Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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2 Samuel: Absurdity
- "David ... returned from the slaughter of the Amalekites"
How could David find any Amalekites to slaughter? Saul already killed them all (except Agag,
who was killed by Samuel). 1:1
- According to these verses, Saul was killed by an Amalekite. But Saul killed all the Amalekites
(except for Agag who Samuel hacked to death) as God commanded in 1 Samuel 15:3,
so how could he later be killed by one? 1:8-10
- Then David took hold on his clothes, and rent them; and likewise all the men that were with him."
When Bible characters get upset, they tear their clothes. 1:11
- Abner smites Asahel "under the fifth rib." (It seems that in 2
Samuel this is the preferred place to get smitten. 3:27, 4:6,
- David says, "deliver me my wife Michal, which I espoused to me for a hundred foreskins of the Philistines."
Well, he actually paid with two hundred foreskins (see 1 Samuel 18:27).
- "David said to Joab, and to all the people that were with him, Rend your clothes."
Why do people in the Bible always tear their clothes when they get upset? 3:31
- "When David enquired of the LORD, he said ... come upon them over against the mulberry trees." 5:23
- "When thou hearest the sound of a going in the tops of the mulberry trees ... then shall the LORD go out before thee, to smite the host
of the Philistines." 5:24
- "The Lord of Hosts ... dwelleth between the cherubims." 6:2
- "He fell on his face." 9:6
- "Then said David, I will shew kindness unto Hanun the son of Nahash, as his father shewed kindness unto me."
Nahash gouged out the eyes of Israelite messengers (or at least threatened to) in 1 Samuel 11.
That's a strange way to show kindness! 10:2
- "Hanun ... shaved off the one half of their beards, and cutt off their garments ... even to their
That'll teach them! 10:4
- After Bathsheba's baby is killed by God, David comforts her by going "in unto her." She conceives and bears
another son (Solomon). 12:24
- "The Lord loved him ... and called his his name Jedidiah."
After God killed Bathsheba's baby boy, David got her pregnant again. God loved this baby (and so he decided not to kill it)
and he called him Jedidiah, but everyone else called him Solomon. 12:24-25
- David puts on a gold crown weighing 1 talent (somewhere between 26 and 60
(He had a very strong neck.) 12:30
- "Tamar put ashes on her head, and rent her garment of divers colours." 13:19
- "The king ... tare his garments, and lay on the earth; and all his servants stood by with their clothes rent."
- "She fell on her face." 14:4
- "Joab fell to the ground on his face." 14:22
- "In all Israel there was none to be so much praised as Absalom for his
beauty: from the sole of his foot even to the crown of his head there was no
blemish in him."
Absolom was the best looking guy in all of Israel. He didn't have a blemish on his whole body. 14:25
- "He weighed the hair of his head at two hundred shekels."
Since a shekel is about 11.5 grams, Absolom's hair weighed 2.3 kilograms! 14:25-26
- "Shimei ... cursed still as he came ... and he cast stones at David ...
And thus said Shimei when he cursed, Come out, come out, thou bloody man,
and thou man of Belial."
Good for Shimei! It's about time David got what he deserved. 16:5-7
- "The LORD hath returned upon thee all the blood of the house of Saul, in whose stead thou hast reigned; and the LORD
hath delivered the kingdom into the hand of Absalom thy son: and, behold, thou art taken in thy mischief, because thou
art a bloody man." 16:8
- "The king said ... let him curse, because the LORD hath said unto him, Curse David ... let him curse;
for the LORD hath bidden him." 16:10-11
- "As David and his men went by the way, Shimei went along on the hill's side over against him, and cursed as he went,
and threw stones at him, and cast dust." 16:13
- "The wood [forest] devoured more people that day
than the sword devoured." It must have been spooky forest to have devoured more than 20,000
- "And he fell ... upon his face." 18:25
- Joab smites Amasa "in the fifth rib", of course. 20:10
- "Then cried a wise woman out of the city ... Behold, his head shall be thrown
to thee over the wall ... And they cut off the head of Sheba ... and cast it out to Joab." 20:16-22
- A famine is sent on David's kingdom for three years. When David asks God why, God answers: "It is for Saul,
and his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites. "So God sent a famine to punish a kingdom for something that
a former king had done. 21:1
- To appease God and end the famine that was caused by his predecessor (Saul), David agrees to have two of Saul's sons and five
of his grandsons killed and hung up "unto the Lord." 21:6-9
- "They gathered the bones of them that were hanged ... And after that God was intreated for the land."
God stopped the famine after Saul's two sons and five grandsons were killed and hung up for him. 21:13-14
- "Ishbibenob, which was of the sons of the giant" 21:16
- "Saph, which was of the sons of the giant" 21:18
- There ... was a man of great stature, that had on every hand six fingers, and on every foot six toes,
four and twenty in number; and he also was born to the giant." 21:20
- "These four were born to the giant in Gath." 21:22
- "The earth shook and trembled; the foundations of heaven moved and shook, because he was wroth." 22:8
- "There went up a smoke out of his nostrils, and fire out of his mouth." 22:9
- "He ... came down; and darkness was under his feet." 22:10
- "He rode upon a cherub, and did fly." 22:11
- "The LORD thundered from heaven, and the most High (who?) uttered his voice." 22:14
- "The foundations of the world were discovered ... at the blast of the breath of his nostrils." 22:16
- "I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God."
David is one of the most despicable characters in all fiction, yet here he brags about how perfect he is. (And God agrees with him!)
- The chief of David's captains killed with his own spear 800 guys at one time.
- "Eleazar the son of Dodo ... smote the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clave unto the sword:
and the LORD wrought a great victory that day." 23:9-10
- David was thirsty, so he asked someone to get him some water from the Bethlehem well,
which was controlled by the Philistines. Three of his men broke through the enemy lines, got the water from
the well, and brought it back to David. But he refused to drink it and poured it on the ground.
- "Abishai ... lifted up his spear against three hundred, and slew them." 23:18
- "Benaiah the son of Jehoiada ... slew two lionlike men of Moab: he went down also and slew a lion in the midst
of a pit in time of snow. And he slew an Egyptian, a goodly man: and the Egyptian had a spear in his hand."
- "Thrity and seven in all."
How come only 31 are listed in verses 24-39? 23:39
- God tempts David to take census, though 1 Chronicles 21:1 says
that Satan tempted David, and James 1:13 says that
God never tempts anyone. Why did God or Satan tempt David to take the census?
And what the heck is wrong with a census anyway? 24:1
- Israel had 1,300,000 fighting men in this battle. Of course, this is a ridiculously high number for a
battle between two tribal armies in 1000 BCE. (The United States had about
1.43 million active duty soldiers in 2010.) 24:9
- God offers David a choice of punishments for having conducted the census: 1) seven
years of famine (1 Chr 21:12 says three years), 2) three months fleeing from enemies, or
3) three days of pestilence. David can't decide, so God chooses for him and sends a pestilence, killing 70,000 men
(and probably around 200,000 women and children). 24:13
- After God threatens to kill hundreds of thousands of
innocent people for a census that he inspired, David says, "let us fall now into the hand of the
LORD; for his mercies are great." 24:14
- Finally, when an angel is about to destroy Jerusalem, "the Lord repented." That's nice, but why would a good God
have to repent of the evil that he planned to do? 24:16