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Day 121 – Cycle of Violence


Thoughts and Reflection

Today in our readings, David is the king of Judah. He is going to battle Ish-Bosheth. Asahel continues to chase Abner and Abner will kill him in self-defense. Abishai and Joab then chase Abner to avenge the death of their brother. Abner calls for an end to the cycle of violence. Violence won’t just end on its own but it must also be ended by those who are fighting.

Jesus allows violence to fall upon himself, suffering for the sake of the unrighteous. This puts an end to the cycle in many ways.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

2 Samuel 2

1 After this David consulted Yahweh, asking, ‘Shall I go up to one of the towns of Judah?’ Yahweh replied, ‘Go up!’ ‘Which one shall I go to?’ David asked. ‘To Hebron,’ was the reply.

2 So David went up, with his two wives Ahinoam of Jezreel and Abigail widow of Nabal of Carmel.

3 In addition David brought up the men who were with him, each with his family, and they settled in the towns of Hebron.

4 The men of Judah came, and there they anointed David as king of the House of Judah. They told David that the people of Jabesh in Gilead had given Saul burial,

5 so David sent messengers to the people of Jabesh in Gilead. ‘May you be blessed by Yahweh,’ he said, ‘for showing this faithful love to Saul your lord, and for burying him.

6 And now may Yahweh show faithful love and constancy towards you! I too shall treat you well because you have done this.

7 And now take courage and be men of valour. Saul your lord is dead, but the House of Judah has anointed me to be their king.’

8 Abner son of Ner, Saul’s army commander, had taken Ishbaal son of Saul and brought him over to Mahanaim.

9 He had made him king of Gilead, of the Asherites, of Jezreel, of Ephraim, of Benjamin and indeed of all Israel.

10 Ishbaal son of Saul was forty years old when he became king of Israel, and he reigned for two years. Only the House of Judah supported David.

11 The length of David’s reign over Judah in Hebron was seven years and six months.

12 Abner son of Ner, with the retainers of Ishbaal son of Saul, marched out from Mahanaim to Gibeon.

13 Joab son of Zeruiah, with David’s retainers, also took the field, encountering them at the pool of Gibeon. There they halted, one party on one side of the pool, and the other opposite.

14 Abner then said to Joab, ‘Let the men come forward and fight it out between us!’ Joab replied, ‘Let them come forward.’

15 So they came forward and were numbered off, twelve from Benjamin for Ishbaal son of Saul, and twelve of David’s retainers.

16 Each caught his opponent by the head and drove his sword into his side; and thus they all fell together. Hence the place was called the Field of Sides; it is at Gibeon.

17 That day a very fierce battle took place, and Abner and the men of Israel were beaten by David’s retainers.

18 The three sons of Zeruiah were there, Joab, Abishai, and Asahel. Now Asahel could run like a wild gazelle.

19 Asahel chased Abner, not swerving to the right or left from pursuing him.

20 Abner turned and said, ‘Asahel, is that you?’ He replied, ‘It is.’

21 Abner said, ‘Turn to your right or your left, catch one of the men and take his spoil!’ But Asahel would not break off the pursuit.

22 Again Abner spoke to Asahel, ‘Stop following me, unless you want me to strike you to the ground; and then how could I look your brother Joab in the face?’

23 But he refused to be diverted, so Abner struck him in the belly with the butt of his spear so that the shaft came out through his back; and he fell at his feet and died on the spot. On coming to the place where Asahel had fallen and died, everyone halted.

24 Joab and Abishai took up the pursuit of Abner and at sunset reached the Hill of Ammah, which is to the east of Giah on the road through the desert of Gibeon.

25 The Benjaminites gathered in close formation behind Abner and halted on the top of a hill.

26 Abner called out to Joab, ‘Is the sword to go on devouring for ever? Surely you see that this can only end in bitterness? How long willit be before you order those people to stop pursuing their brothers?’

27 Joab replied, ‘As Yahweh lives, if you had not spoken, these men would not have given up the pursuit of their brothers until morning.’

28 Joab then sounded the trumpet and all the troops halted; they pursued Israel no further and fought no more.

29 All that night Abner and his men made their way through the Arabah; they crossed the Jordan and, marching throughout the morning, came to Mahanaim.

