The Pool of Gibeon

The Pool of Gibeon, where Ishmael dumped the bodies of seventy men he murdered after he murdered Gedaliah, governor of Judah.

The Pool of Gibeon, where Ishmael dumped the bodies of seventy men he murdered after he murdered Gedaliah, governor of Judah.

In 2 Samuel chapter 2, a battle ensued at Gibeon in which Abner and the servants of Saul’s son Ish-bosheth were defeated by the servants of David.  There was a meeting at the “pool of Gibeon” prior to that.  This pool was also the location where Ishmael deceived and slaughtered the seventy in Jeremiah 41.

Excavations at Gibeon (located about 6 miles from Jerusalem at tel el-jib) revealed an elaborate water system. One part of that system is a huge circular shaft (37 feet in diameter).  It was cut into the bedrock about 82 feet deep.  At the bottom of it, there was the water table that formed a pool. The pool was reached by a staircase that was also cut into the limestone. More information can be found in this article at Ferrell’s Travel Blog.

Tomorrow, we start week 8 in our reading schedule.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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Blog name changed / Week 21 Summary Posted

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, ...

English: Solomon and the Plan for the Temple, as in 1 Kings 6, illustration from a Bible card published by the Providence Lithograph Company (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Since “we” write under the pseudonym “Bob’s boy,” it makes more sense for the name of this blog to be “Bob’s boy’s Christianity blog.”  So that change has been made.  We have blogged through 1 and 2 Samuel, and will soon start turning from David to his son, Solomon.  Solomon is known for his wisdom.  We will learn that there is much more to his story than being the wisest man.  We’ll start with 1 Kings tomorrow.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 21 (May Week 3) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about 2 Samuel 5, 6, 7, 11 and 12, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 19 – Joab Rebukes David

David’s mourning over Absalom is causing the victorious to slink away, hide in their homes, and wonder about the leadership of their king.  Joab rebukes David for this sharply, telling him that he is mourning those that despise him and showing contempt for those who had fought so valiantly for him.  David was going to lose them all – and the kingdom (verses 3-7).  So David pulls himself together and goes to the city gate to meet, greet, and show that he is in control now.

David replaces Joab as commander with Amasa in a surprise move.  It could partly be for Joab’s disregarding his instructions about Absalom, but verses 11-15 seem to indicate it was a move intended to help re-unify the country.  In verses 25-30, Mephibosheth seems convincing when he tells David that Ziba had slandered him in 2 Samuel 16:3.  David seems unsure who to believe, so he tells him he will divide the land when between them.  Mephibosheth lends himself even more credence when he replies that Ziba can just take it all.  It is enough that David had returned.  But we are in even less position to judge this than David was.

Shimei is pardoned for his treasonous actions in 2 Samuel 16:5-13, as he brings David a thousand men from the tribe of Benjamin, and David (to the disappointment of his mighty men) declares that he will not die.  This chapter tells of much strife between Israel and Judah; and the dispute will only worsen in the coming years (verses 9-15, 41-43).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 18 – Absalom Killed

English: Gustave Doré : David mourning Absalom...

English: Gustave Doré : David mourning Absalom. Français : Extrait de la Bible illustrée de Gustave Doré : David inconsolable de la mort d’Absalom. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So David gathered his forces and re-supplied, and now these experienced warriors were ready to go on the offensive.  David divided the troops into three – command by Joab, Abishai, and Ittai the Gittite.  he sent them on their way with the admonition to “deal gently” with Absalom (verse 5).  The battle took place in the forest of Ephraim and spread over the face of the country – and twenty thousand were killed (verse 7-8).  In a freak accident, Absalom got stuck in the limbs of an oak (verse 9), and a man saw and told Joab.

Despite David’s instructions, Joab wasted no time in killing Absalom.  Probably he feared that if left alive, Absalom would have the chance to rise up again.  Verse 17-18 contrast the monument that Absalom in vanity had set up for himself with the anonymous pit covered with a pile of rocks that Joab and his men threw him into.

David’s immense grief in verses 31-33 serve as an exclamation point for us in the punishment predicted in 2 Samuel 12:10.

Photo of Absalom's Tomb in Kidron Valley - 1860s

Photo of Absalom’s Tomb in Kidron Valley – 1860s (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

The monument known as “Absalom’s Tomb” we see today in the Kidron Valley in Jerusalem is a structure that was built in a later period – possibly during the Roman rule.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 17 – Hushai Saves David

The Banquet of Absalom attributed to Niccolò d...

The Banquet of Absalom attributed to Niccolò de Simone around 1650 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Ahithophel continues his counsel, and he tells Absalom to let him choose twelve thousand men and pursue David tonight, while he is weary and discouraged.  He says he will throw them into a panic and all the people will flee.  All he needs to do is kill David and everyone else will “be at peace” and fall in line.  It was very sound advice and no doubt would be successful.  But Absalom calls for the advice of Hushai as well.  Hushai compares David and his mighty men to  an enraged bear “robbed of her cubs,” and says that even now  warriors are ready to strike (verses 7-8).  But mostly, he appeals to Absalom’s ego –  it should be Absalom gathering all the people of Israel and leading the attack himself, and David would not have a chance.

