Ferrell Jenkins recently posted on the historical and cultural background behind the story of David and Bathsheba.
In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle, David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel. And they ravaged the Ammonites and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem. It happened, late one afternoon, when David arose from his couch and was walking on the roof of the king’s house, that he saw from the roof a woman bathing; and the woman was very beautiful. (2 Sam 11:1-2)
Some might wonder how this was even possible. The secret lies in the terrain of Jerusalem. Ferrell’s photo below shows where David’s palace would have been (look for the railing along the top), as well as the common residences below. From this angle, we can easily envision King David looking down from his roof and being able to see Bathsheba.
Artist Balage Balogh has illustrated this biblical story for us in the image below. Take a look at his work at Archaeology Illustrated.
Ferrell maintains a great blog on biblical studies, archaeology, travel and photography. Be sure to regularly check it out.