Wednesday, September 6, 2023

Kings I

Wow kids. Would you believe I haven't touched this thing in 3 years? I would. Reading this book is sheer torture and I will not apologize for abandoning you. However, I have returned. 

Will I finish this book before the world ends? Should I have started this blog on something other than Blogger? Will I bring back gifs despite Gen Z hating them? Who can say?  Let's make like Angela Bassett and do the thing. 

They can pry gifs and high-waist jeans out of my cold, dead hands

I'll square with you. I barely remember what has happened up to this point and I will not be rereading this book.

Kings I: 

We start things of with King David who is still alive and in charge because there are no term limits, which is FINE. He isn't doing so hot. He is very cold in fact. So cold that blankets cannot warm him. The solution?: 

'Let us look for a young virgin to serve the king and take care of him. She can lie beside him so that our lord the king may keep warm'

Yeah, checks out. Get this old, cold man his emotional support virgin. A young one. 

They searched for a beautiful one, because ugly girls cannot generate their own heat, let alone spare any for royalty. They find Abishag. I know what you're thinking, but don't even worry about it: 

" . . . the king had no sexual relations with her."

It kind of makes it weirder, right?

While King David is busy cuddling and slowly dying, one of his sons, Adonijah, schemes to take over the throne which was promised to one of his other sons, Solomon. You're probably thinking this will lead to intrigue and a battle of some kind because you've forgotten what most of this book is like. What actually happens is, Solomon is sent on a mule to Gihon which is a place, to be anointed as king. Adonijah begs forgiveness and...that's pretty much it. 

Kings II: 

King David dies but not before giving his final will and testament to Solomon. Mostly, it's just his dad's unfinished kill list of people who wronged him. His final words to his son are:

"You are a man of wisdom; you will know what to do to him. Bring his gray head down to the grave in blood."

David promised God he wouldn't kill these people, but Solomon didn't. David plants murder seeds that he will not have the joy of reaping himself and that's beautiful. 

Solomon's trifling brother, Adonijah, asks Solomon's mom to ask Solomon if he can marry David's cuddle widow, Abishag. Also, this is how people ask for favors:

"Now I have one request to make of you. Do not refuse me."

Bathsheba (Solomon's mom) passes along the message because of reasons:

" 'I have one small request to make of you,” she said. “Do not refuse me.' "

This is how I'm asking for favors from now on. 

 Solomon says he will not refuse his mother, but when he hears the request, he does not take it well. 

" 'May God deal with me, be it ever so severely, if Adonijah does not pay with his life for this request!'"

Look at Solomon. He's King for 1 minute and he's already carrying out his own murder debts. 

Solomon tells his assassin, Benaiah, to take his brother out and he does. Solomon then tells Benaiah to take care of his father's hit list. Abiathar, the priest is stripped of his priesthood and sent away. Joab tries to make a run for it and hides in the tabernacle which is supposed to be a safe place, but Solomon orders Benaiah to take him out anyway. Solomon exiles Shumei with the condition that if he leaves his land, he will be put to death. 3 years later, Shumei leaves his land to catch his runaway slaves and Solomon is as good as his word: 

" 'You know in your heart all the wrong you did to my father David. Now the Lord will repay you for your wrongdoing.' "

The wrongdoing isn't the slavery btw. That's FINE here. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2020

II Samuel 22-24

Chapter 22:

David gets back to his musician roots as he faces his mid life crisis to sing a song about God. We're not going to go over the whole song but here's a snippet I made for you using mine own angelic pipes for singing and angelic hands for drawing and angelic lack of shame for posting this on the internet. You're welcome.

Chapter 23: 

David is dying so it is time for him to sing a song speech about what an awesome leader he was.

" 'If my house were not right with God,
    surely he would not have made with me an everlasting covenant,
    arranged and secured in every part;
surely he would not bring to fruition my salvation
    and grant me my every desire.
But evil men are all to be cast aside like thorns,
    which are not gathered with the hand.
Whoever touches thorns
    uses a tool of iron or the shaft of a spear;
    they are burned up where they lie.' ”

TLDR: David was perfect and the evidence of that was that God kept a covenant with him. God dumps evil men and they deserve it.

Hey remember that time David committed adultery by sleeping with another man's wife he had been spying on while walking along the rooftops like pervert Batman? And remember when he made that husband go die in battle for him so no one would know?

