Biblical Archaeology Review 39:5, September/October 2013

Strata: Bill Clinton, King David and Nathan the Prophet

“Then Nathan said to David: ‘You are the man!’ ” Thus the prophet Nathan rebuked David for his adultery with Bathsheba (2 Samuel 12:7).

When Bill and Hillary Clinton visited Florence in the days before he was president, they naturally went to see Michelangelo’s David, probably the most famous statue in the world.

Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist Ed Yoder and his psychotherapist wife, Jane, were among those with them. (Ed and Bill had both been Rhodes Scholars at Oxford.) The Yoders recently recalled their visit to Florence and shared some “intimate memories.”1 Jane remembered that Bill had told her that he had been “profoundly affected” by the statue of David.

Clinton, she observed, seemed to have knowledge and enthusiasm for Bible stories. She and Clinton agreed that David might be viewed as an archetype of the “Flawed King”—“a Hebrew man-god who, despite his flaws, became a great leader of his people.” They talked about Bathsheba and the prophet Nathan, who became David’s accuser.

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