Another time, God felt a good smite coming on, so It put it into David’s head to conduct a census to count all the available fighting men–which was a great sin for some reason. David was immediately remorseful and asked God what he could do to make it better. God was all, look I’ll give you three choices. I can curse your kingdom with three years of famine or I can cause you kingdom to be invaded and taken over for three months, or I can cause a virulent three day pestilence. David was all, The first or the last–don’t let me fall into the hands of my enemies!
So God sent three days of pestilence during which the angel of the Lord smote 70,000 men, but when the angel turned toward Jerusalem, God relented and told the angel to stop because It was pretty sure David had learned his lesson.
Now David had been watching the progress of the angel from the walls of Jerusalem, and saw it stop and disappear near the threshing floor of this Jebusite dude named Araunah. Then David went to Araunah and asked to buy the threshing floor. Araunah was all, oh my king, take it for free! But David wouldn’t have it and insisted upon paying good cash money for it. There he built an altar and sacrificed to God.
Well that ends it for the Samuels. Tune in soon for the death of David and the ascension of Solomon in Kings!
David’s last words was another song about how awesome God was.
David had a special elite force of thirty warriors. The three best were Josheb-basshebeth, Eleazar son of Dodo, and Shammah son of Agee.
Of course Abishai and Joab were among the thirty, as was Uriah the Hittite. There was also Benaiah son of Jehoiadai. He once fell in a pit on a snowy day, in which he killed a lion. Another time he killed this Egyptian dude because the dude was really vain about how hot he was. Then there was, well, twenty-two others.
Wherein David sings a long song about how awesome God is, how much It has favored him and saved his life and made his life great.
(I’m not in a very poetry-y mood.)
At some point in David’s reign, there was a bad famine. When David had the priests inquire of God, they found out that the famine was punishment for Saul’s attempt to genocide the Gibeonites.
So David called the Gibeonites and was all, how much silver and gold will it take to erase the bloodguilt? But the Gibeonites were all, We don’t want your money. Only blood cleanses blood. We want to sacrifice seven of Saul’s male descendants. David was all, Fair enough.
Now David couldn’t bring himself to sacrifice Mephibosheth or his kids because of David’s love for Jonathan, so he tracked down some of Saul’s daughters and took their kids–three from Rizpah and four of Merab. (Merab, by the way, was married to Barzillai’s son, so the whole exchange between David and Barzillai during Absalom’s exile was of political importance). Continue reading “II Samuel 21”
The infighting got so bad that a dude named Sheba was all, Fuck David. Let’s go set up our own kingdom. So a bunch of the Hebrews left with him.
David was all, Jesus. If we let him get away, it’ll make the rebellion worse. Amasa, I said you’d be my new commander, so go gather a force and head after Sheba and take care of this.
But three days later, Amasa still hadn’t left yet, so David was all. Fuck. Fine. Abishai, you and your loathsome brother take care of this rebellion before it gets out of hand!
The brothers headed out on Sheba’s trail, where Amasa caught up with them with his troops. When Amasa saw Joab, he was all, Hey, cuz! And Joab leaned in as if to hug him…but stabbed him in the gut instead. Joab left the eviscerated body wallowing in its blood on the side of the road and went to rejoin his brother. As the troops came marching by, they kept stopping to gape at Amasa, so one of Joab’s men dragged him into a field and threw a cloak over the body.
Joab and his troops pinned Sheba in Abel Beth Maakah. As they prepared for a siege, an old woman hollered over the wall of the city to ask what such a mighty force wanted with their humble town? And Joab was, All we seek is that traitor Sheba. Give him to us and we’ll depart in peace.
Bright and early next morning, Sheba’s head came flying over the city walls, and rolled into Joab’s camp.
Back in Jerusalem, David quickly reestablished his bureaucracy. As for the ten concubines raped by Absalom, he shut them up in a house where they lived all alone for the rest of their days, forever deprived of David’s kingly embraces.
David was inconsolable, and this made things really awkward for his followers, who were made to feel embarrassed and humiliated–like they had lost the whole thing rather than defeating the enemy.
