2 Samuel 12: David as the two doves

Just as the truth of the fall and the history of mankind are recorded in the opening chapters of Genesis, the story of David’s fall is emblematic of the same truth in the form of actual adultery as well as spiritual adultery.  Chapter 11 saw the opening scene of David’s ‘first’ recorded sin in his biography, and chapter 12 continues in the same vein as we see the effect of sin not just in any man, but in the head of the anointed nation just as Adam was head of the race of man.  It is by looking at Adam and David that we learn to understand sin in light of Christ’s obedience to His Father, and the implications when the head has succumbed to the body, a reversal of the mystery of man and wife in Ephesians 5:22-33.

So Nathan is sent by the LORD to share the parable of the rich man who had very many flocks and herds, but would rather sacrifice a poor man’s ewe to provide for the travelling man, for the guest (v.1-4).  The message here is not simply that of exploiting the poor man’s lamb; it is both the exploitation of the poor man’s only possession, as well as the fact that they are both from the same certain city (v.1).  To the Israelite’s theocratic thinking (c.f. refuge cities in Numbers 35, jubilee in Leviticus 25), it is an offence to civilian equity to even see the rich man steal from the poor man, let alone the fact that this rich man and the poor man are one before the LORD (Galatians 3:28).  It is not as if the rich man is the lord of the poor man; it is not as if the rich man is even the king of the rich man.  The crux of the message therefore lies in the overlaying of these nuances.

What surprise it is for us to see that David would justify himself as the judge of the entire situation!  Was he not the poor man once, who was persecuted throughout a portion of his life (1 Samuel 20)?  What irony that he still speaks on behalf of the poor man when he has in fact switched places and has become the rich man who has committed theft and murder of the poor man’s daughter (v.3)!

And who is the poor man instead?  Uriah, the obedient servant who is poor in comparison to the rich king David.  Look at the LORD’s proclamation of David’s wealth provided by the LORD in v.7-9 – David was delivered consistently; he was anointed as king over Israel; he was given Saul’s house, given Saul’s wives, given the house of Israel and Judah – as if this were insufficient, the LORD continues, “I would add to you as much more”! (v.8) Do these words not echo the same words spoken to man (Matthew 6:30), to Adam?  Adam was given the kingdom of heaven and earth to rule over it!  He was made in the image of God!  He was taken from the dust outside of the Garden (Genesis 2:7) and was gracefully given all the riches of the house of Eden, all the trees, all the fruit, all kingship over the creatures and even his counter-part, the wo-man.  What would drive him to desire the one thing, the fruit of the tree of good and evil?

Yet, this is the mystery of sin – the shock and awe of understanding that sin is not something natural to us.  It should not be natural to us – because we are given all these riches, the entire kingdom of God for us to inherit.  This is the important paradigm shift we need to receive, that the world is not our oyster, because it pales so significantly to the riches provided through Christ Jesus.  Do you feel the temptation to undress a woman adulterously in your mind?  Do you feel the tug of materialistic pleasures when you walk by High Street?  Do you feel the desire to speak half-truths so to present the gospel in a ‘likeable’ and ‘acceptable’, or perhaps even ‘sensible and reasonable’ manner?  Then you have stolen the ewe from the poor man.  You are the man! (v.7) – You are Adam, who would exchange the poverty of this world for the riches which you already have.  You would rather take a poor man’s possession rather than recognise the new creation which we inherit.  What of the loyal wife, the church?  What of the golden streets of new Jerusalem?  What of the unadulterated, unsaturated purity of the gospel which is beyond sensibility, beyond mere acceptance of the world’s standards but by far the most outrageous truth this world can ever truly be shocked and awed by?  All wasted on a poor man’s ewe.

This is why the LORD reacts so angrily to David’s sin, because of the Christological implications behind the two-fold subtlety of the parable.  It is but a micro-perspective of the macro and grander cosmic temptation of Satan to the Christ (Matthew 4).  As if Satan could offer Christ anything!  Would Christ exchange the relationship between Himself and His Father for another man’s daughter, another man’s family?  Would the Triune God exchange the glory and wealth of the Triune community to thieve another relationship?

On another Christological level, the poor man’s treatment of the lamb must not be ignored for that is another important detail to the LORD’s parable through Nathan.  This poor man’s treated the lamb as everything which he had, feeding it well and loving it well (v.3), that this lamb is to even lie in the man’s bosom.  Such beautiful love is this, that we see the Father’s love for the Son portrayed (John 1:18) in this parental relationship, the Father’s love for the Lamb.

So the Christological message of the parable is twofold – the exchange of the wealth of the Triune relationship for the false kingdom of Satan which, compared to the riches of Adam, is but a poor man’s possession.  Secondly, that this raping of the poor man’s relationship with his daughter is a raping of the Father’s relationship with the Son.  Therefore, the primary thrust of the parable is supported by these two Christological meanings, that David should choose to leave the bosom of the Father to steal Bathsheba from Uriah, and that in doing so he has by equivalence destroyed the relationship between the Father and the Son portrayed between poor man and the ewe.

If not for these implications, then the LORD’s infliction of death upon David’s first son would not make sense.  For David to remove the daughter from the poor man’s embrace as equivalent to the Son leaving the Father eternally, the implication is simply death (Colossians 1:17).  If the Son were not to intercede on our behalf, if the Son were to walk His own path and become His own God just as Satan (Isaiah 14; Ezekiel 28) and Adam (Genesis 3:22) had done, then not only will we never resurrect.  We will simply return to the very chaos which David has unfolded (a return to the chaos of the abyss in Genesis 1, c.f. Jeremiah 4:23) – the implosion of the ordered universe upheld by the Logos into disordered fragments of watery nothingness.  Instead of peace, the sword shall come (v.9-10).

It is therefore important to see what unfolds from v.10-22.  The narrator opts to call Bathsheba Uriah’s wife, even though at the end of chapter 11 David had already taken Bathsheba to be his wife, thus emphasising the message of adultery and the broken intra-Trinitarian relationship implied by David’s selfish actions.  The death of the child on the seventh day, the day indicative of God’s rest (v.18) is again a mock-ironic message for David as he had fasted before the LORD for the first six days.  Even in this follow up to the LORD’s curse on David in v.11-14, the theme of reversal continues: the exchange of light for darkness, of kingdom of righteousness for the kingdom of poverty, of the ordered Triune relationship torn apart to be subsumed by chaos and darkness.  In this reversal, we also see David’s fasting and then David’s feasting, a reverse of Christ’s disciples’ feasting followed by fasting (Matthew 9:15).  In this reversal, we also see David’s son’s death on the seventh day symbolic of the final Sabbath rest; whereas, we are to anticipate the Son’s return on this important seventh day.  This is why David ceased to fast after his son’s death: for David will go to his son but his son will not return to him; whereas the disciples in the New Testament would fast after Christ’s departure for we shall not go to the Son, as He will return to us.

