Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 19

2 Sam 21.1-6 tells us about a famine that had been on the land for three years, so the Lord was inquired. The Lord said it was because Saul slaughtered the Gibeonites and this was contrary to the oath Joshua gave them in Josh 9.15. David called for them and asked what would satisfy them according to justice. The Gibeonites were killed in Saul’s zeal to possess their cities and goods. According to Num 35.33, only the blood of him who shed blood could atone, and they considered themselves as blood avengers. So the Gibeonites required that seven sons (number of completion) of Saul were to be hung (after they were killed).

2 Sam 21.7-9 says that because David swore to Jonathan that he would not cut off his seed, he did not turn over Mephiboshet, but he did turn over the two sons of Rizpah, Saul’s concubine (2 Sam 3.7). He also turned over the five sons of Michal, who were actually the sons of Merab (1 Sam 15.9) whom she brought up for Adriel. Micah had no children to the day of her death. David delivered these sons into the hands of the Gibeonites. They were put to death first, then hung, like Moses did in Num 25.4. This happened in the first days of the barley harvest, around Passover.

2 Sam 21.10-14 says that Rizpah guarded the bodies until God sent the rain to end the famine by setting up a canopy for herself. She did this to drive away the birds of the sky that would rest on them by day and the beasts by night. According to the Torah in Deut 21.22 the bodies should have been taken down and buried the same day. However, they were killed by non-Israelites so that verse did not apply to this situation.

Now, David heard about what Rizpah did and was moved to give the sons of Saul a proper burial. So he took the bones of Saul and Jonathan from Jabesh-gilead, and the bones of those who were hung, and they were buried in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the tomb of Kish his father . After that, the rains came (21,14).

In 2 Sam 21.15-17 it says that the Philistines were at war with Israel again and David went down with his warriors and fought them, but David got weary. He was getting too old to fight these battles. Abishai protected him from a giant named Ishbi-benob (“his dwelling is Nob”), a descendant of Goliath, or of another giant. Abishai said David should not go to war again so that David’s “lamp” (life) not be extinguished.

2 Sam 21.18-22 goes on to say that after this there was a battle at Gob (“pit”) and there were individual duels (1 Sam 17.8). This was a common practice between armies so that both armies would not be engaged. Sibbecai (“Lord sustains”) the Hushathite killed Saph (“sea moss”), and Sibbecai was one of the Givorim (“mighty men”). Elhanan (“God is gracious”), the son of Jaare-oregim (“city of weavers”) the Bethlehemite, killed the brother of Goliath named Lahmi (“my war”-1 Chr 20.5).

There was war again and there was a man of great stature who had six fingers and six toes, born to a giant. He defied Israel and Jonathan the son of Shimei (also called Shammah in 1 Sam 16.9 and Shimma in 1 Chr 2.13) the brother of David struck him down. These four were born to one of the giants of Gath, and they fell by the hand of David and by his Avadim (“warriors”). They were descendants of the Anakim (Josh.11.22). Including Goliath, there were five. This may allude to the five rocks David picked up from the brook in 1 Sam 17 and it may also allude to the five times the word “rock” is used in Deut 32 and coming up soon in 2 Sam 22.

2 Sam 22.1-51 contains a song which is also associated with Psa 18. Now, whenever we see a song (psalm) in the Scriptures it will have messianic messages in it. But, if we only see the messianic implications will may miss other aspects. This is the Haftorah reading for Deut 32.

We have already mentioned that the word “rock” is mentioned five times here, and in Deut 32, and how it alludes to the five rocks David used (1 Sam 17 40) and how David and his men killed five giants (2 Sam 21.22). It also alludes to the five books of Torah that Moses wrote; how the Psalms are arranged in five books; how Nebuchadnezzar’s giant statue is dropped by a rock (Dan 2.34-35, 45) and how Zechariah talks about the “burdensome stone (or rock) in Zech 12.3.

David wrote this in his last days (23.1) and some of the passages apply to Yeshua. 2 Sam 22.2-3 are quoted in Heb 2.13 and 2 Sam 22 is quoted in Rom 15.9. There are many things in this song that allude to Yeshua as a servant and mediator encompassed by snares and sorrows.

2 Sam 22.2-10 speaks of the “rock”, which we have mentioned, and the “shield” which are messianic terms. The shield (magen) is referred to as a “he” in Prov 30.5, and called the “word of God.” This shield is also the “horn” or “power” of David’s salvation (“yishi” related to “Yeshua) and “saviour” (“moshiach”). He goes on to say that Yehovah (v 4) has saved him from his enemies. Death encompassed him and torrents of destruction overwhelmed him. The “cords of Sheol” surrounded him, meaning he was near death (v 6). He called on Yehovah and he was heard. Then the earth quaked and the foundations of Heaven was trembling. Smoke went out of God’s nostrils (He was angry) and fire from his mouth, meaning strong denunciations.

It goes on to say in 2 Sam 22.10-12 that God came down with “thick darkness under his feet and he rode on a cherub and flew (like an eagle-Deut 28.19). He appeared on the wing (“kanaf where the tzitzit are) of the wind (Ruach) and he made darkness (hidden from human eyes) canopies (sukkot) around him, a mass of waters, thick clouds of the sky.

These verses are seen as part of what is called the “Ma’aseh (work) Merkavah” (work of the chariot/throne of God). This is similar language to Ezekiel 1, which is also called the “Ma’aseh Merkavah” in Hebrew thought. We will get into that concept when we get to Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Ezekiel. David is alluding to Mount Sinai in these verses and is describing what the Lord will do to his enemies. This can also apply to the Messiah and how the Lord delivered him and “drew me out of many waters” (saved me) and what will happen at the coming of Yeshua. As we read this chapter, keep in mind what Yehovah did for David, but also what he did for Yeshua.

We will pick up in 2 Sam 23 in Part 20.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 18

2 Sam 20.1-26 gives us the account of another rebellion led by Sheba (“oath”), a “worthless fellow” (“son of Belial”), the son of Bichri (“youthful”), a Benjaminite. He knew that David’s position at this time was weak and so he is going to try and exploit it. He blew a trumpet to gather people to himself and he said, “We have no portion in David (not even a tenth-2 Sam 19.43), nor do we have an inheritance in the son of Jesse (as if he is a private person and not the king); every man to his tents, O Israel!” Now, “every man to his tents” is an idiom relating back to their days in the wilderness meaning “break ranks and go home” (1 Kings 12.16; 2 Chr 10.6), or “do your own thing.” So the men of Israel (ten tribes) withdrew from following David and followed Sheba. Judah remained loyal to David and never left him, from the Jordan to Jerusalem.

In 2 Sam 20.3 we learn that David took his ten concubines and shut them up for the rest of their lives, but he took care of them. He did this for several reasons. First, he could not divorce them or punish them because they weren’t the ones who sinned. Secondly, he could could not have relations with them because they had been defiled by Absalom. It was as if they were widows.

Then David said to Amasa, his nephew and Joab’s cousin, “Call out the men of Judah for me within three days, and be present here yourself (to command the militia). They knew he was Absalom’s general, so it took longer than three days to get them together because he was not up to the job like Joab was.

Then David said to Abishai that Sheba is doing more harm than Absalom. He had little to say to Joab by this time. Without waiting for Amasa and the troops he was assembling, David tells him to take his warriors (David’s bodyguard) and pursue Sheba before he gets behind fortified walls and escapes. So, with Abishai at their head, he took Joab’s men, the Cherethites, Pelethites and all the Givorim (mighty men) and they went after Sheba.

They met at a rendezvous point called the “large stone in Gibeon” and Amasa arrived with the men he assembled. Joab was also there with his men and he was dressed in his military attire. As he went to meet Amasa, his sword fell out. When he saw Amasa he kissed him, but Amasa was not alert enough to see the sword in Joab’s hand, and Joab killed Amasa (like Judas in Matt 24.49).

Although he was pardoned by David, Amasa could not escape God’s judgment for joining the rebellion of Absalom. After that, the army followed Joab and he was ruthlessly devoted to David and a true leader. Then Joab went through all the tribes and found people who were loyal to David in his recruiting.

2 Sam 20.15-22 tells us about the end of Sheba’s revolt. Sheba was hiding in the city of Abel (“meadow”) and a siege began. A siege is a horrible tactic, especially for the people in the city. The attackers and those in the city do not want to have a siege take place. It is expensive, it takes time, destroys a city and the casualties can be very high. A woman who had some wisdom (chachmah) came out of the city and talked to Joab. She knew the Torah said that they should ask for peace in a siege first (Deut 20.10). She did not want to see a major city destroyed (“a mother in Israel”). This idiom is because there are usually many little towns around a major city that are seen as “children.”

Joab agreed saying that he did not want to do that either. He was only after a man who had rebelled against David, and he was only interested in Sheba. She said his head will be thrown to Joab over the wall, and she had the power to make this happen. She went back to talk with the people, and they took Sheba and cut off his head. When Joab saw this, he blew the trumpet and they dispersed the army from their siege plans of the city. Sheba thought he was safe within the walls of the city, but no one is safe when they run against the will of God. There isn’t a wall high enough to protect that person from the Lord.

Spiritually, we are like a city (Jer 1.18; Ecc 9.14). Our sin is like the rebellion of Sheba, who was considered a traitor against the will of God. Yehovah calls for the death of the traitor. If we love the traitor over our soul, we will die. If we “cut it off” we will live (Matt 5.30).

This ended the revolt of Sheba and Joab is now the head of the army. He gained it through vengeance and murder, but David allowed Joab to take control over the army anyway. David tried to replace him but he was very powerful and he had influence with the men. So, David started his reign over again and Benaiah continued to be over the bodyguard of David (2 Sam 8.18), and Adoram was over the tribute to be collected from his own people and those he conquered. Yehoshaphat was the recorder (clerk/historian) and Sheva was scribe (secretary). Zadok and Abiathar were the priests like before (High Priest and Sagan or “deputy” high priest).

Ira the Jairite was also a priest to David. He was a chief ruler, counselor and possibly the prime minister. He seems to have succeeded Ahitophel and he will be an intimate friend of David and would hear his most intimate thoughts. In this we see that David’s kingdom will not be built on David;s abilities alone, but he knew how to assemble capable people around him and delegated his authority to them. Spiritually, this teaches us that even though David was God’s anointed it didn’t mean he didn’t need other people who were talented, gifted and anointed to help him.

We will pick up here in Part 19.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 17

In 2 Sam 19.1-3 it tells us about how David’s victory was turned into mourning, and this was not good. David’s lamenting over Absalom (“Oh, Absalom, Absalom , my son”) dampened the spirit of those who were loyal to him, and they risked their loves to save him from Absalom. So the people did not have a victory parade but they snuck back into the city as if they should feel ashamed.

In 2 Sam 19.4-7 Joab has had enough and he rebukes David. David did not thank his generals nor did he even see them. David was mourning for Absalom. So Joab says, “Today you have covered with shame the faces of your servants, who today have saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters, the lives of your wives, and the lives of your concubines.” In other words, you have made them feel like they have done something wrong. How did he do that? By loving those who hated him, and hating those who loved him. At least it looked like that.

By his actions, David is showing that they didn’t mean much to him. He hasn’t seen his people or thanked them. Joab may have been going too far by saying if Absalom was alive and all of his army was dead David would be happier, but he is making a valid point here. He wanted David to go out and commend them for their bravery and faithfulness. But Joab was showing he could be dangerous.

2 Sam 19.8-10 tells us that David set aside his mourning and did what Joab had suggested, and went to the gate. Then all the people came before the king to be congratulated and thanked. Those that followed Absalom went home to their own cities. All the people were quarreling throughout the tribes because they were disorganized. There were those loyal to David, then there were those who were loyal to Absalom, and there were those who didn’t care either way. David does not cry out for Absalom again.

2 Sam 19.11-15 tells us that David sent negotiators to all the tribes because there was a dispute over whether David would be welcomed back. A “reelection” was somewhat necessary. David wanted to be invited back by the tribes who rejected him for Absalom, but Judah did not concur. They were the last to bring the king back. So David agreed to replace Joab with Amasa, Absalom’s general. This was to put Joab in his place for killing Absalom and Abner. This was an act of reconciliation to those who supported Absalom. This was welcomed by everyone but their hearts could not be forced, they needed to be persuaded. David uses kindness and affectionate words to incline their hearts toward him. So Judah came to Gilgal in order to meet the king, and to bring him across the Jordan from Mahanaim to Jerusalem. In the same way, Yehovah will not force his reign on us. We must welcome him and our hearts swayed by the Ruach Ha Kodesh (Holy Spirit). David wanted his reception to be unanimous, and this was accomplished through the work of Zadok and Abiathar.

In 2 Sam 19.16-23 David shows kindness to Shimei for what he did in 2 Sam 16.5-14. Now that Absalom was dead, Shimei thought he better ask David for forgiveness. Shimei says to David, “I have come today, the first of all the house house of Joseph to go down to meet the lord my king.” Why does he say “Joseph” when he is from Benjamin? Because he is alluding to the brothers of Joseph who abused and mocked him wrongly, and he is hoping that David will forgive him like Joseph forgave his brothers for what they did.

Abishai, the same guy who wanted Shimei’s head in 2 Sam 16.9 said, “Should not Shimei be put to death for this, because he cursed the Lord’s anointed?” But David got angry with his nephew and did not want him to be an adversary (“Satan” in Hebrew) this day. David did not want more blood to be shed in this affair. David says, “For do not I know that I am king over Israel today?” David will do what he thinks is best because he knows he is the rightful king (v 22) and he does not want any more families in Israel to have sorrow. So he tells Shimei, “You shall die” and gave him his word.

However, Solomon was under no such obligation, and David is about to die and he tells Solomon to “not let him go unpunished” for cursing him. He tells Solomon that he will know what to do with him, and “to bring his gray hair down to Sheol with blood” if he commits another crime against Solomon. He is not to spare him because of his age or let him die a natural death (1 Kings 2.8-9).

2 Sam 19.24-30 tells us that David showed kindness to Mephiboshet. David asked him why he did not go with him earlier, and he tells david that Ziba said that he was going to saddle a donkey for him but then just took off. Being lame, Mehpiboshet could do nothing He tells David how he mourned for him since he departed the city because David had been kind to him. Hearing this whole story, David revoked his earlier decree giving Ziba the estate of Mephiboshet. David then says that Mephiboshet and Ziba will share the estate, and Mephiboshet says, “Let him take it all, since my lord the king has come safely to his own house.” David is testing Mephiboshet by using the property to determine the true intentions of the heart, and he passes the test by saying Ziba can take it all. Solomon will use a similar test to determine the true mother in 1 Kings 3. 16-28.

In 2 Sam 19.21-39 David shows his appreciation to Barzillai the Gileadite who brought help to David when he was fleeing from Absalom. In gratitude, David offers him the honor of living with him in Jerusalem. Barzillai was a welathy man and he used his riches to support a servant of God. Yeshua spoke of the foolish man who lays up his treasure for himself in Luke 12.21, and Barzillai was not like that example. He did not help David for a reward, he gave because his heart was right, so he declined. He said, “Can I distinguish between good and bad? Or can your servant taste what I eat or what I drink? Or can I hear anymore the voice of singing men and women? Why should your servant be an added burden to my lord the king?”

Barzillai was very old (v 32) and his ability to enjoy life has diminished, and he had infirmities. He did not want a reward for doing his duty to the king. He just wanted to go back home and die in his own city (Rogelim-2 Sam 17.27) and be buried near his parents. However, he had a son named Chimham (“their longing”) and David could show kindness to him. David would give him possession in Bethlehem that later had an inn (Jer 41.17) and probably identical with the “inn” in Luke 2.7 and the birth of Yeshua.