Oh hey and remember that time he took Saul's daughter away from her husband and forced her to marry him?

And that time he ignored his daughter's incestuous rape?

Typically when a public figure dies, we all forget the bad shit they did. David is already doing that for us.

The book then seamlessly transitions to discussing David's three best warriors. One of them killed 800 people at once. That's like 2x my graduating high school class size. That's a lot of dead people for a good guy to create.

The other two murder buddies were also successful in killing Philistines says the book with no examples or details.

Once the three warriors snuck behind enemy territory just to get David a drink of water from his favorite well. Instead of saying thank you, David complains and pours the water out for his sky murder friend.  

If David's ungrateful ass ever came to my home.

Chapter 24: 

God is mad. David does a census. God is mad about that. There must be punishment for counting people BECAUSE OF REASONS. David can choose between 3 years of famine, 3 months of running from his enemies or 3 days of plague.

David chooses the plague because plagues as we all know now, are so not a big deal.

70,000 people die.

There is an angel of pestilence doing the killing which sounds very cool but the book wastes the opportunity as a passing sentence. Fortunately the internet did not let me down:

This is the only angel I want on top of my Christmas tree from now on. 

David says that only he should be punished instead. His punishment is to build an altar and have a BBQ just for God.  Then, everything is fine. Except for all the people that died. They're definitely going to have to redo the census now.

That is the end of II Samuel and of all the Samuels!

It only took around 3 years to do it. The next chapter is Kings. Let's see if we can get it done in a swift 2 years.

Monday, February 24, 2020

II Samuel 21

Chapter 21:

God causes a famine to send a message. God does not have unlimited texts, so this is his only option.  

David: What's wrong now?

God: The Gibeonites.

David: Like the monkeys?

God: No, the Gibeonites. 

David: K.

God: Saul killed them. He wasn't supposed to do that. Now, it's your problem. 

David asks the Gibeonites, who are not monkeys, but who I am picturing as monkeys regardless and no one can stop me, what they would like as reparation for all of the murder. 

"'We have no right to demand silver or gold from Saul or his family, nor do we have the right to put anyone in Israel to death.'"

They seem nice, right? 

"'What do you want me to do for you?' David asked."

"'As for the man who destroyed us and plotted agaist us so that we have been decimated and have no place anywhere in Israel, let seven of his male descendants be given to us to be killed and their bodies exposed before the Lord at Gibeah of Saul'"

They want 7 of Saul's sons to die. No daughters though. That wouldn't be a punishment. Finally, the patriarchy pays off.

David spares Mesphibosheth, the son of Jonathan, because of his totally no homo love for Jonathan. Instead, he demands the children of Saul's former concubines be killed. 

The 7 sons are put down humanely, with just a bit of impaling. They leave their bodies exposed on top of a hill. That'll teach people not to be descendants of the wrong guy. Lesson learned. 

One of the mothers, Rizpah, grieves her sons by keeping vigil over the bodies. She sits on a rock and wards off animals from the mandatory open casket funeral. Apparently, she didn't want to see her dead sons' faces eaten off in addition to the impaling. Weird how concubines love their kids too. 

David feels a touch guilty and gathers all the bones to give them a proper funeral. He also finds the stolen bones of Saul and Jonathan. Did the book mention they were stolen before? No idea. I'm not checking. Saul and Jonathan are buried too. The curse is ended as is the famine. God is a bit like a ghost haunting a house until you avenge something. God is nothing if not extra.

David tries to participate in war games and almost gets killed by a giant. His people remind him that he is old and no one wants to see an old man fighting because it is embarrassing for everyone involved. 

The Israelites fight and kill Philistine giants which should be exciting but Jesus and James make sure that doesn't happen. This book is the cornflakes of books. Sometimes there's a raisin sure, but not enough to keep me going and the longer it takes me to read this book, the soggier those flakes get. This metaphor is flawless. 

Monday, December 23, 2019

II Samuel 19-20

Sup Bible Benches.

Chapter 19:

David mourns the loss of his son, Absalom, who literally just died.

Joab, who secretly murdered that son, wants David to get over it. 

"'Today you have humiliated all your men, who have just saved your life and the lives of your sons and daughters and the lives of your wives and concubines. You love those who hate you and hate those who love you. You have made it clear today that the commanders and their men mean nothing to you. I see that you would be pleased if Absalom were alive today and all of us were dead. Now go out and encourage your men. I swear by the Lord that if you don't go out, not a man will be left with you by nightfall.'"

