Bathsheba’s ( And Eve’s) Actions in Perspective

1 Peter 2:13-21 and 3:1-7, among other scriptures, has been used by some to keep women in abusive relationships  – as if that is where Jesus is calling them to suffer for Him.Jesus is not calling women to passively enable an abuser to remain unchallenged and unaccountable for sin, facing none of the consequences of abusive behavior.

“13 Submit yourselves for the Lord’s sake to every human authority: whether to the emperor, as the supreme authority, 14 or to governors, who are sent by him to punish those who do wrong and to commend those who do right.15 For it is God’s will(AH) that by doing good you should silence the ignorant talk of foolish people.16 Live as free people, but do not use your freedom as a cover-up for evil; live as God’s slaves.17 Show proper respect to everyone, love the family of believers, fear God, honor the emperor.

18 Slaves, in reverent fear of God submit yourselves to your masters, not only to those who are good and considerate, but also to those who are harsh. 19 For it is commendable if someone bears up under the pain of unjust suffering because they are conscious of God. 20 But how is it to your credit if you receive a beating for doing wrong and endure it? But if you suffer for doing good and you endure it, this is commendable before God.21 To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in his steps…..Wives, in the same way submit yourselves to your own husbands so that, if any of them do not believe the word, they may be won over without words by the behavior of their wives, 2 when they see the purity and reverence of your lives. 3 Your beauty should not come from outward adornment, such as elaborate hairstyles and the wearing of gold jewelry or fine clothes. 4 Rather, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. 5 For this is the way the holy women of the past who put their hope in God used to adorn themselves. They submitted themselves to their own husbands, 6 like Sarah, who obeyed Abraham and called him her lord. You are her daughters if you do what is right and do not give way to fear.

7 Husbands, in the same way be considerate as you live with your wives, and treat them with respect as the weaker partner and as heirs with you of the gracious gift of life, so that nothing will hinder your prayers.”





It bears remembering that for much of ancient history and in some cultures still women and children have been viewed as chattel, the property of a head of household

Many thanks to Karen T (@ToFertileChurch on Twitter) for these observations!

For those of certain complementarian theological inclinations with regard to women, and particularly those who are prone to demonize Bathsheba (and Eve and other women who fail to meet their personal, male-privilege unbiblical standard of appropriate virtue and submissiveness),

…”here are some uncomfortable facts that must be dealt with for the idea that Bathsheba was a willing participant in King David’s actions toward her to stand.

  1. Nathan never calls her out. In Nathan’s story in the very next chapter, it is clear that David is the rich man, Uriah is the poor man, and Bathsheba is the lamb.

  2. Beyond losing her first child with David, she is not punished. David’s later years are filled with problems due to his sin. Her later years are filled with ease as the Queen Mother. The story of Michal shows that women do get punished for their sins as well.

  3. Nathan goes to her to make sure that her son Solomon sits on the throne when another son of David is attempting a coup.

  4. Solomon speaks very highly of his mother and her wisdom.

  5. Every woman in the genealogy of Jesus, had been mistreated before being brought into the line of Jesus. Tamar was mistreated by her husband and father-in-law, Rahab was a harlot, Ruth was an outsider whose closest kinsmen failed to do his job, and Bathsheba was raped.

  6. Nathan tells him that what David did in secret would be done to him publically, and in the very next chapter, we see one of David’s daughters being raped, which leads to one of his sons being killed. Mirroring the exact same thing David had done.

Note: David married Bathsheba as the law required but Amnon refused to do so after he Raped Tamar even though she begged him to.”

I had written in a blog on October 16, 2021, similarly about Eve’s experience and how God not only didn’t hold her entirely responsible for the Fall, but put the representative brokenness of humankind on Adam while also providing a means for Eve’s offspring to be free from the curse of subjugation to her own desires for her husband (and thereby, also his desires to subjugate her!)

God may have created man first, but he chose to dwell in a woman first……as the Incarnate Christ in his chosen vessel, Mary. For women, the experience of pregnancy, if God is known and honored, becomes a physical representation of what becomes a lifelong connection to God … but she still must not worship her husband or her children, but keep her eyes on the Lord!

God’s disciplining consequences to the woman for disobedience to His Word:

“To the woman He said, “I will greatly multiply Your pain in childbirth, In pain you shall deliver children; Yet your desire will be for your husband, And he shall rule over you.”
Genesis 3:16 –

If a woman loses sight of her call to love and obey God first, she will become overly dependent on her husband (or children!) and give in to him under dominance that can become a burden on her…. The curse of dependence on one other than God…… and throughout history men have viewed woman’s curse as their privilege, benefit, and blessing….. Just how did such a circumstance as this come about?

Let’s revisit  the origin of man’s perceived privilege and blessing of domination over woman ….

Consider Eve ….and Adam, her co-conspirator in sin… Eve by active engagement with the serpent, Adam by complicit acquiescence, and both for hiding themselves and their shame from their Creator and for their blame of others instead of owning their disobedience and running to the Father in repentance…. Adam failed to lead Eve through righteous example, being disobedient to God in the process himself and failing to hold neither himself nor her accountable to follow God’s instruction. In fact, Adam appears to have misrepresented God’s words, spoken to Adam before Eve was even part of the Eden family, when Adam communicated them to Eve later. In Genesis 2:15-18 we read the report of God’s caution to Adam:

15 The Lord God took the man and put him in the Garden of Eden to work it and take care of it. 16 And the Lord God commanded the man, “You are free to eat from any tree in the garden;17 but you must not eat from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil, for when you eat from it you will certainly die.”

