Thursday, September 20, 2018

2 Samuel 17

Do you note the attribution of intent to Yahweh in some of these stories? These are not the verses typically used to develop a theology of TNK. Is Yahweh partial? Of course we cannot judge, given the transcendence and obscurity of the definition of G-d. But we must consider how we should live to defuse gang, tribal, and in this case familial warfare. David is chosen, but what blood is involved, so that we might appreciate the ultimate elegy. (And Absalom is not Job.)

Verse 3 has a possible rereading of הכל־העם as כלה העם. This is read by JB as the people as a bride. It appears that the Greek follows this reading. NIV adds the word death, the death of the man you seek will mean the return of all. (Both of these are a bit of a stretch.) My reading is accidentally suggestive of  incarnation, the whole people being represented by the one. (In the sense of John's reporting of Jesus' words: I am the vine.)

2 Samuel 17 Fn Min Max Syll
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר אֲחִיתֹ֖פֶל אֶל־אַבְשָׁלֹ֑ם
אֶבְחֲרָ֣ה נָּ֗א שְׁנֵים־עָשָׂ֥ר אֶ֙לֶף֙ אִ֔ישׁ וְאָק֛וּמָה וְאֶרְדְּפָ֥ה אַחֲרֵי־דָוִ֖ד הַלָּֽיְלָה
1 And Axitophel said to Absalom,
Let me choose now twelve thousand men, and I will arise and pursue after David tonight.
3d 4B 11
26
וְאָב֣וֹא עָלָ֗יו וְה֤וּא יָגֵ֙עַ֙ וּרְפֵ֣ה יָדַ֔יִם וְהַֽחֲרַדְתִּ֣י אֹת֔וֹ וְנָ֖ס כָּל־הָעָ֣ם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֑וֹ
וְהִכֵּיתִ֥י אֶת־הַמֶּ֖לֶךְ לְבַדּֽוֹ
2 And I will come upon him while he is weary, and slack of hand, and will make him apprehensive, and all the people will withdraw that are with him,
and I will strike the king alone.
3e 4C 30
11
וְאָשִׁ֥יבָה כָל־הָעָ֖ם אֵלֶ֑יךָ
כְּשׁ֣וּב הַכֹּ֔ל הָאִישׁ֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אַתָּ֣ה מְבַקֵּ֔שׁ כָּל־הָעָ֖ם יִהְיֶ֥ה שָׁלֽוֹם
3 And I will bring back all the people to you,
as if returning the whole person whom you seek. All the people will be at peace.
3e 4B 10
20
וַיִּישַׁ֥ר הַדָּבָ֖ר בְּעֵינֵ֣י אַבְשָׁלֹ֑ם
וּבְעֵינֵ֖י כָּל־זִקְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵֽל
4 And the matter was upright in the eyes of Absalom,
and in the eyes of all the elders of Israel.
3e 4B 12
9
וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אַבְשָׁל֔וֹם קְרָ֣א נָ֔א גַּ֖ם לְחוּשַׁ֣י הָאַרְכִּ֑י
וְנִשְׁמְעָ֥ה מַה־בְּפִ֖יו גַּם־הֽוּא
5 And Absalom said, Call, if you will, even Xushi the Arkite,
and we will hear from his mouth, he also.
3e 4B 16
9
וַיָּבֹ֣א חוּשַׁי֮ אֶל־אַבְשָׁלוֹם֒ וַיֹּאמֶר֩ אַבְשָׁל֨וֹם אֵלָ֜יו לֵאמֹ֗ר כַּדָּבָ֤ר הַזֶּה֙ דִּבֶּ֣ר אֲחִיתֹ֔פֶל הֲנַעֲשֶׂ֖ה אֶת־דְּבָר֑וֹ
אִם־אַ֖יִן אַתָּ֥ה דַבֵּֽר
6 So Xushi came to Absalom and Absalom said to him, saying, A word like this Axitophel has spoken. Will we do his word?
If not, you speak.
3e 4C 38
6
וַיֹּ֥אמֶר חוּשַׁ֖י אֶל־אַבְשָׁל֑וֹם
לֹֽא־טוֹבָ֧ה הָעֵצָ֛ה אֲשֶׁר־יָעַ֥ץ אֲחִיתֹ֖פֶל בַּפַּ֥עַם הַזֹּֽאת
7 And Xushi said to Absalom,
The counsel is not good that Axitophel counseled at this time.
