A nonbeliever's SECOND reading of the Bible

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

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

David loses one wife, while collecting two more (1 Samuel, Chapter 25)

Abigail meets David and gives him an "assload" of supplies.  Image from Grace Doctrine.

The events of this chapter occur shortly after the prophet Samuel passes away.  It's about how David collects two wives at the same time.

In the town of Maon, a rich man named Nabal and his wife Abigail lived.  Nabal owned 3,000 sheep and 1,000 goats.  David heard that Nabal was shearing his sheep, so he sent some men over to demand that Nabal give to David whatever he has.  Their justification: they never harmed or insulted Nabal's shepherds!

Nabal says no, because he basically never heard of David before; and this pisses off David!  David complained that he and his men guarded Nabal's possessions in the desert and this is how he gets repaid - the nerve of the man.  David then began cursing Nabal and his men.  Apparently, one of the worst curses in the Bronze Age is to accuse the enemy of "pissing against the wall".  As he tells his men to strap on their swords, David says this, which is a puzzling insult to us Homo sapiens living in the 21st century: "May God curse me and worse if I leave alive a single of his men that piss against the wall!"

On the way to wreak havoc on Maon, one of Nabal's servants did confirm to Nabal's wife that David's men were nice to them.  So, she (Abigail) collects 200 loaves of bread, two wine skins, five prepared sheep, five bags of roasted grain, 100 bunches of raisins, and 200 figs and loads them on a donkey.  She meets David with literally an assload of provisions and this satisifies David. She didn't tell Nabal that she would do this.

Later, after a night of partying, Nabal wakes up sober and that's when Abigail breaks the news about what she did.  I guess the news was so heart-breaking that Nabal died of a heart attack, and then ten days later Yahweh finishes the job.

After he dies, David takes Abigail as his own wife, and then another wife named Ahinoam of Jezreel.  Wow!  I don't understand the nuances of this, but I guess Saul takes David's first wife and gives her to another man.  Maybe Saul has some sort of special privilege where he can just take a man's wife and give her to someone else?

In any case, it's a very interesting read and a very weird story.

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