Legends of Old Testament Characters/Chapter 37
DAVID says of himself, "Behold, I was shapen in wickedness; and in sin did my mother conceive me." The Rabbis explain this passage by narrating the circumstances of the conception of David, which I shall give in Latin. The mother of David they say was named Nitzeneth. "Dixerunt Rabbini nostri beatæ memoriæ, quod Isai (Jesse) habebat ancillam, eamque sollicitabat ad turpia; quæ, cum esset pudica et fidelis uxori Isai, eidem retulit; quæ seipsam aptavit (loco ancillæ) et congressa est cum Isai, ex quo concubitu egressus est David. Et quia Isai intentio fuerat in ancillam, quamquam res aliter evenerat, idcirco dixit David,—super eum sit pax: Ecce in iniquitate formatus sum, et peccato calefecit me mater mea."
On this account, Jesse, having discovered the deception, lightly esteemed his son David, and sent him to keep sheep, and made him as a servant to his brethren. And to this David refers when he says, "The stone which the builders rejected is become the head of the corner;" for, from being the despised brother, put to menial work, he was exalted before his brethren to be king over Israel.
When David was born he would have died immediately, had not Adam, when he saw his posterity marshalled before him, taken compassion on David, and given him seventy years.
However, David was without a soul for the first fourteen years of his life, and was so regarded by God, as he was uncircumcised; but other Rabbinic writers say that he was born circumcised.
The Jewish authors relate, as do the Mussulman historians, that David had red hair. In Jalkut (1 Sam. xvi. 12) it is said, "Samuel sent, and made David come before him, and he had red hair;" and again in Bereschith Rabba, 'When Samuel saw that David had red hair, he feared and said, He will shed blood as did Esau. But the ever-blessed God said, This man will shed it with unimpassioned eyes—this did not Esau. Esau slew out of his own caprice, but this man will execute those sentenced to death by the Sanhedrim."
David was very small, but when Samuel poured the oil upon his head and anointed him, he grew rapidly, and was soon as tall as was Saul. And this the commentators conclude from the fact of Saul having put his armour upon David, and it fitted him. Now Saul was a head and shoulders taller than any man in Israel; therefore David must have started to equal height since his anointing.
David was gifted with the evil eye, and was able to give the leprosy by turning a malignant glance upon any man. "When it is written, 'The Philistine cursed David by his gods,' David looked at him with the evil eye. For whoever was looked upon by him with the evil eye became leprous, as Joab knew to his cost, for after David had cast the evil glance on him, it is said, 'Let there not fail from the house of Joab one that hath an issue, or that is a leper.'
"The same befell the Philistine when he cursed David. David then threw on him the malignant glance, and fixed it on his brow, that he might at once become leprous; and at the same moment the stone and the leprosy struck him."
But David was himself afflicted for six months with this loathsome malady, and it is in reference to this that he says, "Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; Thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow." During this period, he was cast out and separated from the elders of the people, and the Divinity withdrew from him. And this explains the discrepancy apparent in the account of the number of years he reigned. It is said that he reigned over Israel forty years, but he reigned seven years in Hebron, and thirty and three in Jerusalem. In the Second Book of Samuel, however, it is said, he reigned in Hebron seven years and six months; though the statement that he reigned only forty years in all, that is, thirty-three in Jerusalem, is repeated. Consequently, these six months do not count, the reason being that David was at that time afflicted with the disorder, and cut off from society, and reputed as one dead.
The Rabbis suppose that David sinned in cutting off the skirt of Saul's robe; and they say that he expiated this fault in his old age, by finding no warmth in his clothes, wherewith he wrapped himself. For it is said, "King David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he got no heat."
To David is attributed by the Rabbi Solomon the power of calling down the rain, the hail, and the tempest, in vengeance upon his enemies. "Our Rabbis," says he, "say that these things were formerly stored in heaven, but David came and made them to descend on the earth: for they are means of vengeance, and it is not fitting that they should be garnered in the Treasury of God." But the rain and hail fell at the Deluge, in Egypt, and on the Amorites; therefore the signification to be attributed to this opinion of the Rabbis probably is, that David was the first to be able to call them down by his prayer.
David had a lute which he hung up above his head in the bed, and the openings of the lute were turned towards the north, and when the cool night air whispered in the room towards dawn it stirred the strings of the lute, which gave forth such sweet and resonant notes, that David was aroused from his sleep early, before daybreak, that he might occupy himself in the study of the Law. And it is to this that he refers when he cries in his Psalm, "Awake, lute and harp: I myself will awake right early."
