Monday, July 2, 2012

II. Samuel 20-24: wrapping it all up

After a weeks delay, we've gotten back on track and finished up II. Samuel. The major events in David's life have taken place and it seems that these last few stories pale in comparison to previous ones, but continue with the same themes: someone tries to undermine David, God punishes Israel, David's men smite Philistine giants in battle, David thanks God for everything, David sins.

Chapter 20: One of the old followers (Sheba) of Saul decides that he should rise up against David. In the process of chasing him down, Joab "accidentally?" kills one of David's men that had failed in one of his tasks for David. When they show up at a city to come in and take Sheba, the people of the city throw Sheba's head over the wall so that Joab and his men won't kill anyone in the city.

Chapter 21: The people are stuck in four years famine as a hangover of one of Saul's unrighteous wars against the Gibeonites. To make things right, David turns over 7 men from the line of Saul (at the Gibeonites request) to be hanged...which of course gets rid of the famine. Meanwhile, more Philistine giants are leading the charge against Israel, after a close call where David almost dies, his men tell him he has to stay home now and they proceed to smite some Philistine giants for David.

Chapter 22: David produces a long psalm of thanksgiving unto the Lord.

Chapter 23: David's last words on earth, talking of how God has been good to him and is against the naughty people of the world. This chapter then goes on to list the great men of David's army and their accomplishments, almost as if it is a list of Hall of fame inductees in Israel.

Chapter 24: In a sign of arrogance, David tells Joab to go and count how many subjects he has. Begrudgingly, Joab does so. For his sin, God has Gad, David's seer, give David a choice between famine, fleeing from enemies, or pestilence. David cannot make a choice so God sends disease to wipe out 70,000 of David's subjects. David then goes to make an altar and give burnt offerings to the Lord, which ends the pestilence.

Thus ends Samuel.

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