Showing posts with label 2 Samuel. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2 Samuel. Show all posts

11 May 2013

Mother's Day: A few good examples from the Bible

Last year, I posted some Bible verses for Mother's Day.

I thought this year I'd try to find a few good examples from the Bible. Here's what I could find.
(Taken from my Good People in the Bible post.)

Hagar
At Sarah and God's insistence, Abraham sent Hagar and their son Ishmael into the desert. When Ishmael was about to die, Hagar left him under a bush and cried because she couldn't bear to see him die. 
And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. Genesis 21:15-16
Later, of course, an angel came to save Ishmael. (Angels always come to save Abraham's sons before he kills them or after he abandons them - as he was asked to do by God).  She raised Ishmael by herself, becoming the patron saint of single moms.

Rizpah
To appease God and end a famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees to have two of Saul's sons and five of his grandsons killed and hung up "unto the Lord."
There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. ...
Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement. ...
And they answered the king ... Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD. 2 Samuel 21:1-6
So David rounded up and delivered two sons of Rizpah, Saul's concubine, and five sons of his daughter Michal, and they hung them up before the Lord.
The king took the two sons of Rizpah ... whom she bare unto Saul ... and the five sons of Michal ... And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death. 2 Samuel 21:8-9
Rizpah stayed with her dead sons, chasing the birds away in the daytime and animals away at night.
And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 2 Samuel 21:10
And God stopped the famine after Saul's two sons and five grandsons were killed and hung up for him.
They gathered the bones of them that were hanged ... And after that God was intreated for the land 2 Samuel 21:13-14

Jeroboam's wife
Jeroboam's wife (the Bible doesn't bother giving her a name) was worried about her sick son. So she went to see the blind prophet Ahijah to see if he could help.
Jeroboam's wife ... arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. 1 Kings 14:4
When she arrived, Ahijah had a message from God regarding her son.
Bhold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. 1 Kings 14:10
Which wasn't particularly good news to Jeroboam's wife, since her sick son had pissed on a few walls here and there.
But it got worse as the prophet elaborated a bit.
Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. 1 Kings 14:11
So God was going to kill all of the male descendants of Jeroboam, strew their dead bodies on the ground like dung, and use them for dog and bird food.
Oh and her son? He would be dead by the time she got home.
Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 1 Kings 14:12
After hearing the words of God from his prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam's wife returned home. And, sure enough, God killed her sick little boy the moment she entered his room.
And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; 1 Kings 14:17


30 April 2011

The good people in the Bible

A while back, I said that Vashti was the best person in the Bible. And while I still think she's a good choice for that award, I'd like to consider all possible candidates. Here is my attempt to do that. Let me know if I've left out any of your favorite Bible characters.

  1. The Talking Serpent

    OK, so maybe he wasn't human, but he was the wisest and most honest character in Genesis. Here's his conversation with Eve.

    Now the serpent was more subtil than any beast of the field which the LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?

    And the woman said unto the serpent, We may eat of the fruit of the trees of the garden:

    But of the fruit of the tree which is in the midst of the garden, God hath said, Ye shall not eat of it, neither shall ye touch it, lest ye die.

    And the serpent said unto the woman, Ye shall not surely die:

    For God doth know that in the day ye eat thereof, then your eyes shall be opened, and ye shall be as gods, knowing good and evil. Genesis 3:1-5

    And the serpent was correct, according to the Bible anyway. When Eve and Adam ate from the tree of knowledge, they didn't die*, and their eyes were opened to know good and evil.


  2. Eve

    The Bible doesn't say much about Eve. There is only one conversation recorded and that is with a talking serpent. But in it she shows a courageous love of goodness, beauty, and truth.

    When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was pleasant to the eyes, and a tree to be desired to make one wise, she took of the fruit thereof, and did eat. Genesis 3:6
  3. Hagar

    At Sarah and God's insistence, Abraham sent Hagar and their son Ishmael into the desert. When Ishmael was about to die, Hagar left him under a bush and cried because she couldn't bear to see him die.

    And the water was spent in the bottle, and she cast the child under one of the shrubs. And she went, and sat her down over against him a good way off, as it were a bow shot: for she said, Let me not see the death of the child. And she sat over against him, and lift up her voice, and wept. Genesis 21:15-16
  4. Zipporah

    Zipporah saved Moses from being killed by God by cutting off the foreskin of their son with a sharp stone. I don't know how she knew what had upset Moses' psychopathic god, but she figured it out quickly and did what had to be done. Then she threw the bloody foreskin at Moses' feet saying, "a bloody husband you are to me."

    It came to pass ... that the LORD met him, and sought to kill him.

    Then Zipporah took a sharp stone, and cut off the foreskin of her son, and cast it at his feet, and said, Surely a bloody husband art thou to me. Exodus 4:24-25

  5. The ten honest scouts

    Moses sent out twelve scouts to check out the land of Canaan. When they returned, one of the scouts (Caleb and maybe Joshua) told Moses that it would be easy to invade and conquer the people of Canaan. But ten other scouts disagreed.

    The land, through which we have gone to search it, is a land that eateth up the inhabitants thereof; and all the people that we saw in it are men of a great stature.

    And there we saw the giants, the sons of Anak, which come of the giants: and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight. Numbers 13:32-33

    So God, who only likes good news, killed them for their honest report.

    Those men that did bring up the evil report upon the land, died by the plague before the LORD. Numbers 14:37
  6. Korah and his companions

    Moses and Aaron had absolute authority over the Israelites -- until it was challenged by Korah and his companions. Here's what they said to Moses.

    Ye take too much upon you, seeing all the congregation are holy, every one of them, and the LORD is among them: wherefore then lift ye up yourselves above the congregation of the LORD? Numbers 16:3

    So God and Moses arranged a test. If Korah and his companions die a natural death, then God didn't send Moses. But if Korah and his friends (and their families) are buried alive, then God is Moses' special friend.

    And Moses said, Hereby ye shall know that the LORD hath sent me.
    ...
    If these men die the common death of all men ... then the LORD hath not sent me.

    But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD. Numbers 16:28-30

    The test proved that Moses is God's special friend (since the other guys were buried alive).

    But if the LORD make a new thing, and the earth open her mouth, and swallow them up, with all that appertain unto them, and they go down quick into the pit; then ye shall understand that these men have provoked the LORD.

    And it came to pass, as he had made an end of speaking all these words, that the ground clave asunder that was under them:

    And the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed them up, and their houses, and all the men that appertained unto Korah, and all their goods.