Thus, it is only after such a chaotic beginning of David’s first murder and adultery all within chapter 11 do we begin to say a ray of hope – found in Jedidiah (the only time referred to in Scripture as the beloved one akin to Christ: Matthew 3:17), found in Solomon, he who shall bring peace.  Only upon the death of David’s son conceived and marred with sin, will Solomon be born; where David’s first son by the adulterous Bathsheba dies, David’s second son by Bathsheba is glorified.  David’s first son followed the route of the first Adam, the first man’s story entirely typified by chapters 11 and 12; and the second Adam’s story is to be shadowed by Solomon, the type of He who was spoken of in 2 Samuel 7.

In the death of David’s first son and in the birth of his second son, the pattern of David causing death and the LORD bringing life; of David causing chaos and the LORD bringing order; of David’s first son born out of an act of adultery and the birth of Solomon through loyal wedlock, a parallel can also be found in Leviticus 14 (c.f. one bird sacrificed as the other bird is freed; in Christ we see both the sacrificed and the freed bird; in Christ we see the rejected and elected LORD):

“At any rate as they are systematised in Leviticus 14 and 16 it is obvious that the following form is common to both.  Two creatures which are exactly alike in species and value are dealt with in completely different ways.  The selection of the one for this and of the other for that treatment, seems to be a matter for the priest in Leviticus 14:15f, while lots are cast in Leviticus 16:8.  In both cases it is obvious that the selection is inscrutable, and that it is really made by God Himself.  It is also obvious with what special purpose and meaning these two acts accompany the history of Israel, and to which special moment of this history they refer as sign and testimony of the divine intention.  We obviously face the special aspect of this history according to which it is the history of the divisive divine election of this and of that man.  What these choices mean, or what it is to which the whole history of Israel points as a history of such choices, is attested by these particular rites, the witness being given a fixed and permanent form by the detailed legal regulations.

The actual treatment of the two creatures makes this even clearer.  Both Leviticus 14 and 16 say that one creature is to be used, and that the other is not to be used – or only used to the extent that it is, so to speak, solemnly and necessarily not used.  One creature is slain, that is, and the other is allowed to go free.  It is too soon to ask what is really meant by using and not using, by slaying and releasing.  It is also too soon to ask who is meant by the creature which suffers the first fate, and who by that which suffers the second.  But if we study the transaction as such in its general nature, we can hardly fail to recall the Genesis stories of Abel and Cain, Isaac and Ishmael, Jacob and Esau, Leah and Rachel and so on.  The ceremonies are obviously a comment on the history of Israel as a history of the differing choices, and its character as witness is fixed in the legal instruction which relate to these actions…

… It is this redemptive endurance of death as such, ordained and accomplished by God in His love for him, which is brought before his eyes in the slaughtering of the different animals on the Day of Atonement, and therefore in the slaying of the first goat, and then in the blood-sprinkling of the ark of the covenant and the tabernacle, in the sanctification of the sanctuary by the slaying of the first goat, by the total outpouring of its life as accomplished in the shedding of its blood.  Man is chosen for the Lord, and not for Azazel, not for the wilderness…

The fact that man is of himself unfitted for the service of God, and his blood valueless, is revealed in the treatment of the second animal.  His life cannot make good that which is evil by any judgment which follows him, or even by his death.  IT is not, indeed, a joyful release into freedom which is the lot of this man, but a flight into the realm of Azazel, the demon of the wilderness; his surrender to an utterly distressful non-existence, to a life which is as such no life…

Yet we must observe that the second goat is also ‘placed before the Lord’, that the treatment meted out to him and the tragic record of his unusability also form an integral part of the sign and testimony set up on the Day of Atonement.  Cain is just as indispensable as Abel, and Ishmael as Isaac.  For the grace which makes an elect man of the first can be seen only from the second, because the first, the elect, must see in the second, the non-elect, as in a mirror, that from which he was taken, and who and what the God is who was delivered from it.  It is only as one who properly belongs to that place that God has transferred him from it.  Because election is grace, the unused belonged to the used, the sacrificed goat to the goat driven into the wilderness, the non-elect to the elect…

…The ceremony described in Leviticus 14 obviously runs in exactly the opposite direction… The treatment of the first bird speaks of this necessary presupposition of his purification.  The bird is slain, its blood is shed and then made ready for what follows, as in the case of the first goat in Leviticus 16.  But this time everything really depends on what follows… The healed leper is sprinkled seven times with this blood, while simultaneously the second bird is allowed to fly away ‘into the open field’… to freedom… The purpose, and the only purpose, in the death of the one bird, the separation and reservation of the one man, is that the other may live.  But how comforting it is for all who are separated and reserved that, according to Leviticus 14, it is to the second bird, which has no part in the accomplishment of the decisive action, and which is unusable in the sense of Leviticus 16, that the benefit of the sacrifice of the first and usable bird accrues.  That which was done to the first turns to the advantage of the second… The recipient of the fruit of election is obviously for the non-elect.  How can we fail to see that Cain and Ishmael and Esau are now given yet another right than that which is remotely visible in Leviticus 16?  They are witnesses to the resurrection reflected in Leviticus 14.  The promise addressed to the men on the right hand is manifestly fulfilled in those on the left.” – Karl Barth on the doctrine of election in “Church Dogmatics”

Yet, in spite of the birth of Solomon, this is but a faint shadow of the future glory to come through David’s son and remnant of his house furthermore prophecied in the immediate placement of Solomon’s birth to David being crowned with the golden crown of the Ammonite king (v.30), a picture of the subversion of Satan’s ‘kingdom’ and the reality of it inevitably being subsumed under the headship of Christ even in the midst of David’s sin.  The victory is immanent – even in the sin of David, for it will come through Solomon.

However, this is but just a shadow.  In Joab’s taking of the city and attempting to name it after his own name as opposed to David initiating the victory (v.26-31), we continue to see the king of Israel becoming more and more passive, from the restoration of his daughter Tamar, the delayed restoration of his son Absalom, to the eventual restoration of the kingdom Israel, all woven into the tragic latter years of David’s life.  The coming chapters are therefore a continuation of the significant implications if the Son of God, King of Israel, were to really submit to sexual adultery rather than pure loyalty to his one wife and church by His obedient life to his death on the cross and subsequent resurrection and ascension.   Yet, by God’s grace in His will of Jesus Christ, even if David were to be become the figure of the slain goat and dove just like David’s first son, there will always be the typology of the free dove found in Abel, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, even in David’s contrast to Saul, and now Solomon’s contrast to David.  Therefore, in Solomon we soon find the shadow of the Son who is to build the eternal temple, who will give freedom and riches to all nations, in direct contrast to the proverb which David has become from 2 Samuel 11 onwards. 