Absalom and all the elders of Israel decided this was the course to take.  Verse 14 says that “the Lord had ordained to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, so that the Lord might bring harm upon Absalom.”   Ahithophel knew that once this decision was made, and his advice would not be followed, that time would now be on David’s side; and though David’s force was out-numbered (he was without much of the army – see verse 1), Absalom’s forces would be out-matched once these warriors had time to re-group and plan.

Hushai got word to Abiathar and Zadok, and they sent Ahimaaz and Jonathan to warn David and have him cross over the Jordan and re-gather his forces.  Time was indeed now on David’s side – and Ahithophel got his house in order and killed himself (verse 23).

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 16 – Shimei Curses David

In verses 1-4, we find Ziba, the servant of Mephibosheth meeting up with David.  He has donkeys saddled and much food.  David asks what he is doing and where his master is, and he replies that Mephibosheth is delighted to believe that he is about to inherit his father’s kingdom.  There is much discussion on whether Ziba is lying here; and it is rather suspicious for him to show up with all these much-needed supplies at this time.  But we just don’t know.

Shimei throwing stones at David outside of Bahurim

Shimei throwing stones at David outside of Bahurim (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Then, as David and his men come to Bahurim, Shimei a man from the house of the family of Saul began cursing David and throwing stones at him.  David is surrounded by his “mighty men,” and they grow tired of it.  Abishai offers to go take care of this problem, and he would make short work of it gladly. But David tells everyone to leave Shimei alone.  Perhaps he deserves to be cursed for his sins.  Maybe good will come to him from God later for the wrong done to him.  So Shimei followed them further cursing, stoning, and flinging dirt.  By the time they reach the Jordan, David and his men are weary (verse 14).

Hushai arrives in verse 16 and convinces Absalom that he has defected to his side.  Absalom asks Ahithophel for his counsel, and he tells him to take his father’s concubines, and do it in the sight of all Israel so that he will be a “stench” to David after that.  So he takes them on the roof, fulfilling the prophecy from 2 Samuel 12:11-12.  Ahithophel knew that once he did that, there would be no turning back for Absalom.  In a kingdom, the one who possesses the royal harem is claiming the kingdom.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 15 – Absalom’s Conspiracy

The trouble in David’s house has already become bad, but it will get worse.  In chapter 13, his son Amnon raped his daughter Tamar.  There just is no other word for what happened.  It was a horrible and detestable act. 2 Samuel 13:21 states that David was very angry, yet he did nothing.   David’s other son Absalom quickly finds out, and he hated Amnon for it.  But he waits 2 full years to plot his revenge, and has Amnon killed.  Absalom fled to Geshur, and was there another 3 three years (2 Samuel 13:38).  In chapter 14, Joab intercedes, and Absalom is allowed to return.  But he must stay in a separate house, and never be in David’s presence (2 Samuel 14:24).  David cannot bring himself to forgive, but he never really punishes him.  This went on for two more years. After Absalom dramatically gets Joab’s attention in 2 Samuel 14:29-31,   He has Joab tell his father to either let him back “in” or put him to death.  So a reconciliation occurs.  Or does it…?

In chapter 15, we find Absalom conspiring to take the throne.His strategy – how he “stole the hearts of the men of Israel” is brilliant in verses 1-7.  This went on for four more years, then he asked David to allow him to go to Hebron to worship the Lord to fulfill a vow.  David allowed it, and he went.  But he sent secret messengers throughout the tribes of Israel to ready for the rebellion to come.  He took 200 men with him, but verse 11 says that they were innocent and did not know what was coming.

Word comes to David, and he knows that if he stays in Jerusalem , Absalom will bring his army to crush him. So he flees the city with his remaining force.  Abiathar and Zadok came with the ark, but David refuses to use it as some sort of “lucky charm,” and sends them back with it, saying that the Lord will bring him back to it and the city if it is His will (verse 26).  In verse 30, David and company reach and ascend the Mount of Olives weeping as they went.  Then he gets more bad news.  Ahithophel, his trusted counselor (and a wise man) has joined Absalom in the conspiracy.  In verse 31, he prays to the Lord to make Ahiphothel’s counsel foolishness. So he send Hushai to Jerusalem to work undercover and report to Abiathar and Zadok, so they can get word to him.   The evil being raised up against him in his own house for his sin with Bathsheba that was prophesied in 2 Samuel 12:11 has reached a new high.

