Following the death in battle of Saul, king of Israel, David (1085-1015 BC) is first anointed king of Judah (1055) then, seven years later (1047), king of Israel (2 Samuel 5:4-5). After David and his men take Jerusalem, he makes it the capital of the united kingdom of Judah and Israel. “David went on and became great, for Yahweh, God of Hosts, was with him” (v. 10).
Vulcan, false god of technology, bullies, bribes, and deceives us into building cities as our greatest monuments to him. Against Vulcan, David seeks to introduce a different element into Jerusalem. He seeks to devote the city to Yahweh by building in it a house (temple) for the Ark of the Covenant (ch. 6). The prophet Nathan, however, tells David that Yahweh does not desire this. Instead, Yahweh will build a house (dynasty) for David that will endure forever (ch. 7).
After David establishes his rule over a united kingdom, and sets Jerusalem as its capital, he attacks and subdues all of his kingdom’s external enemies (ch. 8). He also proves victorious when a new generation of Syrians and Ammonites attack him (ch. 10).
Because Yahweh loves David, he blesses him and his people through him. After centuries of strife, Yahweh grants them peace all around. Tragically, at just this moment, David commits a mortal error. Venus, false goddess of sex, tells us that sexual intercourse is always good. David betrays Yahweh’s trust in him, and his devotion to Yahweh, by knowingly having sexual intercourse with the wife of another man. Jupiter, false god of politics, tells us we may do whatever we want to those with less power than we have. David then compounds his sin by having that wife’s husband murdered to cover up his adultery (ch. 11).
Yahweh sends Nathan his prophet to confront David. Through Nathan, Yahweh condemns David’s betrayal, ingratitude, rejection of his word, adultery, and murder. David repents and Yahweh forgives him; nonetheless, David’s harmful actions will have their destructive consequences. Because David took another man’s wife, another man will take his. Because he resorted to violence against another man, violence will plague his own family (ch. 12).
In subsequent years, Amnon, David’s oldest son, rapes David’s daughter Tamar. When David fails to punish Amnon, Tamar’s full brother Absalom murders Amnon in retaliation and flees from David. Eventually David accepts Absalom’s return to Jerusalem. Absalom, however, turns the people of Israel against his father David and manages to get himself declared king. David is forced to flee from Absalom. In his absence, Absalom has sexual intercourse with David’s concubines (chs. 13-17).
In the battle which follows, Absalom is killed. An Israelite briefly extends the revolt but is murdered by Joab, David’s general, and the revolt collapses. David celebrates his liberation from all enemies by Yahweh (chs. 18-22).
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