Friday, October 2, 2020

Bathsheba's Son


A woman holding a baby. She is dressed like a woman from the bible. Image source.

[content note: child death]


Then David said to Nathan, “I have sinned against the Lord.” 

Nathan replied, “The Lord has taken away your sin. You are not going to die. But because by doing this you have shown utter contempt for the Lord, the son born to you will die.”

- 2 Samuel 12:13-14


The child died. As a punishment for David.

The child that Bathsheba grew and birthed and breastfed. For 9 months she carried him in her body. From those first days, the fear and shame when she realized she was pregnant, and not by her husband. The morning sickness, the food cravings, the exhaustion. She gained weight, she got stretch marks. 

Around the 4th month of pregnancy, she started to feel the baby move. He grew more and more active, and sometimes the kicks hurt her. 

Did he grow inside David's uterus? Did he kick David? Did David risk death giving birth to him- because in those days, it was common for women to die in childbirth. Did David push an entire human out of his vagina? Did David bleed for this child?

Was David awake all night breastfeeding?

Bathsheba spent 9 months nurturing and loving the child that grew inside her body. David spent 9 months covering up a rape and a murder.

And when the baby got sick, who held him and comforted him? Not David. David went off alone to pray and fast.

When he heard the news that his baby had died, David stopped his praying and fasting and got up to eat. He started to move on with his life. Meanwhile, Bathsheba's breasts continued to produce milk. Her breasts swelled up, hard and painful, waiting for the baby who would never come back and drink.

Soon after, he got her pregnant again. She had another baby- who survived, fortunately. Maybe it was all the same to David. He wasn't that involved in the pregnancy. But for Bathsheba, going through all of that again... the morning sickness, the exhaustion, the labor. Growing to love her child even before his birth. Going through it all again. It wasn't "all the same." Nothing could ever replace her first child.

Bathsheba's son died, and God thought it was a punishment for David.

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