The TL:DR Bible: 1 Samuel 16-18


Chapter 16:

God: Sam, why are you still crying into a pint of Ben & Jerry’s? Get over Saul. Time to go find yourself a rebound king, Dude. Go down to Bethlehem to Jesse’s house.

Sam: Sigh… alright…

God: Come on, getting out will be good for you.

Sam: I know…

So Sam goes to Jesse’s house and everyone freaks.

Elders: Oh, God… God no! No! God’s coming to kill us, isn’t he? ISN’T HE?

Sam: No, no, it’s cool. I’ve just come to offer an illegal sacrifice to the Lord at one of the high places. Everyone do your magic consecration rituals and come join me. Be sure to bring Jesse and his family.

Later at the sacrifice, Sam sees one of Jesse’s boys.

Sam: Oh, wow, he’s tall, dark and handsome. He could be my king any day.

God: No, no, he’s not right. I mean, he’s cute, but he’s not the right guy for you.

So the rest of Jesse’s boys pass by, but God is a good wingman and shoots them all down.

Sam: You’re sure that’s all your kids, Jesse?

Jesse: Well, there is my youngest boy, David. He spends a lot of time out with the sheep. So David comes up, and he’s a hot young redheaded farm boy.

God: There’s the king for you, big guy. Go oil him up.

Sam oils him up, they have dinner and Sam goes home the next day. God leaves Saul and starts hanging out with David. But then God sends a demon to torture Saul. Yes, if you’re taking this story as literal history fact, God dispatches demons to torture people. And recall the reason for why God is upset with Saul and has decided to torture him with a demon… because Saul didn’t kill all of the animals during his God-ordered genocide and because Saul offered a burnt offering.

Everyone in the court sees that a demon is plaguing Saul, so they offer to find someone to play him some music and calm the demon down. Saul’s down with the idea, and someone pipes up that David can play. He’s described as a mighty man of valor, a warrior, a good speaker, and handsome. This seems to be a completely different David than the shepherd kid we saw in the last chapter, and the young kid who’s too small to wear armor and has to use a sling to fight instead of a sword.

Anyway, they go and get David and bring him to the court and he’s the official court therapy musician to drive away the DEMON FROM THE LORD… I mean, even just allowing that maybe God didn’t send it directly, he just allowed the demon to go, it’s still like:

Demon: Hey, God, can I go torture that Saul guy to the brink of insanity?

God: Sure, buddy, you go be you! Torture that human to your heart’s content.

I think it might be better for God’s reputation if we interpret that ‘evil spirit’ as just Saul suffering from depression, anxiety, paranoia, and some anger issues.

 

Chapter 17:

Israel is at war with the Philistines. They’ve got a nine foot tall guy named Goliath.

Goliath: Send someone out to fight me one on one. The winner’s people will rule over the loser’s people.

Everyone’s afraid of the 9 foot tall guy, so no one goes out to fight. Goliath trash talks them some more and goes back to his camp.

We’re introduced to David again, which now places him back as a shepherd boy instead of court musician, and instead of being a might man of valor as someone in court described him, he’s too young and too small to even be in the war. I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that I think the writer of 1 Samuel might have been using a bunch of different source stories or tales and is kind of blending them together.

David is tasked with bringing his brothers in the army some food, so he goes and after he drops the food off with the guy in charge of the baggage, he sees Goliath trash talking.

David: Dude, what the heck is this?

Soldier: Goliath. The king has promised the guy who kills him riches and his daughter and will exempt the man’s family from paying taxes forever.

David makes sure this is a genuine offer before volunteering. His brother gets annoyed by him.

David: Okay, your majesty, I’ll go fight Goliath.

Saul: You’re just a boy.

David: I’ve killed a bear and a lion. Besides we have God on our side.

Saul: Okay, try on my armor. Maybe that’ll help you last more than two seconds.

David: I can’t move. I’m just going to go in my tunic.

He takes a stick, a bag of rocks, and a sling and goes to fight Goliath.

Goliath: Dude… seriously? This is what you send? Okay, come on, kid, let’s get your death over with.

David: God is on my side.

David hucks a rock and KO’s Goliath. David runs over to Goliath’s body, grabs his sword, pulls it from its sheath and chops Goliath’s head off.

Philistines: Oh, wow… uh, just remembered, we totally left the stove on before we came to war… Gotta go, bye!

Israel pursues them and kills some more of them.

Saul: Who is that young man? (He’s your court musician… you see him regularly…)

Abner: I don’t know. (Okay, then… I guess we’re back to the one source where David wasn’t the court musician.)

So Abner brings David over, severed head and all.

Saul: Who are you?

David: So I guess this was part of the version where we hadn’t already met, okay then, I’m David, I’ll be your right hand man and court musician until you go bonkers and try to kill me.

 

Chapter 18:

You know, I never really got the gay vibes from Jonathan and David reading this before, but that theory didn’t just come out of nowhere.

Jonathan loves David. Saul takes David from his house to serve in his court. Jonathan gets David alone and they make a ‘covenant’ because they love one another. Whereupon Jon “stripped himself of the robe that was on him” and hands them over to David. He gives David his armor as well. Nothing to see here. Just a naked prince and a young, impressionable farm boy who love each other all alone together. They were probably talking about football.

So Saul makes David his right-hand man and puts him in charge of the army. So God blesses David and then the women start singing about how David is so much better at killing than Saul. Saul freaks out and start plotting on how he’s going to kill this farm boy that his son is hanging out with naked in his bedroom. Talking about football, of course.

So the next day, God sends the demon to torture Saul, and Saul decides to throw a spear at David. He misses. Twice. So Saul demotes David to be a commander of only 1,000 men, but everyone still loves him, especially Jon when he’s naked with him, alone, in Jon’s bedroom talking about football, of course.

Saul: Hey, I know, I won’t kill him. I’ll have him marry my daughter Merab and send him to die at the hands of the Philistines.

David: I can’t be your son-in-law. I’m ga- gonna go with I’m not worthy.

Saul marries off Merab to someone else.

Saul: Hey, I know. My other daughter Michal is a total b-word, that’ll screw David over. Hey, David, marry my daughter Michal. Don’t worry about a dowry, just go out, find 100 Philistines, kill them, then bring me back the tips of their wieners as proof.

Some time later.

David: Hey, Dad, can I call you dad? Here’s a bag of 200 pieces of wieners. I was only going to bring 100, but once you’ve got one wiener, you just can’t stop. Who’s with me? Uh? I mean… foot… ball?

So Saul let’s David marry Michal, and he’s getting more and more paranoid of him because God is with him and everyone loves him.

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