David kills the messenger: 2 Samuel 1 to 8

2 Samuel 1
David is a dick. A survivor of the battle comes and says “Saul’s dead. Jonathan’s dead.”
“How are you so sure?” says David.
“Well, um, Saul tried to top himself, botched it, and I finished the job at his request.”
David has him killed.

Verse 15 And David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died.

Second half of verse 19 is a famous quote…

Verse 19 … how are the mighty fallen!

David wants to slap a D Notice on the whole thing

Verse 20 Tell it not in Gath, publish it not in the streets of Askelon; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph.

And the song remains the same. After more lamenting of Saul (who spent most of his time trying to off David!!

Verse 27 How are the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

2 Samuel 2
David – at the Lord’s command – goes off to Hebron, becomes King of Judah and praises Saul’s burial team. But Abner, one of Saul’s lieutenants, installs one of Saul’s sons – 40 year old as a rival king… There will be blood, surely…
Yup, at a swimming pool…

Verse 15-6 Then there arose and went over by number twelve of Benjamin, which pertained to Ish-bosheth the son of Saul, and twelve of the servants of David. And they caught every one his fellow by the head, and thrust his sword in his fellow’s side; so they fell down together: wherefore that place was called Helkath-hazzurim, which is in Gibeon.

Abner legs it, and is pursued by a fleet-of-foot son of a David supporter, who refuses to turn aside. Bad move, longevity-wise…

Verse 23 Howbeit he refused to turn aside: wherefore Abner with the hinder end of the spear smote him under the fifth rib, that the spear came out behind him; and he fell down there, and died in the same place: and it came to pass, that as many as came to the place where Asahel fell down and died stood still.

Then Abner says “look at us, look at what they make us give.”

Verse 26 Then Abner called to Joab, and said, Shall the sword devour for ever? knowest thou not that it will be bitterness in the latter end? how long shall it be then, ere thou bid the people return from following their brethren?

And it works!!! Abner lights out for the territory, the pursuers go home.

2 Samuel 3

Verse 1 Now there was long war between the house of Saul and the house of David: but David waxed stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul waxed weaker and weaker.

And some begatting/who is on whose side. Yawn.
Sigh. Now Saul is alive again. This is a flashback/bit out of place. The continuity guy needs sacking, frankly. Ok, um, Abner is getting told off/accused of shagging one of Saul’s concubines.
And there’s some spy games and toing and froing and Abner gets abnegated.

Verse 27 And when Abner was returned to Hebron, Joab took him aside in the gate to speak with him quietly, and smote him there under the fifth rib, that he died, for the blood of Asahel his brother.

And David says he’s off his food, which is proof enough for his followers that he didn’t kill Abner.

2 Samuel 4

Verse 1 And when Saul’s son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled.

Saul has/had a grandkid via Jonathan that’s lame.
And then there’s some murdering going on.

Verse 5-7 And the sons of Rimmon the Beerothite, Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ish-bosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. And they came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib: and Rechab and Baanah his brother escaped. For when they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head, and gat them away through the plain all night.

And they really should have got a contract in writing. Cos David does NOT like people taking the initiative.

Verse 11-2 How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? shall I not therefore now require his blood of your hand, and take you away from the earth? And David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. But they took the head of Ish-bosheth, and buried it in the sepulchre of Abner in Hebron.

2 Samuel 5
David is king for a day, and a few decades more

Verse 4-5 David was thirty years old when he began to reign, and he reigned forty years. In Hebron he reigned over Judah seven years and six months: and in Jerusalem he reigned thirty and three years over all Israel and Judah.

But the Jebusites aren’t playing ball – you can’t come here unless you get rid of the lame and the blind.
David takes Zion anyhow and displays spectacularly unpolitically correct sensitivities.

Verse 7 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David’s soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

List of David’s kids (well, sons probably) via some concubines and oh look, the Philistines are spoiling for another fight…

Verse 19-20 And David inquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. And David came to Baal-perazim, and David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baal-perazim.

And the Philistines have no respect at all for learning, so try again… The Lord decides to be tactically innovative, presumably just for the hell of it.

Verse 23-5 And when David inquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines from Geba until thou come to Gazer.

2 Samuel 6
And David gets the ark some new wheels

Verse 3And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart.

But you’re supposed to only look, not touch.

Verse 6-7 And when they came to Nachon’s threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

Which in turn pisses off David, who is then scared of the Lord (no shit, Sherlock!!). Stores the ark in a kind of quarantine, and that place is blessed

Verse 12 And it was told king David, saying, The LORD hath blessed the house of Obed-edom, and all that pertaineth unto him, because of the ark of God. So David went and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-edom into the city of David with gladness.

And David shakes his booty

Verse 14 And David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod.

And divvies out some fishes and loaves (ish)

Verse 19 And he dealt among all the people, even among the whole multitude of Israel, as well to the women as men, to every one a cake of bread, and a good piece of flesh, and a flagon of wine. So all the people departed every one to his house.

But Micah (one of his longest-standing wives, you’ll remember) saw him shaking his booty earlier and her heart was full of hate. So when he gets indoors, she gives him a right tongue-lashing…

Verse 20 Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!

David says “Screw you bitch. God told me to do it, and I am the bloody king.” That seems to put the mockers on conjugals between the two of them…

Verse 23Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.

2 Samuel 7
God wants a starter home, and says to one of David’s advisors

Verse 5-6 Go and tell my servant David, Thus saith the LORD, Shalt thou build me an house for me to dwell in? Whereas I have not dwelt in any house since the time that I brought up the children of Israel out of Egypt, even to this day, but have walked in a tent and in a tabernacle.

Which the servant does at great and tedious length, all flowery and sycophantic. Still, given what David does to anyone who so much as blinks wrong, I ain’t surprised.

2 Samuel 8
David does a whole lot of smiting, above and beyond this excerpt

Verse 5-6 And when the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men. Then David put garrisons in Syria of Damascus: and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went.

And this is the crew he rolls with, you feel me?

Verse 15-8 And David reigned over all Israel; and David executed judgment and justice unto all his people. And Joab the son of Zeruiah was over the host; and Jehoshaphat the son of Ahilud was recorder; And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe; And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David’s sons were chief rulers.

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Major Mayhem, including Goliath: 1 Samuel 14 to 31

In which Saul goes senile (and dead, in the end) and David kills Goliath, has to run away repeatedly from his jealous boss. The great  cartoon is from Saturday Morning Breakfast Cereal

1 Samuel 14
Saul’s son Jonathan goes a-baiting the Philistines without telling his dad, who is chilling out under a pomegranate tree in Gibeah.
Jonathan and armorer decide to break cover

Verse 11 And both of them discovered themselves unto the garrison of the Philistines: and the Philistines said, Behold, the Hebrews come forth out of the holes where they had hid themselves.