When Absalom was slain, David saw Scheol (Hell) opened, and his son tormented, for his rebellion, in the lowest depths. The sight was so distressing to the king, that he wrapped his mantle about his face and cried, "O my son Absalom! my son, my son Absalom! would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son!" Here it is to be noted that David called Absalom either by name or by his relationship seven times. Now in Hell there are seven mansions, and as each cry escaped the father's heart, Absalom was released from one of these divisions of the Pit; and he thus effected his escape from Gehenna through the love of his father, which drew him up out of misery.
David was very desirous to build a temple to the Lord, but God would not suffer him to do so, as he was a man of blood. This is the reason why he so desired to erect a temple. When he was young, and pastured his father's sheep, he came one day upon a rhinoceros (unicorn) asleep, and he did not know that it was a rhinoceros, but thought it was a mountain, so he drove his flock up its back, and fed them on the grass which grew thereon. But presently the rhinoceros awoke, and stood up, and then David's head touched the sky. He was filled with terror, and he vowed that if God would save his life and bring him safely to the ground again, he would build to the Lord a temple of the dimensions of the horn of the beast, an hundred cubits. The Talmudists are not agreed as to whether this was the height, or the breadth, of the horn; however, the vow was heard, and the Lord sent a lion against the rhinoceros; and when the unicorn saw the lion, he lay down, and David descended his back, along with his sheep, as fast as possible; but when he saw the lion, his spirit failed him again. However he took the lion by the beard, and smote, and slew him. This adventure the Psalmist recalls when he says, "Save me from the lion's mouth: Thou hast heard me also from among the horns of the unicorns;" and to his vow he alludes in Psalm cxxxii., "Lord, remember David, and all his trouble: how he sware unto the Lord, and vowed a vow unto the Almighty God of Jacob."
One day David was hunting in the wilderness. Then came Satan, in the form of a stag, and David shot an arrow at him, but could not kill him. This astonished him, for on one occasion, in strife with the Philistines, he had transfixed eight hundred men with one arrow. Then he chased the deer, and it ran before him into the Philistine land. Now when Ishbi-benob, who was of the sons of the giant, knew this, he said, "David has slain my brother Goliath; now he is in my power!" and he came upon him and chained him, and cast him down, and laid a wine-press upon him, that he might crush him, and squeeze all the blood out of him. But God softened the earth beneath him, so that it yielded to his body, and he was uninjured; as he says in the Psalms, "Thou shalt make room enough under me for to go." And as David lay under the press, he saw a dove fly by, and he said, "Oh that I had wings as a dove, that I might flee away, and be at rest;" and he alludes to his being among the pots, and noting the wings of the dove as silver, in another Psalm.
Now Abishai, the son of Zeruiah, heard the plaining of the dove, which had seen the trouble of the king, and came into Jerusalem in grief thereat. Then Abishai went to the chamber of David to search for him, but he was not there. Then he knew that the king must be in danger, and the only means of reaching him with speed was to mount the royal mule, which was fleet as the wind; but this Abishai did not venture to do without advice, for he remembered the words of the Mischna, "Thou shalt not ride the king's horse, nor mount his throne, nor grasp his sceptre." But as the danger was pressing, Abishai went to the school, and consulted the doctors of the Law, who said, "In an emergency all things are lawful." Then he mounted the mule of King David, and rode into the desert, and the earth flew under him, and he reached the house of Ishbi-benob. Now the mother of Ishbi-benob—her name was Orpha—sat without the door, spinning. And when she saw Abishai galloping up, she brake her thread and flung the spindle at him, with intent to strike him dead. But the spindle fell short of him. So Orpha cried to him, "Give me my spindle, boy." Abishai stooped and picked it up, and cast it at her with all his force, and it struck her on the brow, and broke her skull, and she fell back and died.
Then, when Ishbi-benob saw what was done, he said, "These two men will be too much for me!" so he drew David from under the winepress, and flung him high into the air, and set his lance in the ground, that David might fall upon it, and be transfixed. But Abishai cried the Sacred Name, and David was arrested in his fall, and hung between heaven and earth, and gradually was let down, not on the spear, but at a distance. Then Abishai and David slew Ishbi-benob.
