Religion 102: King David of Israel (Din 102)
King David, real life of the man who ruled Israel
April 15, 2008
King David of Israel and the Lame Man
This is from a very interesting book by Jonathan Kirsch:
King David, real life of the man who ruled Israel.
Black = Author’s words
Blue = My comments
The single most surprising fact about David is the rawness with which he is
depicted in the bible. He is shown to be a liar, a trickster, an outlaw &
extortionist, a voyeur, a seducer, & a murderer. He is an exhibitionist, as
when he performs a ritual dance in such spiritual frenzy that his tunic flies
up & reveals his genitalia to the crowd. David, whose very name means “beloved”,
attracts both men & women, inspiring sometimes a pristine love but more often a
frankly carnal one. Some biblical critics insist that David's famous declaration
of love for his friend Jonathan - a love 'passing the love of women' - ought to
be understood as an expression of his bisexuality.
After reading this part, I froze & didn't know what to think!
I mean we are talking about one of the most famous
Prophets of all times, even one of the biggest Messiah/Prophet in the 3 religions
(J/Ch/I), was supposed to have come from his line, yet this holy guy was not only “a
liar, a trickster, an outlaw & extortionist, a voyeur, a seducer, & a murderer”,
but he showed his genitalia to people while dancing?!
Surely there is something wrong here. Either the author(JK) is bullshitting, or this
guy wasn't holy at all & was full of shit, which means the all-knowing & all-powerful
God had nothing to do with this guy.
“Yahweh is the God who fell in love with David” - Harold Bloom.
Why is God shown to be more enamored of David then Moses or any other towering
figure of the Hebrew bible?
The authorship of the bible remains a Gordian knot. One theory proposes that
the core of the Hebrew bible originated as a formal biography of King David &
the rest of the text came to be attached to his life story in bits & pieces
over the centuries.
David is not mentioned in the bible until the book of Samuel, but we can begin
to hear the strains of the 'undersong' that bible scholar G von Rad detects in
the earliest passages of the Yahwist's primal history. In fact, the first 5
books of Moses are seeded with clues that anticipate the coming of King David
long before we actually encounter him. And these clues suggest that the bible
was first & always intended by its original authors to be a celebration of
king David & the line of Davidic kings who sat on the throne of Israel & Judah
for some 500 years ...
the bible opens with a famous scene of seduction, Adam lured by Eve ... Was
the tale Adam & Eve, as some scholars propose, meant by the biblical author
to prepare us for the fateful sexual encounter between David & Bathsheba?
The rape of Dinah, daughter of Jacob, by prince Shechem anticipates the rape
of Tamar, daughter of king David, by her half brother, prince Amnon.
When bible depicts the matriarch Rebekah conspiring with her son Jacob to
steal the birthright of her firstborn son, Esau, by persuading the patriarch
Isaac to give the blessing of the firstborn to the younger son, perhaps we
are intended to see Bathsheba in conspiring with Solomon to persuade the aging
David to designate his younger son as king of Israel in place of Solomon's
Bible, according to the consensus of modern scholarship, is a patchwork of
ancient texts that were composed & compiled by countless authors & editors,
men & women alike, over a period of a 1000 years or so.
Samuel was born in the land of Canaan a couple of hundred years after the
conquest by the coalition of 12 tribes known as b'nai Yisrael, the children
of Israel, at a time when things had gone terribly wrong for the Chosen People.
The bible characterizes Canaan as the Promised Land, 'a land flowing with milk
& honey'. But as it turned out, Canaan was not a virgin paradise. Rather, the
land promised to the Israelites teemed with tribes & people - '7 nations greater
& mightier than thou', as God had warned the Israelites - who regarded Canaan
as their homeland. Here begins the first & longest-lasting of the problems
created by the disparity between what God promises & what God does in the
At first God had vowed to cleanse the Promised Land of its native dwellers.
“I will send my terror before thee”, God promised Moses. “I will deliver the
inhabitants of the land into your hand; & thou shalt drive them out before”.
But he was so angry & disappointed with the 'stiff-necked' Israelites, who
were always so faithless & so defiant, that he changed his mind. “I will not
drive them out from before you”, God later told Joshua, successor of Moses &
conqueror of Canaan, “but they shall be unto you as snares, & their gods shall
be a trap unto you”.
God is not an old angry forgetful lunatic man.
God would not 'choose' one old man & tell him to move into another land, which
I'll give to you & your kids, then have all the innocent inhabitant of that land,
His own 'creation', killed & destroyed, so that He would give the land to another group.
But even fail in this, so end up telling the new group to fight & kill the other
inhabitants for thousands of years. Then His chosen-group being forced to live in
exile for centuries, without a true homeland or any form of promised-land.
God obviously didn't favor the people in old man's (Abraham) tribe, or in the
neighboring tribes. So why not get rid of them & give the land to the new group,
rather than send the old man to a far away land, & still fail to give him his
Yahweh was a bachelor father, a loner who disdained a female consort, but the
Canaanite pantheon included an array of she-deities who were both erotic &
maternal, thus answering the human need for a feminine object of worship. Once
in Canaan, the Israelites turned to idolatry, sacred harlotry, & other ritual
practices that the pious biblical source regard as too vile to describe. ...
Even David kept a collection of idols in his own home.
Although all 12 tribes claimed descent from the patriarch Jacob, a man also
known as Israel, they bickered & battled with one another in as series of
ruinous blood feud that turned the Promised Land into a wasteland.
A man from the tribe of Levi & his concubine go on a journey & are forced
to spend the night in a town that belongs to the tribe of Benjamin. A crowd
gather around the house & demand that the guests be surrendered to them for
their sexual pleasure. To spare himself, the Levite pushes his concubine out
of the door & offers her to the mob in his place. All night long, the woman
is raped to death. Her body is left at the threshold.
Wow, they even wanted to rape the man!
Demanding retribution, the outraged Levite hacks the woman's battered body
into 12 pieces & sends the bloody chunks to the other tribes of Israel as a
call to arms against the Benjaminites. All of Israel unites in war against
the Benjaminites & the tribe is nearly exterminated. At the last moment,
they decide to spare the 600 Benjaminite men remaining. Since all the women
& children were slaughtered, the men are sent to Shiloh with instructions to
seize the young virgins of the town & use them to reproduce the tribe of Benjamin.
Thus the rape & murder of 1 woman prompt the rape & abduction of 600 more women.
At this point the author blames all the failings of the Chosen People on the
simple fact that they were not yet ruled by a king. Indeed, the book of Judges
can be regarded as a parade of horribles intended to persuade the original
readers of the bible that only a king would be capable of putting an end to
the chaos & imposing moral law & order on the unruly Israelites. “In those
days there was no king in Israel & every man did that which was right in his
One faction preferred an old-fashioned theocracy - leadership of devout men
men & women who felt called upon by God to 'judge' the people. The other faction
favored the newfangled institution of monarchy, & its members agitated for a
king like the ones who reigned in the superpowers of the ancient world, Egypt
& Mesopotamia. ... Indeed, the rivalry between theocracy & monarchy in ancient
Israel was bitter enough to break God's heart.
Since when the 'chosen' people of God 'decide' what system they should have?!
All this while they claim God is all-knowing & all-powerful, while having
living prophets among them?!
Theocracy prevailed among the Israelites in the early periods of the conquest.
Deborah, the fiery prophetess who led the armies of Israel into battle against
the Canaanites, was one of the first judges, & Samson, who was famously seduced
by a Philistine woman named Delilah & who then martyred himself by bringing
down the walls of a pagan temple, was among the last. Again & again, the
Israelites “hearkened not unto their judges, for they went astray after other
gods, & worshiped them”.
Wow, female prophet!
Even the Samuel, the very last of the judges, failed in his efforts to save
the Israelites from their own excesses. Under Samuel's leadership, the dreaded
Philistines were defeated on the field of battle & the corrupt priesthood of
Israel was brought down. But Samuel was an ineffective father whose sons
rejected his pious ways, “turned aside after lucre, & took bribes, & perverted
justice”. The elders of Israel fretted over what would happen when Samuel was
gone & only his corrupt sons remained, so they confronted Samuel & made a bold
demand. Behold, thou art old, & thy sons walk not in thy ways. Now make us a
king to judge us like all the nations”. When they were still a mob of runaway slaves in the
wilderness, Moses had revealed to the Israelites that they had been chosen
to be a “kingdom of priests, & a holy nation”, & their one & only
sovereign was to be the invisible deity called Yahweh. ... The rule of kings, according
to the fundamental theology of the 5 books of Moses, was strictly for the goyim.
