A long time ago, a certain soldier married a very beautiful lady. Her beauty literally made kings swoon.
Smooth skin: check
Caramel colour: check
Aquiline nose: check
Long legs: check
Figure 8: check
She truly was the cynosure of all eyes. However, something about her puzzles me.
As a beauty married to a soldier, duty called and her husband was summoned to the battlefield and she was left alone at home. Late one afternoon, the king of their nation was walking on the roof of the palace, and he saw her having her bath. Quickly, he made enquiries about her, then he sent some of his messengers to bring her to him.
This is where it gets more fascinating. Mrs Soldier was brought to the king and he laid with her.
Nothing was said about the king forcing himself on her or her resisting his attempt to lay with her… In case you’re wondering, this is the story of King David and Bathsheba in 2 Samuel 11:1-4.
For the two women whose rape stories were recorded in the Bible (Dinah and Tamar), the Bible was careful to state what their conversation or response to the ugly incident was. For Bathsheba, here’s what we have: “So David sent messengers and took her, and she came to him, and he lay with her. (Now she had been purifying herself from her uncleanness.) Then she returned to her house” 2 Samuel 11:4
Clearly, there was no cajoling from the king, or struggle from her. She acted like it was normal. Like she had no choice. Like it was okay for the king to just lay with her and she would return to her house. It makes me think that if it was any other man that approached her and not the king, she also would have succumbed without resistance.
Perhaps you think I’m being too harsh and unfair to this beautiful woman. But please follow me to 1 Kings 2:13-22
“Then Adonijah the son of Haggith came to Bathsheba the mother of Solomon. And she said, “Do you come peacefully?” He said, “Peacefully.” Then he said, “I have something to say to you.” She said, “Speak.” He said, “You know that the kingdom was mine, and that all Israel fully expected me to reign. However, the kingdom has turned about and become my brother’s, for it was his from the Lord. And now I have one request to make of you; do not refuse me.” She said to him, “Speak.” And he said, “Please ask King Solomon—he will not refuse you—to give me Abishag the Shunammite as my wife.” Bathsheba said, “Very well; I will speak for you to the king.” So Bathsheba went to King Solomon to speak to him on behalf of Adonijah. And the king rose to meet her and bowed down to her. Then he sat on his throne and had a seat brought for the king’s mother, and she sat on his right. Then she said, “I have one small request to make of you; do not refuse me.” And the king said to her, “Make your request, my mother, for I will not refuse you.” She said, “Let Abishag the Shunammite be given to Adonijah your brother as his wife.” King Solomon answered his mother, “And why do you ask Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? Ask for him the kingdom also, for he is my older brother, and on his side are Abiathar the priest and Joab the son of Zeruiah.”
A little context to help you. Abishag the Shunammite was king David’s last wife. She was married for him in his old age to keep him warm when everything else failed. Though their union was not consumated, she was literally with him all the time, and as expected, he’d definitely share most of his secrets with her as his human confessionary. Abishag’s role in king David’s life and by extension, the throne, was very sensitive. However from the above scripture I shared from 1 Kings chapter 2, it’s apparent that Bathsheba, the Queen Mother, couldn’t even see this. I find it painfully sad that she saw nothing wrong in her son’s rival requesting for this particular maiden to be given to him as wife, even after that rather threatening introduction.
This is what informs the title of this post: Beauty without brain.
By every physical standard, Bathsheba was very beautiful. The Bible says so. However, from all that was written about her in the scriptures, she appears to be nothing more than a slay queen. Good to behold, good to have as a trophy wife or girlfriend, but unsuitable for critical conversations or decisions.
Her first husband, the soldier, died because of her, without even knowing why he was set-up for murder. Her son, king Solomon, would have been killed too, if he didn’t have sound discernment.
Dear young man, please don’t sacrifice your life, your future, your destiny, on the altar of marrying the most beautiful woman. While beauty is good, be discerning about the virtue, maturity and soundness (wisdom) of the woman you choose to spend the rest of your life with.
“Charm is deceitful, and beauty is vain, but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” Proverbs 31:30
PS: To commemorate the 2021 Father’s Day (June 20, 2021), this post is dedicated to all the amazing men who make our world: home, church, school, office, business, neighbourhood, market, society, a better place in every small and big way.
I honour and celebrate you all.