18 The Lord God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him.”


Then, when the cunning serpent later approached Eve, in Adam’s presence, we see her offer this second-hand report of God’s words to Adamin Genesis 3:


Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?”

The woman said to the serpent, “We may eat fruit from the trees in the garden, but God did say, ‘You must not eat fruit from the tree that is in the middle of the garden, and you must not touch it, or you will die.’”

“You will not certainly die,” the serpent said to the woman.“For God knows that when you eat from it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.”

When the woman saw that the fruit of the tree was good for food and pleasing to the eye, and also desirable for gaining wisdom, she took some and ate it. She also gave some to her husband, who was with her, and he ate it. Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked;

How could Eve have known what God had said to Adam except for Adam having told her?  And why would God’s word to Adam in 2:16-17 be substantially different from how Eve described it to the serpent in Genesis 3:2-3 with Adam standing right there?  Did Adam have a lapse of memory?  Did he embellish God’s word when he conveyed it to Eve?  Did Adam keep quiet to keep from having to acknowledge his misrepresentation to Eve?  And when the cunning serpent confronted Eve she could only repeat what Adam had told her, so she actually could not warrant the truth of God’s instruction from a first- person account ….and Adam stood there and said nothing…. nothing.

Adam neither spoke up in defense of God’s instructions in the presence of the serpent nor did Adam correct Eve in the moment nor admonish Eve for her decision after the fact of her taking it and eating. Why?  Did Adam test God, viewing Eve as disposable, willing to sacrifice her to death, since that was the stated consequence for eating from the tree of life?  Did he, out of curiosity, keep quiet and wait to see the outcome, essentially using her like a king’s cup bearer, to taste and determine whether the food contained dangerous poison?  In having failed his responsibility, it seems clear that God made Adam himself come to bear the permanent representative weight of the fall of God’s perfect, very good creation, though many have put the full responsibility on Eve, who was allowed by Adam to walk into a trap set by the serpent.   Adam’s failure in leadership, his own disobedience, and his neglect in acting protectively on behalf of the helper God created to complete him compounded the sin born by Eve. From the one entrusted with much, (Adam) much was required and he failed to show up.

Each of them received a curse from God for their respective roles in the disobedience.  But God provided a reprieve, a way out of the curse for the woman. If a woman knows her true identity in Christ and stands firm in loyalty in worshipping God, the curse upon woman is broken! She is given the opportunity to embrace righteousness and self-restraint over her desires, keeping her proper focus on worship of God instead of getting caught up in dependent desire for her husband or children to define her.  Then she can hope to enjoy a husband who is equally obedient to Christ and who loves her as Christ loves his bride, the church.

The curse says that even In spite of the pain of childbirth, she will still find herself desiring her husband’s affection….. there’s the curse…. born as disloyal desires for one other than God… which many women have found a man wielding as a bondage over them. When a woman is fully devoted to God, and knows freedom in Christ as a result, she is freed from that dominance born of her own desires.  Furthermore, scripture says that by her righteous example, even an unbelieving husband may come to Christ, too, if he is not already an obedient follower of God. And if he IS, he will have already learned to value her as an equal in Christ and will not have used dominance or threats as leverage over her.

1 Corinthians 7:14:

“For the unbelieving husband is made holy because of his wife, and the unbelieving wife is made holy because of her husband. Otherwise your children would be unclean, but as it is, they are holy.”

1 Peter 3:1–2:

“Likewise, wives, be subject to your own husbands, so that even if some do not obey the word, they may be won without a word by the conduct of their wives, when they see your respectful and pure conduct.”

John 16:21:

“Whenever a woman is in labor she has pain, because her hour has come; but when she gives birth to the child, she no longer remembers the anguish because of the joy that a child has been born into the world.”

Thankfully we do forget the pain, or all families would have only 1 child!

1 Timothy 2:15:

“But women will be preserved through the bearing of children if they continue in faith and love and sanctity with self-restraint.”

What joyfully redemptive news for a woman from the curse of potentially abusive dominance by a husband that arises out of his own misunderstanding of the choice she has to exercise obedience to God in the matter!

In pregnancy, childbearing and nursing, the woman is the child’s first connection, the child’s first “love” based on the chiild’s needs being met and trust being formed through that bond. If a mother is godly, she helps establish the child’s father as a full partner in that family dynamic of trust and love, incarnating the model of communion of the Trinity within the family. And together the parents exemplify and demonstrate the communion of the Trinity to the child as he grows and help him transfer that trust in the family to trust in God in Christ as he grows to know the fullness of faith.”

There’s order and beauty and communion and reconciling liberty in relationships of love evidenced and available in God’s wonderful Creation!


Few things reveal ignorance of the mind of Christ and of a “whole Word” view and reading of Scripture better than victim-blaming by domineering-male, self-righteous religious abusers.