Cruelty and Violence
Science and History
Dwindling in Unbelief
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2 Samuel: Injustice
- David tells one of his "young men" to kill the Amalekite messenger who claimed to have mercifully killed Saul
at Saul's own request. 1:15
- Michal was bought by David with 200 Philistine foreskins
(1 Sam 18:25-27), then she was "given"
to Phatiel (1 Sam 25:44), and then "taken back" by David.
Poor Phatiel must have loved her dearly since he "went along weeping behind her."
- When Joab (David's captain) kills Abner (by smiting him under the fifth rib of course), David says that he
and his kingdom are not responsible. The blame, he says, lays with Joab. So David curses Joab, his family, and their
descendants forever. Let them all be plagued with venereal diseases and leprosy, starve to death, commit suicide, or
lean on staves. (The Revised Standard Version translates "leaneth on a staff" as "holds a spindle," apparently
meaning effeminate -- real men don't spin or weave.) 3:27-29
- Some of David's men kill Saul's son (by smiting him under the fifth rib, of course) and bring his head to
David, thinking that he'll be pleased. But he wasn't. David has the assassins killed, their hands and feet chopped off,
and their bodies hung up (for decorations?) over the pool in Hebron. 4:6-7
- Whoever kills the lame and the blind will be David's "chief and captain." 5:8
- "David ... grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him." 5:10
- David asks God if he should kill some more Philistines. God says yes, and he'll even help. So David and
God "smote the Philistines" again. 5:19
- "David smote them there, and said, The LORD hath broken forth upon mine enemies before me."
God helps David slaughter his enemies. 5:20
- "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
- "And David did so, as the LORD had commanded him; and smote the Philistines." 5:25
- Uzzah tries to keep the ark from falling off the cart, and God kills him for it. I guess it was God's way of saying
- King David dances nearly naked in front of God and everybody. When Michal criticizes him for exposing himself, God punishes her by
having "no child unto the day of her death." Although 21:8 says that she had five sons (which were sacrificed
to God by David to stop God from starving people to death). 6:14-23
- "I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight."
God was with David wherever he went and killed all of his enemies for him. 7:9
- David kills two thirds of the Moabites and makes the rest slaves. He also cripples the captured horses.
- "David slew of the Syrians two and twenty thousand men ... and the Lord preserved David
withersoever he went." 8:5-6, 14
- "David gat him a name when he returned from smiting of the Syrians in
the valley of salt, being eighteen thousand men ... And the LORD preserved David
whithersoever he went." 8:13-14
- David tells Joab (his captain) to send Bathsheba's husband (Uriah) to "the forefront of the hottest battle
... that he may be smitten and die." In this way, David gets another wife. 11:15,
- God is angry at David for having Uriah killed. As a punishment, he will have David's wives raped by his
neighbor while everyone else watches. It turns out that the "neighbor" that God sends to do his
dirty work is David's own son, Absalom (16:22). 12:11-12
- To punish David for having Uriah killed, God kills Bathsheba's baby boy. 12:14-18
- After the baby died, David washed, got dressed, had a nice meal, and worshiped the God who killed his son.
- "He ... put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brick-kiln."
David tortured or enslaved (depending on translation) all the inhabitants of several cities. 12:31
- "When king David heard of all these things, he was very wroth."
The New Revised Standard Version adds, "but he would not punish
his son Amnon, because he loved him, for he was his firstborn."
David loved Ammon "because he was his firstborn" (good parents love their firstborn sons more than their other kids). As
the Brick Testament suggests,
he probably said something like, "Oh well, I guess firstborns are entitled to one free incestuous rape." 13:21
- "And the king left ten women, which were concubines, to keep the house."
David left Jerusalem because he was afraid that his son Absalom was going to kill him. But he left his
concubines to fend for themselves. 15:16
- To punish his ten concubines for
being raped by his son, Absalom (See 16:21-22),
David refuses to ever again have sex with them and forces them to
"keep house" for the rest of their lives. 20:3
- "For the LORD had appointed to defeat the good counsel of Ahithophel, to the intent that the LORD might bring evil upon Absalom."
God made Absalom reject the advice of Ahithophel so that he could "bring evil on Absalom." 17:14
- "When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his
ass, and arose, and gat him home to his house, to his city, and put his
household in order, and hanged himself." 17:23
- "Then said Ahimaaz ... Let me now run, and bear the king tidings, how that the LORD hath avenged him of his enemies."
(See 2 Samuel 17:14) 18:19
- "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 hanged them in the hill before the LORD." 21:9
- "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
- "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!)
- "He teacheth my hands to war."
Might as well learn from an expert. 22:35
- "I have pursued mine enemies, and destroyed them; and turned not again until I had consumed them. And I have consumed them,
and wounded them, that they could not arise: yea, they are fallen under my feet." 22:38-39
- "Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me." 22:41
- "They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not." 22:42
- "I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street." 22:43
- "It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me. And that bringeth me forth from mine enemies:
thou also hast lifted me up on high above them that rose up against me." 22:48-49
- "And the LORD wrought a great victory that day; and the people returned after him only to spoil." 23:10-12
- 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.
- 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
- 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
- Even David can see the injustice of God's punishment (killing hundreds of thousands of people because David
took a census). He pleads with God saying, "I have sinned ... but these sheep, what have they done?"