We learn in 2 Sam 19.40-42 that the people of Judah escort David to Gilgal. The other tribes felt excluded from this procession, but David’s palace was on their border in Judah and the king was a relative, so they did not understand why they were angry. But the people of Israel said, “We have ten parts in the king” (ten tribes- Simeon laid inside Judah and was reckoned with them-Josh 19.1), and they claimed that they were first in wanting the king back to begin with (2 Sam 19.11, 43). It seems they only wanted David back after the death of Absalom. This attitude and contention will set the stage for a civil war that will happen in David’s day, and eventually lead to the divided kingdom.

We will pick up here in Part 18.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 16

2 Sam 18.1-33 gives us the story of how David prepared for battle with Absalom, and Absalom’s defeat and eventual death. It has been at least seven years since the sin of Amnon (a type of Adam) and Tamar, and this is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God. David gets ready for the battle and numbers his troops, then he sets commanders over them. He puts one third of the army under Joab, one third under his nephew Abishai, and one third under Ittai the Gittite, who is a new believer but has military experience (2 Sam 15.19-22). David will use a classic three-pronged attack against Absalom.

The people did not want David to go out to battle with them. They said he was more important than all of them. He could bring reserves up if he needed them and they they knew it would be hard for him to fight against his own son. This shows their dedication and devotion and this should be an example for us in our devotion to our king (Yeshua). So, they wanted David to stay in the city of Mahanaim (v 24). David wanted Absalom taken alive and he did not want Absalom to die in his sin. This is like the Lord who does not want any to perish, but have life.

So the army went out and the battle took place in the Forest of Ephraim. David’s army was well trained and Absalom’s army wasn’t. They were no match for David. They were being led by an ego-maniac and David drew Absalom into a place where he had the advantage. The battle was spread over the whole countryside and the forest devoured more people than the sword (v 8).

David picked this battleground because Absalom’s army had weapons not suited for a forest, mountains and underbrush. Bows and slings (long range weapons) are useless there. Absalom’s army was at another disadvantage. They did not know the terrain like David’s army did. Joab knew this area (2 Sam 11.11) and more people will die in the forest than in the field. That is why Ahitophel killed himself in 2 Sam 17.23. When his counsel to Absalom was rejected, he knew David’s army would defeat Absalom in a battle.

Now, Absalom just happened to meet the warriors (“servant”) of David during the battle. He didn’t know which way to go to escape. He was riding his mule and the mule went under the thick branches of an oak tree because Absalom had no control over the mule. His hair (2 Sam 14.25-26) got caught up in the branches of the oak tree, and he was left hanging between “heaven and earth” while his mule that was under him kept going.

Absalom was caught up “in his pride” (hair). Being suspended between heaven and earth speaks of judgment (Zech 5.9; 1 Chr 21.16), which alludes to be unworthy of heaven or earth. He was also caught up in the branches. The branches allude to the Messiah (Zech 6.12; Isa 4.2). The False Messiah, the king of the children of pride (Job 41.34) who will also be caught up in his bride and be caught by the branch Yeshua. This will lead to his judgment and destruction (suspended between heaven and earth).

Now, a certain man saw Absalom hanging and told Joab (v 10). Joab asked him why he did not kill him because he would have given him ten pieces of silver and a “belt” which was an insignia as an officer or honorary (1 Sam 18.4). Then the man said he would not disobey the orders of the king which said he wanted Absalom alive (v 5). He said if he did harm Absalom, and the king heard about it, Joab would not have helped him.

So Joab did not waste anymore time on this, so he took three spears and thrust them through the heart of Absalom while he was still alive hanging in the tree. These spears are the Hebrew word “shevatim” and it means a scepter. Why did he disobey the order of David? Because he was directed by God to save the nation and the king (2 Sam 19.1-7). Joab knew that Absalom was a murderer, a traitor and a rapist and deserved death. He also knew that David was over indulgent with his children and would never punish Absalom, so he acted. But Joab will be held accountable for this (1 Kings 2.5-6). But Absalom did not die immediately, so ten soldiers who attended Joab struck Absalom again and killed him. Then Joab blew the trumpet recalling his men from pursuing Absalom’s army. Now that Absalom was dead, there was no further need of bloodshed.

They took the body of Absalom and cast him into a deep pit in the forest and put great stones over his body in the wilderness. This alludes to the destruction of the False Messiah, like Azazel (Lev 16.21; Ezek 29.1-5, 32.1-8; Isa 22.15-25; 2 Kings 11.1-15; Rev 19.20-21). All the people of Israel fled “each to his own tent” which means they went back to their own business.

To perpetuate his memory, Absalom set up a pillar to himself in the Kidron Valley (2 Sam 18.18). He had three sons (2 Sam 14.27) but they seem to have died prior to this, so he called this pillar after himself. There is a pillar in the Kidron Valley today that may be on the spot where Absalom placed his, but it can’t be the one he put up because the style is not consistent with the architecture of Absalom’s era. What Joab did with the body is consistent with the Torah in Deut 21.21 with the death of a rebellious son.

Then Ahimaaz the son of Zadok the priest wanted to run and tell David the “news” (Hebrew “basar” where we get the word “gospel” from) that he was safe and his enemies are dead. However, Joab did not want him to do it. He was a priest and did not think he should be the one to bear such news because Joab respected him. So Joab sent a Cushite to David with the news, but Ahimaaz persisted in his request, so Joab said he could go, and he passed up the Cushite on the way. Ahimaaz ran to David in Mahanaim. He was well known because the watchmen recognized his running style (v 27).

Because he was alone it was assured that it was good news and he was not fleeing from battle. They also saw the Cushite running by himself. He called out, “All is well” before he got to the city gate. David was sitting by the city gates to hear of news asked, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” But Ahimaaz did not say anything right away. Then the Cushite arrived and said, “Let my lord the king receive good news (basar), for the Lord has freed you this day from them the hand of all those who rose up against you.” Then David said to the Cushite, “Is it well with the young man Absalom?” And the Cushite answered, “Let the enemies of my lord the king, and all who rise up against you for evil, be as that young man!”

Then 2 Sam 18.33 says that David was “deeply moved.” The Hebrew idea of this is a violent trembling. This phrase is also used in conjunction with Yeshua in John 11.33 when he hears about the death of Lazarus. David knew that his sin with Bathsheba caused this, and he was an indulgent parent. David’s story shows us that parents must first train themselves in godliness before they can train their children. David wept for Absalom, and this shows us God’s heart. David wanted to die in the place of his sinful son, but David could not do that. But Yeshua did, dying in the place of rebellious sinners like us.

We will pick up here in Part 17.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 15

2 Sam 17.1-29 gives the account of the beginning of the demise of Absalom, contrary to the advice of Ahitophel. David’s men are better warriors and David is going to lure Absalom and his army into the wilderness to fight. David knows the terrain better than Absalom and he is drawing Absalom to a place of his choosing. As a battle strategist, David is more experienced that Absalom.

Anitophel knows this and advises Absalom to go after David now to surprise him, while he is on the run. He wants to assemble twelve thousand men so that he can pursue David. Then he says “I will come upon him while he is weary and exhausted and will terrify him so that all the people who are with him will flee. Then I will strike down the king” (2 Sam 17.1-2). Notice he says “I will strike down the king.” He knew deep in his heart that David was still the king. He does not want David to settle in and prepare for a battle, and let David choose the terrain. This is a picture of the False Messiah making war on the saints (Rev 13.7). They can scatter David and his men now by pursuing a defeated enemy. This was good advice and it pleased Absalom and the elders of Israel.

Then Absalom calls in Hushai, who was not present, to see what he thought of the plan. He said the advice of Ahitophel was not good (even though it was). He knows David is not ready for a fight, but he must make Absalom believe that he was. Remember, Hushai was there to frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel. So he tells Absalom to remember his father and his men and that they were mighty warriors and experts in warfare and would be fierce, “like a bear robbed of her cubs in the field” (v 8). He tells Absalom that if he pursues David now he is walking into a trap and he wants Absalom to think that David is not as weak as everyone thinks. Hushai knows Absalom and he knows that he is not a good warrior, at least not as good as David. Hushai knows if they go after David now, Absalom would probably win, so does not want that.

Hushai wants to appeal to Absalom’s pride and vanity and says he should wait and gather a huge army and lead them personally into battle. Hushai knows he is no general and once David finds his place to fight, he will cut Absalom’s army to pieces. What David needs right now is time and Hushai is trying to give him that time. He tells Absalom that with such a huge army he can surround him wherever he is (v 12.13).

Absalom decides that the counsel of Hushai is better than the counsel of Ahitophel because it appealed to his pride. The Lord has ordained that the good counsel of Ahitophel had to be thwarted in order that the Lord might bring about the demise of Absalom (v 14). This answers David’s prayer in 2 Sam 15.31 and proves prayer is more powerful than intelligence. Absalom’s lust for power and glory will lead to his downfall. He tries to handle more than he is capable of, and he will be destroyed as a result. In this he is also like the False Messiah (Num 24.24; 2 Thes 2.3; Rev 19.20; Ezek 32.17-32). Hitler tried to do the same thing and nothing or nobody could stop him at first. Then there came a point when nothing went right because he would not listen to the good counsel of his generals. The power behind him was thwarted by the Lord. David knew that all of this was part of God’s chastening of him, but we also see that God did not abandon him.

Hushai relayed the battle plan to Zadok and to Abiathar, and they quickly relayed the message to David. They cautioned David to not spend the night at the fords of the wilderness, but to crossover. Hushai didn’t know if his counsel would be done because they might change their minds. So the message was sent to Jonathan and Ahimaaz (“my brother is anger”) by way of a maidservant, who were staying in En-rogel (“fountain of the fullers”), just southeast of the city, just below the junction of the Valley of Hinnom and the Kidron Valley, near Tophet. They will go to David. This is real spy-craft here.

However, someone saw Jonathan and Ahimaaz enter the city and told Absalom. So the two left and went to a man in Bachurim and hid in his well. A woman took the lid and placed it over the well so that nothing was known. When Absalom’s men came to the woman they asked where Ahimaaz and Jonathan were. She said they had already crossed over the Kidron, so they returned to Jerusalem. So David and those with him crossed over the Jordan (“death”) in darkness and not one was left behind. Yeshua “crossed over” death in darkness also and was resurrected (Mark 16.1-6; Matt 28.1). Others were resurrected with him and none were left behind (Matt 27.51-53).

Ahitophel knew he had lost the advantage now and that David would win the coming battle because they had waited. So, like Judas, he strangled himself and was given an honorable burial (v 23). Now David had enough time to get to one of his strongholds in the Valley of Sukkot called Mahanaim (“two camps”). This is the same Mahanaim mentioned in Gen 32.2-10 with Jacob, and it is a few hundred yards from Peniel where Jacob wrestled with the angel, about two miles from Sukkot (Gen 33.15-17). The Jewish people will flee to this area and all way south to Petra in the birth-pains (Isa 16; Rev 12).

But Absalom and all the men of Israel also pursued and was crossing the Jordan (v 24). Absalom set Amasa over the army in place of Joab. He is the son of Jithra the Israelite, also called Yether the Ishmaelite in 1 Chr 2.17. He was an Israelite but lived among the Ishmaelites. Amasa you will remember was David’s nephew and his mother was Abigail, David’s sister (2 Sam 17.25). He commanded the reserve army under David (2 Sam 20.4-5). Absalom and the army of Israel camped in Gilead.

When David got to Mahanaim supplies were brought to him and his people. They were hungry and had left Jerusalem in a hurry to go into the wilderness. They were also weary and tired. This is a picture of the words of Yeshua in Matt 24.15-20. The False Messiah will declare that he is “Jesus the Messiah” after the Abomination of Desolation is set up, and the Jews are to flee into the wilderness quickly, not even taking the time to get a coat. They will flee with no provisions and go into the wilderness fleeing from another “Absalom” and they will be given provisions by God (Rev 12.14).

We will pick up here as David gets ready for the battle in Part 16.

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Tanak Foundations- Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 14

In 2 Sam 15.30 we have a very prophetic event. As David is fleeing from Absalom, he went up the ascent of the Mount of Olives and wept as he went. His head was covered and he walked barefoot. Then all the people who were with him covered their heads and went up weeping as they went.

In Luke 19.31-41 we have Yeshua coming into the city and he weeps over it near the descent of the Mount of Olives, where David wept. In a Sukkot Machzor (Prayer Book) there is a prayer about the Messiah called “The Voice of the Herald” and it talks about Messiah coming to the Mount of Olives. A student of David Flusser, a professor of Early Christianity and Judaism of the Second Temple period at Hebrew University, said that Gethsemane is a loan word from the Aramaic “Gad’some” and it means “ascent of the Mount of Olives.” Both Yeshua and David weep at the ascent/descent of the Mount of Olives.

David’s life is in peril and it was a time of trial and division, with Israel calling for his death. In the same way Yeshua is in the face of a trial and division, with Israel calling for his death. Rather than consume them, David abdicates his earthly throne with his followers willing to take on the suffering of their king. Likewise, rather that consume them, Yeshua abdicates his earthly throne, with his followers willing to take on the suffering of their king.

In another devastating turn of events, David is told that Ahitophel his friend and counselor has gone over to the conspirators with Absalom. Absalom sent for him while he was offering korbanot and the conspiracy was very strong (v 12), and David is told that Ahitophel is among the conspirators (v 31). David prays that Ahitophel’s counsel is foolish and not carried out. God can and does disappoint crafty counsel and it does not turn out the way it is planned (Job 5.12). This prayer will be answered in 2 Sam 17.14 as we shall soon see. Now Ahitophel is a traitor and he will also hang himself like Judas did (Matt 27.5).

David stops at the top of the Mount of Olives to worship. Hushai (“hasting of Yah”) the Archite (“long”) met him with his coat and was in mourning also. He was a friend of David (v 37) and it is believed that he wrote and sung Psa 3. David tells Hushai that he would be a “burden to me” because he was elderly or he did not have enough provisions. David wanted Hushai to return to the city to serve Absalom and to gather information and frustrate the counsel of Ahitophel. He told him that Zadok and Abiathar were there, too, and to report any information that might be useful to them. It would look like he was conducting religious business with them. They had two sons and they would carry any information they had back to David. This scenario will be similar when believers flee Jerusalem from the False Messiah. Just as Absalom will pursue David into the wilderness, the False Messiah will pursue the believers into the wilderness (Matt 24.16-20; Rev 12.13-17).

In 2 Sam 16.1-23 we have Ziba (“statue”), a servant of Mephiboshet (“exterminate the idol”), the adopted son of David, meeting David with some provisions. David asks where Mephiboshet was, and he is told that he was in Jerusalem waiting to have the kingdom of his father Jonathan restored to him. But this is a lie. Mephiboshet was crippled and this servant just went off and left him. So David gave all that belonged to Mephiboshet to Ziba, based on what Ziba has just told him about Mephiboshet’s treason, but Ziba misrepresented the situation. All of this is happening very fast as David is crossing the Kidron Valley and going up the Mount of Olives.

Now, David comes to Bachurim (“warlike, valiant”) on the road to the Jordan Valley, close to the Mount of Olives. A man named Shimei (“renowned”) of the family of Saul came out and began to curse David. He threw stones at him and his people. He told David saying, “Get out, get out, you man of bloodshed and worthless fellow (“Ish Belial”). The Lord has returned upon you all the bloodshed of the house of Saul, in whose place you have reigned (meaning David usurped the throne); and the Lord has given the kingdom into the hand of your son Absalom. And behold, you are taken in your own evil, for you are a man of bloodshed.”

This statement about Absalom contradicts what he just said, for if David usurped the throne, then Absalom had no right to it either (v 8). Abishai, David’s nephew, asked, “Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over now and cut off his head.” But David did not take his advice (and Joab’s). David says, “If he curses , and if the Lord has told him, ‘Curse David,’ then who shall say, ‘Why have you done so?'” In other words, David is saying to let him go on and curse because this was a part of God’s plan. Shimei had a corrupt hatred of David and God is using it.

