Tuesday, July 27, 2010


The blog will be going through a pretty big overhaul. There will probably not be any new posts for the next few weeks. I not exactly sure what I will be changing (it may just end up being minor design and format edits or a complete rework from the first post up) but I do know it will probably take a while and will more than likely be pretty drastic. Please be patient with all the changes and updates, and I will be sure to have a post about all the new changes once I've gotten everything sorted out. Thanks.

Monday, July 26, 2010

2 Samuel 19-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

19:5 - Joab tells David, "Today you have covered with shame the faces of all your officers who have saved your life today, and the lives of your sons and daughters, and the lives of your wives and concubines."
19:35 - An 80 year old servant of David's tells David that he is too old to be a servant and would only be a burden. The servant is too old to even still hear the voice of singing men and singing women.
19:37 - The servant wishes to return home so he may die in his own town, near the graves of his mother and father.

20:3 - David goes to his house in Jerusalem and took the ten concubines whom he had left to look at the house and put them in another house under guard. David provided for them but did not go into them. So the concubines were shut up until the day of their death, as if in widowhood.
20:16-22 - A wise woman called from the city for Joab to come to her so she may speak to him. Joab came and listened to her. The woman says that she is one of the ones who is peaceable and faithful in Israel, and that if he seeks to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel she would like to know why. Joab tells her that he does not wish to destroy the city but is only looking for a man named Sheba who lifted his hand against King David. If Sheba was delivered to him then Joab will withdraw from the city. The woman told Joab that Sheba's head would be thrown over the wall to him. The wise woman went to the people with her wise plan, and they cut off the head of Sheba and threw it over to Joab. So Joab blew the trumpets and the men dispersed from the city and went home.

21:8 - David brought the Gibeonites the two sons of Rizpah, daughter of Aiah, whom she bore to Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth, and the five sons of Merab daughter of Saul, whom she bore to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite.
21:10-12 - Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it on a rock for herself. From the beginning of harvest until rain fell on them from the heavens she did not allow birds or animals to come on the bodies of the dead sons. When David was told what Rizpah daughter of Aiah, the concubine of Saul, was doing he took the bones of Saul and the bones of his son Jonathan and buried them together.

My Comments

So David wouldn't touch his concubines because Absalom had sex with them so instead of releasing them to go back to their homes he instead locks them up in a house where they can't leave until they die of old age. Just because he no longer wanted to "go into" them. How wonderful. I bet the concubines were just thrilled about that.

Why do all the wise old woman stories always seem so random? I mean, it's nice the wise old women existed and we get to hear about them, but they always seem to do things that are just weird and not necessarily wise. Why is a plan to get the army to leave by cutting off a guy's head and giving it to the leader of the army considered a "wise" plan? Is it because no one but the wise woman had the idea to ASK what the invading army wanted so they would go away? Is it wise because they cut off a guys head? I'd think a wiser plan would involve NOT killing anyone but resolving the dispute in a peaceful humane way, but this is the Bible where everything is solved through murder and killing sprees, so I guess I should stop being surprised about stuff like this.

And I guess it's nice that David took notice of Rizpah (only after he was told about it, of course) and buried the bones of Saul's sons for her. It does not even begin to make up for the many douchebag decisions David made before, but it at least shows that he is nice enough to help out a woman after she has spent almost a year sitting out in the elements in order to keep the bodies of her children and Saul's other sons untouched by wild life. It would have been better if he'd done something a little sooner, but I guess you take what you can get in the Bible.

Tomorrow: 2 Samuel 22-24

Friday, July 23, 2010

2 Samuel 16-18

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

16:21-22 - Abithophel (a man who gives counsel) told Absalom to go into his father's concubines, the ones David left to look after his house. All of Israel will hear how Absalom has made himself odious to his father, and the hands of all who serve Absalom will be strengthened. So a tent was pitched for Absalom on the roof and Absalom went into his father's concubines in the sight of Israel.

17:3 - Ahithophel tells Absalom that he can bring all the people back to him as a bride comes home to her husband.
17:17 - Jonathan and Ahimaaz were waiting at En-rogel where a servant girl used to go tell them information to tell king David, for the men could not risk being seen in the city.
17:19-20 - (Jonathan and Ahimaaz hide at a man's house in a well). The man's wife took a covering and spread it over the well's mouth and spread grain on top, and nothing was known of it. When Absalom's men came to the woman at the house they asked where Jonathan and Ahimaaz. The women told the men that they had crossed the brook of water, and when the men searched and couldn't find them they returned to Jerusalem.
17:25 - Amasa, married to Abigal daughter of Nahash, sister of Zeruiah, Joab's mother, led the army in the place of Joab.

2 Samuel 18 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Just gonna say I have no idea what the hell is up with the counsel guy telling Absalom to rape his father's concubines (because I cannot imagine there was much consent during all that). And Absalom thinks this is a good idea? The best part is after Absalom follows the concubine raping advice, the counsel guy advices to let him take 12,000 men to pursue king David and kill him and bring the people back to him. And Absalom is told that that is not good advice because David and his men are strong warriors. So Absalom doesn't follow the guy's advice and the counsel guy hangs himself in shame.

So raping your dad's concubines to get back at him = good advice.

Sending an army after your dad to kill him in revenge = bad advice.

