Saturday, March 15, 2014

Bible for Dummies - Chapter 9, Part 3

In this episode, we look at the end of Saul's reign as King over Israel, and the beginning of David's reign.  Listen to the class audio and follow along on the class notes provided below.

We begin in 1 Samuel 18...

Addendum to Last Week: Re: David’s Age when he was Anointed by Samuel... and when David Fought Goliath

·      In the scholastic world, there is no consensus on how old David was when he was anointed to be King of Judah by Samuel (See 1 Samuel 16:13)

·      Working backward though…we know that the battle with Goliath happened AFTER David
was anointed by Samuel…so we can deduce some facts from the account of the battle between David and Goliath.

o   Jesse had 8 sons (1 Samuel 17:12), David being the youngest (1 Samuel 16:11)

o   Three of Jesse’s sons were in Saul’s army when the army faced the Philistines (1 Samuel 17:13)

o   To serve in the army a young man would need to be at least 20 years old. So at their very youngest (assuming none were twins), the three serving in the army would have been 22, 21, and 20 years old.
o   Given the age of the older brothers, the maximum age of the rest of the brothers, assuming their mother had one son every year, would have been 19, 18, 17, and 16.

o   Thus, David, at the very oldest would have been 15 when he would have fought Goliath.
o   Note: the range of age given by most scholars is between 10-15.  “15” based on deductions, above.

o   However, my sense is that David is younger than 13, the age of manhood at the Bar Mitzvah. This is based on the above, PLUS the addition to what we read in 1 Samuel 17:33 – “Saul said to David, ‘You are not able to go against this Philistine to fight with him; for you are just a boy, and he has been a warrior from his youth.’”

o   “Boy” = Hebrew: naar which primarily connotes a young boy…one who has yet to be “bar mitzvahed”, which happens when a boy turns 13.

o   Conclusion: More than likely, David was 12 years or younger when he fought David… and even younger than that when Samuel anointed him as King.

Now…back to our original story…

Foreskins and Fathers-in-law – 1 Samuel 18-24

** Tensions between David and Saul began immediately following David slaying Goliath.

·      On their victory parade and homecoming, the women welcomed Saul home “singing and dancing” (1 Samuel 18:6-7).

·      However, though they praised Saul for the victory, they noted that it was really David who deserved the credit. See 1 Samuel 18:7

·      Saul was not only angry, but in his anger he opened the door for an “evil spirit” to enter his heart (1 Samuel 18:8, 10)

·      Because Saul was afraid of David, he conspired to skewer David, but David eluded him twice.

·      Saul then removes David from being an armor-bearer, and appoints David to be the commander of part of his army. Why? Saul thought that David would be killed in action against the Philistines. (Note: what does David do later in his life when he desired Bathsheba?)

Finding that Perfect Gift: David proves his love for Michal

** Saul’s daughter, Michal, loved David…so Saul thought he could use this to his advantage.

·      Saul informs David that he is to receive Michal as his wife.

·      David, though, since he came from a poor shepherd, had no way of providing the proper gift to the King.

·      So Saul told David (through his servants) that the gift could be 100 Philistines foreskins.

·      So David killed 100 Philistines and brought their foreskins to David…all out of love for Michal.

·      Realizing that God had given David this victory, and that his daughter truly loved David, and that even Jonathan was extolling David’s virtues, Saul was even more intimidated by David.

·      And the conspiracy grew.

Man on the Run: David flees from his father-in-law

·      David becomes engaged to Michal…and Saul grew even more evil in his intentions with David.

·      Michal, however, advised David to run, knowing that Saul was going to kill him.

·      She lowered David down from their window, David ran away.

·      Michal then fabricated a dummy so when Saul’s men came to take David to Saul, David had escaped.

·      To say the least, Saul was not happy with Michal.

** David ran to Samuel. The two of them left Ramah for Naioth.

·      David meets with Jonathan, asking Jonathan why Saul was trying to kill him.

·      David hides in a field while Jonathan discover the truth: Saul wants to kill David.

·      Not only does Saul turn on David, but he turns on Jonathan (1 Samuel 20:30ff)

·      Jonathan tells David to flee. So David goes to Nob to see Ahimilech, a priest.

·      Ahimilech gives David the sword of Goliath. David flees so Saul won’t kill him.

** David then goes to Gath, Goliath’s homeland.

·      David arrives at Gath where Achish is king.

·      David pretends to be crazy so Achish won’t kill him. The strategy works, and David is allowed to continue on his journey.

** David’s father and brothers hear of his situation, so they rally to meet David.

·      In fleeing, David lives with other outcasts (400), becoming their “captain” (1 Samuel 22:2)

·      Along the way, David asks the king of Moab to give asylum to David’s father and mother. David and his family stay in Moab for a while.

