2 Samuel 20:1-21:22 Comments by Stephen Ricker
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David's Wars
Comments for Study 9

2 Samuel 20:1-21:22
Memory Verse: 4


I. Sheba Rebels Against David (20:1-26)

>1. Who was Sheba?

* 2 Samuel 20:1a "Now a troublemaker named Sheba son of Bicri, a Benjamite, happened to be there."

* "son of Bicri" -Benjamin's second son (Beker, Gen. 46:21; and 1 Chron. 7:6-9).

* "a Benjamite" -Saul was from the tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin was the last son of Jacob and the only brother of Joseph. Anger over the transfer of power from Benjamin (Saul) to Judah (David) still lingered as embers from a fire. Now they were blown to flame.

* Sheba call for rebellion would be repeated by Jeroboam. (1 Kings 12:16)

* Every community has trouble makers. Even amongst those who confess Jesus as Lord. Paul told the Ephesian elders, "I know that after I leave, savage wolves will come in among you and will not spare the flock. Even from your own number men will arise and distort the truth in order to draw away disciples after them. So be on your guard! Remember that for three years I never stopped warning each of you night and day with tears." (Acts 20:29-31)

>What did he do to Israel? (1b-2, 14)

* 2 Samuel 20:1b-2 "He sounded the trumpet and shouted, "We have no share in David, no part in Jesse's son! Every man to his tent, O Israel!" So all the men of Israel deserted David to follow Sheba son of Bicri. But the men of Judah stayed by their king all the way from the Jordan to Jerusalem."

* 2 Samuel 20:14 "Sheba passed through all the tribes of Israel to Abel Beth Maacah and through the entire region of the Berites, who gathered together and followed him."

* "We have no share in David" -Sheba utilized the resentment amongst the rest of the tribes that David was showing his tribe favoritism.

* "Every man to his tent" -Sheba was saying quite David's army and kingdom. Become farmers again and I'll lead an army against David and Judah. We will be our own country.

* "tents" -"The use of tents is strange in that Israel had long since left the nomadic form of life for the settled like of Canaan. The terminology of the past culture persists in every society, and Sheba was using a cliche that had propaganda and sentimental value" (The Wycliffe Bible Commentary)

* Ephesians 4:2-7 "Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. There is one body and one Spirit-- just as you were called to one hope when you were called-- one Lord, one faith, one baptism; one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all. But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it."

* Satan divides. Jesus tears down the dividing wall of hostility. Ephesians 2:14-18 "For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility, by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace, and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility. He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near. For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit."

>What had David been doing? (18:32-33, 19:8-10, 29, 41)

* 2 Samuel 18:32-33 "The king asked the Cushite, 'Is the young man Absalom safe?' The Cushite replied, 'May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.' The king was shaken. He went up to the room over the gateway and wept. As he went, he said: 'O my son Absalom! My son, my son Absalom! If only I had died instead of you--O Absalom, my son, my son!'"

* 2 Samuel 19:8-10 "So the king got up and took his seat in the gateway. When the men were told, "The king is sitting in the gateway," they all came before him. Meanwhile, the Israelites had fled to their homes. Throughout the tribes of Israel, the people were all arguing with each other, saying, "The king delivered us from the hand of our enemies; he is the one who rescued us from the hand of the Philistines. But now he has fled the country because of Absalom; and Absalom, whom we anointed to rule over us, has died in battle. So why do you say nothing about bringing the king back?"

* 2 Samuel 19:29 "The king said to him, "Why say more? I order you and Ziba to divide the fields."

* 2 Samuel 19:41 "Soon all the men of Israel were coming to the king and saying to him, "Why did our brothers, the men of Judah, steal the king away and bring him and his household across the Jordan, together with all his men?"

