Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty

This book by Angela Hunt is a part of her Dangerous Beauty series. It alternates between the perspectives of Bathsheba and Nathan-the prophet. The Biblical story line is entwined with a fictional story line to help portray a picture of what may have taken place. The author uses culture, time, and history to enhance what we know from the Bible. Bathsheba plays an important role in history as her son falls in the line of Jesus. We see her family life, her interactions with David’s other wives and children, and over the course of the book we see her pain, humiliation, and bitterness turn to healing, forgiveness and love towards David. In the fictional story, Nathan has always been attracted to Bathsheba but after God makes it clear to him that she is not the woman who he will have as a wife, he follows the will of God. He is transported through visions and witnesses David’s lust and betrayal. Biblically, he plays an important role in the exposure of David’s sin.

I have always enjoyed reading Biblical historical fiction. I feel that knowing the culture, time, and history surrounding the stories that we read in the Bible adds understanding to scripture. However, this puts a burden on the author to carefully interweave Biblical truth with fiction assumptions and/or possibilities without distorting scripture. The author in this case, overall created a good story but I personally think that she went a little too far in some areas. I agree with her assertion that King David most likely raped Bathsheba. As a king, he could take who he wanted, when he wanted. As woman in that time, Bathsheba would have no choice but to submit to her king’s demands. We know from the Bible that David tried to cover up his sin, when Bathsheba gets pregnant, by bringing Uriah home and trying to convince him to go home to sleep with his wife. When Uriah did not do this, David had him carry his own death warrant to the General. After news of Uriah’s death, David brought Bathsheba to his household. The problem I have with the fiction in this book, is how the author portrayed Nathan. It is possible that Nathan and Bathsheba may have known each other when they were young and that he could have been attracted to her. However, there is no indication of this in scripture. Also, the author portrays Nathan as having visions where he is transported to the scenes that he is witnessing. This allows him to see the same scene that David saw on the roof as he gazed on Bathsheba and caused him to momentarily lust after her as well. I do not know how God gave the prophets of old visions but I have a hard time believing that He would purposely put Nathan in the position  that would cause him to sin (lust is equal to adultery according to Jesus in the gospel of Matthew). So for this reason, I do not care for part of Nathan’s story line that the author chose to portray. I would recommend this to anyone who likes Biblical historical fiction but only with the understanding that this as a whole is fiction and not to take the place of Biblical truths.

In accordance with the Federal Trade Commission I am required to disclose that Bethany House provided this book for free in exchange for my review. I was not required to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed are my own.

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Bathsheba: Reluctant Beauty
By Angela Hunt / Bethany House

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Open Letter To My Friend

We all make bad choices. We all make mistakes. You are not the only one.

The choices you are making are affecting your family and friends in a negative way. You may not even know that we are aware of some of the choices you have been making. You may not care.

You have burned bridges with the people who care about you. You have pulled away from your friendships and relationships. Your friends and family now need to guard their hearts around you.

We hope for the best but see the worst. We have watched you from a distance. We have seen your Facebook posts. We have heard the rumors. We know the lies.

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To the friend fighting addiction, there is hope for recovery.

drug abuse “But thanks be to God that, though you used to be slaves to sin, you have come to obey from your heart the pattern of teaching that has now claimed your allegiance. You have been set free from sin and have become slaves to righteousness.” (Romans 6:17-18)

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To the friend having an affair, there is restoration from adultery. 

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“Therefore what God has joined together, let no one separate.” (Mark 10:9)

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To the friend giving in to depression, there is joy over the horizon.

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“…Weeping may stay for the night, but rejoicing comes in the morning.” (Psalm 30:5) 

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To the friend who is always angry, there is forgiveness that will heal your wounds.

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“Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you.” (Colossians 3:13) “Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” (Romans 12:19)

Forgiveness

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There are many people who care about you, who love you, who pray for you, and who want to see your life restored!

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If you are my friend and you feel like this letter is written about you, please know that the letter was written with a few different people in mind (not just one particular person). It was written as a collaborative effort with one of my friends. There is a particular friend that both of us know and are concerned about. We have been praying fervently for this friend. However, both of us have other friends who are struggling as well and who we also pray fervently for. We wanted to write out our concerns and feelings without adding to the problems our friends are facing. We felt that this would be the best way of doing that since it does not single any one person out. And because we know that everyone has at least one friend or family member that they are concerned about.

[All images found by searching Google Images.]