Blind and Crippled not allowed

by peacefulpete 11 Replies latest watchtower bible

  • peacefulpete

    A very strange story in 2 Sam 5 about David's capture of Jerusalem.

    6 (K) Now the king and his men went to (L) Jerusalem against the Jebusites, the inhabitants of the land, and they said to David, "You shall not come in here, but the blind and lame will turn you away"; thinking, "David cannot enter here."
    7 Nevertheless, David captured the stronghold of Zion, that is (M) the city of David.
    8 David said on that day, "Whoever would strike the Jebusites, let him reach the lame and the blind, who are hated by David's soul, through the water tunnel." Therefore they say, "The blind or the lame shall not come into the House."

    Now why would David hate cripples and the blind?

    Note the comment a little later in the story regarding Mephibosheth at 9:13

    13 And Mephibosheth is dwelling in Jerusalem, for at the table of the king he is eating continually, though he [is] lame of his two feet.

    It was earlier (4:4) explained that Mephib. was lamed so why repeat it here?

    Note also that the Deuteronomist anachronisticly uses the story as an etiological explanation for why blind and lame cannot enter the "House"/Temple.

    Does the story play on different levels? Do the "blind and lame" represent those alienated from Yahweh who find favor? This is a recurring motif throughout the Bible.


  • wednesday

    It has always seemed to me that people in the Bible who were ill in most any way were thought to have displeased God in some way, lacking God's favor, comminted a grave sin. The ill are looked down on. At least it appears that way in the Hebrew part of the Bible. But then again a woman's menses were a curse too, and she was unclean after birth, and women were only possessions to be handed over to be raped and defiled at the whim of their bethrothed, father, or husband. .

  • Double Edge
    Double Edge

    At the time of this story, Jerusalem was a small Cannanite town even though it had been 400 years since the Israelites were commanded to possess the land. Jerusalem, because of it's location was a stonghold that was easily defended. The Jebusites were overconfidentally mocking David suggesting that even the blind and lame would repel them. After taking the city, David got in their face with the same 'nerny nerny' mocking about what he thought of the blind and lame.

  • peacefulpete

    Well actually the legends about how the Israelites captured Jerusalem abounded. Josh 10 has Joshua do it, Judges has the Judahites do it, 2 Sam. has David do it. But the point here is why in this legend is David made to hate blind and lamed. Given the writer's wrap-up about the prohibition of lamed from entering the Temple it would seem that it was metaphor for "outside" or "alienated" giving the story a parable aspect. Mephibosheth (named changed from Meribaal 1 Chron 8-9) names means "mouth of shame", maybe this plays in the story as well. He was given place ate the table to eat (mouth) despite his being a shame (lamed). ?????

  • Debar

    David was on the campaign toward Jerusalem. Jerusalem represents the Kingdom. The spiritually blind and those stilll lame...that is those who do not have their soul and Spirit aligned cannot enter the Kingdoom. David represents the warring Messiah. Where does he make war? within us. Until our warfare is completed we have not been healed...Spiritually.

    Jebusites means the threshing floor. Jehovah separates the wheat from the chaff here.

    Always Jesus healed the blind and the lame. We too must be healed of our Spiritual blindness and we must walk "the walk" in order to enter into the Kingdom.

    Blessings and peace,


  • peacefulpete

    Thanks Debar, that was on the tact I was heading. I do wonder if the story like many others was meant to be interpreted in some such similar way by its ancient audience. I realize how far out such a proposal appears to our Western mind but the Bible was written by skilled theologians not historians.

  • Narkissos

    This seems to echo the priestly rules in Leviticus 21:17ff:

    Speak to Aaron and say: No one of your offspring throughout their generations who has a blemish may approach to offer the food of his God. For no one who has a blemish shall draw near, one who is blind or lame, or one who has a mutilated face or a limb too long, or one who has a broken foot or a broken hand, or a hunchback, or a dwarf, or a man with a blemish in his eyes or an itching disease or scabs or crushed testicles. No descendant of Aaron the priest who has a blemish shall come near to offer the LORD's offerings by fire; since he has a blemish, he shall not come near to offer the food of his God. He may eat the food of his God, of the most holy as well as of the holy. But he shall not come near the curtain or approach the altar, because he has a blemish, that he may not profane my sanctuaries; for I am the LORD; I sanctify them.

    Also, the sentence about the "house" is lacking in the rewriting of 1 Chronicles 11.

  • peacefulpete

    Right, and if it may be stretched, it might permeate the OT. The contrasts and reversals of fortune for the lame and blind (poor,widows etc) seems to be bound with Messianic hopes, not only as outright prophecies but dramatized in parable. I've encountered this approach in NT forums before and it may hold a key to understanding the OT strories as well. T.Thomson suggests that the 2 Kings 22-23 story of Josiah (Messiah role) where he introduces the Passover (pesach) to the Temple was utilizing a pun on Lame (piseach). In this way the reversal of fortune of the lame, once barred, now restored as Passover, is accomplished for an informed reader. Also this may carry into the Matt 21:14 story where lame and blind actually went into the Temple to be cured. The caricatured religious leaders are upset about the wonders he does, not because of jealousy as usually assumed but because of the symbolic reversal of fortune and favor it represented.

    14 And there came to him blind and lame men in the temple, and he healed them,

    15 and the chief priests and the scribes having seen the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, `Hosanna to the Son of David,' were much displeased;

  • Narkissos

    Matthew 21:14f is a clear allusion to 2 Samuel -- the "Son of David" is better than David.

    Now in the OT a similar development is especially likely in Chronicles (which avoids the reference to the "House/Temple" in the David story). Note the insistence on ritual irregularities and forgiveness/healing in Hezekiah's Passover (2 Chronicles 30)

    Many people came together in Jerusalem to keep the festival of unleavened bread in the second month, a very large assembly. They set to work and removed the altars that were in Jerusalem, and all the altars for offering incense they took away and threw into the Wadi Kidron. They slaughtered the passover lamb on the fourteenth day of the second month. The priests and the Levites were ashamed, and they sanctified themselves and brought burnt offerings into the house of the LORD. They took their accustomed posts according to the law of Moses the man of God; the priests dashed the blood that they received from the hands of the Levites. For there were many in the assembly who had not sanctified themselves; therefore the Levites had to slaughter the passover lamb for everyone who was not clean, to make it holy to the LORD. For a multitude of the people, many of them from Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, and Zebulun, had not cleansed themselves, yet they ate the passover otherwise than as prescribed. But Hezekiah prayed for them, saying, "The good LORD pardon all who set their hearts to seek God, the LORD the God of their ancestors, even though not in accordance with the sanctuary's rules of cleanness." The LORD heard Hezekiah, and healed the people.
  • peacefulpete

    I'm loosing the computer to my wife now but seriously this is under appreciated by scholarship.

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