·      Then, the prophet of Gad instructed David to flee to Judah (David’s tribal land). David left for Hereth

** Meanwhile, Saul turns more and more evil.

·      Saul hears that Ahimilech had helped David. So Saul sends for Ahimilech. Ahimilech speaks the truth to Saul…that Saul has no cause to harm David.

·      So Saul does the natural thing…he declares that Ahimilech and his entire household will be put to death. But the servants of Saul would not harm the priest nor his household.

·      But Doeg the Edomite – a pagan - did as Saul demanded…he and the Edomites killed the priests, except Abiathar, who escapes into the wilderness.

** Thus, David and his band, along with Abiathar seeks refuge in the Judean Wilderness…specifically in En Gedi. (1 Samuel 24, Psalm 42)

·      David has an opportunity to kill Saul, who is chasing David in order to kill him.

·      Rather than killing Saul, David, while Saul is relieving himself in a cave – where he does not know David is hiding, cuts a swatch from Saul’s cloak rather than killing the king.

·      When it was safe and Saul was down the valley, David appears…declaring his refusal to kill Saul, but asking Saul why he is trying to kill David.

·      David’s actions – specifically his refusal to exact some revenge – moves Saul, who then professes an understanding that the Lord’s hand is on David to be king.  Then Saul asks David to pledge that David will not kill Saul’s descendants.

·      David made that vow.

·      Saul left and David returned to the wilderness.

** Then, in an almost throwaway line, the Bible says, “Now Samuel died; and all Israel assembled and mourned for him.” (1 Samuel 25:1)

·      Note: This is the end of an era: the rule of the Judges/Prophets in Israel.

Read Psalm 42

The Adventures of David and his Merry Men – 1 Samuel 25-30

** David and his followers live doing odd jobs, including protecting the flocks and possessions of Nabal.

·      However, Nabal decides to withhold pay from David. So David gives a prophetic word ot his men about Nabal’s demise.

·      Nabal’s wife, Abigail, learns of David’s prophecy and goes to David to plead for her husband’s life and offers gifts to him for appeasement.  Of course, she also called her husband a “fool”, much to David’s delight, we gather.

·      Abigail asks for forgiveness and gives David a blessing. David accepts.

·      Then, when Abigail told Nabal her story, he has a heart attack and dies.

** Then David “woos” Abigail…they marry…then David marries Ahinoam.

** David remains in the wilderness with his family and band of men.

** He hears that Saul is coming to find and kill him. So David sends spies to find Saul’s encampment.

·      Once they are found, David and Abishai sneak into the camp while Saul is sleeping.

·      David steals Saul’s spear and his water jug laying next to Saul’s head.

·      Abishai thinks David should kill Saul, but David will not take the life of the “Lord’s anointed”, but, again, prophecies that God will take Saul’s life (1 Samuel 26:10)

·      David and Abashai leave the camp and hide. Then David calls for Saul’s son, Abner, to ridicule him in front of everyone that Abner had not done his duty of watching over Saul.

·      Once again, after being confronted with the mercy of David, Saul repents of his intentions.

·      From there…David takes his band (now up to 600 men) and goes to Philistia. Saul returns to his home and does not pursue David again.

How the Mighty Have Fallen: The Deaths of Samuel, Saul and Jonathan

** Later, the Philistines were planning an attack on Saul (1 Samuel 28:1) and David considered joining it. But the Philistine kings could not agree that David would be on their side, so David stayed home even though Achish, king of one of the Philistine tribes, had said that David would fight with them since Achish had allowed David to live in his land.

** With Samuel’s death (earlier: 1 Samuel 25:1), Saul had no word from God whether he should fight the Philistines.

·      Saul prayed…but God did not answer.

·      So Saul devised a plan to seek Samuel’s counsel. Saul engaged a medium at Endor (even though Saul had outlawed all activities of mediums at the penalty of death).

·      Saul disguised himself, went to the medium, and she “saw Samuel” (in a vision from the Lord – note that Samuel didn’t literally appear to her), she knew that disguised man was actually Saul.

·      Saul, with his face to the ground (1 Samuel 28:14) had a conversation with “Samuel.”

·      The voice/vision of Samuel declares that Saul and his sons will die the next day at the hands of the Philistines (1 Samuel 28:19) because God has rejected Saul as king due to his disobedience.

** Sure enough, the next day the Philistines go to Jezreel where they engaged the army of Israel. (1 Samuel 31)

·      Most of the soldiers fled (v. 1), and the Philistines captured Saul and his sons.

·      All three sons died (v. 2)

·      Archers found a badly wounded Saul. Saul asked his armor-bearer to kill him so Saul would not be captured, but the armor-bearer could not.

·      So Saul fell on his sword committing suicide (v. 4) The armor-bearer soon followed in like manner.

·      The Philistines found Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa. They cut off Saul’s head, thentook all four bodies to Beth-Shean (v. 12) and hung the bodies on the city wall.

·      But Israelites from Jabesh-Gilead recovered the bodies, returned to Jabesh and burned the bodies.

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