May 19, 2015: Daily Bible Reading with Commentary for 2 Samuel 20-24
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Context: The northern tribes revolt against David, but David quickly ends the revolt. Tensions remain between the southern and northern tribes, which David barely manages to unite. Chapter 21 is undated, and it could have occurred before the events of the previous chapters. Saul had made an attempt to wipe out the Gibeonites, with whom Joshua had made a treaty to not harm. For Saul's actions, Israel suffered a famine until amends were made. The battles with the Philistines likely occurred during the early years of David's reign, when he was battling the Philistines. Chapter 22 is identical to Psalm 18, in which David asks God for help, God responds, and David explains why God helps and that everything comes from God. The song ends with God making David king. The song was written when Saul was chasing David. Chapter 23 begins with a reflection by David of how God has provided for him throughout his life. The chapter ends with a record of the men who had helped David throughout his life. David, against advice, conducts a census. Such an act was one of vanity, for the strength did not lie with David or his men, but the Lord. First Chronicles 21 reveals that it was Satan who incited David to take the census, thus sinning against the Lord. Because of David's action, his people suffer. David purchases the future site of the Temple so that he may make a sacrifice to the Lord to repent for his actions.