A Humanist perspective on what we can learn about what is morality from the Bible.
2 Samuel 21: Sacrifice, Rain and War
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.
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)