Saturday, February 16, 2013

"How the mighty are fallen"

Good afternoon brothers and sisters,
We're skipping ahead a good bit in our story of David and Saul. In yesterday's reading David and Jonathan find out that Saul definitely wants to kill David, so Jonathan and David say their good byes and David leaves. He spends some time on the run with a couple of momentary reconciliations with Saul. During that time people from all over Israel who were in trouble came to stay with David. This motley crew became the core of David's power as he moved towards the throne.

At one point David came to the Philistines and lived there, even though Israel and the Philistines were at war. As I Samuel ends, Saul and Jonathan go to war with the Philistines and are killed in battle. When David hears the news he composes this song of mourning. We can believe easily that David is sad about Jonathan's death. His grief over Saul's death may be less genuine, but very useful to establish for Israel that David didn't have a hand in Saul's death. This feeling of innocence will be important as David seeks to cement his rule over all Israel in the coming years. Plus, it's quite a lovely, melancholy song.

God bless,

2 Samuel 1:17-27
17David intoned this lamentation over Saul and his son Jonathan. 18(He ordered that The Song of the Bow be taught to the people of Judah; it is written in the Book of Jashar.) He said: 19Your glory, O Israel, lies slain upon your high places! How the mighty have fallen! 20Tell it not in Gath, proclaim it not in the streets of Ashkelon; or the daughters of the Philistines will rejoice, the daughters of the uncircumcised will exult.

21You mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew or rain upon you, nor bounteous fields! For there the shield of the mighty was defiled, the shield of Saul, anointed with oil no more. 22From the blood of the slain, from the fat of the mighty, the bow of Jonathan did not turn back, nor the sword of Saul return empty. 23Saul and Jonathan, beloved and lovely! In life and in death they were not divided; they were swifter than eagles, they were stronger than lions. 

24O daughters of Israel, weep over Saul, who clothed you with crimson, in luxury, who put ornaments of gold on your apparel. 25How the mighty have fallen in the midst of the battle! Jonathan lies slain upon your high places. 26I am distressed for you, my brother Jonathan; greatly beloved were you to me; your love to me was wonderful, passing the love of women. 27How the mighty have fallen, and the weapons of war perished!

No comments:

Post a Comment