Thursday, October 13, 2011

2 Samuel 20 & 21 - Sheba, Famine, and Philistines

LINK: 2 Samuel 20 & 21

BACKGROUND

2 Samuel 20

With Absalom's death, there should have been a clear path for David back to the throne, but Sheba led the men of Israel (northern tribes) into revolt. Sheba was eventually killed by the people of Abel Beth Maacah, but this division along tribal lines is foreshadowing for what will happen after Solomon's death when the kingdom divides. 

2 Samuel 21

The next four chapters are an appendix to the book of 2 Samuel. The events are not presented in any chronological order. Probably toward the end of David's reign, 2 Samuel 21 describes a famine that was punishment for Kings Saul's sin against the Gibeonites, an act of vengeance that the Bible does not record. Israel had vowed to protect the Gibeonites (Joshua 9:15-21, and Joshua 10), but Saul apparently started to perform "ethnic cleansing" on them.

Instead of silver or gold, the Gibeonites asked for seven male descendants so they could practice the tradition of "an eye for eye, tooth for tooth, life for life" (Exodus 21:23-25). Mephibosheth was spared according to David's promise to Jonathan in 1 Samuel 20:15-16, but others were given over for execution (the Mephibosheth mentioned here is Rizpah's son, 2 Samuel 3:7). 

The chapter concludes with Israel battling the Philistines. David was advised, in his old age, to no longer go into battle. The descendants of Rapha were giants (see 2 Samuel 17:4-7).

No REFLECTION or APPLICATION today - keep reading! 

PRAYER

Lord, thank You for Your word that speaks to us that You are a mighty warrior in battle for us. Amen. 
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