Saturday, 5 February 2011

2 Samuel

Brief summary:

·         David executes the Amalekite who killed Saul, and sings a song of mourning.
·         Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, makes Ishbosheth, son of Saul, king of Israel. After Ishbosheth accuses Abner of taking Rizpah, one of Saul’s concubines, Abner transfers his allegiance to David’s side. Joab, whose brother Abner killed, kills Abner.
·         David executes Baanah and Rechab for murdering Ishbosheth.
·         After six years, David moves from Hebron to Jerusalem. The ark is transported. Uzzah dies for trying to steady it on its journey.
·         Michal is punished with barrenness for criticising David’s dancing in front of the ark.
·         David will not build a temple, but his son will.
·         Davidic covenant.
·         Military successes over surrounding peoples.
·         David shows favour to Jonathan’s son, Mephibosheth.
·         David wages war against Hanun, king of the Ammonites, after he shaves the beards of David’s ambassadors.
·         David has an adulterous affair with Bathsheba, and sends her husband, Uriah, in the vanguard of battle to die.
·         David marries Bathsheba, and their son dies.
·         Amnon, David’s son, rapes Tamar, his half sister. Absalom kills Amnon. Absalom flees to Geshur, but is finally reconciled with David.
·         Absalom wages a rebellion from Hebron. Absalom has Ahitophel as a counsellor.
·         David flees from Jerusalem. Hushai goes undercover as a servant of Absalom.
·         Mephibosheth is falsely accused by a servant, Ziba. Shimei from the house of Saul is forgiven for cursing David.
·         Absalom sleeps with David’s concubines.
·         Ahitophel commits suicide when his advice to pursue David is rejected. Absalom heeds Hushai, whose delaying tactics are to raise a huge army.
·         Absalom is killed by Joab when caught in a tree. David mourns.
·         Sheba’s rebellion against David. Only Judah  is loyal to David. The people of Hebel decapitate Sheba, and throw his head over the wall to David.
·         Gibeonites hang seven descendants of Saul. David buries them.
·         The Lord’s wrath is provoked because David conduct s a census. David builds an altar on the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite, where the plague is stopped.


An Amalekite man tells David he killed a despairing Saul in battle. David kills the Amelkite, and sings of song of mourning for Saul and Jonathan (Tell it not in Gath; how the mighty are fallen).


David is anointed king of Judah and dwells in Hebron. David thanks the men of Jabesh Gildead. Abner, the commander of Saul’s army, makes Ishbosheth, son of Saul, king of Israel. Only Judah follows David. Abner’s troops fight with David’s troops under Joab (David’s nephew), and are defeated. Abner kills Asahel, another of David’s nephews. A ceasefire is called. The war between the house of Saul and the house of David continues, but the latter grows stronger, and the former weaker.


David has six sons by his various wives. Ishbosheth accuses Abner of taking Rizpah, one of Saul’s concubines. Insulted, Abner transfers to David’s side, agreeing to take Michal from Paltiel (to whom Saul had given her in spite) and return her to David. Abner rallies support for David and there is a feast, but Joab (whose brother Abner killed) is displeased, and muders Abner by stabbing him in the stomach. David curses the house of Joab, and leads the mourning.


Two captains of Ishbosheth, Baanah and Rechab, murder Ishbosheth. They present David Ishbosheth’s head, but David is displeased, cutting off Baanah’s and Rechab’s hands and feet, and then hanging them. Jonathan’s son, Mephiboseth (the last of the house of Saul with a claim to the throne) was dropped by his nurse and became lame when he fled after Saul’s death.


The elders of Israel all recognise David as king. After six years and six months, he moves from Hebron to Jerusalem, which he takes despite resistance from the Jebusites. David builds a great palace. David has many wives and concubines. The Philistines challenge the new king, and are defeated at Baal Perazim and at the Valley of Rephaim.


David starts to transport the ark to Jerusalem with 30,000 men. It is carried on a cart, not by the poles. When the oxen stumble, Uzzah touches the ark to steady it, and is struck down dead. The ark is left for three months in the house of Obed-Edom. David sacrifices and dances before the ark in a ephod, then succeeds in bringing it to Jerusalem. There is a fellowship meal. Michal criticises David for his dancing, and is punished with barrenness.


Israel ceases war. David desires to build a temple for God. God tells David through the prophet Nathan that David’s son will build a temple. The Davidic covenant: David’s house will be established forever. If iniquity is committed, punishment will ensue, but the mercy of the Lord will not depart forever. David glorifies God.


David takes over Metheg Ammah from the Philistines, and also rules over Moab, Hadadezer’s territory at the river Euphrates, the Syrians of Damascus and Edom. David reigns over and judges Israel with justice.


David shows kindness to Mephibosheth, son of Jonathan. Saul’s land restored to Mephibosheth, and he is invited always to eat at the king’s table.


David sends ambassadors to Hanun, the new king of Ammon. Hanun shaves the ambassadors’ beards and cuts their garments. Ammon and the Syrians fight against Israel. Israel wins under the generalship of Joab.


When this war was raging, David was at home. He sees a beautiful woman bathing – Bathsheba. David lies with her and makes her pregnant. To cover his sin, David tries to get Uriah to return home to lie with his wife, but he refuses while a military campaign is being waged, so David sends Uriah out in the vanguard of battle, where he dies. Bathsheba becomes David’s wife, but God is displeased with David.


