2 Samuel 4-7
This chapter suffers from really poor editing (and that’s saying something, since the whole bible could use an editor). Verse 4 simply bears no relation to anything else in the chapter. I kept waiting for it to tie in, but it doesn’t. There simply isn’t much else of note, unless you think David’s continued slaughter of anyone who ticks him off is newsworthy, but I’m getting tired of it.
The only other verse that caught my interest was in v 6 “and they smote him under the fifth rib”. This is the third mention of this exact method of killing in 2 Samuel (see 2:23 and 3:27; and apparently it will happen again in ch 20). Is this some quick-kill method that the Israelites have perfected? I had to look up anatomy diagrams to figure out what a stab wound in that location would hit; it’s a bit low for the heart, maybe lungs or liver. There’s a lot of vasculature in that area, anyway, so I guess the victim would bleed out fast.
David becomes king of all Israel now that his rival is gone (so why did he punish the guys who helped him achieve this?) He wastes no time in capturing Jerusalem, which now becomes the City of David. He builds himself a palace, and takes a bunch more women (what an ego). Next the Philistines are on the attack – obviously David’s no longer on their side. See, the guys who didn’t trust him back in 1 Samuel 29 were correct after all!
Now that David has a fancy palace in Jerusalem, he decides to fetch the Ark of the Covenant. This is where (v 3-7) god strikes Uzzah dead for accidentally touching the Ark while trying to prevent it from falling (well was he supposed to let it fall?). This spooks David, who delays its arrival in Jerusalem. When he finally brings it in, accompanied by much fanfare, Michal is not impressed at his cavorting with the servants. In supposed retribution for her rebuke, she remains childless. Did god make her barren, or did David just spurn her thereafter? It’s not clear to me.
At the beginning of chapter 7, King David is lamenting that he has a fancy palace while the Ark of God sits in a tent. Well why doesn’t he just bring the damn thing inside??? Am I the only one with any common sense here? But god speaks to David through the prophet Nathan. First, he says he doesn’t need a fancy house for the Ark; he’s never had one before (v 5-7). Second, he falsely claims that he protected the Israelites from all their enemies (v 9). Then he makes a bunch of promises he’ll never keep – both Christians and Jews are still awaiting their fulfillment to this day (v 10-16). But maybe this helps explain why the ‘Jesus is descended from David’ idea is such a big deal.