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2 Samuel 12: David as the two doves

2 Samuel 7: The law for Adam

This chapter then brings us, after the joyous return of the ark of the covenant, to the LORD’s explanation of all these things.  In the words of God we hear that what we have witnessed thus far from the building of the tabernacle onwards to be everything but shadows (v.6), for the tabernacle is but a temporary dwelling place.  The true ‘house’ to be built could not possibly be one built by human hands (v.7).  v.12-13 immediately tells us who this person is.  “He shall come from your body” (v.12), “He shall build a house for my name, and I will establish the throne of his kingdom forever”, (v.14) “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son… when he commits iniquity, I will discipline him with the rod of men, with the stripes of the sons of men, (v.15) but my steadfast love will not depart from him, as I took it from Saul… (v.16) Your throne shall be established forever.”

Although it is true that Solomon is the one who builds the temple of God (see 1 Chronicles), it is important that we note the internal contradiction of the LORD’s words if He was to elect Solomon over David.  The LORD’s fundamental reason for not dwelling in a house is because it is built not by judges, not even by the first anointed king of Israel, but by The Appointed One.  It is easy to then assume that this ‘offspring’ is the immediate son of David.  Yet, v.12 is to precede v.16 – this ‘man’s’ kingdom must be established forever before David’s throne can inherit that same blessing.  Solomon may accord blessing to David’s name as his son, but Solomon’s kingdom – like any human’s – was of a limited capacity.  With these internal issues regarding v.6-16, it would be difficult to suggest that this prophetic utterance is primarily about Solomon, when it is more suitably applicable to Jesus our Christ.  Adam Clarke in particular looks at the Hebrew of v.14 which may otherwise be misleading in understanding the Christological focus of this chapter:

“…the Hebrew words do not properly signify what they are now made to speak. It is certain that the principal word, בהעותו  behaavotho, is not the active infinitive of kal, which would be בעותו, but העות from עיה is in niphal, as הגלות from גלה. It is also certain that a verb, which in the active voice signifies to commit iniquity, may, in the passive signify to suffer for iniquity; and hence it is that nouns from such verbs sometimes signify iniquity, sometimes punishment. See Lowth’s Isaiah, p, 187, with many other authorities which shall be produced hereafter. The way being thus made clear, we are now prepared for abolishing our translation, if he commit iniquity; and also for adopting the true one, even in his suffering for iniquity. The Messiah, who is thus the person possibly here spoken of, will be made still more manifest from the whole verse thus translated: I will be his father, and he shall be my son: Even in His Suffering for Iniquity, I shall chasten him with the rod of men, (with the rod due to men), and with the stripes (due to) the children of Adam. And this construction is well supported by Isa_53:4, Isa_53:5 : He hath carried Our Sorrows, (i.e., the sorrows due to us, and which we must otherwise have suffered), he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon him; and with his stripes we are healed. See note, p. 479, in Hallet, on Heb_11:26. Thus, then, God declares himself the Father of the Son here meant; (see also Heb_1:5); and promises that, even amidst the sufferings of this Son, (as they would be for the sins of others, not for his own), his mercy should still attend him: nor should his favor be ever removed from this king, as it had been from Saul. And thus (as it follows) thine house (O David) and thy kingdom shall, in Messiah, be established for ever before Me: (before God): thy throne shall be established for ever. Thus the angel, delivering his message to the virgin mother, Luk_1:32, Luk_1:33, speaks as if he was quoting from this very prophecy: The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David, and he shall reign over the house of Jacob For Ever: and of his kingdom there shall be no end. In 2Sa_7:16, לפניך  lephaneycha, is rendered as לפני  lephanai, on the authority of three Hebrew MSS., with the Greek and Syriac versions; and, indeed, nothing could be established for ever in the presence of David, but in the presence of God only.”

What amazement!  The Son is here clearly preached, to exist (as opposed to the emphasis on the future tense in this verse) in relationship with his Father (v.14).  “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son” should instead be likely to be read as “I exist (hayah היה) to him as a father, and he exists to me as a son”.  So I continue in a similar vein to Adam Clarke’s observations:
Having thus shown that the words fairly admit here the promise made to David, that from his seed should arise Messiah, the everlasting King; it may be necessary to add that, if the Messiah be the person here meant, as suffering innocently for the sins of others, Solomon cannot be; nor can this be a prophecy admitting such double sense, or be applied properly to two such opposite characters. Of whom speaketh the prophet this? of Himself, or of Some Other man? This was a question properly put by the Ethiopian treasurer, (Act_8:34), who never dreamed that such a description as he was reading could relate to different persons; and Philip shows him that the person was Jesus only. So here it may be asked, Of whom speaketh the prophet this? of Solomon, or of Christ? It must be answered, Of Christ: one reason is, because the description does not agree to Solomon; and therefore Solomon being necessarily excluded in a single sense, must also be excluded in a double. Lastly, if it would be universally held absurd to consider the promise of Messiah made to Abraham as relating to any other person besides Messiah; why is there not an equal absurdity in giving a double sense to the promise of Messiah thus made to David?

This message about the prophecy of the Son of God as opposed to the mere son of David, Solomon, is further consolidated in David’s response.  Not to only highlight the fact that Israel is such a special nation (v.23) as to be redeemed in the Elect One, there is an indication that Israel is the only nation which the LORD has redeemed for Himself (v.23-24) – a strong reason why Paul uses continually the imagery of Israel as the universal and global church in the spiritual sense, that even Gentiles can be called as children of Abraham and partake in the same olive tree which naturally bears the branches of physically born Israelites (Romans 9-11).  David here, therefore, understands that it is not purely his own house that is being blessed.  He understands that the importance of his own righteousness and salvation could only be established by the foundation of “his” eternal household.  “And now, O LORD God, confirm forever the word that you have spoken concerning your servant and concerning his house, and do as you have spoken” (v.25).  Thus, this promise of the Appointed One, the words about the eternal household, about servanthood – none of these are to do with David.  None of these are to do with Solomon.  They are to do with the Christ in whom David places his trust.  The Hebrew of v.19 shows that the LORD is not interested in establishing a kingdom, as if He has not shown enough of that through the temporary nature of the types of Christ, be that Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, Aaron, Joshua, the judges, David, or even Solomon.  The progressive revelation is that these men, though exalted by God, was never meant to be the heads of the kingdoms – rather, as v.19 shows – “You have spoken also of your servant’s [Jesus’] house for a great while to come, and this is instruction for mankind“.

