Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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1 Samuel: Absurdity
- "The Lord had shut up her [Hannah's] womb." 1:5
- "And Elkanah knew Hannah his wife; and the Lord remembered her." (He probably said something
like, "Oh yeah, she's the one whose womb I shut up.") And Hannah conceived and "bare a son [Oh boy,
another boy!], and called his name Samuel." 1:19-20
- "And the Lord visited Hannah [again], so that she conceived." Did he get her pregnant in the usual way?
- A disembodied voice calls to the child Samuel three times. The first two times, Samuel thought it was
Eli that called him. But Eli figured that the voice must be God's. So the third time that
God called, he was able to deliver his message to Samuel. 3:4-10
- God will do something that will cause everyone's ears to tingle. 3:11
- Samuel tells Eli that God will punish his descendants forever (3:12-13) and Eli says,
"Okay, whatever God wants is fine with me." 3:18
- "The Lord appeared again in Shiloh ... the Lord revealed himself to Samuel." 3:21
- When the Israelites saw the ark of the covenant, they shouted so loud that the ground shook. 4:5
- The Philistines set the ark of God next to the god Dagon, and the next morning Dagon had mysteriously (miraculously?) fallen on his face. The same
thing happened the next night, only this time his head and hands were cut off, too! After that, no one ever entered the house of Dagon again.
- God smites the people of Ashdod with hemorrhoids "in their secret parts." 5:6-12
- To see if it was God who killed the Philistine people, the ark of the Lord and the five golden hemorrhoids were put into a cart pulled by
two cows. Then the cows were let go. If the cows went directly to Bethshemesh, then God killed the people. And that is the way the cows went.
So by this superstitious method we know that it was God who killed the Philistines by giving them
hemorrhoids "in their secret parts." 6:7-12
- After striking the Philistines with hemorrhoids "in their secret parts," he demands that they send him
five golden hemorrhoids as a "trespass offering." 6:4-5, 11, 17
- The LORD thundered with a great thunder on that day upon the Philistines, and discomfited them; and they were smitten before Israel."
- After God helped the Israelites slaughter the Philistines, Samuel erected a monument saying, "So far God has helped us."
- Saul was the best looking guy in Israel and was a foot taller than everyone else.
- God tells Samuel that Saul is the man he has chosen to be King. 9:17
- Samuel found Saul's missing asses without even looking for them. You see, he's a seer -- just like Joseph Smith!
- When the people couldn't find Saul (who was selected to be king by drawing lots), they "enquired
of the Lord ... and the Lord answered, Behold he hath hid himself among the
- "When he stood among the people, he was higher than any of the people from his shoulders and upward."
Saul literally stood head and shoulders above any other person in Israel. (He was also the best looking.)
- "But the children of Belial said, How shall this man save us? And they
despised him, and brought no presents." 10:27
- Everyone (except the virgin women) in Jabeshgilead was killed by the non-Benjamite Israelites
(see Judges 21:10-14), yet here just a few years later "all the men" are negotiating a
treaty with the Ammonites. Do dead men make treaties? I guess in the Bible they do! 11:1
- "I make a covenant with your, that I may thrust out all your right eyes." Deals like this can only be found in the
- "And the spirit of God came upon Saul ... and he took a yoke of oxen, and hewed them in pieces, and sent them
throughout all the coast of Israel." People do the darnedest
things when the spirit of God comes upon them! 11:6-7
- "Saul ... slew the Ammorites unto the heat of the day." Then he took a little break. After all, killing is
hard work. 11:11
- "So Samuel called unto the LORD; and the LORD sent thunder and rain." 12:18
- "Saul reigned one year; and when he had reigned two years over Israel...." Huh? 13:1
- "Jonathan smote the garrison of the Philistines ... And Saul blew the trumpet throughout all the land, saying,
Let the Hebrews hear."
After his son Jonathan killed some Philistines, Saul went around throughout Israel blowing a trumpet and saying,
"Let the Hebrew hear." It is strange to read in the next chapter that Jonathan's God-assisted slaughter of 20 Philistines
was "his first slaughter." Didn't this slaughter count, or what? 13:3
- "The Philistines gathered ... as the sand which is on the sea shore."
OK. That might be a bit of an exaggeration. 13:5
- "The LORD hath sought him a man after his own heart."
Samuel tells Saul that he's just not good enough for God. So God has chosen someone else to replace him as king.
Who is this guy, this "man after his own heart" that God has chosen?
- "In the day of battle, that there was neither sword nor spear found in the hand of any of the people
that were with Saul and Jonathan: but with Saul and with Jonathan his son was there found."
There were only two swords in the entire Israelite army, Saul's and Jonathan's. 13:22
- After Jonathan's first slaughter (20 men in one half acre), God showed his approval with "a very great trembling."
- "I did but taste a little honey ... and, lo, I must die."
Saul tells his soldiers not to eat anything until he kills all of his enemies, saying that anyone who eats anything is cursed. But his son Jonathan
didn't hear about his fathers curse and he ate a bit of honey. So he Saul says his son is cursed and must die.
- "Samuel ... laid hold upon the skirt of his mantle, and it rent."
Samuel was so upset that Saul left one Amalekite alive (instead of killing everyone like God commanded) that he tore his skirt.
- "The LORD said unto Samuel, How long wilt thou mourn for Saul, seeing I have rejected him from reigning over Israel?"
