Jeremiah sent word of Babylon’s impending destruction to the Jews in exile there. He told them that Babylon would be invaded and all its people murdered in retaliation it did to the Jews and Israel and Judah–even though God ordained that harm to punish them for their own misdeeds. But logic aside, when the fighting started, Jews were advised to flee!
All this was just too much for Pashur the priest. He knocked Jeremiah upside the head with his staff and then gave him a few swift blows on the back for good measure. Guards, lock this man in the stocks, he bellowed. There Jeremiah sat all night, humiliated and jeered, and probably pelted with rotten food and excrement.
The next day, when Pashur went to have Jeremiah released, Jeremiah hissed, God will kill your wife and children and see that you are carried into exile into Babylon, where you will die a slave!
Then Jeremiah wandered off, lamenting to God, Why have you deceived me? Why have you made me your prophet when nobody listens? When it just brings me shame and humiliation? Every time I deliver your message of violence and destruction, people tell me I’m an asshole! But when I try to keep my mouth shut, my brain burns. Burns! until your message of death explodes from my lungs! Oh, I wish I had never been born! Why didn’t my mother get an abortion!
Another time, God told Jeremiah to go down to the pottery shop to watch the potter work. So Jeremiah watched the potter working his wheel, but the pot collapsed. So the potter reworked the clay and made a new pot. Then God was all, I am the potter and you humans and your petty nations are the pot! I make you and I can break you! Go tell people, I’m going to break them. They will ignore you of course, but tell them anyway and tell them that’s why I’m going to turn Judah into a hellscape.
So Jeremiah did as he was bid. Everybody was pretty sick of listening to him, so when he would start talking, they would yell, Shut up, asshole! And then do their best to ignore him.
This upset Jeremiah, so he prayed, Everybody’s so mean to me! I think they want to kill me! Please, God, punish them for me! Let their children starve and let them be murdered and their wives widowed!
God continued, Look, Judah is super sinful. Everywhere I look there are Asherim or temples to Baal or who even knows. All this cheating has made me so wrathful your puny little human mind can’t even fathom it.
Jeremiah then prayed, Why have you cursed me with your prophecies, God? People hate me for telling them your messages! Please punish those who persecute me!
God answered, Ok, ok, Jeremiah. I get it. Now, I want you to go down to the People’s Gate in Jerusalem and remind everyone you see about the whole keeping the Sabbath holy commandment and remind them that they’re not supposed to do any work or really even leave their houses. Tell them that if they start keeping the Sabbath, I’ll forgive everything. But–if they don’t…..well, you know.
God’s promise of revenge didn’t really satisfy Jeremiah, so he was all, Why, God? Why do you let the wicked prosper? Why haven’t you gone ahead and destroyed Judah by now?
God was all, Patience, my boy! All those a bad people who taunt you will get theirs. Our time lines are different. I don’t conceive of things in puny human years. Don’t you worry that pretty little head of yours. Besides, if all your countrypeople repent, I might spare them.
Isaiah shouted, I see a man, coming from Edom way! His clothes are all spattered with red, so I ask him, What’s all that then? Were you treading grapes for wine? And he answers, Yeah, I tread on the winepress and made the sweetest wine–the blood of all those who had oppressed and wronged me. Today is the day of my vengeance! I have trampled the brains of my enemies and the ground has drunk their blood!
Isaiah continued, Surely our God is kind! It does so many things for us! It redeems us and punishes our enemies, those who oppress and wrong us! I know things have been bad lately, but that’s because you all forgot God and didn’t worship It like It wanted, like Abraham and Moses did.
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’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”
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”
When Gideon caught up, the Ephraimites were pissed and were all, What gives, cuz! Why didn’t you call us out before Asher and Naphtali! We’re both tribe of Joseph, yo! Gideon was all, chill out man! Who cares who I called? You guys killed Oreb and Zeeb! That’s freaking awesome! Nothing I’ve done can compare with that. So the Ephraimites were appeased.
Then Gideon and his band kept up their pursuit. Exhausted, they stopped at Succoth and asked for provisions. The leaders of Succoth were all, Pshah. Why should we help you? What have you done? Ask for something when you deserve it. Gideon was all, fine. But after I catch the Midianite kings, I’ll be back, and I’ll flay you alive with brambles. Then he and his men traveled on the Penuel, asked for provisions, were again refused, and again threatened retribution. Continue reading “Judges 8: The Fight Continues”