    They, and all that appertained to them, went down alive into the pit, and the earth closed upon them: and they perished from among the congregation. Numbers 16:28-33

  7. The people who complained about God's killings

    During the Exodus, God burned and buried people alive, had people stoned to death, and killed tens of thousands in plagues. So, as you might expect, the people were pretty freaked out about it. Here's what they said:

    All the congregation of the children of Israel murmured against Moses and against Aaron, saying, Ye have killed the people of the LORD. Numbers 16:41

    So God sent a plague and killed another 14,700.

    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    Get you up from among this congregation, that I may consume them as in a moment. ...

    Behold, the plague was begun among the people. ...

    Now they that died in the plague were fourteen thousand and seven hundred. Numbers 16:44-49


  8. The couple murdered by Phinehas

    The Israelites pissed off God by having sex with Moabite women.

    the people began to commit whoredom with the daughters of Moab. Numbers 25:1
    So God sent a plague to kill them all. Then Phinehas saw an Israelite man and a Moabite woman,
    One of the children of Israel came and brought unto his brethren a Midianitish woman. Numbers 25:6
    and impaled them with a spear through their bellies.
    When Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron the priest, saw it, he rose up from among the congregation, and took a javelin in his hand ... and thrust both of them through, the man of Israel, and the woman through her belly. Numbers 25:7-8
    God was so pleased by Phinehas' double murder that he stopped killing people with the plague, after only 24,000 died. (Well, 23,000 if you believe Paul.)
    So the plague was stayed from the children of Israel. nd those that died in the plague were twenty and four thousand. Numbers 25:8-9
  9. The daughters of Zelophehad
    Then came the daughters of Zelophehad ... Mahlah, Noah, and Hoglah, and Milcah, and Tirzah.

    And they stood before Moses, and before Eleazar the priest, and before the princes and all the congregation, by the door of the tabernacle of the congregation, saying,

    Our father died in the wilderness ... and had no sons.

    Why should the name of our father be done away from among his family, because he hath no son? Give unto us therefore a possession among the brethren of our father.

    And Moses brought their cause before the LORD.

    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying,

    The daughters of Zelophehad speak right: thou shalt surely give them a possession of an inheritance among their father's brethren; and thou shalt cause the inheritance of their father to pass unto them. Numbers 27:1-7

  10. The peaceful unsuspecting people of Laish
    The children of Dan ... came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. Judges 18:26-27
  11. Nabal

    When David was fighting with Saul, he hung out "in the wilderness" with a gang of outlaws. While there, he heard about a rich man named Nabal and sent some of his "young men" to pay him a visit. So they went and introduced themselves to Nabal and told him to give them whatever he owned.

    David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name. ...

    Give, I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David. 1 Samuel 25:5-8

    But Nabal was on to David's protection racket. He refused to give his belongings to people he didn't even know just to get them to go away and leave him alone.

    And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David? ...

    Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be? 1 Samuel 25:10-11

    When David heard about it, he swore to kill Nabal and all his men (everyone "that pisseth against the wall").

    So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that pisseth against the wall. 1 Samuel 25:22

    But, as it turns out, God beat him to it and killed Nabal for David,

    And it came to pass about ten days after, that the LORD smote Nabal, that he died. 1 Samuel 25:38

    and gave David his wife and other stuff.

    When David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be the LORD .... And David sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife. 1 Samuel 25:39
  12. Phaltiel

    After Michal helped David escape from her father Saul, Saul gave her away to another man named Phalti.

    Saul had given Michal his daughter, David's wife, to Phalti.

    But later, after he had collected a half dozen or more wives, David demanded Michal back. (Heck, he paid 200 foreskins for her!)

    And David sent messengers to Ishbosheth Saul's son, saying, Deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for an hundred foreskins of the Philistines. 2 Samuel 3:14

    Poor Phatiel must have loved her dearly since he "went along weeping behind her."

    And Ishbosheth sent, and took her from her husband, even from Phaltiel the son of Laish. And her husband went with her along weeping behind her. 2 Samuel 3:15
  13. Uzzah

    When the ark was being transported to Jerusalem, Uzzah, one of the drivers of the cart, reached out his hand to steady the ark to keep it from falling. God thanked him in his usual way: he killed him.

    And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. ...

    And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor , Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.

    And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 2 Samuel 6:3-7

  14. Michal

    David bought his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins. She was the daughter of Saul and her name was Michal. She rescued David from her father by lowering him on a rope through the window (1 Samuel 19:11-17), which was both brave and clever. But what impresses me even more was the way she criticized David for dancing nearly naked in front of God and everybody.

    David danced before the LORD with all his might; and David was girded with a linen ephod. ...

    Michal ... said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself! 2 Samuel 6:14-20

    Of course God doesn't like it when anyone criticizes David. So he made her die childless. (But not really.)

    Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death. 2 Samuel 6:23
  15. Rizpah

    To appease God and end a famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees to have two of Saul's sons and five of his grandsons killed and hung up "unto the Lord."

    There was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. ...

    Wherefore David said unto the Gibeonites, What shall I do for you? and wherewith shall I make the atonement. ...

    And they answered the king ... Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD. 2 Samuel 21:1-6

    So David rounded up and delivered two sons of Rizpah, Saul's concubine, and five sons of his daughter Michal, and they hung them up before the Lord.

    The king took the two sons of Rizpah ... whom she bare unto Saul ... and the five sons of Michal ... And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death. 2 Samuel 21:8-9

    Rizpah stayed with her dead sons, chasing the birds away in the daytime and animals away at night.

    And Rizpah the daughter of Aiah took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest until water dropped upon them out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest on them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night. 2 Samuel 21:10

    And God stopped the famine after Saul's two sons and five grandsons were killed and hung up for him.

    They gathered the bones of them that were hanged ... And after that God was intreated for the land 2 Samuel 21:13-14
  16. Jeroboam's wife

    Jeroboam's wife (the Bible doesn't bother giving her a name) was worried about her sick son. So she went to see the blind prophet Ahijah to see if he could help.

    Jeroboam's wife ... arose, and went to Shiloh, and came to the house of Ahijah. 1 Kings 14:4

    When she arrived, Ahijah had a message from God regarding her son.

    Bhold, I will bring evil upon the house of Jeroboam, and will cut off from Jeroboam him that pisseth against the wall, and him that is shut up and left in Israel, and will take away the remnant of the house of Jeroboam, as a man taketh away dung, till it be all gone. 1 Kings 14:10

    Which wasn't particularly good news to Jeroboam's wife, since her sick son had pissed on a few walls here and there.