And they do a little light mass-murdering

Verse 14 And that first slaughter, which Jonathan and his armourbearer made, was about twenty men, within as it were an half acre of land, which a yoke of oxen might plow.

It’s noisy, this killing. Saul finally clocks son Johnny is missing, raises an army successfully, drawing even the traitors back into the Hebrew fold.

Verse 21 Moreover the Hebrews that were with the Philistines before that time, which went up with them into the camp from the country round about, even they also turned to be with the Israelites that were with Saul and Jonathan.

Saul doesn’t seem to understand that an army marches on its stomach.

Verse 24 And the men of Israel were distressed that day: for Saul had adjured the people, saying, Cursed be the man that eateth any food until evening, that I may be avenged on mine enemies. So none of the people tasted any food.

Except Jonathan, who doesn’t get the news, eats and pisses off the starving fighters. And Jonathan says “wtf, we would kill more if we ate!”

Verse 30 How much more, if haply the people had eaten freely to day of the spoil of their enemies which they found? for had there not been now a much greater slaughter among the Philistines?

And they take his advice.

Verse 31-2 And they smote the Philistines that day from Michmash to Aijalon: and the people were very faint. And the people flew upon the spoil, and took sheep, and oxen, and calves, and slew them on the ground: and the people did eat them with the blood.

People fess up and Saul wants a big stone and some ox and sheep and don’t drink the blood. Oh, and we’re gonna do a midnight raid on the Philistines.
Saul predicts his son is gonna die, but doesn’t know why.

Verse 43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what thou hast done. And Jonathan told him, and said, I did but taste a little honey with the end of the rod that was in mine hand, and, lo, I must die.

The people of Israel snatch Jonathan from Saul before he can execute his son.

And Saul does some smiting and leading…

1 Samuel 15
Samuel gives Saul a “peace” mission

Verse 3 Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

For previous service rendered, the Kenites are warned to bugger off, and do. Lots of other folks get smited.
But God, God himself has regrets…

Verse 11 It repenteth me that I have set up Saul to be king: for he is turned back from following me, and hath not performed my commandments. And it grieved Samuel; and he cried unto the LORD all night.

Saul turns up, bootied up. Samuel says, what’s with the bleating I hear? Saul says, it’s the best of the sheep and oxen. You were supposed to destroy EVERYTHING. Saul tries the old “it’s for burnt offerings” but that doesn’t cut the mustard.
Saul admits he let himself get swayed by trying to win a popularity contest.

Verse 24 And Saul said unto Samuel, I have sinned: for I have transgressed the commandment of the LORD, and thy words: because I feared the people, and obeyed their voice.

Saul’s request of Samuel to help make it all good fails….

Verse 28 And Samuel said unto him, The LORD hath rent the kingdom of Israel from thee this day, and hath given it to a neighbour of thine, that is better than thou.

And then Samuel decides the Geneva Convention and that “thou shalt not kill” commandment is for girly-men…

Verse 32 Then said Samuel, Bring ye hither to me Agag the king of the Amalekites. And Agag came unto him delicately. And Agag said, Surely the bitterness of death is past.
33: And Samuel said, As thy sword hath made women childless, so shall thy mother be childless among women. And Samuel hewed Agag in pieces before the LORD in Gilgal.

Sammy and Saul do not talk anymore….

1 Samuel 16
God has another plan, and wants Samuel to stop moping and go poor oil over the next king’s head. Samuel is worried Saul will find out and be, like, jealous… And God tells him to have a cow, man.

Verse 2And Samuel said, How can I go? if Saul hear it, he Will kill me. And the LORD said, Take an heifer with thee, and say, I am come to sacrifice to the LORD.

In Bethlehem, Samuel sees a likely lad and thinks that’ll be God’s Choice.

Verse 7 But the LORD said unto Samuel, Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart.

Neither is it any of that family, except maybe??

Verse 11 And Samuel said unto Jesse, Are here all thy children? And he said, There remaineth yet the youngest, and, behold, he keepeth the sheep. And Samuel said unto Jesse, Send and fetch him: for we will not sit down till he come hither.

And it’s that one, called… David.
And meanwhile an evil spirit from the Lord is getting stuck into former favourite Saul.

Verse 14-5 But the Spirit of the LORD departed from Saul, and an evil spirit from the LORD troubled him. And Saul’s servants said unto him, Behold now, an evil spirit from God troubleth thee.

And harp-playing from a mighty valiant man is prescribed, and Saul asks for young David (now there’s a coincidence. Verily, the Lord moveth in mysterious ways.
And David goes to Saul, is loved greatly and becomes armour-bearer. And harpist.

Verse 23 And it came to pass, when the evil spirit from God was upon Saul, that David took an harp, and played with his hand: so Saul was refreshed, and was well, and the evil spirit departed from him.

1 Samuel 17
Fight! Fight! Fight!

Verse 1-2 Now the Philistines gathered together their armies to battle, and were gathered together at Shochoh, which belongeth to Judah, and pitched between Shochoh and Azekah, in Ephes-dammim. And Saul and the men of Israel were gathered together, and pitched by the valley of Elah, and set the battle in array against the Philistines.

And here comes Goliath…

Verse4-5 And there went out a champion out of the camp of the Philistines, named Goliath, of Gath, whose height was six cubits and a span. And he had an helmet of brass upon his head, and he was armed with a coat of mail; and the weight of the coat was five thousand shekels of brass.

And Goliath says come on if you think you’re hard enough, and David… goes and feeds his father’s sheep at Bethlehem (verse 15). Very sensible.
Forty days of Goliath challenging for a fight. Are the Israelites waiting for him to become senescent?
Anyhow, there’s a bit of a fight, David turns up with provisions and clocks Goliath – for the first time it seems -, so maybe I shouldn’t have been so quick to label him coward. And the rewards for felling the giant are explained.

Verse 25 And the men of Israel said, Have ye seen this man that is come up? surely to defy Israel is he come up: and it shall be, that the man who killeth him, the king will enrich him with great riches, and will give him his daughter, and make his father’s house free in Israel.

David is getting flak from his own family.

Verse 28 And Eliab his eldest brother heard when he spake unto the men; and Eliab’s anger was kindled against David, and he said, Why camest thou down hither? and with whom hast thou left those few sheep in the wilderness? I know thy pride, and the naughtiness of thine heart; for thou art come down that thou mightest see the battle.

David tells him to piss off and asks again of the rewards and then offers to Saul that he’ll fight Goliath, who says “you’re too young.”
So, David does an elevator pitch of his CV

Verse 34-5 And David said unto Saul, Thy servant kept his father’s sheep, and there came a lion, and a bear, and took a lamb out of the flock: And I went out after him, and smote him, and delivered it out of his mouth: and when he arose against me, I caught him by his beard, and smote him, and slew him.

