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Thoughts and Reflections

In today’s reading we learn that David is the hailed as the king of Israel. All the tribes are competing to see who can honor him more. However, Sheba, the son of Bichri, a member of the tribe of Benjamin claims that he is knew king. Some tribes choose to follow him rather than David. Sheba is later defeated. When Joab is about to destroy the city where he retreated.

Violence begets violence. David left ten concubines to care for the house. Absalom later raped them. David decides to treat them as widows and they are sequestered until their deaths. This seems unjust and are caught in-between the evil sin choices of David and Absalom.

How are others affected by our sins?

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 20

1 Now there happened to be a scoundrel there called Sheba son of Bichri, a Benjaminite, who sounded the trumpet and shouted: We have no share in David, we have no heritage in the son of Jesse. Every man to his tents, O Israel!

2 At this all the men of Israel deserted David and followed Sheba son of Bichri. But the men of Judah stuck close to their king, from the Jordan all the way to Jerusalem.

3 David returned to his palace in Jerusalem. The king took the ten concubines, whom he had left to look after the palace, and put them under guard. He provided for their upkeep but never went near them again; they were shut away until the day they died, widows, as it were, of a living man.

4 The king said to Amasa, ‘Summon me the men of Judah and be here yourself within three days.’

5 Amasa went off to summon Judah, but he took longer than the time fixed by David.

6 David then said to Abishai, ‘Sheba son of Bichri is now in a position to do us more damage even than Absalom. Take your master’s retainers and be after him, before he can reach any fortified towns and elude us.’

7 Joab, the Cherethites, the Pelethites and all the champions took the field under Abishai, setting off from Jerusalem in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri.

8 They were near the great stone at Gibeon when Amasa met them, coming the other way. Joab was wearing his uniform, over which he had buckled on a sword hanging from his waist in its scabbard; the sword came out and fell.

9 Joab said to Amasa, ‘Are you well, brother?’ and, with his right hand, took Amasa by the beard to kiss him.

10 Amasa paid no attention to the sword, which Joab had now picked up, and Joab struck him with it in the belly, spilling his entrails all over the ground. He did not need to strike a second blow; and Amasa died, while Joab and Abishai hurried on in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri. 

11 One of Joab’s men stood on guard beside Amasa, shouting, ‘Whoever is on Joab’s side, whoever is for David, follow Joab!’

12 Amasa meanwhile lay wallowing in his blood in the middle of the road. Seeing that everyone was stopping, the man dragged Amasa off the road into the field and threw a cloak over him, having realised that everyone passing would stop.

13 Once Amasa had been taken off the road, the men all carried on, following Joab in pursuit of Sheba son of Bichri.

14 Sheba crossed all the tribes of Israel as far as Abel Beth-Maacah, and the Bichrites all . . . They formed up and followed him.

15 Laying siege to him in Abel Beth-Maacah, they threw up a ramp against the outer wall of the town,

16 while the whole army accompanying Joab undermined the wall to bring it down. A quick-witted woman shouted from the town, ‘Listen!

17 Listen! Say to Joab, “Come here, I want to speak to you.” ‘ He came forward, and the woman said, ‘Are you Joab?’ ‘I am’, he replied. She said, ‘Listen to what your servant says.’ ‘I am listening,’ he replied.

18 She then spoke as follows, ‘In olden days people used to say, “Abel and Dan are where you should enquire

19 whether a tradition established by the faithful of Israel has finally died out.” And yet you are trying to destroy a town, a metropolis of Israel. Why do you want to devour Yahweh’s heritage?’

20 ‘The last thing I want to do’, said Joab, ‘is either to devour or to destroy.

21 This is not the issue; a man from the highlands of Ephraim, called Sheba son of Bichri, has revolted against the king, against David. Hand that one man over and I will raise the siege of the town.’ ‘Very well,’ the woman said to Joab, ‘his head will be thrown over the wall to you.’

22 The woman went and spoke to all the people as her wisdom dictated. They cut off the head of Sheba son of Bichri and threw it down to Joab. He had the trumpet sounded and they withdrew from the town and all went home, while Joab himself went back to the king in Jerusalem.