    But it got worse as the prophet elaborated a bit.

    Him that dieth of Jeroboam in the city shall the dogs eat; and him that dieth in the field shall the fowls of the air eat: for the LORD hath spoken it. 1 Kings 14:11

    So God was going to kill all of the male descendants of Jeroboam, strew their dead bodies on the ground like dung, and use them for dog and bird food.

    Oh and her son? He would be dead by the time she got home.

    Arise thou therefore, get thee to thine own house: and when thy feet enter into the city, the child shall die. 1 Kings 14:12

    After hearing the words of God from his prophet Ahijah, Jeroboam's wife returned home. And, sure enough, God killed her sick little boy the moment she entered his room.

    And Jeroboam's wife arose, and departed, and came to Tirzah: and when she came to the threshold of the door, the child died; 1 Kings 14:17
  17. Vashti: The best person in the Bible?

    Vashti refused to entertain the king's drunken guests.

    The king made a feast ... seven days, in the court of the garden of the king's palace ... And they gave them drink in vessels of gold ... and royal wine in abundance.

    On the seventh day, when the heart of the king was merry with wine, he commanded ... Vashti the queen ... with the crown royal, to shew the people and the princes her beauty: for she was fair to look on.

    But the queen Vashti refused. Esther 1:5-12

  18. Job's wife

    In the book of Job, God and Satan play a cruel gambling game with the lives of Job and his family. Satan bets that Job will curse God to his face if Job's life is made unpleasant enough. So God (or Satan, it's hard to tell them apart) kills Job's family and sends various torments upon him.

    Job's wife rightly says that if Job is to keep his integrity, he should curse God (for playing vicious games with Satan) and die. She is the only voice of reason in the book of Job.

    Then said his wife unto him, Dost thou still retain thine integrity? curse God, and die. Job 2:9

* God told Adam that he would die the day that he ate from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. Yet he and Eve ate from that tree and lived another 930 years. (In the case of Adam, anyway. The Bible doesn't say how long Eve lived.)

18 September 2010

Who wins the Bible's Quiverfull prize?

Have you heard of the Quiverfull movement? It's a whacked-out group of fundamentalist Christians who try to have as many kids as they can, because they believe that children show God's favor on the men who father them.

The movement takes its name from Psalm 127, which says:

Lo, children are an heritage of the LORD: and the fruit of the womb is his reward. As arrows are in the hand of a mighty man; so are children of the youth. Happy is the man that hath his quiver full of them. Psalm 127:3-5

Which got me to thinking. If children are a blessing from God, and happy is the man that has his quiver full of them, which man in the Bible was the happiest? Who had the fullest quiver, so to speak?

So I started with Adam and worked my way through all the quivers in the Bible. But Adam didn't seem too interested in children. His first son (Cain) killed his second son (Abel), yet Adam didn't bother having any more kids for another 130 years or so, when he finally had Seth. He and Eve were diddling for six score and ten years and all he had to show for it was two arrows in his quiver. He lived another 800 years after having Seth, but all the Bible says about it is this: "And the days of Adam after he had begotten Seth were eight hundred years: and he begat sons and daughters." No names, no numbers, no cigar for Adam.

Well then, maybe one of the patriarchs. Take Methuselah, for example. He lived to be 969, so he must have had lots of kids. But he was a slow starter, waiting until he was 187 before fathering his first son (Lamech). And although the Bible says he had other sons and daughters sometime in the next 782 years, it doesn't name names or give numbers. So forget Methuselah. No prize there either.

How about Methuselah's son, Lamaech? Lamech was the first of a long, proud line of polygamists in the Bible. But even with two wives he couldn't fill his quiver. When he was 182 he had his first son (Noah) and then had the usual nameless sons and daughters sometime in the next 595 years. What the fuck did he do with his wives, anyway?

OK, then what about Lamech's son, Noah? Nope. Noah waited until he was 500 to start a family. But he started with a bang, having three sons in a single year. I'm not sure how he managed that, since there is no mention of twins or triplets and the Bible only mentions one (nameless) wife. Fucking miracles, I guess. Anyway, the Bible doesn't say whether Noah had more children after the flood, though God did tell him and his sons to "be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth" (after God had drowned everyone on it).

What about King David? No one even tried to keep track of all his wives and concubines, so he must have had lots of children. 1 Chronicles 3:1-9 lists 19 sons and one daughter (which ties him with Jim Bob!). David must have had a hard time coming up with so many names because two sons are named Eliphelet and two are named Elishama. I suppose that's one of the hazards of a full quiver. You just can't keep your arrows straight.

Solomon was one of David's sons and he must have had quite a family since he had 700 wives and 300 concubines. If he kept up with the Duggars he'd have about 20,000 arrows in his quiver. But Solomon was the patron saint of birth control. The Bible only mentions one son (Rehoboam) and two daughters. The guy must have never taken his condom off!

It turns out that Solomon's (only?) son, Rehoboam wins the quiverfull prize, depending on how you keep score, that is. Rehoboam, like his dad, was a big-time polygamist, with 18 wives and 60 concubines. But unlike his dad, he used his wives to fill his quiver. And he had a quiverfull by the time he was done -- 88 total: 28 sons and 60 daughters.

But there were a few others that probably beat Rehoboam. Both Gideon and Ahab had 72 sons. But since the Bible doesn't mention their daughters, I guess Rehoboam can keep his prize. (Both sets of sons had unhappy endings: Gideon's 70 sons were murdered by one of their brothers, and Ahab's 70 sons were beheaded by Jehu at God's command.)

And there are several honorable mentions. Ibzan had 30 sons and 30 daughters. Abdon had 40 sons and 30 nephews. Abijah waxed mighty, and married fourteen wives, and begat 22 sons, and 16 daughters. And Jair had 30 sons that rode on 30 ass colts and had 30 cities.

Oh, and Heman (who wasn't quite as wise as Solomon or as happy as Jim Bob Duggar) had 14 sons and 3 daughters.

Here's a little table to keep the quivers straight.

Happy quivering!

Name Sons Daughters Total Verse
Rehoboam 28 60 88 2 Chronicles 11:21
Gideon 72 ? At least 72 Judges 8:30, 9:4-5
Ahab 72 ? At least 72 2 Kings 1:16-17, 10:1-7, 9:24-26
Ibzan 30 30 60 Judges 12:9
Abdon 40 ? At least 40 Judges 12:14
Abijah 22 16 38 2 Chronicles 13:21
Jair 30 ? At least 30 Judge 10:3-4
David 19 1 At least 20 1 Chronicles 3:1-9
Heman 14 3 17 1 Chronicles 25:5

For more information on the Quiverfull movement see Vyckie Garrison's blog, No Longer Quivering.

