Sunday, December 11, 2016

Arlene Corwin writes

Non-Sequiturs – Or Are They?

Silly me!
Quelle luxury!
I turn the tap for water 
Royalty not long ago
Did not, could not
Have had it better!
All that labor they went through
Just to get to water!
Then a tap of radiator
And the room is warm as toast.
If wanted, I could roast
A towel, but who’d want to?
And swell!
Quelle luxury!

 Image result for sebastiano ricci bathsheba at the bath
 Bathsheba at her Bath -- Sebastiano Ricci


  1. Bat Sheva ("daughter of the oath," anglicized as Bathsheba) was the daughter of Eliam (Ammiel), one of David's bodyguard of "thirty," who in turn was the son of one of David's erstwhile advisors Ahitophel ("Brother of Insipidity" or of "Impiety"), whose advice "was like that of one who inquires of God." Bat Sheva was married to one of the chiefs of the "thirty," Uriah the Hittite, and was one of the ancestors of Jesus (according to the Book of Matthew). Her story was mainly related in chapter 11 of the second "Book of Samuel," which began, "It was springtime, the time when kings go forth to war... but David remained in Jerusalem." While strolling on his palace roof he saw Bat Sheva bathing (David can barely be seen above the arch in Ricci's painting) and summoned her to his bedroom, impegnating her. (According to the Midrash, David shot at a bird, which was actually Satan in disguise, but missed; his arrow struck the wickerwork screen behind which Bat Sheba was bathing, splitting it and thus exposing her to the king's gaze.) To disguise Bat Sheba's adultery, and his own, David tried to recall Uriah in order to "wash his feet" and make a conjugal visit with his wife, but Uriah remained with the palace troops rather than violate his oath to remain celibate while on active military service. David then sent Uriah back to his troops, carrying the orders to his commander, David's nephew Yo'av (Joab. "Yahweh [is] father"), to put Uriah on the front lines and have the other soldiers move away from him so that he would be killed by the enemy troops. After Uriah's death David married Bat Sheva, though their illegitimate child died soon after birth.

  2. When Natan the prophet told David, "There were two men in one city; the one rich, and the other poor. The rich man had exceeding many flocks and herds: But the poor man had nothing, save one little ewe lamb, which he had bought and nourished up: and it grew up together with him, and with his children; it did eat of his own meat, and drank of his own cup, and lay in his bosom, and was unto him as a daughter. And there came a traveller unto the rich man, and he spared to take of his own flock and of his own herd, to dress for the wayfaring man that was come unto him; but took the poor man's lamb, and dressed it for the man that was come to him, " David became enraged and swore, "As the LORD liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die: and he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity." And then Natan rebuked the king, saying "Thou art the man.... thou hast killed Uriah the Hittite with the sword, and hast taken his wife to be thy wife.... Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun." David responded by composing Psalm 51:
    Have mercy on me,O God,
    according to your steadfast love;
    according to your abundant mercy
    blot out my transgressions.
    Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity,
    and acleanse me from my sin!
    For I know my transgressions,
    and my sin is ever before me.
    Against you, you only, have I sinned
    and done what is evil din your sight,
    so that you may be justified in your words
    and blameless in your judgment.
    Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity,
    and in sin did my mother conceive me.
    Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being,
    and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.
    Purge me hwith hyssop, and I shall be clean;
    wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
    Let me hear joy and gladness;
    let the bones that you have broken rejoice.
    Hide your face from my sins,
    and blot out all my iniquities.
    Create in me a clean heart, O God,
    and renew a right spirit within me.
    Cast me not away from your presence,
    and take not your Holy Spirit from me.
    Restore to me the joy of your salvation,
    and uphold me with a willing spirit.
    Then I will teach transgressors your ways,
    and sinners will return to you.
    Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God,
    O God of my salvation,
    and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness.
    O Lord, open my lips,
    and my mouth will declare your praise.
    For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it;
    you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.
    The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit;
    a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.
    Do good to Zion in your good pleasure;
    build up the walls of Jerusalem;
    then will you delight in aright sacrifices,
    in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings;
    then bulls will be offered on your altar.

  3. According to the "Haggadah," Ahithophel was an astrologer who believed he was destined to become king; he instigated David's third son Avshalom ("Father of peace") to revolt and to signal is insurrection by publicly having intercourse with 10 of his father's concubines, both as a means of provoking a civil war and simultaneously eliminating one of Ahitophel's chief rivals; when he realized his plot would fail, he hanged himself. David ordered that Avshalom be spared, but Yo'av killed him anyway. After Avshalom's death, David's fourth, and oldest surviving, son Adoniyahu, ("Yahu is my lord") considered himself heir apparent with Yo'av's support, despite Natan's opposition. As David was dying, Adoniyahu held a sacrifice with the court officials and his brothers, but did not invite Solomon, the son of David and Bat Sheva. Natan and Bat Sheva induced David to install Solomon as king of Judah and to have Yo'av killed. So, while Ahitophel never becme king of Judah, his great-grandson did. Adoniyahu and Yo'av took refuge at the altar; Solomon pardoned his half-brother but had Yo'av executed in the holy Tent of the Tabernacle. Later, however, with Bat Sheva's support, Adoniyahu tried to marry David's final concubine Abishag in another attempt to gain the throne, and Solomon had him executed.
    Because of the principle of prophetic infallibilty (Ismah). Muslims exonerate David of wrongdoing in this case; when a Jewish scholar related that David was distracted from prayer by a beautiful bird, causing him to spy Bat Sheva bathing. Ali al-Ridha became upset and accused him of both assigning "sluggishness in prayer to the prophet of God" and claimed that Uriah was accdentally killed, wherupon David broke the tradition of widows not being able to remarry; which led to malicious gossip about the relationship.


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