9th May 2016
“Him that pisseth against the wall!”
- Dave (Amongst Others)
1 Samuel 25:22, 34
1 Kings 14:10, 16:11, 21:21
2 Kings 9:8
This is another gem from 1611’s monarch-commissioned English translation, the KJV.
Usually referring to a group of men facing imminent slaughter, most modern English translations translate this phrase as “all the males” (with perhaps a micturational footnote), which is what it essentially means. But I feel that really takes away all the poetry of it.
Thanks, King James.
6th June 2015
“My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins!”
1 Kings 12:10
2 Chronicles 10:10
Tough but fair, Solomon (son of Dave) was the King of Israel at its peak. When he dies, his son Rehoboam has big shoes to fill.
And there’s a problem. His subjects are discontent.
“Your father made our yoke difficult,” the people say. “Mate, just lighten our load a bit and we’ll serve you.”
Rehoboam, still new to this whole responsibility thing, doesn’t know exactly what to do. Thankfully, he seeks the advice of the wisest elders in the land.
“You’d better do what they say, son,” advise the advisors.
But before the he effects any changes, the new king, knowing the value of a second opinion, decides to ask his old school friends what they think he should say to the people.
“Here’s what you should tell them,” they reply: “‘My little finger is thicker than my father’s loins! My father burdened you with a heavy yoke? I’ll add to your yoke! My father disciplined you with whips? I’ll discipline you with scorpions!’”
If the meaning of the finger/loins comparison is not clear to you, let’s just say that Rehoboam would be claiming to be the bigger man. If you’re still confused, I’ll let this article by a guy named John explain further.
The bad news: Rehoboam decides his friends’ suggestion is the better one.
The good news: When he gives the speech his friends suggested, he does actually leave out the bit about the loins. He leaves the scorpions in, though.
The really bad news: After hearing the king’s response to their request, ten out of the twelve tribes of Israel secede and appoint their own King of Israel, a guy named Jeroboam. The kingdom is divided and at war for hundreds of years until eventually both halves are conquered by foreign empires and all their citizens exiled.
Nice one, Rehoboam.
25th April 2015
“Do not let his grey head go down to Sheol in peace.”
1 Kings 2:6 (ESV)
The abode of the dead; hell.
Old King Dave is passing the throne on to his son, Solomon. But he has some unfinished business. This bloke named Joab has been causing a ruckus, killing some people, “avenging in time of peace for blood that had been shed in war”.
Dave doesn't like this.
So Dave gives young Solomon some instructions regarding Joab. And it turns out Joab isn't the only one that old Dave has a gripe with. A chap named Shimei also gets a mention in the last will: “Bring his grey head down to Sheol with blood.”
As soon as Dave kicks it, Solomon (proving that he is just as much of a badass as his father was) goes straight out and—takes care of business.