David says Absalom, his own son, wants to kill him, so what can the words of Shimei really do. Perhaps the Lord will look upon this and return good to him instead of cursing. Shimei was part of Saul’s family so David was not going to harm him. Besides, David knew his sins and deserved it, but God is gracious and merciful. So they left him alone and this was contrary to the Torah in Exo 22.28 where it says, “You shall not curse a judge or a ruler of your people.”

Now, here is an interesting aspect to this story. In Est 2.5 we learn that Mordechai was the son of Jair, the son of Shimei, the son of Kish, a Benjaminite” (1 Sam 9.1-2). David had mercy on Shimei and it produced a Mordechai who saved the Jewish people in the book of Esther. On the other hand, Saul had mercy on Agag and it produced a Haman, a descendant of Agag the Amalekite, who will try to kill the Jewish people (Est 3.1). Mordechai and Agag would have a confrontation in the book of Esther, but Mordechai was there to stop him. This teaches us that there is a time for mercy and a time not to show mercy. Misplaced mercy can produce a Haman, and properly placed mercy can produce a Mordechai.

Finally, David arrives in Bachurim (v 15) and at the same time, Absalom and Ahitophel arrive in Jerusalem. Hushai comes to Absalom and says, “Long live the king” trying to gain his confidence. Absalom says, “Is this your loyalty to your friend? Why did you not go with your friend?” Absalom couldn’t even mention the name ‘David” or “my father” here. But Hushai will be ambiguous here when he says, “No! For whom the Lord, his people, and all the men of Israel have chosen, his will I be, and with him will remain.” Hushai is talking about David, but Absalom thinks he is talking about him. There was a song by Carly Simon in the seventies, released by Elektra records in November of 1972 called “You’re So Vain” and there is a line in the song that says, “You probably think this song is about you.” Well, that’s Absalom. God wants Hushai to serve Absalom, and Hushai wants Absalom to believe that the kingship is in the family, so who he serves makes no difference to him.

Then Absalom says to Ahitophel, “Give your advice.” And Ahitophel tells him to lie with his father’s concubines (2 Sam 15.16, 16.21). By this act, all of Israel will see how much Absalom hates his father and they will be strengthened with resolve against David. But this advice fulfilled a prophecy given by Nathan because of what David did in the Bathsheba/Uriah affair in 2 Sam 12.11 where it says, “Behold I will raise up evil against you from your own household; I will even take your wives before your eyes, and give them to your companion, and he will lie with your wives in broad daylight.” So, this was part of God’s plan.

They “pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof and Absalom went into his father’s concubines in the sight of all Israel” (2 Sam 12.12). This symbolized the taking of the kingship from David. Adonijah, another son of David, will try to do the same thing with Abishag, and Solomon will have him killed (1 Kings 2.19-25). The chapter ends with the verse that says, “And the advice of Ahitophel which he gave in those days was as if one inquired of the word of God; so was all the advice of Ahitophel regarded by both David and Absalom” (2 Sam 16.23).

We will pick up in 2 Sam 17.1-29 in Part 15.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 13

2 Sam 15.1-37 now tells us the story of how Absalom will plot against the king and undermines him. As we have said before, he will be a picture of the False Messiah. Absalom provided for himself a chariot and horses, and fifty men as runners before him. He may have gotten these from his grandfather Talmai, the king of Geshur (east of the Jordan). Absalom’s name means “father of peace (Avshalom) but he really isn’t, his heart is cold (Matt 24.5).

Absalom would rise early (shows diligence) and stand beside the way to the gate of the king’s palace and when any person had a suit to bring before the king, Absalom would call to them and say, “From what city are you?” And he would say, “Your servant is from one of the tribes of Israel” showing he was not from a city of another nation. Then Absalom would say to him, “See, your claims are good and right, but no one listens to you on the part of the king.” He would also say, “Oh that one would appoint me judge in the land, then every man who has a suit or cause could come to me, and I would give him justice.” He is trying to take the kingdom by seduction.

And it happened when a man came near to prostrate himself before him, he would put out his hand and take hold of him and kiss him. He is also trying to delude them. This is the way Absalom dealt with all Israel who would come to the king for judgment; so Absalom stole away the hearts of the men of Israel, by flattery. The majority of Israel was swayed then, and majority will be swayed in the future by the flattery of the False Messiah (Dan 11.32). He will also question the judgments of the king in the Torah, and he is called “lawless” which means “Torah-less.” The False Messiah will tell the people what they want to hear, like Absalom, saying “you are free from the law” or “you are not under the law.”

Now it came about that Absalom asked his father for permission to go to Hebron to fulfill a vow. He made the vow in Geshur to serve the Lord if he brought him back to Jerusalem. He was given permission and went to Hebron. But Absalom sent spies throughout the land saying, “As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpet, then you say, ‘Absalom reigns in Hebron.'” He took two hundred men with him to Hebron and they did not know what was happening. But the people would see him and think they backed Absalom. It will be the same thing with the leaders who appoint the False Messiah in Rev 17.12-13.

Then Absalom sent for Ahitophel the Gilonite, David’s counselor, from his city in Giloh (“exile”). The conspiracy is strong and the people increased continually with Absalom. Now, the story of Ahitophel is an important one and it is a study about the roots of bitterness and what can happen to a person who is bitter. So, we are going to take a look at this concept and it will cover 2 Sam 11.1 to 2 Sam 17.23.

Ahitophel (“brother of ruin”) was the grandfather of Bathsheba and the father of Eliam. Eliam and Uriah the Hittite were part of the “Givorim” (“mighty men”) of David (2 Sam 23.34, 39). Ahitophel became very bitter over the death of Uriah and the whole affair with Bathsheba. Eliam, Bathsheba’s father, remained faithful to David even after the Bathsheba incident, but Ahitophel didn’t. Eliam stood by David even after he murdered his son-in-law and disgraced his daughter because he knew that God was with David. He had to stand against his own father to support David.

We can learn about an unforgiving spirit from this story and how it can lead to destruction. There are a lot of times we feel justified and hold on to our bitterness and anger, and we won’t let go of whatever it is. We can choose to let it go or hold on to bitterness. But we cannot afford to be bitter even if we are in the right and they are truly guilty. We can let it go, but it won’t be easy and we will struggle with it. But how do we let it go?

What was the message in Jeremiah? The people needed to surrender and come out from behind the walls of Jerusalem to live. They had to surrender to Nebuchadnezzar who was called the “King of Kings.” In this he is a picture of Yehovah. The people had to believe the Lord and come out because resistance meant death. We will see in this story that Ahitophel would not let go of his bitterness and hatred of David, and it ended with the death of Ahitophel. As for those who followed Absalom, they were cut to pieces in the Forest of Ephraim.

We learn in 2 Sam 15.13-18 that the heart of the people was with Absalom. David knows this and he flees because there was going to be a massacre. So, David and his household fled and they move east and stop at the last house. His servants (“Avadim” or warriors) pass on beside him. It also says the Cherethites, Pelethites, and the Gittites with 600 men who had joined him pass on before the king.

These troops were a part of what is called the “Sea Peoples” and they were related to the Philistines and they became Jews because they believed in the God of Israel. The Gittites were from Gath of the Philistines who had just joined the day before (v 20). These troops were part of the bodyguard of David.

We have other terms that are used and their meanings are missed for their military meanings. We have gone over these before, but we want to go over them again. When you see “young men” they are what is called the “Ne’arim” and they are elite troops. The “Givorim” are the mighty men and they performed some unbelievable exploits in Battle. Eliam and Uriah were a part of this group. Then we will have the professional army and officers under Joab, and we will also have the militia led by Amasa.

The leader of the Gittites was a man called Ittai. David asked him why he was leaving with him, since he had just joined (v 20). Ittai was what is called a “Nokri” (“foreigner”) and an exile. David wanted him to go home and not get mixed up in all this, but Ittai would hear none of it. He knew David was God’s man and he said wherever David went, he would go. So David said, “Go and pass over” (the Kidron Valley). So Ittai and his men went on. We will learn in 2 Sam 18.2 that Ittai will command one-third of the army under David. David also passed over the Kidron Valley (like Yeshua did in John 18.1 after his arrest) and they were making their way to the wilderness, including the Valley of Sukkot to the northeast. David is quite familiar with this area when he was fleeing from Saul and he knew the terrain. This will be an advantage against Absalom in any upcoming battle, and David is choosing the place to fight. In our spiritual warfare, you never want the enemy to choose the place for battle because it will always be to their advantage. Prophetically, we know that Israel will be fleeing from the False Messiah in Rev 12.14 and Isa 16 to this very same wilderness. This is the same area where Jews fled from the Romans in 70 A.D. and 135 A.D.

The High Priest Zadok came and all the Levites with him, and they brought the Ark of the Covenant. However, David told them to return it to the city. It would be safer there and besides, if God brought David back he would “show me both it (Ark) and his habitation (the Mishkan/Temple).” David wasn’t assuming anything and he did not want the Ark outside the city. He also said that it may be that the Lord says, “I have no delight in you” and will do to David whatever he wants. So, he was not taking any unnecessary risks or being presumptuous. David knows that the Lord is dealing with him, but he also trusted in Yehovah and put his future into God’s hands.

He asked Zadok, “Are you not a seer?” This means he was either a prophet or a knowing man and he wanted Zadok to see the wisdom in this. He wants them to go back and David will wait at the fords of the Jabbok River for word about the conspiracy, the numbers involved and Absalom’s plans. This information could prove to be valuable to David. So Zadok, Abiathar and the Ark returned to Jerusalem and remained there.

Starting in 2 Sam 15.30 we have a very prophetic event and we will pick up with that in Part 14.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 12

2 Sam 13.23 says that it was two years after the incident with Amnon and Tamar that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal-hazor (“Lord of the village”) and Absalom invited all the king’s sons to come for a celebration. As we have said before, this story beginning in 2 Sam 13 is a seven year drama which is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God. We have seen that Absalom has been plotting for two tears. In 2 Sam 13.38-39 we will see Absalom flee to Geshur (his mother was from there) for three years. Then in 2 Sam 14.28 we will learn that he returned to Israel but did not see his father David for another two years. Then in 2 Sam 18.14-15 we learn about the death of Absalom after his rebellion.

Getting back to our story, having all the king’s sons there at the sheep shearing would have been expensive (v 25), so Absalom requests that Amnon (the heir) come. David asks, “Why should he go with you?” This would have been expensive, too, or David suspected something. To cover his plot, Absalom asks David to send all of his sons to show no exception to just one, but Absalom only had eyes on Amnon. So Amnon and all the sons went (27).

Absalom told his servants that when Amnon was drunk, he will say, “Strike Amnon” and then they were to fall on him and put him to death. He told them not to fear because he would take full responsibility. So, they did it and the heir Amnon died like Adam did as the result of his sin. All the other sons rose and mounted their mules and left thinking they were next. When they were on their way, David heard that Absalom struck down all the king’s sons and none of them were left. David thought that was the plan.

Then Jonadab, the same guy who who advised Amnon in 2 Sam 13.3-5, told David not to believe the report. He said only Amnon was killed and that had been the intent of Absalom since he raped Tamar. In other words, Absalom has been a “murderer from the beginning (John 8.44) and this alludes to Satan and the False Messiah.

Meanwhile, Absalom fled because he couldn’t protect himself. He went to Talmai (“furrowed”) the king of Geshur, his grandfather, and his daughter was Maacah, who was the mother of Absalom and Tamar (2 Sam 3.3). He would be there for three years (2 Sam 13.38-39). Now its been five years in our drama. David refrained from going out after him. The word “longed” in v 39 means “refrained” and it is used that way in Psa 40.9.

In 2 Sam 14.1-33 it tells us that David’s general Joab believed that David’s heart was inclined towards Absalom, so Joab employed a wise woman to feign a case before David. This will illustrate a point to David which he will see, and cause David to recall Absalom. The woman brought a story before David about two sons, one dead and another threatened with death. You could appeal to the king if all else fails.

She tells David that an avenger of blood is trying to avenge the death of a member of the family. In Israel, a brother had the right to avenge his sister if she was murdered by Torah law, but Tamar was raped. The cities of refuge mentioned in Num 35.9-34 were given to protect someone guilty of manslaughter from being killed by the avenger of blood. So, it is possible, that after these three years David was seeing this in another light.

She tells David that her two sons struggled together in the field and one son killed the other son. This is like David with his two sons. They struggled and David never corrected them. Nobody saw the two sons fight, and nobody saw the rape of Tamar. One was the aggressor in all of this, Absalom.

Then she says the whole family has risen against her and they want her to hand over the other son so he can be put to death by the avenger of blood (David’s other sons). This would destroy the heir. This was meant to insinuate that this was the real reason David’s other sons wanted Absalom dead. She said this would extinguish her “coal” or leave no heirs. This is where the story differs from Absalom’s. She was told to go home and David would check out her story. She said if this is not true let the iniquity be on her and her house, but she wants an immediate verdict (in case David gets too busy and forgets the case). David said if anyone brings in the son, they were to bring him to David. She then tells David that he should remember that God is merciful and compassionate, and she wanted a universal ruling of the avenger not to harm her son. David swears that her son will be safe if he brought in.

Now she has made her point and this story will now be applied to Absalom. She asks the king to be able to speak freely. She says that the king is contradicting himself in his ruling because he does not bring back his banished son. She says that God finds ways to bring us back to him, so David should be as merciful and bring back his own son before it is too late. David was estranged from his son and growing bitter. This made Absalom a threat through insurrection and disputes over succession. She is saying that David should initiate a reconciliation. If he is willing to forgive the murder of a brother for a poor widow, then he should be willing to pardon his own son.

David now understands that her case is not a real case but a parable to shed light on Absalom (v 18-19). David asks if the hand of Joan is in all of this, and she says “Yes” (v 19-20). The story was told so that it applied to Absalom, at the direction of Joab. Then David told Joab that he would recall “the young man Absalom.” This was to imply that what was done was done in youthful passion.

So Joab went out and got Absalom from Geshur and brought him back to Jerusalem. However, he was to remain in his own house and not see his father to show that David detested what Absalom did, and to show his resentment. He wanted to humiliate Absalom. In this, we find out something very interesting and prophetic about Absalom, who is a picture of the False Messiah.

It says in 2 Sam 14.25-26 that there was no one as handsome as Absalom, and there was no defect in him. How opposite this was from the true Messiah (Isa 53.2). It also says he cut his hair every year and it weighed about six pounds. He was not a Nazarite and his hair was his glory and pride, like the power behind the False Messiah Satan has (Ezek 28.17). Absalom also had three sons and this alludes to the nations that will depart from the False Messiah in Dan 7.8, 20, 24. These sons apparently died young and are never named. He also had a daughter named Tamar, after his sister.

So Absalom lived two years in Jerusalem and did not come face to face with his father. Now we have a total of seven years since the sin of Amnon (2 Sam 13.23, 38-39, 14.28). Absalom has killed the heir (Satan has killed the heir Adam) and now he will begin to plot and put himself into a position to take the whole kingdom after seven years, just as Satan has plotted and will attempt to take the Kingdom of God after seven thousand years (Rev 20.7-10). This story will end with Absalom’s rebellion against the king, and this is a picture of what will happen with the false Messiah who will rebel against David’s descendant and king, Yeshua, and try to take the kingdom. We know that will fail, and Satan will try to do it himself at the end of the seven thousand years.

Absalom felt uncomfortable about this so he sent for Joab, but Joab didn’t come. Revealing his true nature, Absalom sends his servants to burn Joab’s barley field. When Joab finds out, he goes to Absalom and asked him why he burned his barley field. Absalom tells Joab, “Behold, I sent for you” and you did not come. He wanted to send Joab to David and ask him why he even came back from Geshur. He was part of the royal family there and had it pretty good. He wanted to see his father face to face and if he finds me guilty, then let him put me to death. This would be less humiliating for Absalom then to live like he was. Absalom is not ashamed for burning Joab’s field, nor does he even ask to be forgiven for it.