3c 4A 9
18
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר חוּשַׁ֗י אַתָּ֣ה יָ֠דַעְתָּ אֶת־אָבִ֨יךָ וְאֶת־אֲנָשָׁ֜יו כִּ֧י גִבֹּרִ֣ים הֵ֗מָּה וּמָרֵ֥י נֶ֙פֶשׁ֙ הֵ֔מָּה כְּדֹ֥ב שַׁכּ֖וּל בַּשָּׂדֶ֑ה
וְאָבִ֙יךָ֙ אִ֣ישׁ מִלְחָמָ֔ה וְלֹ֥א יָלִ֖ין אֶת־הָעָֽם
8 And Xushi said, You yourself know your father and his men, because they are valiant. And embittered they are, as a bear bereaved in the field.
And your father is a man of war, and will not lodge with the people.
3c 4B 39
15
הִנֵּ֨ה עַתָּ֤ה הֽוּא־נֶחְבָּא֙ בְּאַחַ֣ת הַפְּחָתִ֔ים א֖וֹ בְּאַחַ֣ד הַמְּקוֹמֹ֑ת
וְהָיָ֗ה כִּנְפֹ֤ל בָּהֶם֙ בַּתְּחִלָּ֔ה וְשָׁמַ֤ע הַשֹּׁמֵ֙עַ֙ וְאָמַ֔ר הָֽיְתָה֙ מַגֵּפָ֔ה בָּעָ֕ם אֲשֶׁ֖ר אַחֲרֵ֥י אַבְשָׁלֹֽם
9 Just look. Now he is camouflaged into a single crater or in the other places,
and as one falls among them at the start, then whoever hears will say, There is a plague among the people who follow Absalom,
3e 4C 20
35
וְה֣וּא גַם־בֶּן־חַ֗יִל אֲשֶׁ֥ר לִבּ֛וֹ כְּלֵ֥ב הָאַרְיֵ֖ה הִמֵּ֣ס יִמָּ֑ס
כִּֽי־יֹדֵ֤עַ כָּל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ כִּי־גִבּ֣וֹר אָבִ֔יךָ וּבְנֵי־חַ֖יִל אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּֽוֹ
10 And even a forceful son, whose heart is as the heart of the lion, will melt,
because all Israel knows that your father is one who prevails, and the sons of force that are with him.
3d 4C 19
19
כִּ֣י יָעַ֗צְתִּי הֵ֠אָסֹף יֵאָסֵ֨ף עָלֶ֤יךָ כָל־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ מִדָּן֙ וְעַד־בְּאֵ֣ר שֶׁ֔בַע כַּח֥וֹל אֲשֶׁר־עַל־הַיָּ֖ם לָרֹ֑ב
וּפָנֶ֥יךָ הֹלְכִ֖ים בַּקְרָֽב
11 B For I advise that all Israel from Dan and to Beer-Sheva be gathered to you, as the sand that is by the sea in abundance,
and your presence go into the close combat.
3e 4C 34
8
וּבָ֣אנוּ אֵלָ֗יו בְּאַחַ֤ד הַמְּקוֹמֹת֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר נִמְצָ֣א שָׁ֔ם וְנַ֣חְנוּ עָלָ֔יו כַּאֲשֶׁ֛ר יִפֹּ֥ל הַטַּ֖ל עַל־הָאֲדָמָ֑ה
וְלֹֽא־נ֥וֹתַר בּ֛וֹ וּבְכָל־הָאֲנָשִׁ֥ים אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֖וֹ גַּם־אֶחָֽד
12 And we will come to him in one of the places where he makes himself found, and we will be upon him as dew falls on the ground,
and there will not be left of him and of all the persons that are with him, even a single one.
3d 4C 33
17
וְאִם־אֶל־עִיר֙ יֵֽאָסֵ֔ף וְהִשִּׂ֧יאוּ כָֽל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶל־הָעִ֥יר הַהִ֖יא חֲבָלִ֑ים
וְסָחַ֤בְנוּ אֹתוֹ֙ עַד־הַנַּ֔חַל עַ֛ד אֲשֶֽׁר־לֹא־נִמְצָ֥א שָׁ֖ם גַּם־צְרֽוֹר
13 Or if to a city he is gathered, then let all Israel bear ropes against that city,
and we will shred it to the wadi until not even a bag is to be found there.
3c 4C 23
20
וַיֹּ֤אמֶר אַבְשָׁלוֹם֙ וְכָל־אִ֣ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל טוֹבָ֗ה עֲצַת֙ חוּשַׁ֣י הָאַרְכִּ֔י מֵעֲצַ֖ת אֲחִיתֹ֑פֶל
וַיהוָ֣ה צִוָּ֗ה לְהָפֵ֞ר אֶת־עֲצַ֤ת אֲחִיתֹ֙פֶל֙ הַטּוֹבָ֔ה לְבַעֲב֗וּר הָבִ֧יא יְהוָ֛ה אֶל־אַבְשָׁל֖וֹם אֶת־הָרָעָֽה
14 And Absalom said, and all the men of Israel, Better is the counsel of Xushi the Arkite, than the counsel of Axitophel,
