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the vindication of king David.

For context: I’m a gentile and an atheist, but recently I’ve gotten interested in the topic of the interpretation of certain jewish religious texts.

To my surprise I’ve learned that some schools of jewish thought justifies king David’s actions in trying to get his general Uriah killed so he could bang his wife. For example, this is Chabad’s explanation for “what really happened”: “Being a prophet, David knew that his heir and successor would be the son that would be born to him and Bathsheba, a woman of renown, famous for her excellence of character, no less than for her unsurpassed beauty. David learned, however, that she was married to Uriah, a captain fighting under Joab’s command. Now it was customary in those days for married men, before going to war, to obtain a divorce from their wives, so that, in the event of their being “missing” in battle, their wives could get married again. Uriah had accordingly obtained a divorce from his wife. David wished to marry Bathsheba at once. He summoned Uriah to him, and, in the course of discussion, Uriah insulted the king. David could have had Uriah tried for high treason, but he was afraid that the trial might be considered a means of getting rid of him. David permitted Uriah to return to the battle field but instructed Joab that he should not endanger the lives of other soldiers to save Uriah from any predicament, for he deserved death in any case “.

Personally, even in this version David’s actions seem hardly moral. Sending a guy to war hoping he’ll die in battle so you can have his wife, who gets no say in the matter is hardly what a morally upstanding person would do. And if we are supposed to see his actions as just, then why does David end up cursed by god? The episode is followed by the parable of the rich man and the poor man, delivered by the prophet Nathan meant to shame his behavior. The first child he had with Bathsheba was struck with severe illness and died.

From what I’ve learned, the Torah makes it pretty clear that a lot of the heroes were heavily flawed people, not 2 dimensional paragons of virtue innocent of any wrongdoing.

Does Chabad’s interpretation have any basis in the Talmud, or any jewish scripture? I would also want to see some opinions on this vindication of David’s character.

submitted by /u/valonianfool
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Source: Reditt