* The following had just happened to David:
    1) His son and heir apparent lead a rebellion against him, wanting to kill him
    2) He was forced out of Jerusalem into the desert even though he was very old
    3) People took advantage of his disadvantage for selfish gain
    4) The commander of his army disobeyed him
    5) His commander killed his son
    6) No one ask for his return to Jerusalem and the throne
    7) When he showed his good intent Judah ask for his return only to have the other tribes become jealous and argued with Judah
    8) A trouble maker convinces all but Judah to succeed his kingdom and divide Israel

>What was the first thing he did when he returned to Jerusalem? (3, 16:21-22)

* 2 Samuel 20:3 "When David returned to his palace in Jerusalem, he took the ten concubines he had left to take care of the palace and put them in a house under guard. He provided for them, but did not lie with them. They were kept in confinement till the day of their death, living as widows."

* 2 Samuel 16:21-22 "Ahithophel answered, "Lie with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself a stench in your father's nostrils, and the hands of everyone with you will be strengthened." So they pitched a tent for Absalom on the roof, and he lay with his father's concubines in the sight of all Israel."

* "in a house under guard" -To protect them from dishonor and harm, especially amongst the other women in David's household. He also did this to ensure that they would not become pregnant and thus be put under suspicion that the child was Absalom's, a man of disgrace. The harem can be a cruel to its members, and David knew it.

* "but did not lie with them" -The child would be raised in disgrace.

* "living as widows" -Since Absalom was with them he technically because their husband. Now is he dead and they are widows.

>What does this show about his priorities?

* "He provided for them" -David ensured that the ten virgins were cared for and protected. He saw to their needs first.

* Some have suggested that David was also protecting himself too. This hardly seems possible since everyone in Israel already knew of what Absalom did because he did it publicly. David had nothing to gain by helping these virgins.

>2. What mission did David give Amasa? (4)

* 2 Samuel 20:4 "Then the king said to Amasa, "Summon the men of Judah to come to me within three days, and be here yourself."

* "within three days" -David knew he must act quickly. He also was aware of how long it would take to muster Judah.

* David needed to deal with the rebellion started by one man. Israel was upset with Judah. Yet they would not have succeeded if Amasa didn't suggest it. Take out Amasa and Israel would come back into his reign.

* Since Jerusalem was just outside of Judah and a main road connected it with Hebron, Judah's main city. The task was possible in three days.

>Who was he? (17:24-25, 19:13)

* 2 Samuel 17:24-25 "David went to Mahanaim, and Absalom crossed the Jordan with all the men of Israel. Absalom had appointed Amasa over the army in place of Joab. Amasa was the son of a man named Jether, an Israelite who had married Abigail, the daughter of Nahash and sister of Zeruiah the mother of Joab."

* 2 Samuel 19:13 "And say to Amasa, 'Are you not my own flesh and blood? May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if from now on you are not the commander of my army in place of Joab.'"

* "Amasa" -Amasa was Joab's first cousin and nephew to David for Abigail and Zeruiah's were his half-sisters (Jesse was not their father, Nahash was). (1 Chron. 2:17)

* David had given him command of the army because Joab, his previous commander disobeyed him and killed his son.

>What might be the reason he took so long to do the job David gave him? (5)

* 2 Samuel 20:5 "But when Amasa went to summon Judah, he took longer than the time the king had set for him."

* Amasa didn't have the capability, experience, and respected needed to complete the task.

>3. What mission did David give Abishai? (6)

* 2 Samuel 20:6 "David said to Abishai, "Now Sheba son of Bicri will do us more harm than Absalom did. Take your master's men and pursue him, or he will find fortified cities and escape from us."

* "Now Sheba son of Bicri will do" -Because Amasa was taking so long to get the forces together Sheba could organize his forces. David did not want to make the same mistake that Absalom had done when he was against David. Absalom delayed pursuit of David, allowing David or organized his troupes and battle lines.

* "your master's men" -David wanted Abishai to know who was in charge.

* "find fortified cities" -The longer a rebel remains, the more credibility they gain. From this comes more power and ability. A rebel grows with time while a king is weakened by it.

>Who was he? (2:18, 3:30, 10:9-10, 16:9-10, 18:2, 5, 19:21-23)

* 2 Samuel 2:18 "The three sons of Zeruiah were there: Joab, Abishai and Asahel. Now Asahel was as fleet-footed as a wild gazelle."

* 2 Samuel 3:30 "(Joab and his brother Abishai murdered Abner because he had killed their brother Asahel in the battle at Gibeon.)"