David knows that this fulfillment will not be immediate; but not only that, this is instruction for the race of adam, for mankind – it is a blessing which has been explicitly voiced in Genesis 3:15 – a blessing for Adam and all those who are born after him, and in the words of Adam Clarke thus we see that David’s conscious faith as a Christ-follower shines as an example to all the Israelites who oftentimes had faith in David rather than His Christ:
“From David’s address to God, after receiving the message by Nathan, it is plain that David understood the Son promised to be The Messiah: in whom his house was to be established for ever. But the words which seem most expressive of this are in this verse now rendered very unintelligibly: And is this the manner of man? Whereas the words וזאת תורת האדם  vezoth torath haadam literally signify, and this is (or must be) the law of the man, or of the Adam; i.e., this promise must relate to the law or ordinance made by God to Adam, concerning the seed of the woman; the man, or the second Adam; as the Messiah is expressly called by St. Paul, 1Co_15:45, 1Co_15:47. This meaning will be yet more evident from the parallel place, 1Ch_17:17, where the words of David are now miserably rendered thus: And thou hast regarded me according to the estate of a man of high degree; whereas the words וראיתני כתור האדם המעלה  ureithani kethor haadam hammaalah literally signify, and thou hast regarded me according to the order of the Adam that Is Future, or The Man that Is from Above: (for the word המעלה  hammaalah very remarkably signifies hereafter as to time, and from above as to place): and thus St. Paul, including both senses – The Second Man Is the Lord from Heaven – and Adam is the figure of him that was to come, or the future, Rom_5:14. – See the Preface of the late learned Mr. Peters on Job, referred to and confirmed as to this interesting point in a note subjoined to my Sermon on A Virgin Shall Conceive, etc., P. 46-52, 8 vo. 1765. A part of that note here follows: ‘The speech of David (2Sa_7:18-29) is such as one might naturally expect from a person overwhelmed with the greatness of the promised blessing: for it is abrupt, full of wonder, and fraught with repetitions. And now what can David say unto thee? What, indeed! For thou, Lord God knowest thy servant – thou knowest the hearts of all men, and seest how full my own heart is. For thy word’s sake – for the sake of former prophecies, and according to thine own heart – from the mere motive of thy wisdom and goodness, hast thou done all these great things, to make thy servant know them. I now perceive the reason of those miraculous providences which have attended me from my youth up; taken from following the sheep, and conducted through all difficulties to be ruler of thy people; and shall I distrust the promise now made me? Thy words be true. If the preceding remarks on this whole passage be just and well grounded, then may we see clearly the chief foundation of what St. Peter tells us (Act_2:30) concerning David: that being a prophet, and Knowing that God had sworn with an oath to him, that of the fruit of his loins, according to the flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit on his throne; he, seeing this before, spake of the resurrection of Christ, etc.’” – Adam Clarke

2 Samuel 7: The law for Adam

2 Samuel 6: Naked before the Father

In a short number of chapters (since 1 Samuel 22:2), David has accumulated thirty thousand chosen men of Israel from the curiously named lords of Judah, Baale-judah, to finally retrieve the ark of covenant on which the LORD of hosts, the Father and First Person of the Trinity sits enthroned (v.2).  Here we must remember that the ark has been neglected during the reign of Saul, since 1 Samuel 7.

Yet, in the midst of merry worship (v.5-8) is a horrifying scene of Uzzah’s death.  In spite of the new cart (v.3) which carried the ark, the stumbling of the oxen meant that the foundation of the cart was unstable.  Yet, Uzzah’s sin did not merely manifest upon the touching of the ark as traditionally interpreted as God’s holy wrath burning against the sinful unprotected flesh, not robed by the garments of righteousness (Isaiah 61:10).  Rather, as Matthew Henry meticulously noted,

“Uzzah thereupon laid hold of it, to save it from falling, we have reason to think with a very good intention, to preserve the reputation of the ark and to prevent a bad omen. Yet this was his crime. Uzzah was a Levite, but priests only might touch the ark. The law was express concerning the Kohathites, that, though they were to carry the ark by the staves [my emphasis added], yet they must not touch any holy thing, lest they die, Num_4:15. Uzzah’s long familiarity with the ark, and the constant attendance he had given to it, might occasion his presumption, but would not excuse it.”

The key thing here is that the staves where not used; the staves/poles (Exodus 25:14) which were appointed by God to be the method which by which the Levites were to carry the ark.  What presumption it is therefore to carry God on a new cart, as if there could be a man-made foundation which could only stumble?  Instead, the key focus here is that the household of Uzzah is the cause of this new cart, which relied on the movement of a mere animal.  Is this not the key reversal at the dreadful fall of man in Genesis 3, that the God and man relationship is inverted where we have worshipped the brute, the animal-serpent over God?  This is why God is so angry, that we should presume to be able to touch the Father in heaven and that this was brought about because we have placed an oxen as the foundation before the ark itself.  And this is the same lesson learnt by the men who bore the ark of the LORD (v.13) instead of carrying it on a cart which relies on the stability of an animal rather than the stability of priestly men as types of Christ carrying the ark as an analogy to preaching in the Name of His Father.  No oxen dares to bear that role, and no man who by man’s strength (as Uzzah is so aptly named) could arrange for the Father to arrive by the way of an animal when the First Person has ordained the arrival to come by way of the true Levite, the true King David, the true Priest-King.

And so this provocation of anger (v.8) in David’s heart is not that of David being furious against God; the Hebrew charah (חרה) suggests the possibility that it is a vexation against oneself, and a general fear that God cannot be with us.  What a ridiculous notion, that the King of Israel should fear the ark, and yet a little servant such as Obed-Edom, the servant of Edom (Esau) should receive the ark so pleasurably and be blessed by God (v.11-12)!

Yet, these things shall be no meaning until we take these verses into the wider context of chapter 6, and further into the wider context of God’s grand plan of salvation. Where in chapter 5 we witness Baal-perazim, where the LORD burst through the Philistines, here we see Perez-Uzzah, a bursting forth upon Uzzah.  This parallel is brought to recognition when we see the fall of Israel in the second book of Kings despite God protecting Israel in her early days.  And similarly, just as God had burst forth upon the Philistines, so He bursted forth onto Uzzah who represented the foolish Levite who disobeyed the mandate of tabernacle management and denied Christ His due glory.  Is not Uzzah, the strong man, a representative of those in physical Israel who perceive themselves as strong?  Perceive themselves are arrogant enough to carry the weight of the ark?  Perceive themselves as clever enough to provide a new cart which balanced on the idolatrous oxen (Exodus 32)?