And with God as his co-founder in this particular start up, Saul would be a fool not become an, erm, angel investor.

Verse 37 David said moreover, The LORD that delivered me out of the paw of the lion, and out of the paw of the bear, he will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine. And Saul said unto David, Go, and the LORD be with thee.

And they suit up David with armour, but David says “nah, I’ve not earnt it.” So instead he does the whole asymmetric war-fare thing…

Verse 40 And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in a shepherd’s bag which he had, even in a scrip; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine.

Goliath is predictably offended.

Verse 43 And the Philistine said unto David, Am I a dog, that thou comest to me with staves? And the Philistine cursed David by his gods.

David says God is on his side and he’s gonna chop Goliath’s head off and piss down his neck. (Ok, I embellished that last bit).
And Hallelujuah, it’s a miracle!!!

Verse 49 And David put his hand in his bag, and took thence a stone, and slang it, and smote the Philistine in his forehead, that the stone sunk into his forehead; and he fell upon his face to the earth.

And David keeps his promise

Verse 51 Therefore David ran, and stood upon the Philistine, and took his sword, and drew it out of the sheath thereof, and slew him, and cut off his head therewith. And when the Philistines saw their champion was dead, they fled.

The men of Israel and Judah chase and kill the Philistines, naturally.
And then we get one of those obvious contradictions/continuity screw-ups that the Bible should be infamous for. In the last chapter, Saul sent to David’s dad specifically to ask for him to do harp duty. But now, having seen his armour-bearer in action.

Verse 55-6 And when Saul saw David go forth against the Philistine, he said unto Abner, the captain of the host, Abner, whose son is this youth? And Abner said, As thy soul liveth, O king, I cannot tell. And the king said, Inquire thou whose son the stripling is.

Of course, Saul may just be getting senile – Monty Burns can never remember Homer Simpson’s name, after all – but it does stretch credulity…

1 Samuel 18
And David is now the favourite of Jonathan (Saul’s son)

Verse 3-4 Then Jonathan and David made a covenant, because he loved him as his own soul. And Jonathan stripped himself of the robe that was upon him, and gave it to David, and his garments, even to his sword, and to his bow, and to his girdle.

David becomes a consigliere. And gets welcome by women with, um, tabrets?
And the women sing of Saul slaying thousands and David ten thousands, which leaves Saul “very wroth.” Men and their egos, eh? Never EVER show up your boss…
Um, David is playing with his hand. Does that mean what I think it means???

Verse 10 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied in the midst of the house: and David played with his hand, as at other times: and there was a javelin in Saul’s hand.

David seems to duck assassination twice, and Saul then promotes him upwards, but David stays nervous. His work ethic makes him popular.

Verse 16 But all Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them.

Action-packed verse- Saul wants David as a son-in-law and for the Philistines to do his dirty work…

Verse 17 And Saul said to David, Behold my elder daughter Merab, her will I give thee to wife: only be thou valiant for me, and fight the LORD’s battles. For Saul said, Let not mine hand be upon him, but let the hand of the Philistines be upon him.

David doubts, Merab gets given elsewhere, but David’s happier with her sister Michal anyhow. This works for devious old Saul.

Verse 21 And Saul said, I will give him her, that she may be a snare to him, and that the hand of the Philistines may be against him. Wherefore Saul said to David, Thou shalt this day be my son in law in the one of the twain.

Saul sends a back-channel message to David, who is still doing the whole “I am not worthy to be a king’s son-in-law” thing…
So Saul says “gimme a hundred foreskins of the Philistines and we’ll call it evens then.”
David’s happy now he has a concrete target, and with admirable directness, he goes out to get the job done.

Verse 27 Wherefore David arose and went, he and his men, and slew of the Philistines two hundred men; and David brought their foreskins, and they gave them in full tale to the king, that he might be the king’s son in law. And Saul gave him Michal his daughter to wife.

Saul sees that God is on David’s side and gets more afraid of him. And the Philistines “went forth” but David seems to keep a cooler head than Saul’s henchmen, so his reputation goes up.

1 Samuel 19
Saul tells son Jonathan to whack David, and Jonathan tells David what’s afoot and if David hides himself, Jonathan will get Saul to repeat the order in David’s earshot. He speaks good of David, Saul recants, David exposes himself and everything is cool, [for now] and David smites some more Philistines.
But God doesn’t want Saul to play nice, so does the whole evil spirit thing again. So much for free will, eh.

Verse 9 And the evil spirit from the LORD was upon Saul, as he sat in his house with his javelin in his hand: and David played with his hand.

David will go blind with all that wanking…
David dodges a bullet/javelin, the hunt is on and David’s wife (Saul’s daughter) says If thou save not thy life to night, to morrow thou shalt be slain. So he legs it.

Verse 13 And Michal took an image, and laid it in the bed, and put a pillow of goats’ hair for his bolster, and covered it with a cloth.

Saul discovers the trickery and is irked at his daughter.
David tells Samuel what’s going on. Saul finds out where David is hiding and does some prophesizing and getting naked.

Verse 24 And he stripped off his clothes also, and prophesied before Samuel in like manner, and lay down naked all that day and all that night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?

1 Samuel 20
David asks Jonathan why Saul is so intent on killing him. Jonathan says his dad tells him everything. David points out Saul knows he and David are mates, so may keep this particular murder plot secret.
And they cook up a bizarre plan which will involve shooting three arrows to the left or right
Yep, I think Saul is getting gaga. These are clinical signs…

Verse 30 Then Saul’s anger was kindled against Jonathan, and he said unto him, Thou son of the perverse rebellious woman, do not I know that thou hast chosen the son of Jesse to thine own confusion, and unto the confusion of thy mother’s nakedness? For as long as the son of Jesse liveth upon the ground, thou shalt not be established, nor thy kingdom. Wherefore now send and fetch him unto me, for he shall surely die.

Jonathan asks why?

Verse 33 And Saul cast a javelin at him to smite him: whereby Jonathan knew that it was determined of his father to slay David.

Jonathan is well pissed off, naturally!
And does the whole arrow as signal thing, and sends away his servant…

Verse 4 And as soon as the lad was gone, David arose out of a place toward the south, and fell on his face to the ground, and bowed himself three times: and they kissed one another, and wept one with another, until David exceeded.

Is that exceded or ex-seeded? Just askin’…
Anyhow, Jonathan tells David to get the heck outa Dodge.

Verse 41And Jonathan said to David, Go in peace, forasmuch as we have sworn both of us in the name of the LORD, saying, The LORD be between me and thee, and between my seed and thy seed for ever. And he arose and departed: and Jonathan went into the city.

1 Samuel 21
David, on the run, finds a nervous priest and spins a yarn about secret missions. He wants feeding and the priest says “this bread is only for men who’ve kept away from women of late.”

