The Bible Unmasked
by Joseph Lewis
The Bible Unmasked
Table of Contents
King David of Israel and His Wives.
=== Continued ===
As there existed no scruples among the Israelites as to the number of wives a man should have, and as David was one of the glorious leaders, I shall proceed to chronicle the next matrimonial event of this celebrated character.
In recording the event to follow, there is used in the Biblical narrative, as spoken by David, a most insulting expression. It is uttered with all the venom of a rowdy and reveals the coarseness of this type of man. Were our child to use the same expression, as we are about to quote from the Bible, he would be admonished in severe terms never to use such an expression again. It is too coarse a word for even the dictionary to make mention of; even to the extent that it is "not used in polite speech." But why use the dictionary as the criterion of speech, when the Bible is considered the masterpiece of literature?
The time in which this part of the story of David is related transpires just before the death of Saul and the ascendancy of David to the throne as King of the Jews. The intervening events either reveal God as being an imbecile, the Jews as a savage tribe, or the Bible as a monstrous lie. But as we are concerned with the taking of the second wife by David, we cannot digress at this time to expose any other phase of the Bible. To continue, then:
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 1-2.
|And Samuel died; and all the Israelites were gathered together, and
lamented him, and buried him in his house at Ramah. And David arose, and
went down to the wilderness of Paran.
2. And there was a man in Maon, whose possessions were in Carmel; and the man was very great, and he had three thousand sheep, and a thousand goats: and he was shearing his sheep in Carmel.
That David was the leader of a tribe no better than a gang of bandits, can be seen from what is to follow.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verse 3.
|3. Now the name of the man was Nabal, and the name of his wife Abigail; and she was a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance: but the man was churlish and evil in his doings; and he was of the house of Caleb.|
Before proceeding with the narrative, note well what is recorded in the verse above. Here is a man who evidently through hard work and honest labor had accumulated considerable wealth for those days; he also possessed a wife who was "a woman of good understanding, and of a beautiful countenance." In what respect and why he was "churlish and evil in his doings" is not recorded. That he was more unprincipled or unscrupulous than David, is hardly conceivable.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 4-8.
|4. And David heard in the wilderness that Nabal did shear his sheep.
5. And David sent out ten young men, and David said unto the young men, Get you up to Carmel, and go to Nabal, and greet him in my name:
6. And thus shall ye say to him that liveth in prosperity. Peace be both to thee, and peace be to thine house, and peace be unto all that thou hast.
7. And now I have heard that thou hast shearers: now thy shepherds which were with us, we hurt them not, neither was there aught missing unto them, all the while they were in Carmel.
8. Ask thy young men, and they will shew thee. Wherefore let the young men find favour in thine eyes; for we come in a good day: give: I pray thee, whatsoever cometh to thine hand unto thy servants, and to thy son David.
For downright maliciousness you will have to go a long way to encounter another similar instance of gaining tribute. In other words, David practiced a method of blackmail. "Pay me not to commit trespass upon your property" is in substance what David demanded. A fine code of ethics does this story of the Bible teach!
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verse 9.
|9. And when David's young men came, they spake to Nabal according to all those words into the name of David, and ceased.|
Here is a difficult situation. Here is an honest man with valuable possessions approached by messengers of an arch bandit and blackmailer demanding tribute for immunity from pillage. What would any courageous man maintain in the face of such an outrageous proposal. To-day we would notify the police, but unfortunately at that time the institution of law and government was not so far advanced. Our present code is, "millions for defense, but not one cent for tribute." No doubt Nabal thought of the same thing, and rightly too; for he answers David's men as follows.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 10-11.
|10. And Nabal answered David's servants, and said, Who is David?
and who is the son of Jesse? there be many servants nowadays that
break away every man from his master.
11. Shall I then take my bread, and my water, and my flesh that I have killed for my shearers, and give it unto men, whom I know not whence they be?
