Bathsheba bowed before David

1 Kings Bible Background

05.01.2017 – Old Testament: 1Ki 1.31

To read the Bible in a year, read First Kings 1–2 on May 1, In the year of our Lord 2017

By Don Ruhl

Bathsheba bowed before David, but not because he was her husband. Adonijah, one of the sons of David, had begun a rebellion like his brother Absalom. However, David had promised Bathsheba that her son, Solomon, would be king. After she and Nathan the prophet informed David of what Adonijah had done, the Bible says,

Then Bathsheba bowed with her face to the earth, and paid homage to the king, and said, “Let my lord King David live forever!” (1 Kings 1.31). 

Notice that she paid homage, not to David as her husband, but to David as the king of Israel. Bowing before kings, especially back then, was the protocol.


  • Could you bow before a king, if the leader of your nation was a king?
  • If the leader of your nation is not royalty, would you practice proper protocol before him or her?

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