01 May 2010

Thus did David unto all the children of Ammon

I’m not sure what “thus” was, but it whatever it was, it wasn’t very nice.

First David sent Joab “and all Israel,” and “they destroyed the children of Ammon” and besieged the city of Rabbah.
And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged Rabbah. 2 Samuel 11.1
Joab led forth the power of the army, and wasted the country of the children of Ammon, and came and besieged Rabbah. But David tarried at Jerusalem. And Joab smote Rabbah, and destroyed it. 1 Chronicles 20.1

Then he went to Rabbah and put a gold crown on his head that weighted 1 talent (about 30 kilograms).
David …went to Rabbah and … took their king's crown from off his head, the weight whereof was a talent of gold with the precious stones: and it was set on David's head. And he brought forth the spoil of the city in great abundance. 2 Samuel 12.30
And finally he did this to “all the cities of the children of Ammon”:
He brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. 2 Samuel 12.31
David’s treatment of the Ammonites is stated a bit more clearly in the 1 Chronicles version of this story.
He brought out the people that were in it, and cut them with saws, and with harrows of iron, and with axes. Even so dealt David with all the cities of the children of Ammon. 1 Chronicles 20.3
Neither story says how many Ammonites were killed. I’ll guess 1000.

(We know that God approved of this killing because God approved of all of David’s killings, with the single exception of the matter of Uriah. See 1 Kings 15.5.)

30 April 2010

David killed every male in Edom

There’s not a lot to go on here, just a few contradictory verses from four different books.

There’s a one-verse story from 2 Samuel saying that David got a name for himself by killing 18,000 Syrians in the valley of salt.
David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men. 2 Samuel 8.13
Then there’s a (sort of) similar verse from 1 Chronicles that agrees with 2 Samuel on the number killed (18,000) and the site of the killing (the valley of salt), but disagrees about the identities of the killer (Abishai vs. David) and the people killed (Syrians vs. Edomites).
Abishai … slew of the Edomites in the valley of salt eighteen thousand. 1 Chronicles 18.12
And there’s a Psalm story that says it was Joab who killed 12,000 in the valley of salt with the candlestick (or was it the lead pipe?).
Joab returned, and smote of Edom in the valley of salt twelve thousand. Psalm 60.1
In any case, whoever did the killing, whoever and however many were killed, it’s another example of God’s glorious killings, since we know that
The LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. 2 Samuel 8.14
And God approved of everything David ever did (with the single exception of the matter of Uriah).
David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15.5
There’s something else we are told about this killing. After the 18,000 (or 12,000) Edomites (or Syrians) were killed in the valley of salt by David (or Abishai or Joab), Joab killed every male in Edom.
When David was in Edom, and Joab the captain of the host was gone up to bury the slain, after he had smitten every male in Edom; (For six months did Joab remain there with all Israel, until he had cut off every male in Edom:) 1 Kings 11.15-16
(A little later God will have to have them all killed again, but that’s another story.)

So how many were killed in this killing? 18,000 or 12,000 in the valley of salt? And how many males were killed in Edom in Joab’s male genocide?

I’ll take 15,000 (the average of 12,000 and 18,000) for the number of Edomite (or Syrian) soldiers that were killed, and guess that 50,000 males of all ages were slaughtered, for a total of 65,000 in all.

28 April 2010

The Lord gave David victory wherever he went

As I mentioned in the last killing, God approved all of David’s killings (except for the matter of Uriah).
David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15:5
He even helped out with most of them. Still, some of the ones from 2 Samuel 8-10 are just too damned boring to deal with separately, so I’m going to lump them together here.

2 Samuel 8 begins by telling us that David somehow found some more Philistines to smite.
It came to pass that David smote the Philistines, and subdued them. 2 Samuel 8:1
Then David smote Hadadezer, the king of Zobah, "taking" 1000 chariots, 700 (or 7000, if you believe the story told in 1 Chronicles 18:3-4) horsemen, and 20,000 foot soldiers. [Since text doesn't say that David killed the 20,700 (or 27,000) soldiers, I’n not counting them in God's killings.]
David smote also Hadadezer ... king of Zobah ... And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven hundred horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen. 2 Samuel 8:3-4a
David smote Hadarezer king of Zobah ... And David took from him a thousand chariots, and seven thousand horsemen, and twenty thousand footmen. 1 Chronicles 18:3-4
David hamstrung ("houghed" in the KJV) all but 100 of the 1000 horses.
David houghed all the chariot horses, but reserved of them for an hundred chariots. 2 Samuel 8:4b
Then he killed 22,000 Syrians. “And the Lord gave David victory wherever he went.” (NIV)
When the Syrians of Damascus came to succour Hadadezer king of Zobah, David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men … and the Syrians became servants to David, and brought gifts. … And the LORD preserved David whithersoever he went. 2 Samuel 8.5-6
And another 47,000 Syrians (or was it 40,700?).
The Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew the men of seven hundred chariots of the Syrians, and forty thousand horsemen. 2 Samuel 10.18
But the Syrians fled before Israel; and David slew of the Syrians seven thousand men which fought in chariots, and forty thousand footmen. 1 Chronicles 19.8
So I'll give David (and God) credit for 66,850: 1000 Philistines and 65,850 Syrians. (22,000 in the first killing and 43,850 in the second, taking the average of 47,000 and 40,070 from the stories in 2 Samuel 10 and 1 Chronicles 19.

God's next killing: David killed every male in Edom

David killed Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet, and hung their bodies over the pool

After Saul’s death, David became king of Judah and Saul’s son, Ishbosheth, king of Israel. Things didn’t go well for poor Ishbosheth, though. First his father and brothers were killed by God. Then his captain, Abner, was killed by David’s captain, Joel. And his army was always fighting a losing battle with David’s. He was about ready to call it quits.
When Saul's son heard that Abner was dead in Hebron, his hands were feeble, and all the Israelites were troubled. 2 Samuel 4.1
After Abner died, Rechab and Baanah became Ishbosheth’s captains.
Saul's son had two men that were captains of bands: the name of the one was Baanah, and the name of the other Rechab. 4.2
One day Rechab and Baanah went to visit Ishbosheth, who was taking a nap at the time.
Rechab and Baanah, went, and came about the heat of the day to the house of Ishbosheth, who lay on a bed at noon. 4.5
They pretended to be picking up some wheat, but they really stopped by to kill him. And they “smote him under the fifth rib” (the preferred place to smite someone in the Bible).
They came thither into the midst of the house, as though they would have fetched wheat; and they smote him under the fifth rib. 4.6
After smiting him, they cut off his head and took it to David.
When they came into the house, he lay on his bed in his bedchamber, and they smote him, and slew him, and beheaded him, and took his head. And they brought the head of Ishbosheth unto David. 4.7-8
They figured David would be pleased, since he and Ishbosheth were enemies. But they were wrong.

