In my previous blog, I stressed that most people read what people say is in the Bible even though the Bible does not say what they are told it says. Frequently, the Bible actually says the opposite of what rabbis, priests, and ministers say is in the text. I gave examples from my book “Who Really was the Biblical David.” I will now give examples from my book “The Tragedies of King David.” As I stated in the prior blog, my intension was not to debunk the Torah in any way or to belittle David, I have enormous respect for the Bible, but I wanted to see what the Torah actually says.
In this second volume, I continued to look at the life of King David. I focused on the text of II Samuel and the first two chapters of I Kings and examined what the Bible actually states about David when he was king over Judah for some seven years and over the united-kingdom of Judah and Israel for some thirty-three years. I revealed that David was radically unlike what many think the Bible says about him. He was human and made mistakes, three of which had substantial consequences that effected the lives of many people:
- The story of David and Bat-sheba and the murder of her husband together with the troops that were with him.
- His repeated mistreatments of the northern tribes
- His public census of the people.
I also found that the book raises challenging questions that have perplexed readers of the Bible for centuries. What were the many consequences, the domino effect, of terrible events created by the story of David and Bat-sheva. How and why did David mistreat the northern tribes? Did David’s son follow his father’s example which led to the splitting of the people into two nations? What was wrong with David counting the people? Why were tens of thousands of Israelites killed because of David’s mistake? Significantly, looking at how David and others acted, as with other books that I examined, we are led to wonder whether the author or editor of the books of Samuel and Kings had any knowledge of the laws of the Five Books of Moses.
Most of these events were seen and explained by the ancient rabbis in various way. Recognizing these facts and the rabbinical explanations adds a new dimension, a greater depth, to the story of who David actually was. And the events teach us that acts can have terrible consequences that effect not only ourselves but others as well.