price of carelessness.

“I don’t know,” she said at last, stroking his cheek with her hand. “Until we do, Tirzah will help me. I will hurry.” She smiled at the relief in his eyes and moved quickly to the bronze basin he had purchased for her own private use. She set the towel on the stone bench beside it, and slipped the robe from her shoulders, listening to his sigh.

BOOK: Bathsheba
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