Tuesday, June 19, 2018

2 Samuel 16

There are some stories I look at and I say - I don't know this and I can't understand it and I don't really want to read it in Hebrew or write it in English. But - to complete the puzzle, even in its most elementary form, I must overcome my ignorance, and my distaste, and read.

The words are quite straightforward, but David's history is far from straightforward. The palace intrigues and thoughts about who owes what to whom appear to be filled with regret. I suppose from the point of view of Saul's inheritor, no one wants to consider themselves in debt to someone else's kindness. Other pieces of the story of Mephiboshet are in chapters 919, and 21. It is a bit like a novel where the episodes are separated. Who is the rascal here? Is Tsiba simply feathering his own nest by shaming the lame son of his master? Is David too gullible? Is Xushi self-seeking and self-protective? Somehow I doubt the lame Mephibosheth would get much of a hearing from Axitophel. It may be that none of these characters is to be considered prescriptive for good behaviour.

Verse 7: I have noted in the past that אישׁ can be singular or collective (translated in the plural even though singular). I suppose it is singular here and applies to David - but perhaps not, since Shimei appears to be stoning everyone indiscriminately. The problem is one of corporate liability whether it is located in the king or in his subjects.

There are images and metaphor here, but not to be pressed at the moment. Those of you who have eyes will see my manipulation of נפשׁ. Absalom seeks the soul of David, and they resouled themselves there. But there is no soul in this Bible - no punishment either, temporal or eternal - but by God there are consequences! And if this is wrath - let it be. Maybe good will come of it.

I do not know quite what to make of verse 23. Was his counsel talked up so that all heard it? Or did Axitophel actually also provide counsel for David? We have to wait for the prior chapter - still to come and a note or 2 in Chronicles. I am always backing into these stories...

