Chapter 25- Samuel dies. The people mourn and bury him. There is a rich man named Nabal who acts like a jerk to David and his servants. David plans to kill Nabal and all his men, but Nabal’s wife Abigail brings presents to David and talks him out of it. God ends up killing Nabal anyway, 10 days later. David takes Abigail for a wife, as well as another woman named Ahinoam. Saul gave David’s first wife Michal to another man.
We’re only in the book of 1st Samuel, but Samuel is already dead. I’m rather curious what 2nd Samuel is going to be about. Is there going to be another guy named Samuel?
Hooray for another story where David takes the high road and avoids slaughtering his enemies!
This business with David’s wives feels unseemly to me. God kills Nabal on behalf of David, and then David immediately proposes to Abigail, not giving her any time to mourn her dead husband. Granted, it basically says that Nabal was an asshole to her, so maybe she was just that grateful to David for rescuing her. David also immediately takes another wife, Ahinoam, who we are told pretty much nothing about. And then there is this one verse, “But Saul had given Michal his daughter, David’s wife, to Palti the son of Laish who was from Gallim.” (44) What in the world is up with that? I know David left Michal behind when he had to flee from Saul, but how does that give Saul the right to give her to another man?
I suspect that Saul considered Michal to be David’s abandoned property, and thus gave her to another man so he wouldn’t have to support his daughter any more. Or, to try to emotionally wound David. Either way, ugh to the way women get treated in the Bible!
Chapter 26- Saul and his men go out in pursuit of David again. When they are camped that night, David and one of his men sneak in to Saul’s camp, where God has put everyone in to a deep sleep. David’s servant Abishai wants to spear Saul through the head, but David won’t allow it. Instead, he steals Saul’s spear and water jug, then sneaks back out of the camp. From a safe distance, he hollers at Saul’s camp, rebukes Abner (the commander of Saul’s army) for being asleep and not protecting Saul, and asks Saul why he is trying to kill him again. Saul apologizes again, and they go their separate ways again.
I really am happy to see David taking the high road on so many occasions and not killing people willy-nilly. But, a little part of me wants him to just off Saul already. This guy clearly isn’t going to keep up his end of the don’t-hunt-David-down-and-try-to-kill-him bargain… and, maybe the Bible’s murderous ways gotten in to my head. Shame on me. David’s doing the right thing.
Chapter 27- David realizes that Saul isn’t going to give up trying to kill him, so he flees back to Achish, king of Gath (a Philistine). He lives with the Philistines for about a year and a half, then Achish gives him his own place to live in Ziklag. David goes out and kills Achish’s enemies, and Achish believes that David will be his faithful servant from here on out.
Ah, David’s murderous side has returned! “Whenever David attacked the land, he left neither man nor woman alive, but took away the sheep, the oxen, the donkeys, the camel, and the apparel, and returned and came to Achish.” (9)
I suspect that Achish is in for a surprise when David betrays him. I feel it coming.
What is compelling these Philistines to trust David, anyway? He has a history of killing the Philistines, and gained his fame by taking out Goliath. I’m not entirely sure why Achish thought it was a good idea to take David in and trust him.