Tosafos version of Rashi in the Gemara Kesubos 9b implies that there was a get on condition that Uria (Bat shevas husband) won't come back. So if David didn't know if Uria would come back or not how could he live with Bat sheva?

Or maybe that was David's mistake since the gemara said David Hamelech didn't sin. But this is David Hamelech we are talking about here!

  • R' Yosef Zevin, in Le'Or HaHalacha, has an extended discussion of War Gittin, and when they activated. And if they necessitated a remarriage on return.
    – Menachem
    Apr 14, 2013 at 6:32
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    −1. (1) No context. (Who are this "Uria" and this "Bet sheva"?) (2) What is this "Gemara 9b"? (3) I find it hard to believe that "in Tos [ = Tosafos's?] version of Rashi" there was an entire get. Rashi tends to be brief and to the point, and a get is customarily twelve lines (though, to be fair, I don't know that Rashi held it was twelve lines). (4) Your second paragraph is very unclear. ¶ I know the answers to a lot of my questions here. I'm not saying the question's very unclear to me. I'm saying it's very unclear to the typical reader unfamiliar with Bas Sheva and g'mara.
    – msh210
    Apr 14, 2013 at 15:30
  • Your question is asked carefully and clearly. But it's worth pointing out for others that Tosefos themselves hold that the get was unconditional.
    – MichoelR
    Oct 4, 2021 at 14:07

3 Answers 3


Although the popularized understanding of the Gemara in b.Shabbath 56a is that David haMelekh never actually sinned with Batsheva` but only appeared to sin, the Gemara as a whole, and the tradition as taught by the Rishonim are not so monolithic on this question. In fact, aside from the statements made to this effect by Rav Shemu'el Bar Nahmeni and Rebi Yehudhah haNasi in this passage of Masekheth Shabbath, all other references made to the incident of David and Uriyah haHiti reflect the opposite view, namely that David did indeed commit the sin of esheth ish, and that such an interpretation is the obvious peshuto shel miqra (plain meaning of the Biblical text).

The dissonance with the popularly taught view begins with a line in the very text of the Gemara in Shabbath 56 where Rav answers the objections to David sinning raised by both Rebi and Rav Shemu'el bar Nahmeni by saying, "Those who are descended from David seek to defend and expound his merits." In other words, he is noting that although the text of the Tana"kh clearly spells out the nature of David's sin, due to the public and embarrassing mistakes of their esteemed forebear, they seek to expound the text in a forced way to exonerate him.

Other places in the Gemara which hold the opinion that David haMelekh did sin are:

  • b.Sanhedrin 107a (Batsheva is a fully-married woman with whom David sinned)
  • b.Kethuboth 9a-b (no names are explicitly mentioned, however the mefarshim and Rishonim understand the discussion to be making reference to David and Batsheva)
  • b.Avodah Zarah 4b-5a (David, through his admission of guilt, elevates the "yoke of teshuvah)
  • Yoma 22b (David is punished four-fold for sinning with Batsheva)

Amongst the Rishonim are also opinions to the contrary:

  • The Riva"n (Shu"T Hakhmei Provanssia 71) relates that although Haza"l tried to be limudh zekhuth on David, the fact that he blatantly sinned with regard to esheth ish is the undeniable peshuto shel miqra from which the text can never budge.
  • The Rada"q also affirms the sinning of David and Batsheva.
  • Rav Yisshaq Abarbanel writes similarly to the Riva"n regarding the clear communication of the Tana"kh that David did indeed sin.

So, as specifically regards your question(s): The answer is that is that by having intercourse with Batsheva, the wife of Uriya haHiti, when the conditional get given by those going out to war in order to prevent agunoth only takes effect after a husband does not return from battle or dies, he committed esheth ish. It is for this reason that he did teshuvah and why Nathan haNavi assured him that he would not die for his sin (2 Shemu'el 12:13).

Kol tuv.

  • 2
    Fine, but it's still a question according to Rebbi Oct 28, 2013 at 2:22
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    I should point out, that if she was a full aishes is she would have remained asur to both Uriah and Dovid. Since she later married Dovid and their son Shlomo was not a mamzer, then it appears that she could not have been an aishes ish at the time of the chet. Similarly the analogy used by the navi implies that she was not an aishes ish at the time of the sin. May 22, 2014 at 23:13
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    @sabbahillel that's not correct!. Even if she remained forbidden to David, there would be no kareis involved and Shlomo wouldn't have been a mamzer.
    – Heshy
    Apr 7, 2019 at 19:47

in the artscroll book Reb Mendel, Rabbi Mendel Kaplan zt'l is quoted as saying that David saw with divine inspiration (ruach hakodesh) that she was his soulmate in all the mystical worlds, just not yet in this one. there is support for this in that Solomon came specifically from her.

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    I'll tell that to the judge next time I got tried for rape.
    – user4951
    Jun 13, 2014 at 8:01

The simple answer is that he did not know, and that was his sin.

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