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By James R. Shott

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I can't. Not while the ark is in a tent at the front. " He turned and stalked out, shoulders slumped. The consummate soldier. More in love with war than his wife. He didn't even come home the next day. She heard that he had returned to the front, bearing dispatches from the king to be delivered personally to Joab. What she didn't know, and would not know until many months later, was the content of those dispatches. They were orders to make her a widow. Page 33 4 Two weeks later, they brought back to Jerusalem the body of Uriah the Hittite.

Only a few fighting men. " Bathsheba sensed the relief among the women and wished she shared it. How would she feel if Uriah were killed? She would never admit itnot even to herselfbut the only loss she would experience would be these daily gossip sessions. She felt guilty about her lack of love for her husband, because she was a dutiful wife, and loyalty to Uriah demanded that she grieve sincerely if he died. The war did not end with the successes in the Refaim Valley. David led his army out against the Philistines, capturing the important city of Gath.

Amnon, who had also built his own house, spent most of his time at the palace, where he continued to gaze with lovesick eyes at his half-sister Tamar. Bathsheba longed to be part of this royal household. She wanted to share in the joys and sorrows, the amusing incidents, the minor tragedies, the maneuvering for power, which were at the very heart of this family. Not even being David's favorite was enough to gain her entrance. Daniel was the one exception. Abigail's only son was David's second-born, and should have been in line for the throne of Israel if anything happened to Amnon.

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