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David as a nerd

Updated: Feb 9

A thought came to me the other night as I was drifting off to sleep, which told me to look at David through a new set of eyes.  Rather than seeing him as a mighty warrior, tall, muscular, and brave [those were Saul’s traits], see him as a scrawny, yet flexible nerd-like person.  The image of Woody Allen in Bananas came to mind.  For most of the world not alive in 1971, who might not have seen the movie, here is a clip to the idea of the David image that flashed across my mind.



What I was hearing was Yahweh told Samuel to pass over David’s older brothers, even though each one of them looked the part of a would-be king.  David, when he was called in from the fields, was probably about nine years old, maybe only eight, seeing how David had a couple of sisters in between somewhere.  So, if David was eight, his oldest brother would have been about twenty to twenty-two, with the youngest of the elder brothers barely a man of thirteen.


When we read of David bragging about rescuing sheep from lions and bears that had taken them away, he seized them by the hair, making them release the sheep.  If they resisted or tried to get David or the sheep, he then struck them (with his shepherd's staff), having killed a lion and a bear.  He compared Goliath as being no different than that threat.  Because David did not strike Goliath with his bare fist, he would have struck the lion and bear with a shepherd’s staff, meaning it was a tool that killed the animals (a tool aided by Yahweh).  Moses likewise had a staff, and Yahweh was the one making the staff of a shepherd work wonders to keep the flock safe.


As I re-read1 Samuel, reading where it sang about Saul having slain thousands and David his tens of thousands, this was after David had only slain Goliath, a lion, and a bear.


The stories of David tell more often of how he wanted to take men into a battle and kill an enemy for them having insulted one chosen by Yahweh, only to hear the voice in his head tell him it would be best to let it go, which he would do.  Those deserving to be killed died because of Yahweh, for various reasons. 


Tie this to the fact that Yahweh told Gideon to pick the soldiers who stuck their heads in the creek to drink (not keeping an eye open for danger). Those 'bad soldiers' displayed complete trust that Yahweh was protecting them, while the 'good soldiers' who were vigilant still held reservations and cautions.  So, David should fit this Woody Allen image of one coming, making the enemy laugh and not take him seriously. 


David (I believe) converted two hundred Philistines to Israelites, such that they willingly became circumcised as adult males, allowing David to take those two hundred foreskins back to Saul and claim his daughter’s hand in marriage (when he grew old enough). That made David be a rightful prince of a king, thus in line for that throne (eventually).


When Saul tried to kill David, David ran.  He was not afraid of Saul harming him; but David was worried what Yahweh would do if Saul was able to harm David, who was Yahweh’s anointed. 


Twice we read that David spared Saul’s life, but neither time did David carry a weapon that would have killed Saul.  David and another of his men snuck into Saul’s camp, taking his jug of water and spear, which were by his head.  All Saul’s guards slept deeply, because of Yahweh.  So, David pointed out to Saul (when the two shouted at one another from a distance) how poorly his soldiers defended the life of their king, saying they should all be killed for sleeping while on duty.  Both times Saul said he was sorry and asked David to forgive his being mean to David.


When David became King of Israel and Judah, the Ark of the Covenant had rested at a man’s home for twenty years, after the Philistines had overrun Shiloh, captured the Ark and transported it to their temple.  All kinds of troubles broke out there and after seven months they took it back to Shiloh and left it.  Saul brought it out to secure a victory over the Philistines and broke Yahweh’s rules, told to Saul by Samuel, causing Samuel to cease advising Saul and never seeing him again.  All that was before Samuel anointed young David, thus before David slew Goliath.  So, the Ark sat unused until David took Jerusalem as his capital city and prepared a tabernacle there to place the Ark in. 


David danced wildly, barely dressed (purposefully looking the fool), before the Ark as it was moved. He did not want to present an image of conqueror who was returning from battle, bringing in his latest trophy. His wife, the daughter of Saul, said he looked like a clown, not a king (the Woody Allen comparison). 


When the Ark was safely in Jerusalem, Yahweh allowed David to rest, meaning the enemies of Israel did not hate David, like they hated Saul.  So, that also supports David was not an imposing figure that brough fear from him physically.  The fear that David projected upon others was that of Yahweh; so, as long as David was king, the enemies knew Yahweh was the power behind his throne, not David (certainly not him alone).


In the many stories written in the books of Samuel, there are tales of David grabbing a sword and some men and going out to kill some enemies, only to be told by some advisor, “Not so fast there quick’s draw.”  David would see the better option and turn around and leave.  Then, lo and behold, the enemy would have Yahweh cover them with fear; and, the next thing they did was run amok killing themselves … until they were all dead.  David did not have to kill any of them; and, that happened more than once. 


The Midianites did that when Gideon had three hundred men light lanterns and make a lot of noise.  None of Gideon's men killed any enemy.  The enemy killed themselves, because Yahweh was the power of true Israel (those "Who Retain the El" of Yahweh, His Son within their souls)


As I wrote this, I saw an image of Sheriff Andy Taylor (Andy Griffith) who was known as a sheriff without a gun, who had a bumbling deputy who was only allowed one bullet to keep in his shirt pocket, not his pistol.  David would have been like that.  Everyone would like to be David’s friend, rather than his enemy, just because he was so likeable.  His demeanor was a strong statement that Yahweh was his protection, not a side arm (sword or pistol).  Still, when it came time to kill in the name of the Lord, David would strap on the sword, just like Andy would get one of the rifles from the Gun cabinet and go hunting down criminals.



Keep in mind, the characters played by Woody Allen and Andy Griffith are fictitious. Their actual lives have absolutely nothing to do with historic David. Quite probably, movie actors and television stars are nothing like the characters they pretend to be. Of course, one could see a parallel between historic Woody Allen, who illegitimately took a minor to be his main squeeze, and David not leading the troops out in the spring, so he could peep on the women's bathhouse, steal another man's wife, have the other man killed and forever condemn Israel and Judah from ever having a king led by Yahweh. David's failure forevermore sentenced Israel and Judah to be nothing more than other nations with kings who did not have Yahweh guiding them (like Saul wasn't).


At least, when Nathan told David what he did (indirectly, metaphorically with a little lamb scenario), David was able to feel anger from such evil metaphor. David wanted to go kill that man in Nathan's parable. Then, when Nathan said, "You are that man!" David felt a cold shiver run down his spine. Being without Yahweh's protection (being just another king of a nation) is reason to fear one's soul being in danger of being lost, more than one's flesh.


Woody Allen ... he's the type that hires some Jewish lawyers to deny everything. So, there is no David atoms in his being.

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