Day 117 (April 27): David seizes Rabbah, Amnon rapes Tamar, Absalom takes revenge on Amnon, Joab arranges Absalom’s return, David and Absalom reconcile

Welcome to BibleBum where we are exploring the entire Bible in one year to better learn how to follow God’s instructions and discover the purpose for our lives.  The BibleBum blog uses The One Year Chronological Bible, the New Living Translation version.  At the end of each day’s reading, Rob, a cultural history aficionado and seminary graduate, answers questions from Leigh An, the blogger host, about the daily scripture.  To start from the beginning, click on “Index” and select Day 1.

2 Samuel 12:26-14:33

1 Chronicles 20:2-3

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Samuel 12:27-28): This sounds like Joab is threatening David.  He is the army commander, but can we say here that he thinks David is not doing his job?  Also, back to Joab having leprosy.  I don’t see how he can stay in battle given he has such a debilitating disease.

A. You could see this as a threat, but also as a general humbly asking his king to not deny himself credit for a victory.  I leave it to you.  As I mentioned when we addressed “leprosy” in Leviticus, the word in Hebrew covers a variety of skin ailments, which may have been much less debilitating as the leprosy we know today.  Also, if I recall correctly, the curse applied to his family, not merely Joab himself.  He may never have suffered the skin disease personally.

Q. (12:30): How could anyone where a crown weighing 75 pounds?

A. A crown of that weight would mostly have been for display, and would only have been worn in “crowning” ceremonies like the one described in the story which most likely lasted only seconds.  The easiest way for the crown to be “worn”: having your servant(s) hold it in place on your heat.

Q. (14:33): Joab must personally feel the rift between Absalom, Amnon, and David since Joab killed Abner in revenge for murdering his brother.  Absalom held this vengeance in his heart for two years, so it must have festered into a huge hatred of his brother Amnon.  And, David must feel some sin from all sides — having committed adultery, having his soldier and wife of Bathsheba killed, losing a great friend Jonathan who was like a brother, being on the run from Saul like Absalom is from him.  He practically had to have his son thrown in front of him to give in to his love for him.  I guess this just goes to show that even the most devout can fall from God.  But, he is there to take us back into the fold.  But, I think we are about to see a black sheep?

A. You bet we see a black sheep.  Don’t forget this was as predicted: David’s family has now begun to fall apart.  And one member of his family has already died “by the sword” as predicted.  It will get much worse.

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