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King David’s Sin


Rabbi Elchanan Lewis

Cheshvan 22, 5769
1.What was king davids sin? Is he like us and he sins? 2.Since husbands had to divorce their wives before they went off to battle, did wives usually wait for their husbands, or take it as a free token? Because although King David’s sin was not the adultery that he committed, but rather he just didn’t have enough patience, were most wives like Bat Sheva?
1. The Tanach [Shemuel B 12:13] explicitly states King David sins and even admitting it, our Sages state that those who say King David sinned are wrong [Shabbat 56a]. In order to reconcile this supposed contradiction you may explore different commentaries of different approaches on this issue. I find the Abarbanel's answer very satisfying; King David sinned but not the sin that may appear from the simple text, on David's level what he did was wrong. David is a prophet a king and a Torah scholar, a righteous and pure leader, a man how has the strongest bond with Hashem, a man way beyond our level; can anyone we know say G-d has spoken to him? Can anyone say he could have also written the Tehilim? We should be very careful of judging him through our eyes and our level. 2. The Talmud [ibid] teaches us that all soldiers who went to war left a Get with their wives. The purpose was so if he is missing in action the wife will be allowed to remarry, not so she can act promiscuously when he is in the battle.
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