Friday, February 23, 2018

Samuel 11-12

Every self respecting fantasy series should have a map of their fictional worlds. Unfortunately, Jesus and James do not respect themselves. Whenever the book mentions nations outside of the Israelites, I opt to zone out and pray those nations are never brought up again. Thus far this strategy has served me well but I can ignore it no longer. 

I have made a map for the following chapters, just as I have made family trees and character backgrounds in the past. Yet again, I must carry Jesus and James' dead weight.

I'd make maps for the whole book but I'm a busy 21st century woman with murder podcasts to listen to and existential dread to ruminate over. 

Here's the map. Feel free to bask in its glorious detail:

Nailed it. 

We don't know much about these other nations and given how much this book likes to disappoint me, we probably never will. All we really know is that the Israelite God told the Israelites that they get to rule over everyone else and everyone else tends to disagree. Conflict ensues. I've been reading this book for four years. 

Chapter 11:

Tall, handsome, donkey lover Saul is the King now and it's time to prove himself. The challenger? Nahash, the King of the Ammonites and collector of eyeballs. Nahash gets a whole footnote to himself which in the bible is the equivalent of his own biography. I would title that biography "What Are You Going To Do With All Those Eyeballs, Nashash?":

"Now Nahash king of the Ammonites oppressed the Gadies and Reubenites severely. He gouged out all their right eyes and struck terror and dread in Israel. Not a man remained among the Israelites beyond the Jordan whose right eye was not gouged out by Nash king of the Ammonites"

Question Corner with MJ:

1. Why the right eye?

2. Do you have stock in an eye patch company?

3. Peeled grapes were too expensive for your haunted house?

4. World's grossest McPlayPlace ball pit?

5. Do you have a pirate fetish?

6. Are you deficient in Vitamin A and supplementing your diet with eyeball smoothies?

What are your theories readers? What would you do with a nation's worth of right eyes?

The chapter starts in Jabesh Gilead which is a Israel...probably. Nahash has besieged Jabesh Gilead. He offers to treaty with them should they surrender. The treaty terms are not ideal. Nahash demands to gouge out every single person's right eyeball. He's got a new melon baller he's been dying to try out. 

The people of Jabesh Gilead are particularly and literally attached to their eyeballs so they're a little hesitant. They ask for seven days to consider whether or not to become a nation of cyclops people. They ask to send a message throughout Israel to beg for help and if no one comes to rescue them, they will agree to surrender. I have literally no idea what's in it for Nahash.

Saul's town gets the letter requesting help. They read it aloud and cry together. I like that. Dry eyed stoicism is overrated and toxic. We should all be crying more. I wish I lived in a town that did group crying. Sober group crying. 

Saul shows up late to the crying party and wants to know what all the weeping is about. 

They tell him and Saul is displeased. So displeased that...

"The spirit of the lord came powerfully upon him."

Welcome to The Holy Bible Book Review Blog Drinking Game everyone! Take a shot!

Saul gets angry. Saul gets Samson level angry and you know what people do in this book do when they get angry? 

Weird. Murdery. Shit. 

"He took a pair of oxen, cut them into pieces, and sent the pieces by messengers throughout Israel, proclaiming, 'This is what will be done to the oxen of anyone who does not follow Saul and Samuel.'"

Heyo! Dismembered body parts are sent as a weird threat through the postal service. Two shots! I think I just figured out how to make reading this book fun and it only took me four years to do it. 

The Israelites come together to fight for Saul the Oxen Slayer and fight they do. They slaughter the Ammonites secretly in the night, just like all the other heroic protagonists from your childhood bedtime stories. All the Jabesh Gilead eyes are saved, but alas the local eye patch tailor goes out of business and his wife leaves him. It's not all black and white you guys. 

Chapter 12

Samuel says he's going to retire but not before another round of incoherent nagging. Channeling Moses before him, he rants about how the Israelites are ungrateful, Lord saved them from slavery in Egypt, etc. Take 3 shots.

After the guilting, Samuel reassures everyone that as long as the Israelite people and Saul obey God, they'll be fine:

" 'Do not be afraid,' Samuel replied. 'You have done all this evil; yet do not turn away from the Lord, but serve the Lord with all your heart.'"

Don't be afraid but also don't forget to be afraid. Does that make sense?

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