A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible
Hunc tu caveto.

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Meet Doeg the Edomite: The Ancient Terminator (1 Samuel, Chapter 22)

Doeg slays priests in the town of Nob.  Image from Mud Preacher.

In the Terminator movies, Skynet sends a Terminator (a robot assassin) back into time to "TER-muh-NATE" the future leader of the Resistance, John Connor.  In the days of the ancient Israelites, 1 Samuel tells the tale of a jealous King Saul sending "Doeg the Edomite" to assassinate a potential rival for the crown, David.

This guy Doeg doesn't mess around.  Apparently, he was the chief servant of Saul, and very loyal.  After hearing that David had fled to the town of Nob, Saul and his servants traveled to the little town.  Saul gets into a minor dispute with a priest named Ahimelech, and afterward asks his servants to slay the priests.  None of them moved.

So Saul turned to loyal Doeg and asks him to kill the priests.  Without question, Doeg turned on his heals and commenced slayed 85 priests.  He even killed multiple men, women, and children of the town too!

The only person who managed to escape was the son of Ahimelech, Abiathar, who fled and found David, reporting all he had seen.  David felt bad for Abiathar.  David actually felt partially to blame for the death of all Abiathar's family.

David told Abiathar not to worry or be scared, because he is safe with him.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

David Acts Insane to Escape From Saul's Anger (1 Samuel, Chapter 21)

David acts insane, letting drool dribble over his beard and onto the ground, and begins pounding his fists into the floor.  
This image is from the Brick Testament, which is a hilarious source for Biblical material.

Over the time I've been reading the Bible again, I've learned that approaching the Bible strictly as a "moral code" is ridiculous, and that's just the wrong way to look at it.  It's also wrong to take it seriously or literally.  I suspect that's why so many Christians don't want to read the Bible from cover to cover; because shortly after the first two verses of Genesis, it loses credibility as a tale about reality and so we'd rather just hear the preacher's explanation instead.

However, if we look at it as a source of entertainment, where we can read about some really interesting behavior, the Bible is great.  Sure, it's badly written, but once we stop taking it seriously, ironically it becomes easy to read.  The cognitive dissonance goes away.

In this chapter of 1 Samuel, David is afraid of King Saul's wrath.  If we remember, David is seen as something of a war hero because he killed Goliath on the battlefield.  Now, he is seen as being chosen by God Himself.  King Saul recognizes this and basically wants to kill David before he becomes a threat to his power.

David runs away, and in this chapter he even approaches the enemies of Israel (the kingdom of Gath) to escape from Saul.  But some people in Gath recognized David since he was famous by that time, and called him out on it.  He then acted like a madman, scribbling on some gates, drooling, and hitting the ground with his fists, just so they'd think he WASN'T David!

For some reason, he thought that if he acted like a mad man, they'd change their mind and protect him from Saul.

The chapter closes with Achish, who is the king of Gath, asking, "Have I need of madmen, that you brought this guy to me?"

Perhaps madmen were treated as entertainment back then?  Or was he just being sarcastic?  I guess we'll find out next time.


Wednesday, February 01, 2012

David and Jonathan Kiss Each Other Goodbye (1 Samuel, Chapter 20)


Again, this relationship between Jonathan and David seems a lot closer than the standard friendship.  There's nothing with that, of course.  And, it's vague enough and ancient enough in context to forgive their kissing and hugging and standing around naked with each other.

However, I've been hearing from apologists, who always make me roll my eyes, that there's no way that these two are gay.  I'm still on the fence on this, but I can't dismiss it as easily as they can, ESPECIALLY after reading this chapter!  Once again, I personally don't care if they're gay.  The only thing that's wrong about them being gay is the context behind the book (The Bible) which I'm reading it, which seems to readily condemn gays.

King Saul, the father of Jonathan, seems to know what's going on between his son and David.  Whether he suspects his son Jonathan of being gay, or perhaps just being more sympathetic to David instead of his own father's crown is not clear.  But when Saul confronts Jonathan, he says this: "You son of a perverse, rebellious woman!  I know you've chosen [David] to your own confusion, and unto the confusion of your mother's nakedness!"

Wow!

You'd almost think Saul caught the two guys making out.

But no, for the record the Bible doesn't state explicitly the nature of their relationship.  It says they love each other, it says they held hands, hugged, kissed, stood around naked, etc.  But it never says they're gay.

Well, Jonathan gets the hint that his dad (King Saul) wants to kill David.  So, he runs to David and tells him.  They even do a gay little pre-planned ritual where David is waiting in a field, Jonathan shoots three arrows and sends a boy to fetch them.  If the "the arrows are to the side" of the boy, David (who is looking on from a hiding spot), will see it as King Saul being cool with David. If, on the other hand, "the arrows are beyond" the boy, David will see that king intends to kill him.  

Yes, I know.  This isn't "gay" behavior.  They're not doing anything explicitly homosexual.  I mean it's "gay" because it's just over-the-top and a little dramatic.

When the time comes to shoot the arrows, the message is obviously that the arrows are beyond.  Jonathan shoots an arrow beyond the boy.  After seeing this, and after the unknowing participant (the boy) leaves, David comes out of hiding and embraces Jonathan.

This is essentially their final goodbye (I think), because David must flee.  They hug, they cry, and they kiss each other farewell.