Instead, the presence of the Father goes to Obed-Edom, the “servant of Edom”, the rejected brother of Jacob.  This Gittite, he who belongs to Gath, is the definitive mark of the Gentile; and so we see here the New Testament period shadowed in the ark going to Obed-Edom.  Salvation is first to the Jews, then to the Gentiles – and so we see the Jews rejecting the ark, even the king rejecting the ark, and instead the Father blesses the Gentiles.  This jealousy (Romans 10-11) would then lead to the ark being brought back to Israel whereupon the second iteration of bringing the ark to the city of David is successful, upon the blood of ox and a fattened animal. Although it is not indicative of whether it is the same ox which caused the stumbling (v.6), this is symbolic of the death of the animal and the birth of new life after six steps before the throne of the Father (1 Kings 10:9, the calf head being at the head of the throne) – and so the ark’s re-entry into Israel by way of the Gentiles is the mark of the new covenant, by the death of the enemy in Christ Jesus:

So in summary, from the Old Testament, we learn that the Law is in essence the Old Covenant, although it is under-girded and talks extensively about the New. Its primary purpose is to show the Person and Works of the Anointed One, the Prophet, Priest and King, and how He is the Righteous One, He is just, He is holy, He is God’s beloved, He will inherent the land. From this Israel and the world become aware that they are not God’s chosen Messiah, they made aware that only Him, Joshua will enter the promised land. They are not made sinful by the law, but they become aware through the law that they are sinful already, because of Adam, because of the flesh. They are told that refuge, and blessings await within the Messiah, who is God, and are pleaded with time and time again to love Him, to trust Him, to obey Him, to put their faith in Him. The world is also told that those who do trust Him, they will dwell in peace with God forever, under the eternal covenant, in the eternal land. Moses in Deuteronomy pleads with stiff-necked people to obey the commandment (singular), which is to love the Lord their God, to trust in Him – that is the whole commandment, just like Abraham, Isaac and Jacob did.” – Dev Menon in his “Law and Gospel” essay

And so David danced before the LORD as the King-Priest in his linen ephod (c.f. Exodus 28 – the ephod to be worn by the priest), the joy of the typological Son dancing before the Father as the Kingdom of Israel is truly restored in Triunity.

Yet, in the face of this joy is the immediate contrast of Michal’s despising of David (v.16).  What she despised was not merely David’s etiquette; what she despised was His God – what she despised was the whole picture of salvation, of familial blessings brought through the partaking of the Trinitarian love (v.14-20), such awesome distribution that no human secular government communist, capital or other could ever provide.  Her words of spite, “How the king of Israel honoured himself today, uncovering himself today before the eyes of his servants’ female servants, as one of the vulgar fellows shamelessly uncovers himself” (v.20) is therefore not merely a strong opinion against David’s ‘inappropriateness’, for David immediately appeals to the one explanation.  “It was before the LORD” (v.21).  Should there be any other explanation?  When one is naked before the LORD as in the days before the fall (c.f. Genesis 2), but that this recapitulation is of greater glory than that experienced in the Garden of Eden, should Michal despise such a fundamental truth rooted in the very history of the race of adam?  “And Michal the daughter of Saul had no child to the day of her death (v.23)”.  The Promised One shall not be born through her, not through a woman who wholeheartedly despised the reunion caused by the ark of the covenant; Saul’s line thus continues to diminish one by one.

2 Samuel 6: Naked before the Father

2 Samuel 2: Son of Zeruiah, Son of Mary

In the anointing of David (v.4) we see that he brings with him the women from the garden land (the Carmelite), and the land sown of God (the Jezreelite), to the seat of association (Hebron).  It is intended, given David’s inclination for mercy (see chapter 3), for David to be associated with growth; with peace; brought to the mercy seat of God.  In the midst of such immense respect for Saul’s house, followed with praise to the men of Jabesh-gilead who had properly buried Saul, we are brought to recognize Abner’s futile actions from v.8 onwards.

The real question is this: does Abner really want Saul’s kingdom to be established?  Why was his absence so profound between 1 Samuel 26 to 2 Samuel 2?  Surely he is Saul’s chief commander of the army, a particular title which he bears even in this chapter, v.8 (and in previous chapters (1 Samuel 14:50; 17:55; 20:25; 26:5)).  Yet, it appears that the true stewardship of Saul’s protection falls upon David, Saul’s true armor-bearer (1 Samuel 16:21) despite Abner’s important role as confidante and leader (1 Samuel 26:15).  What is Abner who buried Saul?  Who praised Saul?  Who mourned for Saul?  Abner would have to admit negatively to these questions; and instead, he would rather unite the rest of Israel against David despite being very aware of the prophecy made for David, a subject possibly touched upon by Saul with Abner prior to his death.  Not only that, but he would rather subject Israel to its physical lineage Ishbosheth rather than the spiritual lineage after the line of Melchizedek where David stands as the true anointed One (Psalm 110:4; Hebrews 5:6).

What we have here are two shadows in v.10 – the shadow of civil conflict within a nation and within a family stemming from the third chapter of Genesis with our removal from God’s heaven-earth presence in the Garden of Eden; the fourth chapter of Genesis with the death of Abel, the brother of Cain; the tension between Jacob and Esau (Genesis 27); the attempted murder of Joseph by eleven others (Genesis 37); the death of Israelites and Egyptians who failed to rely on the blood of the Passover Lamb in the final punishment of the Angel of the LORD (Exodus 12); and the list continues.  Here, the conflict is materialized in Judah’s relation with the rest of Israel – Ish-bosheth commanded almost all the regions outside of Judah, whereas “the house of Judah followed David” (c.f. the beginning of the split in 1 Kings 12:27 after Solomon’s death).

The second shadow lies in the temporary kingship of David over Judah as representative of his true kingship over Canaan the Promised Land; though he had long been anointed to become the king of Israel, his persecution by Israel and eventual ostracism even by his enemies in Gath and his return to Israel are symbolic of Jesus Christ’s work in his life-time.  This period of David’s is also the period of Jesus’ humiliation as he was man on earth though both figures drew in countless worthless men through their rejection from Israel.  Yet, in the crowning of David in Hebron over the house of Judah for the temporary period of seven years and six months (v.11), we see the crowning of Christ in his resurrection and ascension as the true LORD and king of heaven and earth, the true heir of new creation and true Canaan (Hebrews 1:2; 11:7).  It is after the period of seven years that we see a renewal of relations – the release of slaves and freedom flowing in from the throne (c.f. Deuteronomy 15:1, 31:10; Jeremiah 34:14).

In spite of this, Jesus has not yet physically penetrated and inherited the land, though by the Christians we are reclaiming souls for Him daily (2 Peter 3:9).  So, in similarity, we see that David has commanded allegiance from the house of Judah, to penetrate into the rest of Israel until the total surrender of the nation before the feet of Christ.  This is the second shadow, the period of the end-times, such that David is truly the king of Israel and not only the king of the church in Judah and especially not only the rejected carpenter’s son (Psalm 110:1).  It is by the government of old Israel and the government of the twelve apostles (v.15) that we see the removal of the branches which do not bear fruit, and the implanting of branches into the tree trunk that is Jesus Christ (Romans 11).

