Bible studies for writers

Bible studies for writers | 2 Samuel 17

All the names of helpers and hinderers in this chapter make it quite confusing. Sometimes when we (I) get bogged down in details that don’t quite make sense, I have to summarize the events in what I call “plain English.” Basically, David is on the run from his son, Absalom, who thinks he has the world by the tail. In fact, however, David has placed two spies in Absalom’s midst. David sent both Ahithophel and Hushai into Absalom’s camp to confuse him and also to report back to David every move Absalom makes. Unfortunately, the two spies also get tangled up in a “fake” conspiracy to attack David and his men. I’m not sure why Ahithophel hanged himself, but my understanding is that it was all a misunderstanding, and possibly there was some shame there. He offered a plan, which Absalom kind of liked, but Hushai, in Absalom’s opinion, offered a bigger and better plan. I’m guessing Ahithophel and Hushai had no idea they were on the same team. Communication, guys, communication. SMH!!! But it is what it is, and Ahithophel dies at his own hand never to know the rest of the story. The chapter leaves us with David finding an ally in Shobi, an Ammonite, the clan that protected David when he was in hiding from Saul, and Makir and Barzillai, both of whom we assume have David’s best interests at heart due to their gifts and caring nature. It’s also possible that these three are going against the wishes of their own king, Hanun, who in Chapter 10, waged war against Israel because he didn’t trust David’s peace offering. In the meantime, Absalom is readying every troop in Israel to attack and kill his father. We’ll just have to wait and see what tomorrow brings for King David.

Writing prompt: skip the names

Write a summary of this chapter in your own words. Try to use generic labels to describe the characters mentioned, and seek to understand the depth of what is happening. Ask the Holy Spirit for guidance as you deduce the enormity of the situation.

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