More Discussions for this daf
1. David and Bassheva 2. Bil'am's Donkey - Sochenes

Nechemyah D asked:


I have seen here and in Mesechet Shabbat, were the sin of David has come up, and in both places David is said to have been cleared from sleeping with another mans wife, and then having him killed in battle by saying that he is ok, for they gave the soldiers gittin when they went off to war. Now I can somewhat see that. But I have also heard that Bathsheva was in the Mikvah when King David saw her from the roof, for it is written " she was purified from her uncleanness( Shmuel bet perkek 11)".

Now was she coming back from the Mikvah when David lay with her, or did he lay with her and she became clean?

My question is why did Hash-m get mad at him, for I know what the Tanach says, but it seems like the Rabbis say different.

Nechemyah D, Los Angeles, USA

The Kollel replies:

(1) She went to Mikvah before David lay with her. This is apparent from Shmuel 2:11:4 "And she had become clean from her impurity". Radak there writes that her washing, mentioned by Tanach, was to become pure from being Nidah. Metzudat David also writes that she had just immersed herself before she came to David.

(2) (a) The difference between what the Tanach says and what the Rabbis say is explained very well by the Maharal of Prague in his book "The Well of the Exile", Well 5 chapter 10. David's actions were all perfect, but his intentions were not. The proof that David did not actually sin in practice, is from Shmuel 1:18:14 "And David was intelligent in all his ways, and Hash-m was with him". (This proof is cited by the Gemara Shabbos 56a that you mentioned). The verse could not say that Hash-m was with him, if he had actually sinned.

(b) Maharal writes that this can be compared to Reuven who attacked Shimon with the aim of stealing Shimon's belongings. Shimon sees that anyway he is going to lose his possessions, so he decides to give his belongings as a present to Reuven, to save Reuven from the sin of stealing. So, in effect, Reuven is not a thief but Reuven's intentions were wrong because he wanted to steal. Similarly Hash-m did everything to prevent King David actually doing an aveira, even though David himself was not careful about this.

(c) Maharal writes that the get that is written for the soldier going to war is only effective if the husband does not return. David did not know whether or not Uriah was going to return but even so he was with Batsheva.Ultimately the action was in order but the intentions were not right. Nevertheless David had the merit of receiving a special "Siyata diShamaya" and Hash-m protected him from sin.

(d) What the Maharal writes can be seen in the aforementioned Gemara Shabbos which explains the verse (Shmuel 2:12:9) "Why did you despise the word of Hash-m to do bad in his eyes?" to mean that David wanted to do bad but did not actually do bad. The Tanach looks at his intentions and this is why Hash-m was angry with him, but the Gemara is pointing out that he did not actually do these things.

Pesach Kasher v'Sameach

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