1 Samuel 18-20

Chapter 18

Well there’s no doubt that the defining theme of chapter 18 is the nature of the relationship between David and Jonathan. Whether or not it can be viewed as sexual depends not just on which translation of the bible you read (some verses vary widely), but also on the bias of the person analyzing it. Here are 2 links to discussions of the chapter, one from a reasonably objective source and one from a Christian apologist. You can draw your own conclusions.

Notwithstanding the fascinating discussion of sexual preference, the highlight of 1 Sam 18 has to be the story of the 200 foreskins (v 20-26), presented here by one of my favorite animators, The Thinking Atheist. Enjoy!

M0008439 Ancient Canaanite Teraphim. Figurines of fertility goddess. Credit: Wellcome Library, London. Wellcome Images images@wellcome.ac.uk http://wellcomeimages.org Teraphim (idol). Figurines of a fertility goddess placed in ancient Canaanite houses to ensure health. Half-tone circa 1800 BC -1400 BC ATAO Gressman Published: - Copyrighted work available under Creative Commons Attribution only licence CC BY 4.0 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/

Ancient Canaanite Teraphim. Figurines of fertility goddess, Wellcome Library, London.

Chapter 19

Interesting translation interpretation point again in 1 Sam 19: 13. Michel took an object and put it in David’s bed to fool Saul’s men. (That’s right out of Hollywood plot basics 101). But what was the object? In the KJV it’s an ‘image’. In the NLT and NIV’s it’s an ‘idol’. But what the heck would god’s holy chosen one, David, be doing harboring an idol in his house? The Hebrew-English translation says ‘teraphim’. We ran across this word once before in Genesis 31, where Rachel hid a teraphim by sitting on it. That cannot be the same item as here, since it is now being used as a stand-in for the body of a man – major size difference! Wikipedia says teraphim is usually translated as idol or household god, so there are probably different types and sizes. Go figure.

At the end of the chapter everyone is overcome with the spirit of god and they began to prophesy, even Saul, who also tore off his clothes and lay naked on the ground (v 24). I’ve gotta wonder about his mental state – he appears bi-polar, intermittently doting on David and then trying to murder him. And now this! But to the apologists in the video below, it’s all part of god’s plan….

Chapter 20

David and Jonathan are pretty buddy-buddy. Saul totally loses it and turns on both of them, and David is forced to flee. (Annotation from the SAB: “Saul is a model for Christian parents who discover that they have a homosexual child: try to kill the child and his or her lover.”) Cue the tear-jerker good-bye scene between David and Jonathan.

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