Just to clarify that.

Which I find odd since Absalom was the only person who was upset when his sister Tamar was raped. And yet, he is fine raping 10 other women simply because they are the property of his father. What the hell? When this shit happens it really is fairly obvious that men get angry about rape only when it happens to "their" women. Rape is never a crime based solely on principle. It's only a crime when it happens to your own property. And it is certainly okay when you are using it to get back at another man. It is apparently encouraged when it is used as a method of revenge. People will even set up a tent for you so the whole tribe can see you getting your revenge on.

Classy. -_-

And another woman savior. Who isn't even thanked for putting herself in danger to save two men being hunted down. I wonder if any of these women will ever really be thanked.

Monday: 2 Samuel 19-21

Thursday, July 22, 2010

2 Samuel 13-15

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

2 Samuel 13 - David's son Absalom had a beautiful sister named Tamar, and David's son Amnon fell in love with her. Amnon was so tormented he made himself ill because of his sister Tamar, for she was a virgin and it seemed impossible to Amnon to do anything to her. But Amnon's friend Jonadab was very crafty and asked Amnon what was wrong. Amnon told him of his love for his sister Tamar. Jonadab told Amnon that he should feign illness and when his father comes to ask him to bring Tamar to him, so she may prepare food in his sight and feed him from her hands. So Amnon feigned illness and asked the king to bring Tamar to him to make him food and feed him. David sent for Tamar and told her to go to Amnon's house and prepare him food. Tamar went to Amnon's house where he was laying down and made him cakes in his sight. WHen she gave the cakes to Amnon he refused to eat and told everyone else to leave him. Amnon told Tamar to bring the food into his chamber. But when she brought him the food Amnon took hold of her. "Come lie with me, my sister." Tamar replied, "No my brother, do not force me for such a thing is not done in Israel. Do not do anything so vile! As for me, where could I carry my shame> As for you, you would be as one of the scoundrels in Israel. Now therefore, I beg you, speak to the king, for he will not withhold me from you." But Amnon would not listen and her forced her and lay with her.

Afterward Amnon was seized with a great loathing for her, a loathing that was even greater than his previous lust. Amnon told her to get out. Tamar said that sending her away was even worse than what he had just done to her. But he called his young man to send her out, which he did and bolted the door behind her. Tamar put ashes on her head and tore the robe she was wearing, she put her hand on her head and went away, crying aloud. Her brother Absalom asked her if Amnon had been with her. Her told her to be quiet, that Amnon was her brother and to not take what he did to heart. So Tamar remained a desolate women in Absalom's house. When David heard he became very angry but did not punish Amnon, for he loved him. But Absalom spoke to Amnon neither good nor bad, for Absalom hated Amonon because he had raped his sister Tamar.
13:32 - Absalom has Amnon killed, and this had been determined by Absalom from the day Amnon raped his sister Tamar.

2 Samuel 14 - Joab son of Zerulah perceived that king David's mind was on Absalom. so he sent to Tekoa and brought from there a wise woman. He told her to go to David and pretend to be a mourner, to put on mourning garments and to not anoint herself with oil. She needed to behave like a woman who had been mourning many days for the dead. He told her what to say when she went to the king.

The woman went to David and told him that her husband had died, and after that her two sons had fought and one had struck the other, killing him. Now her only son and the only heir to the family is going to be killed by the family to pay for the brother he killed. She asked David to help her in this matter. David told her he would give orders concerning her, and if anyone says anything to her to bring them to him and they shall touch her no longer. She asked David to keep the Lord their God in mind, so the avenger of blood will kill no more and her son will be spared. David told her that as the Lord lives no one shall touch a hair on her son's head. he woman is pleased with this, glad that the king has listened to her, saying the lord her king is like an angel of God, discerning good and evil. Then David asks her if Joab had anything to do with this. And the women told her that yes, Joab sent her to David and told him what to say.

15:16 - The king left followed by his whole household, except ten concubines whom he left behind to look after the house.

My Comments

Yeah, Chapter 14 was really confusing the first time I read through it. I had no clue what this random women had to do with anything that was going on. But after reading it again I realized Joab was tricking David into forgiving his own son. I see what you did there, Bible.

Just in case you were getting bored here's another wonderful rape story to amuse us, the audience. This time incest rape. Double trouble. But there's not much new to it other than that. Amnon rapes Tamar, Amnon basically gets to continue living his life as normal and Tamar is left to live as a "desolate" woman in her brother's house her whole life since she is now ruined and is not longer good for marrying. David can't even get himself to be angry about Amnon raping his sister. Apparently David loved Amnon so much more than his daughter Tamar. And then when Absalom, the only one who hates Amnon after all this, does something about it (go Absalom!) David gets upset at Absalom for avenging Tamar. David is so upset he has to be tricked into forgiving Absalom. I mean holy shit, people get killed for doing ANYTHING in the Bible. If you commit adultery, killed. Steal something, killed. Pick up sticks on the Sabbath, killed. Rape your own sister, apparently killing is not the appropriate action to take.

Just kinda dumb. At least Absalom had sense enough to hate Amnon after Tamar's rape. I don't think I'm ever going to like David.