Eventually Joab had enough. He went to David and was all, You are a disgrace. You have humiliated and insulted the men who have given up all for you, who have fought for you. Who have saved your life, and the lives of you children–y0ur women. Enough of this shit! If you don’t stop crying for that piece of shit son of your who caused you so much goddamned trouble, I swear to God. I swear to almighty God that I will desert you. And I will take all of these people–all these people who I led, who’ve I’ve lead innumerable times, to victory–I swear I will take them all with me when I go. You will be deserted and alone with your stupid tears. Continue reading “II Samuel 19”
When word came that Absalom’s forces were crossing the Jordan, David readied his men to fight, begging his three commanders, Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the Gittite to spare Absalom’s life for his sake.
The battle was fierce, with fighting all around Mahanain.
But it so happened that as Absalom was riding through some trees, his magnificent hair got so tangled up in some low-hanging branches that he was caught fast–and left hanging there as his mule rode off. It also so happened that one of David’s foot soldiers saw the whole thing. He ran and told Joab that Absalom was stuck in a tree. Joab was all, Why the fuck didn’t you kill him then? Continue reading “II Samuel 18: Absalom’s End”
Ahithophel also told Absalom that while he was busy with the concubines, Ahithophel would take 12,000 warriors and go kill David and bring the rest of the people back to Jerusalem. But Hushai was all, If I may, Sire, that’s a stupid plan. Your father and his men are seasoned warriors who cut their teeth hiding in the wilderness from Saul. This ass is not likely to find them, and if he does, he will find an enraged host that will decimate your forces. And when the people hear of your loss, they will lose heart and abandon you. No, you should wait until you gather all the Hebrews, from Dan to Beersheba, and attack David en masse and wipe his forces out.
Absalom was all, I like Hushai’s plan best. We’ll do that. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have some concubines to rape.
At this Ahithophel realized Absalom’s coup was doomed. He traveled back to his home, set his affairs in order and committed seppeuku. Hushai, on the other hand, hurried to Zadok and told him to get word to David to cross the Jordan as soon as possible. So Zadok’s sons set off, but someone saw them and pursued, so they stopped at the house of a sympathizer, whose wife hid them in a well and set their pursuers on a wild goose chase. When the coast was clear, they made it to David and gave him the message. David spent all night getting his followers across the Jordan. They camped in Mahanain at Shohi’s house.
The next day Absalom pursued. He put Amasa, an Ishmaelite married to Joab and Abishai’s first cousin, in charge of his forces.
On David’s decent of the Mount of Olives, he was met by Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, who had a bunch of food and some donkeys for David. David was all, Thanks! Is this from Mesphisbosheth? Where’s he at? Ziba was all, Um, actually this is from me. Mephibosheth is back in Jerusalem, waiting for the people to return the throne to him. David was all, What? After all I’ve done for him? Well, fuck him. All his property is now yours.
Later, as David approached the town of Bahurim where he planned on camping, a dude named Shimei, who was from Saul’s clan, began trailing the the troop from a nearby hill. He started throwing rocks at David and calling him a worthless whoreson murderer and other obscenities. Abishai was all, Sire, you want that I should go cut off that loser’s head? But David was all, What’s with you bloodthirsty brothers? No! If he curses me, God wills it. I mean, my own son is trying to kill me. Let him curse. Maybe God will turn his curses to blessings. Continue reading “II Samuel 16: Family Strife Continues”
Restored to his father’s graces, Absalom started going about Jerusalem again. Before too long, however, Absalom’s pride made him want to stand out–his father was a king and his mother a princess, after all. So he bought one of those new-fangled chariot things and horses to pull it and hired fifty men to act as a body guard and to move people out of the way of his chariot.
Eventually Absalom’s thoughts began wandering toward the throne itself. But Absalom knew the Hebrews adored his father, so before he could sit upon the seat of glory, he’d have to win the people’s love. So he started hanging out by the city gates and intercepting petitions going to the king. He would always ask who they were, where they were from, and what their complaint was–and no matter what it was, he always told them their cause was just and if he were a judge in Israel, he would rule for them. And when people would try to bow and do obeisance, Absalom would raise them up and hug them like they were old friends. Soon everyone in Israel loved the handsome young man with the magnificent hair. Continue reading “II Samuel 15: Absalom Causes More Trouble”