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Cornelis van Haarlem : Bathsheba in the bathroom

Bathsheba is the mother of King Solomon in the Jewish Tanakh (and in the Christian Old Testament of the Bible ) .


The Hebrew feminine personal name בַּת־שֶׁבַע Saeva asked ' , German , Batseba' is a genitive consisting of basic words and determining word. The basic word is the noun בַּת bat "daughter", the defining word is the noun שֶׁבַע šæva ​​' "abundance". The name therefore means "daughter of abundance". The personal names Joscheba (יְהֹושֶׁבַע jəhôšæva ' or יְהֹושַׁבְעַת jəhôšav'at " YHWH is abundance"), Elischeba (אֱלִישֶׁבַע ' älîšæva ' "God is abundance") and the Greek form Elisabeth (Ἐλισάβετ) were worn by women .

In 1 Chr 3,5  EU there is the name instead of the expected name Bathshebaבַּת־שׁוּעַ bat šûa ' . This is also a genitive connection, but with the other determinant שׁוּעַ šûa ' "Heil", so that the name can be translated as "daughter of salvation". The name was probably only a result of a text error from Bathsheba. Presumably, instead of בַּת־שֶׁבַע bat šæva ' בַּת־שֶׁוַע bat šæwa' was written and then vocalized in another way, namely בַּת־שׁובַּת־שׁ bat šûa ' .

The Septuagint gives the name (also in 1 Chr 3,5  LXX ) as Βηρσαβεε Bērsabee , the Vulgate as Bethsabee (also in 1 Chr 3,5  VUL ).


According to the biblical narration in 2 Sam 11  EU , Bathsheba was the wife of the Hittite Uriah . Her father's name was Eliam, her grandfather Ahitofel (2 Sam 11.3; 23.34; Mt 1.6). While her husband, one of the highest officers of King David and a member of a special unit of the same (2 Sam 23:23:39), far from his house - during a campaign against the Ammonites - lay with the Israelite army before the besieged Rabba , King David saw Bathsheba while bathing and had her brought in to see her out of wedlock.

Jan Massys : David and Bathsheba

When David found out afterwards that Bathsheba had become pregnant by him , he had Uriah return to Jerusalem in the hope that Bathsheba would marry and recognize the child as his own later. However, Urija refused to go into his own house and sleep with his wife while the acts of war continued and the other soldiers were denied such privilege.

Thereupon David instructed his captain and general Joab, through a letter delivered by Uriah himself, to let Uriah die cunningly in battle. This is what the proverbial letter of Urias refers to . After the calculated death of the husband and the subsequent period of mourning, Bathsheba became David's eighth wife.

In the Old Testament, this narrative is immediately followed by the “punishment speech of Natan ” in 2 Sam 12  EU , in which the prophet rebukes David's actions and announces his punishment - the death of the newborn child.

1 KingsEU reports on the enforcement of the claims to David's successor for her second son Solomon by Bathsheba .


Lucas Cranach the Elder made the material part of the Exemplum panels of Elector Joachim II.

The Venusian crater Bathsheba and the asteroid (592) Bathsheba are named after her.

The Swedish writer Torgny Lindgren (* 1938) wrote the novel Bat Seba in 1984 .

Motifs of the Bathsheba story can be found in the German film Unter dir die Stadt (2010) by Christoph Hochhäusler.

Leonard Cohen condensed the Bathsebam motif in his song Hallelujah (1984).

The Norwegian writer Jo Nesbø uses the Urias motif in his third novel Rotkehlchen (including page 120 in Ullstein-Verlag, 1st edition 2001).


  • Use MüllnerBathsheba. In: Michaela Bauks, Klaus Koenen, Stefan Alkier (Eds.): The Scientific Biblical Lexicon on the Internet (WiBiLex), Stuttgart 2006 ff.
  • Art. בַּת־שֶׁבַע and בַּת־שׁוּעַ, In: Gesenius. 18th edition 2013 , p. 186.
  • Martin Noth : The Israelite personal names in the context of the common emitic naming. Kohlhammer, Stuttgart 1928, p. 147.226.240.
  • Hans Rechenmacher : Old Hebrew personal names. Münster 2012, p. 162,201.
  • Maria Häusl : Abischag and Batscheba. Women at the royal court and the succession to the throne of David in the testimony of the texts 1 Kings 1 and 2 (= work on text and language in the Old Testament , volume 41, Munich University publications: Philosophical Faculty of Classical Studies and Cultural Studies ). EOS, St. Ottilien 1993, ISBN 3-88096-541-2 (Dissertation University of Munich 1993, 345 pages).
  • Elisabeth Kunoth-Leifels: On the representation of "Bathsheba in the bath"; Studies on the history of the subject in the 4th to 17th centuries. Bacht, Essen 1962, OCLC 12087863 .
  • Andreas Kunz: The women and the king David: Studies on the figuration of women in the David's stories (= work on the Bible and its history , volume 8). EVA Evangelische Verlagsanstalt, Leipzig 2004, ISBN 3-374-01954-4 (Habilitation thesis Uni Leipzig 2001, 408 pages).

Web links

Commons : Bathsheba  - album with pictures, videos and audio files