The author of Samuels presents a dialogue between David and Saul in which David tells Saul that he could have killed him, but didnít, by showing a garment he removed from Saul while he slept and Saulís reply which admits to David that he is good and will become king, and only asks David not to cut off Saulís descendents and David swears that he wonít. This writing is an obvious jeer at David who killed almost every member of Saulís family. Samuelís death is then recounted. Josephus however never mentioned the horror that was Samuel, calling him "a man of just and kindly nature". The David and Nabal story and his marriage to Nabalís wife Abigail after Nabal died of a stroke, vividly describes the cruelty of David who was prepared to kill Nabal and all his men because Nabal did not want to acceed to Davidís demands. Simply stated, David raided Nabalís home and took his wife and wealth. And Nabalís wifeís behavior was no better than David, for she allowed herself to be wooed by the man responsible for her husbandĎs death. But there was an even greater crime committed by David. Since: "David also took Ahino-Ann of Jezreel, and both of them became his wives". Ahino-Ann was apparently Saulís wife. Ahino - Ann was the mother of five of Saulís children, including Jonathan and Michal. Her homeland is not mentioned. Now would the Bible have the same names of important people not even give a distinguishing hint to show that the multiple mentions of Ahino Ann represent two different women? After all Saul described his wife as rebellious and perverse and after all David slept with Jonathan and Michal? Why not their mother who Saul also called shameless in her nakedness. Josephus, obviously concerned with this disgrace, never mentioned Saulís wifeís name at all as he sought to gloss over this event. Everything points to David having run off with Ahino-Ann . Why was Saul chasing after him so vigorously? And why does the very next sentence after it is written "and both of them became his wives" say Saul "had given" Davidís wife Michal to another man? "Had given" was meaningful - Davidís wife Michal was given to another man even before David remarried. The result of Davidís taking Saulís wife was repaid by having his daughter take another man , though David was still her husband . There is a special reason to not have Saulís wifeís homeland mentioned. Better nothing be said than say it was Jezreel, the home of the Ahino-Ann David married. David fleeing from Saul settled with the Philistines, who he assured that he was now killing his own people of Judah., when he was actually killing other people such as the Canaanites, Amalekites and Geshurites. This is what the defenders of David would have us believe. A fair reading of the first book of Samuel should convince any open minded reader that David indeed was killing his own people which was what the Philistines expected him to do. King Achish of the Philistines was confident of David and asked David to join the Philistines in a major battle against Saul, and David was more than willing. But the other lords of the Philistines did not trust David so King Achish had to tell David to leave and return to the land of the Philistines, the following morning. He was told this a short time before the battle was to begin. David left early that morning and arrived in Ziklag on the third day only to learn that his wives Abigail and Ahino-Ann were captured by the Amalekites , who burned the city but killed nobody. David with four hundred men chased after the Amalekites and recovered his wives and everything else that was taken. This peculiar story (and indeed it was peculiar) was actually Davidís defenderís alibi that he did not kill Saul and did not join the Philistines since at the time of the battle David was returning to Ziklag and dealing with the Amalekites. There was even a witness who had Ďnot eaten bread or drunk water for three days and three nights. The Egyptian was a servant of the Amalekites the "three days" was repeated to fix the date when the raid occurred. The witnessí statement served two purposes. It could prove David did not kill Saul and it could also show that the raid on the Amalekites was not a fiction. But the writer of Samuels humorously states: "David smote them from twilight until the evening of the next day and not a man of them escaped" adding mockingly "except four hundred young menÖ" Saul, Jonathan and his two brothers were killed at mount Gilboa almost certainly by the Philistines with the active help of David. The inhabitants of Jabesh-Gitead, who were loyal to Saul, recovered the bodies of Saul and his sons. The second book of Samuels beins by once again attempting to present evidence that David could not possibly have killed Saul and Jonathan because it had taken 3 days for David to get to Ziklag and he remained there for 2 days before the Amalekite messenger arrived from the battlefield to inform him of the death of Saul. Thus it was impossible for him to travel from Ziklag to Gilboa and commit the murders and return to Ziklag before the messenger arrived. This was a vigorously contested murder mystery, apparently argued for centuries before its meaning was lost. David asked the Amalekite messenger how he knew Saul was dead. The Amalekite responded that Saul was seriously wounded and asked the Amalekite to put him out of his misery, which he did and took his crown and amulet to David as proof. This is the second version of Saulís death. The first version had him committing suicide. David then ordered that the Amalekite be killed for daring to kill King Saul. David had his