Combat Furlough and the Characterization of Uriah the Hittite

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In the narrative of David and Bathsheba (2 Sam 11) Uriah the Hittite is encouraged by the king to go home to his wife yet refuses to do so. For some, Uriah's refusal is born out of piety and idealism, and he is unsuspecting of what has transpired between the king and his wife, Bathsheba. For others Uriah has caught wind of what has happened and realizes that David has summoned him precisely so that he should visit home, and cover David's malfeasance. A review of the evidence finds both approaches wanting. This study turns to the clinical literature concerning the challenges of homecoming from the battlefield and the emotional minefield that is combat furlough between two battlefront deployments, offering a deeper understanding of the figure of Uriah the Hittite and resolving many of the questions raised by Uriah's behavior in the narrative of 2 Sam 11.

Original languageEnglish
JournalBiblical Interpretation
StateAccepted/In press - 2023

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2023 Joshua Berman.


  • Bathsheba
  • David
  • Uriah
  • furlough
  • homecoming
  • masculinity
  • military culture


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