Samuel found this demand heartbreaking because it was so ordinary & thus so
unworthy of the Chosen People. He sought guidance in prayer & God spoke to him
in a very childlike manner. “Hearken unto the voice of the people, for they
have not rejected thee, but they have rejected me, that I should not be king
over them”. God, like the frustrated father of a stubborn & greedy child was
always ready to punish the Chosen People by the simple expedient of giving
them exactly what they thought they wanted. ... God would give them one - but
they would live to regret it.
At God's direction, Samuel delivered an oration to the people of Israel that
fairly sizzled with contempt for the idea of monarchy. “He will take your sons
to be his horsemen & to plow his ground to reap his harvest, & to make his
instruments of war ... He will take a tenth of your flocks, & ye shall be
What kind of prophet couldn't control his own sons?
Since when people demand from prophet to change “God's system” & God disagrees
but decides to do it anyway just to teach them a lesson.
But He does it with all sorts of warning why this is a bad idea!
This was all written to promote & justify David's monarchy.
But bible also preserves the fingerprints of authors who disdained the rule of
kings. Most of the kings who came after David were regarded with even greater
horror in the prophetic circles & ancient Israel.
Monarchy only led to a succession of catastrophes that ended only with the
destruction of Jerusalem & exile to Babylon in 586 BCE. ... Long after David
was dead & gone, a writer took the liberty of slipping a manifesto against
monarchy into the same pages of the bible where David, the greatest king of all, is
celebrated with such ardor.
God gave the people the king they demanded - but his name was not David. God
told Samuel, “I will send you a man out of the land of Benjamin & you will
anoint him to be prince over my people Israel, & he shall save my people from
out of the hand of the Philistines”. So Yahweh chose a handsome but hapless
fellow named Saul to be the first king. He was from the tribe of Benjamin,
the tribe that was punished for the rape & lost all their women, so 600
remaining men had to steal virgin girls to breed from.
Saul was sent by his father to find some stray asses from the family herd. He
wandered aimlessly in the countryside till he ran out of food. He then sought
out a local seer hoping the seer may know where to find the asses. The seer
was Samuel. God whispered to Samuel, “here is the man of whom I spoke to you.
This man shall rule my people”.
At dawn the next day, Samuel roused Saul from sleep & anointed the young
man who had come in search of his lost asses. From a small flask, Samuel
poured oil upon Saul's head - olive oil spiced with myrrh, cinnamon, cassia,
& aromatic cane, according to a recipe in the book of Exodus.
Messiah is the English rendering of mashiach, Hebrew word for 'the anointed one”.
Israelites found a great many reasons & opportunities to anoint people &
things. The altar of sacrifice was smeared with consecrated oil, & so were
the tabernacle & the sacred paraphernalia used in ceremonies of worship.
Aaron, the brother of Moses, was anointed as the first high priest of Israel,
& anointment was the rite of initiation for the generations of high priests
who came after him. Even lepers were anointed with a 'sevenfold' sprinkling
of oil in a ritual of purification. Starting with Saul, however, anointment
became the essential & enduring symbol of kingship, a faintly magical rite
in which the strength, wisdom, & power of Yahweh were symbolically conveyed
to the mortal monarch.
How could a king be anointed, but not a prophet?!
God's choice of Saul remained a secret until Samuel staged a convocation
with the apparent purpose for drumming up public enthusiasm for the man
whom he had privately anointed as king. ... the old man opened the proceedings
by reminding the crowd of their clamor for a king & pointing out rather
irritably why he still thought it was a terrible idea. “thus saith the Lord,
the God of Israel: “I brought up Israel out of Egypt, & I delivered you out
of the hands of all the kingdoms that oppressed you”. But you have this day
rejected your God, who himself saves you out of all your calamities & your
distresses, & you have said unto him:”Nay, but set a king over us!”
Then, curiously, Samuel conducted a drawing of lots among the 12 tribes of
Israel with apparent purpose of selecting the man who would be king. Since
God had already directed Samuel to anoint Saul as king, the lottery was
something of a sham. Still, the people watched as the first lot fell to the
tribe of Benjamin, ..., until the young man named Saul was finally selected.
But Saul was nowhere to be seen. Saul asked God if the man be coming back &
God replied “there he is, hiding among the baggage”.
Sham election existed even in those days & was OK by God!
How strange that millions of people over the centuries have believed in this rubbish!
One should not accept all this as facts.
One should start from above, the all-knowing & all-powerful God, & use logic to
work his way down to details, always asking “would God do such a stupid thing?”.
Is it possible for God to choose a Prophet, then choose his cousin to succeed him,
make the cousin more holy than the Prophet, but not tell His Prophet, not mention a
word about it in His holy book, not let all His followers know, & cause civil war
after the sudden death of the Prophet over who should succeed the Prophet?!
some ancient rabbis regarded Saul as a model of humility because he hid from
his own coronation, but some of the Israelites would've seen it as a sign of
timidity or perhaps even cowardice.
God is supposed to be all-powerful, but it turned out that his designation
of Saul to be king of Israel was not enough to make it so - Saul was obliged
to engage in politicking & public relations in order to put Saul on the throne
& keep him there. God is supposed to be all-knowing, but the Almighty
apparently didn't foresee that Saul would bungle the kingship that Samuel
The kingdom of Saul was occupied territory. Even Gibeah, the town where Saul
lived & reigned, remained under the authority of a governor appointed by the
Philistines. And Saul was unable or unwilling to engage in a war of liberation
against the Philistines. Israelites were forbidden to have metal-smithing lest
they made swords & spears for themselves.
Now, Jonathan, Saul's son takes matters into his hands & assassinates the
governor. Saul is forced to fight but the Philistine army is much bigger so
Saul's army begin to slip away. Saul is left with 600 men, against 3000
charioteers & 6000 cavalry. Saul decides to make a blood offering to Yahweh.
Samuel instructs Saul to wait, but after 7 days of waiting, Saul ordered,
“bring the holocaust & the communion offering to me!” Just as the sacrifice
was going up in smoke on the altar of Yahweh, Samuel shows up most upset saying:
“what have you done? Though has done foolishly. Now your kingdom shall not
continue. The Lord hath sought him a man after his own heart, & the Lord hath
appointed him to be prince over his people.” This new kid “after God's own heart”
is to be David.
But, in spite of all this, not only Saul wins the battle, he even fought
successfully against the armies of Moab, Edom, & Ammon.
The Hebrew word translated in the bible as 'holocaust' (olah) is usually
rendered in English bibles as 'burnt-offering' or 'whole-offering' & identifies
an offering that is burnt whole on the altar. Precisely because the word
'holocaust' refers to to a sacrificial offering to the God of Israel, some
historians & critics prefer the Hebrew word 'shoah' ('catastrophe') over
'holocaust' to describe the mass murder of Jews by Nazis.
God now instructs Samuel to tell Saul to go & destroy Amalekites & put their
property under ban. The 'ban' here is the Hebrew 'herem', which is the grimmest
of the rules of Israelite holy war, which today would be genocide. God says
“spare no one, put them all to death, men & women, children & babes in arms,
herds & flocks, camel & asses”.
What kind of sick god would say such a thing?!
What kind of god would tell one group of humans to be kind & compassionate
one day, but tell them to kill women & children the next?
Why couldn't god do his own killings by plagues/storms/etc?
How come God would ask His people for burnt-offering (kabaab sukhteh) for centuries,
& then, all of a sudden, stop asking for it? Not only Christians & Muslims don't do
it, Jews haven't done it in their Temple for a long time.
Saul raised a new army, so he goes from 600 men to 200K men! He first allowed
the Kenites, a tribe of nomadic coppersmith to flee, because Moses had married
a Kenite woman. He then killed all the Amalekites, except for one, their king.
Then he set aside he best of the flock & the herd & every good thing as a prize
of war for himself & his army.
But God is enraged that Saul spared one man & told Saul, “I repent of having
made Saul king because he has turned his back on me & has not obeyed my commands”.
Samuel goes & tells Saul off for not having killed everyone & all the cattle,
some of which were being sacrificed & some were still kept in the pens.