Verse 5 And David answered the priest, and said unto him, Of a truth women have been kept from us about these three days, since I came out, and the vessels of the young men are holy, and the bread is in a manner common, yea, though it were sanctified this day in the vessel.

David eats. There’s a spy for Saul, named Doeg the Edomite. Davod asks the priest for some weaponry. There’s only Goliath’s sword, which David takes and legs it to Achish, the king of Gath.
The servants seem to be Saul-supporters, so David plays mad to stay alive.

Verse 13 And he changed his behaviour before them, and feigned himself mad in their hands, and scrabbled on the doors of the gate, and let his spittle fall down upon his beard.

And Achish is taken in by the act, and unimpressed with his staff.

Verse 15 Have I need of mad men, that ye have brought this fellow to play the mad man in my presence? shall this fellow come into my house?

I Samuel 22
David’s family join him at the cave Adullam

Verse 2 And every one that was in distress, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was discontented, gathered themselves unto him; and he became a captain over them: and there were with him about four hundred men.

The prophet Gad tells David to get thee to the land of Judah, he does. Saul is SO wanting to kill David.

Verse 6 When Saul heard that David was discovered, and the men that were with him, (now Saul abode in Gibeah under a tree in Ramah, having his spear in his hand, and all his servants were standing about him;)

And Saul is in paranoid and accusatory mode (so dementing!!)

Verse 8 That all of you have conspired against me, and there is none that sheweth me that my son hath made a league with the son of Jesse, and there is none of you that is sorry for me, or sheweth unto me that my son hath stirred up my servant against me, to lie in wait, as at this day?

Doeg the Edomite tells Saul that the priest gave David the sword of Goliath. Saul gives the priest a bollocking, but

Verse 14- 5 Then Ahimelech answered the king, and said, And who is so faithful among all thy servants as David, which is the king’s son in law, and goeth at thy bidding, and is honourable in thine house? Did I then begin to inquire of God for him? be it far from me: let not the king impute any thing unto his servant, nor to all the house of my father: for thy servant knew nothing of all this, less or more.

That’s enough cheekiness for Saul, who oversteps an invisible line

Verse 16- 7 And the king said, Thou shalt surely die, Ahimelech, thou, and all thy father’s house. And the king said unto the footmen that stood about him, Turn, and slay the priests of the LORD; because their hand also is with David, and because they knew when he fled, and did not shew it to me. But the servants of the king would not put forth their hand to fall upon the priests of the LORD.

But Doeg is up for a little king-sanctioned murder. Well, a lot – 85, to be precise…

Verse 18 And the king said to Doeg, Turn thou, and fall upon the priests. And Doeg the Edomite turned, and he fell upon the priests, and slew on that day fourscore and five persons that did wear a linen ephod.

One son of Ahimlech escapes, finds David who reproaches himself since he knew Doeg the Edomite would tell tales, and so blames himself for the killings…

I Samuel 23
The Philistines are a-smiting, David asks the Lord should he go and smite them. The Lord says yes. David’s soldiers are scared and mutinous, and so… David asks Lord to repeat the order?!! How is that NOT dereliction of duty worthy of a thunderbolt?! The Lord reassures David and

Verse 5 So David and his men went to Keilah, and fought with the Philistines, and brought away their cattle, and smote them with a great slaughter. So David saved the inhabitants of Keilah.

An unconcealed ephod lets Saul know David is in Keilah.

Verse 7 And it was told Saul that David was come to Keilah. And Saul said, God hath delivered him into mine hand; for he is shut in, by entering into a town that hath gates and bars.

David asks the Lord about this, and the Lord tells David to leg it (but surely with the Lord on his side… No, there must be some mysterious way going on here…) And David does the whole scarlet pimpernel thing.

Verse 14 And David abode in the wilderness in strong holds, and remained in a mountain in the wilderness of Ziph. And Saul sought him every day, but God delivered him not into his hand.

The Ziphites are happy to help Saul kill David.

Verse 20 Now therefore, O king, come down according to all the desire of thy soul to come down; and our part shall be to deliver him into the king’s hand.

And David escapes to the wilderness of Maon but is cornered there and about to be slaughtered…

Verse 27 But there came a messenger unto Saul, saying, Haste thee, and come; for the Philistines have invaded the land. Wherefore Saul returned from pursuing after David, and went against the Philistines: therefore they called that place Sela-hammahlekoth.

I Samuel 24
Saul kills Philistines. David is hiding out in caves like Osama bin-Laden.

Verse 3 And he came to the sheepcotes by the way, where was a cave; and Saul went in to cover his feet: and David and his men remained in the sides of the cave.

David’s sidekicks have opinions…

Verse 4 And the men of David said unto him, Behold the day of which the LORD said unto thee, Behold, I will deliver thine enemy into thine hand, that thou mayest do to him as it shall seem good unto thee. Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul’s robe privily.

But he gets cutter-offer’s remorse

Verse 6 And he said unto his men, The LORD forbid that I should do this thing unto my master, the LORD’s anointed, to stretch forth mine hand against him, seeing he is the anointed of the LORD.

David catches up to Saul, who has left the cave and throws himself to the ground and says, among other things…

Verse 10 Behold, this day thine eyes have seen how that the LORD had delivered thee to day into mine hand in the cave: and some bade me kill thee: but mine eye spared thee; and I said, I will not put forth mine hand against my lord; for he is the LORD’s anointed.

Actually, the whole lot deserves quoting, since it’s one of them Bible stories you should know (but I didn’t).

Verse 11-4 Moreover, my father, see, yea, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand: for in that I cut off the skirt of thy robe and killed thee not, know thou and see that there is neither evil nor transgression in mine hand, and I have not sinned against thee; yet thou huntest my soul to take it. The LORD judge between me and thee, and the LORD avenge me of thee: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. As saith the proverb of the ancients, Wickedness proceedeth from the wicked: but mine hand shall not be upon thee. After whom is the king of Israel come out? after whom dost thou pursue? after a dead dog, after a flea.

Saul weeps and acknowledges David is more righteous and will be king. But David seems to be wondering if there will be yet another change of heart…

Verse 22 And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

I Samuel 25
At last, Samuel dies. David sends some of his servants to ask a local rich guy called Nabal to give his servants some food, as a test. Nabal tells David’s lot to piss off sharpish, and David readies for war, since Nabal Deserves to Die. Nabal’s very hot wife Abigail is told what’s up by some of Nabal’s shepherds, who have had no problems at all with David’s men. No point telling Nabal, “for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.” So Abigail hopes she can give a life-savingly different answer to David’s emissaries’ request.

Verse 18 Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and an hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.

Is she going to be, um, pissing against the wall. For she meets David and he says

Verse 22 So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Abigail lays on the flattery thick, slags off Nabal and succeeds in convincing David he doesn’t want a massacre on his conscience. David says “thanks, I needed that.”