23 Joab commanded the whole army; Benaiah son of Jehoiada commanded the Cherethites and Pelethites;

24 Adoram was in charge of forced labour; Jehoshaphat son of Ahilud was herald;

25 Shiya was secretary; Zadok and Abiathar were priests;

26 also: Ira the Jairite was David’s priest.

1 Chronicles 25

1 For the liturgy, David and the religious officials selected the sons of Asaph, of Heman and of Jeduthun, who were to prophesy to the accompaniment of harps, lyres and cymbals. The list of ministrants for this service was as follows:

2 Of the sons of Asaph: Zaccur, Joseph, Nethaniah, Asharelah; the sons of Asaph were under the direction of Asaph who prophesied at the king’s direction.

3 Of Jeduthun there were the sons of Jeduthun: Gedaliah, Zeri, Jeshaiah, Hashabiah and Mattithiah, six, under the direction of their father Jeduthun who, with the harp, prophesied when thanks and praise were to be given to Yahweh.

4 Of Heman there were the sons of Heman: Bukkiah, Mattaniah, Uzziel, Shebuel, Jerimoth, Hananiah, Hanani, Eliathah, Giddalti, Romamti-Ezer, Joshbekashah, Mallothi, Hothir, Mahazioth.

5 All these were sons of Heman, the king’s seer; at God’s word they blew the horn. God gave Heman fourteen sons and three daughters.

6 Under the king’s direction all these had the duty of singing to the accompaniment of cymbal, lyre and harp for the liturgy of the house of God under the direction of their fathers. Asaph, Jeduthun and Heman,

7 trained in the songs of Yahweh, with their brothers, numbered two hundred and eighty-eight, all expert.

8 Junior and senior, master and pupil alike, they drew lots for their term of duty.

9 The first to whom the lot fell was the Asaphite, Joseph. The second was Gedaliah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

10 The third was Zaccur, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

11 The fourth was Izri, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

12 The fifth was Nethaniah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

13 The sixth was Bukkiah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

14 The seventh was Jesharelah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

15 The eighth was Jeshaiah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

16 The ninth was Mattaniah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

17 The tenth was Shimei, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

18 The eleventh was Azarel, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

19 The twelfth was Hashabiah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

20 The thirteenth was Shubael, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

21 The fourteenth was Mattithiah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

22 The fifteenth was Jeremoth, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

23 The sixteenth was Hananiah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

24 The seventeenth was Joshbekashah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

25 The eighteenth was Hanani, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

26 The nineteenth was Mallothi, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

27 The twentieth was Eliathah, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

28 The twenty-first was Hothir, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

29 The twenty-second was Giddalti, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

30 The twenty-third was Mahazioth, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

31 The twenty-fourth was Romamti-Ezer, who with his sons and brothers made twelve.

Psalm 39

1 [For the choirmaster For Jeduthun Psalm Of David] I said, ‘I will watch how I behave so that I do not sin by my tongue. I will keep a muzzle on my mouth as long as any sinner is near.’

2 I stayed dumb, silent, speechless, but the sinner’s prosperity redoubled my torment.

3 My heart had been smouldering within me, but at the thought of this it flared up and the words came bursting out,

4 ‘Yahweh, let me know my fate, how much longer I have to live. Show me just how frail I am.

5 ‘Look, you have given me but a hand’s breadth or two of life, the length of my life is as nothing to you. Every human being that stands on earth is a mere puff of wind,

6 every human being that walks only a shadow; a mere puff of wind is the wealth stored away — no knowing who will profit from it.’

7 So now, Lord, what am I to hope for? My hope is in you.

8 Save me from all my sins, do not make me the butt of fools.

9 I keep silence, I speak no more since you yourself have been at work.

10 Take your scourge away from me. I am worn out by the blows you deal me.

11 You correct human beings by punishing sin, like a moth you eat away all their desires — a human being is a mere puff of wind.

12 Yahweh, hear my prayer, listen to my cry for help, do not remain deaf to my weeping. For I am a stranger in your house, a nomad like all my ancestors.

13 Turn away your gaze that I may breathe freely before I depart and am no more!

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