The text is confusing so we can't tell how long Saul was the king. Some say
'Saul was a year old when he began to reign, & he reigned for 2 years over
Israel'; some say he was 30 when he was crowned & reigned for 22 years; others
say 'Saul was ... years old” taking the number out.
Long after god admitted his mistake in anointing Saul & vowed to remove him
from the throne, Saul continued to reign as king of Israel, wage war against
the Philistines, & keep his rivals for kingship, real or imagined, at bay.
Some scholars read the biblical text to suggest that Saul, who is depicted
by the royal chroniclers of the Davidic kings as a bungler & a madman, may
actually have been far more beloved by the people of Israel than his successor.
The open-eyed bible reader may wonder out loud why god waited so long to execute
his harsh judgment on Saul, & why he allowed the hated Philistines to do his
work for him.
The bible honors the Persian emperor Cyrus II, who conquered Babylon & thus
put an end to the exile of the Jewish people, with the exalted title of messiah:
if it took a pagan monarch from far-off Persia to restore the Jews to their
homeland, the prophet Isiah concluded, he must've acted with the blessing of the
God of Israel.
Saul was old & ready to die, but was called by God, “how long will you mourn
for Saul, seeing I've rejected him from being king over Israel? Fill your
horn with oil, & go! I'm sending you to Jesse of Bethlehem, for I've chosen
myself a king among his sons”. Saul protests, “how can I go? If Saul hears it,
he'll kill me!”
This is not a conversation a prophet would have with the all-powerful God!
This kind of talk happens between 2 old grumpy men.
God cooks up a cover story, “take a heifer with you & say, 'I have come to
sacrifice to the Lord', then I'll tell you what you shall do. You'll anoint
the one I point out to you”.
Samuel goes & sends a message to Jesse to bring his sons along. Jesse shows
up wt his 7 sons. His eldest son is so tall & handsome that Samuel thinks he
must be the one, but God tells him that He has rejected the eldest son. Then
Jesse paraded the rest of his sons in front of the old prophet, but God rejected
Didn't the all-knowing God know His chosen one wasn't there to begin with?!
Samuel tells Jesse that God hasn't chosen any of them & were these all his
sons. Jesse says his youngest son is tending the flock, so Samuel tells him
to fetch him. When the youngest son arrives, God says to Samuel, “Arise! Anoint
him, for he is the one!”. Then David was anointed, while his father & brothers
watched in amazement. One of authors of bible says, “the spirit of Yahweh
came mightily upon David from that day forward” & at the same time it departed
Bible is candid about physical flaws of even most exalted figures - matriarch
Leah had poor eyesight, Moses was a stutterer – but now & then a biblical
figure suddenly looms larger than life. David is such a figure, whose life
seems to be more like a folklore & fairy tale than history or theology.
The sense that we are being told a tall tale is heightened by the contradictions
in the text; according to book of Samuel David is the youngest of 8 sons of
Jesse, but Chronicles refers to him as a the 7th son. Also, bible formally
embraces the superior rights of the eldest son, but David was the youngest &
the worthiest son. Yet the bible can be understood as a saga about the surprising
success of youngest sons: Isaac prevails over his older half brother, Ishmael;
Jacob over his earlier-born twin, Esau; Joseph over all of his older brothers.
Each of these stories may have been intended to prepare the reader for the
success of David.
Not only Saul had been abandoned by the spirit of Yahweh, but “an evil spirit
from Yahweh” was sent to haunt & terrorize the doomed king.
So it seems that Devil is not the only source of evil in the world!
Yet, in spite of all this, Saul remains a king for many many years?!
This is not the story of the all-powerful God, it's a man-made fiction about a
useless angry old man, Yahweh.
Josephus says that Saul was beset by strange disorders & evil spirits which
caused him suffocation & strangling. More recent critics understand Saul's
affliction as fits of melancholia & madness that we'd describe today as mental
The cure was the sound of music, & the courtiers urged that Saul submit to
the Bible-era equivalent of music therapy. They search for a harp player &
they bring David to play harp for Saul. The courtier introduces him as “a mighty
man of valor, a man of war, skilled in speech, & handsome - the Lord is with him”.
David was a young kid, a Shepherd boy, so all this text was written afterwards
to raise his profile.
Saul, like so many other men & women to follow, is suddenly & powerfully smitten
with love for David at the moment he lays upon him & decides to name young David
as his weapon bearer, a position of unique intimacy & importance in the royal
household. David alone was capable of easing the madness that came upon the king,
& soon the evil spirit departed from Saul.
Philistines gather their army & come to fight & send their champion Goliath to
fight someone from the Israelites, but nobody wants to fight this giant. Goliath
was nearly 10 feet tall, was in full bronze armor, the wooden shaft of his weapon
was as thick as a weaver's beam, & his spearhead alone weighed 7 kg. For 40 days,
morning & night, Goliath issued the same challenge, asking for a man to fight with,
but nobody volunteered. David was too young to be in the army, but Jesse sent him
to the front to take food for his brothers. David's brother says, “what are you
doing here? Who have you left to look after the sheep? You've only come to see
David boldly approaches king Saul & offers to fight the giant, “let no man's heart
fail within him, your servant will go & fight with the Philistine”. King Saul,
giving no sign that he had ever seen David before, scoffed at the idea of a
shepherd boy in single combat with the mightiest warrior in the Philistine army,
“you are only a lad, & he has been a man of war from his youth”. David tells the
king that “your servant smote both the lion & the bear ... Yahweh, who delivered
me out of the paw of the lion will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine”.
Saul give David his armor, but it is too heavy & he staggers under the weight.
David slips off the armor, lays down the heavy sword, chooses a wooden staff
of a shepherd & the slingshot. The sight of David, ”this handsome lad .. with
ruddy cheeks & bright eyes” moved Goliath to scornful laughter. Goliath says,
“Am I a dog, that you've come to me with a stick? Come on, &'ll give your flesh
to the birds & the beasts”. David gives him a sermon about how he's come in the
name of Yahweh ... Goliath gets angry & lurched forward with an upraised spear.
David ran forward & took a stone from his bag & slung it, & smote Goliath in his
forehead. Goliath fell on his face, David ran to him, seized his sword & neatly
separated Goliath from his head.
Saul's sword was too heavy, but he had no trouble to take Goliath's sword & cut
his head off 'neatly'?!
He played harp for Saul & was his weapon-bearer, but now Saul doesn't even know him?!
so the image of the shepherd takes on exalted meaning throughout the bible: the
good shepherd becomes a metaphor for a king & a redeemer. Indeed, the notion
of a god or a king as a shepherd & the people as his flock can be found not
only in the towering figures of Judeo-Christian tradition - Abraham, Moses,
David, & Jesus - but throughout the pagan faiths of the ancient Near East.
Philo, a Jewish chronicler wrote, “that man alone can be a perfect king who
is well skilled in the art of the shepherd, for the business of a shepherd is
a preparation for the office of a king to anyone who is destined to preside
over that most manageable of all flocks, mankind”.
Although the Book of Samuel first introduces David as “a mighty man of valor,
a man of war” who has been summoned by Saul from the household of Jesse &
recruited for a lifetime of royal service as a weapon bearer & court musician,
David makes his second appearance as a country bumpkin & a total stranger to
king Saul. King Saul asks “who is this lad?” when he sees David on the battlefield
& his general says, “O king, I cannot tell”, so Saul recruits David a second
time for royal service!
Another example of confusion in the bible text involves what happens to the
severed head of Goliath. David is said to take the head to Jerusalem, but
Jerusalem at this point belongs to native-dwelling tribe of Jebusites, & David
conquers Jerusalem many years later. By then, the head seems to have disappeared;
only his sword is preserved in a shrine of Yahweh as a war trophy. But then, in
the second book of Samuel, a man called Elhanan is credited with the slaying
of Goliath in a campaign against the Philistines that took place when Saul was
long dead & David was king of Israel. The author assures us that he is in fact
referring to Goliath, “the staff of whose spear was like weaver's beam”.
Many have tried to solve this mystery; some say that Elhanan killed the brother
of the famous Goliath; some say David & Elhanan were one & the same man (David
was called Elhanan); some say that Elhanan did kill Goliath & the authors of
bible credited the deed to David; others say the author of bible have decorated
the life of David with fairy tales & folktales to fill in the blanks.