Tomorrow: 2 Samuel 16-18

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

2 Samuel 8-12

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

2 Samuel 8 - No mention of any women.

2 Samuel 9 - No mention of any women.

2 Samuel 10 - No mention of any women.

11:2-5 - David awoke one morning and was walking around the roof of the king's house when he saw a beautiful woman bathing. David sent someone to learn about her and they reported that her name was Bathsheba daughter of Eliam, wife of Uriah the Hittite. David sent for her and when she came to him he lay with her. ( Bathsheba had been purifying herself after her period.) When she returned to her house she had conceived and told David that she was pregnant.
11:21 - David mentions Abimelech dying when a women threw a stone on him from a wall.
11:26-27 - (After David had Uriah sent to the front lines of battle to die) When the wife of Uriah heard that he was dead, she lamented for him. When the mourning was over David sent for her and she became his wife and bore him a son.

12:3 - Nathan goes to David and tells him a story about a man who loved his only ewe as if it were a daughter.
12:8-11 - Nathan tells David that God is angry with him. God had given David his master's house and his master's wives, and the house of Israel and of Judah, and God would have given him more if that proved to be too little. So why has David done this? David struck down Uriah and taken Uriah's wife as his own and killed Uriah with the sword of the Ammonites. So the sword of the Ammonities shall never depart from David's house, for David has despised God and taken the wife of Uriah to be his own. So God will raise up trouble for David from then on, and will take David's wives and give them to his neighbors who shall lie with the wives in the sight of the sun.
12:15 - The Lord stuck the child of Uriah's wife and it became very ill.
12:24-25 - David consoled his wife Bathsheba after the death of her son and he lay with her, and she bore him another son. David named him Solomon. The Lord loved Solomon and sent a message to Nathan. So David named him Jedidiah because of the Lord.

My Comments

I don't think I can feel sorry enough for the wives of David. Now we have David actively killing off husbands so he can take their wives. How many wives does the bastard need, I mean seriously? He's gotta be in the double digits by now. It's ridiculous. And at least God calls him out on his assholery, even if God fights assholery with more assholery. It seems that David's punishment for killing a man for his wife is that God kills Bathseba's first born and then threatens (I'm not sure if the threat is actually carried out) to give all of David's wives away to other men who will have sex with them out in public so David can see them. So basically the people ACTUALLY being punished here for David's dumbass-ness is a newborn infant (who is killed, so why do people think God is pro-choice AT ALL?) and all of David's wives. David is only being punished because his property is being ruined. That's it. So really, both David and God come out looking horrible in the end. Yeah, give God a tiny pat on the back for being decent enough to understand that killing Uriah to take Bathsheba is a punishable offense and then give God a big slap in the face for punishing David by killing/tormenting tiny babies and women. It's ridiculously stupid.

And why wasn't God angry when David took Michal away from her husband? It's pretty much the same thing as what David did to Uriah and Bathsheba, except David didn't kill Michal's husband (just left him to cry and mourn the loss of a beloved wife). Is it because Michal was technically supposed to be David's before she was given to her husband? Which is ridiculous because David is the one that left and forgot about Michal. Saul didn't seem to give Michal away out of spite for David but simply because David didn't seem like he was coming back to marry her. And we all know that an unmarried woman is just a horrible tragedy. So what gives? Why is God just waking up to this shit? Either he didn't notice David taking Michal or he really just didn't care. Maybe he let that one slide because David was his favorite.

For a superior moral being God is pretty inconstant with punishment. But I guess it makes sense that God would pick a tool to be his favorite and judge in the land of Israel. God probably saw a lot of his own douchebaggery in David and figured he'd be a real stand up guy.


Tomorrow: 2 Samuel 13-15

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

2 Samuel 4-7

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

2 Samuel 4 - No mention of any women.

5:13 - In Jerusalem, after David came from Hebron, he took more concubines and wives, and more sons and daughters were born to him.

6:16 - As the ark of the Lord came into the city of David, Michal daughter of Saul looked out the window and saw King David leaping and dancing before the Lord; she despised him in her heart.
6:19-23 - David distributed food among the people of Israel, both men and women, giving them each a cake of bread, a portion of meat and a cake of raisins. David returned to bless his household. But Michal came out to meat David saying, "How the King of Israel honored himself today, uncovering himself before today before the eyes of his servants' maids, as any vulgar fellow might shamelessly uncover himself!" David told her it was before the Lord that he danced for the Lord had made him prince over Israel in place of her father and all his household. David said, "I will make myself more contemptible than this and I will be abased in my own eyes; but by the maids of whom you have spoken, by them I shall be held in honor." And Michal had no child to the day of her death.

2 Samuel 7 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

The Bible should be banished by the grammar police. It's rampant abuse of pronouns is simply obscene. The scene in 2 Samuel 4 where the two guys killed Ishbaal was so hard to follow when everyone was just "they" or "he." I read it three times and had no clue what was really going on until about two paragraphs later when that scene was referenced again. And the Bible does this often. And when pretty much everyone is a he/He or a lord/Lord it gets ridiculously impossible to follow with diagramming each sentence. Maybe this was easier to follow in Latin or Greek, where the grammar allows for word order to be messed with.

