Lectionary Year B
July 6, 2003
2 Samuel 5:1-5, 9-10

Step IV: Cross-Section

A. Primitive Christianity

(JFC) Of course, David frequently is mentioned in the New Testament and Jesus is occasionally referred to as the New Davidide, the Davidic Messiah, etc. Matthew 2 records the Wise Men going to the Nativity; when they ask for directions, King Herod heard of the Messiah and asked where He was to be born. The answer cites, in part, ". . . a leader who will be like a shepherd for my people Israel," reminding us of our text's 5:2c. Also, when Peter affirms his love for Jesus, in John 21:16, Jesus tells him to "take care of my sheep", indicating shepherding is still a valiant calling, and quoting God's calling David to do so. Jesus, in John 10:11, differentiates what a good shepherd does for his sheep - "lays down his life" for them. The concept of covenant remains into the New Testament an important idea; the Eucharist has it in I Corinthians 11:25 and Mark 14:24, and Paul calls for believers to function as "ministers of a new covenant", II Corinthians 3:6. Also, Jerusalem is still in Christianity's early years, a predominant city.

B. Old Testament and Judaism

(JFC) The tribes of Israel are mentioned from Genesis 49:28 to Exodus 24:4 and in Psalm 122:4. And, David was anointed in I Samuel 16, which "utilizes the metaphor of shepherd," as Brueggemann says. Of course, David is anointed King over the house of Judah in II Samuel 2:4a, as well. Furthermore he is mentioned from I Samuel 16 through I Kings 2 and Chronicles 29. The shepherd image referring to God occurs in Psalm 23:1, Psalm 80:1, Isaiah 40:11 and Ezekiel (34:15) refers to himself as shepherding his people. Of course God's covenant runs through the Old Testament as it does the New, see, for example, with Noah (Genesis 6:18) with the entire earth via a rainbow (Genesis 9:13), with Abraham and Isaac (Genesis 17:19) and with Moses (Exodus 24:7). Jeremiah (31:31, 32:40 and 50:5) begins prophesying a new covenant God is to make. That New Covenant will include/admit all into God's "House of Prayer", Isaiah 56:7f prophesies.

C. Hellenistic World

(JFC) These elitist philosophers would like the references to families, "bone and flesh", recalling of the past, "Saul was king" and the Elders' being partnered in the covenant David makes with them. Do these dualities prompt discussions for these Greek thinkers? Now, with David's becoming King, would they approve of it as a calling from God, as reported here, or would they be jealous, as they were as reported in Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs, "Testament of Simeon" of c. 160 BCE, of Joseph, another youngest brother, in Genesis 37? The notoriety of Jerusalem might have given them cause to pause and reflect on their past left behind. Could they enjoy those mental gymnastics? And, would David's gaining popularity make them nervous or would they care, since Jerusalem is so far from them, from them who dispersed across Asia Minor?

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