Epistles of Thomas

June 24, 2009

2 Samuel 1-3

Filed under: Old Testament — Thomas @ 10:28
Tags: , , , , , , , , ,

A few days after returning to Ziklag David learned of Saul’s death from an Amalekite who claimed to have finished Saul off at his request. 1 Sam 31:4 states that Saul fell on his own sword so perhaps this Amalekite was taking credit in hopes of gaining a greater reward from David. Surely he expected something for traveling all that way to tell him. David asks him a rather ominous question, “Why weren’t you afraid to lift your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” (1:14). This question might apply to an Israelite but why should an Amalekite be expected to care about the Lord’s anointed? Regardless, David had him executed for killing Saul, although apparently he did not really do it so he died for a lie. The second half of chapter one is a lament for Saul and Jonathan. One can understand why David laments for his best friend Jonathan but his lamentation for Saul is testimony to his heart.

In chapter two, David is anointed king of the House of Judah but Saul’s son Ish-Bosheth is chosen by Abner, commander of Saul’s army, to replace his father. This results in war between the forces of David and of Saul. David’s forces resoundingly defeat those of Abner and he is forced to flee. Later, Abner offers to transfer his allegiance to David after a disagreement with Ish-Bosheth and David accepts on the condition that he return his wife Michal. This quite upset her new husband (3:15-16) but there was nothing he could do. Perhaps this combined with David’s polygyny is the reason that Michal is led to despise David in her heart in the future when the maidens see him dancing.

Abner had killed Joab’s brother Asahel in battle so Joab decides to kill him in revenge after he visited David. David is horrified at this incident and declares himself innocent of any wrong. He curses Joab thus: “May his blood fall on the head of Joab and on his whole family! May Joab’s family never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food” (3:29). Once again David is more concerned with what is “right” than in supporting his friends. This had a positive result among the troops: “All of Joab’s men took note and were pleased; indeed, everything the king did pleased them” (3:36).

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