2 Samuel 21: Sacrifice, Rain and War

Synopsis:

For the next 3 years, there is no rain. God tells David it is because of what Saul did to the Gibeonites. So David asks them how to atone. They want 7 men, sons of Saul, to be delivered, so they can hang them. David gave them 2 sons of Rizpah daughter of Saul and 5 sons of Michal, daughter of Saul. Mephibosheth, son of Jonathon son of Saul, was spared because of David’s love for Jonathon. The rains fall and David collects the bones of Saul and Jonathon and reburies them in the sepulchre of Kish. All is now well with the Gibeonites but now the Philistines are waging war. And they have giants on their side. Abishai slays Ishbi-benob. Sibbechai slew Saph (a son of the giant). Elhana slew the brother of Goliath at the battle in Gob. Jonathon, son of Shimea, the brother of David, slew a giant with six fingers and six toes in a battle in Gath. All told, 4 total giants were killed in these battles

In other words:

David makes a human sacrifice of 7 of Saul’s male descendants to appease god and make it rain and 4 more Philistine giants are slain.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 21:20 – and there was yet a battle in Gath, where was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes, four and twenty in number, and he was also born to the giant.


2nd favorite bit:

16: And Ishbi-benob, which was of the songs of the giant, the weight of whose spear weighed three hundred shekels of brass in weight, he being girded with a new sword, though to have slain David. (hmmmm, foreshadowing?)

Least favorite bit:

2 Samuel 21:6 Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the Lord in Gibeah of Saul, whom the Lord did choose. And the king said, I will give them.  (Human sacrifice to make it rain?  Yeah – I don’t like it.)

Most interesting bit:

2 Samuel 21:15 – Moreover the Philistines had yet war again with Israel; and David went down, and his servants with him, and fought against the Philistines: and David waxed faint. (Is this the start of the decline of David?)

Moral Lesson Learned:

It doesn’t matter how strong you are, you are still vulnerable (2 Samuel 21)

2 Samuel 22: David sings a song

Synopsis:

David sings a song praising god.  It has 50 verses. God is apparently great and the greatest part about God is how much he does for David. It’s supposed to be praising God, but it’s really egocentric on David’s part.

In other words: 

David sings a song about how great he must be to have God’s protection.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 22:11 – And he rode upon a cherub, and did fly: and he was seen upon the wings of the wind.

Least favorite bit:

2 Samuel 22:20,21 – He brought me forth also into a large place: he delivered me, because he delighted in me. The lord rewarded me according to my righteousness: according to the cleanness of my hands he hath recompensed me. (Barf – look how wonderful I am – god loves me!! Not very humble is he? )

What annoys me about this entire chapter:

David was only successful because people like Joab, who supported him, were ruthless. And yes, here is David – crowing on about how much God must like him.  It’s not only not very humble, it’s downright rude and a very dangerous mindset to think you can do no wrong.

Moral Lesson Learned:

It would be nice if successful people were a bit more humble about the help they receive from the very real people who support them in their efforts (2 Samuel 22)

2 Samuel 20: The rest of Israel doesn’t want David to be king

Synopsis:

A Benjamite named Sheba makes the case to Israel that since the King is clearly favoring Judah and because they have no part of him, they should take up arms against David. So every man of Israel followed Sheba. But the men of Judah clave unto their king.  David reclaimed his house in Jeruselum but never visited his concubines that had kept house under Absalom again.  The king then has Amasa assemble the men of Judah and he orders Abishai to kill Sheba. When the army is at the great stone in Gibeon, Amasa goes out wearing Joab’s garmant as a girdle, but this falls off. Joab asks Amasa if he is ok, takes him by the beard, kisses him and then stabs him with a sword. This clears the way for Joab and Abishai to pursue Sheba. As they stand over Amasa’s bleeding body in the street, one of Joab’s men tells the rest – if you are with us and with David – follow us. No one moved. So the supporter of Joab took Amasa out of the highway into a field ad cast a cloth on him. Now the rest of the men follow after Joab and pursue Sheba. They beseiged Sheba in Abel. A wise women asks Joab what he wants. Would you kill a mother of Israel. Joab says no – he only wants Sheba – who is a traitor to David. Deliver him and we will leave. So the woman convinces the town to cut off Sheba’s head and cast it out to Joab.  David is now king. He appoints Joab over the arm. Benaiah over the Cherethites and the Pelethites. Adaram was in charge of tribute. Jehoshaphat was the recorder. Sheva is scribe, Zadok and Abiathar are priests. Ira is named chief ruled about David.

In other words: 

A man named Sheba challenges David for the thrown and Joab kills him and his rival for control of the military at the same time.

Favorite bit:

2 Samuel 20:16-22 – The wise woman who convinces the town to cut off the head of Sheba and throw it over the town wall to Joab.

Least favorite bit:

2 Samuel 20:10-13 – Joab kills Amasa for no reason other than to make sure his authority over the army is not challenged. It’s bloody and clearly not ok with the troops.

Most curious bit:

2 Samuel 20:8 – this is where Amasa is wearing Joab’s girdle with a sword fastened upon his loins and he doesn’t notice it falls off. A – why is he wearing Joab’s girdle. And does this mean he was naked or only that he lost his sword. And was this intentional so that Joab could kill him? Because that murder was clearly planned.

2nd most curious bit:

2 Samuel 20:9 – And Joab took Amasa by the beard with the right hand to kiss him.  Ummmmmmm, yeah. 2 Samuel 20:10 goes on to say – But Amasa took no heed to the sword that was in Joab’s hand – which is why Joab is able to kill him. So clearly – he didn’t think a) the kiss was odd, and b) he trusted Joab to be this close to him with a sword. I will let you draw your own conclusions here.


Moral Lesson Learned:

Don’t kiss a guy with a sword in his hand. (2 Samuel 20)

2 Samuel 19: King David Returns

Synopsis:

Joab tells King David to stop mourning the death of Absalom. He is discrediting the sacrifices his servants made to make him king again. In the meantime, the tribes of Israel are trying to decide whether to bring the king back or not. David sends the priests to speak to the elders of Judah – you are my bones and my flesh, why are you the last to bring me back as king? The people of Judah arranged to conduct David over the Jordan and back into Jeruselum.  This was done by ferry boat. Shimei, the guy who cursed David as he left, meets David as he crosses the Jordon and asks for forgiveness. David forgives him. Mephibosheth comes down to meet the king. The king wants to know why Mephibosheth did not come with him. Apparently his servant lied to him and told him he would saddle an ass, but never did. He asks for forgiveness, and this is given. Barzillai, who is 80+ years old conducts the king over the Jordan. The king wants Barzillai to come to live with him in Jeruselum. He says no, I’m old and want to die in my home town. The king kisses Barzillai and continues on to Gilgal. The men of Israel come to meet them and want to know when the men of Judah have stolen the king and brought him over the Jordan. It’s because they are his kinsman. The men of Israel protest and say they have more stake in David then they do and they should have been first to bring him back.

In other words:

The men of Judah are chosen to bring king David back to Israel. The rest of Israel is not happy about it.

Favorite bit:

That there is a guy named Barzillia. (2 Samuel 19:31-39)

2nd favorite bit:

That the men of Israel are jealous of the men of Judah – and clearly – King David is signalling his favoritism here. (2 Samuel 19:41-43)

3rd favorite bit:

That David forgives Shimei and Maphibosheth


Moral Lesson Learned:

Be the bigger person and forgive people their moments of emotional weakness (2 Samuel 19)