Wednesday, June 6, 2012

II. Samuel 1-4

Yesterday we read that Saul had been hit with an arrow by the Philistines and then "fell on his sword" to put himself out of his misery.  Today we find out that Saul mustn't have had very good aim because as David sees an Amalakite leaving Saul's camp this man tells him, "I saw Saul after he 'leaned upon his spear' and he asked me to finish the job, so I stood on him, killed him, and stole his crown and his bracelet and well, here I am!"  So David had the man killed for killing the Lord's anointed (in spite of Saul being against him).  Then he recited a little poetry in honor of Saul and Jonathon.

Now David became king of Judah and Saul's son Ishbosheth became king of Israel.  Abner (Saul's former servant) and some of Ishbosheth's other servants went and met up with Joab (a servant of David's) and some of David's other servants and they had a little tiff (we don't really know why) and fought one another.  One of David's servants, Asahel, kept following Abner who's like, "Dude, stop following me!" And Asahel's like, "No way man...I'm gonna getcha!"  And Abner turns around and 'smote him under the 5th rib'.  So Joab (Asahel's brother, another of David's servants) starts to follow Abner who says, "How long are you going to follow me  in order to avenge your brother?"  So Joab calls off the chase and David's servants go back to Bethlehem (after slaying some 300 Benjamites) and bury Asahel.

So the house of Saul (now Ishbosheth's reign) and David's kingdom were at war for a long time and it was becoming more and more apparent that Ishbosheth wasn't anything to write home about and that David was clearly all-that-and-a-bag-of-chips in the eyes of Israel.  So being the sneaky little weasel that he's been all along, Abner starts to cause Ishbosheth to fear him and then Abner sends a messenger to David asking to make a pact:  keep me in your favor and I'll bring you all of Israel.  David was starting to trust Abner and so Abner goes on his way home, but Joab (one of David's servants, brother of Asahel who died by Abner) says to David, "He's tricking you!  And you're just letting him go?!"  So Joab sneaks off and kills Abner.  David hears this and says, "The blood is on your hands, not mine!"  Then he mourns Abner and buries him in Hebron.

At this point we haven't heard much about Ishbosheth, but he mustn't be a very good king because in Chapter 4, some of Ishbosheth's captains go and kill Ishbosheth while he's napping (quite violently, too), thinking that they would somehow have favor in David's eyes now that the throne would be his.  But David, proving himself righteous yet again (I mean, how many opportunities did he have to kill Saul and to say bad things about others against him??), says, "I didn't appreciate the guy who thought he was bringing me good news by telling me Saul was I'm going to have you slaughtered for killing a righteous man in his own bed."  And his men cut off the captains' hands and feet and hanged them.  And then Ishbosheth's head was buried with Abner's body.

The only thing we left out (because of the lack of continuity to the main plot line) was the fact that David had 6 children...with 6 different women!  And at one point he asks for his old wife, Michal, back.  When she gets taken from her husband, he follows her and weeps and Abner told him, "Go home!"  This didn't have a lot of relevance right now, but it will as we progress in the reading.

More tomorrow...good night!

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