Monday, April 11, 2011

2 Samuel 5-9

2 Samuel 5-9

David puts a hit out on the blind and lame.
David goes to war against, well, almost everyone.

The ark is moved and, while trying to steady it is touched my a mere mortal.  The do-gooder is of course killed for trying to help.


  1. OK, so the ark is about to fall over and Uzzah (probably instinctively) reaches out to steady it and .... BAM - he's killed by god. Having read this far I can only imagine the carnage that would have ensued had the big guy's precious ark actually fallen over. Good grief!

    I say good on David for being 'displeased' ... and for letting the ark sit for three months. I would've recommended leaving it there for good!!

  2. We've reached the point to which I'd previously read, so from here on out it's all brand new to me.

    Starting now, 2nd Samuel contains heavy parallels to Kings- many many passages occur nearly identically in both. You really need an annotated bible to keep track. Apparently both sources (i.e. the Deuteronomic history and the Chronicles) shared the same source. But very interesting differences exist.

    Just ONE example:

    2Sa 7:7 In all [the places] wherein I have walked with all the children of Israel spake I a word with any of the [b]tribes[/b] of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people Israel, saying, Why build ye not me an house of cedar?

    1Ch 17:6 Wheresoever I have walked with all Israel, spake I a word to any of the [b]judges[/b] of Israel, whom I commanded to feed my people, saying, Why have ye not built me an house of cedars?

    Sammy says "tribes", Chronicles says "judges". What was the original? Which one was changed, and why? (I have no idea.)

    By the way, this passage is about God saying that he's "never dwelt in a house", ie temple, but back in 1st Sammy the ark was of course housed at a temple in Shiloh.

    I absolutely love the scene where Michal looks out here window and sees David prancing and mincing in front of the Ark, and she's all like "omg, I almost married that guy." Dude's just gotta dance!

    Chapter 9 actually begins the famous "Court History of David", which is generally considered a pretty awesome chunk of ancient history. (It's all of chapters 9-20, then after an interruption, 1st Kings 1-2.)

  3. The part about God wanting a house of cedar like everyone else was kind of cute. It seems to me to be a case a god "changing with the times" from tent dwelling nomads, to city/house dwellers.

    BTW I have switched from KJV (Skeptic's Annotated Bible) to NIV (Archaeological Study Bible). I became tired of the archaic language. Although I would prefer the New English Bible, I can't find it readable online. If anyone knows a link, post it please. :) I just don't feel like buying another Bible.

  4. Okay, uh, when I said 2nd Samuel contains parallel passages to Kings, I meant 1st Chronicles. Oops.

    And when I said the Court History of David contained history, I meant "history". As in, mostly fictional "historical" narrative. Good shit yo.

    And as for the NEB, while I have championed it, I'm gradually becoming disillusioned. The prose is great, but it's choices are sometimes bizarre. For instance, it harmonizes 2nd Samuel to match Chronicles, which is unacceptable manipulation of the text IMHO. (The H stands for "haughty".) It also privileges the Septuagint over the masoretic text, which would be okay but if they pointed out the differences consistently.

    Eventually I need to do a translation comparison, to find the best one (by my criteria), but that will be difficult. I'm pretty sure nothing less than a four column MT/english/LXX/english would satisfy me.

  5. To Abbie: Yuck to harmonizing! I look forward to seeing the result of your comparison.

  6. 5:8 And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

    WTF? I'm sure there's a "rational explanation"

  7. BTW for interest 2 Samuel 8:18 has in the KJV
    18And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over both the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and David's sons were chief rulers.

    However the actual Hebrew for 'chief rulers' is 'Kohanim' which means 'priests' so this verse is saying David's sons were priests (remember David is of the house of Judah not Levi and not Aaron).

    The corresponding verse in 1 Chronicles 18
    17And Benaiah the son of Jehoiada was over the Cherethites and the Pelethites; and the sons of David were chief about the king

    uses a different word that does not means priest.

  8. In scripture the title cohanim applied to the officers of state, as well as to the ministers of the sanctuary, thus, David's sons are said to have been cohanim. That they were not ministers of the sanctuary is certain, because they were of the tribe of Judah, not of Levi, to which tribe the ecclesiastical ministry was by the law expressly limited. Their being called cohanim, therefore, can mean no other than as our translators (KJV) render the word, chief rulers, or principal officers of state. And so indeed this title seems to be explained in the parallel place in Chronicles, where the sons of David are said to have been hamluniim lejadh hammelek, primi ad maman regis 'chief ruler about David' (2 Samuel 20:26)
    But more commonly the title, cohanim, is commonly given to the minister of the sanctuary, who offered sacrifices, and otherwise officiated in the public worship. Hence arises that uncertainty, whether Potipherah and Jethro, the former the father-in-law of Joseph, the latter of Moses, were ecclesiastical or civil persons; which our translators have expressed by calling them priests in the text, and prince in the margin, Gen 41:45; Exodus 2:16. The true reason of the different application of the word, cohanim, seems to be, that in the primary sense it imports those that minister to a king. They who were lejadh hammelek, about the king, or his ministers, were called his cohanim
    The above from The Freethinking Christians' quarterly Vol II 1825 pg 54

    I added the KJV in the above, it's not in the original.

