5/05/2009

The Heroes of Jabesh

1 Samuel 31:11-13 - When the people of Jabesh Gilead heard of what the Philistines had done to Saul, all their valiant men journeyed through the night to Beth Shan. They took down the bodies of Saul and his sons from the wall of Beth Shan and went to Jabesh, where they burned them. Then they took their bones and buried them under a tamarisk tree at Jabesh, and they fasted seven days.

I wonder if it was difficult to find the bodies at night. Or was it really obvious even in the dark?

I wonder if the fasting was a total abstinence from eating for the entire week. I doubt that they didn't drink any water for the entire 7 days.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

David Saves the Day -- and Everything Else

1 Samuel 30:18-19 - David recovered everything the Amalekites had taken, including his two wives. Nothing was missing: young or old, boy or girl, plunder or anything else they had taken. David brought everything back.

I wonder why the Amalekites didn't kill even one person (or animal?) when they raided Ziklag. They were known for their ruthlessness. They even left one of their own slaves behind, but not the new-found foreigners.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Whose side is David on?

1 Samuel 29:2-3 - As the Philistine rulers marched with their units of hundreds and thousands, David and his men were marching at the rear with Achish. The commanders of the Philistines asked, "What about these Hebrews?"
Achish replied, "Is this not David, who was an officer of Saul king of Israel? He has already been with me for over a year, and from the day he left Saul until now, I have found no fault in him."

I can understand the Philistine commanders' misgivings, but why didn't someone say something earlier before they all left home?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Samuel the Spirit

1 Samuel 28:12 - When the woman saw Samuel, she cried out at the top of her voice and said to Saul, "Why have you deceived me? You are Saul!"

How did seeing the spirit of Samuel tell the woman that her visitor was really Saul?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

4/25/2009

David in Gath

1 Samuel 27:1-4 - But David thought to himself, "One of these days I will be destroyed by the hand of Saul. The best thing I can do is to escape to the land of the Philistines. Then Saul will give up searching for me anywhere in Israel, and I will slip out of his hand."

So David and the six hundred men with him left and went over to Achish son of Maoch king of Gath. David and his men settled in Gath with Achish. Each man had his family with him, and David had his two wives: Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail of Carmel, the widow of Nabal. When Saul was told that David had fled to Gath, he no longer searched for him.

I wonder why Achish didn't have a problem with accepting David and 600 (mostly) Israelite men into his territory. Was it really enough just to be Saul's enemy? That is, anyone who's an enemy of Saul is a friend of mine? Doesn't seem like a particularly smart move on Achish's part.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

David calls out Abner

1 Samuel 26:13-14 - Then David crossed over to the other side and stood on top of the hill some distance away; there was a wide space between them. He called out to the army and to Abner son of Ner, "Aren't you going to answer me, Abner?"
Abner replied, "Who are you who calls to the king?"

I wonder if other soldiers woke when David shouted. They all should have felt as ashamed as Abner. Didn't they have anyone on guard duty?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Nabal and Abigail

1 Samuel 25:3 - His name was Nabal and his wife's name was Abigail. She was an intelligent and beautiful woman, but her husband, a Calebite, was surly and mean in his dealings.

I know marriages were often (always?) arranged by parents in those days, but I still wonder why these two were married. It seems Abigail would have had enough sense not to marry Nabal of her own accord -- unless it was for his wealth. Or maybe Nabal hadn't been so foolisj when they first met.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

4/18/2009

Cutting Corners

1 Samuel 24:4 - The men said, "This is the day the LORD spoke of when he said to you, 'I will give your enemy into your hands for you to deal with as you wish.' " Then David crept up unnoticed and cut off a corner of Saul's robe.

I wonder if Saul was wearing the robe at the time. Maybe he had tossed it aside -- perhaps even farther back into the cave -- where David could get at it more easily. If not, Saul must have been half asleep to not notice David or feel his presence. Or else David was vewy, vewy quiet.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Tattle Tales

1 Samuel 23 (bits of various verses)

1: When David was told
7: Saul was told
9: When David learned
13: When Saul was told
15: [David] learned
25: when David was told
25: When Saul heard

Who is doing all the telling? Are there spies on each side who can move faster than either group and not be captured? Were there other groups of informants like the Ziphites?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Refusing the King's Orders

1 Samuel 22:17 - Then the king ordered the guards at his side: "Turn and kill the priests of the LORD, because they too have sided with David. They knew he was fleeing, yet they did not tell me."
But the king's officials were not willing to raise a hand to strike the priests of the LORD.

I wonder what, if anything, happened to those guards who refused to kill the priests. They did the right thing -- obeying God rather than men -- by not killing innocent people, but Saul may have had punishments doled out to them anyway.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

4/11/2009

Goliath's Sword

1 Samuel 21:8-9 - David asked Ahimelech, "Don't you have a spear or a sword here? I haven't brought my sword or any other weapon, because the king's business was urgent."

The priest replied, "The sword of Goliath the Philistine, whom you killed in the Valley of Elah, is here; it is wrapped in a cloth behind the ephod. If you want it, take it; there is no sword here but that one."
David said, "There is none like it; give it to me."

I wonder how Goliath's sword came to have a home with the priests of Nob. Why hadn't David or Saul kept it after David had used it on Goliath?

I wonder how heavy the sword was. David had used it once before but not really in hand to hand combat. Was he strong enough to wield it effectively now?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Ahimelech

1 Samuel 21:1 - David went to Nob, to Ahimelech the priest. Ahimelech trembled when he met him, and asked, "Why are you alone? Why is no one with you?"

Why was Ahimelech trembling? Was it out of fear? Worry? Awe? Excitement?

