Can the Bible be God's Word?
You are reading Can the Bible be God's Word? by Steve McRoberts
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Chapter 10: 2 Samuel

2Sam:1:6: And the young man that told him said, As I happened by chance upon mount Gilboa, behold, Saul leaned upon his spear; and, lo, the chariots and horsemen followed hard after him.
2Sam:1:7: And when he looked behind him, he saw me, and called unto me. And I answered, Here am I.
2Sam:1:8: And he said unto me, Who art thou? And I answered him, I am an Amalekite.
2Sam:1:9: And he said unto me again, Stand, I pray thee, upon me, and slay me: for anguish is come upon me, because my life is yet whole in me.
2Sam:1:10: So I stood upon him, and slew him, because I was sure that he could not live after that he was fallen: and I took the crown that was upon his head, and the bracelet that was on his arm, and have brought them hither unto my lord.

This has the ring of truth to it; if the Amalekite was simply lying in order to curry favor with David, then he would've been more likely to claim to have issued the initial fatal blow to Saul, rather than merely doing a mop-up job at Saul's own request.

But there are three problems with this story:

First of all, it contradicts the account of Saul's death given in First Samuel:

1Sam:31:4: Then said Saul unto his armourbearer, Draw thy sword, and thrust me through therewith; lest these uncircumcised come and thrust me through, and abuse me. But his armourbearer would not; for he was sore afraid. Therefore Saul took a sword, and fell upon it.
1Sam:31:5: And when his armourbearer saw that Saul was dead, he fell likewise upon his sword, and died with him.
1Sam:31:6: So Saul died, and his three sons, and his armourbearer, and all his men, that same day together.

Second, it contradicts the following statement:

2Sam:21:12: And David went and took the bones of Saul and the bones of Jonathan his son from the men of Jabesh-gilead, which had stolen them from the street of Beth-shan, where the Philistines had hanged them, when the Philistines had slain Saul in Gilboa:

Did Saul kill himself (as we are told in 1 Sam 31:4-6), or did an Amalekite kill Saul (as we are told in 2 Sam 1:6-10), or did the Philistines kill Saul (as we are told in 2 Sam 21:12)?

Third, how could an Amalekite have killed Saul (or even have claimed to kill Saul) when all of the Amalekites had previously been killed:

1Sam:15:3: Now go and smite Amalek, and utterly destroy all that they have, and spare them not; but slay both man and woman, infant and suckling, ox and sheep, camel and ass.

1Sam:15:7: And Saul smote the Amalekites from Havilah until thou comest to Shur, that is over against Egypt.
1Sam:15:8: And he took Agag the king of the Amalekites alive, and utterly destroyed all the people with the edge of the sword.

2Sam:3:2: And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon, of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
2Sam:3:3: And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
2Sam:3:4: And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith; and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
2Sam:3:5: And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.

So David had children from 6 different women, some of whom were his wives (concurrently) and some of whom were not. Since David serves as our sterling example of proper behavior, we now know that promiscuity is an acceptable lifestyle. Since God himself declared that David followed him "perfectly" (1 Kings 11:4), Paul must've been wrong when he condemned fornicators and adulterers (1Cor. 6:9-10).

2Sam:5:6: And the king and his men went to Jerusalem unto the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land: which spake unto David, saying, Except thou take away the blind and the lame, thou shalt not come in hither: thinking, David cannot come in hither.
2Sam:5:7: Nevertheless David took the strong hold of Zion: the same is the city of David.
2Sam:5:8: And David said on that day, Whosoever getteth up to the gutter, and smiteth the Jebusites, and the lame and the blind, that are hated of David's soul, he shall be chief and captain. Wherefore they said, The blind and the lame shall not come into the house.

The references to the "blind and the lame" are not entirely clear here. What apparently is being said is that Jerusalem was inhabited by the Jebusites, who had a large population of blind and lame individuals. The Jebusites thought they were safe because no decent human being would stoop so low as to murder the disabled. However, they had overestimated king David, who actually offered a reward to any Israelite who murdered a blind or lame person in a gutter!

David did not suffer from scruples. David was not a slave to compassion. David "hated" the blind and the lame. If you want to follow Biblical principles, remember David's example the next time you see a blind man on the street.

