“One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, ‘Isn’t this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite?’ Then David sent messengers to get her. She came to him, and he slept with her.” – 2 Samuel 11:2-4
The whole fiasco began with David and Bathsheba committing an act of adultery. Once this occurred, a whole clamoring of dominoes took over involving deceit, murder, lying, and cover-up. Yet despite the horrendous consequences of the consensual act, the Bible’s perspective seems to only condemn David. What about Bathsheba?
She was a beautiful woman, and beauty in a woman is great power. In the early 2000’s, the most active web search for athletes was Anna Kournikova. Do you think it was because of all the tennis tournaments she won? Of course not; she never won a single tournament! It was all because she was beautiful! Beauty in a woman is great power. Don’t kid yourself, Bathsheba was aware of her power when she bathed outside by the moonlight, knowing the King was in town and her husband was away.
Even so, the Bible puts the responsibility of this sin on David, which is consistent with our contemporary laws on sexual harassment. The person in authority is the one held responsible for the deed. David was the man in power. He was the King, and he had the major responsibility for this sin, no matter how cooperative Bathsheba may or may not have been. He used his power and authority and he was held fully accountable.
It takes two to tango, but the one in power is always the most responsible.