So Joab told David about what Absalom has told him, and David called for Absalom. He comes and falls prostrate before his father, and David kissed him. David never corrected his son and he makes the same mistakes that he made with Amnon. Perhaps David thought that Amnon should have been put to death and failed to do so, and Absalom did what he should have done. This reconciliation lays the seed for all the trouble that will follow. We will pick up here in Part 13.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 11

In 2 Sam 12, the Lord will send Nathan the Prophet to David in 2 Sam 12.1-15 and David’s sin is revealed through an “aggadah” or “parable.” He tells David about two men, one rich (David) and the other poor (Uriah). The rich man had many flocks (David had many wives) but the poor man had nothing but a pet lamb (Bathsheba). A traveler came to the rich man (Satan and the carnal nature) but the rich man took the pet lamb (Bathsheba) from the poor man (Uriah) to cook for the traveler (satisfy his appetite). Nathan leaves out the the death of the poor man so David does not figure out the meaning just yet. David is furious and says the man that did this “deserves to die.” And he should make a four-fold restitution of the lamb (Exo 22.1). Then Nathan said to David, “You are the man.”

This will be a classic case of the concept “Middah Kneged Middah” meaning “measure for measure” and Nathan begins to tell David what is going to happen to him. Just as David used the sword (war) against Uriah, the sword will not depart from the house of David because David has the Lord by rejecting his commandments and showing no pity. David’s sin was based on ingratitude. God anointed him as king as a young man, delivered him, gave him both houses of Israel, yet David sought out sin, despising the Torah. Evil people will do evil things against David now. His wives will be given to another and he shall lie with them in broad daylight (2 Sam 16.22 with Absalom).

The Lord took away David’s sin (v 13) and David would not die physically or spiritually, but there will be a visible testimony of God’s displeasure in what is going to happen to him. David demanded a four-fold restitution for the person in Nathan’s parable (v 6), so the Lord demanded a four-fold restitution for Uriah from David’s four sons: the newborn (v 15), Amnon, Absalom and Adonijah.

In 2 Sam 12.16-31 we know that the son that was conceived between Bathsheba and David was struck by the Lord and dies. The Scriptures in v 15 says that Bathsheba was the wife of Uriah, which she was when the child was conceived. David pleaded with God for the child and he fasted while the child was alive. When he heard that the child had died, he got up from the ground, washed himself, put on clean clothes and went to worship the Lord. He goes to the ohel (tent) where the Ark was to give thanks that the Lord brought him to repentance. He received forgiveness from the Lord and the satisfaction and assurance that the child is eternally with the Lord (v 23). He then returned to his own house and began to eat again.

When asked by his servants why he he did what he did, David said that while the child was still alive he prayed that God would have mercy on the child and himself. But now that he was dead, why should he fast? Could he bring him back from the dead by doing that? Then David said that someday he will go to him, but he will not be coming back from the dead. David believed that he would see his son again someday. This seems to indicate that infants and young children go to be with the Lord in the case of a premature death. It is important to understand something here. If they go to be with the Lord, it is not because they are innocent and deserve to be there, but because of the mercy of God.

David comforts Bathsheba, who is for the first time called David’s wife in v 24, and she conceives and she gives birth to Solomon. He is called this before he was ever born (1 Chr 22.9). He is also named “Yedidyah” which means “beloved of Yehovah.” He also had a third name “Kohelet” which is the Hebrew name for the book of Ecclesiastes. We have another picture of the first and second Adam here. David and Bathsheba had a first born son, but he died and was not the heir. The heir would be Solomon, the second born son and he is a picture of Yeshua (1 Kings 1.17).

Now the story of the siege at Rabbah picks up again in v 26 and Joab sent messengers to tell David that he had captured the royal city. Josephus says they cut off their water source (v 27). He wants the soldiers to come to him. So David comes and captures the city. They put the people under saws, sharp axes and sharp instruments like a gauntlet (1 Chr 20.3). The people of Rabbah would burn their children in ovens so they made them pass through ovens, and they did this to all the cities of the children of Ammon.

Because of the evil that will befall David’s house as predicted by Nathan, 2 Sam 13 begins a seven year drams that is a picture of man’s rebellion during the seven thousand year plan of God. This drama will play out from 2 Sam 13.1 to 2 Sam 18.15 with the death of Absalom, who will be a picture of Satan and the False Messiah. Absalom means “father of peace” but he wasn’t, so we will pick up now with 2 Sam 13.1-39.

Absalom had a sister named Tamar meaning “date palm” which is a tree signifying the righteous. She will be a picture of Chava (Eve) before she sinned in the garden. He also had a brother who was the first born named Amnon meaning “faithful” and the name is similar to the word “emunah” meaning “faith or confidence.” He will be a picture of Adam who is the first born and crown prince of God the king in the garden (Gen 3.6-24). We are going to look at this seven year drama to see a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God.

Amnon loved his sister Tamar, which is forbidden in the Torah. This is a picture of desiring “forbidden fruit.” Amnon was sick over her and she was a virgin, like Chava before the fall. It will be hard to have access to her (v 2). Amnon had a cousin named Jonadab (“Yehovah is willing”), the son of Shimea (“fame”) David’s brother (also called Shammah” in 1 Sam 16.9). Jonadab was a very shrewd man, like Nachash in Gen 3.4. He is a tempter of Amnon here.

He tells Amnon in v 4, “O son of the king, why are you depressed?” Remember, Adam was the son of the king also. Amnon says, “I am in love with Tamar, the sister of my brother Absalom.” Notice he does not say “my sister.” This is to lessen his desire as being sin, like Adam did in Gen 3.12. So Jonadab devises a scheme to help Amnon obtain the forbidden fruit he desires (v 5-6). He tells Amnon to go to his bed and pretend to be sick. When David comes to check on him, he is to tell David to let Tamar come and give him some food.

So David comes to check on him and Amnon says, “Please let my sister Tamar come and give me some food to eat and let her prepare the food in my sight, that I may see it and eat from her hand.” Notice he says “my sister” to his father to cover his evil designs. David does indeed send Tamar to Amnon’s house and she prepares food for him. Amnon took hold of Tamar and asked her to lie with him. She refuses, saying he was her brother and “such a thing is not done in Israel.” Besides, she says that this kind of thing would ruin her reputation and bring reproach upon her. But he would not listen, and he was stronger than she was, and he violated her.

Then Amnon hated her with a great hatred, and their relationship has been diminished. As in the case of Adam and Chava, there has been a change due to sin. Amnon had Tamar removed from him and Tamar mourned the loss of her virginity (v 19). Now Absalom enters the picture.

He says, “Has Amnon your brother been with you? But now, keep silent my sister, he is your brother; do not take this matter to heart.” SO she listened to him and remained desolate in Absalom’s house. In Hebrew, the word Amnon in v 20 is spelled “Aminon” which is a variant of Amnon to show contempt. Absalom is telling Tamar to not tell David, and this isn’t as disgraceful because he is her brother , not a stranger. It was done in lust, and a youthful lust, and this should be forgiven. If she tells anyone it would disgrace the whole family. But, he didn’t say all this to spare Amnon, the heir, he said this to take revenge on Amnon when the time came. In doing this, he thinks he will elevate himself.

When David heard of this he was angry, but nothing was done to him. Some believe that a court could do nothing because there were no witnesses. So, the punishment was in the hands of Yehovah. Absalom did not speak to Amnon about this, but talked freely with him to lower his guard. It came about that after two years that Absalom had sheep shearers in Baal-hazor (“Lord of the village”), and Absalom invited his father David and all the king’s sons to come. But David refused because it would have been too burdensome for all of them to come because it would have raised the expense for all those who would have attended them. So Absalom requests to have Amnon come, the heir. David was somewhat suspicious and asks, “Why should he go with you?” He was going to be expensive, too.

As we have said before, this story sets in motion a seven year drama which is a picture of the seven thousand year plan of God. We have seen that Amnon has eaten of the forbidden fruit, and Absalom has been plotting against him for two years. We will pick up here in Part 12.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 10

2 Sam 11.1-27 the Ammonites who are under siege in Rabbah, and it discusses the sins of David in the Bathsheba affair. He will try to conceal his sin by laying a scheme to kill her husband Uriah the Hittite, using the Ammonites. He then will marry Bathsheba after Uriah is dead because she will be with child.

Israel went out to besiege Rabbah in the spring. The rains have stopped and it is a good time to go out to battle, especially in a siege situation. The Ammonites are trapped inside Rabbah, and a siege could last a long time, so David as king stayed in Jerusalem, which was a common practice (2 Sam 12.26-31). A king like David could not afford to be away from business too long. Once the city was ready to fall they will summon David.

So, when the sun began to go down in the afternoon, David arose from his bed and walked around the roof of the king’s house. He saw a woman “bathing” and the word there is “rachatz” which means “washing” (more on that later). This is not “tevilah” meaning “immersion.” So David asked who it was, and they told him her name was Bathsheba, the wife of one of his “givorim” (“mighty men”) Uriah the Hittite. Uriah was from the land that was possessed by the Hittites, but he was most likely an Israelite. She is the daughter of Eliam, the son of Ahitophel, and one of David’s “givorim” (2 Sam 23.34). He is also called Ammiel, and Bathsheba is called Bathshua in 1 Chr 3.5. Ahitophel was David’s counselor and the grandfather of Bathsheba, so David knew her (2 Sam 23.34).

As we have said, Uriah was one of the “givorim” or mighty men (2 Sam 23.39) and one of his generals, and they stayed around David’s house when in Jerusalem. David sent messengers and he “lay with her” because she had purified herself from her uncleanness (menstrual cycle-Lev 15.19) and could now have sexual relations. She returned to her house after being with David (2 Sam 11.4). These verses here are very misunderstood.

The reason she was “washing” (rachatz) in her house was because she was obeying the Torah. At that time, people did not have mikvahs in their houses, especially on the rooftops for full immersions (tevilah). Those did not come along for another 800 years (second century BC). No mikva’ot (immersion baths) before then have ever been found. That means sprinkling was done for ritual uncleanness. You could immerse if there was a river, lake or ocean around, but many places did not have those places available. If you want more information on this subject, see our teaching called “Tevilah (immersion) and Rachatz (washing) on this website. We have several sources listed where you can get more information.

Many have criticized Bathsheba for being “immodest” here but they are ignorant of the Torah and the methods of ritual cleansing. She was not “taking a bath” as some believe but she was a Torah observant woman who was performing a ritual cleansing after her menstrual cycle so that normal husband and wife relations could proceed. If she didn’t, then she nor her husband could enter the Sanctuary in a state of ritual uncleanness (Lev 15.19-24). There is nothing in this story that suggests that she was being immodest. We don’t know where Bathsheba was and we should assume that she was in the privacy of her home and David could look down and see her, possibly through a window. We should not jump to conclusions and believe that she was doing this out in the open.

Bathsheba had purified herself from her menstrual uncleanness, so we know she wasn’t pregnant already when David saw her. That is an important aspect to this story. David sends for her, and again she has been criticized for going to David. However, David is the king and he had the power of life and death. She simply did not have a right to refuse the king. He had relations with her and she returned to her house (v 4). She conceived and then told David (v 5). He immediately sends for Uriah. He plots to cover her pregnancy by having Uriah come home. Now, Uriah was possibly an Israelite who had lived in Hittite territory, or he was a Hittite who followed the God of Israel and the Torah as it applied to him. He was one of David’s “mighty men” and as we said, and they lived around David’s house.

There are several military terms we need to bring out here. We know about the “Givorim” and we also have the word “Avadim” which is translated as “servants” (11.8). These were warriors in the royal bodyguard. We will also have the “Ne’arim” which is translated as “young men” and these were elite troops, like the Navy Seals or Special Forces. A “Mishpocha” was a thousand troops, and the captain of a thousand was called the “Sar Aluph.” A group of fifty was called a “Chamushim.”

So Uriah comes home and David asked him about the welfare of the troops. Being a siege, morale can be a problem because they could be long. Then David sends Uriah home to see his wife, you know, hoping he would get a soldier’s welcome by his lonely wife, and David sends gifts over to the house. But Uriah slept at the door of David’s house and did not go home. Being an honorable man, Uriah did not think it was proper to enjoy his own home when his men and the ark were in tents (temporary dwellings or “sukkahs”). The Ark was in a tent (“ohel”) in Jerusalem so many think he is referring to the ephod with the Urim and Thummim to inquire of the Lord. But the sense is that the term temporary shelters meant just that, sukkahs or tents, something to live in while in the field (v 11).

So David tries something else. He wants Uriah to stay in Jerusalem for a few days, and has dinner with him and tries to get Uriah drunk. But Uriah did not forget his oath in v 11, and did not go home. He slept with the “servants” (Avadim) or the royal bodyguard (v 13). David realizes that his tricks to get Uriah home and have relations with his wife was not going to work, so he devises another plan.

David writes a letter to his commander in chief Joab. He tells him to place Uriah in the heat of the battle, then withdraw from him, leaving him alone and vulnerable, with no protection. BY doing this, Uriah will be killed. So David put the letter into Uriah’s hand and he took it to Joab, not knowing it was his death sentence. All of this is a picture of Yeshua. Like Uriah, he renounces the comforts of home (heaven) to be a servant to the king (the Father). All of this is part of God’s plan.

Uriah carried the written word of the king concerning his own death, just like Yeshua carried the written word about his death (the Scriptures). Joab and the soldiers were obeying orders, just like the Roman soldiers did with Yeshua. Others died along with Uriah, just like the two thieves died with Yeshua. Uriah’s name means “Light of God” and when Uriah died, the “light of God” was extinguished. Yeshua is the “light of God” and when he died the “light of God” was extinguished also.

Joab sends a message to David telling him about the events of the siege. He tells him that he sent soldiers to the wall to fight and there were casualties. When David gets angry and says, “Did you not know that they would shoot from the wall?” The messenger was then to tell David, “Your servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.” Once David knew that Uriah was dead, he tells Joab by the messenger, “Thus you shall say to Joab, ‘Do not let this thing displease you for the sword devours one as well as another; make your battle against the city stronger and overthrow it; and so encourage him.'” Even though Joab is the nephew of David, he now has something on David.

This story tells us about our own spiritual warfare. We have all heard the verse in 2 Cor 10.4, “For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds.” In battle or siege, those who got close to a city wall were called “sappers.” They would get close to the wall and try to pull stones out of the wall or dig at the foundation of the wall so that it would fall down. This was a very dangerous job, and you did not put your best warriors there. Usually it was whoever was expendable.

In Judges 9.53 we learn about a woman who threw an upper millstone from the wall on Abimelech’s head, crushing his skull. It was not a safe job to have in a siege. You did not want to get close to the walls. So the “pulling down” of strongholds is a dangerous job to have in a spiritual battle also, and there will be casualties. People like to quote this verse, but living this verse in a real battle is a different matter.

When Bathsheba heard that Uriah was dead, she mourned for him. After the period of mourning was over, David sent for Bathsheba and married her. According to the Torah, both of them should have been put to death if it ever got out (Lev 20.10). She will bear a son, but this story is not over by a long shot as we shall soon see. The conscience of the David in this story is a far cry from the David who felt bad for merely cutting the tzitzit off of the robe of King Saul.

The death of Uriah will also be at the core of why Ahitophel will turn against David and side with Absalom in his rebellion against his father. Ahitophel never got over the bitterness against David because of the death of his grandaughter’s husband. Because of this sin, David and Bathsheba will pay a dear price as we shall soon see.

God forgave David and David went on to accomplish many great things for the kingdom of God. In addition, God used this relationship to produce Solomon, who would succeed David and build the Temple of God. And it is through Solomon that the line of Joseph, the husband of Miriam, would come (Matt 1.6). But Yeshua could not be king through Joseph because of the curse in Jer 22.28-30. So, they would also produce Nathan, the third of four sons born to them (2 Sam 5.14; 1 Chr 3.5, 14.4) and it is through Nathan that Miriam and Yeshua would come, giving Yeshua the right to the throne through her (Luke 3.31).