* 2 Samuel 10:9-10 "Joab saw that there were battle lines in front of him and behind him; so he selected some of the best troops in Israel and deployed them against the Arameans. He put the rest of the men under the command of Abishai his brother and deployed them against the Ammonites."

* 2 Samuel 16:9-10 "Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said to the king, "Why should this dead dog curse my lord the king? Let me go over and cut off his head." But the king said, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? If he is cursing because the LORD said to him, 'Curse David,' who can ask, 'Why do you do this?'"

* 2 Samuel 18:2 "David sent the troops out--a third under the command of Joab, a third under Joab's brother Abishai son of Zeruiah, and a third under Ittai the Gittite. The king told the troops, "I myself will surely march out with you."

* 2 Samuel 18:5 "The king commanded Joab, Abishai and Ittai, "Be gentle with the young man Absalom for my sake." And all the troops heard the king giving orders concerning Absalom to each of the commanders."

* 2 Samuel 19:21-23 "Then Abishai son of Zeruiah said, "Shouldn't Shimei be put to death for this? He cursed the LORD's anointed." David replied, "What do you and I have in common, you sons of Zeruiah? This day you have become my adversaries! Should anyone be put to death in Israel today? Do I not know that today I am king over Israel?" So the king said to Shimei, "You shall not die." And the king promised him on oath."

* David did not want or trust Joab with the task. Yet he needed a capable commander of the army. Only a few were such. David himself was getting to old to race out into battle; shown later in the chapter.

>How did he respond to David's command? (7)

* 2 Samuel 20:7 "So Joab's men and the Kerethites and Pelethites and all the mighty warriors went out under the command of Abishai. They marched out from Jerusalem to pursue Sheba son of Bicri."

* "Joab's men" -Abishai was put in charge, but the men followed Joab. Joab was a commander that soldiers would follow.

* "the Kerethites and Pelethites" -Palace guards from Philistine territory. They came to David when he was in exile from Saul.

* "all the mighty warriors" -Some warriors were loyal to David and yet were not considered "Joab's men".

* "under the command of Abishai" -Only until they got away from Jerusalem. Then Joab took control. David must have realized that this would happen. Yet what could he do?

>4. What did Joab and his brother Abishai do to Amasa? (8-10)

* 2 Samuel 20:8-10 "While they were at the great rock in Gibeon, Amasa came to meet them. Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As he stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath. Joab said to Amasa, "How are you, my brother?" Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground. Without being stabbed again, Amasa died. Then Joab and his brother Abishai pursued Sheba son of Bicri."

* "the great rock of Gibeon" -This must have been a place of worship at one time.

* "Amasa came to meet them" -It is possible that Amasa didn't know that David had put Joab's brother in charge because he had not meet the three days. some say that the meeting was by chance and not planned by Amasa.

* "dagger" -An assassin's knife.

* "it dropped out of its sheath" -Planned by Joab so Amasa wouldn't be concerned about the dagger in his hand. Joab planned this murder.

* "How are you, my brother?" -Reminds me of Judas' kiss.

* I have seen in business and in religious groups leaders who purposely send "moles" as spies and informants among those under their leadership and care. In the end this breeds dagger bearing disunity and division; one stabs another to gain favor with the leader. This is not the way of Jesus. Anyone who uses such tactics is not following the ways of God no matter what they preach to the congregation.

>Why? (11; 11:14-15)

* 2 Samuel 20:11 "One of Joab's men stood beside Amasa and said, "Whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David, let him follow Joab!"

* 2 Samuel 11:14-15 "In the morning David wrote a letter to Joab and sent it with Uriah. In it he wrote, "Put Uriah in the front line where the fighting is fiercest. Then withdraw from him so he will be struck down and die."

* "whoever favors Joab, and whoever is for David" -So the troops that came with Amasa would know that Joab wasn't siding against David.

* David had used the military through Joab to prop up his early kingdom by having them kill Uriah. Now the military through Joab was using the same tactic to prop us Joab's leadership. David's sin was copied by Joab.

