Tuesday 29 January 2019

Bible Book:
2 Samuel

The men of Israel were defeated there by the servants of David, and the slaughter there was great on that day, twenty thousand men. (v. 7)

2 Samuel 18:1-8 Tuesday 29 January 2019

Psalm: Psalm 64


This passage is the story of the huge battle in which David’s army of mercenaries overcame his rebellious son Absalom, to whom the army of Israel had given allegiance, at the enormous cost of twenty thousand lives.

David does not go out with his army at their request. They say that this is because he is worth too much to them, though some commentators have suggested that they may have considered him a liability, either because of his divided loyalties in fighting his own son or because of his advanced age. David gives careful instruction that they should deal gently with Absalom, which the verses that follow in tomorrow’s reading make clear was not followed.

The mass slaughter on the battlefield echoes uncomfortably with the recent centenary of the First World War, reminding us that lamentably this mode of human conflict endures across millennia.


To Ponder:

  •  How do you understand David’s state of mind in going to battle against his son?
  • What current conflicts come to mind in the light of this passage, and how is your reading of this passage impacted by them?
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