After the Ark of the Covenant had been in Jerusalem for awhile, and there was relative peace in the kingdom, David called for the prophet Nathan and was all, Nate, I’ve been thinking. It looks really bad for me to live in a palace of cedar while our God lives in a bunch of tents. I’d like to build God a house of cedar. Do you think It’d be cool with that?
Nathan was all, Do what seems best! God tells me It’s so happy with you for thinking of building It a house that It promises to renew Its covenant with you forever and always. Your offspring will always be the rulers of Israel and God promises never to leave them or break up with them, even if they backslide and cheat on It. It might get angry and punish them, but It will never forsake them!
So David offered up a profuse prayer of thanksgiving.
After all these victories, David decided to bring the Ark of the Covenant to Jerusalem. So he took his army, 30,000 strong, to the priest’s house where it was kept, so they could form the processional guard for its long march to Jerusalem.
The army and worshipers made a grand parade around the Ark, singing and playing lyres and harps, castanets, cymbals, and tambourines. The Ark itself was loaded onto a cart that was driven by the priest’s sons, Uzzah and Ahio. Unfortunately, the oxen stumbled over a rut, causing the cart to jolt. Uzzah reached out a hand to steady the Ark, and this unseemly touch angered God so much that It smote him right there for his impertinence.
The parade stopped in fear and confusion. David was angry that God disrupted his celebration, but also terrified that God might smite him too. He also totally decided that the Ark was a dangerous thing, and maybe it wasn’t a great idea to have it anywhere near Jerusalem. So he told Ahio to store it nearby, at the house of some guy named Obed-edom. Continue reading “II Samuel: Michal and David’s Unhappy Reunion”
Then the leaders of Israel came to David and asked him to be king over all the tribes, united. So David was crowned and he ruled for forty years, beginning at age 30.
After uniting the kingdom, David began to make war on the neighboring peoples, the traditional enemies of the Hebrews. First, he went to war with the Jebusites. He conquered Jerusalem and made it his capital city. He began building palaces of cedar imported from the land of Tyre.
When the Philistines heard David was made king of the Hebrews, they were all, see Achish, we told you that you couldn’t trust him. Then they all gathered their forces and made war on David. But David defeated them and subdued the Philistines from Geba to Gezer.
David also began taking more wives and more concubines and had more sons, namely Shammua, Shobab, Nathan, Solomon, Ibhar, Elishua, Nepheg, Japhia, Elishama, Eliada, and Eliphelet.
After Abner died, Israel was thrown into a bit of chaos. Two of Ish-bosheth’s captains, Baanah and Rechab stabbed and beheaded him one day while he was taking his afternoon nap. They took the head to David in Hebron, expecting to be rewarded. But David was all, you’ll get the same reward as the guy who told me he killed Saul. Guards, kill them!
Then David had the head buried in Abner’s tomb.
By the way, there was still one other relative of Saul’s still alive. A son of Jonathan named Mephibosheth whose nurse had fled with him when his father was killed. Unfortunately, she dropped him (he was only five) and caused him to become lame in his feet.
As king, David’s family grew. He got two more wives: Maacah, princess of Gehsur, and Elgah, as well as some concubines, Haggith and Abital. (Seems like a violation of Samuel’s rules for kingship, but I guess when God really loves you, that doesn’t matter). All these women starting having sons: Ammon (Ahinoam’s), Chileab (Abigail’s), Absalom (Maacah’s), Adonijab (Haggith’s), Shephatich (Abital’s), and Ithream (Eglah’s).
Meanwhile, the war between David and Ish-bosheth continued. David’s forces were winning and tensions were high in Gibeah. Things reached a head when Ish-bosheth accused Abner of fucking Rizpah (his father’s concubine). This pissed Abner off and he was all, Screw you. I’ll just go to David. Continue reading “II Samuel 3: Abner defects to David”
Then God told David to take the band and go to Hebron, where the men of Judah came and crowned him King of Judah. Then he sent a message to Jabesh-gilead thanking and blessing them for burying Saul.
Meanwhile in Israel, Abner took a fourth, previously unmentioned, son of Saul, Ish-bosheth, to Mahanaim and had him crowned King of Israel. Continue reading “II Samuel 2: David Crowned King of Judah”
David and his men began rebuilding Ziklag and settling their families back in. But on the second day, a bloody and ragged Amalekite soldier stumbled into town and dropped on the ground before David. David was all, Who are you? The guy was all, I come from Saul’s camp to bring you word that Saul and his sons are dead. David was all, Yeah? And how do you know that? And the guy was all, Because I came upon Saul, pierced on his sword, dying, and he begged me to put him out of his misery, so I did. Then I took his sword and armlet to bring to you.
David lamented loudly and commanded his men to put on sackcloth and ashes and mourn and fast for the rest of the day–But only after they killed that dirty Amalekite for daring to lay his filthy hands upon God’s anointed.
Then David wrote this elegy to Saul and Jonathan Continue reading “II Samuel 1: David Mourns Saul”
Meanwhile, Saul was fighting the Philistines and losing. Jonathan and his brothers Abinadab and Malchi-shua had been killed and Saul was badly wounded by an arrow. He asked his armor bearer to finish him off so that he didn’t die by the hands of the uncircumcised, but his armor-bearer refused. So Saul took his sword and committed seppuku. His armor-bearer followed suit.
Many Hebrew died that day and the Philistines occupied many Hebrew cities. They also cut off Saul’s head and placed it and his armor in a temple of Ashtaroth. They hung his body and those of his sons on the wall of Beth-shan. But the inhabitants of Jabesth-gilead snuck out at night and recovered the bodies and buried them under a tamarisk tree.
And so ends I Samuel, but not the saga of David, soon to be king.
But when David and his men got back to Ziklag, it was burning and empty. Some Amalekites raided it and other towns in the Negeb. However, the Amalekites were a less blood-thirsty people than David. They hadn’t killed many people, but instead had taken the women, children and elderly as slaves, along with all the livestock.
David calmed the men down (they were muttering about stoning him) and consulted God, who told them to pursue the Amalekites. So David and his 600 set off. But on the way, around 200 were too exhausted from the previous three day march to continue. So they made camp at Besor Creek to stay with the baggage so the rest of the men could pursue more quickly. Continue reading “I Samuel 30: Ziklag Raided”
When the other Philistine lords saw David and his men among the ranks of Achish’s forces, they were all, Why are those Hebrews here? Isn’t that David, famous for killing Philistines?
Achish was all, Yeah, but he’s been with me for over a year now and he’s been nothing but loyal.
The other Philistine lords were all, We don’t care. We don’t trust him. He can’t fight with us. Send him back to whatever city you gave him.
So Achish called David and was all, David, my boy, I’m sorry. Even though I think you should march out with me, the other Philistine lords don’t agree. So please go. Return to Ziklag and sit this one out.