Nathan’s parable – a rich man with many flocks takes the sole lamb from a poor man to feed a traveller. Nathan points out the applicability of the story to David, and says that the sword shall never depart from David’s house. David repents, and is forgiven. Bathsheba’s child dies, but she fives birth to another son, Solomon. Israel conquers Rabbah, and puts the people to forced labour.


Amnon, David’s son, becomes infatuated with Tamar, his half sister. Amnon’s friend Jonadab advises him to pretend to be ill, and make a request for Tamar to tend to him. Amnon does so, and rapes Tamar before dismissing her. Absalom, Tamar’s brother, has Amnon killed at a feast. Absalom flees to Geshur; David mourns.


Joab arranges for a woman called Tekoa to dress as a widow. She tells David that one of her sons has killed another, and she is anxious that her remaining son will be killed at the request of her family. David assures her that he will protect her son. The woman applies her story to David, and admits that she commanded to tell it by Joab. David recalls Absalom to Jerusalem, but does not want to see him. Absalom was handsome and had long flowing hair which was sold at a high price when he cut it. Frustrated, Absalom burns a field of barley belonging to Joab. David and Absalom are finally reconciled.


Absalom wins the hearts of people of Israel, and starts to judge between them. Absalom asks permission to go to Hebron to serve the Lord in gratitude for being allowed back to Jerusalem. The request is granted, but Absalom uses Hebron as his power base, and plans to take over all Israel. Ahitophel, David’s counsellor, defects to Absalom’s side. As the rebellion grows, David flees from Jerusalem with Ittai the Gittite and his men. The high priest, Zadok, and the Levites also accompany him. Zadok goes with his sons and the ark back to Jerusalem to gather information. David weeps on the Mount of Olives. Hushai agrees to go undercover for David as the servant of Absalom.


Ziba, Mephibosheth’s servant, brings supplies to David. Ziba tells David that Mephibosheth is in Jerusalem, waiting to come to power after David and Absalom destroy each other. Shimei, of the house of Saul, curses David. David suffers the cursing stoically. Absalom receives Hushai as an advisor. Ahithophel advises Absalom to sleep with David’s concubines.


Ahithophel advises Absalom to pursue David with twelve thousand men. Hushai advises Absalom against this, warning of David’s ferocity and military cunning. Hushai advises Absalom to raise a huge army from across all Israel, and for Absalom to go into battle personally. Absalom goes with Hushai’s plans, and David is warned. Ahitophel hangs himself when he sees his advice is not taken. David moves to Mahanaim, and Absalom follows him over the Jordan. Several friends meet David at Mahanaim with refreshments and provisions.


David puts the army under three captains, Joab, Abishai and Ittai. Absalom’s forces are defeated in the woods of Ephraim. Absalom is killed by Joab as he hangs from a tree, his head having been caught in thick boughs while he was riding on his donkey. David mourns for his son.


Victory celebrations turn into mourning. Joab rebukes David for his mourning. The tribes take counsel to bring the king back to Jerusalem. David makes Amasa captain in place of Joab. The returning king is met by Judah at Gilgal. Shimei is forgiven by David when he pleads for his life. Mephibosheth also meets David, and shows how he has been slandered by Ziba. David is met by one his followers, Barzillai, who is eighty, and blessed. The northern tribes feel excluded from the ceremonial welcome of David back to Jerusalem, and complain to Judah.


Sheba leads Israel against David – only Judah does not join it. David isolates the concubines Absalom lay with. David tells Amasa to assemble an army, but there is a delay, so David goes with Joab’s forces instead. Joab kills his rival Amasa, and commands David’s troops. Sheba is besieged in Hebel, and on the advice of a wise woman, the people of Hebel cut off Sheba’s head, and throw it over the wall to Joab. Joab’s forces return to Jerusalem. A list of David's civil and military officers is given.


Famine in Israel because Saul killed some Gibeonites (not recorded in 1 Samuel). David makes peace with Gibeonites (descended from the Amorites). The Gibeonites want to hang seven descendants of Saul at Gibeah. David agrees, but spares Mephibosheth because of his covanent with his father, Jonathan. Rizpah, the mother of two executed, watches the bodies through the whole of the time of harvest, to prevent them frown being devoured by animals. David is informed of Rizpah's conduct: he collects the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabesh Gilead, and buries them, along with the seven men that were hanged, in Zelah, in the land of Benjamin. There is a war between the Israelites and Philistines, and David is persuaded to retire from active duty. David’s men kill the Philistine Ishbi-Benob, and several other gigantic Philistines.


David writes song after God saves him from enemies: the Lord is my rock, fortress and deliverer. David has not departed from God’s statutes.


David’s last words: rulers must be just, like the light of the sun in the morning. Faith is expressed in the Davidic covenant. David’s leading soldiers are listed and briefly recounted. When he was in his cave at Adullam, he expresses a nostalgic wish to drink water from the well of Bethlehem. Three mighty men break through the Philistine camp and take some for him – and he offers it to the Lord.


David conducts a census, and thereby provokes the Lord to wrath. Joab questins the need for a census. David repents. Through the prophet Gad, God gives David three choices: seven years of famine, three months of feeling from enemies, or three days’ plague. An angel kills 70,000 and is restrained at the the threshing floor of Araunah the Jebusite. David offers to buy the floor from Araunah to build an altar. Araunah offers to give it freely, but David insists on buying it so his sacrifice has value. The plague is stopped.

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