* The sin we commit in this life is often feed back to us in this life. We will be forgiven when we confess our sins and repent as David did. Yet, the seeds we sow often come back to us. The Lord's word through Nathan the prophet remain true, "Now, therefore, the sword will never depart from your house, because you despised me and took the wife of Uriah the Hittite to be your own.'" (2 Samuel 12:10)

* 2 Samuel 3:29 "May his blood fall upon the head of Joab and upon all his father's house! May Joab's house never be without someone who has a running sore or leprosy or who leans on a crutch or who falls by the sword or who lacks food."

* Joab had killed before and David never dealt with it according to the law of Moses. Joab began to realize that he was above the law of David. He realized that David needed him and so would let him get away with murder. David would never let anyone else get away with murder. Slowly David's double standard let to Joab having more control over the army than Joab. David's kingship was undermined by his double standard. Haven't we seen this before?

* David did not order Joab to be in charge of the army. Yet, Joab defies David's order and his brother (probably out of fear) does not challenge his brother command.

>How did this affect the army? (12-13)

* 2 Samuel 20:12-13 "Amasa lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road, and the man saw that all the troops came to a halt there. When he realized that everyone who came up to Amasa stopped, he dragged him from the road into a field and threw a garment over him. After Amasa had been removed from the road, all the men went on with Joab to pursue Sheba son of Bicri."

* Joab let an innocent man's body lie in the road, most likely as a warning to others.

* Joab knew David was right. The army needed to move quickly. The dead body in the road was slowing up the army. So they hid it from sight, letting the word of mouth strick the fear of Joab in the men's hearts.

>5. What did David's cabinet now look like? (23-26)

* 2 Samuel 20:23-26 "Joab was over Israel's entire army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada was over the Kerethites and Pelethites; Adoniram was in charge of forced labor; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was recorder; Sheva was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests; and Ira the Jairite was David's priest."

* Joab was the uncontested leader of the entire army. Those under him must have been kept in line with fear and intimidation.

* No matter how much David tried to get away from Joab's influence, he had to live with the monster he created and relied on. Why was this so? David was living with the consequences of his sins against Uriha.

>6. How was Joab trying to take city? (15)

* 2 Samuel 20:15 "All the troops with Joab came and besieged Sheba in Abel Beth Maacah. They built a siege ramp up to the city, and it stood against the outer fortifications. While they were battering the wall to bring it down,"

* "Abel Beth Maacah" -Abel-beth-maachah is identified with the modern Abil el-Oamh, twelve miles (20km) north of Lake Huleh near Dan. Its name indicates it was once part of the city state of Maachah controlled by Arameans. (10:6)

* "a siege ramp up to the city" -A wood, stone and earth structure that made it easy for the forces outside to get in.

* Joab used brutal force in whatever he did.

>What plea did he get? (16-19)

* 2 Samuel 20:16-19 "a wise woman called from the city, "Listen! Listen! Tell Joab to come here so I can speak to him." He went toward her, and she asked, "Are you Joab?" "I am," he answered. She said, "Listen to what your servant has to say." "I'm listening," he said. She continued, "Long ago they used to say, 'Get your answer at Abel,' and that settled it. We are the peaceful and faithful in Israel. You are trying to destroy a city that is a mother in Israel. Why do you want to swallow up the LORD's inheritance?"

* "a wise woman" -She would not be a personal threat to Joab.

* "your servant" -Submission to disarm him.

* "Get your answer at Abel" -They were not stupid country folk.

* "a mother to Israel" -They were Israelites and produced Israelites. They were loyal and can be trusted. They were not part of the rebellion.

* "swallow up the Lord's inheritance" -The Lord had given this land and city to Dan. Joab had no claim to it and would be in violation of the land allotment if he destroyed it and killed its people. If Joab did this all the men under him would fear that he might do the same to them some day. Joab now was under the possibility of loosing some of his support if he continued his brutal attack against the city.

>How was this brave woman able to save her city? (20-22)

* 2 Samuel 20:20-22 "Far be it from me!" Joab replied, "Far be it from me to swallow up or destroy! That is not the case. A man named Sheba son of Bicri, from the hill country of Ephraim, has lifted up his hand against the king, against David. Hand over this one man, and I'll withdraw from the city." The woman said to Joab, "His head will be thrown to you from the wall." Then the woman went to all the people with her wise advice, and they cut off the head of Sheba son of Bicri and threw it to Joab. So he sounded the trumpet, and his men dispersed from the city, each returning to his home. And Joab went back to the king in Jerusalem."