David told them about how he killed the Amalekite who killed Saul, even though Saul asked him to since he was mortally wounded. Now he was going to kill them for killing Saul’s son, Ishbosheth.
When one told me, saying, Behold, Saul is dead, thinking to have brought good tidings, I took hold of him, and slew him … How much more, when wicked men have slain a righteous person in his own house upon his bed? 4.10-11
So David had his “young men” kill Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet, and hang their bodies up over the pool in Hebron.
David commanded his young men, and they slew them, and cut off their hands and their feet, and hanged them up over the pool in Hebron. 4.12
Mutilated bodies hanging over pools make such nice decorations!

(We know that God approved of this killing because God approved of all of David’s killings, with the single exception of the matter of Uriah. See 1 Kings 15.5.)

22 April 2010

David killed two-thirds of the Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest

How should we treat prisoners of war? Fortunately, as with so many difficult questions, the Bible has the answer!

Bible believers don't need to worry about the Geneva Convention. God tells them directly what to do with their POWs in the Bible. All they have to do is follow David's example.
David ... smote Moab, and measured them with a line, casting them down to the ground; even with two lines measured he to put to death, and with one full line to keep alive. And so the Moabites became David's servants, and brought gifts. 2 Samuel 8:1-2
When it comes to POWS, we know what is right in the eyes of the Lord: kill two-thirds of them and enslave the rest.*

That is the Bible's infallible answer.

(My estimate of 667 is two thirds of the standard Biblical slaughter.)

* How do we know this is right in the eyes of the Lord? Because the Bible tells us so.
David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15.5
God's next killing The Lord gave David victory wherever he went

20 April 2010

The Morality of David: How to do what is right in the eyes of the Lord

If believers want to know what God thinks is right, they should look at the life of David. He is the gold standard of biblical morality.

How do we know that that? Because it says so in the Bible.

Everything David did "was right in the eyes of the Lord," except for one thing: "the matter of Uriah."

David did that which was right in the eyes of the LORD, and turned not aside from any thing that he commanded him all the days of his life, save only in the matter of Uriah the Hittite. 1 Kings 15.5

So as long as we stay away from the Uriah affair, we can be absolutely certain that we are doing right in the eyes of the Lord whenever we follow David.

And since there are so many stories about David in the Bible, we can derive an infallible, Bible-based morality from them. That is what God wants us to do. That's why he put those stories in the Bible.

So let's get started.

Here are some of the things that we know are "right in the eyes of the Lord."

  1. It's OK to kill people.

    As long as your killing is similar to one of David's, you can be sure that it's perfectly moral and that God will bless it.

    But before you start, check the context of David's killings to make sure that yours is OK with God.

    Here is a list of 22 killings that David either performed himself or had other people do for him. God approved of every one of them. He even helped out on many. It should be easy to find one to serve as a model for the killing that you have in mind.

    David or Elhanan killed Goliath 1Sam 17.51, 2Sam 21.19
    David killed 200 Philistines for their foreskins (to buy his first wife) 1Sam 18.27
    David slew the Philistines with a great slaughter 1Sam 19.8
    The Lord said to David, Go and smite the Philistines 1Sam 23:2-5
    David committed genocides for the Philistines 1Sam 27.8-11
    David spends the day killing Amalekites 1Sam 30:17
    David killed the messenger 2Sam 1.15
    David killed Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet, and hung their dead bodies over the pool 2Sam 4.12
    God helps David smite Philistines from the front and the rear 2Sam 5:19-25
    David killed 2/3 Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest 2Sam 8.2
    David killed 22,000 Syrians 2Sam 8.5
    David killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt 2Sam 8.13, 1Kg 11.15-16, 1Chr 18.12
    David killed 47,000 Syrians 2Sam 10.18, 1Chr 19.18
    David's massacre of the Ammonites 2Sam 11.1, 1Chr 20.1
    David's army killed 20,000 Israelites 2Sam 18.7
    Adino killed 800 at one time with a spear 2Sam 23.8
    Eleazar the son of Dodo smote the Philistines with a great slaughter 2Sam 23.9-10, 1Chr 11.12-14
    Shammah slew the Philistines 2Sam 23.12
    Abishai killed 300 with his spear 2Sam 23.18
    Benaiah slew two lion-like men of Moah and a giant Egyptian 2Sam 23.20-21, 1Chr 11.22-23
    Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of his father David by having Joab murdered 1Kg 2.29-34
    Solomn has Shimei murdered (another of David's death bed wishes) 1Kg 2.44-46

  2. It's OK to decapitate people after you kill them. (1 Samuel 17.51)

  3. You can kill Philistines and Amalekites pretty much whenever you see them. Still, it's a good idea to ask God first. (1Sam 18.27, 19.8, 23:2-5, 30:17; 2Sam 5:19-25, 23.9-10, 23.12)

  4. Moabites, Syrians, Edomites, Ammonites, and Egyptians are generally OK to kill, too. But some restrictions may apply. See your Bible for context, just to be sure. (2Sam 8.2, 8.5, 8.13, 10.18, 11.1)

  5. It's OK to kill up to 200 men for their foreskins to pay for a wife. (1Sam 18.27)

  6. You can have as many wives as you like. No one knows how many David had; no one needs to know how many you have either. (It's nobody's business but God's, and he approves of that sort of thing.) (1 Samuel 18:25-27, 25:39, 25:41-44, 2 Samuel 3:2-5, 5:13, 12:7-8)

  7. Genocide is OK, at least when you are doing it for the Philistines. (1 Samuel 27:8-11)

  8. It's OK to lie, if it will help you out of a difficult situation. (1 Samuel 21:2-8)

  9. Cut off the hands and feet of executed people and hang their dead, mutilated bodies up for everyone to see. They make nice decorations. (2 Samuel 4:12)

  10. Encourage others to kill people with disabilities -- like "the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul." (2 Samuel 5:8)

  11. A good rule to follow with prisoners of war is this: kill two-thirds of them and enslave the rest. (2 Samuel 8:2-3)

  12. If your concubines have sex with your son in front of God and everybody (because God is punishing you for your adultery), just refuse to have any more sex with them and force them to "keep house" for you for the rest of their lives. (2 Samuel 20:3)

  13. If God sends a famine, you might try killing the sons and grandsons of your predecessor and then hang their dead bodies up to God so that he will stop starving people to death. It worked for David. It should work for you too. (2 Samuel 21:1-9)

  14. When you are old man and can't get any more heat, look around for a young virgin to "lie in your bosom" and "minister" to you so you can get your heat back. (1 Kings 1:1-4)

  15. And when you are dying, be sure to ask your son to murder any enemies that you didn't get a chance to kill. No enemies left behind. That was David's rule; it should be yours, too. (1 Kings 2:1-9)

See how easy that was? It makes you feel sorry for all those atheists who have to actually think about what is right and wrong, doesn't it?