When David's life was run out, the Angel of Death came to fetch his soul. But David spent all his time in reading the Law. The angel stood before him, and watched that his lips should cease moving, for he might not interrupt him in this sacred work. But David made no pause. Then the angel went into the garden which was behind the house, and shook violently one of the trees. David heard the noise, and turned his head, and saw that the branches of one of his trees were violently agitated, but no leaf stirred on the other trees; so he closed the book of the Law, and went into his garden, and set a ladder against the tree and ascended into it, that he might see what was agitating the leaves. Then the angel withdrew the ladder, but David knew it not; so he fell and broke his neck, and died. It was the Sabbath day. Then Solomon doubted what he should do, for the body of his father was exposed to the sun, and to the dogs; and he did not venture to remove it, lest he should profane the Sabbath; so he sent to the Rabbis, and said, "My father is dead, and exposed to the sun, and to be devoured by dogs; what shall I do?"
They answered, "Cast the body of a beast before the dogs, and place bread or a boy upon thy father, and bury him."
David had such a beautiful voice, that, when he sang the praises of God, the birds came from all quarters and surrounded him, listening to his strains. The mountains even and the hills were moved at his notes. He could sing with a voice as loud as the most deafening peal of thunder, or warble as sweetly as the tuneful nightingale.
He divided his time, say the Mussulmans, into three parts. One day he occupied himself in the affairs of his kingdom, the second day he devoted to the service of God, and the third day he gave up to the society of his wives.
As he was going home from prayer, one day, he heard two of his servants discussing him and comparing him with Abraham.
"Was not Abraham saved from a fiery furnace?" asked one.
"Did not David slay the giant Goliath?" asked the other.
"But what has David done that will compare with the obedience of Abraham, who was ready to offer his only son to God?" asked the first.
When David reached home, he fell down before God and prayed: "Lord! Thou, who didst give to Abraham a trial of his obedience in the pyre, grant that an opportunity may be afforded me of proving before all the people how great also is mine."
But others relate this differently. They say that David besought the Lord to endue him with the spirit of prophecy. Then God answered, "When I give great gifts, he who receives them must suffer great trials. I proved Abraham by the fire, and by the sacrifice of one son, and separation from others; Jacob by his children; Joseph by the well and the prison; Moses by Pharaoh; Job by the worms. I afflicted all these, but thee have I not afflicted." But David said, "O Lord, prove me and try me also, that I may obtain the same degree of celebrity as they."
One day, as David sang psalms before God and the congregation, a beautiful bird appeared at the window, and it attracted his whole attention, so that he could scarcely sing. David concluded his recitation of the psalms earlier than usual, and went in pursuit of the bird, which led him from bush to bush, and from tree to tree, till it suddenly disappeared near a secluded lake. Now this bird was Eblis, and he came to tempt David into evil.
When the bird vanished, David saw in the water a beautiful woman, bathing, and when she stood up, her hair covered her whole person.
David hid behind the bushes, that he might not startle her, till she was dressed; then he stood forth, and asked her her name.
Then David departed, but his heart was inflamed with love, and he sent a message to Joab, the captain of his host, to set Uriah before the ark in every battle. Now those who went before the ark must conquer or fall. Three times Uriah came out of battle victorious, but the fourth time he was killed.
Then David took Uriah's wife to his own house and made her his own wife. And she consented upon the condition that should she bear him a son, that son was to succeed him in the kingdom. Now David had, before he married her, ninety-nine wives. The day after his marriage, Michael and Gabriel appeared before him in human form, as he was in his court, and Gabriel said to him: "This fellow here possesses ninety and nine sheep, but I have only one, and that I love, and cherish in my bosom. This man claims my little ewe lamb, and will take it from me, and, if I will not give it him, he says that he will slay me; and take my lamb from me by force."
Then David's anger was kindled against Michael, and he said, "Thou who hast so many sheep, wherefore lustest thou after the poor man's ewe lamb? Thou hast an evil heart and an insatiable spirit."
Then Michael exclaimed, "Thou hast given judgment against thyself; what thou rebukest in this man, thou hast allowed thyself to do!"
And David knew that God had sent His angels to rebuke him, and he fell upon his face to the ground. But, some say, he drew his sword and rushed upon Michael: then Gabriel held him back, and said, "Thou didst ask to be tried; now thou hast fallen under the temptation."
Then the angels vanished, and David fell to the ground, tore off his purple robe, cast aside his golden crown, and wept for forty days and forty nights. And his tears flowed in such abundance, that every now and then he plunged a cup into them and drank it off.