Was there ever a more unjust demand and was there ever a more justified refusal than the utterance just recorded of Nabal? Nabal was not only justified in what he said; it was his duty as a man to refuse to acquiesce to the banditry of David. The following is of deep significance and I bid you to read carefully.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 12-13.
|12. So David's young men turned their way, and went again, and came
and told him all those sayings.
13. And David said unto his men, Gird ye on every man his sword. And they girded on every man his sword; and David also girded on his sword; and there went up after David about four hundred men; and two hundred abode by the stuff.
Think of the damnable character of a person who will destroy an innocent man and rob him of his belongings because of a justified refusal!
But why think about the character of the Biblical leaders?
Do you expect a thief to honor the code of honesty?
Do you expect a murderer to hold human life sacred?
Do you expect the profligate to respect the virtuous?
Then expect none of these things from any of the characters of the Bible. They are too "divine" for that. We must look to ungodly human beings to possess such virtues.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 14-17.
|14. But one of the young men told Abigail, Nabal's wife, saying, Behold,
David sent messengers out of the wilderness to salute our master; and he
railed on them.
15. But the men were very good unto us, and we were not hurt, neither missed we any thing, as long as we were conversant with them, when we were in the fields.
16. They were a wall unto us both by night and day, all the while we were with them keeping the sheep.
17. Now therefore know and consider what thou wilt do; for evil is determined against our master, and against all his household: for he is such a son of Belial, that a man cannot speak to him.
18. Then Abigail made haste, and took two hundred loaves, and two bottles of wine, and five sheep ready dressed, and five measures of parched corn, and a hundred clusters of raisins, and two hundred cakes of figs, and laid them on asses.
19. And she said unto her servants, Go on before me; behold, I come after you. But she told not her husband Nabal.
20. And it was so, as she rode on the ass, that she came down by the covert of the hill, and, behold, David and his men came down against her; and she met them.
21. Now David had said, Surely in vain have I kept all that this fellow hath in the wilderness, so that nothing was missed of all that pertained unto him: and he hath requited me evil for goad.
So much for the tribute, and now let us see what would have happened if the tribute was not forthcoming. In the verse to follow appears, as I stated before, the most ribald expression that has ever appeared in any book of general circulation. It may be all right for the Bible to make mention of this expression, but I do not want to give currency to it.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verse 22.
|22. So and more also do God unto the enemies of David, if I leave of all that pertain to him by the morning light any that ... against the wall.|
Surely there is a perverted cunning in the manner of describing men as stated in the last verse. To use this expression but once is not sufficient, and as the Bible wishes to impress this elevating detail upon our minds it is used again in a less ambiguous sentence after Abigail prostrates herself before David in supplication and thanks him for witholding his vengeance. As it is necessary to quote this scene to continue the story, I will proceed.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 23-34.
|23. And when Abigail saw David, she hasted, and lighted off the ass,
and fell before David on her face, and bowed herself to the ground.
24. And fell at his feet, and said, Upon me, my lord, upon me let this iniquity be: and let thine handmaid, I pray thee, speak in thine audience, and hear the words of thine handmaid.
25. Let not my lord, I pray thee, regard this man of Belial, even Nabal: for as his name is, so is he; Nabal is his name, and folly is with him: but I thine handmaid saw not the young men of my lord, whom thou didst send.
26. Now therefore, my lord, as the Lord liveth, and As thy soul liveth, seeing the Lord hath withholden thee from coming to shed blood, and from avenging thyself with thine own hand, now let thine enemies, and they that seek evil to my lord, be as Nabal.
27. And now this blessing which thine handmaid hath brought unto my lord, let it even be given unto the young men that follow my lord.
28. I pray thee, forgive the trespass of thine handmaid: for the Lord will certainly make my lord a sure house; because my lord fighteth the battles of the Lord, and evil hath not been found in thee all thy days.
29. Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.