02 April 2010

A List of God-Approved Killings in the Bible

This is a list of the God-approved killings in the Bible. It does not include the killings that God performed himself or those in which he took an active role. (See here for a complete list of those killings.)

I've already posted about some of the killings (see links in the table), and I'll be adding more later to explain how we know that God approved of these killings. Eventually, I'll combine the lists to show all of God's killings, those that he approved of and those that he did himself.

Killing Event Scriptural reference Biblical number Estimate
1 Shamgar killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad Jg 3.31 600 600
2 42,000 killed for failing the "shibboleth" test Jg 12.4-7, Heb 11.32 42,000 42,000
3 The massacre of the peaceful, unsuspecting people Jg 18.27 - 1,000
4 The End of Judges: Two genocides and 200 stolen virgins Jg 21.10-14 - 10,000
5 34,000 Israelites killed so that God could kill Eli's sons 1Sam 4.2-11 34,000 34,000
6 David or Elhanan killed Goliath 1Sam 17.51, 2Sam 21.19 1 1
7 David killed 200 Philistines for their foreskins (to buy his first wife) 1Sam 18.27 200 200
8 David slew the Philistines with a great slaughter 1Sam 19.8 - 10,000
9 David commited genocides for the Philistines 1Sam 27.8-11 - 50,000
10 David killed the messenger 2Sam 1.15 1 1
11 David killed Rechab and Baanah, cut off their hands and feet, and hung up their dead bodies 2Sam 4.12 2 2
12 David killed 2/3 Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest 2Sam 8.2 667
13 David killed 22,000 Syrians 2Sam 8.5 22,000 22,000
14 David killed 18,000 Edomites in the Valley of Salt 2Sam 8.13, 1Kg 11.15-16, 1Chr 18.12 18,000 18,000
15 David killed 47,000 Syrians 2Sam 10.18, 1Chr 19.18 47,000 47,000
16 David's massacre of the Ammonites 2Sam 11.1, 1Chr 20.1 - 1,000
17 David's army killed 20,000 Israelites 2Sam 18.7 20,000 20,000
18 Adino killed 800 at one time with a spear 2Sam 23.8 800 800
19 Eleazar the son of Dodo smote the Philistines with a great slaughter 2Sam 23.9-10, 1Chr 11.12-14 - 1,000
20 Shammah slew the Philistines 2Sam 23.12 - 1,000
21 Abishai killed 300 with his spear 2Sam 23.18 300 300
22 Benaiah slew two lion-like men of Moah and a giant Egyptian 2Sam 23.20-21, 1Chr 11.22-23 3 3
23 Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of his father David by having Joab murdered 1Kg 2.29-34 1 1
24 Solomn has Shimei murdered (another of David's death bed wishes) 1Kg 2.44-46 1 1
25 Zimri burns to death 1Kg 16.18-19 1 1
26 Elijah kills 450 religious leaders in a prayer contest 1Kg 18.22-40 450 450
27 A skeptic is trampled to death 2Kg 7.2-20 1 1
28 Jehu killed Ahaziah's family 2Kg 10.12-13, 2Chr 22.7-9 42 42
29 Jehu assembles the followers of Baal and then slaughters them all 2Kg 10.18-25 - 1,000
30 Jehoiada killed Mattan the priest of Baal 2Kg 11.17-18 1 1
31 Athaliah 2Kg 11.20 1 1
32 Amaziah slew 10,000 Edomites 2Kg 14.7, 2Chr 25.11 10,000 10,000
33 Josiah killed all the priests of the high places 2Kg 23.20 - 100
34 Jashobeam killed 300 at one time with his spear 1Chr 11.11 300 300
35 Ahaziah of Judah 2Chr 22.7-9 1 1
36 Amaziah killed the people that killed his father 2Chr 25.3 - 10
37 Amaziah killed 10,000 Edomites 2Chr 25.11 10,000 10,000
38 Amaziah pushed 10,000 men off a cliff 2Chr 25.12 10,000 10,000
39 Amaziah 2Chr 25.27 1 1
40 Uzziah's wars 2Chr 26.3-7 - 3,000
41 Jotham's war with the Ammonites 2Chr 27.1-5 - 1,000
42 Esther hangs Haman and his ten sons Est 7.6-10 11 11
43 The Jews killed those who wanted to kill them Est 9.9-16 75,800 75,800
Total 291,518 371,295

18 March 2010

Remember David: Don't fill out Satan's 2010 Census form

This is a census year in the United States. Article 1, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution requires a complete enumeration every ten years.

[An] Enumeration shall be made within three Years after the first Meeting of the Congress of the United States, and within every subsequent Term of ten Years, in such Manner as they shall by Law direct.

But Michele Bachmann won't be participating.

She claims it has something to do with WWII Japanese American internment camps, but I think it's all about the Bible. Michele knows her Bible too well to participate in a God-damned government census.

Remember what happened with David's census? God killed 70,000 men (and who knows how many women and children) in three days of pestilence.

Why did God kill so many people? Because David had a census.

David said to Joab and to the rulers of the people, Go, number Israel ... and bring the number of them to me, that I may know it.
...
And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David.
...
And God was displeased with this thing; therefore he smote Israel.
...
So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men. 1 Chronicles 21:2-14

And why did David have the census?

Because Satan told him to.

And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 1 Chronicles 21:1

Michele Bachmann knows that if Satan could fool David, a man after God's own heart, he sure as hell could fool the authors of the U.S. Constitution.


Note: Michele also knows that Satan had help in inspiring the David's census.

And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 Samuel 24:1

Satan and God worked on it together. But that's beside the point. God got angry and he and/or Satan inspired David to have a census and then God killed a couple hundred thousand people because of the census.

So it doesn't matter whether the 2010 census was inspired by God or Satan or both. God hates censuses, and he kills those that participate in them.