At the expiration of forty days Gabriel came to him, and said, "The Lord salutes thee!" But David felt this was an additional reproach, and he wept still more. It is said that during the ensuing forty days and nights David shed more tears than Adam and all his descendants had, and will, shed from the day of the Fall to the day of the Resurrection.
Then God sent Gabriel to him again, and Gabriel said, "The Lord salutes thee!" But David lifted his tearful face and said, "O Gabriel, what will Uriah say to me on the day of the general Resurrection?"
Gabriel answered, "The Lord will give him so great an inheritance in Paradise, that he will not have the heart to reproach thee."
Then David knew that he was pardoned, and he rejoiced greatly. But he never forgot his sins. He wrote them on the palm of his hand, that he might have them always before him; therefore he says, "My shame is ever before mine eyes."
Nevertheless David's heart was lifted up with pride, when he considered that he was a king, a prophet, and a great general. And one day he said to Nathan, "I think I am perfect, I have everything."
"Not so," answered Nathan, "thou exercisest no handicraft."
Then David was ashamed, and he asked God to teach him a craft; and God made him skilful in fabricating coats of mail of rings twined together; his trade therefore was that of an armourer, and his disgrace was wiped away.
After his judgment between the two angels, David had no confidence in giving sentence in cases pleaded before him; therefore God sent him, by the hand of Gabriel, a reed of iron and a little bell, and the angel said to him, "God is pleased with thy humility, and He has sent thee this reed and this bell to assist thee in giving judgment. Place this reed in thy judgment-hall, and hang up the bell in the middle, and place the accuser on one side, and the accused on the other, and give sentence in favour of him who makes the bell to tinkle when he touches the reed."
David was highly pleased with this gift, and he gave such righteous judgment, that men feared, throughout the land, to do wrong to one another.
One day, two men came before David, and one said, "I left a goodly pearl in the charge of this man, and when I asked for it again, he denied it me."
But the other said, "I have returned it to him."
Then David bade each lay his hand on the reed, but the bell gave the same indication for both. Then David thought, "They both speak the truth, and yet that cannot be; the gift of God must err."
Then he bade the men try again, and the result was the same. However, he observed that the defendant, when he went up to the reed to lay his hand upon it, gave his walking staff to the plaintiff to hold, and this he did each time, so that David's suspicion was awakened, and he took the staff, and examined it, and found that it was hollow, and the stolen pearl was concealed in the handle. Thus the bell had given right judgment, for when the accused touched the reed, he had returned the pearl into the hand of the accuser; but David by his doubt in the reed displeased Him who gave it, and the reed and the bell were taken from him.
After that, David often gave wrong judgment, till Solomon, his son, was of age to advise him.
One day, when Solomon was aged thirteen, there came two men before the king. The first said, "I sold a house and cellar to this man, and on digging in the cellar he found a treasure hidden there by my forefathers. I sold him the house and cellar, but not the treasure. Bid him restore to me what he has found."
But the other said, "Not so. He sold me the house, the cellar, and all its contents."
Then King David said, "Let the treasure be divided, and let half go to one, and half go to the other."
But Solomon stood up and said to the plaintiff, "Hast thou not a son?" He said, "I have."
Then said Solomon to the defendant, "Hast thou not a daughter?" He answered, "I have."
"Then," said Solomon, "give thy daughter to the son of this man who sold thee the house, and let the treasure go as a marriage gift to thy daughter and his son." And all applauded this judgment.
On another occasion, a husbandman came before the judgment-seat to lay complaint against a herdsman, whose sheep had broken into his field, and had pastured on his young wheat.
Then King David said, "Let some of the sheep be given to the husbandman."
But Solomon stood up, and said, "Not so; let the husbandman have the wool, and the milk of the flock, till the wheat is grown up again as it was before the sheep destroyed it."
And all wondered at his wisdom.
But the king's elders and councillors were filled with envy, because this child's opinion was preferred before theirs; and they complained to King David.
Then David said, "Call an assembly of the people, and prove Solomon before them, whether he be learned in the Law, and whether he have understanding and wit."
So the people were assembled, and the elders took council together how they might perplex him with hard questions. But or ever they asked him, he answered what they had devised, and they were greatly confounded, so that the people supposed this was a preconcerted scene arranged by the king. Then, when the elders were silenced, Solomon turned to their chief, and said, "I too will prove you with questions. What you have asked me have been trials of my learning, but what I will ask you shall put to proof the readiness of your wits. What is all, and what is nothing? What is something, and what is naught?"
