Thursday, May 13, 2010

1 Samuel, Chapters 23-25

Chapter 23

David notices that the Philistines are staging cross-border raids and asks god if he should smite them. God: affirmative. His men are reluctant to leave Judeah, so he goes to god again, who promises they'll win. That gives them the motivation they need for smiting.

Saul finds out that David is staying in a walled city and decides to besiege him there. David hears about this and asks his divining coin if Saul is going to capture him. Coin: affirmative. David goes and hides in the wilderness in Ziph, where he and Saul engage in a game of hide-and-seek. Jonathan manages to slip away to strengthen his hand in God (v. 16) and make a covenant.

Unfortunately, the people of Ziph, probably seeking cash, go and tell Saul where David's at. Saul asks them to do some reconnoissance so he can attack. David, however, has moved on to Maon. Saul follows, and eventually they're climbing up opposite sides of the same hill. David tries to scamper off, but Saul's men surround him. Just as he's about to capture his prey, however, a messenger comes and tells Saul the Philistines have invaded. So Saul and David end up leaving separately. It's like a really bad film.

Chapter 24

Saul comes back from fighting the Philistines and pursues David into the wilderness of Engedi. At some point, Saul goes into a cave to uh, relieve himself, and lo and behold! David and his men are lined up along the sides. David's men point out that god said this would happen, and Saul must be mighty absorbed in whatever he's doing that he doesn't notice them, or that David cuts a hunk out of his robe. He feels bad about this, because according to Jerry Falwell it was really disrespectful to tear people's clothes back then, and tells his men not to attack him. Saul must have the bladder of a racehorse, because it's only then that he zips up and leaves.

David follows after him and calls out. When Saul turns, he bows and asks him where he heard he was out to hurt him, because he was in that cave and didn't hurt him. He shows him the cloth as proof of how close he got. He asks him to let god be the judge in this dispute. Saul weeps in response. He admits he's been acting crazy and that David will be king. He only asks him not to cut off his line. Given that David's married to his daughter, that would be difficult. David agrees and Saul leaves again.

Chapter 25

Saul dies and David heads for Raban to mourn him. On the way, he passes through Carmel, in Maon, where a rich man lives. The man's name is Nabal and he's very surly but he has a hot young wife named Abigail. Anyway, David sends some of his men down to Nabal to remind them that the whole time he was in Maon, he left him alone, and now it's festival season, so he should return the favour. Wow, he's kind of a mob boss here, isn't he?

Nabal claims never to have heard of David and refuses to be shaken down. The men go back to David, so they load up with armament and head back down. One of Nabal's servants goes to Abigail to tell her what happened. Abigail secretly gathers food and tells them to give it to David and his men without telling Nabal. She rides out on her ass, and meets him. We overhear a bit of his conversation vowing to kill Nabal and all his men. When Abigail is close enough, she jumps off the donkey and prostrates herself. She begs him to spare her husband. David, taken by her comeliness, decides not to kill all the men of Nabal's household and sends her home. She finds Nabal partying, and doesn't say anything until the following morning. When she does say something, he's paralyzed by the news. God kills him ten days later.

David hears about it and is happy that god is killing his enemies for him. He then asks Abigail to marry him. She agrees eagerly. He also takes another wife, Ahinaom. Meanwhile, Saul has given his first wife away.

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