2Sam:5:9: So David dwelt in the fort, and called it the city of David. And David built round about from Millo and inward.
2Sam:5:10: And David went on, and grew great, and the LORD God of hosts was with him.

2Sam:5:12: And David perceived that the LORD had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.

So this is how that "holy city" Jerusalem came to be "holy": The Israelites murdered the blind, the lame, and everyone else in the city, and stole it. Ever since then they have laid claim to it as if God had given it to them alone.

2Sam:5:13: And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem, after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born to David.

Previously I had suggested changing the name of this book from Second Samuel to David. But after reading of David's frequent acquisitions of new wives and mistresses, I think a better title would be Insatiable!

2Sam:6:6: And when they came to Nachon's threshingfloor, Uzzah put forth his hand to the ark of God, and took hold of it; for the oxen shook it.
2Sam:6:7: And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Uzzah; and God smote him there for his error; and there he died by the ark of God.

The Philistines were not punished for having touched the ark when they captured it and stole it from the Israelites nor for having touched it when they lifted it onto a new cart (1Sam 4:17; 6:8). Here, Uzzah, (an Israelite) had good intentions when he touched the ark: to keep if from falling off the cart. Yet God was angered over this action and killed Uzzah for it! This is not consistent behavior.

2Sam:7:9: And I was with thee whithersoever thou wentest, and have cut off all thine enemies out of thy sight, and have made thee a great name, like unto the name of the great men that are in the earth.

If we had any doubts prior to this about whether some of David's muderous and lecherous ways were approved of by God, those doubts should now be laid to rest. Here God told David that he had been with him wherever he went, and had killed his enemies and ensured his fame. God thought David was just swell.

2Sam:7:10: Moreover I will appoint a place for my people Israel, and will plant them, that they may dwell in a place of their own, and move no more; neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them any more, as beforetime,

This promise has never come true. The Jews have continually been persecuted and driven from the land they consider theirs up to the present day. How could God have said thousands of years ago that "neither shall the children of wickedness afflict them anymore" when they were to undergo one of the worst mass afflictions in history at the hands of one of the wickedest groups the world has ever known? Eight million Jews were killed and countless others tortured by the Nazis during the Holocaust of World War II. How could this have happened to the people to whom God made this promise?

2Sam:7:15: But my mercy shall not depart away from him, as I took it from Saul, whom I put away before thee.

Here, God admitted that he had acted mercilessly towards Saul.

2Sam:11:2: And it came to pass in an eveningtide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
2Sam:11:3: And David sent and enquired after the woman. And one said, Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite?
2Sam:11:4: And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
2Sam:11:5: And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.

2Sam:11:14: And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
2Sam:11:15: And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
2Sam:11:16: And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
2Sam:11:17: And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab: and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.

2Sam:11:26: And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead, she mourned for her husband.
2Sam:11:27: And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the LORD.

2Sam:12:11: Thus saith the LORD, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in the sight of this sun.
2Sam:12:12: For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
2Sam:12:13: And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the LORD. And Nathan said unto David, The LORD also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.
2Sam:12:14: Howbeit, because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die.
2Sam:12:15: And Nathan departed unto his house. And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.

Sam:12:18: And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died...

First, David committed adultery. Then he committed murder. Although David is our Biblical role model, in this instance even God was displeased with David's actions! So God threatened to punish David's wives by having men rape them! Whether this threat was carried out or not we are not told. Why God chose to punish David's wives instead of David we are also not told, so we must simply assume that this is another demonstration of God's "higher" justice.

Then God decided to punish David by killing David and Bath-sheba's son! At this point one is tempted to wonder who had committed the greater moral outrage: David, who arranged the death of a soldier in battle, or God, who cold-bloodedly murdered a child.

2Sam:12:31: And he brought forth the people that were therein, and put them under saws, and under harrows of iron, and under axes of iron, and made them pass through the brickkiln: and thus did he unto all the cities of the children of Ammon. So David and all the people returned unto Jerusalem.

David had evidently grown bored with simply slaughtering people by the sword. He became an innovator in the art of killing: sawing people asunder, hacking them to death with axes, and burning them alive in brick kilns! What moral lessons do we learn from this valuable part of the "Holy" Bible?

In 2 Samuel chapter 13 we read of some of the exploits of David's children. Amnon, one of David's sons committed incestuous rape against his half-sister Tamar. David's son Absalom then committed fratricide by murdering Amnon. This is the family line which the Gospel writers were proud to proclaim that Jesus descended from!