30. And it shall come to pass, when the Lord shall have done to my lord according to all the good that he hath spoken concerning thee, and shall have appointed thee ruler over Israel;
31. That this shall be no grief unto thee, nor offence of heart unto my lord, either that thou hast shed blood causeless, or that my lord hath avenged himself: but when the Lord shall have dealt well with my lord, then remember thine handmaid.
32. And David said to Abigail, Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, which sent thee this day to meet me:
33. And blessed he thy advice, and blessed be thou, which hast kept me this day from coming to shed blood, and from avenging myself with mine own hand.
34. For in very deed as the Lord God of Israel liveth, which hath kept me back from hurting thee, except thou hadst hasted and come to meet me, surely there had not been left unto Nabal by the morning light any that ... against the wall.
What damnable hypocrisy and all that man abhors in life is contained in the above quotation. If the "Lord God of Israel" prompts men to be so fiendish, then the sooner we get rid of such a being, the better off we will be.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verse 35.
|35. So David received of her hand that which she had brought him, and said unto her, Go up in peace to thine house; see, I have hearkened to thy voice, and have accepted thy person.|
David has been satisfied. Whether it was the tribute that Abigail brought him or the acceptance of "thy person" which appeased his anger we are not told. I am inclined to think it was the latter, as subsequent events would lead one to believe.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 36-38.
|36. And Abigail came to Nabal; and, behold, he held a feast in his
house, like the feast of a king; and Nabal's heart was merry within
him, for he was very drunken: wherefore she told him nothing, less
or more, until the morning light.
37. But it came to pass in the morning, when the wine was gone out of Nabal, and his wife had told him these things, that his heart died within him, and he became as a stone.
38. And it came to pass about ten days after, that the Lord smote Nabal, that he died.
What could have suited David better? Upon being informed of the tragic occurrence he "sent and communed with Abigail, to take her to him to wife."
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verses 39-42.
|39. And when David heard that Nabal was dead, he said, Blessed be
the Lord, that hath pleaded the cause of my reproach from the hand of Nabal,
and hath kept his servant from evil: for the Lord hath returned the wickedness
of Nabal upon his own head. And David sent and communed with Abigail, to
take her to him to wife.
40. And when the servants of David were come to Abigail to Carmel, they spake unto her, saying, David sent us unto thee, to take thee to him to wife.
41. And she arose, and bowed herself on her face to the earth, and said, Behold, let thine handmaid be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of my lord.
42. And Abigail hasted, and arose, and rode upon an ass, with five damsels of hers that went after her; and she went after the messengers of David, and became his wife.
Abigail was so overjoyed at becoming the wife of David that, to show her dutifulness, she was ready and willing to be a servant to wash the feet of the servants of her lord. But, to David, a wife evidently meant another servant, for in the following verse, without the slightest indication that he was "in the market" he takes another wife.
Samuel 1, Chapter 25, Verse 43.
|43. David also took Ahinoam of Jezreel; and they were also both of them his wives.|
Certainly our moralists have reason to be indebted to the Bible for the inculcation of the high principles enunciated regarding the institution of marriage.
Before proceeding with the next event in the life of David, I want to say a word regarding the expression used in this narrative. Were a book written containing such a reference as expressed in verse 34, what would be your opinion of it? Do you think we would revere the author as "divinely inspired" and hold sacred the book as the "Word of God"?
In a recent conviction of the producers of a play, the Court of General Sessions of the City of New York, held that "the moral ending of a play does not justify presentation of scenes which shock public sense of decency."
In the story just related about David there is not only no moral ending, but a distinctly immoral one and there are numerous presentations which shock public sense of decency. By the wildest stretch of the imagination I cannot understand what prompts public officials to put the Bible in our public schools. What right has the government, in view of the exposure already made, to exempt churches from taxation where the Bible is being expounded as the Word of God? Surely hypocrisy added to filth is not deserving of this favoritism. How much more will it be necessary to record, before the people awaken to the seriousness of the Bible's teachings in relation to morality?
