These chapters bring Second Samuel to a close. There is some story but it’s mostly information.
The chapter begins with atonement for when Saul went after the Gibeonites. It’s a harsh atonement, but not altogether unwarranted. It is Saul who went after them, it’s his family that pays the price. I thought it was nice that David went back and at least had them all buried together.
It ends with some battles between Israel and the descendents of giants from Gath, all of which are defeated by David or his men.
This chapter is entirely a song of praise and worship by David. He gushes, a lot. He spends a lot of time thanking God for the work that was done in his life and giving God all the credit for everything. The only thing I don’t quite agree with is the way he talks about himself as “blameless” and other such things in the song. He’s done plenty wrong, but I get his overall point. God has done great things for him and allowed him to do great things for God. It worked both ways and when he did bad things, he took his punishments with little to no complaint. He seemed to have an understanding of the way people relate to God that I just don’t, and I don’t think many others get it either.
This chapter recounts the three mighty men of David and his “thirty” and some of their deeds. It reads a little like a series military citations.
It’s been happening for a little while now, and here again, there is distinction made between Judah and Israel. There was no distinct separation between them that I saw, but they keep being referred to separately, like in this chapter. A census is taken, at God’s request, and there are 800,000 Israelite fighters and 500,000 in Judah.
Then David is given an awful choice and is a little selfish the first time around. He isn’t entirely selfish, and I get why he did it. He had been in exile and running from enemies enough. But he sees the damage choosing himself caused and asked for it to be changed. There had been a plague and it was suddenly stopped when he asked for the choice to be changed. He doesn’t just ask, but then carries out some requests that God makes of him after. In the mean time, someone who is a part of the request offers to give David pretty much everything he needs. He doesn’t take it though, because:
“No, but I will buy it from you for a price. I will not offer burnt offerings to the LORD my God that cost me nothing.”
I just love that response and sentiment. He carries out the request to build an altar at the place that the plague his choice caused had been effected. Once this is done, it is the end of Second Samuel.