Verse 34 For in very deed, as the LORD God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall.

Nabal throws a party, gets so drunk Abigail doesn’t tell him what she did….

Verse 37-8 But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died.

But of course, this is good news to David, who sees the Lord’s hand in the death, and to celebrate, shag’s the widow…

Verse 39 And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal, and hath kept his servant from evil: for the LORD hath returned the wickedness of Nabal upon his own head, And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife.

Abigail hasted and arose and rode upon an ass with five damsels of hers… presumably old and selfish Nabal had not been meeting her needs….
Meanwhile, there’s trouble afoot, because Saul has unilaterally taken his daughter Michal out of marriage to David. There will, surely, be blood…

Verse 44 But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Phalti the son of Laish, which was of Gallim.

I Samuel 26
Sigh. Somebody jumbled up some scrolls. We have more of the pre-cutting-of-cloth-in-cave thing of Saul hunting down David.
And we get a different version of David not killing Saul, this time with Saul asleep and David able to spear him if he so chooses.

Verse 12 So David took the spear and the cruse of water from Saul’s bolster; and they gat them away, and no man saw it, nor knew it, neither awaked: for they were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them.

Similar reveal of evidence that David could have, if he’d chosen, killed Saul, similar Saulian confession.

Verse 21 Then said Saul, I have sinned: return, my son David: for I will no more do thee harm, because my soul was precious in thine eyes this day: behold, I have played the fool, and have erred exceedingly.

1 Samuel 27
We are still in this blasted flashback…

Verse 1 And David said in his heart, I shall now perish one day by the hand of Saul: there is nothing better for me than that I should speedily escape into the land of the Philistines; and Saul shall despair of me, to seek me any more in any coast of Israel: so shall I escape out of his hand.

Except he does indeed have Abigail, Nabal’s widow. He asks his host for some land, since Saul isn’t pursuing him right now.

Verse 6-7 Then Achish gave him Ziklag that day: wherefore Ziklag pertaineth unto the kings of Judah unto this day. And the time that David dwelt in the country of the Philistines was a full year and four months.

And David can’t help but do some killing, of the Geshurites and Gezrites and Amalekites.

Verse 9 And David smote the land, and left neither man nor woman alive, and took away the sheep, and the oxen, and the asses, and the camels, and the apparel, and returned, and came to Achish.

His host Achish asks who he killed and David says oh, um, “against the south of Judah and the south of the Jerahmeelites and the Kenites”. And he can get away with it because he left no witnesses…

Verse 11 And David saved neither man nor woman alive, to bring tidings to Gath, saying, Lest they should tell on us, saying, So did David, and so will be his manner all the while he dwelleth in the country of the Philistines.

Charmer, this David. And Achish thinks that now David has committed these atrocities he can’t possibly be a double-agent. Fool.

Verse 12 And Achish believed David, saying, He hath made his people Israel utterly to abhor him; therefore he shall be my servant for ever.

1 Samuel 28
The Philistines are gonna fight, and Achish tells David he’s to fight on their side.

Verse 2 And David said to Achish, Surely thou shalt know what thy servant can do. And Achish said to David, Therefore will I make thee keeper of mine head for ever.

Saul has got shot of the wizards and all, but it seems not to have helped.

Verse 5-6 And when Saul saw the host of the Philistines, he was afraid, and his heart greatly trembled. And when Saul inquired of the LORD, the LORD answered him not, neither by dreams nor by Urim, nor by prophets.

Now, the whole reason God doesn’t like Saul is down to some burnt offerings (to other gods) that the latter made. Has he learnt? He has not…

Verse 7 Then said Saul unto his servants, Seek me a woman that hath a familiar spirit, that I may go to her, and inquire of her. And his servants said to him, Behold, there is a woman that hath a familiar spirit at Endor.

She is crapping herself because of the fatwa against mediums, but somehow disguised Saul’s promise that “as the Lord liveth, three shall no punishment happen to thee for this thing” is enough to allay her fears and she, to his request, conjures up the Dead Samuel. This has gone all monkey’s paw

Verse 15 And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up? And Saul answered, I am sore distressed; for the Philistines make war against me, and God is departed from me, and answereth me no more, neither by prophets, nor by dreams: therefore I have called thee, that thou mayest make known unto me what I shall do.

Samuel is very very annoyed, and has nothing but bad news, including the following.

Verse 19 Moreover the LORD will also deliver Israel with thee into the hand of the Philistines: and to morrow shalt thou and thy sons be with me: the LORD also shall deliver the host of Israel into the hand of the Philistines.

The medium tries to get him to eat something

Verse 23 But he refused, and said, I will not eat. But his servants, together with the woman, compelled him; and he hearkened unto their voice. So he arose from the earth, and sat upon the bed.

So she kills a fat calf and makes some unleavened bread. They eat it and leave.

1 Samuel 29
The Philistines are marching, and the big bosses say to Achish – what’s with the Hebrew?! Achish tries to point out David’s been loyal and no trouble, but they’re having none of it.

Verse 4 And the princes of the Philistines were wroth with him; and the princes of the Philistines said unto him, Make this fellow return, that he may go again to his place which thou hast appointed him, and let him not go down with us to battle, lest in the battle he be an adversary to us: for wherewith should he reconcile himself unto his master? should it not be with the heads of these men?

Achish tells David to skedaddle. David does that whining “aren’t I good enough” thing that is beginning to get old, but eventually follows Achish’s orders…

Verse 10-11 Wherefore now rise up early in the morning with thy master’s servants that are come with thee: and as soon as ye be up early in the morning, and have light, depart. So David and his men rose up early to depart in the morning, to return into the land of the Philistines. And the Philistines went up to Jezreel.

1 Samuel 30
Bad news when they get back to Ziklag; the Amalekites have torched the joint and kidnapped all the women, including David’s wives.

Verse 4 Then David and the people that were with him lifted up their voice and wept, until they had no more power to weep.

Via that ephod, David gets word from the Lord that a hot pursuit will be successful. His numbers shrink from 600 to 400 from fatigue and hunger. They find a hungry Egyptian and feed him up.

Verse 12 And they gave him a piece of a cake of figs, and two clusters of raisins: and when he had eaten, his spirit came again to him: for he had eaten no bread, nor drunk any water, three days and three nights.

Turns out he was with the Amalekites with the Armalites and got left behind on the retreat cos he was sick. A deal is brokered…

Verse 15 And David said to him, Canst thou bring me down to this company? And he said, Swear unto me by God, that thou wilt neither kill me, nor deliver me into the hands of my master, and I will bring thee down to this company.

God’s as good as Her word… David catches ’em up

Verse 17-8 And David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day: and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men, which rode upon camels, and fled. And David recovered all that the Amalekites had carried away: and David rescued his two wives.

