Absalom's revenge on Amnon fror raping Tamar

Day 117 (April 27): David seizes Rabbah, Amnon rapes Tamar, Absalom’s revenge on Amnon, Joab arranges Absalom’s return, David and Absalom reconcile

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleImages.org

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
2 Samuel 12:26-14
1 Chronicles 20:2-3
(990-980 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Samuel 12:27-28): This sounds like Joab is threatening David.  He is the army commander, but can we say here that he thinks David is not doing his job?  Also, back to Joab having leprosy.  I don’t see how he can stay in battle given he has such a debilitating disease.

A. You could see this as a threat, but also as a general, humbly asking his king to not deny himself credit for a victory.  I leave it to you.  As I mentioned, when we addressed “leprosy” in Leviticus, the word in Hebrew covers a variety of skin ailments, which may have been much less debilitating as the leprosy we know today.  Also, if I recall correctly, the curse applied to his family, not merely Joab himself.  He may never have suffered the skin disease personally.

Q. (12:30): How could anyone where a crown weighing 75 pounds?

A. A crown of that weight would mostly have been for display, and would only have been worn in “crowning” ceremonies like the one described in the story which most likely lasted only seconds.  The easiest way for the crown to be “worn:” having your servants hold it in place on your heat.

Q. (14:33): Joab must personally feel the rift between Absalom, Amnon, and David since Joab killed Abner in revenge for murdering his brother.  Absalom held this vengeance in his heart for two years, so it must have festered into a huge hatred of his brother Amnon.  And, David must feel some sin from all sides — having committed adultery, having his soldier and wife of Bathsheba killed, losing a great friend Jonathan who was like a brother, being on the run from Saul like Absalom is from him.  He practically had to have his son thrown in front of him to give in to his love for him.  I guess this just goes to show that even the most devout can fall from God.  But, he is there to take us back into the fold.  But, I think we are about to see a black sheep?

A. You bet we see a black sheep.  Don’t forget this was as predicted: David’s family has now begun to fall apart.  And one member of his family has already died “by the sword” as predicted.  It will get much worse.

For further reading: Does the punishment for one person’s sin really go to the next several generations? https://bibleproject.com/articles/the-sins-of-our-fathers/

Shop: Christian shirts get noticed.  Check out these conversation starters: https://livinlight.org/shop/

Tomorrow’s reading: 2 Samuel 15-17:14

David and Bathsheba. David sent messengers to get Bathsheba. When she arrived he seduced her and slept with her. Bathsheba then returned home.

Day 116 (April 26): Joab captures Rabbah, David’s lust for Bathsheba, orders husband killed, Nathan rebukes David, David confesses, son dies

Sweet Publishing / FreeBibleimages.org.

Welcome to Livin’ Light’s Bible-In-A-Year challenge of discovering God’s love for us and His purpose for our lives. Here is the format for this great adventure: The daily reading assignment is posted at 5 a.m. After each day’s reading, Leigh An Coplin, the blog host, shares observations and poses questions about difficult passages to Rob Fields, who studied Christian Education at Asbury Seminary and currently teaches Biology in the Orlando area. To start from the beginning, click on 365 Bible Readings and scroll down to Day 1. The reading schedule is taken from The One Year Chronological Bible NLT. 

Today’s Reading
1 Chronicles 20:1
2 Samuel 11-12:14
Psalm 51
2 Samuel 12:15-25
2 Samuel 5:14-16
1 Chronicles 14:3-7
1 Chronicles 3:5-9
(1003-990 BC) Click here for a timeline of the entire Bible.

Questions & Observations

Q. (2 Samuel 11:1-27): So, it sounds like David took a break from war and a break from focusing on God.  He is away from the battle lines and maybe, thus, away from God’s goals?  He sees Bathsheba bathing and wants her.  He gets her and impregnates her.  (Does Bathsheba have a say in this or must she submit to the king?) Then, he tries to cover it up by calling her husband back from battle to take a break and enjoy his wife — sleeping with her.  He resists, saying that he does not deserve the break when his countrymen are out fighting.  So, David sends him back and puts him on the front lines to have him killed.  This is David’s first major mistake toward God.

A. It is his first major mistake as king and it will not be his last.  It is very likely that Bathsheba did not have a say in her submission to the king who could have had her killed if she did not submit to him.  The passage implies that David stayed behind out of laziness, and that this entire mess would not have occurred if he had simply gone to war as other kings do.  David’s sin(s) here are monumental: he gets a married woman pregnant — a wife of one of his soldiers — and then has the husband murdered when he would not, unintentionally, cover for David’s sins.  It was considered derelict of duty for a solider to have sexual relations with his wife while actively serving.  So Uriah’s unwillingness to sleep with his wife is literally out of desire to please his king and be a good soldier!  In other words, this is really awful by David.

Q. You play, you pay.  That’s what my high school friend’s aunt, whom she lived with, said after breaking curfew or some other rule despised by teenagers.  David got a big reality check here.  What does God mean when he tells David that his family will “live by the sword?”

A. Oh, I don’t want to spoil that, but it will become abundantly clear.  This story represents the beginnings of the “fall” for David.  His story, especially with his family, will become an increasing nightmare.

Q. (12:23): David is making a reference to seeing his deceased son in heaven?  God hasn’t really told us much about heaven yet, right?

A. Yes.  I don’t think even David knows what he means in this statement.  All he is clear about is that the child will never return to him, but some day, in some way, he believes that he will see the child again.

Q. (12:25): God said David should name his son (with wife Bathsheba) Jedidiah, but the son is normally referred to as Solomon, not Jedidiah.  Why?

A. It’s a good question, and I don’t have a good answer.  It may have also merely been a nickname, but that name is never used in the Bible again.  I’m sorry, that’s all I’ve got.

For further reading: How does one repent? https://www.cru.org/us/en/train-and-grow/spiritual-growth/what-is-repentance-and-how-do-i-do-it.html

Shop: Following God is the only secure way to seal your future: https://livinlight.org/product/god-is-good/

Tomorrow’s reading
— 2 Samuel 12:26-14:33
— 1 Chronicles 20:2-3