defence. The Amalekite killed Saul not David But why did a hated Amalekite visit David? The author does not have to give another word of explanation. He was in league with David and there was no reason to kill him other than to have one less witness. The author is actually telling us that if David himself did not kill Saul , at the very least, his Amalekite ally accomplished the deed for him and was simply reporting what he had done. He expected to be rewarded rather than executed. The supposed raid by the hated Amalekites at Ziklag was a farce. There never was such a raid. . David allied to the Philistines and with the Amalekites killed Saul and Jonathan and defeated the Israelites. The Amalekites provided David with what he needed - a confession from one that he had killed Saul and an alibi that David was totally uninvolved with fighting his own people since he had returned to Ziklag, away from the battle scene to chase after them. That is why the Amalekites are treated so harshly in biblical literature. They were witnesses to Davidís treachery. The Ziklag story ends with a taunt at David., who lamented the death of Jonathan, by saying "my brother Jonathan : very pleasant have you been to me; your love to me was wonderful passing the love of women." Ish- Bosheth, Saulís heir ruled in the north, David in the South. The kingdom was split . Ish- Boshethís general Abner was ready to hand over the northern kingdom to David, but Joab killed Abner anyway. The murder was probably done at Davidís command, but David insisted Joab was the killer, but nothing happened to Joab. Ish- Bosheth was killed by his servants who brought his head to David, only to also be beheaded by David. David was intent on destroying Saulís family. Before that, Michal (Saulís daughter and Davidís wife, who had remarried another) was taken by David from her husband. She was shut up for the rest of her life, never to have a man and certainly no heirs. The second Book of Samuelís attacks upon David continue after telling how David mistreated his wife Michal and exposed himself publicly before the women of Israel. We then have David saying "is there still anyone left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathanís sake." This was a mocking statement attributed to David by the writer , since David would ultimately wipe out almost every member of Saulís family. Saulís crippled grandson Mephibosheth remained and David told him he would be given all of Saulís land holdings. Mephibosheth was more than in fear - he was in terror. The writer continues his attacks on David. Telling the David - Bathsheba story and how David killed Bathsheebaís husband Uriah, and then took Bathsheeba to be his wife, just as he took Nabalís wife Abigail. The writer also shows how Davidís relative and trusted general Joab conspired with David in the death of Uriah. David, who had impregnated Bathsheeba while Uriah was at the battlefield, tried to get Uriah to sleep with his wife so that the child when born could be considered to be fathered by him. But when Uriah did not sleep with Bathsheeba, at the time he was called from the battlefield by David, his death was assured. Joab, who knew David so well, knew that even when he lost a great deal of men in battle, that it would not matter as long as Uriah was dead. Joab also knew that though he was victorious as a general on behalf of David, that when a truly major victory was at hand, it was best to make sure that David was summoned and credited with the victory, rather than he. The intrigues among Davidís children are then described . One of Davidís sons Amnon seduced Tamar, his sister . Absalom who was her brother , avenged this insult by killing his step brother Amnon. It should be noted that Amnonís mother was Ahino-Ann, Saulís ex-wife, and that the murder of Amnon was not an event David was to become too excited about since Amnon possessed a hint of a connection with Saul - his mother was Saulís wife. Absalom fled but David longed for him and had Joab bring him back, but he would not speak to his son for two years. But then again, through Joabís efforts , Absalom was reconciled with David. But being ambitious like his father " Absalom got himself a chariot and horses and fifty men to run before him". And he started to act like a judge, saying , "Oh, that I were a judge in the land! Then every man with a suit or cause might come to me and I would give him justiceÖ" Ö "So Absalom stole the hearts of the men of Israel." Soon Absalom announced he was king of Hebron and in open revolt against his father. His single pledge to give justice enabled Absalom to be a worthy and dangerous threat to David. The corruption of justice which cost Samuel the loss of power was now threatening to dethrone David. , who had only the loyalty of his army. David had to flee leaving one of his advisors, Hushai, who he counted upon to give misleading information to Absalom. When David fled, Zeba the servant of Mephibosheth was his ally, resulting in David telling him that since Mephibosheth sided with his son Absalom all that belonged to him would now go to Ziba. David was also insulted by Shime-I who called him a man of blood - an insult that would not be forgotten. In the battle Absalom followed Hushaiís advice, not realizing Hushai was in league with David. Hushai advised Absalom to attack his father personally. Absalom pursued David while leaving his general Amasa to remain in Jerusalem. Joabís army defeated Absalomís army and Absalom lost his life. Davidís remorse for the loss of his son was however very real. But Amasa still controlled Jerusalem. David did