It is at this point that we are introduced to the sons of Zeruiah after the defeat of Abner and the men of Israel which already spelled out the eventual defeat of the house of Israel in favour of the remnant church in Judah.  It is important that we see these sons mentioned with the matronymic “son of Zeruiah”, as Zeruiah is not their father but their mother.  Yet, these were zealous men for the LORD, interestingly named father of a gift (Abishai), God-made (Asahel), and Jehovah-fathered (Joab) – all pursuing the father of light (Abner).  There is implication that these sons of Zeruiah are raised by Zeruiah alone, and that Yahweh is their true father.  In this, we see a parallel between David as typological son of God, against the sons of Zeruiah (a shadow of Jesus who was also referred to by the matronymic “son of Mary”).  Where David desired mercy (chapter 3), the sons of Zeruiah desired revenge and violence (chapter 3v.39).

The contrast is large; in the death of Asahel, there is no mourning; the pursuit of Abner led to his surrender (v.26) although Abner had already long been defeated in v.17.  Although Abner had surrendered, he had not been commissioned to go in peace as by David in chapter 3; and instead, he returns to Mahanaim to place himself before the false king of Israel once more and no peace is made.  These sons of Zeruiah seem to have followed in the vein of Saul that their swords shall “devour forever” (v.26) (1 Samuel 14:52).  Despite this temporary reprieve set forth by Joab in v.28, we soon learn that Joab’s rage has not yet been tempered as shown in the next chapter.

Asahel’s burial is the final point of parallel between the son of Zeruiah and the son of Mary; where the former is buried in Bethlehem, the home town of David, it is there that David the man after God’s heart is born; it is there that the son of Mary is also brought out of.  Where this son of Zeruiah’s ministry ended in Bethlehem, the son of Mary’s ministry began in Bethlehem (c.f. Genesis 35:19, 48:7; Ruth 2:4; 1 Samuel 17:12).

2 Samuel 2: Son of Zeruiah, Son of Mary

1 Samuel 20: Who is your father?

The covenant made between Jonathan and David in chapter 18 culminates into the climactic tension in which the covenantal relationship is challenged.  Is Jonathan to break the covenant which he made with David upon responding to David’s melodic words of humility and service (1 Samuel 17)?  Or shall he find his refuge in his father Saul, who is now persecuting the mediator and saviour of Israel by whom the LORD wrought victory and salvation which even Saul rejoiced in?

There are several themes explored in this chapter – but the predominant one is that of fatherhood and covenant relationship.  The fatherhood of Saul in which there is an implicit covenant relationship between him and Jonathan as father and son; and the typological fatherhood between David and Jonathan as that of Christ and us as his co-heirs (Romans 8:17; Galatians 4:7) and children (1 John 2-4), a covenant relationship established between the two as their souls are knit as one – as we are one with Christ and as Christ is one with his Father as well (John 17).

This chapter, therefore, explores thoroughly Jonathan’s object of faith.  Is it his father, the representative of the idolatrous, rebellious physical Israel who would rather emulate the culture of pagan kings who fight with swords?  Or to fall in love with the true David who bruised the head of the Goliath, provided salvation for Israel even when Israel rejected him?

v.1-10 is an exploration of how David challenges Jonathan – is Jonathan hiding the truth from David?  Does David command Jonathan’s honesty, and is Jonathan standing before David with a clear conscience?  Is Jonathan a type of Judas, to betray David, or is he the Baptist, preparing the path for the Saviour?  Jonathan’s words of obedience are reminiscent of the words of Jesus’ disciples:  “Whatever you say, I will do for you” (v.4).  This is an interesting display of affection as even Jonathan’s armor-bearer (1 Samuel 14), too, has the same allegiance for him; and yet Jonathan, like the Baptist, did not consider himself worthy enough in comparison to David (John 1:27).  Yet, Saul hides the secrets of his heart from Jonathan, only to have a taste of his own medicine as he witnesses the covenant made between David and Jonathan as a disclosed secret which he could have partaken in if he had only truly accepted David as the new king.  Such are the mysteries of our LORD revealed fully in Christ Jesus (John 18:20; 1 Corinthians 2:7; Ephesians 1:9, 3, 5:32; Colossians 1:26-27), these mysteries being near synonymous to the Eastern Orthodox usage of the term for sacrament, similar to Augustine’s words: “The sacraments (mysteries) of the Jews were different in their signs, but equal in the thing signified; different in visible appearance, but equal in spiritual power” – and such is the fullness of the mystery revealed when David and Jonathan’s love is at its highest!

Thus, we come to the plan of David to hide in the field till the third day at the evening after the new moon (v.5), to test the heart of Saul.  This too is a period of testing for Jonathan.  While David is gone, who will tell him if Jonathan’s father answers him roughly (v.10)?  This entire scenario is filled with allusion to Christ on the cross (Acts 8:1; Romans 8:35).  And the declaration of Jonathan is nothing short of covenant imagery which cannot be disconnected from Christ:  “May the LORD be with you, as he has been with my father.  If I am still alive, show me the steadfast love of the LORD, that I may not die; and do not cut off your steadfast love from my house forever, when the LORD cuts off every one of the enemies of David from the face of the earth” (v.15), followed by “And Jonathan made a covenant with the house of David, saying, “May the LORD take vengeance on David’s enemies” (v.16).  Can we dare say that this is exclusively about David the son of Jesse, or have we begun to see that the House of David is the same as the House of Joseph; the covenant with Abraham the same as the covenant between the Father and the Son that all may be blessed through these types?  May the LORD take vengeance on the enemies of Christ!  It is only at Christ’s feet that His love is not extinguished but rather, his steadfast love is shown as we stand in His household!  This cannot possibly apply to the physical house of Abraham and David, for both have died; both are but men; and both are sinners who must utter the same covenant declaration as Jonathan did towards the true One Whom they are but types of.  Such is the love of a disciple to Christ that we are to love him with our heart, mind, and soul, to love Him as we love ourselves (v.17).

And so the rest of the chapter is a historical parable of the testing of Jonathan’s faith.  Will he waver whilst Saul accuses David of being ‘unclean’ for the three days (v.26)?  Will we waver as we wonder whether or not our allegiance to him is true when he was dead for three days and revealed once more on the third day?