The elder was silent; he thought, but he knew not what was the answer. And all the people perplexed themselves to discover the riddle, but they could not. Then said Solomon, "God is all, and the world He made is as nothing before Him. The faithful is something, but the hypocrite is naught."
Thereupon he turned to a second, and he said: "What are most, and what are fewest? What is the sweetest, and what is the bitterest?" But when the second could find no solution to these questions, Solomon answered, "Most men are unbelievers, the fewest have true faith. The sweetest thing is the possession of a virtuous wife, good children, and a competence; the bitterest thing is to have a disreputable wife, disorderly children, and penury."
Then Solomon turned to a third elder and asked: "What is the most odious sight, and what is the most beautiful sight? What is the surest thing, and what is that which is most insecure?"
And when this elder also was unable to give an answer, Solomon interpreted his riddle once more, "The most odious sight is to see a righteous man fall away; the most beautiful sight is to see a sinner repent. The surest thing is death, the most insecure thing is life." After that Solomon said to all the people, "Ye see that the oldest and the most learned men are not always the wisest. True wisdom comes not with years, nor is derived from books, but is a gift of God the All-wise."
Solomon by his words threw the whole assembly into astonishment, and all the heads of the people cried with one voice, "Praised be the Lord, who has given to our king a son who surpasses all in wisdom, and who is worthy to ascend the throne of his father David."
And David thanked God that He had given him such a wise son, and now he desired but one thing further of God, and that was to see him who was to be his companion in Paradise; for to every man is allotted by God one man to be his friend and comrade in the Land of Bliss.
So David prayed to God, and his prayer was heard, and a voice fell from heaven and bade him confer the kingdom upon his son Solomon, and then to go forth, and the Lord would lead him to the place where his companion dwelt.
David therefore had his son Solomon crowned king, and then he went forth out of Jerusalem, and he was in pilgrim's garb, with a staff in his hand; and he went from city to city, and from village to village, but he found not the man whom he sought. One day, after the lapse of many weeks, he drew near to a village upon the borders of the Mediterranean Sea, and alongside of him walked a poorly dressed man laden with a heavy bundle of faggots. This man was very old and reverend of aspect, and David watched him. He saw him dispose of his wood and then give half the money he had obtained by the sale of it to a poor person. After that he bought a piece of bread and retired from the town. As he went, there passed a blind woman, and the old man broke his bread in half, and gave one portion to the woman; and he continued his course till he reached the mountains from which he had brought his load in the morning.
David thought, "This man well deserves to be my companion for eternity, for he is pious, charitable, and reverend of aspect: I must ask his name."
He went after the old man, and he found him in a cave among the rocks, which was lighted by a rent above. David stood without and heard the hermit pray, and read the Tora and the Psalms, till the sun went down. Then he lighted a lamp and began his evening prayers; and when they were finished, he drew forth the piece of bread, and ate the half of it.
David, who had not ventured to interrupt the devotions of the old hermit, now entered the cave and saluted him.
The hermit asked, "Who art thou? I have seen no man here before, save only Mata, son of Johanna, the companion destined to King David in Paradise."
David told his name, and asked after this Mata. But the aged man could give him no information of his whereabouts. "But," said he, "go over these mountains, and observe well what thou lightest upon, and it may be thou wilt find Mata."
David thanked him, and continued his search. For long it was profitless. He traversed the stony dales and the barren mountains, and saw no trace of human foot. At last, just as hope was abandoning him, on the summit of a rugged peak he saw a wet spot. Then he stood still in surprise. "How comes there to be a patch of soft and sloppy ground here?" he asked; "the topmost peak of a stony mountain is not the place where springs bubble up."
As he thus mused, an aged man came up the other side of the mountain. His eyes were depressed to the earth, so that he saw not David. And when he came to the wet patch, he stood still, and prayed with such fervour, that rivulets of tears flowed out of his eyes, and sank into the soil; and thus David learnt how it was that the mountain-top was wet.
Then David thought, "Surely this man, whose eyes are such copious fountains of tears, must be my companion in Paradise."
Yet he ventured not to interrupt him in his prayer, till he heard him ask, "O my God! pardon King David his sins, and save him from further trespass! for my sake be merciful to him, for Thou hast destined him to be my comrade for all eternity!"
Then David ran towards him, but the old man tottered and fell, and before the king reached him he was dead.