We will pick up here in Part 11.

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Tanak Foundations- Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 9

2 Sam 10.1-19 tells us that after the wars in Chapter 9, David sends messengers to the king of Ammon named Hanun (“gracious”). They were sent to console the king for the death of his father, who showed kindness to David. David sent them to Nachash (“serpent”) not because he had any great love for David, but he hated Saul for what he did at Jabesh-gilead (1 Sam 11).

The advisors and nobles of the king mistrust what David is doing, and will advise the king that these people are spies, so they mistreat these messengers. David’s messengers (“malakim” in Hebrew, where we get “angel”) didn’t shave or tear their clothes in mourning because the Torah instructed them not to do it. They could not cut a bald spot on their head, shave their beard, cut the skin or have tatoo’s for the dead (Lev 19.27-28, 21.4-5; Deut 14.1).
Because these Jewish messengers did not do these pagan mourning practices, the Ammonites shaved off half of their beards and cut off their garments in the middle, and sent them away humiliated. When David was told about what they did, he sent messengers out to meet them with clothes and told them to stay at Jericho until their beards grew back.

Now, the Ammonites saw that David was angry, and the Ammonites have brought on themselves trouble. As a result, they hired some Syrian mercenaries from Beth-rehob and and of Zobah (2 Sam 8.3). 1 CHr 19.6 says they paid 1000 talents to the Syrians. He also hired some from Maacah (“oppression”) and from Tob (“good”). This is the same as Ish-tob where Yiftach (Jepthah) fled (Judges 11.3). When David heard this, he sent Joab and all the army, and the “mighty men” or “givorim.” These mighty men did some extraordinary things, but they didn’t start out as these super heroes. They were with David at first, and they were some of the troubled, debt-ridden, depressed peole who followed David since his days at the cave of Adullam (1 Sam 22.1-2). Adino the Eznite killed 800 people at one time (2 Sam 23.8). Jashobeam, the son of a Hachimonite, killed 300 (1 Chr 11.11). Benaiah killed a lion in a pit on a snowy day and took on a huge Egyptian warrior and killed him with his own spear (1 Chr 11.22-23).

The Ammonites came out at the entrance of Medeba (1 Chr 19.7) while the Syrians were by themselves in a field. The Ammonites didn’t trust the Syrians in their city, so they are going to stay close. This will allow the Ammonites and the Syrians to fight on two fronts. Now, Joab is an experienced warrior and he looks over the battlefield and sees how the Ammonites and Syrians have set themselves for battle. They were set up to fight in front of Joab, and to his rear. Joab knew that the Syrians were out there in the field alone, and the cowardly Ammontites were staying close and very near to their city gate in order to take cover if things got bad. The battle was over before it started. This story is a great example for our own spiritual battles.

He selects all the best warriors to go to the front where the Syrians were. His strategy is this. He is going to set his best warriors against “hired guns” who are only in it for the money. They can’t spend their money if they are dead, so they will lose heart and give up quickly. Abishai and Joab were sons of David’s sister, so they were David’s nephews. Abishai was against the Ammonites on a second front, and would chase the Ammonites back into their city because they were cowards. Then Joab said that if the Syrians are too strong for him, that Abishai was to come and help him. On the other hand, if the Ammonites were too strong for Abishai, then Joab would come and help. This is a true case of being surrounded, and having the enemy right where you want them. He doesn’t even consider that the combination of the Syrians and Ammonites might be too strong for both of them because the outcome of the battle was in the hands of the Lord anyway. He had to do with what he had.

He then exhorted Abishai to be strong for the sake of “our people” because they need to be defended. Then he says something very important. He says, “and may Yehovah do what is right in his sight.” Here is an important concept. It’s up to the Lord as to what happens. We have to do all we can, especially in a spiritual battle. Job 12.23-25 says, “He makes the nations great, then destroys them; he enlarges the nations, then leads them away (they make treaties to not go to war, then they go to war if he wants them to). He deprives of intelligence the chiefs of the earth’s people (like presidents, rulers, kings), and makes them wander in a pathless place (confused). They grope in darkness with no light, and makes them stagger like a drunken man.” Today’s news is nothing but a bunch of fools speaking their foolish minds. Lam 3.37 says, “Who is there who speaks and it comes to pass, unless the Lord has commanded.” We can’t confess something into existence or make things happen unless it is the will of Yehovah to begin with.

Joab is not being presumptuous here. He has put his best warriors against the weaker in mind hired guns, who when pressed, will run. When they do, he can join Abishai against the Ammonites. But that is all he can do. After that, it is up to the Lord who will determine the outcome of the battle according to his will and purposes. So Joab draws near to fight against the Syrians, and they turn and run because God was with Israel. Then when the Ammonites saw that the Syrians had fled, they also ran before Abishai and entered the city of Rabbah. There was no battle at all. The Lord promised to do this in Deut 28.7.

Joab returns to Jerusalem and when the Syrians saw that they had been defeated, they were embarrassed and wanted to face David and his army again. They united with Hadadezer (2 Sam 8.3) and he sent for and brought the Syrians from beyond the Euphrates, and they came to fight again. David found out and he gathered the army to prevent these Syrian reinforcements from getting any further. They engage David, who seems to be personally involved here, and Israel again defeats the Syrians, and they fled. 700 chariots and their men, and 40,000 horsemen were killed. Shobach, their commander, was also killed. When all the kings under Hadadezer saw that they were defeated, they made peace with Israel. They would not help the Ammonites again, who now stood alone. They will be easily conquered by David. This is a picture of what will happen when Yeshua, a descendant of David, will come to set up his kingdom. The people will serve the the Lord like the Syrians will serve David, and all of God’s enemies will be subdued.

Now, the Ammonites have fallen back to their city in Rabbah (2 Sam 11.1). In the spring, David will send Joab and the army out again to finish them off. We will pick up here in Part 10.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 8

2 Sam 8.1-18 tells us about the wars of David and his victories, especially over the Philistines, Moabites, Syrians and the Edomites. It also speaks about his righteous administration of government and some principle people. After a period of rest for a time, David defeated the Philistines and took control of their chief city called Gath (1 Chr 18.1). The Moabites showed enmity toward David, now that he was not the enemy of Saul, and were put under tribute because the Lord did not want David to destroy every nation. We will also pick up some valuable information about our spiritual warfare in 2 Sam 8.4.

David defeated Hadadezer (“Hadad is help”), the son of Rehob (“broad place”), king of Zobah (“station”), a part of Syria, as Hadaezer went to restore his rule at the Euphrates River. He captures 1700 horsemen and 20,000 soldiers. He also hamstrung the chariot horses so that they could not be used against him for war again. But, he reserved enough of the horses to equip 100 chariots for his own use (parades, etc). He is fulfilling the Torah here (Deut 17.15-16).

Something similar was done in the 1800’s. The Kiowa Comanche and the Cheyenne Arapaho were defeated in one battle by the U.S. Army. Their ponies were captured and shot. As a result, these nations could not hunt, travel or fight, so they surrendered. This is a common tactic in warfare-immobilize the enemy.
David did not keep the chariots because he was not equipped to handle them. Israel would have been ineffective in using them (1 Chr 18.4). Joshua did the same thing (Josh 11.6).

Spiritually, we need to destroy the weapons of mobility and firepower of our enemy so they cannot be used against us again. We should use the weapons God has given us and not try to be like someone else. David was not equipped to use chariots, and we are not equipped to be someone else, and we are not equipped to use the talents of someone else. But David did keep enough horses for 100 chariots, and that was his limitation, and we need to know our limitations also. David brought much spoil to Jerusalem to be used later in the Temple (2 Sam 8.11).

So, David was king over all Israel, and Joab was over the army. Jehoshaphat was the recorder (historian, clerk). Zadok and Ahimelech were the high priests, with Ahimelech in Jerusalem with the Ark, and who most likely went to war, and Zadok was in Gibeon with the Mishkan. Benaiah was over the Cherethites (security) and the Pelethites (couriers). David’s sons were “kohanim” in Hebrew, or chief ministers (in the sense of princes).

Now, the Cherethites and Pelethites were Philistines and they were David’s bodyguards. Why did David use foreigners as bodyguards? They had no familial interest in the tribes of Israel and were not caught up in all the internal, Israelite intrigues and loyalties. They were loyal to David, not to any particular tribe.

In 2 Sam 9.1-13 reveals David’s heart to the house of Saul. He inquires about the family of Saul and asked if there was anyone alive to show kindness to, as God showed David kindness. He remembered his oath to Saul (1 Sam 24.21 and to Jonathan (1 Sam 20.14-15) and it was not just based on his feelings. A former servant of Saul named Ziba (“statue”) tells David about a son of Jonathan named Mephiboshet (“extermination of the idol”), who is also known as Meribaal (“Baal is my advocate”) in 1 Chr 8.34. He was living in a place called Lo-devar, which means “no word.” He is in the house of Machir (“sold”), the son of Ammiel (“people of God”). Evidently, Mephiboshet was in hiding and we remember how he became lame (2 Sam 4.4). His nurse feared that the new leader of a new dynasty would get rid of any potential rivals.

Being a son of Jonathan, Mephiboshet was a rightful heir to the throne and could be seen as a threat by David. There were still some in Israel who never accepted David as the rightful king (2 Sam 16.5-8). Ishboshet was Mephiboshet’s uncle and he will wage war against David for the throne.

Mephiboshet came to David in humility and prostrated himself before David. David told him that he would show him kindness for his father’s sake, and he would restore all the land of Saul to him, and he would eat at his table (David’s), meaning he was considered as adopted by David. David’s kindness to Mephiboshet is given for the sake of another, based on a covenant. In the same way, God’s kindness to us is given for the sake of Yeshua, based on a covenant.

So Mephiboshet lived in Jerusalem and ate at David’s table as one of the king’s sons (v 11). He had a young son named Micah (“who is like”) and everyone who lived in Ziba’s house were servants to Mephiboshet. In 1 Chr 8.34 we learn that Micah had sons named Pithon (“mouth”), Melech (“king”), Tarea (“howling, doing evil”) and Ahaz (“Yehovah has held”). Other kings usually killed any potential rival, and Mephiboshet had that on his mind and that is why he hid himself. He thought he was safe as long as the king didn’t know about him, but all that has changed now because the king sought him out, and found him. He learns that this fear of David is unfounded because David removed his fears.

All of this alludes to Yeshua and the believers. We were crippled in our feet and unable to walk in the Torah. But Yeshua showed as kindness as we have said, and has adopted us into his family and we will eat at his table in the Messianic Kingdom (Isa 25.6; Matt 8.11; Luke 22.30). And like Mephiboshet, we had a fear of the king and hid ourselves, but Yeshua sought us out will fulfill his promise to us. Let’s look at a few more parallels.

In our unsaved state, we were like Mephiboshet. We were in hiding and weak. If we did go to “church” we didn’t know we were living in a house, sold to the people of God who had no word (Lo-devar) and we couldn’t walk in God’s Torah. We are separated from God because of our ancestor and former king Adam, and because of our actions against God. So we hid ourselves, but God sought us out before we accepted him (see our teaching called “The Sovereignty of God and the elect” on this website). We didn’t know the Lord or his love for us, but he sought us out. God’s kindness to us is for the the sake of another (Yeshua) and a covenant (Brit Chadasha/new or renewed covenant). But we must come in humility, and as a result, God will return back to us our inheritance and all that we have lost. We will get to sit at the king’s table in the kingdom and have a relationship with him.

On the other hand, David’s actions to Mephiboshet is a pattern for us as we deal with others. We should seek out our enemies and bless if possible. We should seek out those who cannot walk in God’s ways and try to minister to them about the the truth of God’s word. We should bless them for the sake of another who has blessed us, and with whom we have a covenant.

In Part 9 we will pick up in 2 Sam 10.1-19.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 7

David did not move the Ark into the city but had it carried to the house of Obed-edom the Gittite. He was a Levite from Gath-rimmon, a Levitical city (Josh 21.4). Only Levites who are from Kohath can carry the Ark (1 Chr 13.13; 15.11-15). The Ark stayed with Obed-deom for three months and God blessed, and David heard about it.

So David went and brought the Ark into the city. He took it into a tent that David had made for it. The Mishkan was at Gibeon (1 Chr 21.29; 2 Kings 3.4). When the Levites walked six paces, they sacrificed an ox and a fatling on an altar constructed for this. Now, the number six alludes to the number of man, weakness and sin. But after 6000 years (the Olam Ha Zeh) the Ark (Yeshua) will return to the city.

David was very happy about all of this and he was dancing before the Lord and sang. He was wearing a linen ephod instead of his royal robes. His wife Michal, Saul’s daughter, was very upset with him dancing like this and looking foolish before the maidservants and told him so. But David humbled her pride by saying that he was honoring the Lord and was very thankful to him for bringing the Ark into the city without incident this time. He told her that the Lord had chosen him before her father, and made him king. If she didn’t like his dancing she was going to get really upset because he was going to do even more. And when he humbles himself before the Lord, the maidservants she was worried about will honor him even more.

Then in 2 Sam 6.23 it says that Michal had no child until the day of her death. She brought up children for Adriel who were not her own (2 Sam 21.8). By being angry at David for praising God, she brought on herself a curse because bareness was seen by the Jewish people as a curse. But there is another way to look at this. The seed of David and the seed of Saul would never be mixed.

Spiritually, this teaches us that the seed of Messiah and the seed of the serpent/Satan will not mix either. The Torah says in Lev 19.19 that two kinds of seed cannot be mixed together. The word “Babylon” carries the meaning of “mixed” also. God’s kingdom cannot mix with Satan’s kingdom (Gen 3.15). Mark 3.23-29 says that Satan cannot cast out Satan and that a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand. Gen 1.11 says that things reproduce “after their own kind.” We also learn in Dan 2.31-45 that the feet have a heel. Satan’s heel has tried to take over God’s head, reversing the curse in Gen 3.15; Hab 3.13 and Isa 14.12. Satan has tried to sow (mix) his word into God’s word, the Torah. However, God’s word is the only good seed (Matt 13.1-30; Luke 8.4-15).

2 Sam 7.1-29 deals with David’s concern to build a house for the Ark. David was in his house (paaalace) that Hiram’s servants had built, and God had given him rest on every side from all his enemies. So, David said to Nathan that he was concerned that he was dwelling in a house of cedar while the Ark was in a tent (not the Mishkan) that David had made (2 Sam 6.27).

Nathan gave him permission to build the Temple, but David will not be the one to do it, and the timing was wrong. They did not have the site of the Altar yet. That location will come later through some very trying circumstances. Again we will quote from the book “Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II” by Rabbi Aryeh Kaplan, p.69-71, where it says, “The final step was the revelation of the place of the Altar and the Bible describes this most graphically. God became angry at David and had him count the Israelites, bringing on them a terrible plague. David then prayed to the Lord for forgiveness. He saw an angel standing on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite. The Prophet Gad then told David, ‘Go raise an altar to God on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite’ (2 Sam 24.18), and David did so, bringing offerings to God as an atonement.”

“The place of the Altar was thus revealed to David. This is the same place where Adam was created, and where he has offered the first sacrifice. There Cain and Abel, as well as Noah had brought offerings to God. On that very spot Abraham had bound his son Isaac when he was commanded by God. When this was revealed to David, he said, ‘This is the house of the Lord God, and this is the Altar of sacrifice for Israel’ (1 Chr 22.1).”

“One thing that still must be clarified is the reason for the manner in which the Altar was revealed. Why did it have to be revealed through a sin, and only after David’s subsequent repentance? Furthermore, the scripture states that ‘God became angry at Israel’ (2 Sam 24.1) but does not give any reason for it. If one looks at the verse immediately before this, however, one will find a mention of Uriah the Hittite, one of David’s generals. The Midrash states that God became angry at David and Israel because David had caused the death of Uriah. This Uriah was the husband of Bathsheba, and when David wished to take Bathsheba for a wife, he sent Uriah to the front where he was killed. The fact that David had sent a man to certain death in order to marry his wife was considered a great wrong, and David was severely rebuked by the prophet Nathan.”

