Remember David? Sure you do. He’s the dude who played the harp and tamed lions and killed Goliath and got a shout out in that one Jeff Buckley song. You remember, right? Good. That’ll save us some time. So anyway, this was after the whole Goliath thing when David had already been named king of Israel. Now being king of Israel in 1200 BC was a lot like being president of America in 1992-2010. You spent most of your time doing two things: getting tail and marauding across the Middle East. And by all accounts David was a freaking champ at both.
In fact, on this particular day in 2nd Samuel, the armies of Israel were out in the fields doing terrible, awful, unspeakable things to the Ammonites. Normally, David would have had his Braveheart gear on and been out there leading the charge, but he wasn’t feeling up to it this time. Things had been kind of stressful at home lately. The media was all over his ass about an “exit strategy” from Ammon and Wives 1-6 kept begging him to put babies in them. Meanwhile, Wife #7 had completely let herself go. Safe to say: the making love part of his job wasn’t quite keeping up with the making war part. But all that was about to change.
Late one evening, David was walking around his rooftop lounge smoking a Black N’ Mild and surveying his kingdom when he saw this chick taking a bath on her roof across the way. Seeing that this chick was super hot, and also super naked, David sent one of his servants to find out what her name was. The servant came back and reported that the chick’s name was Bathsheba. Considering that Bathsheba is a combination of the word “Bath” which is Hebrew for “bath” and “sheba” which is Hebrew for “she was taking one”, it is possible that the servant made this name up. But David didn’t care. He went ahead and had sex with Bathsheba, or whatever her name was, anyway. After he’d sexed her up he made her take the walk of shame all the way back to her place. Real class act, that David.
The next day David woke up and went about his kingly business as if nothing had happened. He didn’t give a second thought to his dirty deed until a couple months later when he got a letter that said:
I’m pregnant. Call me.
The Girl from the Roof
This was bad. Even in 1200 BC, it was considered wrong, or at least rude, for the king to go around knocking up married women. This was just the kind of thing that could ruin his standing with the “soccer mom” crowd. But this wasn’t David’s first rodeo. He knew how to handle his lady troubles.
He called up his main man Joab, who was supervising the army’s ravaging of Ammon, and told him to send Bathsheba’s husband, Uriah, back for two weeks of furlough. David was thinking Uriah would go home, shack up with his old lady, and – bingo bango – problem neutralized. What he hadn’t counted on was Uriah being a standup dude with more class in his mustache than David had in his entire beard. Uriah didn’t even go home to fill his bird feeders.
He told David, “The Ark of the Covenant is getting blasted. My homeboys are sleeping in tents. I’ll be damned if I’m gonna go get freaky with the Mrs. while the rest of my platoon can’t do the same. With their wives, I mean. You know what I’m saying. No one’s getting freaky with my wife but me.”
David was kind of annoyed by how much of a better person Uriah was than him, but he wasn’t giving up that easy. He told Uriah to come over for dinner the next night and then he could go back to his precious little tents. Uriah came over and David proceeded to pour cheap liquor into him like he was a cheerleader at a homecoming dance. Before long, Uriah was piss drunk. But even then he wouldn’t go home. He passed out on David’s futon and, in an ironic turn of events, puked all over David’s coffee table.
It was time for extreme measures. David gave Uriah a letter for Joab and sent him back to the front line. In the letter were instructions for Joab to put Uriah with Israel’s Delta Force warriors even though Uriah had only been out of basic training for like 8 months. Basically, it was a letter giving our boy Uriah the shaft. David knew Uriah couldn’t read so he wasn’t worried about him figuring out what was going down.
Joab was kind of bummed when he got the letter because everyone loved Uriah. He made some damn good coffee and could do a spot-on Dane Cook impression. He was good company. But Joab was the King’s boy so he went ahead and did as he was told. Uriah went out with the ballsiest of the badasses and it wasn’t long before he caught an arrow in the chest. Game, set, match. Uriah died for his country and David lived to fornicate another day.
After he heard about Uriah’s passing, David called up Bathsheba and she moved into the castle to become Wife #8. Most scholars agree that this was a dick move on David’s part. God was none too pleased about it either. He’d seen the whole thing and you can bet he was going to have a word with David about it. He sent the prophet Nathan to smack David around for being such a perv. Diseases and other disasters followed and eventually David learned to quit creeping on the neighbors.
But that’s a story for another day.