* "Far be it from me!" -Joab quickly said this to reassure his "pure" intent. He didn't want to take anyone's inheritance.

* "I'll withdraw from the city" -Joab again stated that he wasn't going to take anyone's inheritance away.

* "from the hill country of Ephraim" -Either meaning a Benjamite lived in Ephraim, or most likely meaning he had just come from Ephraim where the battle against the king had just ended and where Israel had departed from David and Judah.

>What can you learn from her?

* Matthew 5:9 "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God.

* James 3:17-18 "But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness."

* 1 Peter 3:10-12 "For, "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech. He must turn from evil and do good; he must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer, but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil."

* Proverbs 12:25 "An anxious heart weighs a man down, but a kind word cheers him up.

* 1 Peter 3:10 "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech."

* James 3:5-12 "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself set on fire by hell. All kinds of animals, birds, reptiles and creatures of the sea are being tamed and have been tamed by man, but no man can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? My brothers, can a fig tree bear olives, or a grapevine bear figs? Neither can a salt spring produce fresh water."

II. Gibeonites (21:1-14)

* The rest of the book is considered an appendix to 1 and 2 Samuel. Chronological order is not kept. All commentaries point out the poetic structure of A-B-C-C-B-A.

>7. What did David do to stop a famine? (1-6; c.f. Jos. 9:14-20)

* 2 Samuel 21:1-6 "During the reign of David, there was a famine for three successive years; so David sought the face of the LORD. The LORD said, "It is on account of Saul and his blood-stained house; it is because he put the Gibeonites to death." The king summoned the Gibeonites and spoke to them. (Now the Gibeonites were not a part of Israel but were survivors of the Amorites; the Israelites had sworn to [spare] them, but Saul in his zeal for Israel and Judah had tried to annihilate them.) David asked the Gibeonites, "What shall I do for you? How shall I make amends so that you will bless the LORD's inheritance?" The Gibeonites answered him, "We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death." "What do you want me to do for you?" David asked. They answered the king, "As for the man who destroyed us and plotted against us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and exposed before the LORD at Gibeah of Saul--the Lord's chosen one." So the king said, "I will give them to you."

* Joshua 9:14-20 "The men of Israel sampled their provisions but did not inquire of the LORD. Then Joshua made a treaty of peace with them to let them live, and the leaders of the assembly ratified it by oath. Three days after they made the treaty with the Gibeonites, the Israelites heard that they were neighbors, living near them. So the Israelites set out and on the third day came to their cities: Gibeon, Kephirah, Beeroth and Kiriath Jearim. But the Israelites did not attack them, because the leaders of the assembly had sworn an oath to them by the LORD, the God of Israel. The whole assembly grumbled against the leaders, but all the leaders answered, "We have given them our oath by the LORD, the God of Israel, and we cannot touch them now. This is what we will do to them: We will let them live, so that wrath will not fall on us for breaking the oath we swore to them."

* The famine in David's time came because of sins done in Saul's time. David had to deal with the results of someone else's sin. We to are dealing with the sins committed by the generation before us. We suffer the consequences of others. We should not ignore it, but try to correct it.

* "we have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family" -Allowing life to be bought down to a monetary value is dangerous because the wealthy could then be allowed to "buy" someone's death. Men of money could kill without being hurt and go free to kill again.

* "decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel" -They accused Saul of extermination, and wanted the same done to his line. Ancient law allowed this "eye for and eye" attitude. (Num. 35:31-32)

>Who was spared and why? (7, 1 Sa. 20:17, 23:18, 31:2)

* 2 Samuel 21:7 "The king spared Mephibosheth son of Jonathan, the son of Saul, because of the oath before the LORD between David and Jonathan son of Saul."

* 1 Samuel 20:17 "And Jonathan had David reaffirm his oath out of love for him, because he loved him as he loved himself."

