Cameraphoto/Art Resource, NY

“The Wife of Uriah” (Matthew 1:6)—that is, Bathsheba—coyly bathes in this work by the 19th-century Italian Romantic painter Francesco Hayez. The very fact that Matthew doesn’t give her name but lists her as the wife of her (first) husband emphasizes her status as a woman taken in adultery. David seduces her while Uriah is off at war. Unable to contrive to make it appear as if the resulting pregnancy is legitimate, David had Uriah killed and married Bathsheba himself to cover up the crime. The Bible has little to say about Bathsheba other than that she is beautiful. But later in life, as David is on his deathbed, Bathsheba acts to ensure that her son Solomon will be heir to the throne, a concern with her offspring that is shared by the other women on the list. And there is another thing Bathsheba seems to have in common with Tamar, Rahab and Ruth: Her heir is conceived outside of marriage.