Verse 27. "When the mourning was past" - Probably it lasted only seven days.
"She became his wife" - This hurried marriage was no doubt intended on both sides to cover the pregnancy.
"But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord." - It was necessary to add this, lest the splendour of David's former virtues should induce any to suppose his crimes were passed over, or looked on with an indulgent eye, by the God of purity and justice. Sorely he sinned, and sorely did he suffer for it; he sowed one grain of sweet, and reaped a long harvest of calamity and wo.
ON a review of the whole, I hesitate not to say that the preceding chapter is an illustrious proof of the truth of the sacred writings. Who that intended to deceive, by trumping up a religion which he designed to father on the purity of God, would have inserted such an account of one of its most zealous advocates, and once its brightest ornament? God alone, whose character is impartiality, has done it, to show that his religion, librata ponderibus suis, will ever stand independently of the conduct of its professors. Drs. Delaney, Chandler, and others, have taken great pains to excuse and varnish this conduct of David; and while I admire their ingenuity, I abhor the tendency of their doctrine, being fully convinced that he who writes on this subject should write like the inspired penman, who tells the TRuth, the WHOLE T RUTH, and NOTHING BUT THE T RUTH.
David may be pitied because he had fallen from great eminence; but who can help deploring the fate of the brave, the faithful, the incorruptible Uriah? Bath-sheba was probably first in the transgression, by a too public display of her charms; by which accidentally, the heart of David was affected wounded, and blinded. He committed one crime which he employed many shifts to conceal; these all failing, he is led from step to step to the highest degree of guilt. Not only does he feel that his and her honour, but even their lives, are at stake; for death, by the law of Moses, was the punishment of adultery. He thought therefore that either Uriah must die, or he and Bath-sheba perish for their iniquity; for that law had made no provision to save the life of even a king who transgressed its precepts. He must not imbrue his own hands in the blood of this brave man; but he employs him on a service from which his bravery would not permit him to shrink; and it which, from the nature of his circumstances, he must inevitably perish. The awful trial is made, and it succeeds. The criminal king and his criminal paramour are for a moment concealed; and one of the bravest of men falls an affectionate victim for the safety and support of him by whom his spotless blood is shed! But what shall we say of Joab, the wicked executor of the base commands of his fallen master? He was a ruffian, not a soldier; base and barbarous beyond example, in his calling; a pander to the vices of his monarch, while he was aware that he was outraging every law of religion, piety, honour, and arms! It is difficult to state the characters, and sum up and apportion the quantity of vice chargeable on each.
Let David, once a pious, noble, generous, and benevolent hero, who, when almost perishing with thirst, would not taste the water which his brave men had acquired at the hazard of their lives; let this David, I say, be considered an awful example of apostasy from religion, justice, and virtue; Bath- sheba, of lightness and conjugal infidelity; Joab, of base, unmanly, and cold-blooded cruelty; Uriah, of untarnished heroism, inflexible fidelity, and unspotted virtue; and then justice will be done to each character. For my own part, I must say, I pity David; I venerate Uriah; I detest Joab, and think meanly of Bath-sheba. Similar crimes have been repeatedly committed in similar circumstances. I shall take my leave of the whole with:-
Id commune malum; semel insanivimus omnes; Aut sumus, aut fuimus, aut possumus, omne quod hic est.
God of purity and mercy! save the reader from the euperistatov amartia, well circumstanced sin; and let him learn, "Where many mightier have been slain, By thee unsaved, he falls." See the notes on the succeeding chapter.