Rus Articles Journal

Rubens. “Bathsheba“. What the tsar David prayed for?

“Pardon me, My God, on great your favor, and on a set of your bounties efface my lawlessness“ (the Psalm 50). These words belong to the person who violated the law: “Efface my lawlessness“. Whether the criminal when made lawlessness understood it, or not?

Most likely, understood. What it forced to go against the law? Circumstances? Unrestrained desires? Most likely, the last.

The author of this prayer is the tsar David. He was a robber, killed, plundered, extorted, selected foreign wives. Also became the tsar because robed, killed, plundered, extorted. Also selected foreign wives when became the tsar.

Probably, at the end of life it changed (grew old, perhaps). Reconsideration of life came:

“4. Repeatedly wash me from my lawlessness, and clear of my sin me,
5. because I understand my lawlessness, and my sin always predo me“.

It is possible that also the understanding came that force - the two-edged weapon that it is necessary for normal life to follow some rules, laws. Of course, to become warm and fuzzy after many years managed lawlessness, a thing improbable, but he asks:

“9. Sprinkle me with a hyssop, and I will be pure; wash me, and I will be more white than snow.
12. Pure create heart in me, My God, and right update spirit in me“.

(A hyssop - a blue St. John`s Wort. Bunches of a hyssop were used as an aspergillum.)

He addresses the Lord:

“15. I will teach lawless to your ways, and impious will address You“.

But all this is in old age and that it created in youth! Here one of its feats (2nd book of Kingdoms, hl. 11.) :

“1. David sent Joab and the servants with him and all Israelis; and they struck Ammonityan and besieged Ravva; David remained in Jerusalem.
2. Once towards evening David, having got up, walked on a roof of the imperial house and saw the bathing woman from a roof; and that woman was very beautiful.
3. Also David sent to reconnoiter who this woman? Also told it: this is Bathsheba, the daughter Eliama, Uriya Hetteyanin`s wife.
4. David sent servants to take it; and it came to it, and he slept with her“.

How to call such act? Theft? Robbery? There is no husband the house, and the tsar orders to take to him the wife! The tsar broke the tenth commandment about which he knew well: “Do not wish the house of your neighbor; do not wish the wife of your neighbor, neither the slave him, nor his slave, nor his ox, nor his donkey, anything that at your neighbor“. in

But it business did not come to an end. The husband of this beauty was under supervision of the cousin David, top military commander. David asks the brother to send to him Uriya. Why to it it was required? The matter is that its new passion incurred. Perhaps, David wanted to hide a sin.

Uriya came to David, and after conversation about domestic and world situation David suggested Uriya to go home:

“5. This woman became pregnant and sent to inform David, speaking: I am pregnant.
6. Also David sent [to tell] Joab: send to me Uriya Hetteyanin. Also Joab Uriyu to David sent.
7. Also Uriya came to it, and David asked on Joab`s position and on position of the people, and on the war course.
8. Also David Urii told: go home and wash the legs. Also there was Uriya the house imperial, and after it incurred also imperial food“.
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At this moment ties the tragedy: Uriya did not want to go to the wife:

“9. But Uriya slept at gate imperial at home with all servants of the mister, and did not go to the house“.

Uriya is a devoted servant and the excellent soldier. He considered impossible to luxuriate near by at the wife when his companions bear weights of military service:

“10. Also informed David, speaking: Uriya did not go to the house. Also David Urii told: here, you came after the journey; why you did not go to the house?
11. Also told Uriya David: the ark and Israel and Judas are in tents, both mister my Joab and slaves to my master stay in the field, and I would enter the house and to eat and drink and sleep with the wife! I swear your life and life of your soul, I will not make it“.
David does to

one more attempt to hide a sin:

“12. Also David Urii told: remain here and this day, and tomorrow I will release you. Also there was Uriya in Jerusalem this day till tomorrow.
13. Also David invited him, and ate with [Uriya] before it and drank, and [David] gave to drink him. But evening [Uriya] went to sleep to the bed with slaves to the mister, and to the house did not go“.

Having refused to spend the night at home, Uriya signed to himself the death sentence:

“14. In the morning David wrote the letter to Joab and sent with Uriyey.
15. In the letter he wrote so: put Uriya where there [will] be the strongest battle, and recede from it that it was struck and died“.

Uriya died in battle.

26. Also Uriya`s wife heard that Uriya died, her husband, and cried after the husband.
27. When crying time came to an end, David sent, and took it in the house, and she became his wife and gave birth to it to the son.
I was this business which was made by David, the evil in the Lord`s eyes“. What

? Probably, very beautiful. And not only - David wanted to make her the wife (and made). Perhaps, it was also clever (though it is optional).

The legend not once inspired artists to make notable Bathsheba`s beauty (or Bath Shev, this same). The earliest pictures with Bathsheba (at the fountain, at a reservoir, with David) are dated the 16th century. One of modern works - the Israeli sculptor Frank Meysler.

Naturally, as Rubens was inspired by a legend of Bathsheba. On a cloth - the beautiful young woman at the fountain, near her slaves who put it in order. It would seem, a serene situation. But something brings concern: and she, and its doggie are busy with some object to the left of the viewer, behind a picture frame. Probably, someone from a family because it did not cause a fright in Bathsheba approached. On her face only a question: what happened?

The real threat - in the left top corner of a picture. There, on a balcony of the palace there is David, not without interest watching process. And the person who broke the habitual course of things, probably, brought to Bathsheba the insistent invitation to come to the palace.

It as if beginning of a sin. And the end - a prayer about forgiveness.

In 1630 the Italian composer Gregorio Allegri wrote music to a prayer which by the first word of the Italian text is called “Miserere“ (“Pardon“, the full name of a prayer - “Pardon me, My God!“). This prayer is executed two times on the Holy Week during night services in Catholic cathedrals. The music of extraordinary force getting into all veins. The prayer entered into concert repertoire of the famous tenors of the world - and immortalized all sins of the tsar David.