Introduction to 2 Samuel
Many moons ago, in a time of great darkness,
Madonna said that she was "a material girl in a
material world"… And, many moons before that, King
David was a Deuteronomistic guy in a Deutoronomistic world. That might sound
kind of complicated—but it
just means that the same editors involved in putting together the Book of
Deuteronomy also put together the group of books that includes 2 Samuel, running from the book of
Judges to 2 Kings. For the story of 2 Samuel is part of what we commonly call
the "Deuteronomistic History" and David is just one teeny part of it.
But here's the thing. When we say "history," we're using that term pretty
loosely. It's hard to tell what extent 2 Samuel (and 1 Samuel, since they were
originally one work) is hard history or legend or the exaggeration of real
events or a crazy mixture of all these. For many true believers, naturally,
it's going to be history all the way. Yet it's easy to interpret the Biblical
writers' account of David's life as being perhaps a bit whitewashed. See, for
the most part, in their eyes, David can do no wrong. But yet certain unsavory
facts about his life are too big for the authors to omit: particularly David
seducing the wife (Bathsheba) of one of his generals, and then having that
authors don't attempt to justify this at all—it's way bad—and
it might make the reader see a more complicated picture of David in other
situations, like when the writers keep insisting he had nothing to do with the death of
another general, Abner.
So, if you wanted to, you could easily see the whole book as an example of
pro-David propaganda, trying to justify his legacy as God's one beloved king.
But that wouldn't really do justice to the book as a whole. It gives a pretty
thorough picture of Israelite kingship as an institution—how it works, how kings maintain
power. It's a fascinating glimpse into the way people in the ancient Near East
viewed at least some of their kings: as people both divinely guided and humanly
the period of time depicted in the book, the Israelites were wrestling with the
transition from being ruled by Judges like Samuel—with God as the only true king and creator of laws—to being ruled by a human king (who
was still considered to be divinely guided).
was sort of like having a Supreme Court but no President (except for God). And
yeah, this could get kind of confusing and messy… But to be fair, so could being ruled by a king, as
evidenced by the reign of Saul in 1 Samuel. What 2 Samuel does, then, is to
tell the story of a king who managed to pull himself together and rule in the
Should I Care?
How do you manage to seduce one of
your general's wives, orchestrate that same general's death in battle, refuse
to punish your first-born son for committing a heinous crime against his own
sister—and still wind up with a reputation
for being the greatest of all Israelite kings, and God's prize favorite?
The book of 2 Samuel may or may not
answer that question for you—but
it'll help you take a good, hard look at the life of the character who did all
of the above: King David. Of course, David did a lot besides those rather
dubious and devious actions. There's heroism, tragedy, plain bad luck, and
moments of sublime goodness in his story, as well. Also, he's a smooth
operator. Even when he's doing something wrong or questionable, David remains
but recognizably one of us. In a way, the dark patches in David's life are what
help make him one of the very most intriguing and compelling people in the
Bible as a whole. After God and Moses, David is arguably the most important
character in the Hebrew Bible (most people would probably agree that he's the
third-most-central figure.) Even though the book has a huge and interesting
supporting cast, the Second Book of Samuel really is all about David, the
heart of the story. What King Arthur is to Great Britain, and Caesar Augustus is
to Ancient Rome,
and Luke Skywalker is to Tatooine, King David is to Israel. He's the
model hero, the best example of how to do it right (despite the serious things
he does wrong).
Can Be Heroes" (to Quote David Bowie)
fine, and David might be an interesting guy—but what does the book have to do with life today?