They head back and meet the 200 too weak to come with. Many of the 400 say “give them their wives and kids back, but nowt else, and tell them to Piss Off.”
David nixes this. And when he gets back to Ziklag he sends out “spoil” to loads of places (they are listed of course, a mini-begatting), to “all the places where David himself and his men were wont to haunt.”

I Samuel 31
While David is happy divvying out the spoils, his mucker Jonathan, who repeatedly saved his life, is getting deaded.

Verse1-2 Now the Philistines fought against Israel: and the men of Israel fled from before the Philistines, and fell down slain in mount Gilboa. And the Philistines followed hard upon Saul and upon his sons; and the Philistines slew Jonathan, and Abinadab, and Malchi-shua, Saul’s sons.

Saul wants his henchman to kill him, but discovers you just can’t get the staff these days, and if you want a job done right, do it yourself…

Verse 4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

And that sets the dominoes a-falling

Verse 7 And when the men of Israel that were on the other side of the valley, and they that were on the other side Jordan, saw that the men of Israel fled, and that Saul and his sons were dead, they forsook the cities, and fled; and the Philistines came and dwelt in them.

The Philistines, not respecting culture and acting like, um, philistines, find Saul’s body and his sons, and do nothing nearly as bad as used to happen in Vietnam (ear necklaces anyone? Genitals stuffed in mouths?)

Verse 10 And they put his armour in the house of Ashtaroth: and they fastened his body to the wall of Beth-shan. And when the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead heard of that which the Philistines had done to Saul; All the valiant men arose, and went all night, and took the body of Saul and the bodies of his sons from the wall of Beth-shan, and came to Jabesh, and burnt them there.

Well, 1 Samuel sure ends on a high note…

Verse 13 And they took their bones, and buried them under a tree at Jabesh, and fasted seven days.

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Humour: God almost forgot to kill Dave Elfman…

From the Onion

God Almost Forgot To Kill Dave Elfman Of Boulder, CO Today

January 26, 2011 | ISSUE 47•04

BOULDER, CO—After a long day of hearing the prayers of His followers and controlling the seas and skies, God confirmed today He almost forgot to kill 43-year-old Boulder loan officer Dave Elfman, nearly derailing His plan for the universe. “It was on my to-do list, but I kept putting it off and putting it off,” the Supreme Being said. “I got so tied up with the floods in Brazil that I nearly blanked on giving Dave a massive cerebral hemorrhage. Hold on a sec . . . there. Fixed.” With that, order was restored and Dave Elfman instantly dropped dead in the middle of a knot-tying demonstration in front of his 10-year-old son’s Boy Scout troop.
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Booooooriiiing : 1 Samuel 1 to 13

1 Samuel 1
This, THIS is why people don’t read the Bible

Verse 1-2 Now there was a certain man of Ramathaim-zophim, of mount Ephraim, and his name was Elkanah, the son of Jeroham, the son of Elihu, the son of Tohu, the son of Zuph, an Ephrathite: And he had two wives; the name of the one was Hannah, and the name of the other Peninnah: and Peninnah had children, but Hannah had no children.

So he does his sacrificing, and gives each in the family their bits, but

Verse 5 But unto Hannah he gave a worthy portion; for he loved Hannah: but the LORD had shut up her womb.

And she wants a baby, and there’s no IVF

Verse 6-7 And her adversary also provoked her sore, for to make her fret, because the LORD had shut up her womb. And as he did so year by year, when she went up to the house of the LORD, so she provoked her; therefore she wept, and did not eat.

She’s obviously not got with the whole Child Free and Loving It thing, then. And her brutish unsympathetic husband Elkanah is under-impressed, the callous bastard.

Verse 8 Then said Elkanah her husband to her, Hannah, why weepest thou? and why eatest thou not? and why is thy heart grieved? am not I better to thee than ten sons?

‘pparently not, because she haggles with dem Lord.

Verse 10-11 And she was in bitterness of soul, and prayed unto the LORD, and wept sore. And she vowed a vow, and said, O LORD of hosts, if thou wilt indeed look on the affliction of thine handmaid, and remember me, and not forget thine handmaid, but wilt give unto thine handmaid a man child, then I will give him unto the LORD all the days of his life, and there shall no rasor come upon his head.

Yup, she’ll have a hairy heir.
Shes praying so much, so silently, her priest thinks she’s on the turps.

Verse 15 And Hannah answered and said, No, my lord, I am a woman of a sorrowful spirit: I have drunk neither wine nor strong drink, but have poured out my soul before the LORD.

So she starts eating and stops glumming and gets laid and voila…

Verse 19 And they rose up in the morning early, and worshipped before the LORD, and returned, and came to their house to Ramah: and Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the LORD remembered her.

And they call the ankle-biter Samuel. And once weaned

Verse 24 And when she had weaned him, she took him up with her, with three bullocks, and one ephah of flour, and a bottle of wine, and brought him unto the house of the LORD in Shiloh: and the child was young.

And she tells the priest “as long as he liveth he shall be lent to the LORD.”

1 Samuel 2
Hannah says “BOOO-YAH!”, only in Old Testament-ese

Verse1 And Hannah prayed, and said, My heart rejoiceth in the LORD, mine horn is exalted in the LORD: my mouth is enlarged over mine enemies; because I rejoice in thy salvation.

Then some stuff about the Lord killeth and maketh alive and maketh poor/rich etc.

Verse8 He raiseth up the poor out of the dust, and lifteth up the beggar from the dunghill, to set them among princes, and to make them inherit the throne of glory: for the pillars of the earth are the LORD’s, and he hath set the world upon them.

Now, Eli has a servant problem – they’re ruder than your average maitre’d, and it’s discouraging folks from sacrificing stuff.

Verse 16-7 And if any man said unto him, Let them not fail to burn the fat presently, and then take as much as thy soul desireth; then he would answer him, Nay; but thou shalt give it me now: and if not, I will take it by force. Wherefore the sin of the young men was very great before the LORD: for men abhorred the offering of the LORD.

But Samuel is a goody-two shoes, and the priest is happy and the LORD seems happy (for now…)

Verse 21 And the LORD visited Hannah, so that she conceived, and bare three sons and two daughters. And the child Samuel grew before the LORD.

Decrepit Eli finds out his sons/servants are being dicks, and shagging around and he is not happy. But they blow him off. Samuel is growing up, and is popular enough.
Meanwhile, a “man of God” (an angel?) turns up and berates Eli for not running a tight ship.

Verse 29 Wherefore kick ye at my sacrifice and at mine offering, which I have commanded in my habitation; and honourest thy sons above me, to make yourselves fat with the chiefest of all the offerings of Israel my people?

And the Trump(et) soundeth “You’re fired!”

