The great men and women who serve as examples and models for all generations are not described only in terms of glowing admiration.
Their failings, failures, and difficulties are described with the same objectivity as are those of the sinful.
And the contrary is also true: the good points of those generally considered to be negative personalities are also shown.
The "good guys" of the Scriptures are not pIaster saints, all "sweetness and light."
Nor are the "bad guys" monsters, but human beings shown in all their many (and sometimes contradictory) aspects.
The Biblical persona is shown not only in his or her true colors but also in the context of a wider dimension.
One's worth as an individual is never judged simply on the basis of one's private existence, but also in terms of broad implications.
Biblical heroes and heroines have their private lives, but their every action has, too, a significance for society at large.
The private life of a given figure may be a model of goodness and decency (at least in his or her own eyes) but may well be quite destructive in terms of society.
On the other hand, the private sin may not always lead to a negative outcome in the context of family, society, or state.
In the Bible, events are measured in relation not only to the time in which they occur, but also to the whole spectrum of historical time, which inevitably leads to changes in the evaluation of deeds and events and in the relationship between great and small, between the important and the trivial.
Thus, the great and powerful ruler turns out to be a small and insignificant historical episode, and the persecuted wretch proves to be the only significant person in a whole era.
This yardstick of significance extends beyond the judgment of history, because in the Scriptures all these are measured in terms not only of finite time but also of eternity.
–Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz
From the Introduction to Biblical Images by Rabbi Adin Steinsaltz