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

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