So, Rabbi Kaplan is saying that David sinned and he killed Uriah, but he repented and received forgiveness and atonement. No matter how great a sin a person commits, if he is truly contrite in asking God for forgiveness, he will be forgiven. This is the main idea of the Altar and why it is connected to Uriah, Bathsheba and the census.

Kaplan continues, “But it is important to note exactly how God brought this about. As a result of David’s misdeed with Bathsheba and her husband Uriah, God enticed him to take a census of the Israelites. Got caused David to forget the injunction, ‘When you take the sum of the children of Israel, according to their number, then each man shall give a ransom for his soul to God when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them’ (Exo 30.12). The atonement in the time of Moses consisted of a half-shekel given toward the building of the Tabernacle. The census was taken by counting the total number of half-shekels, and Moses used this silver to build the foundations of the Tabernacle. As a result, every Israelite had a part in the foundation of the Tabernacle. Further more, it is evident that the idea of properly counting the Israelites was very closely related to the building of the Tabernacle and the Temple.” In other words, Israel was going to be as the “stars of heaven” and could never be counted so don’t count the heads, but you could count the shekels of those who we numbered (or mustered) for the army.

“Thus, when God was ready to reveal the place of the Altar, he did so by tempting David to commit a wrong very closely related to the sanctuary, namely, counting the Israelites without the atonements of the half-shekel. The sin itself thus was bound to the very foundation of the Temple. When David subsequently repented and was forgiven, his repentance also became part of the Altar’s foundation.”

“David had thus done everything necessary to find the Altar according to Torah law. First, he had sought it for himself. Finally he had been worthy of having the place revealed to him by Gad the prophet. David then bought the place of the Altar from Arnon the Jebusite for fifty shekels of silver. He also collected fifty shekels of silver from each of the twelve tribes of Israel, buying the entire city of Jerusalem from Arnon for 600 shekels. The entire city of Jerusalem became the common property of all Israel.”

“Although David could not build the Temple himself, he prepared for its construction, assembling all the necessary materials. David dug the foundations of the Temple, particularly in the place of the Altar. He also gave Solomon a complete written plan of how the Temple should be built, as he had received the tradition from the prophet Samuel and from Ahitofel. David gave the pattern to Solomon, saying, ‘All is in writing, as God has given me wisdom by his hand on me, all the works of this plan’ (1 Chr 28.19).”

“Before David died, he made sure that his son Solomon was anointed as king. This was done on the spring of Gihon in Jerusalem. Solomon took his father’s place as king over all Israel, and one of his first acts was to complete the wall of the Holy City. But Solomon’s greatest accomplishment was building the Temple of God, in the exact spot that had been designated by God from the beginning of creation.”

“The Bible thus says, ‘Then Solomon built the house of God in Jerusalem, on Mount Moriah, where there had been a vision to his father, which he prepared in the place of David on the threshing floor of Arnon the Jebusite’ (2 Chr 3.1). Mount Moriah, of course, was the place where Abrahm bound his son Isaac as a sacrifice, and this was the place revealed to David to be the Altar of God.” What Rabbi Kaplan does not mention is that Yeshua was also crucified on Mount Moriah to fulfill the picture that was acted out by Abraham and Isaac in Gen 22. We don’t agree with everything that Rabbi Kaplan has said here, but we do think it gives us a good idea of how the location of the Temple and the Altar came about. It was a progressive revelation through many individuals culminating with David and Solomon because it was time.

So we know that God spoke to Nathan the prophet and said that David was not the one to build the Temple. The Lord is displeased with David for wanting to do this, but his son would build it. God will establish Solomon’s kingdom and correct when he needs to and will not withdraw his loving-kindness from him like he did with Saul. BY doing this, God will establish the house of David and his kingdom, and his throne will be established forever (a long time).

David went into the tent where the Ark was and sat before the Lord and prayed. Sitting while praying was also done in prayer (Exo 17.12; 1 Sam 4.13; 1 Kings 19.4). He tells the Lord that he is a sinful creature (“who am I”) and he was from a lowly family, and that God brought him this far. But what the Lord did is insignificant to what God will do for him and all his sons.

God knows David and his vile, sinful ways, but for the sake of his word to the fathers, to Samuel and for the sake of the Messiah, and according to his will, he has done all these things. He tells the Lord how great he is and there is no other, and there is no nation like Israel whom “God went to redeem.” He goes on to say how the Lord confirmed himself to them as long as they were obedient. He then wants to talk about what the Lord has spoken about David. He is asking the Lord to bless his house and that it may continue forever.

In Part 8, we will pick up in 2 Sam 8.1-18.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 6

Rabbi Kaplan goes on to explain that once the city was in David’s hands, the site of the Temple and the Altar had to be found. He goes on to explain this in his book on p. 66-67, “Even though the place of the Temple ultimately had to be revealed prophetically, there was still an obligation for the one designated to found the royal line to attempt to find it logically. All his life, David sought this most sacred place, and thus we find (Psalms 132.205, ‘(David) swore to God, made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob: I will not come in a tent as my house, I will not climb into my made up bed, I will not allow my eyes to sleep, I will not let my eyelids rest until I find the place of God, the dwelling of the Mighty One of Jacob.'”

“David called God ‘The Mighty One of Jacob’ in this psalm. This alludes to the fact that the place he sought was that of the Holy of Holies, which had been revealed to Jacob. Saul was still king over Israel at this time, and being jealous of David, he sought to kill him. David escaped to Ramah, where he stayed with the prophet Samuel. Earlier, Samuel had already anointed David as the future king, but there was still the requirement that the king find the place of the Altar. David and Samuel carefully went over all the traditions in order to ascertain logically the precise spot. Although Samuel was the greatest prophet of the time, he did not make use of his paranormal powers, but guided David so that the latter would find the promised place.”

“They knew the tradition that the Sanhedrin would have to be in the portion of Judah, near the Altar, and the Holy of Holies was to be in the portion of Benjamin. It was therefore obvious that they would have to search along the border between Judah and Benjamin. They also knew that it would have to be the highest place on this border, since with regard to the Sanhedrin the Torah states, ‘You shall rise and go up to the place that the Lord your God shall choose’ (Deut 17.8). Samuel also knew that the secret of the chosen place had been revealed to Joshua, so they carefully looked at the description of the border between Judah and Benjamin as described in the Book of Joshua. Here they saw that the border ‘went upward’ as far as the ‘mountain overlooking the valley of Ben-Hinnom’ (Josh 15.8), which was the highest place on the border. It was this ascertained that the mountain upon which the Temple would be built was in Jerusalem, and all that was needed now was to determine the precise place of the Altar.”

“Saul was later killed in battle, and at the age of thirty, David was crowned king of his tribe Judah in Hebron. There he remained for seven years until the time he became ripe for him to take Jerusalem. There was a tradition that the one who would conquer the chosen city would inherit the royal house of Israel for all time. David had already determined the place, and before he went forth to Jerusalem, he was anointed by all Israel as king.”

“By force, David occupied the eastern half of Jerusalem where the Philistines originally lived, and which had earlier been captured and destroyed by the Tribe of Judah. Since the place of the Altar could not be tainted by blood, he did not attack the western half in the portion of Benjamin, but he did remove the monuments containing Abraham’s treaty, which had been erected by the Hittite sons of Ephron. This was enough to indicate that David was in control of the city and thus had established himself in the hereditary role of king. David also reunited the two parts of the city and built a wall around it.”

“There was no state of war between David and the Hittites; we later find that the Israelites dwelt together with them in peace. David’s conquest of the Philistine portion of Jerusalem, however, was seen as an act of war, and soon after this we find that they began to wage war against David in the Valley of Rephaim, which was to the south of Jerusalem.”

“After all these wars, David finally brought the Ark of God to Jerusalem, knowing that it was the chosen city. He set aside a special place for the Ark, as we find, ‘They brought the Ark of God and set it in its place, in the midst of the tent that David had made for it’ (2 Sam 6.17). A place for the Altar had not been determined, however, and they still sacrificed in Gibeon, outside of Jerusalem. Whenever David acquired gold or other precious things in his conquests, he brought them to Jerusalem to be dedicated to the House of God that would be built there.”

“The commandment to build the Temple became an obligation as soon as peace was attained by the king. Such peace was achieved in the time of David. David very much wanted to build the House of God, and the scripture states, ‘When the king dwelt in his palace and God gave him rest from all his enemies round about, the king said to Nathan the prophet, “See now, I live in a house of cedar, but God’s Ark dwells in a curtain tent.”‘ (2 Sam 7.2). David was informed that he could not be the one to build the Temple since his hands were sullied with blood, as he later told his son Solomon, ‘God’s word came to me saying, “You have shed much blood and have made great wars, you shall not build a house to my name, because you have shed much blood in my sight”‘ (1 Chr 22.8). If even lifting iron against a stone renders it unfit for the Altar, how much more so was a king who had shed human blood unfit to build the Temple of God. Still, because David had been the one to occupy the chosen city, he was the one to earn the hereditary royal house of Israel for all time, as told him through the prophet Nathan, ‘Your throne shall be established forever’ (2 Sam 7.16).” We will discuss the revelation of the site of the Altar, but first we need to pick up some information.

2 Sam 6.1-23 describes David’s ill-fated revival and a classic example of the definition of “keep and observe.” David gathers all of his chosen men to go to Baal-Judah (“master of Judah) to bring up the Ark from there (Kiriat-Jearim-Josh 15.9). We last saw the Ark when it came back from the Philistines in 1 Sam 7.1. We have gone over the basic definition of “keep and observe” before but we need to touch on it again. It basically means “to incorporate the things of God into our lives and to stay true to the blueprint (tavnit/pattern) of God’s word by doing specific things, at a specific place, at a specific time, by specific people.”

David makes a deadly mistake in 2 Sam 6.3. They placed the Ark of God on a “new cart” but it is supposed to be carried by Levites (Num 7.9). What is strange about this is there were many priests and Levites around who were supposed to know better because they knew the Torah, and they did nothing to stop this. Evidently, they were following the example of the Philistines in 1 Sam 6.7 when they sent the Ark back to Israel. David did not follow the blueprint (keep and observe) in the Torah, but followed what the non-Jews who didn’t know any better did. Yehovah was very specific about how to handle the Ark (1 Chr 15.2).

They brought the Ark out of the house of Abinadab, which was on a hill. Uzzah (“man’s strength”) and Ahio (“brotherly”) where Abinadab’s sons and they drew the cart. The oldest son Eleazar (1 Sam 7.1) was set apart to care for it is not mentioned , so the duty fell to Uzzah. Ahio goes before the Ark, leading the oxen and Uzzah was with the Ark. Meanwhile David and the people were celebrating with music and when Ahio came to Nachon’s threshing floor, Uzzah reached out toward the Ark to steady it because the Ark was on a rough road, and he was struck dead. The Ark should have been carried by Levites with poles, and as a result, Uzzah died.

The lesson is this. If they had “kept and observed the Torah” this would have never happened. But they followed the blueprint of the non-Jews and people died. The work of the Messiah does not need the help of man (the meaning of the name Uzzah) because God is going to protect the validity of his word and what the Ark (or any commandment) teaches. David did not like what happened to Uzzah and called that place “Perez Uzzah” or “the breach of Uzzah.” Of course, this caused David to be afraid of Yehovah for what he might do to him, but he got the message and wondered how the Ark could be moved. He wanted to do the right thing.

In Part 7 we will pick up here with what David did after this.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 5

In order to understand why Jerusalem (“Jebus” in 1 Chr 11.4) was so important to David, we need to pick up some additional information and concepts. Jerusalem was going to be the capital of Israel and the site of the Temple. Quoting from the book, “Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II, p. 64-66, Rabbi Kaplan says, “The Book of Joshua describes Adoni-zedek as an Amorite king, so it appears that it was under the Amorites that the two parts of Jerusalem were united. As discussed earlier, the western part of Jerusalem was called Jeru (Yeru), while the eastern part was known as Salem (Shalem). When the Amorite kings consolidated the two parts of the city, they also combined the names, calling the place Jerusalem.”

“From certain traditions, it appears that the Jebusites, who had made Jerusalem their capital, had left some fifteen years before Joshua’s conquest, and were replaced by the Philistine descendants of Abimelech. The Philistines lived in Salem, the eastern district of Jerusalem, while the Hittite descendants of Ephron lived in the western half. By the time of Joshua’s conquest, Jerusalem had already been united by the Amorite kings, and had been fortified and surrounded by a single wall. After Joshua defeated the Amorites, it appears that Jerusalem again became divided into two districts.”

“Although Joshua defeated the king of Jerusalem, he did not make any attempt to conquer the city itself. This was because it was still protected under two covenants made by Abraham, on the Abimelech and the Philistines, and the other to Ephron and the Hittites. These ancient tribes were to have an important effect in giving Jerusalem special status.”

“Joshua then divided the land among the twelve tribes, according to a lottery and by the Urim and Thummim. Looking at the border of Judah’s portion, we see that it runs right through Jerusalem: ‘the border went up by the valley of Ben-Hinnom, to the shoulder of the Jebusite to the south-this is Jerusalem-and the boundary went up to the top of the mountain which overlooks the valley of Hinnom to the west (Josh 15.8).’ The mountain mentioned here is the Temple Mount, as we see that the boundary cut right through the Temple area in Jerusalem. In describing the boundary of Benjamin, where the border runs from west to east, the scriptures states, ‘The boundary descended to the edge of the mountain that overlooks the valley of Ben-Hinnom, to the shoulder of the Jebusite to the south (Ibid. 18.16…Here Rabbi Kaplan gives the reference, see Malbim, HaGira, on Joshua 15.8, Radak on Joshua 18.28).”

“For the most part, the portion of the tribe of Benjamin was north of that of Judah. In Jerusalem, however, the boundary took a sharp turn southward, cutting the Temple area in half, with the western side in Benjamin’s portion, and the eastern side in that of Judah. When the Temple was later built, the Hall of the Sanhedrin was in the portion of Judah, while the Altar and the Holy of Holies were in that of Benjamin.”

“The eastern part of Jerusalem, occupied by the Philistines, thus fell into the portion of Judah. Because of Abraham’s treaty with Abimelech and the Philistines, the tribe of Judah could not drive them out, and the scripture thus states, ‘The sons of Judah could not drive out the Jebusites, the inhabitants of Jerusalem (Josh 15.63.’ It was not until after the last descendants of Abimelech died after the time of Joshua that the tribe of Judah was able to conquer its portion of the city, ‘The children of Judah fought against Jerusalem and took it, smiting it with the sword and setting the city on fire (Judges 1.8).'”

“The western part of Jerusalem, which belonged to Benjamin, was inhabited by the Hittite descendants of Ephron who made a covenant with Abraham when the cave of Machpelah was purchased. Just as the sale of Machpelah had been permanent, so was this covenant, so the Benjaminites could not drive out the Hittites out of their portion of Jerusalem. It is thus written, ‘The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem (Judges 1.21).’ As mentioned earlier, whatever people lived in Jerusalem at the time were called Jebusites, whether they were Philistines or Hittites. Somewhat later, we still find that Jerusalem was not inhabited by Jews, since a Levite said of it, ‘We will not turn aside into a city of a foreigner, which is not of the children of Israel (Judges 19.12).'”

“We thus see that the original tribes who had lived in Jerusalem, the only ones who remained at the time of its conquest were the Hittite and the Amorite, the Philistines having arrived later. This is what the prophet Ezekiel meant when he said of Jerusalem, ‘Your father was an Amoorite and your mother was a Hittite (Ezekiel 16.3,45).'”