Most of Israel had sided with Absalom because Absalom was objectively better in every way. Now that Absalom is dead and they're stuck with David, things are a little awkward. David tells them no hard feelings and even replaces Joab with Absalom's former commander. 

Suck it Joab.

Shimei, who cursed David's name before, apparently didn't mean it. David is encouraged to put him to death because freedom of speech is not yet a thing. David opts for the forgiveness option instead. Sounds like someone is soft on crime to me.

David divides some land between elderly men. I could go into further detail but we have all suffered enough this year.

Other Israelite regions complain the town of Judah is monopolizing the king. The people of Judah "press their claims more forcefully" ie shout louder, and win.

Chapter 20: 

David returns to the concubines that led to him being eskimo brothers with his own son. Instead of punishing them for something they had no control over, he gives them the palace they were house sitting and never has sex with them again.They are kept in confinement until their death which sounds awful but the entire world of this book sounds awful, so maybe it's not so bad. Is this how sorority houses got their start?

David must face off with another contender named Sheba. David's entire life consists of killing men who think they could be a better king because democracy does not yet exist.

David sends his new commander Amasa after Sheba but he never returns. He then sends Joab and Joab's brother Abishai after them. They find him a few sentences later and Joab gets to partake in his stabbing hobby:

"Joab was wearing his military tunic, and strapped over it at his waist was a belt with a dagger in its sheath. As she stepped forward, it dropped out of its sheath.

Joab said to Amasa, 'How are you, my brother?' Then Joab took Amasa by the beard with his right hand to kiss him. Amasa was not on his guard against the dagger in Joab's hand, and Joab plunged it into his belly, and his intestines spilled out on the ground."

They hide his body on the side of the road and continue on their murder trip to find Sheba. When they get to the city of Abel, they are met with an old lady. She does not get a name but she does get the adjective of "old" which is more important to her identity than her name. 

Old lady wants to know why they want to come and threaten a peaceful city. Joab gets very defensive and says he does not wants trouble, he just wants to murder someone. The old lady is very helpful and says he'll get Sheba's head tossed over the wall to him. That is what happens. This mystery woman keeps the peace by decapitating anyone for anyone who asks and Joab gets to lead David's army again. 

So uh...happy holidays. 

Friday, September 27, 2019

II Samuel 17-18

Chapter 17:

Before we get into this chapter, I think we're going to need a character review.

King David: Long backstory. God's #1 ride or die. He was once a humble musician for King Saul. The gig came with more attempted murder than a musician typically expects, but luckily Saul had the aim of a storm trooper.  Eventually the entire Saul family dies without David having to lift a hand against them. Very convenient.

Absalom: King David's son. He once killed his eldest half brother for raping their sister. Israel loves this guy. I love this guy. He has very kissable hands. Now, Absalom is trying to take the throne from his father. This book wants me to root against him but this book and David can suck a pillar of salt because I'm team Absalom all the way baby.

Ahitophel: Once David's counselor, known for giving good advice. Absalom kidnaps him which I'm fine with.

Hushai: David's spy, planted to give Absalom bad advice and ruin his judgment.

Zadok and Abiathar: David's priest spies. Don't get your hopes up. They're not going to be interesting.

Jonathan and Ahimaaz: Zadok's sons. That's not mentioned in the book. I had to look that up. You're welcome.

I recommend you make index cards to quiz yourself on these names before you keep reading.


Ahitophel gives good advice to Absalom because that's his thing. He suggests the way for Absalom to win the throne is by attacking David and his followers while they are tired and unprepared wandering the desert. Everyone agrees this is a very good idea.

For no real reason at all, Absalom wants Hushai's opinion. Hushai, a stranger with no qualifications. Absalom wants to make sure both sides get an equal say despite both sides not having equal qualifications or education in the matter.

Hushai, the human form of a Russian facebook ad, suggests they blow any surprise or advantage. He says not to underestimate David or his men, that they are unstoppable murder machines "'as fierce as a wild bear robbed of her cubs'" and could be hiding in a cave and ambush them.

Hushai's alternative dumb plan is to ruin any element of surprise and alert all of Israel that Absalom needs fighters and attack David later. You know, so he has time to rest, plan, and hear about any attack, and I don't know...ambush them.

