Thursday, May 31, 2018

Samuel 21-22

Hello all. I hope you've been doing well or at least better than poor David, who is at the mercy of his Mad King father-in-law, Saul. 

Most in-law relationships can be difficult, but Saul has been attempting to impale his son-in-law and actual son with spears on a pretty regular basis. 

David finally realized that the whole attempted murder thing was not just a awkward phase for Saul, so he ran away with the help of his brother-in-law/totally platonic BFF, Jonathan. 

Chapter 21:

David runs away and hides at Ahmilek's house. Ahmilek is a priest and usually helps David talk to God and stuff, though now he is suspicious of the situation because David is alone.

David's excuse is that he's on a secret mission. He can't talk about it because it is . . . a secret. He explains that his men are going to meet up with him later and that he needs food for them. Ahmilek does not have normal food. He's too busy talking to God to buy groceries for emergency secret missions:

"I don't have any ordinary bread on hand; however, there is some consecrated bread here-provided the men have kept themselves from women."

Only virgins get carbs?

It is unclear what amount of quarantine time is needed to shed oneself of girl cooties but David is quick to reassure/lie to Ahmilek:

"Indeed women have been kept from us, as usual whenever I set out. The men's bodies are holy even on missions that are not holy. How much more so today!"

David proudly explains that his men can't even get laid when they're allowed to, and so they deserve some bread. 

Ahmilek goes to get the sad virgins some bread and then there is an ominous sentence:

"Now one of Saul's servants was there that day, detained before the Lord; he was Doeg the Edomite, Saul's chief shepherd."

Nothing further is mentioned about this. YET.

David asks Ahmilek if he has any weapons laying around, and guess what happens to just be laying around?

"'The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here'"

Oh, is that all?

Also, I know David has murdered a lot since then, but did Ahmilek seriously have to remind David who Goliath is?

"You remember that guy you killed? Yeah the big, confident one? In the valley?"

David accepts the sword of his slain enemy, and this is finally feeling like the the fantasy book we deserve. 

David's next destination is to see Achish king of Gath who is a Philistine and therefore an enemy of the Israelites. Therefore, DAVID's enemy. 

No character motivations are explained in the slightest. Achish immediately recognizes David because...David made no effort to disguise himself. 

David suddenly realizes that maybe this isn't a great plan or a plan at all. David's next great plan?:

"he pretended to be insane in their presence; and while he was in their hands he acted like a madman, making marks on the doors of the gate and letting saliva run down his beard"

David and Jonathan have similar planning skills. I ship them but I am concerned if they ever did get together officially, they would die very easily. 

Still, David's "plan" works. King Achish makes it clear that he doesn't have time for crazy and quickly shoots up to being my favorite character in this book. He brings in so much sass that I don't even need a reaction gif:

"'Look at the man! He is insane! Why bring him to me? Am I so short of madmen that you have to bring this fellow here to carry on like this in front of me? Must this man come into my house?'"

Chapter 22:

David's next move is to run away to a cave. His family hears about it and joins him in the cave. Also about 400 strangers join him in the cave. The strangers are people who are in distress, debt or discontentment, the three dreaded D's.   

Thinking Corner with MJ:

1. If 400 people found out about David living in a cave, it's not that great of a hiding spot is it?
2. Is David just posting for cave roommates on craigslist?
3.That's a big cave.
4. Their lives were so bad, they chose to live in a cave.
5. Anyone else in student loan debt want to join me in cave life?

David leaves the cave to go ask the king of Moab if he will take his mother and father in and protect them. David is fine living with 400 people in a cave, but living with his parents in that cave was really cramping his style. 

Then, David hides in a stronghold. Then, a prophet named Gad (who was clearly made a prophet just because his name was so similar) tells David to stop hiding and go to Judah. 

So many places. 

This section of the book is giving me Kerouac On the Road vibes. I did not like On the Road. If I've offended anyone who does love that book, I recommend writing a incomprehensible book length fever dream poem about your feelings, that I will never read. 

Meanwhile, back at the Mad King's lair, Saul is lecturing his men for not telling him that Jonathan was helping David. The lecturing goes on for some time, until that ominous sentence from the last chapter finally becomes relevant. 

"But Doeg the Edomite, who was standing with Saul's officials, said, 'I saw the son of Jesse come to Ahimelek'"

Mostly, I'm just shocked that the sentence ended up having a point. 

Saul sends for Ahimelek and all the men in his family and begins the interrogation with light, easy questions:

"'Why have you conspired against me?'"

 Ahimelek explains himself with logic because he doesn't know what he's dealing with:

"'Who of all your servants is as loyal as David, the king's son-in-law, captain of your bodyguard and highly respected in your household? Was that day the first time I inquired of God for him? Of course not! Let not the king accuse your servant or any of his father's family, for your servant knows nothing about this whole affair.'"

Saul: "'You will surely die, Ahimelek, you and your whole family.'"

Saul demands that his men kill Ahimelek and the men in his family, all of the priests, because they were, in his cray mind, conspiring against him. 

The men refuse to kill the priests because maybe these ones actually remember that Crazy Saul has got nothing on Crazy God. 

Saul suddenly remembers his emergency training. When you want help, you have to be specific. He tells Doeg the Edomite, to kill the priests. Doeg kills all 85 of them and yes, I am now picturing Doeg as The Mountain from Game of Thrones. Yes, I still make Game of Thrones references. 

You can't not picture it. 
Doeg really likes extra murder credit, so he takes it upon himself to go to Ahimelek's town and kill every man, woman, child, infant, cow, donkey and sheep there, too. 

One man escapes the murderdome and finds David to tell him what happened. David's response is barely remorseful:

"'I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. Stay with me; don't be afraid. The man wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.'"

Yeah, my bad. I'm the reason everything you love is dead, but do you want to hang out? They're trying to kill me too, so you'll be totally safe with me. Yes, safe with me, the target that brought wrath upon everything you loved in the first place. Have you not moved on yet?

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