Why was he so curious about David being alone? What did he suspect as David's reason for being alone? Running away? Chasing someone? Abandonment? A secret mission (as David purported to be on)?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Marksmanship

1 Samuel 20-32-33 - "Why should he be put to death? What has he done?" Jonathan asked his father. But Saul hurled his spear at him to kill him. Then Jonathan knew that his father intended to kill David.

Was Saul not that good at throwing a spear? More than once he missed his (moving) target at close range. I suppose his anger may have thrown his accuracy off a bit.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Ezel

1 Samuel 20:19 - The day after tomorrow, toward evening, go to the place where you hid when this trouble began, and wait by the stone Ezel.

I wonder how big the stone was. Why was it named? I think it was probably so big that no one wanted to try to move it, so they left it where it was and named it for use as a landmark.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

How Not to Watch a House

1 Samuel 19:11-12 - Saul sent men to David's house to watch it and to kill him in the morning. But Michal, David's wife, warned him, "If you don't run for your life tonight, tomorrow you'll be killed." So Michal let David down through a window, and he fled and escaped.

Did Saul's men only watch the front door and not the windows? Were there only 2 men, and they couldn't cover all the exits?

And how did Michal know Saul was planning to kill David that night? Hmmm??

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

The Spear in the Wall

1 Samuel 19:9-10 - But an evil spirit from the LORD came upon Saul as he was sitting in his house with his spear in his hand. While David was playing the harp, Saul tried to pin him to the wall with his spear, but David eluded him as Saul drove the spear into the wall. That night David made good his escape.

I wonder what the wall was made of. Apparently it wasn't stone.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

3/29/2009

Goliath Loses His Head

1 Samuel 17:51 - David ran and stood over him. He took hold of the Philistine's sword and drew it from the scabbard. After he killed him, he cut off his head with the sword.

Where was Goliath's shield bearer? Perhaps he had no weapon of his own and fled from David when Goliath fell.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Goliath's Shield

1 Samuel 17:4-7 - A champion named Goliath, who was from Gath, came out of the Philistine camp. He was over nine feet tall. He had a bronze helmet on his head and wore a coat of scale armor of bronze weighing five thousand shekels; on his legs he wore bronze greaves, and a bronze javelin was slung on his back. His spear shaft was like a weaver's rod, and its iron point weighed six hundred shekels. His shield bearer went ahead of him.

If Goliath was over 9 feet tall, I wonder how big his shield was. And how big was his shield bearer who had to carry it to help protect Goliath?

Looking ahead, I wonder just how good of a shield bearer he really was.

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I wont' publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Music Soothes the Savage Beast

1 Samuel 16:15-16 - Saul's attendants said to him, "See, an evil spirit from God is tormenting you. 16 Let our lord command his servants here to search for someone who can play the harp. He will play when the evil spirit from God comes upon you, and you will feel better."

I wonder why the attendants decided that music would be the cure. Did they consider medicine?

Was it hard to find a good harpist? Was harp music common or rare in those days? If the one attendant hadn't known David, it sounds like they would have had to go searching for someone who could play.

Why did they decide on harp music? Was it the most soothing kind they knew of? Was a flautist considered?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

3/25/2009

Agag

1 Samuel 15:8 - He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword.

I wonder why Saul spared Agag. Wouldn't the leader of an enemy nation be one of the first you'd try to get rid of -- especially if you were getting rid of the entire nation anyway? What did Saul intend to do with Agag after bringing him back home?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

Using an Ephod

1 Samuel 14:18-19 - Saul said to Ahijah, "Bring the ark of God." (At that time it was with the Israelites.) While Saul was talking to the priest, the tumult in the Philistine camp increased more and more. So Saul said to the priest, "Withdraw your hand."

Whether it was the Ark or an ephod that is meant in these verses, I wonder where it was that the priest was supposed to withdraw his hand from. It seems unlikely that he would have touched the Ark. So if it was an ephod that he had his hand in, what did you do with your hand inside an ephod? How was an ephod properly used?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

My Kingdom for a Blacksmith

1 Samuel 13:19-22 - Not a blacksmith could be found in the whole land of Israel, because the Philistines had said, "Otherwise the Hebrews will make swords or spears!" So all Israel went down to the Philistines to have their plowshares, mattocks, axes and sickles sharpened. The price was two thirds of a shekel for sharpening plowshares and mattocks, and a third of a shekel for sharpening forks and axes and for repointing goads.

So on the day of the battle not a soldier with Saul and Jonathan had a sword or spear in his hand; only Saul and his son Jonathan had them.

Did the Philistines take all of the tools of the blacksmiths too? Was there no one who could learn the trade (well enough) and work in secret? Did the Philistines take all but 2 of the weapons in the land? Did no one else try to hide one from the enemy?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.

3/16/2009

Dagon Down

1 Samuel 5:1-5 - After the Philistines had captured the ark of God, they took it from Ebenezer to Ashdod. Then they carried the ark into Dagon's temple and set it beside Dagon. When the people of Ashdod rose early the next day, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! They took Dagon and put him back in his place. But the following morning when they rose, there was Dagon, fallen on his face on the ground before the ark of the LORD! His head and hands had been broken off and were lying on the threshold; only his body remained. That is why to this day neither the priests of Dagon nor any others who enter Dagon's temple at Ashdod step on the threshold.

I wonder what explanation the people of Ashdod came up with for what happened to Dagon. Did they think the God of Israel was responsible? Did they blame vandals? Did they call it an accident and/or coincidence?

If they blamed God, did it bother them that God was more powerful than Dagon?

I'm curious. Could you please tell me what brought you to this page by mentioning it in a comment? I won't publish the comment, if you ask me not to.