30 Joab, having stopped pursuing Abner, mustered the whole contingent; David’s retainers had lost nineteen men in addition to Asahel,

31 but had killed three hundred and sixty of Benjamin, Abner’s men.

32 They took up Asahel and buried him in his father’s tomb, which is at Bethlehem. Joab and his men then marched throughout the night, reaching Hebron at daybreak.

1 Chronicles 2

1 And Solomon allocated seventy thousand men to be porters and eighty thousand to quarry in the hills and three thousand six hundred overseers for them.

2 And Solomon sent this message to Huram king of Tyre, ‘Do as you did for my father David when you sent him cedars for him to build himself a palace to live in.

3 You see, I am building a house for the name of Yahweh my God, to acknowledge his holiness so that perfumed incense may be burnt before him, the loaves of permanent offering be perpetually laid out and the burnt offerings be made morning and evening, on the Sabbaths, New Moons and solemn festivals of Yahweh our God, as prescribed to Israel for ever;

4 and the house which I am building must be large, for our God is greater than all gods;

5 even so, who would not find it an impossible task to build a house for him, when the heavens and the heavens of the heavens cannot contain him? And who am I to build a house for him except to burn incense before him?

6 So now send me a man skilled at working in gold, silver, bronze, iron, scarlet, crimson and violet materials, and who knows the art of engraving too; he is to work with my skilled men in Judah and Jerusalem, whom my father David has provided.

7 Also send me cedar, juniper and algum trunks from the Lebanon, for I know that your servants know the art of felling timber in the Lebanon. And, my servants will work with your servants

8 in preparing a vast quantity of timber for me, since the house which I intend to build is to be of a size to marvel at.

9 Furthermore, for the upkeep of the woodcutters whom you employ to cut the timber, I shall provide twenty thousand kor of wheat, twenty thousand kor of barley, twenty thousand bat of wine and twenty thousand bat of oil.’

10 In a letter sent to King Solomon, Huram king of Tyre replied, ‘Because Yahweh loves his people he has made you their king!’

11 Huram went on to say, ‘Praised be Yahweh, God of Israel, who made heaven and earth and has given King David a wise son, endowed with discretion and discernment, to build a house for Yahweh and a palace in which to reign!-

12 I am now sending you a skilled and intelligent man, Huram-Abi

13 the son of a Danite woman by a Tyrian father. He knows the arts of working in gold, silver, bronze, iron, stone, wood, scarlet, violet, fine linen and crimson materials, and is competent to carry out any kind of engraving and to execute any design which may be entrusted to him, in collaboration with your skilled men and those of my lord David, your father.

14 ‘So now let my lord send his servants the wheat, barley, oil and wine as promised

15 and we will fell all the wood you need from Lebanon, and bring it you in rafts by sea to Jaffa; and it will be your responsibility to transport it to Jerusalem.’

16 Solomon then took a census of all the aliens resident in Israel similar to the census which his father David had taken; it was found that there were a hundred and fifty-three thousand six hundred.

17 He impressed seventy thousand of them as porters, eighty thousand as quarrymen in the hills and three thousand six hundred as overseers to make sure the people worked.

Psalm 24

1 [Psalm Of David] To Yahweh belong the earth and all it contains, the world and all who live there;

2 it is he who laid its foundations on the seas, on the flowing waters fixed it firm.

3 Who shall go up to the mountain of Yahweh? Who shall take a stand in his holy place?

4 The clean of hands and pure of heart, whose heart is not set on vanities, who does not swear an oath in order to deceive.

5 Such a one will receive blessing from Yahweh, saving justice from the God of his salvation.

6 Such is the people that seeks him, that seeks your presence, God of Jacob.

7 Gates, lift high your heads, raise high the ancient gateways, and the king of glory shall enter!

8 Who is he, this king of glory? It is Yahweh, strong and valiant, Yahweh valiant in battle.

9 Gates, lift high your heads, raise high the ancient gateways, and the king of glory shall enter!

10 Who is he, this king of glory? Yahweh Sabaoth, he is the king of glory.


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