2 Samuel 16 Fn Min Max Syll
וְדָוִ֗ד עָבַ֤ר מְעַט֙ מֵֽהָרֹ֔אשׁ וְהִנֵּ֥ה צִיבָ֛א נַ֥עַר מְפִי־בֹ֖שֶׁת לִקְרָאת֑וֹ
וְצֶ֨מֶד חֲמֹרִ֜ים חֲבֻשִׁ֗ים וַעֲלֵיהֶם֩ מָאתַ֨יִם לֶ֜חֶם וּמֵאָ֧ה צִמּוּקִ֛ים וּמֵ֥אָה קַ֖יִץ וְנֵ֥בֶל יָֽיִן
1 And David had crossed a little beyond the hilltop, and behold, Tsiba, the lad of Mephiboshet, encountered him,
with a pair of asses saddled, and on them two hundred loaves of bread, and one hundred bunches of raisins, and one hundred of summer fruits, and a skin-bottle of wine.
3c 4C 23
32
וַיֹּ֧אמֶר הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ אֶל־צִיבָ֖א מָה־אֵ֣לֶּה לָּ֑ךְ
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר צִ֠יבָא הַחֲמוֹרִ֨ים לְבֵית־הַמֶּ֜לֶךְ לִרְכֹּ֗ב וְהַלֶּ֤חֶם וְהַקַּ֙יִץ֙ לֶאֱכ֣וֹל הַנְּעָרִ֔ים וְהַיַּ֕יִן לִשְׁתּ֥וֹת הַיָּעֵ֖ף בַּמִּדְבָּֽר
2 And the king said to Tsiba, What are these that you have?
And Tsiba said, The asses are for the household of the king to ride, and the bread and the summer fruits for the lads to eat, and the wine for one who is tired to imbibe in the wilderness.
3c 4C 13
40
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וְאַיֵּ֖ה בֶּן־אֲדֹנֶ֑יךָ
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר צִיבָ֜א אֶל־הַמֶּ֗לֶךְ הִנֵּה֙ יוֹשֵׁ֣ב בִּירוּשָׁלִַ֔ם כִּ֣י אָמַ֔ר הַיּ֗וֹם יָשִׁ֤יבוּ לִי֙ בֵּ֣ית יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל אֵ֖ת מַמְלְכ֥וּת אָבִֽי
3 And the king said, And where is the child of your master?
And Tsiba said to the king, Behold, he sits in Jerusalem, for he said, Today the house of Israel will return to me the kingdom of my father.
3e 4C 14
36
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר הַמֶּ֙לֶךְ֙ לְצִבָ֔א הִנֵּ֣ה לְךָ֔ כֹּ֖ל אֲשֶׁ֣ר לִמְפִי־בֹ֑שֶׁת
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר צִיבָא֙ הִֽשְׁתַּחֲוֵ֔יתִי אֶמְצָא־חֵ֥ן בְּעֵינֶ֖יךָ אֲדֹנִ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
4 And the king said to Tsiba, Behold, yours are all that was of Mephiboshet,
and Tsiba said, I prostrate myself. Let me find grace in your eyes, my Lord O king.
3e 4C 19
23
וּבָ֛א הַמֶּ֥לֶךְ דָּוִ֖ד עַד־בַּֽחוּרִ֑ים
וְהִנֵּ֣ה מִשָּׁם֩ אִ֨ישׁ יוֹצֵ֜א מִמִּשְׁפַּ֣חַת בֵּית־שָׁא֗וּל וּשְׁמוֹ֙ שִׁמְעִ֣י בֶן־גֵּרָ֔א יֹצֵ֥א יָצ֖וֹא וּמְקַלֵּֽל
5 And king David went in to Bachurim. [Youths-in-their-Prime]
And behold, from there a man coming forth was of the family of the house of Saul, and his name was Shimei, a child of Gera. He came out. He came out and slighted.
3d 4B 11
29
וַיְסַקֵּ֤ל בָּֽאֲבָנִים֙ אֶת־דָּוִ֔ד וְאֶת־כָּל־עַבְדֵ֖י הַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֑ד
וְכָל־הָעָם֙ וְכָל־הַגִּבֹּרִ֔ים מִימִינ֖וֹ וּמִשְּׂמֹאלֽוֹ
6 And he engulfed with stones even David, and all the servants of king David,
and all the people, and all the valiant from his right and from his left.
3e 4C 20
17
וְכֹֽה־אָמַ֥ר שִׁמְעִ֖י בְּקַֽלְל֑וֹ
צֵ֥א צֵ֛א אִ֥ישׁ הַדָּמִ֖ים וְאִ֥ישׁ הַבְּלִיָּֽעַל
7 And thus Shimei said as he slighted,