As for King David, this is merely an incident in his life. What is to follow is even more repulsive. It is impossible to relate in detail the events which take place in the life of David until the time of his next licentious episode; and for that reason his brutal commands, his deception by proclaiming peace unto a nation and then pillaging that nation must be referred directly to the Bible. The ruthless devastation wrought upon defenseless people must likewise be left unrecorded. The taking of women of a conquered province for the lust of his men must also be passed without comment. And yet the preachers have the audacity to say that the world is looking for another leader like David!
During the events mentioned above we find David was not satisfied with only three wives, and by way of diversion took unto himself several more, even while engaged in battle, as we learn from the following.
Samuel 2, Chapter 3, Verses 2-5.
|2. And unto David were sons born in Hebron: and his firstborn was Amnon,
of Ahinoam the Jezreelitess;
3. And his second, Chileab, of Abigail the wife of Nabal the Carmelite; and the third, Absalom the son of Maacah the daughter of Talmai king of Geshur;
4. And the fourth, Adonijah the son of Haggith, and the fifth, Shephatiah the son of Abital;
5. And the sixth, Ithream, by Eglah David's wife. These were born to David in Hebron.
So far, if I have not been inaccurate in my calculations, David has taken unto his bosom seven wives. But what is a mere seven wives to a man like David? The circumstances surrounding the "taking" of the above mentioned wives are not recorded and therefore we cannot relate in detail the romantic courtship attending each marriage. Despite the fact that he found favor in his six other wives, David returns to his original mate, for whom, if you remember, he gave two hundred foreskins of the Philistines, and his entrance and approach to her is worth recording.
Samuel 2, Chapter 6, Verse 20.
|20. Then David returned to bless his household. And Michal the daughter of Saul came out to meet David, and said, How glorious was the king of Israel to day, who uncovered himself to day in the eyes of the handmaids of his servants, as one of the vain fellows shamelessly uncovereth himself!|
What a nice scene this must have been. I wonder what passion, or rather insanity obsessed David to so shamelessly uncover himself! I wonder what the handmaids and servants thought of this "glorious man of God." Were they to follow his example? Or was David the first of that religious sect which practices the custom of living in complete nakedness?
Samuel 2, Chapter 6, Verse 21.
|21. And David said unto Michal, It was before the Lord, which chose me before thy father, and before all his house, to appoint me ruler over the people of the Lord, over Israel; therefore will I play before the Lord.|
Nakedness of course is not a crime, yet it is not particularly desirable in our present mode of living and standard of morals. Even bathing suits, suitable for swimming, are objected to by the very ones who preach from the Bible and uphold the action of David, and yet admonish the people to be more moral!
Samuel 2, Chapter 6, Verses 22-23.
|22. And I will yet be more vile than thus and will be base in mine
own sight: and of the maidservants which thou hast spoken of, of them shall
I be had in honour.
23. Therefore Michal the daughter of Saul had no child unto the day of her death.
David warns us he "will yet be more vile than thus," so let us be prepared for what is to follow. Why Michal should be penalized with sterility for her reprimand to David the "Lord only knows," for certainly we approve of her action.
But there is a contradiction in the above statement, for Michal did bear children. The Bible itself says, Samuel 2, Chapter 21, Verse 8, "and the five sons of Michal, the daughter of Saul, whom she brought up from Adriel the son of Barzillai the Metholathite." Perhaps Michal herself was practicing a bit of adultery on the side, while David was taking his other wives, but why the Lord knew nothing about it I cannot say.
Before continuing to the next phase of this story it will not be out of place, I hope, to record an instance or two which took place in the intervening time. David has now become the King of the Jews and with the Lord's help has grown great as we find in Samuel 2, Chapter 5, Verses 10-12.
|10. And David went on, and grew great, and the Lord God of hosts was
11. And Hiram king of Tyre sent messengers to David, and cedar trees, and carpenters, and masons: and they built David a house.
12. And David perceived that the Lord had established him king over Israel, and that he had exalted his kingdom for his people Israel's sake.