Well, since people throughout the world have been reading the Bible for a
while, it's shaped the kind of hero’s people look for and write about. Heroes
from other books and other cultures demonstrate heroism in different ways—like Odysseus in the Odyssey,
they might be crafty warriors trying to outwit the gods and make it home. Or,
like King Rama from Hindu myth, they might be gods themselves, fighting for
truth and righteousness against demonic powers. But the important thing to
remember is that David is a human—a
human who is trying to live according to a higher law, and serve his God's
purposes, sure—but a human,
nonetheless. True, Odysseus is a human, too, but his goals are also all
typically human, related to getting back to his kingdom, seeing his wife and
son, and regaining power. David's concerned with his personal power, too, but
he has to balance that with what he believes God wants. His goals are both
human and divine.
ends up being a pretty tricky tight rope to walk, and watching David walk it,
wavering between his own selfish ambitions and this higher cause, is part of
the value and fun of 2 Samuel. Life
actually imitates art pretty often. People mimic the heroes they see on TV or
in the movies or read about in Newsweek
or wherever (there's recently been an increase in people who are imitating
superheroes by wearing underwear over leotards and trying to hit criminals with
nun-chucks). Since David is one of the most widely read characters in the
history of the world, the story of his reign (which begins when 2 Samuel
starts) can help give us a better idea of what we actually think about heroes
and leaders—what we
expect from them, what qualities they have.
not just important for understanding the heroes we see depicted around us
everyday—it's also a useful way to
understand ourselves, to see how we measure up, and to define our own ideas of
JULY 28 Friday
Samuel, Chapter 1, Verse 14
lesson here is, do not be a person who seeks to gain from another’s misfortune.
Cue up the Sad Violins
As 2 Samuel begins, Saul and Jonathan have just
died fighting the Philistines—David almost fought for the Philistines,
but ended up getting excused at the last second, and headed off to fight the
Saul had committed suicide after seeing his
defeat was inevitable (with, as it turns out, a little help), and Jonathan was
killed in the battle.
A survivor from Saul's army finds David and
tells him the news. It turns out the survivor was an Amalekite who (at Saul's
request) helped Saul finish dying, giving him a fatal sword thrust, before
bringing Saul's crown and armlet to David.
However, David is offended that this guy had the
guts to help kill the Lord's anointed, so he has one of his own men kill the
Then, David sings the blues. In a song, he
laments the deaths of Saul and Jonathan, singing, "How the mighty have
He hails them both, paying tribute to their
strength and good qualities, and telling the rest of Israel to weep for them in
He also says that Jonathan's love for him was
"wonderful, passing the love of a woman," before repeating again,
"How the mighty have fallen."
Honor God’s Anointed
It appears that the Amalekite was trying to get a reward for killing the enemy of David (Saul). Everyone in the nation knew that Saul and David were at odds and that Saul was trying to kill David. When he stumbled onto the body of Saul, he thought that he had hit the jackpot. Instead of telling the truth about what he found he lied to David with the hope of getting gain. David was faultless in killing him because the man told David that he had killed the Lords anointed. In David’s eye that was a serious crime and the man brought it on himself. Notice and verse 14 of second Samuel he says "How wast thou not afraid to stretch forth thine hand to destroy the Lords anointed?" and in verse 16, "And David said unto him, thy blood be on thy upon thy head; for thy mouth hath testified against thee, saying I have slain the Lords anointed." Even though he did not kill Saul he lied in hopes of being rewarded and he was, just not in the way he thought though. The wages of sin is death.
World Hepatitis Day
Hepatitis Day seeks to raise awareness for the spectrum of Hepatitis diseases.
Hepatitis diseases cause inflammation of the liver cells. There are five main
types of hepatitis, A, B, C, D and E. It is estimated that around 250 million
people worldwide are infected with Hepatitis C and 300 million people are
Hepatitis B carriers.
World Hepatitis Day was proclaimed by the World Health Organization. It is celebrated annually on July 28th.
Hepatitis Day Facts
Hepatitis A is usually transmitted by consuming contaminated food or water or coming into contact with an infected person's feces.
Hepatitis B is a sexually transmitted disease. It is transmitted through exposure to infected blood or body fluids.
Hepatitis B is spread via blood of an infected person.
can also be caused by alcohol and other toxins and infections.