1 Samuel 20: Who is your father?

1 Samuel 7: The Judge of Ramah

1 Samuel 7 ends the seven-chapter arc of the focus on Samuel’s story in comparison to the house of Eli, the house of the Dagon, the house of the Philistines. The chapter opens with the same message at the end of chapter 6 – that the Israelites are called to retrieve the ark.  However, it was placed in Kiriath-jearim, the city of woods, where it was brought into the house of Abinadab, a Levite, on the hill.  The lamenting after the LORD (v.2) is out of the Israelites’ character; why would they not go to retrieve the ark?  It was in the safe hands of the Levitical priesthood, and yet it lodged there for some twenty years, and would amount to seventy years (under the relevant biblical scholarship over chronology) until the ark was properly brought from the border of Judah and Benjamin (c.f. Joshua 18:14), from this city of woods, to the city of peace – Jerusalem!  It is not until David’s reign in 2 Samuel that the ark is retrieved and placed in Jerusalem; the return of the Father to the rightful place of new Jerusalem.  So also is the nature of John’s vision in Revelation 11:19 that to see the ark of the covenant is an act accomplished through the work of the cross; and here, David is the agent through whom this act is accomplished as he typifies for us the amazing work of the Son who walks the path in and out of the Holy of Holies with freedom:

1Ch 13:1-6  David consulted with the commanders of thousands and of hundreds, with every leader.  (2)  And David said to all the assembly of Israel, “If it seems good to you and from the LORD our God, let us send abroad to our brothers who remain in all the lands of Israel, as well as to the priests and Levites in the cities that have pasturelands, that they may be gathered to us.  (3)  Then let us bring again the ark of our God to us, for we did not seek it in the days of Saul.”  (4)  All the assembly agreed to do so, for the thing was right in the eyes of all the people.  (5)  So David assembled all Israel from the Nile of Egypt to Lebo-hamath, to bring the ark of God from Kiriath-jearim.  (6)  And David and all Israel went up to Baalah, that is, to Kiriath-jearim that belongs to Judah, to bring up from there the ark of God, which is called by the name of the LORD who sits enthroned above the cherubim.

This is the ark of God, called by the name of the LORD – the Name of God being Christ Jesus by which we are called into the Trinitarian fellowship (Acts 4:7, 4:10).  This emphasises the preparatory nature of Samuel; he is in the tri-office of prophet, priest and judge, paving the path for the true king David in the House of Israel.  It is important we remember that Israel was given the law after the exodus, after their salvation, and here the chosen Church of the Old Testament is to be ready for the time when the King comes to be her true ruler where they can fellowship truly with the LORD by the ark in Jerusalem.  It is this ark in Jerusalem which enables the Israelites to meditate the relational truth of the Unseen Father; and the symbolic meaning of the restoration of the ark in the Promised Land as a promise of us seeing the Unseen Father face to face clothed in the righteous robe of His Son (Isaiah 61; 1 John 3:2).  Where the veil to the Holy of Holies is literally ripped apart and we can stand before Him as the Son stands before Him.

However, like the book of Numbers, the Israelites are in the wilderness worshipping Ashtaroth and the Baals (v.4), and at the watchtower (Mizpah) they gathered to pour their hearts out in repentance to the LORD genuinely.  Thus, true circumcision and birth by water is shown here through the pouring of the water before the LORD (v.6) – and this happens before the symbolic death of the nursing lamb as offered as a burnt offering (v.9).  Such is the same picture offered in the chronology of Old Testament Scripture: that the LORD had favoured people’s repentance in Christ Jesus long before the introduction of the systematic Levitical framework of sacrifices; yet Adam, Noah, Abraham, Jethro, amongst the other pre-Moses saints, were already providing burnt offerings (c.f. Genesis 4:4; Genesis 8:20; Genesis 22; Exodus 18:12) not because the blood inherently was the source of salvation.  Rather, it was their circumcised hearts by the Spirit which led them to Christ in Whom they met the Unseen Father; and the burnt offering is but a visible sacrament of this spiritual truth.  Just as Noah and his family was saved through the raging waters in the coffin (the literal Hebrew of the ark) where they stepped onto dry new land as indicative of new creation and only offered the burnt offering then and received the sacrament of communion, the eating of flesh, then – so also the Israelites look to their Redeemer and Mediator where the truth is symbolically manifested in the death of the nursing lamb.

Yet, we should not forget the second layer of truth which 1 Samuel 7 is teaching us: namely that Samuel is still a type of Christ, that he is now the only High Priest available to represent the nation against the Philistines for the household of Eli has been removed, in favour of the spiritual household of Samuel.  He has offered to pray on behalf of Israel (v.5), and continually by his prayers has the LORD looked on Israel with favour (v.8).  This is a pure imitation of the High Priestly prayer of the Son to the Father (John 17) so that the Son may be one with the Bride as we are one with Him.

And during this beautiful two-fold Christocentricity firstly of Samuel as Christ, and secondly the sacrament of the burnt offering as symbolic of the Christian faith which the Israelites now exercise, we see the juxtaposition of the death of the nursing lamb with the wrath of the LORD upon the Philistines just as the punishment of the Father on the Son is a simultaneous judgment of wrath upon all those who are not shielded in the Son.  What we see here is an echo of the Passover in Exodus, that the Israelites may pursue and destroy the Philistines from the watchtower to the House of the Lamb (Beth-car); from the woods where the ark was hidden to the House of Peace where the ark will soon reside; from the present time of engagement with the enemy to the House of Christ under the name of David where the Israelites will finally overcome them.

Thus, it is in this path in between – the one path between the watchtower and Jeshanah (or Shen in certain translations), that Samuel places the stone of help (Ebenezer), stumbling those who consider it a rock to be neglected but a cornerstone for many (Psalm 118; Acts 4).  It is here that he emphasises that the saints of Old (Jeshanah) look to (Mizpah) the true Rock of Ages (Ebenezer), by whom the Israelites had fallen for not clinging to Him (chapter 4:1), but now are victorious by the covenant made with blood.  It is only upon the victory entering Beth-car, the victory of the return of the ark to Jerusalem, that this victory is fully realised under David typifying Christ Jesus as opposed to Samuel who is the testimony to Christ that the Philistines’ cities were displaced from the enemy’s hands and the earth inherited by all those who are meek (Psalm 82:8; Matthew 5:5) (v.14).  It is a restoration, the Irenaeus-esque recapitulation, for these lands were always promised to the Israelites (Deut 27:3) by the blood of the lamb and not by the false golden offerings which the Philistines had offered in chapter 6 and instead culminated in their demise as in chapter 7 though they witnessed the necessity of blood to enact a covenant (chapter 6:15-16).

