II Samuel 11 Continued

5. And the woman conceived; so she sent and told David, and said, “I am with child.”

It seems that after this illicit union Bathsheba returns home. Yet that is not the end of the matter, for she conceives from this union, and sends to tell David. It is interesting that she does not go herself. We wonder who her chosen messenger was? Of course, it does not really matter.

Her message is brief, yet its import David will immediately understand. Her husband is off at the war, and so he will know quite well that this child is not his. If she is caught in adultery, she will be put to death. Yet the law does not just prescribe this penalty for her, but for him as well. The death penalty was for both the adulterer and the adulteress, as Leviticus 20:10 makes clear. Of course, she could always shield David and refuse to say who the father of her child was, but her message to David makes it rather clear that she is not planning on doing this. She wants David to shield her. She has no intention to shield him. She wants him to know that she will not be afraid to take him down with her if he does not do something to rescue her! Read the rest of this entry »

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II Samuel 11

1. It happened in the spring of the year, at the time when kings go out to battle, that David sent Joab and his servants with him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the people of Ammon and besieged Rabbah. But David remained at Jerusalem.

Now we come upon one of the saddest chapters in the Bible, and certainly the saddest one in the life of the great King David, yet still this is a chapter from which we can learn much. We might almost wish that David’s life had come to an end early and unexpectedly, rather than that he lived to darken his reputation and shame the character of his God, as we read him doing in this chapter. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 10 Continued

4. Therefore Hanun took David’s servants, shaved off half of their beards, cut off their garments in the middle, at their buttocks, and sent them away.

An older and more experienced king may not have been taken in by the spiteful lies of these counsellors. Hanun, however, as a young and impressionable king, believes their slanderous accusations. Thus, in supposed retaliation for what he believed to be David’s attempt to spy on him, he subjects David’s ambassadors to malicious humiliation.

First he shaves off half their beards. I suppose this would not seem so humiliating to us. If your beard was wrecked this way, you would probably just shave it off altogether. Yet in that time all men wore beards, so it was disgraceful not to have a beard. To finish cutting it off, then, would not really remove the humiliation. Then as a second act of spite, they cut their garments in the middle to expose their buttocks. Then, in this disgraceful state, they send David’s ambassadors away. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

If you have time, I have a question concerning the resurrections. There will be those resurrected and allowed to live in the kingdom that haven’t necessarily been a believer in this dispensation, but they also have not rejected God. If they submit to, and accept the expectations of the kingdom as it bursts on the scene, and if they can keep up with the advancing responsibilities as the kingdom moves forward from the head (ear) stage to the full grain in the head (full corn in the ear) stage, they will be allowed to live in the kingdom. If they do not submit, continue to submit, or do not keep up with the advancing restraints of the kingdom, they will not be allowed to continue to live in the kingdom.

Revelation 20:6 says that the second death has no power over those who are part of the first resurrection. If someone is part of the first resurrection by being allowed to enter into the kingdom, but then fails to remain submissive and obedient, they are again put to death. Wouldn’t these be found unworthy and their names not found in the Book of Life? Would they not be judged negatively at the white throne judgement of Revelation 20 and therefore, subject to the second death? Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

Whereas we can read that Silas was also a Roman citizen, apart from perhaps those other relatives Paul greets in several passages, were those ‘50,000’, ‘100,000’ or ‘200,000’ Jews living in Rome (Spain, Italy or wherever) Roman citizens? Do we have an exact Biblical quotation indicating this fact? Or were they simply immigrant foreigners like the many Greeks and other many gentiles who lived in Israel who were plain immigrant foreigners themselves?

And, yes, I would like to praise and pinpoint your emphasis that Cornelius was a Roman who had become proselytized and a believer in the only One God of the Jews. However, he lived in Caesarea which, as you yourself highlight, was an international city.

I hope we are communicating on this issue.

I do not know the criteria the Romans had for granting citizenship to those who moved into their city. I was assuming that Jews who lived there for quite some time would have been considered as Roman citizens. Read the rest of this entry »

I received the following question:

I would like to ask your help about a matter that has been troubling me just a little. I am probably not thinking with a whole deck of cards, but maybe you can help? Or, anyone else for that matter:

Let’s think back on Noah and his family.

When Noah and his family emerged from the ark, after every living thing was destroyed, except those on the ark, he was told to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth. So, Noah’s sons and their wives were to have children, but then what? They were all related, weren’t they? Wouldn’t they produce web-footed children? Just joking. If God wanted them to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth, it must have been okay, genetically speaking, for them to inter-procreate (a new term I just made up).

Every beast, every creeping thing, and every fowl, and whatsoever creepeth upon the earth, after their kinds, went forth out of the ark. 20 And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered burnt offerings on the altar. (Gen. 8:19-20 KJV) Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 10

1. It happened after this that the king of the people of Ammon died, and Hanun his son reigned in his place.

This short period of peace comes to an end again, and another war begins, this time a most regrettable one. It all begins with the death of Nahash, king of the sons of Ammon. Hanun his son reigns instead. Hanun’s name seems to mean “Gracious.” This was a very good name, yet sadly it belonged to a very foolish young man. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 9

1. Now David said, “Is there still anyone who is left of the house of Saul, that I may show him kindness for Jonathan’s sake?”

Now for a time again, as in chapter 7, David finds himself free from war. As in that case, he has time for thinking. In the last case, he thought to do something great for the LORD. The result was that he learned that the LORD is able to do far greater for him than he can ever do back, and that anything great done for the LORD must be done in His time and His way. So this time his thoughts turn to doing something good for his fellowman. He is perhaps reviewing in his thoughts his own history, and remembering the good times and the friends of his youth, and those who had been most helpful and sympathetic to him in the time prior to his taking the throne. Prominent among these, his thoughts must have turned back time and time again to his late friend Jonathan, Saul’s son. Not only had Jonathan been a good and sympathetic friend, but they had shared a common love and zeal for the LORD. Jonathan had helped him out to his own hurt, and they had made a covenant together to watch out for each other and each other’s descendants. David had promised to do good to Jonathan and his house, and he gets to wondering if any of that house is left. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 8

1. After this it came to pass that David attacked the Philistines and subdued them. And David took Metheg Ammah from the hand of the Philistines.

After this brief time of peace, we find David again at war with the many enemies of Israel. First we read of another battle with the Philistines, this time due to David attacking them. Though David had become friends with the king of Gath, that did not mean that the Philistines could be pardoned for their many wicked and destructive actions of the past against Israel, God’s people. David wins this battle and brings the Philistines into subjection to Israel. In the battle he captures Metheg ha-‘Ammah, which means “Bridle (for controlling power) of the Mother City.” Apparently, this was the original city of the Philistines back when they had first crossed the Mediterranean and landed on the coast of Palestine. If we would compare this to I Chronicles 18:1, we would learn what city is meant. Read the rest of this entry »

II Samuel 7

16. And your house and your kingdom shall be established forever before you. Your throne shall be established forever.”’”

Now comes the crowning statement of Yahweh’s great promise to David. He promises that David’s house and government will be established or firmly fixed forever before him, and then repeats it: his throne shall be fixed forever! Notice that He does not say the throne of David’s descendants, but He says David’s throne. Thus He was guaranteeing David that He would raise him from the dead and fix him on the throne for the eon of the Kingdom of God. His seat of government will exist throughout the Kingdom of God. This is not the only place that speaks of this, for this is confirmed in the book of Ezekiel, chapter 34 and verses 23-24. Read the rest of this entry »