Go forth, go forth, man of blood, and man of worthlessness.
3d 4A 9
12
הֵשִׁיב֩ עָלֶ֨יךָ יְהוָ֜ה כֹּ֣ל ׀ דְּמֵ֣י בֵית־שָׁא֗וּל אֲשֶׁ֤ר מָלַ֙כְתָּ֙ תַּחְתָּ֔יו וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ אֶת־הַמְּלוּכָ֔ה בְּיַ֖ד אַבְשָׁל֣וֹם בְּנֶ֑ךָ
וְהִנְּךָ֙ בְּרָ֣עָתֶ֔ךָ כִּ֛י אִ֥ישׁ דָּמִ֖ים אָֽתָּה
8 Yahweh has returned on you all the blood of the house of Saul in whose stead you reign. And Yahweh has given the kingdom into the hand of Absalom, your child.
And here you are in your evil, for a man of blood you are.
3d 4C 37
14
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֲבִישַׁ֤י בֶּן־צְרוּיָה֙ אֶל־הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ לָ֣מָּה יְקַלֵּ֞ל הַכֶּ֤לֶב הַמֵּת֙ הַזֶּ֔ה אֶת־אֲדֹנִ֖י הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ
אֶעְבְּרָה־נָּ֖א וְאָסִ֥ירָה אֶת־רֹאשֽׁוֹ
9 And Abishai child of Tseruyah said to the king, Why should this dead dog slight my lord the king?
Let me cross over please, and I will put aside his head.
3e 4C 33
11
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הַמֶּ֔לֶךְ מַה־לִּ֥י וְלָכֶ֖ם בְּנֵ֣י צְרֻיָ֑ה
כֹּ֣ה יְקַלֵּ֗ל כִּ֤י יְהוָה֙ אָ֤מַר לוֹ֙ קַלֵּ֣ל אֶת־דָּוִ֔ד וּמִ֣י יֹאמַ֔ר מַדּ֖וּעַ עָשִׂ֥יתָה כֵּֽן
10 And the king said, What is this to me and to you, children of Tseruyah?
So let him slight, for Yahweh has said to him, Slight David. So who says, Why have you done so?
3e 4C 16
26
וַיֹּ֨אמֶר דָּוִ֤ד אֶל־אֲבִישַׁי֙ וְאֶל־כָּל־עֲבָדָ֔יו הִנֵּ֥ה בְנִ֛י אֲשֶׁר־יָצָ֥א מִמֵּעַ֖י מְבַקֵּ֣שׁ אֶת־נַפְשִׁ֑י
וְאַ֨ף כִּֽי־עַתָּ֜ה בֶּן־הַיְמִינִ֗י הַנִּ֤חוּ לוֹ֙ וִֽיקַלֵּ֔ל כִּ֥י אָֽמַר־ל֖וֹ יְהוָֽה
11 And David said to Abishai and to his servants, Behold, my son who came out from my inner parts, seeks my integrity,
and also for now a Benjaminite. Leave him, and let him slight, for Yahweh has bidden him.
3d 4C 32
21
אוּלַ֛י יִרְאֶ֥ה יְהוָ֖ה בְּעֵינִ֑י
וְהֵשִׁ֨יב יְהוָ֥ה לִי֙ טוֹבָ֔ה תַּ֥חַת קִלְלָת֖וֹ הַיּ֥וֹם הַזֶּֽה
12 Maybe Yahweh will see my affliction,
and Yahweh will return to me good instead of his slighting this day.
3d 4A 9
17
וַיֵּ֧לֶךְ דָּוִ֛ד וַאֲנָשָׁ֖יו בַּדָּ֑רֶךְ
וְשִׁמְעִ֡י הֹלֵךְ֩ בְּצֵ֨לַע הָהָ֜ר לְעֻמָּת֗וֹ הָלוֹךְ֙ וַיְקַלֵּ֔ל וַיְסַקֵּ֤ל בָּֽאֲבָנִים֙ לְעֻמָּת֔וֹ וְעִפַּ֖ר בֶּעָפָֽר
13 So David went and his men by the way, and Shimei went on the rib of the hill set against him, meandering and slighting and jettisoning stones,
set against him and dusting with dust.
3c 4C 12
36
וַיָּבֹ֥א הַמֶּ֛לֶךְ וְכָל־הָעָ֥ם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֖וֹ עֲיֵפִ֑ים
וַיִּנָּפֵ֖שׁ שָֽׁם
14 And the king came and all the people that were with him, exhausted.
And he regrouped there.
3d 4A 17
5
וְאַבְשָׁל֗וֹם וְכָל־הָעָם֙ אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל בָּ֖אוּ יְרוּשָׁלִָ֑ם
וַאֲחִיתֹ֖פֶל אִתּֽוֹ
15 And Absalom and all the people, the men of Israel, had come to Jerusalem,
and Axitophel with him.
3e 4B 18
7
וַיְהִ֗י כַּֽאֲשֶׁר־בָּ֞א חוּשַׁ֧י הָאַרְכִּ֛י רֵעֶ֥ה דָוִ֖ד אֶל־אַבְשָׁל֑וֹם