for Yahweh had commanded to thwart the good counsel of Axitophel so that Yahweh might bring evil to Absalom.
3c 4C 28
33
וַיֹּ֣אמֶר חוּשַׁ֗י אֶל־צָד֤וֹק וְאֶל־אֶבְיָתָר֙ הַכֹּ֣הֲנִ֔ים כָּזֹ֣את וְכָזֹ֗את יָעַ֤ץ אֲחִיתֹ֙פֶל֙ אֶת־אַבְשָׁלֹ֔ם וְאֵ֖ת זִקְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל
וְכָזֹ֥את וְכָזֹ֖את יָעַ֥צְתִּי אָֽנִי
15 And Xushi said to Zadok and to Abiatar, the priests, Such as this and like this Axitophel counseled with Absalom and the elders of Israel,
and such as this and like this I advised myself.
3e 4C 39
11
וְעַתָּ֡ה שִׁלְח֣וּ מְהֵרָה֩ וְהַגִּ֨ידוּ לְדָוִ֜ד לֵאמֹ֗ר אַל־תָּ֤לֶן הַלַּ֙יְלָה֙ בְּעַֽרְב֣וֹת הַמִּדְבָּ֔ר וְגַ֖ם עָב֣וֹר תַּעֲב֑וֹר
פֶּ֚ן יְבֻלַּ֣ע לַמֶּ֔לֶךְ וּלְכָל־הָעָ֖ם אֲשֶׁ֥ר אִתּֽוֹ
16 And now send swiftly and make clear to David, saying, Do not lodge tonight in the steppes of the wilderness, and also pass through. Pass through,
lest the king be swallowed and all the people that are with him.
3e 4C 36
15
וִיהוֹנָתָ֨ן וַאֲחִימַ֜עַץ עֹמְדִ֣ים בְּעֵין־רֹגֵ֗ל וְהָלְכָ֤ה הַשִּׁפְחָה֙ וְהִגִּ֣ידָה לָהֶ֔ם וְהֵם֙ יֵֽלְכ֔וּ וְהִגִּ֖ידוּ לַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֑ד
כִּ֣י לֹ֥א יוּכְל֛וּ לְהֵרָא֖וֹת לָב֥וֹא הָעִֽירָה
17 And Jonathan and Aximats were standing at the Surveyor's Spring, and a handmaid was to go and tell them, and they themselves were to go and tell king David,
for they could not be seen entering the city.
3d 4C 40
13
וַיַּ֤רְא אֹתָם֙ נַ֔עַר וַיַּגֵּ֖ד לְאַבְשָׁלֹ֑ם
וַיֵּלְכוּ֩ שְׁנֵיהֶ֨ם מְהֵרָ֜ה וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ ׀ אֶל־בֵּֽית־אִ֣ישׁ בְּבַחוּרִ֗ים וְל֥וֹ בְאֵ֛ר בַּחֲצֵר֖וֹ וַיֵּ֥רְדוּ שָֽׁם
18 But a youth saw them and he told Absalom,
so the two of them went swiftly and they came to the house of a man in Bachurim, and he had a well in his court, and they went down there.
3d 4C 13
31
וַתִּקַּ֣ח הָאִשָּׁ֗ה וַתִּפְרֹ֤שׂ אֶת־הַמָּסָךְ֙ עַל־פְּנֵ֣י הַבְּאֵ֔ר וַתִּשְׁטַ֥ח עָלָ֖יו הָֽרִפ֑וֹת
וְלֹ֥א נוֹדַ֖ע דָּבָֽר
19 And the woman took and spread a mixture over the face of the well and unfolded on it crushed grain,
and the thing was not known.
3e 4C 26
6
וַיָּבֹ֣אוּ עַבְדֵי֩ אַבְשָׁל֨וֹם אֶֽל־הָאִשָּׁ֜ה הַבַּ֗יְתָה וַיֹּֽאמְרוּ֙ אַיֵּ֗ה אֲחִימַ֙עַץ֙ וִיה֣וֹנָתָ֔ן וַתֹּ֤אמֶר לָהֶם֙ הָֽאִשָּׁ֔ה עָבְר֖וּ מִיכַ֣ל הַמָּ֑יִם
וַיְבַקְשׁוּ֙ וְלֹ֣א מָצָ֔אוּ וַיָּשֻׁ֖בוּ יְרוּשָׁלִָֽם
20 And the servants of Absalom came to the woman towards the house, and they said, Where are Aximats and Jonathan? And the woman said to them, They have gone beyond the overpowering waters.
And they sought and failed to find, so they returned to Jerusalem.
3e 4C 43
16
וַיְהִ֣י ׀ אַחֲרֵ֣י לֶכְתָּ֗ם וַֽיַּעֲלוּ֙ מֵֽהַבְּאֵ֔ר וַיֵּ֣לְכ֔וּ וַיַּגִּ֖דוּ לַמֶּ֣לֶךְ דָּוִ֑ד
וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֶל־דָּוִ֗ד ק֣וּמוּ וְעִבְר֤וּ מְהֵרָה֙ אֶת־הַמַּ֔יִם כִּי־כָ֛כָה יָעַ֥ץ עֲלֵיכֶ֖ם אֲחִיתֹֽפֶל
21 And it was after they had gone, that they came up from the well, and they went and they told king David, and said to David, Arise and pass through the waters swiftly,