And then we get poor Michal again, taken from her husband and forced to marry David, a man who hates her father with a passion. Here we get a story where she is displeased with David's dancing. I'm not sure why she is displeased. When she talks to David she makes it sound like he was dancing naked or with less clothes than usual. It says David was wearing an Ephod which seems to be a ceremonial piece of cloth. Perhaps this does not cover much of the body and I guess we can assume from this passage that David wasn't wearing anything else with the Ephod. So Michal is unhappy that David was dancing for all to see while basically naked except for a ceremonial garment. She confronts David about this, accusing him of dancing for some women. Which, gotta say, is fair enough. She didn't know he was dancing for God (and would you first assume someone who was dancing half naked was doing it for God?) and on top of that she was already angry at him for displacing her. And we know from previous passages that rivalry and jealousy between wives was common and pretty strong, so of course Michal was angry that David was exposing himself to women that weren't his wives/concubines. And yet David gets pissed at her for her accusations, flaunts the fact that God has favored him over her father and her household, and then she is punished by being barren for the rest of her life.

Really doesn't seem very fair to me. But then again, Michal was turning into a pretty uppity woman and had to be put in her place. So if David was just going to get pissed with her for being angry at him (and then God was going to punish her on behalf of David) what was the use of David taking Michal in the first place? As a insult to Saul's sons and Saul's kin? Michal was in a place where she could have never thrived or been content by David who I'm pretty sure meant for it to be that way, and was made barren for her understandable unhappiness with it all.

What a loving God, who places the glory of a man above that of a suffering woman and will gladly punish a woman with no children when she happens to slight his favored man even the tiniest bit. Why don't I go to church every Sunday to worship this jackass, again?

Tomorrow: 2 Samuel 8-12

Monday, July 19, 2010

2 Samuel 1-3

The Facts (Chapter number" Verse)

1:20 - "Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult."
1:24 - "O Daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with crimson, in luxury, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel."
1:26 - "I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful passing the love of women."

2:2 - David went to Hebron with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal.

3:2-5 - Sons were born to David at Hebron: his first was Amnon, of Abhinoam of Jezreel. Second was Chileab, of Abigail the widow of Nabal. Third was Absalom, of Maacah daughter of King Talmai of Geshur. Fourth was Adonijah, son of Haggith. Fifth was Shephataih , of Abital. Sixth was Ithream, of David's wife Eglah.
3:7-8 - Saul had a concubine named Rizpah daughter of Aiah. Ishbaal said to Abner, "Why have you gone into my father's concubine?" Abner was angry at this, asking why Ishbaal was charging him with a crime concerning this woman when Abner had been so loyal to the house of Saul.
3:13-16 - Abner wants to make a covenant with David. David agrees but demands that Abner bring Saul's daughter Michal to him when Abner meets him. David sent messengers to Ishbaal, Saul's son, saying, "Give me my wife Michal, to whom I became engaged at the price of 100 foreskins of the Philistines." Ishbaal sent and took her from her husband Paltiel. But her husband went with her, weeping and he walked behind her all the way to Bahurim. Then Abner told him to go back home.

My Comments

Since there is no tone in the dialogue here it's hard to tell in Chapter 3 is David is actually angry about another man taking his former fiance. It does seem to me that he is upset that Michal had been taken from her, which is why he is taking her back. David seemed to completely forget about Michal while he was dealing with Nabal in 1 Samuel. If he wanted to get angry about it why wasn't he angry when it first happened? Why wait all this time? Unless he really didn't give two shits about her and only wants her back now because he has an opportunity to. So Michal is ripped from her life all because David decides he wants her. How nice. On top of that it seems her current husband Paltiel actually loves her, or is at the very least emotionally distressed that she being taken. If her husband was just angry his property was being taken I think he would be angry and violent, not weepy and simply following her as she is taken to David. So David first forgets about her, then demands her as a price like she's a thing to have, then takes her from a husband that seems to genuinely care about her in order to add her to the six or more wives her already has. Like she's a collectible or something.

And David is supposed to be one of God's chosen? A hero and champion that Christians are supposed to look up to and aspire to? Ick.

Tomorrow: 2 Samuel 4-7

Friday, July 16, 2010

1 Samuel 28-31

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

28:7-14 - Saul asked his men to seek out a medium for him, since God has stopped speaking to him. His men know of a medium in Endor. So Saul disguised himself and went to see the medium. Saul asked the woman to consult a spirit for him, and the medium said, "Surely you know what Saul has done, how he has cut off the mediums and the wizards from the land. Why then are you laying a snare for my life to bring my death?" Saul swore to her that no harm shall come to her. Then woman asked whom he wished her to consult. Saul asked her to bring up Samuel, and when the medium did she cried out, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!" Saul told her to nevermind, what did she see? The medium said she sees a divine being, and old man wrapped in a robe. So Saul knew it was Samuel and bowed with his face to the ground.
28:20-25 - Saul became terrified because of Samuel's words, and he had no strength because he had not eaten all day and all night. The medium saw that Saul was terrified and offered him food to eat. Saul said he would not eat. But Saul's men and the medium urged him so Saul rose and ate. The medium fed them a fatted calf and unleavened cakes. Saul and his servants ate.