Therefore, Samuel ends his life as judge by symbolically passes through three landmarks of Israel – Bethel, where Jacob received the dream confirming the covenant with Abraham, this “House of God” established by the nursing lamb; Gilgal, where the Israelites had their first Passover in Canaan (Joshua 5:10); and Mizpah, the watchtower.  This circuit displays the gospel in the Old Testament – the covenant which the Father offered to the Israelites in the Son seen in Bethel, firstly explicitly spoken through Abraham and confirmed in Jacob’s dream as he is the father of all Israelites; secondly, the Passover which is first tasted in the Promised Land at Gilgal; yet, thirdly, these are all but shadows of the true covenant as Samuel built his own altar to the LORD (v.17) waiting for the true King to bring the brazen altar of the tabernacle, the only appointed place of sacrificial offerings, back from Kiriath-jearim and into Jerusalem (1 Chronicles 13).  What Samuel looked forward to (Mizpah), as all the other Old Testament saints did (Matthew 13:17) was the fulfilment of the covenant in both Jews and Gentiles as Christ is banner of Shem and Japheth (Genesis 9:27); of the Passover by which we enter into New Creation; and no longer shall we then reside in Mizpah as there is no longer anything to look forward to, except to reside in our true Ramah, our true home at the end of the true ascension hill (Psalm 24:3) which Samuel returned to every year to judge, displaying to himself and to us the home we are to enter a new creation home which is redeemed by the One who will be our Judge, face to face, in communal love.

1 Samuel 7: The Judge of Ramah

1 Samuel 6: Who can stand before the Father?

The Old Testament is rife with examples of foreign nations speaking of Israel as light to the nations.  Does any nation have the privilege of Israel being the receivers of the Torah?  Does any nation have a God who is defined by salvation, the Hebrew action and noun by which His Son is named in His incarnation (Yeshua; c.f. Daniel 3:29)?  And here this truth is highlighted amongst the Philistines, who look back on the Exodus and Passover with fear.  “Why should you harden your hearts as the Egyptians and Pharoah hardened their hearts?  After he had dealt severely with them, did they not send the people away, and they departed?” (v.6).

Yet this is half the gospel – the gospel is the punishment of the Father towards the Son, and the love of the Father towards the Son (Isaiah 53:5; John 17).  What they saw was the death of the firstborn, and they only saw Yahweh as a mere God of Israel (v.5).  Their purpose was to provide golden images of creatures to save themselves (Exodus 20:23), just as the Israelites had created the golden image of the calf as the gods (Exodus 32:1) of their salvation.  They did not see the God of Rahab, she who preached the God of heavens and the earth; the God who saved, chose and loved, Israel and gave them Canaan (Joshua 2) the land of Promise, the nation which was given the law to display their transgressions after they were saved from Egypt (Galatians 3).  Their guilt offering is not a covenant enacted and purified by blood (v.3, v.8; c.f. Hebrews 9:20-22), but a guilt offering provided of golden idols.  What blasphemy it is to place images of pestilence next to the Ark of the Covenant which is also laden with gold!  This is why the Philistines, even having the Ark of the Covenant within their midst for seven months, is the subject of wrath – just as the beauties of His creation in the heavens and earth are poetry proclaiming Christ in the eyes of Israel (Psalm 19), but is exclaiming His wrath to all those standing outside of Christ (Romans 1:18-32).  Just as we are destined to walk into the Holy of Holies in Christ, yet the Philistines will forever stand their distance and refuse to join to Israel even after witnessing the joy of the Israelites when the throne of God is in their midst (v.16).  Instead of joining under the tent of the House of the Sun (Beth-shemesh; Malachi 4:2), they return to the House of eradication (Ekron).  Though they know it is not a coincidence (v.9), yet they fail to trust in the object of the true blood-guilt offering of the milk cow on which there has never come a yoke.

And so the Israelites carefully retrieved the ark by the hand of the Levites, the priests who are ordained and anointed to be privileged with this duty; and by the Stone of the House of the Sun in the field of Joshua, the chief typological Saviour between Moses and Samuel, these burnt offerings were truly given to the LORD in rejoicing (v.13) rather than in trembling fear.  These Philistines returned to Ekron, only to await their true eradication by the hands of the King of Israel, for even in the time of Joshua the five lords of the five cities (Ashdod, Gaza, Ashkelon, Gath, Ekron) were already the subject of wrath awaiting to be devoted to destruction (Joshua 13:3).  This true destruction is symbolized in the return of the Ark after seven months, intimating the seventy years after the Babylonian captivity whereupon the LORD will send the staggering cup for these nations to drink where the Philistines, amongst others, are to drink the cup which Christ has drunk (John 18:11):

Jer 25:12-27  Then after seventy years are completed, I will punish the king of Babylon and that nation, the land of the Chaldeans, for their iniquity, declares the LORD, making the land an everlasting waste.  (13)  I will bring upon that land all the words that I have uttered against it, everything written in this book, which Jeremiah prophesied against all the nations.  (14)  For many nations and great kings shall make slaves even of them, and I will recompense them according to their deeds and the work of their hands.”  (15)  Thus the LORD, the God of Israel, said to me: “Take from my hand this cup of the wine of wrath, and make all the nations to whom I send you drink it.  (16)  They shall drink and stagger and be crazed because of the sword that I am sending among them.”  (17)  So I took the cup from the LORD’s hand, and made all the nations to whom the LORD sent me drink it:  (18)  Jerusalem and the cities of Judah, its kings and officials, to make them a desolation and a waste, a hissing and a curse, as at this day;  (19)  Pharaoh king of Egypt, his servants, his officials, all his people,  (20)  and all the mixed tribes among them; all the kings of the land of Uz and all the kings of the land of the Philistines (Ashkelon, Gaza, Ekron, and the remnant of Ashdod);  (21)  Edom, Moab, and the sons of Ammon;  (22)  all the kings of Tyre, all the kings of Sidon, and the kings of the coastland across the sea;  (23)  Dedan, Tema, Buz, and all who cut the corners of their hair;  (24)  all the kings of Arabia and all the kings of the mixed tribes who dwell in the desert;  (25)  all the kings of Zimri, all the kings of Elam, and all the kings of Media;  (26)  all the kings of the north, far and near, one after another, and all the kingdoms of the world that are on the face of the earth. And after them the king of Babylon shall drink.  (27)  “Then you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: Drink, be drunk and vomit, fall and rise no more, because of the sword that I am sending among you.’

Therefore, it is this same cup in which we are crucified in Him; it is this same cup in which the world is condemned through His mediation of creation (Colossians 1).  Yet our sacramental communion provides also the bread of life upon Whom we feed, and until then, the wrath of the Father will continue to impartially display His wrath upon all those standing outside of Christ (v.19).  Indeed, “who is able to stand before the LORD, this holy God?  And to whom shall he go up away from us?” which is an echo of Job’s question (Job 33:23).  The answer has always been Christ Jesus, the commander of the LORD’s army; but it is seen for now through the actions of David, the typological mediator who worships the LORD at the right hand of the Father (Psalm 110) – he is the only one, not Saul, nor Samuel, to take the Ark back from Kiriath-jearim to the city of David in Jerusalem, the city of Peace.

1 Samuel 6: Who can stand before the Father?