Verse 34 And this shall be a sign unto thee, that shall come upon thy two sons, on Hophni and Phinehas; in one day they shall die both of them.

Samuel gets promoted, among dire predictions for Eli’s family to all become beggars….

1 Samuel 3
Samuel is looking after the blind Eli. God calls him, and Sammy thinks it’s Eli, who says “nah, go to sleep.” Until…

Verse 8 And the LORD called Samuel again the third time. And he arose and went to Eli, and said, Here am I; for thou didst call me. And Eli perceived that the LORD had called the child.

Eli tells Samuel how to deal with these impromptu meetings with the big Kahuna.
God has a plan.

Verse 11 And the LORD said to Samuel, Behold, I will do a thing in Israel, at which both the ears of every one that heareth it shall tingle.

He’s gonna whack Eli and family.
Eli wakes up and wants to know what Sammy was told. After reluctance…

Verse 18 And Samuel told him every whit, and hid nothing from him. And he said, It is the LORD: let him do what seemeth him good.

Sammy gets older, and the LORD has his six, and he gets famous.

1 Samuel 4
Sammy takes them to war with the Philistines, and they take 4, 000 KIA. Not good.  Time to bring out the can of whoop-ass.

Verse 3 And when the people were come into the camp, the elders of Israel said, Wherefore hath the LORD smitten us to day before the Philistines? Let us fetch the ark of the covenant of the LORD out of Shiloh unto us, that, when it cometh among us, it may save us out of the hand of our enemies.

So they go get the Ark, and shout it to the top,

Verse 7 And the Philistines were afraid, for they said, God is come into the camp. And they said, Woe unto us! for there hath not been such a thing heretofore.

But the Philistines man-up, and kill 30,000 Israeli ‘footmen’, capture the ark and kill Eli’s kids.
Well, that didn’t go very well now did it, Sammy?
Eli, 98 not out, gets told of the slaughter and

Verse 18 And it came to pass, when he made mention of the ark of God, that he fell from off the seat backward by the side of the gate, and his neck brake, and he died: for he was an old man, and heavy. And he had judged Israel forty years.

Good knock that, 98.
Meanwhile, Eli’s nameless daughter-in-law is spitting one out, and I think dying in childbirth

Verse 21 And she named the child I-chabod, saying, The glory is departed from Israel: because the ark of God was taken, and because of her father in law and her husband.

1 Samuel 5
The ark has magical properties, including bilateral through wrist amputation, alongside decapitation.

Verse 4 And when they arose early on the morrow morning, behold, Dagon was fallen upon his face to the ground before the ark of the LORD; and the head of Dagon and both the palms of his hands were cut off upon the threshold; only the stump of Dagon was left to him.

No dental records, no fingerprints. Like a 20th century mafia hit…
God punishes the Philistines for having won the battle (wtf?) and taken the ark as booty.

Verse 6-7 But the hand of the LORD was heavy upon them of Ashdod, and he destroyed them, and smote them with emerods, even Ashdod and the coasts thereof. And when the men of Ashdod saw that it was so, they said, The ark of the God of Israel shall not abide with us: for his hand is sore upon us, and upon Dagon our god.

They send it to Gath, and the God’s wrath hath math consequences- He smote the men of the city, both small and great.
The wretched parcel gets passed to Ekron. They ain’t happy either, because they can figure out what’s comin’.

Verse 12 And the men that died not were smitten with the emerods: and the cry of the city went up to heaven.

1 Samuel 6
After seven months of mayhem, the Philistines seek priestly advice, which turns out to be Give. It. Back, with reparations.

Verse 4 Then said they, What shall be the trespass offering which we shall return to him? They answered, Five golden emerods, and five golden mice, according to the number of the lords of the Philistines: for one plague was on you all, and on your lords.

And continues

Verse 7-8 Now therefore make a new cart, and take two milch kine, on which there hath come no yoke, and tie the kine to the cart, and bring their calves home from them:
8: And take the ark of the LORD, and lay it upon the cart; and put the jewels of gold, which ye return him for a trespass offering, in a coffer by the side thereof; and send it away, that it may go.

It goes north, God was smiting. It not, it was just bad luck, all that smiting.
The handover seems to work, the Levites (specialist priests) are happy enough to get it back, but of course the LORD has to go and kill 50, 070 men, not all of whom can possibly have peeked…

Verse 19 And he smote the men of Beth-shemesh, because they had looked into the ark of the LORD, even he smote of the people fifty thousand and threescore and ten men: and the people lamented, because the LORD had smitten many of the people with a great slaughter.

And the survivors, once they’ve done burying 50,070 men (and women and kids? Not counted…) decide this is not a gift they want to keep…

Verse 20-1 And the men of Beth-shemesh said, Who is able to stand before this holy LORD God? and to whom shall he go up from us? And they sent messengers to the inhabitants of Kirjath-jearim, saying, The Philistines have brought again the ark of the LORD; come ye down, and fetch it up to you.

1 Samuel 7
There’s twenty years of lamenting and being under the Philistines. Samuel says if they put aside Baalim and Ashtaroth then God will be On Their Side. This they do.
And they’re all hanging out in Mizpeh, and the Philisties come to thwack them for riotous assembly, but

Verse 10 And as Samuel was offering up the burnt offering, the Philistines drew near to battle against Israel: but the LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel.

And there’s a mopping up operation that ends with borders established.
And Samuel does the travelling judge thing.

1 Samuel 8
Nepotism rules: Samuel appoints sons Joel and Abiah as judges.
And this is poetic

Verse 3 And his sons walked not in his ways, but turned aside after lucre, and took bribes, and perverted judgment.

Folks complain to Samuel, wanting a different set up, some honest kings. He tells them to shove it, whines to God, who tells him to lay out the kind of New King the Israelites would get. A tax and spend illiberal…

Verse 13 -15 And he will take your daughters to be confectionaries, and to be cooks, and to be bakers. And he will take your fields, and your vineyards, and your oliveyards, even the best of them, and give them to his servants. And he will take the tenth of your seed, and of your vineyards, and give to his officers, and to his servants.

This doesn’t discourage folks, who want a better set up than the status quo.

Verse 19 -20 Nevertheless the people refused to obey the voice of Samuel; and they said, Nay; but we will have a king over us; That we also may be like all the nations; and that our king may judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles.

Samuel relays these facts to, um, all-knowing, all-seeing God, who says “OK, let em have it.”

1 Samuel 9
Some guy called Kish sends his wonder-son (“there was not among the children of Israel a goodlier person than he: from his shoulders and upward he was higher than any of the people. ”) called Saul looking for ass(es). They wander all over, fail to find them and plan to head back before Kish worries they’re dead. The servant mentions a wise old man of God nearby, but Saul says “what present can we take?). Servant says “fourth part of a shekel.” Coin-clipper!!
They are directed onwards to a big feast by some maidens going out to draw water. God has given Samuel a heads up about this kid Saul.