Moses's miraculous survival in a little boat of reed may have been borrowed
intact from a more ancient tale of an Akkadian king of 3000 BCE. So all these
old tales were preserved & embellished by the authors & editors who compiled the
law, legend, & lore of ancient Israel into the patchwork that we've learned to
call the Bible.
So, One of the traditional tales of ancient Israel suggests that Saul first
saw David in his court as a musician; but another one says that Saul first
saw David on the battlefield. And the authors chose to include both versions
in the sacred history.
Bible describes a series of passionate encounters between David & 2 of the
adult children of Saul - first Jonathan, the king's eldest son, & later Michal,
the king's daughter. Each one, like Saul himself, falls suddenly & deeply in
love with David. Indeed, the love of Michal for David is the only instance in
all bible in which we are explicitly told that a woman
loves a man.
The name David has been interpreted by some scholars to mean “darling” or
“beloved” in biblical Hebrew, & love at first sight is exactly what David seems
to inspire in everyone who encounters him.
Something more heartfelt & more carnal may have characterized the love of David
& Jonathan, even if the bible dares not speak its name. Tom Horner, bible scholar
argues, “we have every reason to believe that a homosexual relationship existed”.
David sings of Jonathan from the pages of bible, “wonderful was thy love to me,
passing the love of women”. Some imaginative readers of the bible wonder whether
David captured the heart of Saul, too, & maybe even Goliath!
Now Saul's “love” for David suddenly turns into fear & loathing.
Women of Israel sang & praised young David above the king himself, & they credited
him with martial prowess that exceeded Saul's own by tenfold. So it was that
king Saul marked the handsome young war hero as a man to bury rather than to praise.
On the very day after Saul first heard the women of Israel sing David's praise,
David goes to court to play the lyre for Saul, but suddenly, Saul rose to his
feet, seized a spear & hurled it at David's head with one mighty thrust. David
sidesteps the spear & flees from the palace. Author of bible says, “an evil
spirit from God came mightily upon Saul, & he raved in midst of the house. Saul
was afraid of David, because the Lord was with him, & was departed from Saul”.
Saul first tried to remove David from the royal household by promoting him into
a high ranking captain & sending him to war so he'd be killed. But David won
the battle again & became a hero again. Then Saul promised his elder daughter
to David if he fought more wars, thinking David would fight harder & get himself
killed. But David rejected the offer saying 'who am I to be king's son-in-law'.
Then Saul found out that his youngest daughter, Michal, had fallen in love with
David. Saul told one his courtiers to tell David how king loves him & that he
should become king's son-in-law. But David refused saying he was too poor. Saul
sends message to David that pride-price would be a 100 foreskins of the Philistines,
calculating that this should get David killed. David did his killings & returned
with 200 foreskins, but bible doesn't explain why he changed his mind. Saul gave
David his daughter. But he didn't change his mind about killing David, if the
Philistines didn't do the job for him, he'd find a way to do it himself, even
if it meant defying the will of God.
Saul confided in Jonathan that he intended to kill David, he even told the
royal household about it. Jonathan who “delighted much in David” sought David
out & warned him that his father was going to kill him. David stayed away from
the court for a while. Jonathan tried to change his father's mind. Saul vowed,
“as the Lord lives, he shall not be put to death”. David went back to his wife
& fought in more wars.
Again, “an evil spirit from the lord” came upon Saul & king tried to kill David
with spear. David fled to his house & locked himself in with Michal. Saul sent
a few soldiers to David's house to kill him in the morning. Michal saw the royal
hit men & alerted David. She helped David to escape through the window, then
took one of household gods, teraphim, & placed it in David's bed, using goat
hair for his hair, then covered it with blanket. She sent message to the guards
that David was sick & in bed. The guards reported this to king, & Saul told them
to bring David to him, bed & all, so he could kill him. Guards returned to
David's house but it was too late, David had escaped. Saul asked Michal why
she had played a trick on him, she told him that David had told her, “help me
to escape, or I will kill you”.
The patriarch Jacob fled from his father-in-law, Laban, with 2 daughters whom
he had taken as his wives, Leah & Rachel. Laban's daughters carried off their
father's traphim, & Rachel contrived to hide the stolen idols from her pursuing
father by hiding them in the cushions & sitting on them, then telling her father
she couldn't rise because she was menstruating.
So even as late as 1000 BCE, at David's time, Israelites were still keeping
& using idols despite the loathing of Yahweh for idols. “Thou shalt not have
no other gods before me” is the first of the 10 commandments, & the second
one is “thou shalt not make unto thee a graven image, nor any manner of
likeness, ...., for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God”.
Some of the priests & scribes who were the custodians of the Holy Writ in
ancient Israel were scandalized by such details (about using idols), & they
censored the older text - book of Chronicles has been cleaned up of such stories.
David flees & went to Samuel & told him how Saul has tried to kill him. They
both flee & go into hiding, but somebody betrayed them & informed the king.
Saul sent his soldiers to arrest David, but they all turned into whirling
dervishes when they got the David's hiding place. Then Saul himself goes to
he hiding place, but he too fell under the same spell, & he stripped off his
cloths & prophesied before Samuel, & lay down naked all that day & night”.
This is very interesting: if God can do such things, then why not do it all
the times, to all the enemies of 'his prophets' & the enemies of 'His people',
for as long as it takes?! Why ask this/that guy to 'kill them all', when he can
easily do it himself?
according to bible, “the sons of God” - or more likely, “the sons of the gods”
(b'nai Elohim) - descended from heaven soon after the creation of the world
& bedded the women who struck their fancy, thus siring a race of giants known
as the Nephilim. Their descendants still lived in the land of Canaan when,
centuries later, Moses sent spies ahead of the army of Israel. They reported
that “we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, & so we were in their sight”.
All the giants were exterminated, but a few who remained in Gaza & Gath.
Bible says that Goliath was the distant offspring of the sexual union between
gods & mortals.
Now David presents himself to the Philistine overlord who ruled Gath, a king
named Achish, & pleads for refuge against Saul. But David discovers that even
among the philistines he is regarded as a dangerous young man. Achish counselors
warn him, saying “isn't his David the king of the land?” & that didn't the
Israelites sing how he killed more than Saul?” David now feigns lunacy to save
his life, he scrabbled on the doors of the gate & let his spittle fall down upon
his beard. Achish complained, “the man is mad! Am I short of madmen that you
bring this one to plague me?” David then seeks refuge in a cave, more like a
runaway slave than a man who would be king.
But David 'was' the king, he was 'anointed'! How could the all-powerful God elect him, but fail to
put him on the throne?! So it all must've been nonsense!
What kind of God can't make his chosen one the king?
All he had to do was to turn Saul into a whirling dervish, which he had done before.
The word of David's hiding place reached Judah & his brothers & the rest of
his family & hundreds of men went to David. Soon, everyone who was in distress,
or in debt, or discontent, gathered themselves unto David, & David became the
captain of 400 men.
So David became like a “bandit chief of ruffians & desperadoes”!
About the best case that can be made for David during his fugitive years is
that he was a soldier of fortune who relied on guerrilla tactics to survive
& prevail against the reigning king of Israel.
David's little army of outcasts & malcontents increased. They raided farms
& towns & carried off food & wine & livestock, extorted protection money from
the wealthier landowners, & now & then earned a few shekels as mercenaries for
the Philistines. David was skilled in the brutal craft of banditry.
Men & women throughout the land of Israel - & even his fellow tribesmen in the
land of Judah - regarded David with suspicion & sometimes even hatred.
Bible says that “David abode in the wilderness ... & Saul sought him every day,
but God delivered him not into Saul's hand”.
God supposedly makes Saul a king, then he makes David a king, which means Saul
is no longer a king, but Saul remains a king for many years trying to kill
God's chosen king, while God chosen king lives in the wild as a killer thief,
because God 'didn't deliver him into Saul's hand”?!
The story must've been written for kids or retarded people, who couldn't use any
form of 'logic'.
David goes to the estate of a rich Calebite named Nabal. He instructs his men
to ask Nabal to show gratitude for what David did not do to his sheep & shepherds.
