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2 Samuel 11:

2 One evening David got up from his bed and walked around on the roof of the palace. From the roof he saw a woman bathing. The woman was very beautiful, 3and David sent someone to find out about her. The man said, “She is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam and the wife of Uriah the Hittite.”

Bathsheba's husband was a Hittite. What's the probability that she was a Hittite as well?

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    We are not told so we do not know. "Bathsheba" is a very Hebrew name but that does not preclude her being either Hebrew or some other national origin.
    – Dottard
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 13:46
  • Good point. I modified. Expand your comment into an answer and I'll upvote it. Thanks :)
    – user35953
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 13:59
  • Both Uriah and Bathsheba are Hebrew names. Bathsheba may mean her mother was Sheba, a Hebrew name. So, we probably can't answer this.
    – Perry Webb
    Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 14:32

1 Answer 1

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We are not told what nationality Bathsheba was or had. However, we have the following:

  • Bathsheba is a Hebrew name meaning either "daughter of an oath" or daughter of the seventh (an allusion to the Sabbath)
  • Bathsheba Eliam (2 Sam 11:3) or Amiel (2 Chron 3:5), which, because of the way Hebrew works is the same name. These are also Hebrew names.
  • Bathsheba's father, Eliam, was the son of Ahithophel (2 Sam 23:8), also a Hebrew name.

The above data strongly suggests that Bathsheba was both Hebrew and descended from Hebrews, but there are other people with Hebrew names that were not Hebrew such as Uriah himself (a Hebrew name meaning "YHWH is my light") who was Hittite. However, such exceptions are usually noted in the text (as per Uriah) which is absent for Bathsheba.

On the balance of evidence, it is highly probable that Bathsheba was a Hebrew girl.

The above conclusion should be tentative because of the difficulty in even defining what a Hebrew is because Boaz' mother was a Caanaite woman but was still counted as Hebrew; the same is true for Moses' children whose mother was also not a biological Hebrew; the same is true of Judah's children whose mother was Tamar, etc, etc.

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  • Caleb was a Hebrew member of the tribe of Judah. He is called a הַקְּנִזִּ֔י (a Kenizi) in Numbers 32:12 either because Kenaz (also a Hebrew name) was the name of the patriarch of his family or because Kenaz was his stepfather. In the latter scenario, Caleb's father was Yefuneh (יְפֻנֶּה֙), but his mother second marriage was to Kenaz, who raised Caleb. So the verse acknowledges that despite his father's name, Caleb was raised in the Kenaz family. Kenaz had another son, Caleb's half-brother, Othniel (see Joshua 15:17) who became the first Judge of Israel. Commented Nov 4, 2021 at 15:01

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