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David suffered a shattered kingdom, two dead sons, and his wives were raped in front of everyone… all because of the death of one African man… Uriah. We’ve all heard the story of David stealing Bathsheba from Uriah, but how big of a role did Uriah’s betrayal and death play in the life of David? In most Bible studies, Uriah is sort of a side note, and that’s only because of what David did to him:
- David got Bathsheba (Uriah’s wife) pregnant.
- David then set up Uriah to be killed in battle.
If that was the extent of the story, there wouldn’t be much to tell, but Uriah’s death is only the beginning of David’s problems with God, Israel, and his son Absalom.
Uriah The Hittite
To understand the genealogy of Uriah, we must start at the beginning with Noah’s son Ham. Most researchers will readily admit that Ham is considered to be the father of the African nations. If this is true, and I believe that it is, then it would mean that Ham’s descendants are black Africans. It’s a logical conclusion.
In Genesis 9, there is an event that leads to Noah putting a curse on Ham’s son Canaan (Noah’s grandson). The course basically condemned Canaan to become a slave to his brothers. Probably hoping to avoid the curse, Canaan moved from Africa to modern day Israel, which is ancient Canaan.
“And Canaan begat Sidon his firstborn, and Heth,” – Genesis 10:15
One of the sons of Canaan was named Heth (Ham’s grandson), and it is from Heth that we get the Hittites. It is likely that they were originally called Hethites, and as time progressed, the pronunciation became Hittites. They are also referred to in scripture as “The Children of Heth”. It was from this line that Uriah the Hittite descended.
If the Hittites descended from Heth, and Heth was the son of Canaan, and Canaan was the son of Ham, and Ham was the father of the African nations, then it is reasonable to conclude that Uriah was definitely of African descent and very likely black as well.
David’s Mighty Man
David surrounded himself with mighty men that he collected from different nations and tribes that he ruled over. One of these mighty men listed among the 37 was Uriah the Hittite:
“These be the names of the mighty men whom David had… Uriah the Hittite: thirty and seven in all.” 23:8, 39
As we can see, Uriah wasn’t just a random nobody soldier in David’s army. He was part of an elite group of 37 that traveled and fought beside the king. If David was King Arthur, these would be his knights of the round table. It was because of this closeness that David’s betrayal was taken personal by Bathsheba’s father. Not only that, it angered God, and David would pay dearly for his decision for years to come.
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David Betrays Uriah
While Uriah was out fighting, David woke up one morning and caught a glimpse of Bathsheba bathing. David decides he wants to have sex with her, and sends for her:
“And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king’s house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?” 2 Samuel 11:2-3
Even after being told that the woman was the wife of his mighty man, Uriah the Hittite, David decided to have sex with Bathsheba anyway, and he got her pregnant in the process. At some point, probably during his days of mourning God’s decree that his child would die because of the adultery, David finds himself in very deep regret for his actions. We don’t find this part in the story itself, but later in the Bible:
“[[To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet came unto him, after he had gone in to Bathsheba.]] Have mercy upon me, O God, according to thy lovingkindness: according unto the multitude of thy tender mercies blot out my transgressions.” – Psalms 51:1
After finding out about Bathsheba’s pregnancy, David first tries to trick Uriah into sleeping with his wife by allowing him leave from war. Uriah refuses to have sex with his wife while the other men were out fighting and sleeping in the field, which leaves David with only one option:
“And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.” – 2 Samuel 11:15
Not only did David get Uriah’s wife pregnant, but he also had Uriah set up to be killed in battle. David probably sighed in relief as he married Bathsheba in enough time so that nobody would know what he did… but his actions didn’t go unnoticed by Uriah’s grandfather in law or God.
God Punishes David
Throughout the story, David makes one bad decision after another, and not once does God impede his free will… but there are consequences to go with David’s actions, from both man and God.
“Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.” – 2 Samuel 12:14
After David’s child that was conceived during his adulterous affair with Bathsheba dies, David ends his mourning period. He and Bathsheba then have another son, and that son was King Solomon. But before the birth of Solomon, the death of Uriah would come back to haunt David in deadly and destructive ways.
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