So David dug into the ground which had been moistened by the tears of Mata, and laid him there, and said the funeral prayer over him, and covered him with the earth, and then returned to Jerusalem.
And when he came into his harem, the Angel of Death stood there and greeted him with the words, "God has heard thy supplications; now has thy life reached its end."
Then David said, "The Lord's will be done!" and he fell down upon the ground, and expired.
Gabriel descended to comfort Solomon, and to give him a heavenly shroud in which to wrap David. And all Israel followed the bier to Machpelah, where Solomon laid him by the side of Abraham and Joseph.
It will doubtless interest the reader to have an English version of the Psalm supposed to have been composed by David after the slaying of Goliath, which is not included in the Psalter, as it is supposed to be apocryphal.
Psalm CLI. (Pusillus eram).
1. I was small among my brethren; and growing up in my father's house I kept my father's sheep.
2. My hands made the organ: and my fingers shaped the psaltery.
3. And who declared unto my Lord! He, the Lord, He heard all things.
4. He sent His angel, and He took me from my father's sheep: He anointed me in mercy with His unction.
5. Great and goodly are my brethren: but with them the Lord was not well pleased.
6. I went to meet the stranger: and he cursed me by all his idols.
7. But I smote off his head with his own drawn sword: and I blotted out the reproach of Israel.
This simple and beautiful psalm does not exist in Hebrew, but is found, in Greek, in some psalters of the Septuagint version, headed "A Psalm of David when he had slain Goliath." S. Athanasius mentions it with praise, in his address to Marcellinus on the Interpretation of the Psalms, and in the Synopsis of Holy Scripture. It was versified in Greek in A.D. 360, by Apollinarius Alexandrinus.
The subjoined shield of David is given in a Hebrew book on the properties and medicaments of things. It is said to be a certain protection against fire. A cake of bread must be made, and on it must be impressed the seal or shield of David, having in the corner the word ט״יד, and in the middle אג״לא
(Thou art mighty to everlasting, O Jehovah); and it must be cast aside into the fire with the words of Psalm cvi. 30, "Then stood up Phinees and prayed; and so the plague ceased;" and also Exod. xii. 27, "It is the sacrifice of the Lord's passover, who passed over the houses of the children of Israel in Egypt, when He smote the Egyptians, and delivered our homes."
- Ps. li. 5.
- Midrash, fol. 204, col. 1.
- Ps. cxviii. 22.
- See the story in the Legends of Adam.
- Zohar, in Bartolocci, i. fol. 85, col. 2.
- Jalkut, fol. 32, col. 2 (Parasch 2, numb. 134).
- Ibid. (Parasch. 2, numb. 127).
- 1 Sam. xvii. 43.
- 2 Sam. iii. 29.
- Zohar, in Bartolocci, i. fol. 99, col. 1.
- Talmud, Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 107.
- 1 Kings ii. 11.
- 2 Sam. v. 5.
- Bartolocci, i. f. 100.
- 1 Sam. xxiv. 4.
- Bartolocci, i. f. 122, col. 1.
- 1 Kings i. 1.
- Bartolocci, i. f. 122, col. 2.
- Ps. lvii. 9; Bartolocci, i. fol. 125, col. 2.
- Talmud, Tract. Sota, fol. 10b.
- Ps. xxii. 21.
- Midrash Tillim, fol. 21, col. 2.
- Eisenmenger, i. p. 409.
- Ps. xviii. 36.
- Ps. lv. 6.
- Ps. lxviii. 13.
- Talmud, Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 95, col. 1.
- Tract. Sabbath, fol. 30, col. 2.
- Tabari, i. p. 426; Weil, p. 208.
- Weil, p. 207.
- Tabari, p. 428.
- The Arabs call her Saga.
- The story in the Talmud is almost the same, with this difference: Bathsheba was washing herself behind a beehive, then the beautiful bird perched on the hive, and David shot an arrow at it and broke the hive, and exposed Bathsheba to view. In the Rabbinic tale, David had asked for the gift of prophecy, and God told him he must be tried. This he agreed to, and the temptation to adultery was that sent him. (Talmud, Tract. Sanhedrim, fol. 107, col. 2; Jalkut, fol. 22, col. 2.)
- Koran, Sura xxxviii.
- Weil, pp. 212, 213.
- Weil, pp. 213-224.
- Greek text, and Latin translation in Fabricius: Pseudigr. Vet. Test. t. ii. pp. 905-7.
- סגולות ורפואות; Amst. 1703.