2Sam:14:6: And thy handmaid had two sons, and they two strove together in the field, and there was none to part them, but the one smote the other, and slew him.

2Sam:14:11: Then said she, I pray thee, let the king remember the LORD thy God, that thou wouldest not suffer the revengers of blood to destroy any more, lest they destroy my son. And he said, As the LORD liveth, there shall not one hair of thy son fall to the earth.

David failed to uphold the Mosaic Law in this instance. God had commanded that murderers must be put to death:

Ex:21:23: And if any mischief follow, then thou shalt give life for life,
Ex:21:24: Eye for eye, tooth for tooth, hand for hand, foot for foot,
Ex:21:25: Burning for burning, wound for wound, stripe for stripe.

Num:35:18: ... the murderer shall surely be put to death.Num:35:19: The revenger of blood himself shall slay the murderer: when he meeteth him, he shall slay him.

David recalled Absalom from banishment and merely refused to see him. After two years of this Absalom felt he had been punished enough for having murdered his brother:

2Sam:14:29: Therefore Absalom sent for Joab, to have sent him to the king; but he would not come to him: and when he sent again the second time, he would not come.
2Sam:14:30: Therefore he said unto his servants, See, Joab's field is near mine, and he hath barley there; go and set it on fire. And Absalom's servants set the field on fire.

Since Joab did not feel he was at Absalom's beck and call, he ignored his summons. Absalom responded by committing arson and vandalism. Is this the Biblically recommended procedure for getting someone's attention?

Absalom was forgiven by David for the murder of Amnon. Absalom then repaid his father's kindness by leading a rebellion against him. Absalom fully intended to add patricide to his list of crimes, but Joab killed Absalom before he could carry out the assassination of his father (2 Sam. 15:10 - 18:17).

2Sam:20:3: And David came to his house at Jerusalem; and the king took the ten women his concubines, whom he had left to keep the house, and put them in ward, and fed them, but went not in unto them. So they were shut up unto the day of their death, living in widowhood.

Why did David imprison his concubines? What had they done to deserve life sentences? Had he simply grown tired of them?

2Sam:21:1: Then there was a famine in the days of David three years, year after year; and David enquired of the LORD. And the LORD answered, It is for Saul, and for his bloody house, because he slew the Gibeonites.

For the sin of one man (Saul), God punished everyone with famine. To stop the famine, God required human sacrifices:

2Sam:21:8: But the king took the two sons of Rizpah the daughter of Aiah, whom she bare unto Saul, Armoni and Mephibosheth; and the five sons of Michal the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up for Adriel the son of Barzillai the Meholathite:
2Sam:21:9: And he delivered them into the hands of the Gibeonites, and they hanged them in the hill before the LORD: and they fell all seven together, and were put to death in the days of harvest, in the first days, in the beginning of barley harvest.

2Sam:21:14: And the bones of Saul and Jonathan his son buried they in the country of Benjamin in Zelah, in the sepulchre of Kish his father: and they performed all that the king commanded. And after that God was intreated for the land.

David delivered two of Saul's sons and five of his grandsons (who were sons of David's ex-wife Michal) to the Gibeonites to be put to death. This was in spite of the promise he had made to Saul not to kill any of his offspring after his death:

1Sam:24:17: And he said to David, Thou art more righteous than I: for thou hast rewarded me good, whereas I have rewarded thee evil.

1Sam:24:20: And now, behold, I know well that thou shalt surely be king, and that the kingdom of Israel shall be established in thine hand.
1Sam:24:21: Swear now therefore unto me by the LORD, that thou wilt not cut off my seed after me, and that thou wilt not destroy my name out of my father's house.
1Sam:24:22: And David sware unto Saul. And Saul went home; but David and his men gat them up unto the hold.

2Sam:22:22: For I have kept the ways of the LORD, and have not wickedly departed from my God.
2Sam:22:23: For all his judgments were before me: and as for his statutes, I did not depart from them.
2Sam:22:24: I was also upright before him, and have kept myself from mine iniquity.

Here David lied. As we've seen, the Bible shows several instances in which David broke God's law, and one instance in which David behaved so outrageously that even God was displeased.