Everyone decides Hushai's plan is better because "God made them."

Sometimes people have the freewill to do evil and they face the consequences for that, maybe and sometimes God makes them do things evil things, and they still face consequences for that. I assume this book has a nihilist perspective that good and evil are relative concepts and everything is ultimately meaningless.

Anyway, Hushai passes the inside information to the spy priests, Zadok and Abiathar. He tells them that David and his men should continue on past the fords. You know the fords. Just in case Absalom and his men wisen up and listen to the qualified counselor and send men out right away.

The priests pass this info onto a "female servant" who gets no name. FS is supposed to pass this onto Jonathan and Ahimaaz who for all we would have known are random dudes but thanks to my extra effort which exceeds the effort of the writers of this book, we know they are Zadok's sons. However, while female servant is continuing the endless game of telephone, the sons are spotted. Why is the priest dad trusted but his sons aren't? Reasons.

The sons have to go on the run, they hide in a well to hide from their pursuers and make it out safely. Alls well that ends well.

They pass the info onto David.

Ahitophel is so bummed people don't take his advice, he literally goes home and kills himself. I'm not joking.

"'When Ahitophel saw that his advice had not been followed, he saddled his donkey and set out for his house in his hometown. He put his house in order and then hanged himself.'"

Chapter 18:

David and Absalom's men are ready to rumble. David wants to go out and fight but his men remind him that his is a politician now and must let other people die for him. David asks that they be gentle with his son Absalom. He has a different approach to fatherhood than Saul did.

There is a forest battle. It is not described because this is not Lord of the Rings but maaaaybe there are still ents?:

". . . the casualties that day were great-twenty thousand men. The battle spread out over the whole countryside, and the forest swallowed up more men that day than the sword."

David's men find Absalom and wouldn't you know it, something goes wrong. Absalom's hair gets caught in a tree (fucking ent) and holds him there as his donkey abandons him. Two men argue about what to do. One wants to murder and one wants to listen to their king. Murder wins out as it so often does in this book:

"Joab said, 'I'm not going to wait like this for you.' So he took three javelins in his hand and plunged them into Absalom's heart while Absalom was still alive in the oak tree. And ten of Joab's armor-bearers surrounded Absalom, struck him and killed him.'"

And once again a likable character in this book is taken from us too soon.

The soldiers bury his body in the forest. According to this book's logic, they disobeyed the king chosen by God and killed one of the family members of the king chosen by God, both things David avoided doing and punished other people for doing so. Ergo, if this book is consistent, they will definitely be punished. Definitely.

When they deliver the news of victory to David, he asks about this son and a soldier with zero bedside manner breaks the news:

"'May the enemies of my lord the king and all who rise up to harm you be like that young man.'" 

David reacts with emotions instead of stoicism which is refreshing. He goes to his room to cry and wishes he had died instead of his son.

Friday, September 13, 2019

II Samuel 15-16

Happy birthday to me. It's Friday the 13th, a full moon, and I'm 30. Unfortunately there are no blood sacrifices in these chapters to honor my big day but there are hostile political takeovers and orgies so let's party!

Chapter 15:

Absalom's hobbies include riding in a chariot while 50 men run ahead in front of him. Not attached. Unfortunately, he does not use these men like sled dogs. Though it is not specified whether or not the men are riding in chariots or if they are simply made to run ahead in a parade like fashion, with costumes or possibly topless. Feel free to picture what ever version sparks the most joy for you.

It is not explained why Absalom does this, but we already know he sets fires for attention, so this is not out of character.

Absalom also likes to start his day standing by the city gate waiting for someone who needs help. Absalom helps by telling them that there is no representative for the king for them to talk to:

"If only I were appointed judge of the land, I would see they receive justice."

When Absalom walked the streets, people would bow and kiss his hand. He stole the hearts of the people of Israel; his hands were that stunning.

Absalom continues his mysterious antics by telling David he must go to Hebron. He promised God he would worship in Hebron if he was ever able to return to Jerusalem. This reminds me of when Samuel's mother promised God a baby if he got her pregnant then she gave him the thing she wanted in the first place. No one in this book makes sense.

Absalom leaves for Hebron and begins a political coup through the power of lies and gossip.

"'As soon as you hear the sound of the trumpets, then say, 'Absalom is king in Hebron.'"