Life Matters: Embryo
The Nuremberg Code (1947) was prompted by the horrific and often deadly experimentation on human beings in Nazi concentration camps that came to light during the “Doctors’ Trials” before the Nuremberg Military Tribunals. The main principles of the Nuremberg Code require that experiments involving human subjects cause no unnecessary risk, be undertaken with the full and informed consent of the subjects and must never knowingly cause serious injury or death. Nazi doctors were not the first, nor the last, to perform inhumane and sometimes disabling research on unsuspecting human subjects living in poverty, in prisons, mental health institutions, and orphanages. The Tuskegee syphilis experiments, the Stateville Penitentiary Malaria Study, and the Willowbrook (Long Island) State School experiments—in which children with mental disabilities were intentionally infected with viral hepatitis—are just a few examples of cases in which doctors put the pursuit of knowledge and “cures” ahead of the lives and well-being of individual human beings. The Nuremberg Code inspired other declarations of medical and research ethics. In 1948, the World Medical Association approved a statement addressing the ethics of physicians, the Declaration of Geneva. As originally adopted, it read in part:
“I will maintain the utmost respect for human life, from the time of conception; even under threat, I will not use my medical knowledge contrary to the laws of humanity.”
in Honor of Saint John Marie Vianney
Trust in God
Saint John Marie Baptist
Vianney, what confidence the people had in your prayers! You could not leave
your old rectory or your humble church without being surrounded by imploring
souls, who appealed to you as they would have appealed to Jesus Himself during
His earthly life. And you, O good Saint, gave them hope by your words, which
were full of love for God. You, who had always counted entirely on the heart of
God, obtain for me a deep filial trust in His Providence. As the hope of divine
goods fills my heart, give me courage and help me to always obey the
Commandments of God. Holy Priest of Ars, I have confidence in your
intercession. Pray for me during this novena especially for ... (mention
silently your special intentions).
Father, Hail Mary, Glory Be.
of the Catholic Church
PART ONE: THE PROFESSION
TWO-I. THE CREEDS
CHAPTER THREE-I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT
ARTICLE 8-"I BELIEVE IN THE HOLY SPIRIT"
"Because you are sons, God has sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts,
crying, 'Abba! Father!"' (Gal 4:6).
the beginning to the end of time, whenever God sends his Son, he always sends
his Spirit: their mission is conjoined and inseparable.
the fullness of time the Holy Spirit completes in Mary all the preparations for
Christ's coming among the People of God. By the action of the Holy Spirit in
her, the Father gives the world Emmanuel "God-with-us" (Mt 1:23).
Son of God was consecrated as Christ (Messiah) by the anointing of the Holy
Spirit at his Incarnation (cf Ps 2:6-7).
his Death and his Resurrection, Jesus is constituted in glory as Lord and
Christ (cf Acts 2:36). From his fullness, he poured out the Holy Spirit on the
apostles and the Church.
Holy Spirit, whom Christ the head pours out on his members, builds, animates,
and sanctifies the Church. She is the sacrament of the Holy Trinity's communion
12 Best Types of Fish to Eat
Fish is a healthy,
high-protein food, especially important for its omega-3 fatty acids, which are essential fats that our
bodies don’t produce on their own. Omega-3 fatty acids play an essential role
in brain and heart health. Omega-3s have been shown to decrease inflammation and reduce the risk of heart disease. They’re important for prenatal
development in babies, too. The American
Heart Association (AHA)Trusted Source recommends
eating fish at least 2 times a week, particularly fatty fish like salmon, lake
trout, sardines, and albacore tuna, which are high in omega-3s. Yet, there are
some risks associated with eating fish on a regular basis. Contaminants such
as mercury and polychlorinated biphenyls
(PCBs) find their way into ground, lake, and ocean water from our household and
industrial waste, and then into the fish who live there.
Protection Agency (EPA) and FDA have issued combined guidelines for women
of childbearing age, pregnant and breastfeeding women, and children. They advise
these groups avoid fish with higher levels of mercury contamination, which
The following 12 superstar
fish have made it onto our “best fish” list not only for having great nutrition
and safety profiles but because they’re eco-friendly — being responsibly caught
or farmed, and not overfished.
11. Alaskan pollock
Freedom Ring Day 22 Freedom from Narcissism
Litany of the Most Precious
Blood of Jesus