08 February 2010

God killed 70,000 because David did a census that God (or Satan) told him to do

This is not an easy one to explain, but I'll give it a try.

It all starts with God telling David to do a census, you know like the one the U.S. Constitution requires us to do every ten years.

And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah. 2 Samuel 24:1

Or was it Satan that asked David to do the census, as it says in 1 Chronicles 21.1?
Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel. 
Oh well, maybe it was both. They often work together. In any case, David sent Joab out to take the census, and after 9 months and 20 days, Joab came back with the results: there were 800,000 sword-yielding men in Israel and 500,000 in Judah.
So when they had gone through all the land, they came to Jerusalem at the end of nine months and twenty days. And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men. 2 Samuel 24.9
Or was it was 1,100,000 and 470,000 men in Israel and Judah, as it says in 1 Chronicles 21:5?
Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword. 
Whichever it may have been, either is comparable to the number of active duty soldiers in the U.S. military today. Not bad for small tribal kingdom in 1000 BCE!

After the census, David decided that he had done something wrong, which is weird since he had only taken a census that God told him to take.
David's heart smote him after that he had numbered the people. And David said unto the LORD, I have sinned greatly in that I have done. 2 Samuel 24.10
And God was angry, too, at least that's what the prophet Gad told him. Gad said God offered him three choices:

1. Seven years of famine (or three years if you believe the story in 1 Chronicles 21),

2. Three months of losing battles,

3. Or Three days of pestilence.
When David was up in the morning, the word of the LORD came unto the prophet Gad ... saying ... Thus saith the LORD, I offer thee three things; choose thee one of them, that I may do it unto thee. ... Shall seven years of famine come unto thee in thy land? or wilt thou flee three months before thine enemies, while they pursue thee? or that there be three days' pestilence in thy land? 2 Samuel 24.11-13
David couldn't decide, so God decided for him. God chose the three days of pestilence, thereby killing 70,000 men, which would mean at least a couple hundred thousand people (since only men count to God).
So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beersheba seventy thousand men. 2 Samuel 24.15
But God was still pissed off, even after he finished killing a couple hundred thousand people in the pestilence. So he sent an angel to destroy the city of Jerusalem. But before the angel destroyed the city, God "repented him of the evil" that he intended to do and told him to stop.
When the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. 2 Samuel 24.16
When David saw the angel that was still killing people, he said, "I've sinned, but what have these people done?" A good question, that God, of course, completely ignores.
David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? 2 Samuel 24.17  
Finally, Gad tells David to buy some land, make an altar, and kill some animals to make God quit killing people. So David buys some land for 50 shekels of silver (or 600 shekels of gold if you believe the story in 1 Chronicles 21), sets up an altar, and kills some animals for God.

And God finally stopped killing people.
Gad came that day to David, and said unto him, Go up, rear an altar unto the LORD in the threshingfloor of Araunah the Jebusite ... So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver. And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel. 2 Samuel 24.18-25
God's next killing: Solomon carries out the deathbed wish of David by having Joab and Shimei murdered

David's Mighty Men and their Amazing Killings

There is a list of crazy single-handed killings in 2 Samuel 23 and 1 Chronicles 11 that the God obviously approved of since the Bible brags about them so much. I’m including them all here.
These be the names of the mighty men whom David had: 2 Samuel 23:8a
These also are the chief of the mighty men whom David had ... to make him king, according to the word of the LORD concerning Israel. And this is the number of the mighty men whom David had: 1 Chronicles 11:10-11a
Adino and/or Jashobeam
There is some confusion about this one. Who was the chief of David’s captains (Adino or Jashobeam) and how many did he kill with his spear at one time (300 or 800)? Was it two different captains in two different slaughters? I'll give them both credit and call it 1100.
The Tachmonite that sat in the seat, chief among the captains; the same was Adino the Eznite: he lift up his spear against eight hundred, whom he slew at one time. 2 Samuel 23:8
Jashobeam, an Hachmonite, the chief of the captains: he lifted up his spear against three hundred slain by him at one time. 1 Chronicles 11:11b
The son of Dodo
Next we have the son of Dodo who smote Philistines until his hand stuck to his sword, "and the LORD wrought a great victory that day." It doesn’t say how many he killed; I’ll guess 1000.
Eleazar the son of Dodo ... smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword: and the LORD wrought a great victory that day. 2 Samuel 23:9-10
Eleazar the son of Dodo ... one of the three mighties ... slew the Philistines; and the LORD saved them by a great deliverance. 1 Chronicles 11:12-14
Shammah
Shammah isn't mentioned in the 1 Chronicles account, but according to 2 Samuel, God was involved since "the Lord wrought a great victory." I’ll give God and Shammah credit for another 1000 for this “great victory.”
Shammah the son of Agee ... slew the Philistines: and the LORD wrought a great victory. 2 Samuel 23:11-12
Abishai
Abishai killed 300 Philistines with his spear.
Abishai ... lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them. 2 Samuel 23:18
Abishai the brother of Joab, he was chief of the three: for lifting up his spear against three hundred, he slew them. 1 Chronicles 11:20
Jehoiada
This one is my favorite. Jehoiada killed two lion-like men and then a lion in a snowy pit. After that he killed a good-looking, 7.5 foot tall Egyptian with the Egyptian's spear.
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada ... slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst of a pit in time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand. 2 Samuel 23:20-21
Benaiah the son of Jehoiada ... slew two lionlike men of Moab: also he went down and slew a lion in a pit in a snowy day. And he slew an Egyptian, a man of great stature, five cubits high; and in the Egyptian's hand was a spear like a weaver's beam; and he went down to him with a staff, and plucked the spear out of the Egyptian's hand, and slew him with his own spear. 1 Chronicles 11:22-23

07 February 2010

Famine and Human Sacrifice

The Bible doesn't say much about this killing. It all happens in a single verse.
Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. 2 Samuel 21:1
We only know that God sent a three-year famine on Israel because Saul killed some Gibeonites. (The Bible doesn't say when or where Saul supposedly did this.)

So David asked the Gibeonites what he could do to make God stop starving the Israelites.

The Gibeonites said that David should give them Saul's seven sons so they could hang them up before the Lord.
And they answered the king ... Let seven men of his sons be delivered unto us, and we will hang them up unto the LORD. 2 Samuel 21:5-6
David agreed, giving them two of Saul's sons and five of his grandsons. "And they hanged them in the hill before the Lord."
The king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul ... And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD. 2 Samuel 21:8-9
And that satisfied God so that he quit starving the Israelites to death.
And after that God was intreated for the land. 2 Samuel 21:14

The Bible doesn't say how many Israelites were starved to death by God during the three year famine. I'll guess 3000 -- 1000 each year for the famine, plus another 7 for Saul's 2 sons and 5 grandsons.

