The previous chapter of 1 Samuel was short, but included several verses in which it is clear the authors of the Bible favored men over women. Either the Bible is God breathed and therefore God is a misogynistic asshole, or the Bible was written by men who wanted to control women. You know which I think is true. Let’s now move ahead into the next chapter, 1 Samuel 22.
“Now Saul heard that David and his men had been discovered. And Saul was seated, spear in hand, under the tamarisk tree on the hill at Gibeah, with all his officials standing at his side.” – 1 Samuel 22:6
Hmmm…Saul sure has a fetish for spears! Much of the remaining verses in this chapter focus on Saul arguing with the protectors of David.
“The king (Saul) then ordered Doeg, ‘You turn and strike down the priests.’ So Doeg the Edomite turned and struck them down. That day he killed eighty-five men who wore the linen ephod.” – 1 Samuel 22:18
I don’t doubt that Saul ordered the killing. God has hardened Saul’s heart so I’m sure Saul, through the ‘power’ of God, did this. What I don’t believe is Doeg single handedly killing 85 men. He was armed, so I’m sure he killed a few, but 85? Surely he would be overwhelmed. He as a spear, maybe a sword and a shield. He does not have a fully automatic weapon with an unlimited ammo supply! The Bible would be much more believable if the numbers made more sense. For example, what’s wrong with saying Doeg killed 5 people that day? It’s still horrific, yet it makes physical sense! It could conceivably happen.
“But one son of Ahimelek son of Ahitub, named Abiathar, escaped and fled to join David. He told David that Saul had killed the priests of the Lord. Then David said to Abiathar, ‘That day, when Doeg the Edomite was there, I knew he would be sure to tell Saul. I am responsible for the death of your whole family. Stay with me; don’t be afraid. The man who wants to kill you is trying to kill me too. You will be safe with me.’” – 1 Samuel 22:20-23
I’m sure the people appreciated this and sought true comfort in staying with David. After all, they can see Saul is a maniac. What they can’t see is God controlling Saul! Saul killing people is not sickening. God controlling Saul and killing people is the sickening part.
This chapter was more of the same. God continues to control Saul. Saul, through God, continues to kill. David is still on the run as well as the people with David. This is not going to end well.
Coming Soon: 1 Samuel – Chapter 23: David Saves Keilah