And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Mourned for her husband.—How long this mourning lasted we are not told. The usual period was seven days (Genesis 1:10; 1Samuel 31:13), and although that of a widow may well have been somewhat longer, it was doubtless, under the circumstances, made as short as was consistent with decency.1 Samuel 25:39-42, was probably limited to the customary time of seven days.
14, 15. David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah … Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle—The various arts and stratagems by which the king tried to cajole Uriah, till at last he resorted to the horrid crime of murder—the cold-blooded cruelty of despatching the letter by the hands of the gallant but much-wronged soldier himself, the enlistment of Joab to be a partaker of his sin, the heartless affectation of mourning, and the indecent haste of his marriage with Bath-sheba—have left an indelible stain upon the character of David, and exhibit a painfully humiliating proof of the awful lengths to which the best of men may go when they forfeit the restraining grace of God.
she mourned for her husband; expressed tokens of mourning by shedding tears, putting on a mourning habit, seeing no company, and this continued for the space of seven days, it may be, 1 Samuel 31:13; as little time as possible was spent in this way, and the marriage hastened, that the adultery might not be discovered.And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
26. she mourned for her husband] Seven days was the usual period of mourning. See Genesis 50:10; 1 Samuel 31:13; Jdt 16:24; Sir 22:12. In exceptional cases thirty days were observed. See Numbers 20:29; Deuteronomy 34:8. No special time seems to have been prescribed for widows. There is no indication that Bath-sheba’s mourning was more than a formal ceremony.Verse 26. - And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband. There is something pathetic in this repetition of the name of the murdered man, and his close relationship with Bathsheba is dwelt upon by his being twice called "her husband," and she "Uriah's wife." Having been the cause of his murder, she is careful to make for him the customary mourning. How long it lasted is uncertain. The mourning for Aaron (Numbers 20:29) and that for Moses (Deuteronomy 34:8) were each for thirty days; while that for Jacob at Atad (Genesis 50:10) and that of the men of Jabesh-Gilead for Saul (1 Samuel 31:13) lasted only for seven days. Both these, however, were under such exceptional circumstances as made them no rule; but in Ecclus. 22:12 we read, "Seven days do men mourn for him that is dead," and the national lamentation for Judith lasted the same time (Judith 16:24). Probably, however, the mourning of a widow for her husband would last a month. Judges 6:32)? did not a woman throw down a millstone from the wall, that he died in Thebez (Judges 9:53)? why went ye so nigh to the wall? then only say, Thy servant Uriah the Hethite has perished." Joab assumed that David might possibly be angry at what had occurred, or at any rate that he might express his displeasure at the fact that Joab had sacrificed a number of warriors by imprudently approaching close to the wall: he therefore instructed the messenger, if such should be the case, to announce Uriah's death to the king, for the purpose of mitigating his wrath. The messenger seems to have known that Uriah was in disgrace with the king. At the same time, the words "thy servant Uriah is dead also" might be understood or interpreted as meaning that it was without, or even in opposition to, Joab's command, that Uriah went so far with his men, and that he was therefore chargeable with his own death and that of the other warriors who had fallen.
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