Bathsheba (People of the Promise James R. Shott, 8) by James R. Shott

By James R. Shott

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But it was empty now. On the dais near the throne stood Ahitophel, her grandfather, one of David's most respected counselors. She had never felt much affection for him, nor he for her. He was always too busy, and he seemed to disapprove of her marriage to a foreigner. Bathsheba looked around at the throng of people who had come to the palace to pay their respects to the bereaved king. Everybody who mattered was there. The Mighty Three. The Mighty Thirty. David's closest friends and advisers were military men.

Her father was an unknown Israelite warrior. "The roof, Hephzibah. " She understood her servant's confusion. For the past few years, her mistress had not taken a rooftop bath. Not Page 27 since the completion of the palace. And never in the middle of the night. " Bathsheba walked away. The bewildered servant began heating the water on the cooking fire in the courtyard while Bathsheba chose her soap and perfume. On the rooftop, Hephzibah had laid out the shallow bathtub and had already poured into it several buckets of warmed water.

Page 33 4 Two weeks later, they brought back to Jerusalem the body of Uriah the Hittite. According to the gossip which floated around Jerusalem, related to Bathsheba by her handmaid Hephzibah, he was killed by arrows from the wall at Rabbah during a frontal assault. Joab's fault, the rumor said. He had ordered the futile attack, then failed to support it with reserves. It had been slaughter. Bathsheba, wearing one of her old dresses, properly torn and covered with dust, waited for the return of her husband.

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