This story (part of it, anyway) is highlighted in The Poverty and Justice Bible. Here are the highlighted words (2 Samuel 21:1-3).
While David was king, there were three years in a row when the nation of Israel could not grow enough food. So David asked the Lord for help, and the Lord answered, "Saul and his family are guilty of murder, because he had the Gibeonites killed.
David called the Gibeonites to him, and he talked with them. He said, "What can I do to make up for what Saul did, so that you'll ask the Lord to be kind to his people again."
And that does sound nice, doesn't it? David is trying to make amends with the Gibeonites for past injustices done by the Israelites. What a model for peace and justice today!
The editors aren't bothered by the idea that God would starve people to death for what their former and now-dead king did long ago.
And they are completely OK with the idea of sacrificing to God the sons and grandsons of the former king to encourage God to "be kind to his people again" (by not starving them to death).
Oh well, I guess they had to find something to highlight in 2 Samuel!

God's next killing: David's mighty men and their amazing killings

05 February 2010

God slowly killed David's baby boy to punish David for adultery

You've probably heard the story about David and Bathsheba. You know, the one where David sees Bathsheba taking a bath, and since he likes what he sees, he has sex with her.
In an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon. And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite? And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her. 2 Samuel 11.2-4

She becomes pregnant with David's child and David sends her husband (Uriah) into the front lines to be killed.
The woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child. 11.5
In the morning … David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah … saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die … And Uriah the Hittite died. 11.14-17
Well, that's not what this story is about. In fact, the killing of Uriah is the only one of David's many killings that God disapproved of. David had Uriah killed and God had nothing to do with it.
The thing that David had done displeased the LORD. 11.27
God was displeased with David for killing Uriah and taking his wife, but he forgave him for it.
The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die. 12.13
Still, God had to do something to show his displeasure. Here's what he decided to do: he'd have David's wives raped by his neighbor while everyone else watches.
Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun. 12.11
It turns out that the "neighbor" that God sends to do his dirty work is David's own son, Absalom.
Ahithophel said unto Absalom, Go in unto thy father's concubines, which he hath left to keep the house … So they spread Absalom a tent upon the top of the house; and Absalom went in unto his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel. 2 Samuel 16.21-22
But that didn't quite do it. David had caused God's enemies to blaspheme, so God had to give them something else to blaspheme about. But what?

Kill the baby, that's what.
Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die. 12.14
And that's what God did, but not all at once. He let the baby suffer for a while.
The LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. 12.15
When God made the baby sick, David pleaded with God to stop tormenting him. But God wouldn't listen.
David therefore besought God for the child; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. 12.16
Finally, after the baby suffered for seven days, God killed him.
On the seventh day, that the child died. 12.18
After the baby died, David washed, got dressed, had a nice meal, and worshiped the God who killed his son.
David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the LORD, and worshipped: then he ... did eat. 12.20
The story has a happy ending, though. After Bathsheba's baby boy is killed by God, David comforts her by going "in unto her." (He's such a nice guy!)
David comforted Bathsheba his wife, and went in unto her. 12.24a
And Bathsheba conceives and bears another son (Solomon).
And she bare a son, and he called his name Solomon. 12.24b
And God loved Solomon.
And the LORD loved him. 12.24c
(He probably said to himself, as the Brick Testament suggests, “I don’t think I’ll kill this one.”)


04 February 2010

God killed Uzzah for trying to keep the ark from falling

The ark of the Lord is nothing but trouble.

Remember when the Philistines had it? God plagued them with hemorrhoids in their secret parts, so they sent it from one city after another trying to keep God away from their asses.

The Philistines finally got rid of the damned thing by giving God five golden hemorrhoids and sending the ark to Bethshemesh. But then they looked into the ark (all of them?), so God killed 50,070 Bethshemeshites.

And now David decides to bring the ark back to Jerusalem. During the trip David and his gang of 30,000 were madly singing and dancing away, when the oxen stumbled and the ark started to fall. Uzzah reached out and tried to steady the cart and, in so doing, touched the ark of the Lord. So God, of course, had to kill him.
That was the condensed version. Here's the story from the Bible.
David gathered together all the chosen men of Israel, thirty thousand. And David arose, and went with all the people that were with him from Baale of Judah, to bring up from thence the ark of God, whose name is called by the name of the LORD of hosts that dwelleth between the cherubims. And they set the ark of God upon a new cart, and brought it out of the house of Abinadab that was in Gibeah: and Uzzah and Ahio, the sons of Abinadab, drave the new cart. And they brought it out of the house of Abinadab which was at Gibeah, accompanying the ark of God: and Ahio went before the ark. And David and all the house of Israel played before the LORD on all manner of instruments made of fir wood, even on harps, and on psalteries, and on timbrels, and on cornets, and on cymbals. And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it. And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God. 2 Samuel 6:1-7
I guess this was God's way of saying, "Thanks".

God's next killing: David killed two-thirds of the Moabite POWs and enslaved the rest

God helps David smite the Philistines from the front and the rear

Now that Ishbosheth is dead, David is now king of both Israel and Judah, and he's fighting his old friends, the Philistines -- with God's help, of course.

God is David's military adviser. David asked him if he should attack the Philistines, and God said, "Attack: I will help you kill them."
David enquired of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the LORD said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand. 2 Samuel 5.19 
So David attacked and killed the Philistines. After the massacre, David said, "The Lord has burst forth before my enemies like a bursting flood" and he named it "Baalperazim" -- or some stupid name like that.
David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me, as the breach of waters. Therefore he called the name of that place Baalperazim. 5.20 
When they finished slaughtering the Philistines at Baalperazim, David asked God if they should do it again. And God said, "Yeah, let's do it again. Only this time attack from behind when you hear troops marching in the tree tops."
When David enquired of the LORD, he said, Thou shalt not go up; but fetch a compass behind them, and come upon them over against the mulberry trees. Then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. And let it be, when thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees, that then thou shalt bestir thyself: for then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host of the Philistines. 5.23-24 
God, I tell you, is a military genius!

So David waited until he heard noises in the mulberry trees and then followed God, smiting the Philistines from behind.
And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines. 5.25 
The Bible doesn't say how many Philistines died in these two killings, so I'll just give it the usual 1000 for each.

God's next killing: Uzzah for trying to keep the ark from falling