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The Bible In A Year: Day 137

2 Samuel 20-21
Song of Solomon 4
Acts 20:1-16

2 Samuel 20-21

As the king’s welcoming party departs from the Jordan river towards Jerusalem, a Benjaminite (Saul was a Benjaminite and they had unresolved problems with the kingship being taken from their tribe) named Sheba takes advantage of the bickering between Judah and the other tribes and he incites another rebellion.

David had already given the command over all his army to Amasa, and had demoted Joab because of his killing of Absalom. But when Amasa returns from a trip to rally support for the coming campaign against Sheba he’s murdered by Joab. He was securing his spot as David’s only commander, a spot he’d now retain until David’s death, despite his deep desire to be rid of him.

They pursued Sheba to the north of Israel and into a city named Abel. While laying siege to the city an old woman asks to parlay with Joab. They strike a deal that the city gives up Sheba and the army will leave, so that night they throw the head of Sheba over the wall and Joab orders the army to return to Jerusalem.

We skip ahead a bit in time and there’s a famine in the later days of the reign of king David. He inquires of God why it’s happening and God says it’s because of the bloodguilt that Saul brought on the nation for violating the treaty with the Gibeonites. Remember those guys? Back during the conquest they pretended to be a far away people that traveled to Canaan to make peace with Joshua (Day 94) and after the treaty was made they discovered they were from a town not far away and had tricked the Israelites.

For all those years after that event they were not harmed and allowed to live in their towns and cities, but Saul had broken that deal and slaughtered a good number of their men. So David asks them what they want to make peace again and they request he hand over seven descendants of Saul. David agrees but doesn’t give Mephibosheth because of their close relationship.

The Gibeonites hang the grandsons of Saul and the treaty between them is restored and the famine ceased.

Apparently Goliath wasn’t the only giant the Philisteens had in their army. This chapter ends with several accounts of giants attacking Israel during battle and being killed by David’s men. But after this David was begged to not go onto the battlefield with the army anymore because of his value if captured or killed.

Acts 20:1-16

After the riot in Ephesus, Paul leaves to make a sweet through Macedonia in northern Greece and then down through souther Greece before returning to Jerusalem. At this same time he is taking up collections for the Christians in the holy land , and we know this from Roman’s 15:27. It’s hard to put into context as far as a timeline is concerned, but all these trips we see Paul on and he’s writing the letters that become the bulk of the New Testament the whole time. So in this trip through Macedonia he’s writing to the Christians in Rome and his third letter to the Corinthians.

You might be saying “Third letter to the Corinthians? But my Bible only has 1st and 2nd Corinthians.” That is correct, but we know Saint Paul wrote at least three letters to that church, even though only two survived. In 1 Corinthians 5:9 he refers to his “previous letter” but it’s never been found, and apparently was misunderstood badly enough by the Corinthians that he had to write to correct them.

Anyhow, apart from that bit of trivial information, we just need to keep in mind that Paul was an extremely busy man. He was preaching and writing and praying 24/7, oh and making tents in his down time. (What down time?!?)

Paul and his group arrive in Troas and on Sunday they gather to celebrate mass and receive the Eucharist, that’s what the euphemism “breaking of the bread” means here. While they’re gathered for liturgy Paul begins preaching and he goes on until midnight. We don’t know when he started, but presumably it was in the daytime and so he’s been going for quite some time.

There’s a “young man” present at this all day affair and his name is Eutychus. We don’t know exactly how old he is, could he be a child? could he be a teen? or maybe early 20s? I’d say he was most likely a young adult, because Luke would’ve maybe used the term “youth” if he was an early teen and he would’ve just been called a child if he was one. So let’s guess 16-26 somewhere in there, and that’s a bit too old to fall asleep while someone is preaching (I mean it happens but it’s rude, while if it’s a kid it’s almost expected).

Regardless, he falls asleep and falls out the window. Pro tip: if a sermon is going on a lot longer than usual, and you feel yourself nodding off, do not sit near an open window.

Paul and everyone else rush down the stairs, it was the third floor where he was preaching, and see this boy laying on the street dead. Paul leans down over him and resurrects him, just like Jesus did several time, and also like Elijah and Elisha in the Old Testament.

Tomorrow’s Readings:
2 Samuel 22-24
Song of Solomon 5
Acts 20:17-38

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