“No further mention of Jerusalem is found until David’s famous battle, where he defeated the Philistine warrior Goliath. Here the scripture states, ‘David took the head of the Philistine and brought it to Jerusalem (1 Sam 17.54).’ No reason is given; it is certain that David did not know that Jerusalem would be the chosen city, it appears, however, that the verse stresses that Goliath was ‘the Philistine’ to teach that David brought his head to Jerusalem to indicate that Abraham’s covenant with the Philistines was no longer in force, since the Philistines had been the ones to initiate the war against the Israelites. Although the treaty had been breached in the time of Judah’s conquest of Jerusalem, and had been dishonored by the Philistines during their battles with Samson, the bringing of Goliath’s head to Jerusalem was a concrete symbol that the covenant was no longer in force.”

So, when the Philistines heard that David had been anointed king, they all came up to fight David. They camped in the valley of Rephaim (“giants”). Since Goliath was a giant, it is interesting that they came to this place. They wanted to stop David before he got any stronger (2 Sam 5.17-18). David inquired of the Lord (by Abiathar who had the Urim and Thummim), asking if he should go up against them. The Lord said, “Go up, for I will certainly give the Philistines into your hand (2 Sam 5.19).

So David came to Baal-perazim (“Lord of the breach”) and defeated them. This is a messianic allusion to the Lord who will “break out” against his enemies in the birth-pains. The Philistines left so fast they left their idols, and David and his men burned them (Deut 7.5; 1 Chr 14.12). But the Philistines came back again with a larger army and camped in the valley of Rephaim. David again inquired of the Lord through the Urim and Thummim and the Lord told him, “You shall not go up directly; circle around behind them and come out in front of the balsam trees. And it shall be, when you hear the sound of marching in the tops of the baslam trees (to hide the motion of David’s army), then you shall act promptly, for then the Lord will have gone out before you to strike the army of the Philistines.” As a result, David struck them down from Geba (“hill”) to Gezer (“portion”).

Jerusalem became the capital city of the kingdom. It had no prior tribal associations and it was good for the unification of all the tribes of Israel, but there was a process to it. Again quoting from “The Aryeh Kaplan Anthology II, p.63< Kaplan says, "Moses did not live to enter the Promised Land; his disciple Joshua led the Israelites in the occupation. Even though Joshua knew that Jerusalem would be the chosen city, he did not reveal this to any of the tribes. This would have to wait until the permanent royal line was chosen, which did not occur until the time of David." "The first city in the Promised Land that the Israelites conquered was Jericho. Almost as soon as they entered the land, Joshua put aside the choicest of fields near Jericho, later to be traded to the tribes in whose territory the chosen city would fall. This choice field was selected before the land was divided among the tribes; as territory common to them all, it was given over to the children of Moses' father-in-law Jethro for safe keeping (Sifri on NUmbers 10.32, Deuteronomy 12.5, 33.12, Rashi on Numbers 10.32, Tosafot, Bava Kama 82b, s.v.'VeAin')." "The Torah itself prescribes this as the method through which Jerusalem should be chosen. In one place it states that the chosen place will be 'from all your tribes' (Deut 12.5). Elsewhere, however, the Torah states that it will be 'in one pf your tribes' (Ibid.12.13). The Torah is speaking of the place of sacrifice-the Altar- and initially, when the land was first divided, it would be in the portion of just one of the tribes, Benjamin. Then, however, it would be exchanged for the fields of Jericho, so that ultimately it would belong to all tribes. Thus, when Jerusalem was eventually chosen and consecrated, it became the common property of all the tribes of Israel. As one place common to all, it had a strong effect in uniting the tribes." In Part 6 we will pick up here with the fact that once the city was chosen and in David's hands, the site of the Temple and the Altar had to be found.

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Tanak Foundatiosn-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 4

2 Sam 4.1-12 tells us about the diminishing position of the house of Saul. Ishboshet (Eshbaal) hears about the death of Abner and was disturbed over it, as well as all Israel. This is because they were weak and they trusted in man. Jonathan had a son who was crippled named Mephiboshet (“mouth of shame”). He is the last male descendant of Saul and he had a claim to the throne. He was five years old when he heard about the death of Saul and Jonathan, and his nurse took him and fled. As she was hurrying, he fell and became lame. As a result, he was considered unfit. He is also called Meribaal (“the Lord contends”) in 1 Chr 8.34.

Ishboshet is assassinated by two people from Benjamin, Baanah (“son of response”) and Rechab (“driver”). They came into his house while he was napping and stab him in the stomach, and then behead him, and brought the head to David to prove he was dead. They said they were serving God by doing this, and that God would approve. However, David didn’t and said that when he was told that Saul was dead, and the Amalekite messenger thought he was bringing David good news, David had him killed in Ziklag. How much more when wicked men kill a righteous man by comparison in his own house. So David commanded his “ne’arim” (elite warriors) who were with him to kill them, and they cut their hands and feet off and hung them by the pool at Hebron. They also took the head of Ishboshet and buried it in the grave of Abner in Hebron. By doing this he was showing all Israel that he was opposed to the destruction of the house of Saul.

In 2 Sam 5.1-25 David is recognized as king over all of Israel at Hebron, and we have the capture of Jerusalem. This will cause a war with their old enemy, the Philistines. The people came to David to anoint him and said, “We are your bone and your flesh.” This is because they all came from Jacob and they were conveying the concept of being “echad” (one). David had the first and only qualification to be king, the anointing of God. Prior to this, only one tribe recognized David as king. The other tribes recognized the pretender Ishboshet. Now that he was dead, the other tribes come over to David.

They accept David because he was the one who “led Israel out and in” in battle. They knew that the Lord had said to David, “You will shepherd my people Israel, and you shall be a ruler over Israel.” Then they anointed David as king, which was the third time. He reigned over Judah seven years and six months, and in Jerusalem he reigned for thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah. This coronation alludes to Yeshua’s coronation in heaven (Rev 4-5). At Hebron, David reigned seven years. Hebron is a type of heaven in Scripture, and called Abraham’s Bosom because Abraham is buried there, It was also a priestly city and a city of refuge, like heaven is.

Yeshua reigns in heaven (Hebron) for seven years of the birth-pains, and then he returns to Jerusalem like David to reign over all of Israel. Yeshua also reigns for the seven thousand year history of man, and at the end he returns everything that has been restored back the the Father (1 Cor 15.20-27). David will reign thirty-three years over all Israel and Judah, and Yeshua died at thirty-three. David will reign forty years in total (2 Sam 5.4) and David is thirty years old when he begins, the same age Yeshua was when he started his ministry.

In 2 Sam 5.6-10 we learn about the capture of the eastern half of Jerusalem, and David and his men go up against the Jebusites, a name given to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. At the time, Jerusalem was a small, Canaanite city. The Jebusites said to David, “You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame shall turn you away.” They thought David was too weak to take the city.

Hittite documents record a curse upon the soldier who broke their oath to the king. They would become blind and deaf if they violated it. In addition to this, their vigor and vitality would leave them. The Jebusites may be doing the same thing here, and this was the beginning of a curse (v 6). David’s men were concerned because he will offer a reward for whoever went up first (1 Chr 11.4-7). It seems they entered the city through a water tunnel, and the city fell to David. This teaches us in our warfare, we may be in a spiritual “siege” and someone or something is trying to take our city. We must remember that we must always protect our water source (the Word of God and good teaching) or the enemy will use it to capture us by false teaching. Our enemy can take the same verses that can give us life, pervert them through bad teaching and a lack of knowledge, and leads us into spiritual captivity by making those Scriptures seem to say something that just isn’t true.

So David lived in the stronghold (of Zion), and called it the city of David. It will be the capital city because God has directed him to do so, and it will be the site of the coming Temple. As we have mentioned before, the three valleys around the city made it easy to defend. The only side that was vulnerable was the north side. He also built up all around it, from the Millo and inward. The Millo was a ditch around a fort, full of water, like moat. It was a hollow space between the fort and the lower city where the Jebusites were. Solomon filled in this area between the two summits and made it level (1 Kings 11.27). And David became greater and greater, for Yehovah was with him.

Then King Hiram (the father of the King Hiram in Solomon’s day) knew how to build political alliances, so he sent messengers to David with cedar trees, carpenters and stonemasons, and they built a house for David. David realized that the Lord had established his as king over Israel, and that the Lord had strengthened his kingdom on behalf of the people.

In the meantime, David took more wives and concubines (secondary wives, and under the wives) from Jerusalem after he came from Hebron. As a result, he had more sons and daughters, and one of them will be the future king of Israel after David. Now, these could be seen as blessings from the Lord, but we also know that most of the trouble David will have will come from his wives and children. The names of those born to him in Jerusalem were Shammua (“renowned” also called Shimea in 1 Chr 3.5), Shobah (“rebellious”), Nathan (“giver”), Solomon (“peace”), Ibhan (“Yehovah chooses”), Elishua (“my God is salvation” and also called Elishama in 1 Chr 3.6), Nepheg (“sprout”), Japhia (“Shining”), Elishama (“my God has heard”), Eliad (“God knows”) and Eliphelet (“God delivers me”).

In order to understand why Jerusalem (Jebus-1 Chr 11.4) was so important to David, we will need to go back and spend some time picking up some additional information. Jerusalem was going to be the capital of Israel and the site of the coming Temple. So, in Part 5 we will pick up here with an explanation as to why David took Jerusalem and made it his capital, and how he knew to do so.

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Tanak Foundation-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 3

2 Sam 3.1-39 begins by telling us that there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. This shows how wrong it was for Joab to accept Abner’s cease fire (2 Sam 2.28). During David’s seven year reign in Hebron, sons were born to David by many wives. Some believe that having multiple wives went against Deut 17.17 where it says, “Neither shall he (the king) multiply wives for himself, or his heart will be led astray.” However, God said he gave all of Saul’s wives to David, and other wives (2 Sam 12.8), so did the Lord break his own law in Deut 17.17? Let’s look at this.

According to an article at Goodquestionblog.com called, “Why did God give David all of Saul’s wives?”, this law does appear in Deut 17.17 and the intention of the law was to prohibit marriages with surrounding pagan countries. The justification for this law appears in our verse where it says, “or his heart will be led astray.” A woman who went to a foreign country was allowed to worship her own gods and in doing so, the husband may want to please her ( or the father-in-law) and join in. This is exactly what happened to Solomon as he got older. His wives turned his heart after other gods. He followed Ashtoreth of the Sidonians and Molech of the Ammonites. It can be safely said that if an Israelite king married multiple wives who faithfully followed Yehovah and the Torah, his heart would not have been led astray. As a result, the “spirit” or “essence” of the commandment in Deut 17.17 would not have been broken.

Now, here is the other concern. God gave the wives of Saul to David and it would appear that Saul had a large harem. Usually a son who became king would not be able to inherit the wives of his father because the Torah prohibited a father and son from marrying the same woman. But David was starting a new kingly line and he was not a son of Saul, so it was biblically acceptable for him to make these women his wives upon the death of Saul and David’s ascension to the throne.

According to 1 Chr 3.1-4, David had six sons by six wives in Hebron, and six is the number of man. Amnon (“faithful”) was born to Ahinoam the Jezreelitess, and he raped his sister. Chileab (“like his father” and also known as Daniel in 1 Chr 3.1) was born to Abigail the Carmelite. he third was Absalom (“father of peace”) was born to Maacah, the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur. He murdered his half-brother and revolted against David and died in the revolt. He is a picture of the false Messiah as we shall soon see. David would have at least 13 other sons, and Tamar a daughter, born to him in Jerusalem. He also had more children by his concubines, and he had at least ten (1 Chr 3.5-9; 2 Sam 15.16, 20.3).

Adonijah (“my god is Yehovah”) was born to Haggith and he tried to seize the throne from his father, and tried to marry one of David’s concubines named Abishag the Shunamite. But Solomon knows that Adonijah is trying to take the throne from him by taking the royal harem. David never had sexual relations with Abishag so it was legal for Adonijah to marry her. Solomon recognizes this and says, “Why do you request Abishag the Shunammite for Adonijah? You might as well request the kingdom for him” (1 Kings 2.22). Adonijah will be executed. Shephatiah (“Yehovah judges”) was born to Abital, and Ithream (“profit of the people”) was born to Eglah.

Now, Saul had a concubine whose name was Rizpah (“pavement”) and Ishboshet accused Abner of an impropriety for having relations with “my father’s concubine” (2 Sam 3. 6-7). Abner was making himself stronger in the house of Saul and this was seen as being very ambitious when you weren’t a successor. It seems Abner supported Ishboshet because he was weak, allowing Abner to get stronger in power and strength and be the power “behind the scenes.” As we have said earlier, to take the wife or concubine of a king as his property was seen as making a bid for the throne. Because Abner is getting stronger, perhaps Ishboshet is making up a story.

Abner denies this and is very angry. He says “Am I a dog’s head (that copulates with anything) that belongs to Judah?. Abner says he has shown nothing but kindness to the house of Saul and yet he gets accused of having relations with Saul’s concubine. He then says that he is going to transfer the kingdom from the house of Saul to David, “As the Lord has sworn to David.” Ishboshet couldn’t answer Abner because Abner was a bully and Ishboshet was afraid of him. But Abner knew that David was God’s choice to be king and he is like us sometimes. We know things to be true but we delay to live it.

So, Abner joins David, but is it for the wrong reason? Is he coming to his senses knowing that David was God’s choice to be king, or is he coming for the wrong reason? As we have said, Abner was a bully and it seems that he is only coming to David now because Ishboshet offended him. Had Ishboshet not offended him, would he he still have resisted David and leveraged his position, all the while knowing that David was God’s choice to be king?

David agrees to forget the past and Abner is allowed to join him, but on one condition. He wants him to bring Michal, David’s wife (1 Sam 18.26-28), with him. Saul took her away from David (1 Sam 25.44) and David wants to show no bitterness towards the house of Saul. This would also be seen as favorable to the adherents of the house of Saul and would give David a greater claim to Saul’s throne, being the son-in-law. But, there was one problem. She had to be taken from her husband Paltiel (“God delivers”), who loved her very much (2 Sam 3.13-15). Michal was taken from David and given to another, but David and Michal were never divorced (1 Sam 25.44).

So Abner begins to consolidate the people and wanted them to place David as their king over them, and this seemed good to Issrael and the whole house of Benjamin. David then made a feast for Abner and his men and it was agreed that Abner would gather the people to David so that he could be king over all Israel (2 Sam 3.19-21). Meanwhile, Joab is out fighting robbers and came back with much spoil (2 Sam 3.22). He hears about what David has agreed to with Abner and is not happy about it. He knew Abner and if crossed he could be a formidable enemy. He knew what Abner was capable of. He was an expert in warfare and popular with the army. He could turn them against David and take the kingdom. He also remembers that it was Abner who killed his brother Asahel (2 Sam 2.23). In a sense, he thinks Abner is a spy and can’t be trusted.

Joab is going to do something about it. He sends messengers to Abner and asks him to come back to Hebron. When he arrives, he takes Abner off to the side to talk to him privately and stabs Abner in the belly, the same place he stabs his brother (2 Sam 2.23). He died on account of the blood of Asahel, but this is only the first one he kills. He will kill Amasa out of jealousy, and the Lord will require it from him in 1 Kings 2.32-34.

When David hears about this he says that he and his kingdom were innocent before the Lord of the blood of Abner. He also said that judgment may fall on the head of Joab and on his father’s house (all who had a hand in it). He then goes on to pronounce that Joab’s house would be cursed (2 Sam 3.29). We also learn in 2 Sam 3.30 that Abishai was in on this.

David leads the mourning over Abner. David had to show that his reign was not going to be one of brutality and murder. Joab and his brother Abishai had no right as a “goel” (kinsman redeemer) or an avenger of blood to do this because Asahel died in open warfare. Abner even tried to warn Asahel to turn back (2 Sam 2.22), but Asahel continued to pursue Abner. These events grieved David openly (2 Sam 3.35). David realizes that his nephews are going to be difficult. David is weak in respect to the kingdom because he couldn’t not inflict punishment on them. One was a general and the other an officer and a good warrior who was popular.