because thus Axitophel has counseled concerning you.
3d 4C 26
28
וַיָּ֣קָם דָּוִ֗ד וְכָל־הָעָם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אִתּ֔וֹ וַיַּעַבְר֖וּ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֑ן
עַד־א֣וֹר הַבֹּ֗קֶר עַד־אַחַד֙ לֹ֣א נֶעְדָּ֔ר אֲשֶׁ֥ר לֹא־עָבַ֖ר אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּֽן
22 And David arose and all the people that were with him, and they crossed over the Jordan,
until the light of the morning, until not one lagged behind who not had crossed over Jordan.
3e 4B 21
19
וַאֲחִיתֹ֣פֶל רָאָ֗ה כִּ֣י לֹ֣א נֶעֶשְׂתָה֮ עֲצָתוֹ֒ וַיַּחֲבֹ֣שׁ אֶֽת־הַחֲמ֗וֹר וַיָּ֜קָם וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ אֶל־בֵּיתוֹ֙ אֶל־עִיר֔וֹ וַיְצַ֥ו אֶל־בֵּית֖וֹ וַיֵּחָנַ֑ק
וַיָּ֕מָת וַיִּקָּבֵ֖ר בְּקֶ֥בֶר אָבִֽיו
23 And Axitophel saw that his counsel had not been done, and he saddled the ass, and he arose, and he went to his house, to his city, and set his house in order, and strangled himself, and he died.
And he was entombed in the tomb of his father.
3e 4C 44
12
וְדָוִ֖ד בָּ֣א מַחֲנָ֑יְמָה
וְאַבְשָׁלֹ֗ם עָבַר֙ אֶת־הַיַּרְדֵּ֔ן ה֕וּא וְכָל־אִ֥ישׁ יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל עִמּֽוֹ
24 And David came to Two-Armies.
And Absalom crossed over Jordan, he and all the men of Israel with him.
3e 4B 8
19
וְאֶת־עֲמָשָׂ֗א שָׂ֧ם אַבְשָׁלֹ֛ם תַּ֥חַת יוֹאָ֖ב עַל־הַצָּבָ֑א
וַעֲמָשָׂ֣א בֶן־אִ֗ישׁ וּשְׁמוֹ֙ יִתְרָ֣א הַיִּשְׂרְאֵלִ֔י אֲשֶׁר־בָּא֙ אֶל־אֲבִיגַ֣ל בַּת־נָחָ֔שׁ אֲח֥וֹת צְרוּיָ֖ה אֵ֥ם יוֹאָֽב
25 And Amasa set up Absalom instead of Joab over the host.
And Amasa was the child of a man whose name was Itra, the Israelite that came to Abigail, the daughter of Nachas, a sister of Tseruyah, mother of Joab.
3c 4B 17
33
וַיִּ֤חַן יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְאַבְשָׁלֹ֔ם אֶ֖רֶץ הַגִּלְעָֽד 26 And Israel and Absalom encamped in the land of the Gilead. 3e 4C 15
וַיְהִ֕י כְּב֥וֹא דָוִ֖ד מַחֲנָ֑יְמָה
וְשֹׁבִ֨י בֶן־נָחָ֜שׁ מֵרַבַּ֣ת בְּנֵֽי־עַמּ֗וֹן וּמָכִ֤יר בֶּן־עַמִּיאֵל֙ מִלֹּ֣א דְבָ֔ר וּבַרְזִלַּ֥י הַגִּלְעָדִ֖י מֵרֹגְלִֽים
27 And it happened when David went to Two-Armies,
that Shobai, child of Nachas from Rabbah, the children of Ammon, and Makir, child of Ammiel, from Lodebar and Barzillai of the Gilead, of Rogelim,
3e 4C 10
34
מִשְׁכָּ֤ב וְסַפּוֹת֙ וּכְלִ֣י יוֹצֵ֔ר וְחִטִּ֥ים וּשְׂעֹרִ֖ים וְקֶ֣מַח וְקָלִ֑י
וּפ֥וֹל וַעֲדָשִׁ֖ים וְקָלִֽי
28 Litters, and crocks, and fashioned vessels, and wheat, and barley, and flour, and parched grain,
and bean, and lentil, and parched grain,
3e 4C 21
9
וּדְבַ֣שׁ וְחֶמְאָ֗ה וְצֹאן֙ וּשְׁפ֣וֹת בָּקָ֔ר הִגִּ֧ישׁוּ לְדָוִ֛ד וְלָעָ֥ם אֲשֶׁר־אִתּ֖וֹ לֶאֱכ֑וֹל
כִּ֣י אָמְר֔וּ הָעָ֗ם רָעֵ֛ב וְעָיֵ֥ף וְצָמֵ֖א בַּמִּדְבָּֽר
29 And honey, and clotted cream, and sheep, and yogurt of oxen, they brought close for David and for the people that were with him to eat,
for the people said they were hungry, and exhausted, and thirsty in the wilderness.
3c 4B 27
16