* 1 Samuel 23:18 "The two of them made a covenant before the LORD. Then Jonathan went home, but David remained at Horesh."

* 1 Samuel 31:2 "The Philistines pressed hard after Saul and his sons, and they killed his sons Jonathan, Abinadab and Malki-Shua."

* There was no way to stop Israel, especially the tribe of Benjamin, from suffering. Yet, David, being king, could direct the blow. He found a way to keep his promise and satisfy the law.

>Who was not? (8-9)

* 2 Samuel 21:8-9 "But the king took Armoni and Mephibosheth, the two sons of Aiah's daughter Rizpah, whom she had borne to Saul, together with the five sons of Saul's daughter Merab, whom she had borne to Adriel son of Barzillai the Meholathite. He handed them over to the Gibeonites, who killed and exposed them on a hill before the LORD. All seven of them fell together; they were put to death during the first days of the harvest, just as the barley harvest was beginning."

* "Merab" -Saul's oldest daughter (1 Sam. 14:49) Saul tried to give her to David as a wife, but he refused. (1 Sam. 19:17-19)

* The line of Saul was now almost completely gone. Only Jonathan's line is listed after this. The Lord had rejected Saul, because Saul had rejected the Lord. When Saul continually sinned, the Lord said his line would be cut off. And now the word of the Lord is fulfilled.

* The tribe of Benjamin never accept and/or learned how to deal with the sins that Saul had committed. The wanted the greatness and comfort of his reign, and so bore the brunt of the punishment.

* To many Christians are like the Benjamites. They want the grace and peace of Jesus and the comforts of living a selfish life in this world. Then when trouble comes there way, they say, "Why me Lord?"

* Romans 6:5-7 "If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin-- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin."

* Ephesians 4:22-24 "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."

* Colossians 3:5-10 "Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry. Because of these, the wrath of God is coming. You used to walk in these ways, in the life you once lived. But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. Do not lie to each other, since you have taken off your old self with its practices and have put on the new self, which is being renewed in knowledge in the image of its Creator."

* 1 Corinthians 11:27-32 "Therefore, whoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning against the body and blood of the Lord. A man ought to examine himself before he eats of the bread and drinks of the cup. For anyone who eats and drinks without recognizing the body of the Lord eats and drinks judgment on himself. That is why many among you are weak and sick, and a number of you have fallen asleep. But if we judged ourselves, we would not come under judgment. When we are judged by the Lord, we are being disciplined so that we will not be condemned with the world."

>8. What did one women do?

Rizpah's Kindness Unto the Dead

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting Rizpah's kindness to the dead. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

* 2 Samuel 21:10 "Rizpah daughter of Aiah took sackcloth and spread it out for herself on a rock. From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down from the heavens on the bodies, she did not let the birds of the air touch them by day or the wild animals by night."

* "took sackcloth" -Quick and easy bedding, an ancient sleeping bag and/or a tent.

* "on a rock" -To keep bugs and moisture out of the bedding.

* "From the beginning of the harvest till the rain poured down" -The barley harvest begins in the middle of April, around Passover (Easter). Rain is sparse in Israel until October which is considered the start of "the rainy season". When it did rain, the curse was over.

>How did David respond to her kindness?

* 2 Samuel 21:11-14a "When David was told what Aiah's daughter Rizpah, Saul's concubine, had done, he went and took the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from the citizens of Jabesh Gilead. (They had taken them secretly from the public square at Beth Shan, where the Philistines had hung them after they struck Saul down on Gilboa.) David brought the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan from there, and the bones of those who had been killed and exposed were gathered up. They buried the bones of Saul and his son Jonathan in the tomb of Saul's father Kish, at Zela in Benjamin, and did everything the king commanded."

* David had no personal revenge against Saul's family. He took care of the bodies once the curse was lifted.

* David was moved by this woman's devotion to her family even though they had brought a curse to the land.

>How did God respond to this? (14b)

* 2 Samuel 21:14b "After that, God answered prayer in behalf of the land."

* Even in the age that we are in, there are consequences to our actions. We should never be fooled by the term "age of grace" to mean that our sins don't have consequences. We are free to obey and enjoy the blessing of the Lord. We are not free to sin.

