Sunday, April 20, 2014
The Bible Project: Week 15 (2 Samuel)
First of all - Happy Easter! It's a perfect Easter Sunday here in Chicago - the weather warmed up just in time (though I hear it's supposed to get colder again... foo).
Second of all - yes, I am a week behind in the Bible Project. It's actually Week 16 now. Sorry. But I do have catch-up plans. I think I'll clump 1 Chronicles all into one week.
On to 2 Samuel. I think the biggest story here is that of Absalom, David's son. (I am assuming that there is some connection with this story to the book Absalom, Absalom, but as I haven't read the latter, and know nothing about it, I have no idea. Any enlightenment would be appreciated!)
Absalom is quite a Character.
Is he to be applauded? Definitely not. He's quite greedy, and is trying to take away his father's kingdom.
Is he to be condemned? Again, definitely not. He wasn't his father's favored son - that was Amnon, Absalom's half brother, whom Absalom killed. But he killed Amnon because Amnon raped Absalom's sister Tamar. David, the father, did not punish Amnon, so Absalom felt like he had to do the punishing. [Sorry for all the "A" names... hey, blame David for naming his kids so similarly.] So in this Absalom is at least partially justified. He had to go through maneuverings to get his father's pardon for killing Amnon. This is super skewed favoritism. Extreme favoritism. So I definitely feel bad for him. Poor fellow.
Joab (and David)
Joab is David's army captain. He's rather black-and-white, very loyal to his king, and against anyone who poses a threat to David.
When he sees that David is being illogically stubborn against forgiving Absalom, Joab persuades David to allow Absalom to return to court. In this, he is kind, caring, and understanding.
But then when Absalom revolts against David, and the father and son enter into a war against each other, Joab is wholeheartedly for David and against Absalom. In fact, he hates Absalom so much that he kills him when he has him cornered, even though David asked for Absalom to be only captured, not killed. He finds it illogical that David is mourning Absalom's death, after David's great victory. But Joab forgets that Absalom was not only David's enemy and usurper of his throne, but also his son. The emotional bond created by having a child can never be broken, no matter how weakened it gets.
I know I skipped over the whole David/Bathsheba/Uriah love triangle, but that is dealt with more often than the Absalom story, so I thought I'd explore the "road less traveled."
P.S. My second update on the Madame Bovary readalong will come tomorrow, 'cause I don't like posting more than once a day. 'Til then!