1 Samuel 29 - No mention of any women.

30:2-3 - The Amalekites attacked Ziklag and took captive the women and all who were in the town both great and small. When David and his men came to the city they found it burned and all their sons and daughters were taken captive.
30:5-6 - David's two wives had also been taken, Abinoam of Jezreel and Abigail the widow of Nabal. David was in danger for his people wanted to stoned him because they were bitter in spirit for their sons and daughters.
30:18-19 - David recovered all the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing, neither great or small, sons or daughters, spoils of anything that had been taken. David had brought back everything.
30:22 - David did not give any spoils to the men who had not come with him. They only got their sons and daughters and wives back and were told to leave.

1 Samuel 31 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Yeah. The medium story is a bit weird. God completely denounces wizards and sorceresses with the whole "You shall not suffer a witch to live." And yet it's okay for Saul to go see a medium? Or is it a moot point since God had already stopped talking to Saul? Is this why Saul was overtaken in 1 Samuel 31? I guess God had already forsaken Saul so it didn't matter if he went to see a medium or not.

Monday: 2 Samuel 1-3

Thursday, July 15, 2010

1 Samuel 25 - 28

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

25:14 - One of David's men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, that David had sent messangers out of the wilderness to salute him and Nabal shouted insults at them. (David was planning to attack on account of this insult)
25:18-44 - Abigail hurried and gathered 200 loaves of bread, two skins of wine, five sheep ready dressed, five measures of parched grain, one hundred clusters of raisins and 200 cakesof figs. She loaded them on donkeys and told the young men to go ahead of her, she will follow them. She did not tell Nabal. Abigail rode and came upon David. David bemoaned that he had done much to protect Nabal's property in the wilderness and yet Nabal only returned to him insults. Abigail ran to David and fell on her face, bowing to the ground. She asked that David not take her ill natured husband seriously. She had not seen the men David had sent. The Lord restrain the blood guilt, and she offers all she brought to David and his men. Abigail blessed David and his men, that they should be victorious in whatever they face. David thanked the Lord for sending Abigail to him. David told Abigail to go back to her house.When Abigail returned home Nabal was having a huge feast, and Abigail told him nothing of what had happened. When she told Nabal the next morning Nabal's heart died within him, and about ten days later the Lord struck Nabal and he died. David praised the Lord for killing Nabal. He sent for Abigail to woo her to be his wife. Abigail accepted and went with her five maids to David and became his wife. David also married Ahinoam of Jezreel. Meanwhile Saul had given his daughter Michal, David's wife, to Palti son of Laish.

1 Samuel 26 - No mention of any women.

27:3 - David stayed in Gath, he and his troops, every man with his household, and David with his two wives, Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, Nabal's widow.

My Comments

I have to admit, the Abigail story practiclly made no sense to me. I reread the speech she gave to David and was pretty confused both times. I blame it on the fact that the word lord/Lord is thrown about practically every other word. It gets really muddled. But I think I got the general gist.

Gotta love how David is like "Oh, cool. Thanks for kills Nabal, God. Now I'm gonna go take his wife." And then on top of that he grabs another random woman to take as his wife. And apparently in all this mess he totally forgets about his first wife Michal. How do you forget about your wife? I mean really, I know they tend to get new wives like they're going out of style, but that's just kind of ridiculous.

I'm going to have to cut the reading short for today. Whatever I was going through a week or so ago is still kind of kicking around which can make it really hard to stay up and read the tiny font my Bible has. So I'll finish off he rest of 1 Samuel tomorrow.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 28-31

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

1 Samuel 18-25

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

18:6-7 - When David returned home from killing the Philistine, then women came out dancing with tambourines, singing, "Saul has killed his thousands, and David his ten thousands."
18:17 - Saul said to David, "Here is my elder daughter Merab. I will give her to you for a wife, only be valiant for me and fight the Lord's battles."
18:19 - But at the time when Merab should have been given to David she was given to Adriel the Meholathite as a wife.
18:20-21 - Saul's daughter Michal loved David. Saul was told and this pleased him. Saul thought, "Let me give Michal to David that she may be a snare for him and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him."
18:27-28 - David rose and went with his men and killed one hundred of the Philistines, and David brought their foreskins back to Saul that he may become Saul's son-in-law. Saul gave him his daughter Michal as a wife. Then Saul realized that he Lord was with David and that his daughter Michal loved him.

19:11-17 - Saul sent messengers to David's house to keep watch, planning to kill David in the morning. David's wife Michal told David that if he did not leave he was going to be killed. So Michal let David out through the window so he could escape. Michal placed an idol on the bed with goat's hair at the top and covered it with clothes. When Saul saw this deceit he asked her why she'd tricked him like this. And Michal told Saul, "He said to me 'Let me go; why should I kill you?'"

20:30 - Saul anger was kindled against Jonathan and said to him, "You son of a perverse woman!"

21:4-5 - A priest tells David that he only has holy bread for David and his men, provided they have kept themselves from women. David said that he and his men had kept themselves from women, as they always did when they'd go on an expedition, the vessels of the young men are kept holy even on a journey.

22:3 - David went to from there to Mizpeh of Moab. He said to the king of Moab, "Please let my father and mother come to you until I know what God did for me."

1 Samuel 23 - No mention of any women.

1 Samuel 24 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

Again, women as prizes to be won and bargaining chips to get what men want. And seriously, a big bag of one hundred foreskins just sounds so disgusting. I mean really really disgusting. Who the hell would ask for that? I think scalps would be less gross than foreskins.