  9. Except the previous verse
    "And Zadok the son of Ahitub, and Ahimelech the son of Abiathar, were the priests; and Seraiah was the scribe;"

    has kohanim meaning priests as in at the temple and it seems odd that two adjacent verses use the same word for different meanings. I'm actually inclined to think scribal error (someone substituted kohanim, which they had just written in the previous line, for the word they should have used) with Chronicles retaining the original. I took a look and could not find anywhere else where kohanim was used for king's minister but definitely not a priest (or even some where that was iffy). Note btw that both Potipherah and Jethro were (a) non-Jews and (b) before the establishment of the Aaronic priesthood. You might also want to consider Melchizedek.

  10. While recording the 2nd Sammy podcast tonight, I was rather disappointed to realize that the difference between the words for "tribes" and "judges" is one letter, so it's probably scribal error. Still raises the question: which is the error?

    There are 273 uses of כהנים (kohanim) and 460 of the singular כהן. I don't feel like checking every single one, because I'm pretty sure it just meant "priest". I'm assuming the KJV translated it differently here only to harmonize it with Chronicles.

    The only other place the KJV translates kohan as "chief ruler" is here:

    2Sa 20:26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.

    I know this is part of a passage that has a parallel in either kings or chronicles, but I don't have my study bible in front of me...

  11. @Dmitri,
    It seems to me to be a case a god "changing with the times"

    I don't see where God was changing? Was it not David that said he would build a house for the ark of God? (2 Samuel 7:2) If it was God changing wouldn't it be God saying "hey guys build me a house of cedar as well!"? Yet God does the opposite, doesn't He?

    BTW I have switched from KJV (Skeptic's Annotated Bible) to NIV (Archaeological Study Bible).

    All i can say is you have done yourself a great disservice. If you were going to switch to a book from the disinformation campaign, then why not the LOLCat bible?

    Just for fun see if your version has the following verses.

    Matthew 17:21
    Matthew 18:11
    Matthew 23:14
    Mark 7:16
    Mark 9:44
    Mark 9:46
    Mark 11:26
    Mark 15:28
    Luke 17:36
    Luke 23:17
    John 5:4
    Acts 8:37
    Acts 15:34
    Acts 24:7
    Acts 28:29
    Romans 16:24
    1 John 5:7

    Also with your new version do you know what you were called to or for in Matthew 9:13? Much more can be said about things missing.

    As a Christian i must say from my POV we all live in the longest war ever. So many are so unaware that it's even going on and they are active participants in it. God preserved His Word, some people just don't like the way He did it. :-D
    I will be honest the KJV was hard for me to read at first. However i encourage you to stick with it. An added benefit is it will help you if you ever read old documents from early American history. :-)

  12. @Erp,

    What's your point? What i presented was an explanation for different meanings of the word. Do you know something that would change the meaning after the covenant?

    As for Melchizedek i know just a little. He was king of Salem and priest of the most high God (Genesis 14:18). He is also mentioned in Psalms 110:4 speaking of Jesus Christ. Paul gave the church some strong meat and talked of Jesus Christ being of the order of Melchizedek (spelled Melchisedec) in Hebrews several times, check chapters 5,6,7 (some don't think Hebrews was written by Paul).

    If you know more about Melchizedek i would like to read about it.

  13. My point is that there is some evidence that the meaning 'officers of state' was created well after the fact to explain the apparent contradiction of someone who was not a descendant of Aaron being called a priest.

    There are two other options, first that others could be priests and second that we have an error of copying. The other verse that Abbie mentions

    2Sa 20:26 And Ira also the Jairite was a chief ruler about David.

    is also preceded by a verse with a non-controversial use of the word

    2Sa 20:25 And Sheva [was] scribe: and Zadok and Abiathar [were] the priests

    Why did KJV choose the word they did for Ira's position as Kohen.

  14. @Erp,

    The Great Bible of 1539 and the Geneva Bible 1587 both use chief rulers.

    The easy explanation, and the one i think makes the most sense, is that the word means more than religious priest, and the translators knew what word in English would convey the type of title these men had. Other than that i don't know why else they chose those words.