DAVID’S CORONATION as king over all Israel is the focus of this week’s Old Testament study. We discuss the Mighty Men who served David, some of whom are described in language that makes them almost seem superhuman.
And we read several Psalms, one lament and two of thankfulness, which — since we are following a chronological reading order — are appropriate for the period of mourning for Saul and the rise of David to the kingship.
James J. Tissot, ‘The Valiant of Gibeon’ (1896-1902), The Jewish Museum, New York. Click for larger image.
OUR OLD Testament study this week moves to a new phase of David’s life as he is declared king of Judah. The rest of the tribes, however, elect to follow Saul’s son, Ish-Bosheth (called Eshbaal, or “man of Ba’al”, in 1 Chronicles 8:33), who decided that Saul’s headquarters at Gibeah was just a little too close to the territory of Judah, David’s tribe.
WE BEGIN our study of the second of the Historical Books of the Bible. Judges is named for the twelve leaders who were raised up by Yahweh at critical points in Israel’s history from the late 13th century to the mid-11th century B.C., and it chronicles Israel’s slide into apostasy and chaos, showing the need for a godly king to lead them.
Today, we look at the first five judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar (who may have been a devotee of the Canaanite goddess of war), Barak, and Deborah.
We also discuss a few interesting aspects of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5), especially the curse by the Angel of Yahweh (Jesus, if you’ve just joined us) against Meroz. According to a Jewish tradition, Meroz was a group of supernatural inhabitants of the second heaven who refused to fight for Yahweh against the Canaanites.