God tells Samuel to quit moping around about Saul and get out and find another king. 16:1-3
- "But the spirit of the Lord
departed from Saul [since he was not murderous enough for God], and an evil
spirit from the Lord troubled him." But if God is good, then how could
he have an evil spirit? 16:14-16, 23
- Goliath was ten feet tall ("six cubits and a span"). 17:4
- David caught a lion (and a bear?) "by his beard" and then killed him. 17:34-35
- "David ... behaved himself wisely."
Like when he buys his first wife with 200 Philistine foreskins a little later in this chapter. 18:5
- "The evil spirit from God came upon Saul, and he prophesied." 18:10
- "Saul was afraid of David, because the LORD was with him, and was departed from Saul."
Saul was afraid of David because "the Lord was with him." I suppose the Lord even tagged along with David when he cut off the 200
Philistine foreskins in v.27. Did God hold the penises as David cut them off or vice versa.
- "And David behaved himself wisely in all his ways; and the LORD was with him."
Read the story below (18:25-28) to see an example of David's wise behavior when God is with him. 18:14
- "All Israel and Judah loved David, because he went out and came in before them." 18:16
- David kills 200 Philistines and brings their foreskins to Saul to buy his first wife (Saul's daughter Michal).
Saul had only asked for 100 foreskins, but David was feeling generous. 18:25-27
- "And Saul saw and knew that the LORD was with David."
(How else could David get so many foreskins?) 18:28
- "David behaved ... wisely." 18:30
- And the evil spirit from the Lord was upon Saul." Poor guy, he just can't keep
away from God's damned evil spirit. 19:9
- "Saul sent messengers to take David: and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying ... the Spirit of God was
upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied."
Saul sent messengers to kill David. But when they messengers arrived and saw everyone prophesying, the spirit of the
Lord came upon them too and they began prophesying. 19:20
- "And when it was told Saul, he sent other messengers, and they prophesied likewise." 19:21a
- "And Saul sent messengers again the third time, and they prophesied
- "He [Saul] went thither to Naioth in Ramah: and the Spirit of God was upon him also, and he went on, and prophesied."
Finally, Saul comes to see what's going on and the Spirit of God comes on him too and he prophesies. 19:23
- Saul gets a bit carried away with his prophesying "and he stripped off his clothes ... and
lay down naked all that day and night. Wherefore they say, Is Saul also among the prophets?"
- Jonathan's fortune-telling arrow shots.
Jonathan shoots three arrows and then sends a boy to fetch them. If the arrows go farther than the boy ran, then God will send David away.
The arrows went over the boys head, so God forced David and Jonathan to part. 20:20-39
- "David ... fell on his face." 20:41
- David acts like he's crazy, scribbles on the gates of Gath, and lets spit run down his beard. All this he did in
front of Israel's enemies in the hopes that they would take him in and protect him from Saul. 21:12
- "Saul went in to cover his feet." (Saul took a leak.) 24:3
- "Then David arose, and cut off the skirt of Saul's robe privily."
David snuck in and cut off a piece of Saul's skirt while he was relieving himself. Saul was so busy with his business that he
didn't even see David or notice that his skirt was being cut. 24:4
- "If I leave ... any that pisseth against the wall."
David vows to will kill Nabal and all his men (or as he put it, "any that pisseth against the wall".) 25:22
- When Abigail saw David, she ... fell ... on her face." 25:23
- "Except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that pisseth
against the wall."
If Abigail hadn't come and paid him off, David would have killed Nabal and any of his people "that pisseth against the wall".
- They were all asleep; because a deep sleep from the LORD was fallen upon them."
David and Abishai sneak into Saul's tent and steal his spear and water jug without anyone noticing "because a deep sleep
from the LORD was fallen upon them." 26:12
- Among those that David exterminated were the Amalekites. But there couldn't have been any Amalekites to kill since
Saul killed them all (15:7-8) just a little while before.
- "And when Saul inquired of the Lord, the
Lord answered him not, neither by dreams, nor by Urim, nor by prophets." 28:6
- Saul visits a woman with a "familiar spirit" and she brings Samuel back from the dead. Samuel once again
explains that God is angry at Saul for not killing all of the Amalekites. He says God is going to deliver all of Israel
into the hands of the Philistines. (Since Saul refused to slaughter innocent people, God will slaughter the Israelites.
Fair is fair.) 28:8-19
- "Then said the woman, Whom shall I bring up unto thee? And he said, Bring me up Samuel." 28:11
- "An old man cometh up; and he is covered with a mantle. And Saul perceived that it was Samuel." 28:14
- "And Samuel said to Saul, Why hast thou disquieted me, to bring me up?" 28:15
- "David said unto Achish, But what have I done ... that I may not go fight against the enemies of my lord the king?"
David was disappointed. He wanted to go kill Israelites with the Philistines. 29:8
- The Amalekites are a tough tribe. Twice they were "utterly destroyed": first by Saul
(15:7-8) and then by David (27:9-11). Yet here
they are, just a few years later, fighting the Philistines! 30:1
- "The Amalekites ... slew not any, either great or small, but carried them away, and went on their way."
Believers like to say that the Amalekites were so evil that God had to kill them all, even their women and children.
Yet here the Amalekites behave far better than the Israelites by not killing their captives.
(Compare these verses with God's command to Saul in 15:3.) 30:1-2
- "David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him." 30:6
- "And David enquired at the LORD, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him,
Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them." 30:8
- "David smote them from the twilight even unto the evening of the next day:
and there escaped not a man of them, save four hundred young men."
David spends the day killing more of those pesky Amalekites. He kills all of them except for 400 that escaped on camels. (See
15:7-8 and 27:8-9 for the last two times
they were exterminated.) 30:17