The Bible Was Right After All Part II — David and the Critics -- By: Clifford A. Wilson

Journal: Bible and Spade (First Run)
Volume: BSP 01:2 (Spring 1972)
Article: The Bible Was Right After All Part II — David and the Critics
Author: Clifford A. Wilson

The Bible Was Right After All
Part II — David and the Critics

Clifford A. Wilson

David is one of the most loved of all Bible characters. In the “Hall of Faith” in Hebrews, Chapter 11 he is among those “Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions, quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens.”

Critics have had a field day with the accounts of David, as with most portions of the Biblical record. But as the results from archaeology have come forth in recent years, David has “waxed valiant in fight” and “turned to flight the armies of the aliens”.

David’s Eulogy of King Saul

At the time of the death of King Saul, David expressed his grief in a poem that has become famous as one of the most poignant eulogies ever written. It is found in 2 Samuel 1:

“The beauty of Israel is slain upon thy high places: how are the mighty fallen!” (Verse 19).

“Tell it not in Gath [a capital of the Philistines, the people who killed Saul], publish it not in the streets of Askelon [another Philistine capital]; lest the daughters of the Philistines rejoice, lest the daughters of the uncircumcised triumph” (Verse 20).

Up to that point the eulogy was clear enough. David did not want the enemy to rejoice over the death of the Lord’s anointed. But then David prayed for some sort of a curse to be upon Mount Gilboa where Saul had died:

“Ye mountains of Gilboa, let there be no dew, neither let there be rain, upon you, nor fields of offerings. . .” (Verse 21).

What did David mean? It did not make sense. Something was wrong with the Bible writer, it seemed. What connection did “fields of offerings” have with “no dew, no rain”?

Two Canaanite tablets from Ras Shamra. Although the Canaanites used a cuneiform script, their language was very similar to Hebrew.

One of the most important archaeological finds of modern times was at Ras Shamra on the North Syrian coast (the site of ancient Ugarit). Thousands of tablets were recovered, and among the Canaanite psalms recovered was the expression that had been translated at 2 Samuel 1:21 ...

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