Psalms: David’s poem about Absalom’s coup

Save me, oh god

from my many foes.

You are my shelter,

Bring them many woes.

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II Samuel 18: Absalom’s End

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”

II Samuel 17

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.

II Samuel 16: Family Strife Continues

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”

II Samuel 15: Absalom Causes More Trouble

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”

II Samuel 14: The Family Reunites

Absalom, by the way, was quite the hottie. He inherited all his father’s looks, plus a bag of chips. But his crowning glory was his hair, which he allowed to grow to his waist every year, and when he cut it, it weighed like five pounds. His mane was dark and luscious, wavy and flowing. I mean, his hair would have made Fabio ripple in envy.

Absalom also managed to sire four children before he died, young and bloody–three boys and one girl, whom he named Tamar after his beloved sister. But we’re getting ahead of ourselves. Currently in our tale, Absalom is still exiled in Geshur and David is pining away for his son back in Jerusalem.

Joab got sick of hearing David’s moaning, so he made a plan to get David to recall Absalom. He found a wise old woman and told her to  pretend to be in mourning and go to David to ask his advice. So the wise old woman went to David and said, Oh king, please help your servant. I am a widow and my only two sons quarreled, and one became enraged and killed his brother. Now my clan wants to stone my only remaining son to death as a murderer, but if they do, then my husband’s name will be without an heir. What shall I do?  Continue reading “II Samuel 14: The Family Reunites”

II Samuel 13: Iron Age Family Drama

David’s harem produced many children. One of this sons, Amnon developed a massive crush on his half-sister Tamar, Absalom’s whole sister. One day, while Amnon was going on and on about how hot she was a how bad her to their first-cousin Jonadab, when Jonadab was all, Dude, stop moaning about her! I bet if you play sick and tell the king that the only thing that will make you feel better is to have Tamar nurse you, David will totally order her to do it. Then you’ll have your sister at your house, alone, and totally at your mercy.

So Amnon played sick and asked for his sister. Tamar came and started cooking him lunch. While she was busy, he sent all his servants away. When she brought him the food, he grabbed her wrist and was all, Why don’t you crawl in bed with me? She started trying to pull her wrist away, begging, Brother no!  Let me go! Please don’t rape me! But Amnon dragged her into bed. She continued to struggle and was all, Please! Not like this! I’m sure that if you asked our father for me, he would give me to you. Then at least it would be honorable! But Amnon ignored her pleas and raped her.  Continue reading “II Samuel 13: Iron Age Family Drama”

II Samuel 3: Abner defects to David

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”