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II Samuel 3 Continued

17. Now Abner had communicated with the elders of Israel, saying, “In time past you were seeking for David to be king over you.

This tells us that Abner had already spoken for David to the elders of Israel. He actually reminded them that they were ready and even seeking to make David king in time past. This was probably before Ishbosheth’s claim won out. This was, in fact, largely the situation that Abner himself had brought about, for it was he who had convinced the elders to be loyal to the house of Saul and to leave David to rule only over the tribe of Judah. Yet now Abner seeks to undo what he did before due to his anger with Ishbosheth. Read the rest of this entry »

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II Samuel 3

1. Now there was a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. But David grew stronger and stronger, and the house of Saul grew weaker and weaker.

This situation results in a long war between the house of Saul and the house of David. Of course, this does not mean that only their families were fighting, but rather that these two kingly houses were battling one another through the nations they ruled. This also does not mean that there were constant battles going on all during this time. There would have been skirmishes and battles, but not full-scale war at all times. In fact, we have no evidence that either side went to full-scale war with the other, or that either side attempted to invade and take captive the other. These two brother nations are at war, but the hostilities do not appear to have escalated to that point. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 2

1. It happened after this that David inquired of the LORD, saying, “Shall I go up to any of the cities of Judah?”
And the LORD said to him, “Go up.”
David said, “Where shall I go up?”
And He said, “To Hebron.”

After the mourning of David and his men over their king and prince, he enquires of the LORD. David probably did this by Urim and Thummim, those two stones in the ephod or breastpiece of the high priest whereby one could ask questions of the LORD. Remember that the high priest Abiathar is still with David, since he had fled to him when Saul had murdered all the LORD’s priests in his mad fear of David due to his paranoid idea that they had conspired with him. Therefore, David has the means to contact the LORD this way, whereas Saul’s company had lost their access to such contact with God, if indeed they even wanted it. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 1 Continued

17. Then David lamented with this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan his son,

Now David, the great psalmist, writes a lament for Saul and Jonathan his son. A lamentation was a kind of dirge or sorrowful song. We know about lamentations from the book of Lamentations in the Bible. The lamentations in that book are all written by the prophet Jeremiah. Yet David here shows that he too was adept at writing this kind of song. Thus he writes this lamentation over Saul and over Jonathan. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 1

Now let us continue right on with the book of II Samuel. As we discussed in the introduction to the book of I Samuel, these two books form one single book in the Hebrew Bible, or at least they did in the original Hebrew Bible. The split into two books seems to have happened at the time of the translation of the Bible into Greek, known as the Septuagint version of the Bible. While we cannot know for certain why the translators divided the books of Samuel, Kings, and Chronicles into two books, it appears likely that whoever cut the scrolls for these three books forgot that Greek letters are about a third bigger than Hebrew letters, and therefore take up more room on the scroll. The one who cut the scroll cut it the same length as the Hebrew scroll would have been, so space ran out on the scroll about half way through these books. Rather than try to splice two scrolls together to make them longer, they just took a second scroll, labeling it “II Samuel,” or “II Kings,” or “II Chronicles.” Then, years later when these books were put into our modern book form, the error of two books remained, since the people at that time thought it had “always been done that way.” Now, then, we are stuck with these books which the Spirit originally gave as one split apart into two by the hand of men. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Part 3

New King James Version 19. I, Paul, am writing with my own hand. I will repay—not to mention to you that you owe me even your own self besides.

Now Paul says that he writes this part of his letter to Philemon with his own hand. We might wonder about this, for it is probably our habit to write most of our correspondence with our own hands. Yet we would note here that Paul usually used what is called an “amanuensis,” meaning a scribe who would write down his letters for him as he dictated them. The amanuensis in the case of Philemon appears to have been Timothy, as we read in Philemon 1:1. So most of this letter would have been in Timothy’s handwriting and not Paul’s. Yet at this point Paul wishes to assure Philemon that he will do as he says, and will right whatever wrong Philemon has done or repay whatever debt Philemon has incurred. In order to assure Philemon of this, he wrote this part of the letter of Philemon to him with his own hand. In his own handwriting, which apparently Philemon will recognize, he assures him that he will repay what Onesimus owes. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Part 2

New King James Version 8. Therefore, though I might be very bold in Christ to command you what is fitting,

Now Paul starts to finally get to the point of why he is writing this letter to Philemon. He wants his friend to do something, and he wants him to do it “therefore.” If we were to ask ourselves why he starts this statement “therefore,” we must look back at what Paul has just been saying to discover the answer. No doubt he means because of the self-sacrificing love that Philemon has demonstrated to all his fellow holy ones. Perhaps it was also because of his faith that Paul mentioned back in verse 5. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Part 1

New King James Version 1. Paul, a prisoner of Christ Jesus, and Timothy our brother,
To Philemon our beloved friend and fellow laborer,

The Resultant Version 1. Paul, a bound one of Jesus Christ, and Timothy our brother, unto Philemon our dearly beloved one, and our fellowworker,

The first thing we come upon in the book of Philemon is the name of our author, Paul. Yet, of course, whenever we are dealing with a book of Scripture, we must remember that the human author was not alone in producing it. The Holy Spirit of God was speaking through the author. We can see this great truth set forth in II Timothy 3:16, which states, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable.” That phrase “inspiration of God” in Greek is the word theopneustos, which means literally “God-breathed.” So all Scripture is in fact the very breath, the very words of God. Peter stated this very same truth in II Peter 1:19-21. Read the rest of this entry »

Philemon Introduction

In beginning our study of the book of Philemon, we will first consider the man Philemon, as opposed to the book Philemon, which we will be studying afterwards. The book of Philemon is one of the letters of Paul, and was written to the man Philemon. This man is unknown to us outside of the book Paul wrote to him, as Philemon 1 is the only mention of him in Scripture. His name “Philemon” means “One Who Kisses.”

Philemon was apparently from the city of Colossae, the city to which Colossians was written. While we cannot prove this by a direct reference, a comparison of the two books shows rather clearly that this was the case. First of all, both are not only written by Paul, but are also coauthored by “Timothy brother,” as we can see by comparing Philemon 1:1 with Colossians 1:1 (all the following verses are in The Resultant Version of Otis Q. Sellers unless otherwise noted.) Read the rest of this entry »

Psalm 60

A Michtam of David. For teaching. When he fought against Mesopotamia and Syria of Zobah, and Joab returned and killed twelve thousand Edomites in the Valley of Salt.

Here we have another Michtam psalm of David, as we did in Psalms 56, 57, 58, and 59. Again The Companion Bible in Appendix 65 XII suggests that this word has to do with writing, particularly engraving. The truths that are in these psalms are important enough to be engraved, as of a permanent record that should not be forgotten.

This psalm is for teaching and gives important truths to be learned. The occasion is an interesting one, and one about which we have little information in the historical books about David’s life. David was fighting against two Aramite nations. Mesopotamia is Aram Naharayim in Hebrew, meaning “Aram of the Two Rivers.” Few would disagree that it is Mesopotamia that is meant. Aram (we tend to use the word “Syria”) were the regions north of Israel, and while Mesopotamia is north and east, one first traveled north to get there from Israel, so it makes sense that in Israel the two would be connected. In Genesis 24:10, the place where Abraham came from (Ur) is said to be Aram Naharayim. Aram Zobah (or Syria of Zobah) means “Exalted Station,” and appears to have been in what we call Syria north and east of Damascus. Read the rest of this entry »