But Nabal rejects their demand, saying “who is David?” David now orders his
men to strap on their swords & go for the kill. Bible tries to show that David
is a righteous man who tries to be good, & that he is forced to do steal &
kill because God had anointed him to be king but had done nothing to put a
crown on his head. David is depicted as a sympathetic figure who didn't ask
to be anointed, but now he's been left to his own devices. Still, the
bloodcurdling threat that fell from David's lips seems more appropriate to a
bandit or terrorist than a man on a mission from God. David vows as his army
approach the estate of Nabal, :God do the same thing to me & more, if I leave
until morning a single one who pisses against the wall!”
Wow! Such holy language?!
This is supposed to be the king chosen by the all-compassionate God?!
but now Nabal's wife, Abigail, a woman “of good understanding, & of a beautiful
form”, without telling her husband, orders a gift-offering to be prepared for
the raiders: 200 loaves, 2 skins of wine, 5 sheep slaughtered & dressed, 100
clusters of raisins, 200 cakes of figs.
Bible even has one of Nabal's shepherds saying how David & his men were good
to them & the real evildoer was Nabal who “flew upon” David's men when they
tried to “salute our master” & solicit some humble gifts in return for their
protection; & that Nabal is such a good-for-nothing that there is no point
even talking to him.
At first sight of David, Abigail hastens towards him, alights from her ass,
& bows her forehead to the ground in greeting. “Let thine handmaid, I pray
thee, speak in thine ears”, pleads Abigail in phrases that are both formal &
yet flirtatious, “& hear thou the words of thy handmaid”. She then blames her
husband & offers the gift to David & his men. She then delivers a sermon that
must've surely been scripted & inserted into the text to prefigure David's
rise to kingship & to soften some of his rough edges, saying how David should
refrain from slaughter & instead use his sword for “the battle of the Lord”,
so he would be rewarded with a “sure house” & raised to be “prince over Israel”.
David says, “blessed be Yahweh, God of Israel, who sent you to meet me this
day. If you had not come so quickly to meet me, not a single one of Nabal's
household who pisses against a wall would've been left alive by morning”.
David accepts the gift & return to his camp to feast.
Nabal, not knowing what happened, gets drunk that night to celebrate. Abigail
waits till morning, then tells Nabal the story. Nabal's heart “died within him
& he became as a stone”, & 10 days later he is dead. Was it a heartbreak over
his wife's infatuation with a bandit-chieftain? Bible reports that “the Lord
smote Nabal”. David thanks God for his good fortune, & then sends a hasty
but confident proposal of marriage to Abigail, & she accept. She mounts her
ass & rides away from her dead husband's estate with 5 maidservants. Promptly
on arrival at David's camp, the widow Abigail & the handsome outlaw who had
come so close to killing her first husband are wed. David was still married to
Michal, whom he had left behind.
It is very clear that the author is trying to make David look good.
God can't get rid of the old king who is trying to kill His new king, yet he
“smote” Nabal so David can have sex with his wife?!
Husband dies & the wife immediately marries (has sex with) the guy who was going
to kill her husband?!
All this when David is supposed to be the God's Chosen-One?!
now David & his band & their camp followers sought refuge in Ziph in the land
Judah. But the locals were no more enamored of David than Nabal had been, &
they sent a delegation to petition the king to rid of them of him. They informed
Saul exactly where David was hiding out & begged the king to march against him.
Yet this was supposed to be David's own tribe!
Later, Saul goes to search for David & kill him in En-gedi. The king, during
the search-&-destroy mission, sought out a cave among the rocks in order to
defecate. By chance, David & his men were hiding in the deeper reaches of the
same cave, & they watched in amazement as the king of Israel squatted on the
cave floor & relieved himself in supposed privacy. How easy it would be for
David to slip up behind the king at this vulnerable moment & strike him down
once & for all! “The day has come!” whispered David's henchmen in excitement.
“Yahweh has put your enemy into your hands, as he promised he would, & you may
do what you please with him!” But David, in a sudden display of piety & integrity,
declared himself to be shocked - shocked! - at the suggestion. “God forbid that
I should harm my master,” he scolded. “He is the Lord's anointed!” David sneaks
behind Saul, while he was defecating, & sliced off the hem of Saul's robe with
Moments later, Saul rearranges his garments & leaves the cave, but David follows
him & calls out to him, saying “My lord the king! Why do you harken to the ones
who say: 'David seeks out to hurt you'?” David then tells Saul how “Yahweh
delivered you into my hand in the cave” & some told him to kill Saul, but he
had refused. He then shows Saul the strip of his cloth as proof, saying “my
father, see the skirt of thy robe in my hand!” Then Saul weeps & says “Is this
thy voice, my son David! Thou art more righteous than I; for thou hast rendered
unto me good, whereas I have rendered unto thee evil”.
This interlude, which reads like a fairy tale from first to last, ends abruptly
& implausibly as Saul concedes his crown to David: “& now, behold, I know that
you will surely be king, & that the kingdom of Israel will be established in
your hand”. Then the reigning king is reduced to begging the future king for
mercy: “swear now to me by the Lord that you will not cut off my seed after
me”. So the 2 bitter enemies part as friends. But the narrative resumes a
moment later: David is again on the run with Saul in pursuit, as if what just
happened never did happen at all.
The guy is a killer, yet he doesn't kill his enemy who wants to kill him?!
David is supposed to be the real one “anointed”, yet he calls the previous
David even tells Saul that “Yahweh delivered you into my hand”, but decides to
go against God's wish, because he's such a nice guy?!
This is all written in exaggeration, to make David look good & Saul look bad.
Now David is tired of running & decides that “one of these days I shall be
killed by Saul ... the best thing for me to do will be to escape into Philistine
territory”, so that Saul would lose hope of finding him so he'd escape his clutches.
This is surely not a man who believes in being chosen by God to be king!
so once again, David sought refuge with the hated enemies of his people,
offering himself & his skills as a soldier of fortune to the king of Gath,
returning to the court of king Achish. David now had 600 men under his command,
so Achish gave David the town of Ziklag to set up his base in. soon the wives
joined the men, followed by the Benjaminite defectors who had lost faith in Saul.
Now David under the patronage of the king of Gath, start raiding the nomadic
desert tribes. Bible suggests that David confined his attacks to only
non-Israelites, but confirms that David was merciless towards his victims: “David
smote the land, & left neither man nor woman alive, & took away the sheep, & the
oxen, & the asses, & the camels, & the apparel”.
Bible leaves no doubt at all that David committed the kind of atrocities that
we call war crimes. David even adopted a brutal policy of leaving no eyewitnesses
to his deeds: “& David left neither man nor woman alive to bring back to Gath,
saying “lest they should tell on us”.
Achish's cynicism was deep: “surely he has become loathsome to his own people,
Israel! I shall have him for a servant always!”
Achish wants to attack Israel, he summons David to his court to test his loyalty
& tells him that he & his men must take part in the battle. David says, “good,
you'll learn what your servant will do”. Achish says, “then I will make you my
bodyguard for life!”
A doublet is a tale that is preserved in the bible in 2 or more versions. David's
exploits in his fugitive years are described with shocking candor in the bible,
but there are many doublets. So it seems another pen, of a spin doctor, is at
work too, to smooth things out.
A few chapters after En-gedi, where David doesn't kill Saul while he was defecating,
we are told that David & his men slip into Saul's camp at night. God has sent Saul
& his men into a trancelike sleep called 'tardema Yahweh' (slumber of Yahweh), the
same comalike state that Adam experienced when God extracted a rib in order to
create the first woman. David's commander whispers that God has delivered his
enemy into his hand & asks to kill him. But David tells him “destroy him not, for
who can put forth his hand against the Lord's anointed, & be guiltless? The Lord
shall smite him, or he shall go down into battle & be swept away”. David leaves
the sleeping kind undisturbed, & takes Saul's spear & water flask. Later, David hails
at Saul's camp from a distance, shows the spear & scolds the generals for not having
kept watch over their lord the king. Saul says, “behold, I've played the fool.
blessed be thou, my son David, thou shalt both do mightily, & shalt surely prevail”.
At the end of each of the doublets, the conflict between Saul & David is resolved,
the 2 men are reconciled, & each goes his separate way. But the happy ending is
paper-thin & the peace doesn't last long.
Now Samuel dies. This is a blow to the newborn kingdom of Israel, because he
once ruled the 12 tribes as the last of the judges, & he answered the people's
call for a king, & he even anointed the first 2 kings of Israel.
