Thursday, April 14, 2011

2 Samuel 10-12, 13-16, 17-20, 21-24

I'm out of commission until Monday.

Please keep reading and I'll repost these sections so we can discuss in detail.

Consider this a biblical spring break!


  1. Though not strictly about the recent passages I think Jay Sklar has a very helpful explanation about the place of Leviticus as the storyline of how Scripture unfolds:

    . . . [I]t is vital to remember that Leviticus is part of a much larger story, especially the one told in Exodus.

    You could tell that story like this:

    In Exodus the Lord delivers his people from slavery with mighty signs and wonders (1-15) and brings them to Sinai (16-19), telling them there that they are to be his “kingdom of priests and holy nation.”

    He confirms their kingdom status by entering into a covenant with them as their king and giving them kingdom laws to follow (20-24).

    But that is not all! He is going to be a king who is near to them, dwelling in their very midst, and this is why he proceeds to give them directions for his tabernacle, his earthly palace (25-31, 35-40).

    And all of this leads to a very burning question if you’re an Israelite:

    How in the world can the holy and pure king of the universe dwell among his sinful and impure people? How can he live here—in our very midst—without his holiness melting us in our sin and impurity?!

    Answer: Leviticus, which begins by explaining the sacrifices that address sin and enable them to worship this king rightly (Leviticus 1-7).

    Answer: Leviticus, which provides them with priests to intercede on their behalf and lead them in worship before the king (Leviticus 8-10).

    Answer: Leviticus, which gives them laws to teach them how to deal properly with impurity (Leviticus 11-15).

    Answer: Leviticus, which provides a yearly ceremony to remove every last ounce of sin and impurity from the kingdom (Leviticus 16).

    Answer, Leviticus, which provides a whole series of laws in other areas to direct them in living like a “kingdom of priests and a holy nation” (Leviticus 17-27).

  2. Anyone else *really* enjoy the court history of David (chapters 9-20). How nice to have such a long stretch of text that's internally consistent. No contradictions, no genealogies, plots build nicely. Kind of the exception that proves the rule.

  3. Oh yes though David doesn't come over too well: adultery (and arranging the death of the husband), failure to punish one son for rape, injustice (Ziba and Mephibosheth, Ziba had lied about Mephibosheth's actions towards David and got originally all his land and then when the lying was revealed, half his land).

  4. Quite right, Erp. In some evangelical churches they emphasize Biblical characters as those to be emulated (Daniel, David, etc.) but they often overlook what you point out. And it shows again the remarkable internal consistency of the scriptural narrative in showing character as flawed and sinful. You would expect to read about great, triumphant, moral men but instead you see stories like David. Stories that point to God's holiness. When we get to the New Testament will we see this plenty more with the apostles.

  5. Chronicles depiction of David and others is somewhat different. You won't find the story of Bathsheba there or of Absalom or of Rizpah keeping watch over her sons' bodies and those of her step-grandsons after David handed them over to the Gibeonites to be killed for the crimes of Saul and to end a drought.

    "Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds touch them by day or the wild animals by night."

    (apparently this was about 5 months)

  6. Of course, because I listen to NPR at work, because i'm cool like that.

    On the followup they shared a comment by an atheist who basically said what most of us do: the KJV is pretty neat.

    Somebody should plug The King and I in the comments!

  7. @Abbie - I *knew* you were cool like that! So here's another for you:

    When the King Saved God An unbeliever argues that our language and culture are incomplete without a 400-year-old book—the King James translation of the Bible. Spurned by the Establishment, it really represents a triumph for rebellion and dissent. Accept no substitutes!
    By Christopher Hitchens