2 Samuel 11:2

Hebrew Bible

1 In the spring of the year, at the time when kings normally conduct wars, David sent out Joab with his officers and the entire Israelite army. They defeated the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David stayed behind in Jerusalem. 2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of his palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. Now this woman was very attractive. 3 So David sent someone to inquire about the woman. The messenger said, “Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?”

2 Samuel 16:22

Hebrew Bible

21 Ahithophel replied to Absalom, “Sleep with your father’s concubines whom he left to care for the palace. All Israel will hear that you have made yourself repulsive to your father. Then your followers will be motivated to support you.” 22 So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and Absalom slept with his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel. 23 In those days Ahithophel’s advice was considered as valuable as a prophetic revelation. Both David and Absalom highly regarded the advice of Ahithophel.

2 Samuel 18:24

Hebrew Bible

24 Now David was sitting between the inner and outer gates, and the watchman went up to the roof over the gate at the wall. When he looked, he saw a man running by himself. 25 So the watchman called out and informed the king. The king said, “If he is by himself, he brings good news.” The runner came ever closer. 26 Then the watchman saw another man running. The watchman called out to the gatekeeper, “There is another man running by himself.” The king said, “This one also is bringing good news.”

 Notes and References

"... As for the prophecy that a man will take David’s wives publicly, the man turns out to be his own son, Absalom. As a part of his claim to his father’s dominion, Absalom makes a public display of having sexual intercourse with ten of David’s concubines. And, as in the story of Jacob in J, there are signals in the text that point out the ironic recompenses. In the Court History, David sees Uriah’s wife, Bathsheba, bathing from his roof, which first attracts him to the affair. Later, the way that Absalom publicizes his displacement of David is ... And later still, the way that David learns of Absalom’s death is that a watchman on a roof sees the runners coming with the news This now gives meaning to all the parallels I mentioned at the beginning between the J story of Dinah and Shechem and the Court History story of Amnon and Tamar. All of the irony that pervades the story of David’s sin and recompense is doubled when we see it to be itself an ironic recurrence? reenactment? variation? legacy? of what happened to David’s ancestor, Jacob ..."

Friedman, Richard Elliott The Hidden Book in the Bible (pp. 49-50) Harper San Francisco, 1998

 User Comments

Do you have questions or comments about these texts? Please submit them here.