Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Sheba lost his head!

The civil war was very short.

One day king David was fleeing from Jerusalem across Jordan. A week later, or so, he is coming back across the Jordan, victorious as King again.

Lots of funny stories (at least, from my warped sense of humor). Here's one...

On the way out, Shimei lets his true feelings be known... 5 -8 "When the king got to Bahurim, a man appeared who had connections with Saul's family. His name was Shimei son of Gera. As he followed along he shouted insults and threw rocks right and left at David and his company, servants and soldiers alike. To the accompaniment of curses he shouted, "Get lost, get lost, you butcher, you hellhound! God has paid you back for all your dirty work in the family of Saul and for stealing his kingdom. God has given the kingdom to your son Absalom. Look at you now—ruined! And good riddance, you pathetic old man!"
9 Abishai son of Zeruiah said, "This mangy dog can't insult my master the king this way—let me go over and cut off his head!"
10 But the king said, "Why are you sons of Zeruiah always interfering and getting in the way? If he's cursing, it's because God told him, 'Curse David.' So who dares raise questions?" (2 Samuel 16)

On David's way back in (a week later) this guy is in a pickle... "Even Shimei son of Gera, the Benjaminite from Bahurim, hurried down to join the men of Judah so he could welcome the king, a thousand Benjaminites with him... 18 -20 Shimei son of Gera bowed deeply in homage to the king as soon as he was across the Jordan and said, "Don't think badly of me, my master! Overlook my irresponsible outburst on the day my master the king left Jerusalem—don't hold it against me! I know I sinned, but look at me now—the first of all the tribe of Joseph to come down and welcome back my master the king!"
21 Abishai son of Zeruiah interrupted, "Enough of this! Shouldn't we kill him outright? Why, he cursed God's anointed!"
22 But David said, "What is it with you sons of Zeruiah? Why do you insist on being so contentious? Nobody is going to be killed today. I am again king over Israel!"
23 Then the king turned to Shimei, "You're not going to die." And the king gave him his word." (2 Samuel 19)

But one event was not funny. Not funny at all.

I guess Sheba got inspired by Absolom. 1 "Just then a good-for-nothing named Sheba son of Bicri the Benjaminite blew a blast on the ram's horn trumpet, calling out, We've got nothing to do with David, there's no future for us with the son of Jesse! Let's get out of here, Israel—head for your tents!
2 -3 So all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bicri." (2 Samuel 20)

How would you like to be called a "good-for-nothing" in the holy book? Just a thought.

Anyway. The thought didn't last long. David sent the army to hunt this guy down. They laid seige to the city. A wise woman talked to Joab, who asked for the young man's head. The head was thrown over the wall. The insurrection was over.

You could say Joab travelled a long way to get a head!

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