We will pick up here in Part 4.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 2

We are going to look at 2 Sam 1.19-27 briefly, which is a beautiful piece of Hebrew poetry. This song is a great scripture for veterans or Memorial Day services. We will go over this verse by verse with our commentary in parenthesis.

“The beauty (lit “gazelle”), O Israel, is slain on your high places (Mount Gilboa)! How have the mighty (“givorim”) fallen (Saul fell long before this)! Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not (root for “proclaim” is “basar” or “good news” where we get the word “gospel” from in English) in the streets of Ashkelon (that Saul is dead-both are Philistine cities); lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised exalt.”

“O mountains of Gilboa, let not the dew or rain be on you (poetical speech for David’s abhorrence to what happened there) nor fields of offerings (have nothing to offer God); for there the shield of the mighty was defiled (they threw them away to run in disgrace), the shield of Saul not anointed with oil (but with blood).”

“From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back (he did not shoot his arrows in vain-they hit their mark), and the sword of Saul did not return empty (he killed many). Saul and Jonathan, beloved and pleasant in their life (to one another), and in their death they were not parted (Jonathan died close to his father); They were swifter than eagles (to help the distressed), they were stronger than lions (fighting their enemies).”

“O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you luxuriously in scarlet (enriched them by the spoil he brought back after his victories), who put ornaments of gold in your apparel. How have the mighty fallen in the midst of battle!”

“Jonathan is slain on your high places. I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan (David was married to Jonathan’s sister, so he literally was his brother-in-law, but he was his friend and brother in arms, a severe loss to David); you have been very pleasant to me (in his visits and conversation). Your love to me (he risked his life for David many times when his father was trying to kill him) was more wonderful than the love of women (The Targum Jonathan says, “more than the love of two women” meaning Ahinoam and Abigail. This means he was loved more affectionately by Jonathan then by them, and they loved David very much). How have the mighty fallen, and the weapons of war perished (Saul and Jonathan were the “shields” that defended the people).”

In 2 Sam 2.1-32 we have several issues going on. David inquired of the Lord where to go from Ziklag, and he was directed to go to Hebron. The word “Hebron” means “communion” and it is a type of “heaven” and “Abraham’s Bosom” in the Scriptures. That is an important concept to remember as we move forward and we will see how this applies in the life of David shortly. Hebron was a city for the priests and a city of refuge.

Twenty years or so earlier David was anointed king over Israel (1 Sam 16.12-13) and now he is anointed king by the elders of Judah over the house of Judah (Gen 49.10). He is told that the men of Jabesh-gilead buried Saul, and David blesses them and said they showed kindness to Saul, and he would show them kindness in return at a later time, but he needed them because of their courage. David knows that the enemy will resent their kindness, but David will protect them.

Now, Saul had a first cousin named Abner (“father of light”-1 Sam 14.50) and he was the commander of the army. He first met David in 1 Sam 17.55-57 when David went out to fight Goliath. We know that Saul had three sons who died with him in battle (1 Sam 31.6), but there was another one. Ishboshet (“man of shame”) is not mentioned before this as a son of Saul, and he may have been illegitimate or a son of a concubine, or by marriage like David (1 Sam 18.17-30).

Abner made him king over all Israel because he had right to it with the other sons dead, and so he could be the power behind the throne of a weak leader (2 Sam 2.9), and he reigned for two years. David was patient with this situation. The tribes accepted Ishboshet (who was also called Eshbaal in 1 Chr 8.33 meaning “man of Baal.” The word “boshet” means “shame” and “Ish” or “Esh” means “man”) because the Philistines would have really “lost it” had they accepted David as king. In the same way, to support the “son of David” is met with disapproval, too. But, the real power behind Ishboshet is Abner.

As a result, a civil war broke out between Judah and the other tribes. David reigned in in Hebron (heaven) for seven years and sis months and he is waiting on God’s timing (2 Sam 5.5). Eschatologically, Yeshua will be anointed king at the beginning of the Birth-pains (Dan 7.9-10, 13-14; Rev 4-5) and reign for seven years in heaven (Hebron), before coming to Jerusalem to reign on earth. Then he will reign for the remainder of the 1000 year Atid Lavo (Day of the Lord).

During these two years Abner was scheming on how to bring Israel under one government. He sets out with the servants (“avadim” meaning warriors) of Ishboshet. Joab (“Yehovah is father”) is one of David’s men and his nephew through his sister Zeruiah (1 Chr 2.16), along with Joab’s two bothers Abishai (“gift of God”) and Asahel (“made by God”), and he is with the servants (warriors) of David. They meet Abner, and Abner suggests a small group duel between the “ne’arim” or young men. These were not just “young men” but were elite, hand-picked troops and “special forces.” This duel will end in a draw, so this led to a larger battle where Abner and his men were beaten before the warriors (servants) of David.

Asahel starts pursuing Abner and after being warned to turn around by Abner, Asahel refuses to stop and Abner kills Asahel with his spear. But Joab and Abishai pursue Abner until the sun was going down, and they came to the top of the hill of Ammah (“mother, origin”), which is in front of Giah (“to break forth”). Abner was joined there by the sons of Benjamin, and Abner wanted an end to the fight, but it was Abner who started the whole thing back in 2 Sam 2.14 by saying, “Now let the young men (warriors) arise and hold a contest before us.” Joab blew a trumpet and the people halted in their pursuit. Abner and his men went through the Judean aravah (wilderness) all night to make sure Joab didn’t come after them, then they crossed the Jordan, and went to Machanaim from where they came, and where they left Ishboshet (2 Sam 2.8).

When Joab returned from following Abner, nineteen of David’s men were missing, besides Asahel. They took the body of Asahel and buried him in the tomb of their father in Bethlehem. Then Joab and his men went all night until they came to Hebron where David was.

We will pick up here in Part 3.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in Second Samuel-Part 1

Now we are going to continue with the Book of Second Samuel and bring out more concepts that will help us understand this book, but also the rest of Scripture. remember, the two books of Samuel originally formed one, historical book. They were separated into two books around 200 B.C.

In 2 Sam 1.1-27 David learns about the death of Saul and Jonathan through a man who came to David with his clothes torn and dust on his head. David knew this was a bad sign. David had remained in Ziklag for several days, which was a ruin, but it had some habitable parts. It was on the third day that this man said he came out of the camp of Saul. When he came to David he prostrated himself. David asked him where he had come from, and the man said he had escaped from the camp of Israel. David asked him what happened and the man said the people have fled from the battle, and many have died. He then said Saul and Jonathan were dead.

David said to him, “How do you know that Saul and his son Jonathan are dead?” The man said that “by chance” he happened to be on Mount Gilboa and Saul was leaning on his spear. First of all, this is not true because 1 Sam 31.4 says that Saul used a sword and was wounded. The man said that the chariots and the horsemen were pursuing Saul closely. When he looked behind him, he saw the man and called out to him. Saul asked who he was, and the man said he was an Amalekite. Saul failed to kill the Amalekites, now he is face to face with one at his death.

Saul then asked the Amalekite to kill him because he was in much pain, and he was still alive after his wounds. So the Amalekite told David that he stood beside him and killed him because he knew that he could not live after he had fallen. He then took the crown that was on his head and the bracelet which was on his arm, and brought them to David.

First of all, we believe that this story is untrue. The Amalekite came to David because he thought he was going to get a reward for killing Saul, but David did not know he was an Amalekite just yet. We believe that the Amalekite came upon Saul, but he was already dead. We know that Saul’s armor bearer saw that he was dead (1 Sam 31.4-5) and then the armor bearer fell on his sword and died with him. The Amalekite came upon Saul and took the crown and the bracelet before the Philistines stripped Saul’s body. The crown is called a “netzer” in Hebrew and the bracelet is called the “edut” and this had the royal insignia on it and it had sealed scrolls that were given by God about his reign (2 Kings 11.12; Dan 7.9-10, 13-14; Rev 4-5).

If we believe the Amalekite’s story, then this is heart rendering and ironic. In an on-going battle, God had commanded Saul to completely destroy the Amalekites , but Saul failed to do it, and now an Amalekite says he killed Saul. But, we do not believe the Amalekite’s story. He said this because he believed that he would get a reward from David.

As we have said before, Amalek is a picture of Satan, the False Messiah and our flesh. Amalek focused his attention on the sick, feeble and weak (Deut 25.17-18). He did not fear Yehovah and Yehovah declares war on Amalek forever in Exo 17.16. The battle with Amalek can only be won with Yeshua’s death and resurrection, and with prayer. Like our nation of fleshly desires, God promises to blot out the remembrance of Amalek.

After hearing this news, David tears his clothes, mourned and fasted. Saul had taken everything from David, yet he mourned for him and his sons. He had been somewhat reconciled to Saul and he had stopped pursuing David. This teaches us that hatred, bitterness, resentment and unforgiveness are things we choose to engage in, they are not “imposed” upon us (1 Cor 13.5; 1 Pet 4.8). There is a saying that says, “We can choose to become better not bitter.” Even David’s men mourned until evening for Saul and Jonathan. They also had their own reasons for hating Saul but chose not to.

David also grieved for Jonathan and the people of Israel. The nation was in a very dangerous position now because the king and his heir were dead, and the army was defeated. David asked the man “Where are you from?” The man answered, “I am the son of an alien (a ger) and an Amalekite.” David then says to him, “How is it you were not afraid to stretch out your hand to destroy the Lord’s anointed?” David didn’t do it (1 Sam 26.10-11), and neither did Saul’s armor bearer (1 Sam 31.4).

So, David orders one of his men to kill the Amalekite for saying he killed the anointed of God. He said, “Your blood is on your head, for your mouth has testified against you, saying, ‘I have killed the Lord’s anointed.'” At this point, it really doesn’t matter if the Amalekite was acting in good faith or not. By his own words he said he killed Saul, and besides, he was an Amalekite.

In 2 Sam 1.19-27 we have what is called “The Song of the Bow.” David intended that this song be taught to the people of Judah and it was written in what is called the “Book of Jasher.” The Book of Jasher is also mentioned in Josh 10.3 and Josh 19.1-2, and it contained a collection of Jewish poetry. This is not some missing piece of Scripture just because it is mentioned in the Bible and it contains common verses. There are other Jewish writings that are mentioned in the Bible like the “Book of the Wars of the Lord” (Num 21.14); “The Book of Samuel the Seer” and “The Book of Nathan the Prophet” and the “Book of Gad the Seer” (1 Chr 29.29).

There are also the “Acts of Rehoboam” and the “Chronicles of the Kings of Judah” (1 Kings 14.29). We know that Solomon wrote over a thousand songs (1 Kings 4.32) but we have only two in Psalm 72 and Psalm 127. Paul quoted the Cretan Epimenides in Titus 1.12, and Epimenides and Aratus in Acts 17.28. God used materials from many different sources in Scripture. There is a “Book of Jasher” out there today, but it is not the same book mentioned in these passages. It is an eighteenth century forgery that says it is a translation of the lost book of Jasher by Alcuin, an eighth century English scholar.

There is a more recent book called “The Book of Jasher” by a science fiction writer named Benjamin Rosenbaum, and it is complete fiction. There is another book by this name written in Hebrew called by some “Pseuodo-Jasher” and it is a collection of legends from creation to Joshua. Scholars don’t believe it existed before 1625 A.D. There are some rabbinical works that go by the name “Sefer Ha Yasher” but none of these are the original book. In short, the Book of Jaasher mentioned in Scripture is lost. Anything that claims to be this book is just plain fiction.

In Part 2, we will pick with the “Song of the Bow” since David wanted it to be taught, and we will examine it verse by verse. It is an eastern custom to celebrate the great and their exploits, qualities and deeds.

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Tanak Foundations-Concepts in First Samuel-Conclusion

1 Sam 31.1-13 will tell us about the death of Saul and his sons about twenty years after Saul first heard the judgment against him from Samuel. It will also be a picture of the first Adam and his fall, taking his “sons” with him. The Philistines (“wallowers”) were fighting Israel in the Valley of Jezreel (“God sows”) and had moved deep into Israelite territory. They were attempting to cut the nation in half. Israel was losing the battle and fled to Mount Gilboa (“swollen heaps”), and the Philistines overtook Saul and his sons. It was the mercy of the Lord that did not allow David to participate in this.

Jonathan (“God has given”) was killed, along with Saul’s two other sons, Abinadab (“my father is noble”) and Malchi-shua (“king’s help”). Because of their father, these sons lost their lives. But all of this was part of God’s plan. We know that Jonathan would have yielded his right to the throne to David, but if he had lived there may have been serious divisions with other people saying that Jonathan was the rightful ruler and that David took it from Jonathan. In addition, the other sons may have had other ideas and try to take the throne for themselves. As it turned out, David would have to deal with the only remaining son of Saul named Ish-boshet before he was the undisputed king of Israel (2 Sam 2.8 to 4.12). But now, with these three dead, David’s way to the throne is now clearer.

The battle went against Saul and he was mortally wounded, and it was the same with Adam. He was mortally wounded because of his sin. Saul wanted his armor bearer to kill him before the Philistines got to him, but he would not touch the anointed of the Lord because he was greatly afraid (v 4). So Saul took his sword and fell on it, but he lingered for awhile, but then died (1 Sam 31.6). This was not suicide because Saul knew he could not survive his wounds and was already mortally wounded, and falling on his sword only accelerated the process. The men of Israel saw what happened on the other side of the valley and they abandoned their cities and the Philistines came and lived in them. When the shepherd is struck, the sheep will be scattered (Mark 14.27)

The Philistines came and began to strip the bodies of the fallen and they came upon Saul and his three sons on Mount Gilboa. They took Saul’s body and cut off his head and stripped him of his weapons. Messengers were sent to the Philistine cities to carry the good news (“Basar” where the word “gospel” comes from) to the house of their gods and to their people. His armor was put into the house of Ashtaroth (“star”) and they fastened his body to the walls of Bethshan (“house of ease”) and fastened his head at the temple of Dagon (1 Chr 10.10).

When the men of Jabesh-gilead (“dry, rocky”) heard what the Philistines had done to Saul, all the valiant men rose and walked all night and took his body, and the bodies of his sons, from the wall. Notice that it was not the sons of Benjamin, his tribe, that did this. This town was east of the Jordan and they did this in gratitude to Saul for what he did for them in 1 Sam 11.1-11 when he delivered them from Nachash (“serpent”) the Ammonite. They were repaying the kindness God showed them through Saul, and David will thank them for this in 2 Sam 2.4-7.

They took the bodies to Jabesh and burned them. Then they took the bones and buried them under the tamarisk tree in Jabesh. They then fasted till evening for seven days. They did this to keep the bodies from being taken again. David did not rejoice when he heard about what happened to Saul and his sons, as we shall see. David was not bitter because he trusted God and his authority. In other words, David “let it go.” Also, David knew that he had sinned and the evidence was all around him in Ziklag. It was a burned out ruin and the result of David’s sin. David knew that God had forgiven him so how could he harbor resentment, anger and bitterness towards Saul, and we will see this illustrated in 2 Sam 1.19-27.

Eschatologically, Saul is a picture of the first king over the Kingdom of God named Adam. Adam rebelled agains the Word of the Lord and fell, taking and all of his sons with him. His sin affected more than himself, just like Saul’s sin affected more than just himself and immediate family. The whole nation was vulnerable now, just like all mankind was affected by Adam’s sin. The Kingdom of God on earth had fallen and the kingdom of Satan had a victory, but it will be short-lived. Just as the path to the throne for David was now clear, the path to the throne for the son of David was now clear, and Yeshua will come and defeat the enemy and restore the Kingdom of God. As we move into 2 Samuel, we will see David as a type of the Messiah who will set the captives free, restore the Kingdom of the Lord, and prepare to build the Temple.

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