The Bible shows that no one - not Samuel, not Saul, not even David - is privileged
to converse directly with God. Yahweh was not always aloof. The bible tells us
that he had once walked & talked with the men & women he had created. In Genesis,
God strolls through the garden of Eden “towards the cool of the day”, hoping
for a chat with Adam & Eve but failing to find them.
He shows up at the tent of Abraham “in the heat of the day” & sits down to an
impromptu meal of chops & curds. He engages in a wrestling match with Jacob -
& loses! He routinely chats with Moses “face to face” & even “mouth to
mouth, as a friend speaketh to a friend”. But Moses is the last human being to
enjoy the privilege of direct conversation with God.
God declared to Aaron & Miriam, Moses' brother & sister, “Hear now my words,
of there be a prophet among you, I the Lord do make myself known unto him in
a vision, I do speak to him in a dream”.
The death of Moses may be regarded as the great divide in the sacred history of
Israel, the point in time when myth & legend come to an end & real history begins.
The biblical authors who composed David's life story didn't entertain the notion
that their contemporaries might hear the voice of God or see him. A prophet like
Samuel might hear from God, but only in dreams & visions & trance states. The
rest of humankind - even David - was restricted to the crude machinery of divination.
Divination by casting of lots is an ancient universal practice. Lot casting
survives in the form of tossing coins or plucking the petals of daisy for
decision making. According to the bible, the ancient Israelites consulted
Yahweh in exactly the same manner, using the Ark or the ephod or the mysterious
ritual objects called the Urim & Thummim. The Ark - “sacred divining box” - &
the ephod - “oracle instruments” - were more elaborate & ornate than a coin
toss but no different in function.
Divination is often mentioned but the paraphernalia are never described with
clarity in the bible. The lots were probably pebbles, sticks, arrows, or other
objects marked with words & images & cast like dice or drawn at random from a
container by the person who performed the ritual. The Urim & Thummim may have
been lots fashioned out of precious stones instead of river pebbles. The Ark &
the ephod were probably used as containers for the lots, & so was the priestly
mantle called “the breastplate of judgment”, where the Urim & Thummim were stored.
In one example, Saul asks, “if this guilt lie in me or in my son Jonathan,
O Lord God of Israel, let the lot be Urim, if it lies in thy people Israel,
let it be Thummim”.
Urim originally meant “condemned” & thummim meant “acquitted”, according to
This is a very important point!
So anybody could dream about God & think he was a prophet.
Hell, not even Shiit mullahs would dare to do this.
Also they had to toss a coin to find out what God wanted them to do, which
means they had to ask questions with yes/no answers, which is not practical at all.
This doesn't make sense to me at all.
If God can talk to prophets face-to-face, why not continue to do so?
People must have become more sophisticated in time, so the authors couldn't
fool them anymore & not just any dick could claim to be a prophet.
Yet, one often 'accepts' that God gave complicated instructions to the prophets,
without paying too much attention to the details, was it in a dream or was by
tossing a coin?
So most of the stories about God saying/doing this & that must be just a man-made
fiction, or at best, discovered by tossing coins!
Saul had dutifully enforced the divine law against the practitioners of magic,
& he banished from the land all who trafficked with ghosts & spirits. But now,
with Samuel dead, Saul was desperate to get in touch with God, so ordered “seek
me a woman that divines by a ghost that I may go to her, & inquire of her”. A
woman is found & Saul tells her to “bring me up Samuel”. ... Woman whispers “I
see a god, coming up out of the earth”. Saul asks “what is his appearance?” She
says as if in a trance, “an old man cometh up, & he is wrapped in a robe”. Saul
is terror-stricken, & he fells to the floor. The resentful ghost of Samuel says
“why hast thou disturbed me by bringing me up?” Saul complains that he is distressed,
the Philistines make war but God doesn't answers him no more, so he has done this
to ask what he should do. Samuel says “why ask me, of the Lord has departed from
you & has become your enemy?”. Samuel then explains how it was all Saul's fault
to turn God against himself. Samuel then issues one more prophecy, “the Lord
will deliver Israel into the hand of the Philistines, & tomorrow shalt thou &
thy sons be with me”.
This is very strange because bible regards the occults as sinful & utterly
false & useless, yet it is shown here to be real & working.
This is all nonsense!
Ghost of a 'prophet' being disturbed & brought up, you must be kidding?!
To the credit of the crazy old king, Saul didn't allow Samuel's prediction
of his imminent death to dissuade him from going forth once more to do battle
with the Philistines.
But this also shows that the King, chosen by the prophet, didn't believe in
Which means many more must have not believed in everything the prophets said,
which explains why the Israelites kept on doing sinful things for centuries,
including keeping idols of other gods.
So now there is a big War coming. The lords of the Philistines see thousands
of their soldiers pass by with David & his guerrillas at the end of the column.
The princes ask king Achish, “what are these Hebrews doing here?” Achish replies,
“is this not David, servant of Saul, king of Israel, who has been with me these
days & years? I have found no fault in him from the day he defected to me unto
this day”. The philistine generals didn't agree & said that David shall not
fight side by side with them, because he may turn traitor in the battle. Bible
shows how the philistines feared the military prowess & sheer ruthlessness of
the young mercenary. So Achish told David to go back to his fiefdom of Ziklag,
“as Yahweh lives, you have been upright - I have not found evil in you since
the day of your coming. Nevertheless, the philistine lords favor you not”.
A philistine king would never invoke Yahweh, God of his enemies!
strangely enough, David didn't take advantage of this offer not to kill his
own people, & tries to reassert his loyalty to the philistine cause, insisting
that any enemy of the king of Gath was his enemy too.
The bible generally refers to the 12 tribes who descended from the patriarch
Jacob as “Israelites” or, more precisely, the children of Israel (b'nai Yisrael).
But the Philistines use a different term for the same people - “Hebrew” (ivrim),
a word that may have been used to identify David & his men as renegades. Nowadays
“Hebrew” is the word used to describe the language of the bible, but the bible
uses the term to identify a people, not a language. In the bible, “Hebrews” is
used for the Israelites only where non-Israelites are speaking about the Israelites.
But archaeologists have found tablets in Egypt that refer to people called the
Habiru (or “Apiru”), dating back to 15 century BCE, who were waging a war of
conquest throughout Canaan. But the word habiru is also found in writings from
other sources, including the ancient Mesopotamian archives found in Syria.
Apparently, habiru referred to any people who lived outside a settled community
rather than to a specific tribe or nation. Today, habiru is probably best
understood as a term for “fugitives” or “refugees” who might show up as bandits
or brigands in one place, soldiers of fortune in another, or what we today would
call illegal aliens almost anywhere in the ancient New East around during the
second millennium BCE. Most of the habiru were marauders who descended upon
towns & farms that offered the prospect of easy plunder. Thus, the word habiru
certainly applies to David & his little army of malcontents.
Three days after leaving the Philistine army, David reaches Ziklag, but finds
it empty, because Amalekites had raided it, setting the town afire & carrying
off the women & children. Even David's wives were gone. Then David & the
people that were with him wept, until they had no more power to weep.
It must be another 'author' at work here, because 'weeping' somehow doesn't fit
the image we have so far of David the sex-machine killer hero!
His men began to blame David for leaving Ziklag undefended. People, embittered
by the loss of their sons & daughters, threatened to stone him. The people
of Judah had been willing to betray him to Saul, & now his own men were ready
to rise up & put him to death.
Wow, so much for a “most beloved king”!
It seems 'loyalty' was not part of Jews, they commit to Yahweh, then go on
worshiping other gods; they side with David one day, but want to kill him the next.
As if to divert attention, David announces that he would seek an oracle
from Yahweh (by tossing coins), & calls for the priest Abiathar. The casting
of lots only gives answers to yes-no questions, but the author wants us to
imagine an intimate conversation. David inquires, “shall I pursue? Shall
I overtake them?” Yahweh replies “pursue”, but God also elaborated: “for
thou shalt surely overtake them, & shalt without fail
how God said all this with tossing coin, to get yes/no, is beyond me!
This is all a man-made fiction.
So they pursue & find an Egyptian slave who led them to the Amalelikes,
who were celebrating. David attacks them at twilight & fought them unto
the evening of the next day. 400 Amalekites escaped, but the rest were slain
without mercy, & their animals were taken as spoils of war.
Now David uses this plunder to give gifts to raise his profile in the eyes
of his countrymen & make up with them. From now on, David is presented in
the bible as a savvy politician than a renegade guerrilla.