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר חוּשַׁי֙ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹ֔ם יְחִ֥י הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ יְחִ֥י הַמֶּֽלֶךְ
16 And it happened that Xushi the Arkite, an associate of David, had come to Absalom.
And Xushi said to Absalom, May the king live. May the king live.
3c 4C 19
19
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם֙ אֶל־חוּשַׁ֔י זֶ֥ה חַסְדְּךָ֖ אֶת־רֵעֶ֑ךָ
לָ֥מָּה לֹֽא־הָלַ֖כְתָּ אֶת־רֵעֶֽךָ
17 And Absalom said to Xushi, This is your kindness with your associate.
Why not did you go with your associate?
3e 4C 17
9
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר חוּשַׁי֮ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹם֒ לֹ֕א כִּי֩ אֲשֶׁ֨ר בָּחַ֧ר יְהוָ֛ה וְהָעָ֥ם הַזֶּ֖ה וְכָל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
ל֥וֹ אֶהְיֶ֖ה וְאִתּ֥וֹ אֵשֵֽׁב
18 And Xushi said to Absalom, No. For whom Yahweh has chosen and this people, and all the men of Israel,
his I will be, and with him I will sit.
3c 4B 28
8
וְהַשֵּׁנִ֗ית לְמִי֙ אֲנִ֣י אֶֽעֱבֹ֔ד הֲל֖וֹא לִפְנֵ֣י בְנ֑וֹ
כַּאֲשֶׁ֤ר עָבַ֙דְתִּי֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אָבִ֔יךָ כֵּ֖ן אֶהְיֶ֥ה לְפָנֶֽיךָ
19 And a second time, whom should I myself serve, if not in the presence of his son?
As I served in the presence of your father, so I will be in your presence.
3e 4C 17
18
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אַבְשָׁל֖וֹם אֶל־אֲחִיתֹ֑פֶל
הָב֥וּ לָכֶ֛ם עֵצָ֖ה מַֽה־נַּעֲשֶֽׂה
20 And Absalom said to Axitophel,
Provide yourselves counsel. What will we do?
3d 4A 11
10
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אֲחִיתֹ֙פֶל֙ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹ֔ם בּ֚וֹא אֶל־פִּלַגְשֵׁ֣י אָבִ֔יךָ אֲשֶׁ֥ר הִנִּ֖יחַ לִשְׁמ֣וֹר הַבָּ֑יִת
וְשָׁמַ֤ע כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כִּֽי־נִבְאַ֣שְׁתָּ אֶת־אָבִ֔יךָ וְחָ֣זְק֔וּ יְדֵ֖י כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתָּֽךְ
21 And Axitophel said to Absalom, Go in to the courtesans of your father that he has left to keep the house.
And all Israel will hear that you have disgusted your father, and the hands of all that are with you will be resolute.
3e 4C 29
25
וַיַּטּ֧וּ לְאַבְשָׁל֛וֹם הָאֹ֖הֶל עַל־הַגָּ֑ג
וַיָּבֹ֤א אַבְשָׁלוֹם֙ אֶל־פִּֽלַגְשֵׁ֣י אָבִ֔יו לְעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
22 And they stretched out for Absalom the tent on the housetop,
and Absalom came to the courtesans of his father in the sight of all Israel.
3c 4C 13
19
וַעֲצַ֣ת אֲחִיתֹ֗פֶל אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָעַץ֙ בַּיָּמִ֣ים הָהֵ֔ם כַּאֲשֶׁ֥ר יִשְׁאַל־אִ֖ישׁ בִּדְבַ֣ר הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים
כֵּ֚ן כָּל־עֲצַ֣ת אֲחִיתֹ֔פֶל גַּם־לְדָוִ֖ד גַּ֥ם לְאַבְשָׁלֹֽם
23 And the counsel of Axitophel that he counseled in those days was as if anyone asked in a matter of God.
So all the counsel of Axitophel was both for David and for Absalom.
3e 4C 28
17