Absalom knows that if you keep saying a lie, it will eventually become the truth and literally nothing has changed.

Absalom invites David's best counselors to Hebron, where he holds them captive for their advise. Something to consider doing if you lack mental health insurance.

King David hears that Absalom won all the hearts of Israel. He is king now. Absalom will steal your heart, your girl and your Israel.

David plans an escape and leaves ten concubines in charge of the palace which is the story we would all prefer to read.

Ittai who doesn't matter wants to tag along.

David:  "We're literally just going to wander the desert. This never goes well for our people."

David sends Zadok with God's pokeball back to town, believing if God isn't angry with him, he might see it again one day.

Everyone cries which is a waste of fluids when hiking through the desert.

David sends Hushai to give bad counsel to Absalom.

Could several of these characters have been condensed into one character to save time and energy? Yes, yes they could have.

Chapter 16:

David and his men find help but Shimei liked Saul better and expresses his political opinion by  throwing rocks at David. David allows this so he can indulge in self pity.

"'My son, my own flesh and blood, is trying to kill me. How much more, then, this Benjamite! Leave him alone; let him curse, for the Lord has told him to. It may be that the Lord will look upon my misery and restore to me his covenant blessing instead of his curse today.'"

God's followers do not take his breakups well. God really is a woman.

Hushai pledges to help Absalom. Absalom is skeptical of help from someone who would betray his king. I would argue accepting help from a counselor who betrays David makes more sense than accepting help from the counselor you stole from David but I am a woman and would be stoned to death for giving an opinion.

The stolen counselor gives Absalom some kinky advise that fulfills a prophecy and presumably the counselor's personal fantasy:

"'Sleep with your father's concubines whom he left to take care of the palace. Then all Israel will hear that you have made yourself obnoxious to your father, and the hands of everyone with you will be more resolute.'"


Monday, July 29, 2019

II Samuel 14

Welcome back Bible Babes. Last time there was incest rape then fratricide. King David's family has very uncomfortable family reunions. 

David's oldest son raped his own sister and faced no consequences until my new fave Absalom threw him a murder party. Absalom fled town, not knowing that David didn't actually miss his rapist son. Anyway, David has spare sons because sibling rivalry often leads to murder in royal families. 

It's just a matter of time. 

Chapter 14:

Joab wants to see King David reunited with his son so he plots a scheme that uses David's biggest weakness against him: metaphors.  He tells a woman to pretend she is grieving over one son murdering another son. She says she doesn't want her other son to die and would like David to pardon him. David agrees to do this and is not reminded of anything in his personal life whatsoever. David was never very good in English class. He does not know how to apply texts to his own life. Again, God likes his kings dumb and pretty. 

Eventually, after many many paragraphs, David starts to catch on. 

"'Isn't the hand of Joab with you in all this?'"

The fake widow pretends that David is a genius and compliments his perceptiveness. Joab comes out and begs David to take Absalom back. David agrees with some conditions:

"'He must go to his own house; he must not see my face.'"

Absalom agrees to avoid his parents which grown children do without having to be told. He lives this way for 2 years. In other news, the writers want you to know that Absalom is hot. Like, super hot. 

"In all Israel there was not a man so highly praised for his handsome appearance as Absalom. From the top of his head to the sole of his foot there was no blemish in him."

Absalom is a rape avenging ally with flawless skin, but wait, there's more. 

"Whenever he cut the hair of his head-he used to cut his hair once a year because it became too heavy for him-he would weigh it, and its weight was two hundred shekels"

And he probably donated it all to cancer patients. 

He has three sons and a daughter. He names his daughter TAMAR which in case you forgot from the last chapter which is reasonable because I haven't written in 3 months, Tamar is the name of his sister who was raped! Who Absalom avenged! Through murder! Remember?!

After 2 years, Absalom is over the silent treatment and sends for Joab so he can see his father. Joab ignores him so Absalom does the reasonable thing and has his field set on fire. 

Joab comes to Absalom and asks: Why? 

Absalom: You ignored me. 

Absalom is perfection. Absalom is the second coming of Samson my hairy murder angel. 

He demands to see his dad or he'll leave again, he accepts the possibility that his father will have him killed but he doesn't care because he misses his dad. 

David summons Absalom: "and he came in and bowed down with his face to the ground before the king. And the king kissed Absalom."

Let's end on the nice note before things get awful again.