2Sam:22:40: For thou hast girded me with strength to battle: them that rose up against me hast thou subdued under me.
2Sam:22:41: Thou hast also given me the necks of mine enemies, that I might destroy them that hate me.
2Sam:22:42: They looked, but there was none to save; even unto the LORD, but he answered them not.
2Sam:22:43: Then did I beat them as small as the dust of the earth, I did stamp them as the mire of the street, and did spread them abroad.

2Sam:22:48: It is God that avengeth me, and that bringeth down the people under me,

After having read of David's crimes against humanity it is enlightening to know that God had stood behind his actions and actually had assisted him.

2Sam:24:1: And again the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he moved David against them to say, Go, number Israel and Judah.

2Sam:24:9: And Joab gave up the sum of the number of the people unto the king: and there were in Israel eight hundred thousand valiant men that drew the sword; and the men of Judah were five hundred thousand men.

2Sam:24:15: So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning even to the time appointed: and there died of the people from Dan even to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men.
2Sam:24:16: And when the angel stretched out his hand upon Jerusalem to destroy it, the LORD repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed the people, It is enough: stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD was by the threshingplace of Araunah the Jebusite.
2Sam:24:17: And David spake unto the LORD when he saw the angel that smote the people, and said, Lo, I have sinned, and I have done wickedly: but these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, be against me, and against my father's house.

2Sam:24:24: And the king said unto Araunah, Nay; but I will surely buy it of thee at a price: neither will I offer burnt offerings unto the LORD my God of that which doth cost me nothing. So David bought the threshingfloor and the oxen for fifty shekels of silver.
2Sam:24:25: And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD was intreated for the land, and the plague was stayed from Israel.

Why was it a sin for David to conduct a census? In the past, God had commanded Moses to take a census (Num. 1:2), and David had taken a census before without incident (2 Sam. 18:1). Why was a census suddenly a sin so serious that it warranted God's taking 70,000 lives?

If taking a census was a sin, why did God "move" David to take the census? Since the Bible tells us that God was the cause of the census being taken, it would seem unfair to punish David, much less 70,000 innocent people! Even David had to ask why a just God would kill so many innocent men.Why was the killing of oxen necessary to convince God to stop the plague? Shouldn't David's moral argument have had more of an effect on God than the butchering of animals?

Once again the Bible tells us that God 'repented', while elsewhere in the Bible we are told that God cannot possibly repent (Num. 23:19).An account of this same census is given in Chronicles:

1Chron:21:1: And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number Israel.

1Chron:21:5: And Joab gave the sum of the number of the people unto David. And all they of Israel were a thousand thousand and an hundred thousand men that drew sword: and Judah was four hundred threescore and ten thousand men that drew sword.

1Chron:21:14: So the LORD sent pestilence upon Israel: and there fell of Israel seventy thousand men.
1Chron:21:15: And God sent an angel unto Jerusalem to destroy it: and as he was destroying, the LORD beheld, and he repented him of the evil, and said to the angel that destroyed, It is enough, stay now thine hand. And the angel of the LORD stood by the threshingfloor of Ornan the Jebusite.

1Chron:21:17: And David said unto God, Is it not I that commanded the people to be numbered? even I it is that have sinned and done evil indeed; but as for these sheep, what have they done? let thine hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be on me, and on my father's house; but not on thy people, that they should be plagued.

1Chron:21:24: And king David said to Ornan, Nay; but I will verily buy it for the full price: for I will not take that which is thine for the LORD, nor offer burnt offerings without cost.
1Chron:21:25: So David gave to Ornan for the place six hundred shekels of gold by weight.
1Chron:21:26: And David built there an altar unto the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings, and called upon the LORD; and he answered him from heaven by fire upon the altar of burnt offering.
1Chron:21:27: And the LORD commanded the angel; and he put up his sword again into the sheath thereof.

A comparison between these two accounts yields one of the most glaring contradictions in the Bible: one account says that God moved David to number Israel, the other account says Satan provoked David to number Israel! Here are all of the contradictions between these two accounts:

Question Answers
2 Sam. 1 Chron.
Who caused David to take the census? God Satan
How many men were in Israel? 800,000 1,100,000
How many men were in Judah? 500,000 470,000
From whom did David buy the threshing floor and oxen? Araunah Ornan
How much did he pay? 50 silver shekels 600 gold shekels

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