2 Samuel 1:1
When David gets back home from killing a bunch of Amalekites and rescuing his and his army’s kidnapped families, a man arrives. He tells David that he was on the battlefield with Saul and his sons. Apparently Saul did a shitty job of falling on his sword, because the man describes it more as “leaning” on the damn thing. So Saul asked the man to finish the job, and he did. The man also tells David about the death of Jonathan. Apparently, David is a kill the messenger type of guy. Because he does. Then he and his army tear the hell out of their clothes and weep for quite a while. Then David wrote a lament for Saul and Jonathan, and ensured that it would be kept and taught to all priests.
In one part of the lament, he says of Jonathan, “Your love to me was wonderful, more wonderful that that of women.” I mean, come on!!! How much more evidence do we need?! The best love story in the Bible so far is between two men. End of story. If these two weren’t blood-thirsty wankers this would be an epic romance!
Anyway, soon after, David is proclaimed King over Judah (the priest tribe). Apparently, Saul had a son tucked away somewhere who wasn’t killed in the battle with the Philistines, because he is soon made king over Israel. So now this kid and David are both kings over part of Israel, and both would like to be the king of the whole thing. So they set up a battle between 12 of David’s men and 12 of the other guy’s men to fight it out and see who would get the throne. The men each “grabbed his opponent buy the head and thrust his dagger into his opponent’s side.” Sounds messy, right? There was also a lot of chasing and weirdness, but in the end David wins. It doesn’t really decide anything, and the two men continue to war with one another.
Over time, the House of Saul becomes weaker, and his son really pisses off his main commander (he accuses him of sleeping with Saul’s concubine). So the commander, Abner, decides to switch allegiances. David is more than happy to accept Abner’s help, but there is one thing he asks for. He wanted Saul’s daughter, his wife, back. I mean, the guy cut off a lot of penis skin for that lady. So Abner gets her back for David, and they become a team.
David sends Abner out to talk the Israelites into accepting David as their king. While Abner is out wondering around, David’s head commander, Joab, finds out that David is trusting Abner and does not approve. Jealousy maybe? Probably. Also, Abner killed Joab’s little brother, so there’s that. Joab goes behind David’s back and kills Abner. David is not happy about this news and pretty much puts a curse on Joab and every future generation of his family. Forever. Forever ever.
Back to Saul’s son, the kind-of king of Israel. Two guys decide they’ll get in really good with David and kill the king. They cut off his head and bring it to David. David is not amused that they have killed an innocent man and has them killed as well. David has their hands and feet cut off and leaves the bodies hanging by a pool.
Once the kind-of king is dead, all of Israel recognizes David as the one and only king of Israel. Finally, now that probably half of Israel is dead from the back-and-forth fighting. Then David goes and captures Jerusalem (not sure why he has to “capture” it since he’s the king of all Israel, but…), and makes it his capital. Then he built himself a palace and made a lot of babies. King stuff.
David decided to have that Indiana Jones Ark thing (I’d like to continue calling it by the nickname I gave it, Indy, but it is possible that your ability to actually read what the fuck I’m talking about might be more important than my personal glee at calling it that) brought to the city. On the way there, it almost fell off of the cart, and a man held out his hand to catch the Ark thing. Once he touched it, the Ark burnt him up, and he died. That really freaked David out, and he decided it would be best to keep the Ark thing in someone else’s house, so he made a friend keep it. But God blessed the house where the Ark has being kept, so then David decided he wanted it and moved it into his own city. He “danced with all his might” leading the cart into a tent that had been erected for the Ark thing.
God spoke to a prophet serving David, telling him that He promised not to give the Israelites over to other peoples as slaves. He would build a house for them that would last forever. And David and his line would be rulers of the people forever. God promised not to leave David as He had done with Saul. If David were naughty, God would punish him but never dessert him. I don’t know about you, but I’ll believe that when I see it.
The love story continues! David seeks out anyone remaining form the house of Saul, because of his love for Jonathan. David finds out that Jonathan had a son, who had gone into hiding and was crippled in both feet. David found the son, gave him all of the land that had belonged to Saul, and provided him with servants to tend to him. He was also invited to eat at David’s table anytime that the child chose to attend. Swoon.
David hears that one of Israel’s neighbors, the Ammonites, had lost their king, so David sent a delegation of men to express grief to the new king. The Ammonites, knowing David’s past, were wary that the men were there only to show sympathy. Given that David’s favorite pastime was wasting people left and right, I’m not surprised that the Ammonites were distrustful. The new Ammonite king decided not to trust David and his men, so he shaved half of the men’s beards, cut off their robes at the buttocks and sent them home way embarrassed. David formed an army and kicked their ass. You don’t embarrass David’s dudes. He will kill you.
Come springtime (that’s siege season), David sent his army back to the Ammonites to lay siege to another city that he had yet to destroy. David stayed behind. One night, he was walking around the palace rooftop and saw a woman in a courtyard below, bathing. He thought she was way hot and had to have her. He found out that her name was Bathsheba, and that she had a husband. Husband, shbusband. He had his men bring her to him, detox her since she was unclean from having another penis in her, and then he banged that hot chick. And sent her home.
Unfortunately, as often happens when men carelessly bang everything they think is hot, not thinking about the consequences, Bathsheba became pregnant with David’s baby. It was time to do something drastic. David sent her husband to where his men were sieging the Ammonite city. He also sent word to his men to put the husband on the front lines and basically try and get him killed. It worked, and the husband was killed in battle, like asap. Then David married Bathsheba and all was well.
Except it wasn’t. God was not happy with David. He sent a prophet, Nathan, to David with a message. Nathan told David a story about a rich man who had everything one could want who took the lamb of a poor man who had nothing. David was furious at the story and said the rich man should die for doing something so awful. To which Nathan replied, you’re the rich guy, idiot. Also, God is going to take your wives and give them to someone else, someone who will bang them in public. Plus, He’s gonna kill the son that Bathsheba just carried for you. God was a good as his word, and David’s son died seven days later.
David mourned by creating another baby with Bathsheba. And then going to help his army besiege that city. They took the town and collected a lot of plunder, including a cool crown with precious gems for David.
One of David’s sons, Amnon, decides he has the hots for one of his sisters, Tamar. One day, he pretends to be sick and requests that Tamar be sent in to feed and care for him. Once they are alone, Amnon asks Tamar to sleep with him, she (knowing that’s gross and fucked up) refuses. But Amnon is stronger than she is, and he rapes her. Once he is done, his feelings of love become loathing toward his sister, and he call servants to have her taken out. Tamar tells one of her other brothers, Absalom, what has happened. She lives the rest of her life in desolation.
Absalom is furious when he finds out what Amnon has done. He plans a trip for himself and his brothers. While away, Absalom has his men kill Amnon and then flee to hide from his father’s wrath. When David found out what Absalom had done, he was furious, but he eventually got over it. What’s one less son in the grand scheme, right? He invited Absalom back to the city but refused to see him for years. But David could not stay away from his beloved son forever and invited him back into the palace, where David forgave Absalom of his past grievance.
But Absalom is either bitter, power hungry or both, because he begins to make plans to overthrow his father. He buys horses and chariots and other displays of health to boost his popularity with the Israelites. He also treats the people very kindly, helping out any who need it. Plus, he was hot as hell, apparently. That always helps. Over time, Absalom won the heart of the people, and he had himself announced as king of Israel. David, knowing the power that Absalom had, fled his palace and the city of Jerusalem.
Find out the thrilling conclusion of the dispute to kinship between David and his son next time!