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Bible Journal: Politics of David (~ 1Sa 24 - 2Sa 3 )


Source: http://add.ph/141
Source: http://add.ph/141
In  the past 2 days I been reading and really stressed with the story of david around I Samuel 24 to II Samuel 3. Here are my thoughts about it.

David's Polygamy

David asked a rich guy named Nabal for some supplies, claiming that he did him a favor passively guarding his possessions in the desert. But Nabal was mean to his messengers that lead him to burn with anger and decided to call his men on arms and march to wipe out Nabal and his men. But Nabal's wife - Abigail, brought supplies and went to intercept them. And David's was pleased and went back peacefully. Then Nabal died after 10 days of paralysis after Abigail shared this story. And David invited Abigail to be his wife. David getting Abigail as a wife make me feel awkward. but then I thought David is just rewarding her for what she did, that is, stopping David from mass slaughter of Nabal's men. Then my wild imagination makes me think of STD, but then "it" was just one, so the risk is very low. lol. Then he also got 6 women to impregnate later and after 3000 years here am I judging David for his Polygamous act.

Saul ever chasing David

saul-and-david1 And I fail to comprehend completely the never ending chase and reconciliation cycle of David and Saul, I mean Saul sure sounds like a father to David every time David spares his life, then later he's taking 3000 people with him in chase of David. Saul probably has a group of crazy council that always suggest to him to kill David in the name of politics. If politics was this bad around 3000 years ago, I shouldn't be surprised how chaotic politics is today.

Saul's Misery

I also fail to understand(though I'm not questioning) why the Lord has been so hard for Saul, just for sparing an (probably just one) Amelekite, which is the king. That the Lord commanded to wipe out. The weird thing is, after that on these chapters there are clearly still a lot of them; in fact, they raided the town David was settling in when the men were away. I feel pity over Saul for all the misfortune on his life and his despair. I think I noticed though that it is not written that Saul repented to the Lord for these sins.

David with the Philistine

It's also a bit surprising for me that to flee from Saul, David decided to settle with there enemies, the Philistines and even asking a favor on (one of?) there King, Achish; Who saw for himself how David drooled with saliva flowing in his beard and doing weird things to pretend like insane in fear of him. And to think that David killed (and was reason of death of) many Philistine, it was a bit weird that Achish let David live in Gath and when David asked for a dedicated town for them ( David was with 600 men and there families) he even gave David one town, that is, Ziklag. And David seemed to have regular raiding non-Israelites towns. I'm not sure if these towns are actually allies of (or are) Philistines, but it seem to me that David lies to Achish when he asks where he raids.

David and the Amalekites

When the Philistines finally made a decision that makes sense, that is, not letting David go with them when they were marching on attack against Israel, David went back to the town given to them (i.e. Ziklag), discovered that the town is burning and all there wives sons and daughters were held captive but not one is killed. And they were all emotional to the point of wanting to turn there bitterness to David and stone him. Then David asked for an ephod and "asked" the Lord if they should chase the raiding party. And the Lord said yes. So he chased these Amalekites which are supposed to be wiped out by Saul; Apparently aside from the king there are still a lot of them that is enough for raiding a town without resistance. David and 400 men overtook them and fought them for half a day and won.

Ephod

Source: http://add.ph/142
Source: http://add.ph/142
I noticed that ephod was mentioned and some (very) short responses from the Lord comes after. Then after some short research I realized that this is somehow used (or required in use) of casting lots (probably similar to randomness acquisition like dices).

Saul's Miserable Death

And the Philistine army that David was with - finally defeated Saul, killing David's bestfriend, Jonathan; a brave warrior for fighting an army with only his armor bearer with him. And pushing Saul to kill himself. Which leads me to a question, is suicide really a sin according to the Bible? After this they cut of Saul's head and displayed it on Dagon's altar and his body and there sons displayed on the wall of there city. But the valiant menof Saul's clan bravely went to get Saul and his sons remains and cremated it; probably because they are rotting already. Then an Amalekite from the Israel camp came with torn clothes and ashed head - which is I think a sign of fasting and repentance. This man confessed that he killed Saul by standing over him while leaning on his spear (which on previous chapter is a "sword"). After this confession David (ordered to) killed the man which makes me feel awkward. Maybe him being an Amalekite is one of the factor of his penalty, is this racism? Probably.

Division of Israel

Source: http://add.ph/143
Source: http://add.ph/143
Later David returned to Judah and became there king, while Saul's clan anointed Saul's son, Ish-bosheth - to be there king; Dividing Israel between the biggest clan, Judah vs. the rest of the clans. Which reminds of of Korea. Probably to settle this, Abner, the commander-in-chief of Saul and probably acting as his right hand, met with Joab which is probably one of the highest official of David, and decided to have a 12 vs. 12 duel between there group. This apparently led to a full blown fight (or war?), which led to defeat but successful escape of Abner, but killing Joab's fast running brother. After a while, Ish-bosheth accused Abner of sleeping with Saul's concubine; Which led to Abner's change of stand, siding with David, swearing to the Lord of it. Then he had a meeting with the Israelite leaders and later with David, reporting how his meeting with the Israelite leader went. Again, I hate politics. When the meeting of David and Abner occurred, Joab was away. It seems though that Ish-bosheth is also favoring David cause he agreed on retrieving Michal from his new husband who followed them weeping as they were taking her away. Poor guy. When Joab went back and discovered that Abner went to there town, he sent messengers to make him go back and killed him when he did. This made David cast a curse upon Joab and his family, probably including the brave guy that went with him to infiltrate Saul's camp with just the two of them.

Conclusion

  • Politics seems to be always full of deception and treachery from the ancient times to the present
  • David is imperfect but still a great guy
  • Even the great men of the bible are polygamous
  • The bible has several story of racism
  • Judah is the most powerful clan of Israel from day 1 and probably until the end
  • After war, there are still plenty of new people to become warriors. weird.

Sources

http://www.hebrew4christians.com/Glossary/Hebrew_Glossary_-_E/hebrew_glossary_-_e.html http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Saul (unrelated) Googled: "how did samuel wrote the book of samuel where he died"

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