What opinions will I hold after finishing all this visual and computational puzzle solving? I do not know. Whatever my opinions are, I pray you will be free to chose what you think and let others also, and that there be no imposition. For it is of the character of God to rule, but not to impose rule. I understood yesterday that some see the vine image of Romans 11 as a universal image imposed by Paul. This is not how I understand universal. Is there a policy or rule that can include and transform our impoverishment? Is there even that which is one? Or has even that word one been appropriated by those who would impose their will on those who differ from them?

If there is one vine, all are part of it, and we should learn to manage, everyone beneath vine and fig tree, in trust, and unafraid, physically, mentally, and financially. There is no shortage of wealth emerging if we learn to cooperate without bluster and deceit. (As a local ruler, there are some rules I expect to be followed and will impose if needed. Such is the imperfection of my governance.)

Here is a tentative bootstrap. A single bootstrap. Is there one? Yes. Is there law that can be imposed? No. The only law, the law that is one and only, is this: the law of self-giving. The law in itself cannot be imposed. To impose it would deny the reality of self and of giving. Give and it will be given to you, full measure, overflowing.

The good news is that there is a self. The bad news is that it must give of itself.  But the self must be preserved. This is the conclusion that appeared to my thought in the early hours. If I were the programmer of creation, I would say that Life, every living thing, will be programmed with self-giving as part of its bootstrap. From the point of view of the creature then, it would say, I must protect myself, but I have also in me what I must give.

So it would be a similar tension at the household level, as a psychiatrist once said to me concerning a damaged child, Preserve the home environment for positive therapeutic value. So it should be at a provincial and national level also, so a chant of make x great as a power is a lie in and of itself, since no nation exists only for itself. In fact the corollary is that life that undoes its bootstrap will destroy itself.

Paul's thought is not an imposition of a universal but a release of parochialism.

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