Despite his sin, David has proven to be a great leader and king, as well as a man of God in contrast to Saul.  But chapters 13-14 especially have shown him to be a lousy father.  God’s word does not sugar-coat the heroes of the story of the Bible.  From Noah to Abraham to Jacob, and now David, we see them “warts and all.”  In the end, no matter how favored they are with God, they are just men.  Sinners who need God’s forgiveness – just like us.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

Reading Samuel / Week 20 Summary Posted

English: Uriah the Hittite

English: Uriah the Hittite (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

This week we will begin in 2 Samuel chapter 15, and we see David in his darkest hours as the prophecies of 2 Samuel 12:11-12 of David’s punishment for his sin with Bathsheba and taking the life of Uriah the Hittite.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 20 (May Week 2) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about 1 Samuel 15, 16, 17, 19 and 28, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 12 – Nathan Rebukes David

The Lord has decided that it is time to call David into account for his sin with Bathsheba, so He sends Nathan with the words to rebuke him.  Nathan tells David a moving story about a poor man who had a single lamb that he had loved and raised as one of his own children.  And there was a rich man who didn’t want to take any lamb’s from his own flock for food preparation, so he took the poor man’s beloved lamb to prepare a dinner.

English: Nathan Rebukes David, as in 2 Samuel ...

English: Nathan Rebukes David, as in 2 Samuel 12; watercolor circa 1896–1902 by James Tissot (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David became very angry, saying that this rich man should die for what he has done, and declares that this man will repay “fourfold” for this act “with no pity.” In verse 7, Nathan tells David “You are the man!”  He then proceeds to tell him all that the Lord has done for him, and how David has despised the word of God with this evil.  He has taken Uriah’s wife and stuck him down “with the sword of the Ammonites.”  This point from verse 9 is sometimes missed when we read about God’s anger with David over this.  The Ammonites were some of the very people, God had brought the Israelites to the promised land to get rid of.  Now David has used those people to help him with his evil deed.

The next words from God in verses 10-11 foretell the great anguish David will face  – the sword will never leave his house, and God “will raise up evil against you out of your own house. And I will take your wives before your eyes and give them to your neighbor, and he shall lie with your wives in the sight of this sun.”

And then in verse 12 – “For you did it secretly, but I will do this thing before all Israel and before the sun.”  David, in contrast to Saul, takes responsibility for his action and confesses that he has sinned against God. Here, we see David acting as the true leader and the man of God that he should be, but his sin will cost him.  David wrote Psalm 51, as he repented for his sin.  The child Bathsheba conceived from their adulterous affair dies (verse 23), but that is far from the end of David’s troubles, as we will see in chapters ahead.

We do not know how much time passed until verse 24 when Solomon was born, but 1 Chronicles 3:5 suggests that he was the fourth son of David by Bathsheba.

Verses 26-31 are important, not just for the military victory over the Ammonites, but for the gold and precious metals for Israel’s treasury – as well as the crown for David, taken from the Ammonite king.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

2 Samuel 11 – David and Bathsheba

We have moved past chapters 8-10 in which David enjoys some key military victories, and in chapter 9, he seeks a survivor of Saul’s house so that he could show kindness to them for Jonathan’s sake.  He finds Miphibosheth, Jonathan’s son, who is lame.  From that day forward, he eats at David’s table.

But chapter 11 focuses on David’s great sin, for which he will pay most dearly.  It is the story of one of the Bible’s greatest men brought to the deepest depravity and callousness by lust and adultery.  It is most disappointing to see a great man of God fall so low.  When David saw her in verse 3 from his roof bathing, his first sin was lust – the right thing would have been to turn away.  When he inquired about her, he is told that she is the wife of Uriah the Hittite.  We find out in 2 Samuel 23:39 that this is one of David’s closest warriors – his famous “mighty men” listed in 23:8-39.  He did battle for David loyally, and probably considered him his friend.

King David Handing the Letter to Uriah (1611) ...

King David Handing the Letter to Uriah (1611) by Pieter Lastman, oil on panel, 51.1 x 61.3 cm, Detroit Institute of Arts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

David is powerful, and only he can be blamed for this adultery.  When she becomes pregnant, David plots Uriah’s death.  To make things worse, before he returns to battle, Uriah shows his great character and loyalty in verse 11.  Then David sends him to battle with the note containing instructions for Uriah’s death delivered by his own hand!  Joab carries out this sickening deed, and in verse 26 we are told that Bathsheba mourned for her husband.  When the mourning was over, David took her as his wife, and she bore him a son.

This is not the David we know, nor is it the man after God’s own heart that we have read about for so many chapters; and verse 27 tells us that it “displeased the Lord.”  This seems like a very mild statement, and we will see God forgive David.  But the consequences for this deed will be anything but mild.

Sin often has its consequences – for us, and for others; and God never promises to “fix” all the damage we bring on ourselves and others.  We cannot plan to sin, thinking that we will just ask God to forgive us later,  and that He will simply do our bidding – repairing for us all the heartache we may have caused from our sin.  But through or savior Jesus Christ, we can obtain the forgiveness for any sin we truly repent about – no matter how terrible we think of what we have done.

Read or listen to audio of ESV version of this selection from this link.

/Bob’s boy
___________________
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.