>What can we learn from her?

* 2 Peter 1:5-9 "For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But if anyone does not have them, he is nearsighted and blind, and has forgotten that he has been cleansed from his past sins."

* Colossians 3:12 "Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience."

* Galatians 5:22-26 "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law. Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking and envying each other."

III. Philistines (21:15-22)

>9. What problem happened to David when he responded to the Philistine threat? (15-16)

* 2 Samuel 21:15-16 "Once again there was a battle between the Philistines and Israel. David went down with his men to fight against the Philistines, and he became exhausted. And Ishbi-Benob, one of the descendants of Rapha, whose bronze spearhead weighed three hundred shekels and who was armed with a new [sword], said he would kill David."

* David's body was to physically weak from age to keep up the fight. In his younger life he had not gone to war and fell into sin. He learned from this. Now he fought until he could not stand and fight. Saul never went into battle until the battle was sure and on Israel's side.

* 1 Chron. 20:4-8 is a companion account.

* "one of the descendants of Rapha" -The word for "descendants" is used in Num. 13:22, 28 of the sons of Anok, the giants of the land in the period of the conquest. The Hebrew for giant, "Rapha" is not the name of an individual. It is a collective, used of the Raphaim, a giant race that inhabited Palestine in primitive times and gave to the a valley near Jerusalem the name "Valley of Rephaim." Goliath is one of these, whom David slain with a sling and a stone.

>What was the result of this? (17)

* 2 Samuel 21:17 "But Abishai son of Zeruiah came to David's rescue; he struck the Philistine down and killed him. Then David's men swore to him, saying, "Never again will you go out with us to battle, so that the lamp of Israel will not be extinguished."

* David's men releived him from the responsibility of actually fighting. David was allotted to remain in his tent.

* "the lamp of Israel" -Suggesting the lamp of the Lord God. All knew that the Lord was with David. So if David was killed, then the blessings coming through his life of faith and obedience might end too.

Abishai Saves the Life of David

* See a wood engraving by Gustave Dore (1832-1883) to the right depicting Abishai saving the life of David. Dore's drawings were in Bibles that are now in public domain. This one was scanned in by creationism.org.

>10. What happened at the second battle with the Philistines? (18)

* 2 Samuel 21:18 "In the course of time, there was another battle with the Philistines, at Gob. At that time Sibbecai the Hushathite killed Saph, one of the descendants of Rapha."

* "Gob" -The parallel passage (1 Chron. 20:4) names Gezer as the place. Some Hebrew manuscripts read Benob or in Nob” as in verse 16. The Greek manuscripts presuppose either in Gath or in Gezer. The location of Gob is not known, though it appears to be a Philistine city. (Holman Bible Dictionary)

* Another "giant" is killed in battle.

>In the third?

* 2 Samuel 21:19 "In another battle with the Philistines at Gob, Elhanan son of Jaare-Oregim the Bethlehemite killed Goliath the Gittite, who had a spear with a shaft like a weaver's rod."

* "killed Goliath the Gittite" -Some manuscripts have "killed the brother of Goliath the Gittite". (1 Chron. 20:5) NIV study Bible says, "Since it is clear from 1 Sam. 17 that David killed Goliath, it is possible that an early copyist misread the Hebrew for "Lahmi the brother of" as "the Bethlehemite" (in Hebrew the world for "killed" stands first in the clause).

>In the fourth?

* 2 Samuel 21:20-21 "In still another battle, which took place at Gath, there was a huge man with six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot--twenty-four in all. He also was descended from Rapha. When he taunted Israel, Jonathan son of Shimeah, David's brother, killed him."

* "six fingers on each hand and six toes on each foot" -Common even today.

* "Jonathan son of Shimeah" -David's half brother.

>Who were they and what does this tell us? (22)

* 2 Samuel 21:22 "These four were descendants of Rapha in Gath, and they fell at the hands of David and his men."

* When Israel first was lead by the Lord to enter the promised land, they saw the giants and believed that they could not conquer the land. Now, their descendants killed all the giants. So the Lord stands as the victor of all. He can use even the rebellious and cowards to kill giants.


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