Jonathan was first to fall into the hands of the Philistines, & then 2 more
sons of Saul were taken. Saul is cornered with an arrow in his belly, so he
tells his armor-bearer to kill him with his sword, so the uncircumcised brutes
may not take him to make sport of him. But he refused, so Saul fell upon his
own sword. So Saul, his 3 sons, & all his men dies on that day. The Israelite
in towns around Mount Gilboa fled in panic & the Philistines came & dwelt in them.
One could say that God gave the area to the Philistines!
On the 3rd day after David return to Ziklag from his fight with an Amalekite
group, an stranger goes to David, fells to the ground & prostrates, saying
that he comes out of the camp of Israel, & that Saul & his sons were killed.
He is stupid enough to identify himself as an Amalekite, & then tells a new
story about how Saul died, different to what the bible has just said. The man
just happened to end up near Saul, who was mortally wounded & was leaning on
his sword, who cried to him “stand beside me, & slay me”. The stranger then
complied & killed Saul & took his crown, & brought it to David.
Bible gives 2 different stories about how Saul's died & offers no other
explanation of how Saul's crown ended up in David's hands, so we are left
to wonder which version of Saul's death is true. Did he fall on his sword,
or was he killed by an Amalekite?
David gets angry & asks the Amalekite, “how is it that you were not afraid
to put forth your hand to destroy the Lord's anointed?” He tells him to leave,
but orders his men to kill the stranger.
Why should an enemy/Amalekite take the crown to David?
For rewards? If so he didn't have to say he was an Amalekite!
David talks to him as if the Amalekite believed in Saul being chosen by the
god of Israelites!
Why should there be 2 version of Saul's death?
Did the king of Gath, David's protector, carry the crown back to David with
the intent of putting his trusted vassal on the throne of Israel? Or is it
possible that David went to war with the Philistines after all & plundered
the dead body of Saul? The Amalekite's story, conveniently enough, acquits
David of any such treachery & was meant to put an end to such scandalous
David betrays no pleasure or relief at the news of Saul's death. Rather,
the man who had begged the philistines for the opportunity to go into battle
against Saul & the army of Israel now rent his garments in a public display
of grief, & his men follow his example.
This all makes sense if the book was written to make David look good & innocent
anthropologist Raphael Patai insists “male homosexuality was rampant in biblical
times. The love story between Jonathan & David (the beautiful hero) must have
been duplicated many times in royal courts in all parts of the Middle East in
all period”. That's why we find intimacies between men in the Epic of Gilgamesh,
the creation myth of ancient Sumeria, & that's why some open-minded commentators
are willing to entertain the notion that the Israelites were not shocked to hear
of one man's love for another man.
Tom Horner argues, “homosexuality was both dignified & manly - in fact, often
associated with heroes - in the cultures that surrounded Israel. ... there can
be little doubt, except on the part of those who absolutely refuse to believe
it, that there existed a homosexual relationship between David & Jonathan. They
were simply well-rounded men who acted fully within the standards of a society
that had been dominated for 200 years by an Aegean culture - a culture that
David reigns as king of Judah for 7.5 years, but only rules a tribe & not the
nation of Israel. Although Saul was dead, his dynasty survived in the person
of his eldest son, a 40 yo nebbish whom the bible sometimes calls Ishbaal &
This only proves how hopeless & useless this god was who chose David to be
the king, but couldn't make it happen!
Abner contrives to put Saul's son, Ishbaal, on the throne. Then Ishbaal accuses
Abner of having sex with one of Saul's concubines, but Abner gets angry &
threatens to make David king, & Ishbaal backs off. But Abner sends message
to David to “make league with me ... to bring all Israel unto you”. David
accepts on the condition that Abner brought him his first wife, Michal.
Saul had annulled d's first marriage & had given Michal to a man named Paltiel.
David had collected a half-dozen more wives, Abigail, Ahinoam, Maacah, Haggith,
Abital, & Eglah.
David demands Ishbaal to give Michal back to him & Ishbaal, unsure of his
grip on the crown, took his sister from her second husband & sent her to David.
... The whole incident raises the unsettling notion that Michal was forcibly
separated from her second husband, Paltiel, & sent back to David'd harem against
her will. As Michal was escorted back to the court of David, Paltiel followed
her in abject misery, “weeping as he went”, ... Abner turn the heartbroken man
around & sent him back home.
David made a deal with Abner, but Joab, his own general, is upset & tells
David that Abner is an spy & only after secrets. Joab sends a message to Abner
asking him back to Hebron. Joab called Abner aside for a moment & stabbed him
in cold blood without any warning. David claims he had nothing to do with it.
Tow of Ishbaal's generals kill Ishbaal in his sleep, without any guards being
around, & take his head to David, saying “behold the head of Ishbaal, ...,
Yahweh has avenged my lord the king this day of Saul & his seed”. But David
orders his men to kill the 2 generals.
Anybody did anything they wanted & claimed that Yahweh was behind it all!
at the age of 37, after 7.5 years on the tribe throne in Hebron, David was
raised to the kingship of both Judah & Israel.
David wanted his new capital to be in a place that belonged to none of the
12 tribes. So he chose a fortified hill-town in the heart of the ancient Israel,
a place that had always belonged to Jebusites, one of the native dwelling tribes
of Canaan, a place called Jerusalem. Jerusalem has long been regarded in pious
tradition as a place of surprising holiness. According to the Talmud, Jerusalem
was the place where Adam offered the first sacrifice to God, where Noah erected
an altar after the flood, where Abraham was called to slaughter Isaac.
So sacred was Jerusalem that in one rabbinical dairy tale David refused to mount
a military assault on its defenses. Instead, he orders Joab to climb to the top
of a cypress tree near the city wall; the tree is pulled back with ropes & Joab
is catapulted over the high wall & into the city. The surprised Jebusites surrender
to Joab without a fight.
If the bible was written to make David look good, then of course there would
be many stories about how holy his kingdom & capital was, no matter where he
chose his capital.
One has to be very stupid to think that all Jebusites surrendered to the army
of killer David just because one man jumped over their walls!
The truth, as recorded in the book of Joshua, is rather more brutal. Unlike the
other cities of Canaan, Jerusalem had beaten back the Israelite armies under the
command of Joshua. The Jebusites taunted David & his men, “you will never get
in here! Even the blind & the lame will turn you back”. David sent a squad of
commandos to infiltrate the fortifications, issuing an order of shocking
brutality: “whoever smites a Jebusite, let him strike at the windpipe, for David
hates the lame & the blind!”
Now this fits David far better.
This is another proof that the old stories are 'cooked' to make David &
Israelites look good, so they cannot be trusted as 'facts'.
what are we to make of the fact that God's chosen king declares his hatred
for “the lame & the blind” with such cruelty?
Very simple, God never chose nobody to be a king or a prophet.
Some people dreamed that God told them this/that, put words into God's mouth,
& called themselves prophets.
But the 12 tribes of Israel were not a unified people, & David would have to
overcome their tendency toward blood feuds & civil war.
Once construction of the palace was under way, David began filling the royal
palace with fresh young women & the royal nursery with more children.
I bet most said that 'Yahweh' wanted all this to happen ...
perhaps to ingratiate himself with the Jebusites - Jerusalem was after all a
conquered & occupied city - David “took him more concubines & wives out of
Jerusalem”, & his new wives turned out to be blessedly fertile.
Since you have to have a Jewish mother to be a Jew, then does this mean that
many of David's kids were not Jews?! So God in those days thought having many concubines was OK, but changed his mind later?!
There was a fight with the Philistines, who ran away & left their idols behind.
David ordered his men to burn them all. The Philistines regroup & go to Jerusalem.
David resorts to use the tools of divination (tossing coin for yes/no) to ask
Yahweh what to do. But Yahweh seems to give far more elaborate advice that could
be possible extracted with yes-no questions: “circle around them ... then when
you hear the sound of the ind in the asherahs, look sharp, for Yahweh will have
marched out ahead of you to attack the Philistine camp!”
