31 January 2010

David kills the messenger

The first verse of Second Samuel is this:
Now it came to pass after the death of Saul, when David was returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites, and David had abode two days in Ziklag. 2 Samuel 1.1
That's right. Second Samuel begins with David returning "from the slaughter of the Amalekites." It's hard to see how David could have found any Amalekites to slaughter since Saul killed them all just a little while before (65), but maybe God created some more Amalekites just so David could slaughter them again. He might have. He's the type.

In any case, when David came back from slaughtering Amalekites, a messenger was waiting for him. And who do you think the messenger was? That's right, an Amalekite!
I am an Amalekite. 1.8
The Amalekite told David that when Saul was mortally wounded, he asked him to put him out of his misery. So he did. Then he removed Saul's bracelet and crown and brought them to David.
So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord. 1.10
When David heard this, he and all of his men "rent their clothes" (Bible folks are always doing that).
Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him. 1.11
David then thanked the Amalekite for his kindness by having one of his "young men fall upon him."

David called one of the young men, and said, Go near, and fall upon him. And he smote him that he died. 1.15 (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.)


Laughing Boy said...

What's wrong with God taking life?

Robert said...

Hi Laughing Boy,

If we are not in a position to judge God, I suppose we should have no problem when he takes any life for any reason in any way he chooses.

But the truth is we are in a position to judge him ... as soon as he demands worship and allegiance.

Think about it: If we cannot judge God, we cannot judge him to be good, and if we cannot judge him to be good, what use is there saying that he actually is good (i.e. worship) when in fact we can't make that judgement?

Most people are willing to worship a god who takes life, but it must not contradict his goodness. And that is where we have to judge; otherwise, we might end up worshiping an evil (made-up?) god.

So I think judgment on Yahweh's many killings is an important step to genuinely worshiping him. If you (or I) cannot justify the slaughters and yet we worship him, we'd better have a darn good reason. Without a good reason, we might as well put the names of a few dozen gods and devils in the hat, close our eyes and pick one to follow.

My 2 cents.

Matthew Blanchette said...

Really? You seriously have to ask that question?

twillight said...

@Laughing Boy, what's wrong with I taking Your life?

skanksta said...

Yeah !
Especially Amalekite "life"!

busterggi said...

What's wrong with god creating life then deciding he hates it & wants it destroyed?

If you can figure that out you'll have your answer.

Isa Pjotr said...

1:8 And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.

31:4 Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.

10:14 And enquired not of the LORD: therefore he slew him, and turned the kingdom unto David the son of Jesse.

My powers of deduction provide one logical scenario whereby all this makes sense. Namely: God, who is an Amalekite, took the form of a sword and mentally influenced Saul to stab himself with it. Brilliant!

Autumn said...

I miss Brucker

skanksta said...

I miss Brucker too

Unknown said...

i thought saul was dead when he fell on his own sword, and it says the armor-bearer saw saul is dead, and the statement in the end confirms that saul and his three sons were dead, so this amalekite tells another scenario, so either he lied or the statement on how saul were dead is false??

Anonymous said...

I understand why the Amalekites would have to be killed several times. Remember when Jacob reunited with his brother Esau. He created a quick strategy that included splitting up his entourage into groups so they would not all be killed. Lets pretend Esau slayed the first group of Jacob's peoples. He would tell the story as if he slaughtered Jacob and all his descendants, not being aware of the others.
With painful knowledge of the brutal slaughter of their family, surviving descendants would nurse grudges and unimaginable hate for Esau and his people, eventually avenging Jacob and the deceased with war against Esau descendants. Each new generation would pass on ancient hate, sorta like the middle east. Unless someone points out the foolishness of it all, like for instance someone like Jesus. Read the bible and learn the lessons! Some can't see the forest because of the historical reliability trees.