Verse 16 To morrow about this time I will send thee a man out of the land of Benjamin, and thou shalt anoint him to be captain over my people Israel, that he may save my people out of the hand of the Philistines: for I have looked upon my people, because their cry is come unto me.

Saul is weirded out by how Samuel is being almost obsequious, saying “we Benjamites are nowt.”
Samuel’s cook serves up some top pub grub.

Verse 24 And the cook took up the shoulder, and that which was upon it, and set it before Saul. And Samuel said, Behold that which is left! set it before thee, and eat: for unto this time hath it been kept for thee since I said, I have invited the people. So Saul did eat with Samuel that day.

They sleep and set off.

Verse 27 And as they were going down to the end of the city, Samuel said to Saul, Bid the servant pass on before us, (and he passed on,) but stand thou still a while, that I may shew thee the word of God.

1 Samuel 10
Oil and kisses

Verse 1 Then Samuel took a vial of oil, and poured it upon his head, and kissed him, and said, Is it not because the LORD hath anointed thee to be captain over his inheritance?

And tells him what is coming, in terms of people he will meet and stuff. Saul reports back most but not all of this to his uncle (erm, where’s Kish?) Meanwhile, Samuel calls everyone together at Mizpeh and scolds ’em for disobedience.

And presents Saul as the solution to everyone’s problems, to almost universal acclaim. Except…

Verse 27 But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they despised him, and brought him no presents. But he held his peace.

1 Samuel 11
Nahash the Ammomite besieges Jabesh, and in response to their “we’ll be your slaves” offer says “only if you let me poke your right eyes out as a reproach upon all Israel.”
The Jabesh lot ask for a week’s grace to see if there be saviours out there, before they all become one-eyed monsters. Messengers arrive in Gibeah, and when Saul comes back from shepherding and is given the sitrep, well

Verse 6 And the Spirit of God came upon Saul when he heard those tidings, and his anger was kindled greatly.

Saul figures tough love and fear will bring his allies to him

Verse 7 And he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them throughout all the coasts of Israel by the hands of messengers, saying, Whosoever cometh not forth after Saul and after Samuel, so shall it be done unto his oxen. And the fear of the LORD fell on the people, and they came out with one consent.

And there’s a battle which goes “well”, especially if you are a carrion-eating bird.

Verse 11 And it was so on the morrow, that Saul put the people in three companies; and they came into the midst of the host in the morning watch, and slew the Ammonites until the heat of the day: and it came to pass, that they which remained were scattered, so that two of them were not left together.

And Saul’s supporters want to kill those who weren’t up for Saul being king. Saul demurs

Verse 13 And Saul said, There shall not a man be put to death this day: for to day the LORD hath wrought salvation in Israel.

And there’s a knees up and coronation of Saul in Gilgal.

1 Samuel 12
Samuel says “I’ve done what you asked, made a king. I’m old and so

Verse 3 Behold, here I am: witness against me before the LORD, and before his anointed: whose ox have I taken? or whose ass have I taken? or whom have I defrauded? whom have I oppressed? or of whose hand have I received any bribe to blind mine eyes therewith? and I will restore it you.

They say “nah, you’re clean.” And Samuel says “God saw that.” And he says “by the way, God brought y’all out of Egypt.” And recaps the whole Moses Aaron Jepthah thing and says “You be Good (I.e. Obedient) now.
And Samuel points out the whole king thing is bad news and to prove it

Verse 17 Is it not wheat harvest to day? I will call unto the LORD, and he shall send thunder and rain; that ye may perceive and see that your wickedness is great, which ye have done in the sight of the LORD, in asking you a king.

Which scares everyone, and they apologise for asking for a king.

Verse 20-1 And Samuel said unto the people, Fear not: ye have done all this wickedness: yet turn not aside from following the LORD, but serve the LORD with all your heart; And turn ye not aside: for then should ye go after vain things, which cannot profit nor deliver; for they are vain.

1 Samuel 13
This will, of course, go badly wrong.
Saul kills a garrison of Philistines in Geba, and blows his trumpet about it.

Verse 5 And the Philistines gathered themselves together to fight with Israel, thirty thousand chariots, and six thousand horsemen, and people as the sand which is on the sea shore in multitude: and they came up, and pitched in Michmash, eastward from Beth-aven.

And some of the men of Israel need to change their trousers…

Verse -7 When the men of Israel saw that they were in a strait, (for the people were distressed,) then the people did hide themselves in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits. And some of the Hebrews went over Jordan to the land of Gad and Gilead. As for Saul, he was yet in Gilgal, and all the people followed him trembling.

And Samuel turns up and says “wtf?? What hast thou done.” And Saul says, well people had scattered and um, Philistines a comin’ and you nowhere to be seen within the days appointed, well, I made burnt offering.” Presumably not to Yahweh, I think.
And Saul pokes him in the eyes and slaps his face like in the Three Stooges. Sort of.

Samuel leaves (in disgust?)
And this is weird:

Verse 19 – 20 Now there was no smith found throughout all the land of Israel: for the Philistines said, Lest the Hebrews make them swords or spears: But all the Israelites went down to the Philistines, to sharpen every man his share, and his coulter, and his axe, and his mattock.

So, the Philistines are letting folks sharpen deadly weapons? That’s very magnanimous of them!

And today’s reading ends on a bit of a cliff-hanger…

Verse 22-3 So it came to pass in the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found. And the garrison of the Philistines went out to the passage of Michmash.

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Bracing self for 1 Samuel

These are going to be tricky.  I want to read about 10 pages per bout, but that leaves me with having to split across books or have a “short” day (and if I have too many short days, I don’t hit my 300 page in 6 weeks target).

I shall stop whining and start reading….

Also, a shout out to another blogger, “An Atheist Re-reads the Bible,”  – looks like good stuff, from which I shall be raiding for insights and incites…



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Why read the Bible?

Cantankerous atheist Christopher Hitchens declared in 2006: “You are not educated if you don’t know the Bible. You can’t read Shakespeare or Milton without it . . . And with the schools now, that’s what I hate about secular relativism. They’re afraid of insurance liability. They don’t even teach it as a document. They stay out of the whole thing to avoid controversy.”

That’s from the Australian, 20th December 2010.

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Atheist-believer relations…

Am reading Greta Christina on the subject of becoming an atheist, and there’s this rather good bit…

while I disagree with people who have religious beliefs and think that they’re mistaken, it’s really none of my business what they believe and isn’t a matter of earth-shaking, deal-breaking importance — as long as they respect my atheism, don’t treat their faith as if it were fact, don’t act as if the fact that they believe something they have no evidence for somehow makes them virtuous people, don’t try to shove their faith down other people’s throats, and generally act like decent people;

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