Last week in the Hebrew Scriptures…

david3I’ve been reading the Bible this year, a few chapters a day, and though I’ve forgotten to update you on my progress, I bet you haven’t missed it.

Still: As with dieting or a new running regime or any change of life, if I talk about it enough, I will feel compelled to continue.

So I am in II Samuel. Goliath has been felled. Bathsheba has been coveted (and her husband killed). David is king. Saul is dead, and it appears all hell has broken loose. The behavior on the part of the key players has been most disappointing. A lot of people are getting stabbed. One guy’s body was left by the road with his entrails hanging out. There’ve been some beheadings, some swinging, some really bad lifestyle choices, and I want to step back, look away, and stop reading.

But I won’t. When I read the Bible as a child, a lot of these stories went right over my head. I also missed, on my first reading, all the repetitions and the backtracking and the stories inserted within stories. This portion of the Bible — it must be said — is not a particularly well-written book. But I press on, because I know there are pockets of beauty in the words, and if I’m not learning many life lessons (other than how to conceal your sword so that you can sneak up on someone unawares), it’s fascinating to read some of these verses with (very) adult eyes. Onward.

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4 responses to “Last week in the Hebrew Scriptures…

  1. I appreciate your recap since my eyes glaze over as times as I read along, too. With all the killings (including beheadings- it’s really violent & awful), kidnappings, and presumable rapes, I wonder how most of this so far made it to the Holy book, rather than in just a history book. What also is striking is how the Lord seems to be reserved specifically for the chosen ones – those who were led out if Egypt and their ancestors at this point. Carrying that forward, the Lord’s people would not include many of us Christians if the story didn’t move beyond II Samuel as I understand it. I know better parts are ahead and am eager to get to them.

  2. And people used to worry about all the violence in Warner Bros cartoons!

    Poor Saul. Not quite bloodthirsty enough for God. Or Samuel. And those pesky Philistines.

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