The Ark of Covenant, a gilded wooden chest, was fabricated by a master carpenter
named Bezaleel during the 40 years of wandering in the Sinai desert. It was 2.5
cubits in length & 1.5 cubit in height, made from acacia-wood, covered with pure
gold, & fitted with rings & staves that allowed it to be carried. Within the Ark
were stored the 2 stone tablets on which Moses was believed to have inscribed
the sacred law of Yahweh on Mount Sinai. Atop the Ark were 2 gold-wrought figures
of Cherubim - fierce sphinxlike beasts rather than fat angels of contemporary
Christmas cards - & God himself was imagined to have ridden on their outstretched
wings as he led the Israelites through the wilderness. Indeed, the Ark was
carried into battle precisely because it was imagined to be the throne & footstool
of Yahweh Sabaoth, that is, Yahweh in his fearsome role of the 'God of Armies'.
Twenty years earlier, when David was a lad tending his father's sheep in
Bethlehem, the Philistines had succeeded in capturing the Ark in battle, but
later they insisted on restoring it to the defeated Israelites when they found
themselves afflicted with an infestation of mice & a plague of tumors.
Why should God allow his 'throne' be taken by the enemies of His own people?
When everybody burnt the idols of their enemies, like David did, why should the
Philistine not burn the Ark, & insist on giving it back?!
Now the authors try to explain! To make amends to Yahweh (god of their enemies
in whom they did not believe!) over the hijacking of the Ark, & to persuade
him to life the plague, the Philistines made 5 mice & 5 tumors out of pure
gold, loaded the Ark & golden offerings on cart drawn by milk cows & sent the
driverless cart to the Israelite border. The surprised local Israelites greet
the Ark with burnt-offerings, but a few dared to peek inside the Ark. God
promptly not only struck them dead, lest anyone miss the point, he smote 50000
others too! ... The Ark then finally came to rest in the private house of the
local priest in Kitiath-jearim, where it remained for the next 20 years.
Surely, the Philistines MUST have looked inside the Ark & taken stuff out of
it & tried to do dirty things to it, yet Yahweh did nothing to stop it?!
But now, Yahweh kills anyone who looks inside it & then kills 50000 more?
Where were these 50K, surely not at the border. Did God just kill 50000 in
other cities, away from the Ark, without them even knowing why?! Even if
they were in a nearby city, they didn't know what was going on.
Why should such a holy shrine end up & remain in a local priest's house for
the district around Kiriath-jearim remained under Philistine control, so the
Ark was inaccessible. David pushed the Philistines out of the area & brought
the Ark to Jerusalem.
On the way to Jerusalem, the oxen stumbled & one the attendants, a man named
Uzzah, reached out to steady the Ark. He only tried to save the Ark, but Yahweh
was offended, because “the anger of the Lord was kindled against Uzzah, & God
smote him there for his error ...”
How amazing that many have believed in this rubbish for so many years!
To demonstrate his piety, David shed all his royal clothes & wore only the
brief linen ephod that was the customary garb of a consecrated priest. “And
David danced before Yahweh with all his might”
David pitched a tent & placed the Ark inside - Israelites celebrated being
tent-dwelling nomads & tent was their God's preferred meeting place with his
Everybody was happy, but one woman in the palace, Michal David's first wife
was angry & “despised David in her heart”. She was angry because she had seen
that David had danced with such abandon that his brief linen garment repeatedly
flew up & exposed his genitals to the crowd. She told David later, “didn't
the king of Israel do himself honor today, exposing himself in the sight of
his subjects' slave-girls like some dancer!” David says “blessed by Yahweh,
who chose me instead of your father & all his family, & appointed me ruler
over Yahweh's people Israel. ... I will dance before Yahweh & dishonor myself
even more ... ”. .... “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the
day of her death” (meaning David didn't have sex with Michal no more) ...
Doesn't look like the same man who used to call Saul his father & didn't
allow anybody to say anything bad about Saul, does it?
The author of this part of bible must have forgotten the past ...
To counsel him on his duties to Yahweh, David has summoned not a priest but
a prophet named Nathan. David tells him the ironic facts that David himself,
a mere mortal, enjoys the comforts of a palace while the Ark of the Covenant,
the throne & footstool of the King of the Universe, is sheltered only in a rude
tent. That night, Nathan is granted a vision in which Yahweh explains it all,
saying “shalt thou build me a house for me to dwell in?”, & that He has not
dwelt in a house since the day He brought the children of Israel out of Egypt,
& that He has never complained, & that David should not feel guilty, & that He
has chosen him to be prince over His people, & that He has cut off all David's
enemies, & that He will make David a great name on earth.
Next, God promises that David, unlike the judges & kings who had ruled over
Israel before him, would be the founder of a dynasty - a 'house'. “when thy
days are fulfilled, & thou shalt sleep with thy fathers, I will set up thy
seed after thee, that shall proceed out of thy body, & I will establish his
Finally God pronounced a blessing on the house of David that is unprecedented
in all of the bible, an unconditional promise of divine protection that no
other mortal - not Adam, not Noah, not Abraham, Isaac, or Jacob, not even
Moses - was ever granted. A blank check of unlimited validity made out to the
house of David! God says of David's successor, “he shall build a house for my
name, & I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever. I will be for him
a father, & he shall be to me for a son; if he commit iniquity, I will chasten
him, with the rod of men, & with the stripes of the children of men, but my
mercy shall not depart from him”.
This is the biggest proof that 'Yahweh' is nonsense & not a true God, because
we know perfectly well how this never happened.
People could say, well it didn't happen because man did sin to anger god, but the
all-knowing God should know better & should not make phony promises & if this
was the case, He should've made it 'conditional', ”I will do .... IFF ....”
Abraham, Moses, & the other prophet never had their own dynasty, why should a
killer sex-machine have it?
“kingdom forever”?! Not even this world is supposed to last forever!
This is definitely not God talking!
This was all written by men to raise David's profile, all propaganda!
Hell, God couldn't even keep his promise to Abraham, so even that part of bible
must've been written by men, who put words into God's mouth.
God had entered into covenants with Noah & Abraham & Moses, but never before
had he given such a sweeping promise of divine favor. Indeed, the deal that
Moses is shown to broker between God & Israel was strictly an “if-then”
proposition. Moses announced, “Behold, I set before you this day a blessing &
a curse. The blessing, if ye shall hearken unto the commandments of the Lord
your God, which I command you this day, & the curse, if ye shall not hearken ...”.
but God's vow to the house of David was perpetual & unconditional, “and thy house
& thy kingdom shall be made sure for ever before thee; thy throne shall be
The biblical source that contributed Nathan's prophecy to the Book of Samuel
is generally understood to be one of the priests who served the Davidic monarchy
in Jerusalem several centuries after David's reign. The royal theologian's motive
was to put the divine seal of approval on the house of David, which continued
to provide kings to rule over the southern kingdom of Judah for nearly 500 years.
One sure sign that a later author or editor reworked the text of Samuel can be
found in the schizoid quality of Nathan's prophecy. First God says that He doesn't
a “house of cedar” & that He prefers to dwell in a tent; but then, abruptly, God
changes his mind & demands a temple to be built for Him by David's son. David
didn't build a temple, so the authors have to justify that by saying God didn't
want any, that He like his chosen people, was a restless wanderer, a nomad, a
tent-dweller. But Solomon built a temple, so the authors had to say that God
wanted it, so they had to insert it into the text. To make things look good, the
author of the book of Chronicles came up with his own reason: David knew that it
would be necessary to build a temple (house of God) in Jerusalem, so assembled a
supply of building materials, but told Solomon that God didn't want David to build
the temple, because David's hands were so bloodstained: “... thou has shed blood
abundantly, & hast made great wars ...”.
How strange, God even got angry at his own chosen king, Saul, for not killing
every man & woman & child & animal, but now says killing is bad?!
A God who not only has no regards for non-Jews & tells Jews to kill them,
man/woman/child; but a God who smote 50000 Jews only because one Jews peeked
inside the Ark?!
David goes to the tent where Yahweh was understood to dwell & delivered a prayer
of thanksgiving, “thou has promised a good thing unto thy servant. Thou, O Lord
God, has spoken it, & through thy blessing let the house of thy servant be
blessed forever”. But his sense of well-being would not last long. War & rebellion,
conspiracy & deception, murder & mayhem, sexual adventure & sexual assault - all
depicted with brutal candor by the biblical authors - would soon put his life &
throne at risk even in the face of God's unconditional promise of divine favor.
God couldn't even have his own chosen man to become the real king for many many
years, & God couldn't let his biggest King have a blessed-life, because God never
made any such promises. Men dreamt, called themselves prophets, & put words into
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