II Samuel 18 Continued

16. So Joab blew the trumpet, and the people returned from pursuing Israel. For Joab held back the people.

Next Joab blows a trumpet to recall the People from pursuing after Israel, who were fleeing at this point, it seems, due to the combined calamity of the slaughter caused by David’s men and the slaughter caused by the woods devouring them. Joab doubtless realizes the same thing that Ahithophel did the other way around: that with Absalom out of the way, there was no longer really anything to fight for. Further fighting will just lead to more bitterness and hard feelings down the road. To stop the fighting now is to minimize the damage to David’s reputation among the rebels. With Absalom gone, the best thing to do is to bring the wayward men of Israel back into the fold of David’s reign. Now, they can go about mending the breach and bringing all Israel under David once again.

Therefore Joab holds back the People. This was wise strategy. There is no doubt that Joab was a clever man. Too bad he was not also an obedient, a Godly, or a loyal one. Read the rest of this entry »


I received the following question:

Listening to your last CD, I am a bit confused. It seems you have not clarified the historical phenomenon. You speak of Samaria as the ‘half-Jews’ because they had been repopulated with foreigners, mostly Assyrians supposedly. Was it not Israel at the very north that was carried away to Assyria ? Then you speak mostly of Galilee as representing the ‘North’ and not use the word Israel again. Please clarify your point.

The tribes that were carried away to the Assyrian captivity were the ten northern tribes of Israel. The ones who escaped were those of the southern kingdom, under Hezekiah king of Judah. Some of these were at first carried away, but when the LORD broke the siege of Jerusalem by slaughtering a large portion of the Assyrian army, Assyria returned home in defeat and the exiles from Judah were able to return home as they were able. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I have a real quick question that I have been curious about, so I thought I’d ask you. In TL068 of OQS audio in Acts, he makes the statement, and I quote, “In all of the epistles of Paul, he never quotes the Lord Jesus Christ – there is a reason for that, and a good reason for that.” As far as I know, OQS never gives an explanation of this, however. Do you happen to have any idea of what OQS meant when he made this statement? Is there really a good reason that Paul never quotes the Lord Jesus in his epistles?

I know, Mr. Sellers had a tendency sometimes to throw out little comments like this that he never explained what he meant or why he said that. It can be frustrating sometimes because you would like to know why he thought that or what he meant. Many of these comments I think I have figured out, but I cannot be sure what he meant, of course. I am only guessing. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 18

1. And David numbered the people who were with him, and set captains of thousands and captains of hundreds over them.

David now prepares for the upcoming battle with the rebellious forces of Israel and with Absalom his son. He musters his forces and numbers his men so that he can now set them in order as an army. Then, he sets up the authority structure among them. He appoints captains of thousands and captains of hundreds to lead them. Notice that, for this to be necessary, there must have been multiple thousands of men with David. Though we have read that Israel followed Absalom, it seems that the entire standing army of Israel, more or less, is with David. He has the trained troops. Absalom has the elders and those they can muster out of the common people of the land. But David, though outnumbered, has the advantage in having the best trained and most experienced men. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 17 Continued

17. Now Jonathan and Ahimaaz stayed at En Rogel, for they dared not be seen coming into the city; so a female servant would come and tell them, and they would go and tell King David.

Jonathan and Ahimaaz, the two younger sons of the aging priests Zadok and Abiathar, were not staying in the city of Jerusalem itself, for they dared not be seen entering or leaving the city. Instead, they were staying by En-rogel, which means “Fountain of the Spy” (or “Fountain of the Fuller”). This fountain was on the east side of Jerusalem on the border between Benjamin and Judah. There the priests their fathers sent a maid-servant out to give them the word Hushai had passed on to them. Having received their report for David, they went to tell him what they had learned. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 17

1. Moreover Ahithophel said to Absalom, “Now let me choose twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue David tonight.

Once Absalom has carried out his adultery with his father’s wives, he goes to Ahithophel for more advice. Ahithophel is ready with the next part of his plan. He wants to elect twelve thousand men and go into action with them, leading them in pursuit after David this very night. This is no doubt the next part of his plan to get personal vengeance against David for what he did to his granddaughter Bathsheba and her husband. He wants to be the one to hunt him down and destroy him himself. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 16

1. When David was a little past the top of the mountain, there was Ziba the servant of Mephibosheth, who met him with a couple of saddled donkeys, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, one hundred clusters of raisins, one hundred summer fruits, and a skin of wine.

David apparently has finished worshiping God at the hill top, and now he has barely passed over the top when he is met by Ziba. Remember, we first read of this Ziba back in II Samuel 9. Ziba was formerly Saul’s servant, and was the one David called when he wanted to know if there were any of Saul’s household left to whom he could show the kindness of God for the sake of Jonathan, his old friend. Ziba had revealed to him that Jonathan’s son Mephibosheth still lived, though he was lame in his feet. David then called Mephibosheth, who it seems was certain that David intended to kill him, as so many kings of the day did to anyone who was related to a former dynasty. Yet David had done great kindness to Mephibosheth instead. He gave him back all the former property of Saul, made Ziba his servant, as he had been Saul’s servant, and made him to eat food at his table (that is, at his government’s expense) for the rest of his life. Some time has passed since this event, and Mephibosheth is now about thirty-one years old. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Do any of your precepts explain Romans 12 especially verses 1 & 2?
Thank you,

Thanks for the good question. No, I do not have Precepts written on this passage yet. I will give you a brief explanation of my thoughts on the passage, however.

First, let me give these verses in The Resultant Version translation.

1. I am entreating you, brethren, by the pities of God, to present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God for that is your logical service.

2. And be not conformed to this eon, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.

Paul here is urging his Roman readers by the pities of God. This word means pity, compassion, or mercy. It is the great compassion and mercy of God upon us for which Paul entreats us. This is ever the entreaty of grace: that we upon whom God has bestowed so much love and grace might respond to that love by living the kind of life that would please Him. This life Paul sums up here as presenting your body as a living sacrifice. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

HE WHO OVERCOMES……. Rev. 2:26, 3:5, 3:12 and 3:21. These verses are probably not referring to salvation?

Your comments please.

The verses you list are the last four of a set of seven such verses speaking of the overcomers in Revelation 2-3. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Phil. 3:20 “For our citizenship (conversation) is in heaven, from which we also eagerly wait for the savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

How do you interpret this verse?

Thanks for the good question.

First, let me offer you The Resultant Version translation, both in a straight translation and in paraphrase.

Philippians 3:20. For the acquired and developed character which is ours is already existing among celestials, and it is out of this character that we assiduously and patiently wait it out for a Savior, the Lord Jesus Christ.

Philippians 3:20 paraphrase. Read the rest of this entry »