not want to risk battle with the fortified city. David, as dishonest as a human can be and equally treacherous promised Amasa he would make him "Commander of my army henceforth in place of Joab." His oath to Amasa was given to God. His believability and charm were overwhelming. There would be no battle and Jerusalem would be saved. Both Mephibosheth and his servant rushed forward to greet him. So did Shime-I who begged David to forgive him for cursing him and throwing stones at him. Shine-I wanted to live and David assured him "you shall not die" and the writer adds that David gave his oath. Davidís oaths to Shime-I and Amasa were worthless. Mephibosheth also fawned over David, knowing how precarious continued life was for him. David asked him why he did not follow him when he fled Jerusalem from Absalom. Mephibosheth claimed that Ziba slandered him when he told David that he wanted to get back his land. David offered to divide the lands between Ziba and Mephibosheth. Mephiboshethís answer was the only one he could give if he wanted to live. He replied, "Oh let him take it all since my lord the king has come safely home". He wanted nothing, just his life. Better to be penniless than dead, which he would have been had he obtained anything he could have obtained had Absalom been victorious. Every event and incite shows the writers contempt for David. Example after example of Davidís cruelty are related. His son Absalom slept with Davidís concubines when David had fled. David saw to it that, like his wife Michal, they would never in their lifetime have another man. The people of Israel , the northerners, revolted led by Sheba. The men of Judah followed David, Shebaís rallying cry was "we have no portion in David Ö every man to his tents O Israel!í. David told Amasa to lead an army against Sheba. Amasa was late in gathering an army together so David had Joabís troops pursue and defeat Sheba. Joab then treacherously murdered Amasa. Once again David was suspected of orchestrating the murder and the writer shows what he believed by demonstrating that David never trusted Amasa and only made him commander so that he could regain Jerusalem without having to fight for it. The writer of the Books of Samuel is almost comical as he mocks David again and again, telling of when there was a famine in Israel, David was told by God that the famine was because of Saulís previous mistreatment of the Gibeonites, prompting David to ask the Gibeonites (who were not Israelites , but lived among them) what he could do for them. The Gibeonites answered plainly that they were not interested in revenge. David used the words "What shall I do for you? And how shall I make expiationÖ?" They clearly stated that they did not seek anyoneís death. But David pressed again "What do you say I shall do for you?" . The Gibeonites now knew for certain what David wanted. The Gibeonites asked that seven of Saulís sons be brought to them to be hung. So five sons of Saulís daughter Merab and two sons of Rizpah fathered by Saul were put to death. Only Mephibosheth the harmless cripple was allowed to live . Despite Davidís oath to the contrary , the heirs of Saul were put to death. David used God as his excuse to kill off Saulís heirs. To take away a famine David killed innocent men. The writer concludes by jeering that the famine then ended. There were other stories of Davidís averting of famines. Each story cast David as a cheap, selfish and cruel man who didnít care for his people ,only himself. In one instance, to avert a famine, he was allegorically given the choice of a pestilence upon the land for 3 days or that he be pursued by his enemies for 3 months. Rather than be discomfited, he chose the pestilence which resulted in 70,000 dead. God had to stop it before David was willing to accept his own discomfort. Another story told of how David sought to avert a plague . David was willing to part with such a small amount of money that the book of Chronicles and Rabbinical literature amended the biblical story by saying David paid much more. Even Davidís last days were filled with intrigue and treachery and murder, not only by him but by those around him. When his son Adonijah sought to be his heir to the throne, Bathsheeba and the prophet Nathan conspired to overwhelm the partially senile David by both claiming that David promised the kingship to Solomon. The ruse worked. Bathsheeba told David that he had promised the kingdom to Solomon and Nathan chimed in and agreed. It worked and Solomon became king. The writers contempt for David was manifest when he had David, although near death, regain his faculties in time to order the murder of his most loyal commander Joab and Shime-I who cursed him, even though he had promised Shime-I that he would not hurt him. Josephus, writing of David, found him faultless, except for the matter with Uriah. Josephus, like so many others, ignored the crimes of David. The Book of Chronicles sanitizes David - contradicting or leaving out the horrors he committed. Horrors so well described in the Books of Samuel. . For instance to overcome Davidís cheapness described in the Book of Samuel when he paid only 50 sheckels to purchase a threshing floor in order to avoid a plague. In the book of Chronicles the claim was that he paid 600 sheckels. Solomon was Davidís son in many ways. To make sure his older brother did not make a further claim to be king , Solomon had him killed. Solomon then killed Joab pursuant to his fatherís request and also killed Shime-I , the harmless man who once insulted David.
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