When asked what he wanted the foreskins for, Saul was recorded saying, "I'm making a wallet. When I rub it, it'll turn into a suitcase."

Thank you, Reduced Shakespeare Company. If you have the money, The Complete Word of God (Abridged) is an excellent buy.

And another woman goes about saving another man. And still gets no parade. Or any real recognition. Did anyone know who Michal was before this? I mean David's a big player in the Bible, and yet we don't know the name of the woman who saved his life. Kind of the same deal with Zipporah. She saved Moses from being killed by God, and yet she's hardly talked about when the Exodus story is being retold in Sunday school. It's all rather unfair, I think.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 25-28

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

1 Sameul 13-17

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1 Samuel 13 - No mention of any women.

14:49-50: Saul's sons were JOnathan, Ishvi and Malchishua. His daughters were Merab and Michal. His wife was Ahinoam daughter of Ahimaaz.

15:3 - Samuel tells Saul to attack Amalek, and utterly destroy all they have, both man and woman, child and infant, ox and sheep, camel and donkey.
15:33 - Samuel tells Agag, king of the Amalekites "As your sword has made women childless, so your mother shall be childless among women." And with that Samuel killed Agag.

1 Samuel 16 - No mention of any women.

17:25 - The Israelites tell David, "Have you seen this man (Goliath) who has come up? Surely he has come to defy Israel. The king will greatly enrich the man who kills him, and will give him his daughter and make his family free for life."

My Comments

Women as prizes. Still never gets old.

I don't know if anyone has been watching Through the Wormhole with Moragn Freeman. I haven't been able to see it since I don't get the Discovery Science channel, but I did catch some of an episode at a friend's house. Oddly enough it is an episode about the question on whether there is a creator. There was a section about a scientist who is testing a section of the right hemisphere of the brain which, when stimulated, gives the impression of a presence around a the person. Similar experiences that people claim to experience when God is around. It's really fascinating. I love how so many experiences we have are reduced to simple electric impulses in our brains. And that these impulses can be manipulated and recreated is astonishing.

Maybe it's just me. I know many people are disturbed by the idea that we're only machines made of meat, where grand emotions like love or joy or hate are nothing more than neurons firing a specific way in the brain. Or it depresses people when they think we aren't special and weren't created by a higher being who loves us and protects us, but instead realize we are nothing but star dust that came to life and evolved into the beings we are today. Which I think is strange, since the more realistic scenario doesn't make us less special or unique. We are the only planet in our solar system with life as complex as we are. We may be the only planet in multiple systems with life as complex as we are. Out of all the species discovered on Earth we are the only species capable of great abstract thoughts. With imaginations that allow us to explore and discover and ask questions like "Why are we here?" We are just as awe inspiring and grand without God making us. Actually, I think we are even more awe inspiring without a creator. Billions of years of work and trial and error to come to this point in time. From primordial ooze to me sitting here on a couch of artificial leather watching people miles away from me on a tv screen while typing away on a laptop no bigger than the Bible I'm reading.

How can people cling to a God when the reality of life without God is so wonderful? So curious and awesome? Maybe I've been watching too much Carl Sagan. He's become my new obsession. I used to love reading about space and dinosaurs when I was a kid. My life ambition at that time was to be a paleontologist or an astronomer. Obviously that phase didn't last past my childhood, since I have grown up to be neither of those two, I think mostly because I didn't have many opportunities in high school and college to get into either field. But the subjects still fascinate me. Right now I'm watching Carl Sagan's Cosmos. Space is just so cool. It's so big and unfathomable for me most of the time. And yet, the vastness of space does not make me feel insignificant. Nor worthless or meaningless. Carl Sagan mentions in Cosmos that we are star stuff, made of the same matter of the rest of the universe. We are star dust studying other star dust. We are a way for the universe to know itself. And that gives me an incredible sense of peace. I am made of the same matter and force which created the sun, the moon, Jupiter, the Milky Way. We are all connected and a part of it. If matter cannot be created or destroyed then I am made of matter and energy that has been around for billions of years. It's such a feeling of connection and oneness.

There is a comfort in astronomy that I never found in religion.

If no one has ever watched a Symphony of Science video, I highly recommend it.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 18-25

Monday, July 12, 2010

1 Samuel 9-12

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

9:11-13 - Saul and his boy came across some girls drawing water and asked them where the seer was. The girls told Saul and his boy that the seer was just ahead of them in the town where he was to perform a sacrifice. They should hurry to meet him.

10:2 - Samuel tells Saul when he departs today Saul will meet two men by Rachel's tomb in the territory of Benjamin at Zelzah, and the men will tell him that the donkeys had been returned and their father has stopped worrying about the donkeys and is now worrying about his son.

