Queen Bathsheba, the queen mother

Queen Bathsheba, the queen mother

10th December

David then proceeded to console his wife Bathsheba. He went to her and slept with her. As a result, she bore a son, whom they named Solomon.” (2 Samuel 12:24)

Bathsheba is another of the four women mentioned in St Matthew’s version of Christ’s family history (Matthew 1:6). She became the wife of King David after a scandalous affair that also involved the death of her former husband, Uriah. Bathsheba had several children with King David, including Solomon, who would go on to succeed his father as king.

Bathsheba played an important role in the history of Israel. She not only helped ensure that her son took his rightful place as king of the nation, but she also served as his adviser. The First Book of Kings says: “The king rose up to meet her and bowed down to her. He sat down on his throne, and had a throne placed for the king’s mother, so that she sat on his right hand.” (1 Kings 2:19) This represents a position of honour and influence.

As a mother who began David’s royal family line, Bathsheba is the counterpart of the Virgin Mary, who later brought it to fulfilment in Christ. Elsewhere in the Bible, Bathsheba is described as God’s “servant-girl” (Wisdom 9:5), which reminds us of the Virgin Mary’s own description of herself during the Annunciation: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord. Let it be done to me according to your word.” (Luke 1:38)

This stained glass scene pictures Bathsheba seated on a throne to the right of her son, King Solomon, as in 1 Kings 2:19. The window was created by the Hardmans firm in 1883 and is found within the sanctuary of Our Lady and St Dominic’s church, in London. The sanctuary windows picture numerous women from the Old Testament who each paved the way for the Virgin Mary.

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