1 Samuel 11 - No mention of any women.

1 Samuel 12 - No mention of any women.

My Comments

It is actually kind of hard to feel any sort of pity or sadness about Nahas, King of the Ammonites, gouging out the right eyes of the Israelites. The Israelites, since they escaped from Egypt, have just been on a killing spree, most time completely wiping out entire tribes and cities, leaving no one alive. So really, am I supposed to feel bad for them now? Feel like this is undeserved? Yeah, sure, gouging out people's eyes isn't cool, but the Israelites have pretty much done nothing to deserve any other kind of actions from nations around them. I'm sure people have learned that if they are not in the Israelite tribe it's only a matter of time before they will be slaughtered like the rest of the non-Israelites. So why not take some action before that happens? Can't say I blame the Ammonite king, really. The Bible wants to make him out to be the bad guy, but the Bible is written so poorly and God in the Old Testament is way beyond loving and kind that I'm finding it hard to side with the Israelites here. I often find myself more often rooting for or feeling for the people God has turned the Israelites against. Maybe if the Bible had been written by ancient Greeks we'd have a better narrative akin to the Aeneid or the Illiad, with protagonists I can actually feel for and a story I can really get into.

But it's just too much to ask. Maybe the Bible's incredible ability to bore its reader is proof of it's truth. Because who the hell would perpetuate this book over something as awesome as most Greek mythology? Or Norse mythology? Or the tales spun in the Asian religions? I guess the only conclusion one could make is the Bible is the Truth and the Light. Or just that the people who started the major Abrahamic religions are boring people who have no taste in literature.

Doesn't really matter which is true, it doesn't change the fact that the Bible is boring and poorly written.

I recently bought The Lolcat Bible. When I have a post that is lacking in anything to talk about I might start adding passages to my posts. It is seriously one of the funniest things I have read in a while. :)

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 13-17

Thursday, July 8, 2010

1 Samuel 5-8

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1 Samuel 5 - No mention of any women.

1 Samuel 6 - No mention of any women.

1 Samuel 7 - No mention of any women.

8:13 - Samuel tells the people a king would take their daughters to be perfumers and cooks and bakers.
8:16 - A king would take their male and female slaves, the best of their cattle and donkeys, and put them to work.

My Comments

Not much here today. A lot of nothing and the random taking of women. Nothing I haven't covered before and there's not enough here to really speak any further on the subject.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 9-12

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

1 Samuel 1-4

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

1 Samuel 1 - Elkanah, son of Jeroham son of Elihu son of Tohu son of Zuph, an Ephraimite, had two wives, one named Hannah and the other Peninnah. Peninnah had children but Hannah was barren. When Elkanah went to sacrifice to the Lord every year he would give portions to Peninnah and all her sons and daughters, and to Hannah he would give double because he loved her even though the Lord had closed her womb. Hannah's rival, Peninnah, used to provoke her severely and irritate her because Hannah was barren. Hannah wept an would not eat. Elkanah asked her why she cried, was he not better than having ten sons? After they had eaten and drunk in Shiloh, Hannah went and presented herself to the Lord. She was deeply distressed and prayed to the Lord and wept bitterly. She prayed for a son, promising the Lord that she would make him a nazirite for Him. Eli saw her moving her mouth, for she was praying silently, and thought Hannah was drunk. He told her to put away her wine but Hannah told him she was praying. Eli told her to go, that the Lord would grant her petition, so Hannah went back to her quarters. They woke in the morning, worshipped the Lord, then went back to their house at Ramah. Elkanah knew Hannah and she was given a son whom she named Samuel. Elikanah wanted to go and sacrifice to the Lord for the vow he kept, but Hannah did not want to present Samuel to God until he was weaned. When Samuel was weaned Hannah took him up along with a three year old bull, and ephah of flour and a skin of wine. She brought Samuel to Eli, telling him that she was the women he saw before praying, and she had brought Samuel to stay with him as a nazirite.

2:1-10 - Hannah says a prayer to the Lord for her son Samuel.
2:18-21 - Hannah used to bring Samuel a linen ephod every year they came to sacrifice. Eli would bless them, asking that Hannah be blessed with more children for the gift that she made to the Lord. The Lord took note of Hannah and she bore three more sons and two daughters
2:22 - Eli was old and heard all that his sons were doing in Israel, and how they lay with the women who served at the entrance of the tent of meeting.

1 Samuel 3 - No mention of any women.

4:19-22 - The wife of Phinehas was pregnant, and when she heard the ark of God was captured by the Philistines and her father-in-law and husband were dead she bowed and gave birth, for her labor pains overwhelmed her. As she was about to die the women attending her told her to not worry, for she had had a son. She named the child Ichabod which means "The glory has departed from Israel" for the ark had been taken and because of her father-in-law and husband.

My Comments

Babies, babies, babies. Women need to have babies. Male Babies, preferably. And if they do not they are pretty much useless. And the greatest glory God can bless them with is sons. I think it's funny that Hannah's husband, Elkanah, even asked her why she was so upset. Wasn't he enough for her? Did she have to have sons to be happy? Hell, he loved her even thought she was barren. I guess her "rival" (which I find to be an incredibly catty translation, by the by) picked on her so much that she couldn't be happy without a child, no matter how much her husband loved her. Really kind of sad.

Oh, and I don't think I'll ever get tired of the "Hey, you may be dying but at least you popped out a son! Aren't you happy?" That's just pure gold, right there.

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 5-8

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

Ruth 1 - Elmelech in Bethlehem went to live in the country of Moab with his wife, Naomi, and two sons, Mahlon and Chilion. While living in Moab, Elimelech dided and left Naomi with her two sons. Her sons took Moabite wives named Orpah and Ruth. After ten years, both Mahlon and Chilion died, leaving Naomi without a husband and sons.

Naomi wanted to set back out to the land of Judah, hearing the Lord had considered his people and they once again had food. Naomi urged her two daughter-in-laws to return to their mother's houses. Since Naomi had no husband and there was no chance of her bearing more sons for them to marry, even if they wanted to wait that long for the sons to come of age. The hand of the Lord had turned against Naomi, but it did not have to make Orpah and Ruth's lives bitter as well. They wept, Orpah kissed Naomi but Ruth clung to her. Ruth tells Naomi that she wants to stay with her, go where she goes, live where she lives, die where she dies. So Naomi allowed Ruth to go with her. When they arrived in Bethlehem, the women asked if this was Naomi who'd come back to them. Naomi told them to call her Mara, for she was bitter because God had dealt harshly with her and brought calamity upon her.

Ruth 2 - Naomi had a kindsman on her husband's side, a rich man named Boaz. Ruth asked Naomi if she may glean ears of grain in the field, behind someone in whose eyes she may find favor. Naomi told her to go do so. Ruth ended up working in the fields of Boaz. When Boaz returned to Bethlehem and saw Ruth in the field he asked his servants whom she belonged to. The servants told him she had returned from moab with Namoi and had been working the field all day without rest.

Boaz spoke to Ruth telling her keep her eyes on the field and follow his women, he would tell the men to not bother her and when she is thirsty she may drink from the vessels the young men have drawn. Ruth lied prostrate and asked Boaz why he has found favor with her when she is a foreigner. Boaz said, "All that you have done for your mother-in-law since the death of your husband has been fully told to me, and how you left your father and mother and native land and came to a people that you did not know. May the Lord reward your deeds and may you have a full reward from the Lord." Ruth spoke to him, "May I continue to find favor in your sight, even though I am not one of your servants."

At mealtime Boaz told Ruth to come eat with him. So she sat with the reapers and Boaz heaped up for her some parched grain. She ate until she was satisfied, and there was some left over. She then got up to glean and Boaz instructed his men to let her glean among the standing sheaves and to not disturb her and they must also pull some handfuls from the bundles for her and to not rebuke her.

Ruth gleaned in the field until evening and then brought what she had gleaned into town. Naomi saw how much she had gleaned and asked Ruth whose field she had worked in and who had taken favor with her. Ruth told Naomi she had worked in Boaz's fields. Naomi blessed the Lord and told Ruth that Boaz was kin. So Ruth stayed close to the women in Boaz's fields and gleaned until the end of the barley and wheat harvests.

Ruth 3 - Naomi spoke to Ruth, "I need to seek some security for you, so that it may be well with you. Now there is our kinsman Boaz, with whose young women you have been working. See, he is winnowing barley tonight on the threshing floor. Now wash and anoint yourself, and put on your best clothes and go down to the threshing floor. But do not make yourself known to the man till he has finished drinking and eating. When he lies down observe where he lies; then go and uncover his feet and lie down. He will tell you what to do." Ruth told Naomi she will do this.

Ruth went to the threshing floors and did just as Naomi told her. At midnight Boaz was startled and turned over and found Ruth lying at his feet. He asked who she was and she told him she is Ruth his servant and told him to spread his cloak over his servant since he was next of kin. Boaz said, "May you be blessed by the Lord. This last instance of loyalty is better than the first, for you have not sought after younger men, whether rich or poor. Do not be afraid for I will do for you what you ask, but there is a man who is an even closer next of kin than me. Remain the night and the morning and if he will not act as next of kin then I will act as next of kin for you. Lie until morning."

She lay until morning but got up before one person could recognize another, for it must not be known a woman was on the floor. Boaz gave her barley and Ruth left. She told Naomi all that happened and Naomi said for Ruth to wait and see how the matter turns out.

Ruth 4 - Boaz goes to the next of kin and tells him of Naomi's land and Ruth. The next of kin said that he could not take the land and Ruth without damaging his own inheritance so Boaz may take his right of redemption in his place. The next of kin and Boaz officiated the exchange in front of witnesses. Boaz took Ruth as his wife and she conceived a son. Ruth said to Naomi, "Blessed be the Lord who did not leave you without a next of kin." Then Naomi took the sona nd laid him on her bosom and became his nurse. The child was named Obed, father of Jesse and father of David.

My Comments

So more active women. Pretty cool. Of course the whole story revolves around them getting Ruth a new husband, but it's to be expected. Having a man to take care of the property and give Ruth sons so Elmelech's lineage will not die off is pretty much the be all end all of being a woman in Biblical times. Women may be allowed to inherit if their father has left no sons or next of kin to inherit for him, but they are still nothing without men. No matter how independent they may be, they are still nothing without men. Without men they are pitied and find themselves bitter. Kind of sad.

Also note the first book dedicated specifically to a woman and named after her is one of the shortest books so far. It's only 4 chapters long and is about two and a half pages long. Not long at all.

So it's cool there is an entire book for just the story of a woman, but it's kind of sad that despite Ruth being the book's namesake it's pretty much a story that centers around Boaz.

Note: I'm feeling better, so updates should resume as normal. :)

Tomorrow: 1 Samuel 1-4