But to David more power meant more wives. Samuel 2, Chapter 5, Verses 13-16.
|13. And David took him more concubines and wives out of Jerusalem,
after he was come from Hebron: and there were yet sons and daughters born
14. And these be the names of those that were born unto him in Jerusalem; Shammuah, and Shobab, and Nathan, and Solomon,
15. Ibhar also, and Elishua, and Nepheg, and Japhia,
16. And Elishama, and Eliada, and Eliphalet.
As this text does not mention the exact number of wives which David took after he was come from Hebron we must discontinue the count. Since the word "wives" is plural and means more than one we must conclude, figuring the very minimum, David has at least nine wives and truly an infinite number of concubines, as we have absolutely no record of the number of those poor creatures he possessed. I ask you to note the name of one of his sons as mentioned in the 14th verse quoted above. Is this the same Solomon who ascended the throne of David after his father's death? Or did David have two sons by the name of Solomon. For how could David have a son by a woman before he knew her? Or is this another instance of the utter stupidity, and unreliableness of the Bible, its writers and translators? What is to follow is so ludicrous I cannot resist quoting it to you.
Samuel 2, Chapter 5, Verses 17-19.
|17. But when the Philistines heard that they had anointed David king
over Israel, all the Philistines came up to seek David; and David heard
of it, and went down to the hold.
18. The Philistines also came and spread themselves in the valley of Rephaim.
19. And David inquired of the Lord, saying, Shall I go up to the Philistines? wilt thou deliver them into mine hand? And the Lord said unto David, Go up: for I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hand.
Please read again the verse just quoted. David asks the Lord what he should do regarding the war-like maneuvers of the Philistines and the Lord speaks to David as follows: "For I will doubtless deliver the Philistines into thine hands." Can you imagine God saying he would doubtless do a certain thing? The Bible is not only ludicrous in its expressions, but is silly and foolish as well.
We now come to the most despicable episode in the life of this Jewish scoundrel. It alone is sufficient to brand with the mark of infamy the character responsible for the crime. And yet it is but an ordinary incident in the life of David, a lark, so to speak, in the life of this "man of God." But to us poor mortals it is a story of a different color. To us it reveals a character that we judge to be an abomination. Were such an unscrupulous man living to-day openly committing such a vile deed, our condemnation would resound the world over; and instead of applying the title "man of God" to such a scoundrel, we would more properly refer to him in language befitting his rascality. Since David was a man of God, and since the Bible is God's Holy Word, we will proceed with the story.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 1-2.
|And it came to pass, after the year was expired, at the time when kings
go forth to battle, that David sent Joab, and his servants with
him, and all Israel; and they destroyed the children of Ammon, and besieged
Rabbah. But David tarried still at Jerusalem.
2. And it came to pass in an evening tide, that David arose from off his bed, and walked upon the roof of the king's house: and from the roof he saw a woman washing herself; and the woman was very beautiful to look upon.
It may be of interest here to mention the fact, that in the days of the great religious leaders -- men who had either seen or spoken to God -- the abodes in which they lived did not have the conveniences of the modern home. Gas and electric light were not only unknown, but had such "miracles" even been suggested a charge of witchcraft would have followed the proposal. Household plumbing and that essential, the bathtub, were improvements these God-inspired men were totally ignorant of. They were "inspired" with higher ideals than those which make for comfort and happiness of the family. They were inspired with warfare, deception, rape and banditry. These improvements came from men who did not boast of any relation with God. They were concerned with peace, the cultivation of their soil and the uplift of the community. For following these pursuits and endeavoring to improve the conditions under which they lived, these people were termed by such fiendish characters as David and his like as pagans, infidels and heretics.
But let us go back to our story where the great King David -- we should judge it to be in the twilight of evening, in the balmy month of June -- walked upon the roof of his house and lo and behold, saw a woman washing herself. A closer observation revealed the woman -- in her nakedness -- as being very beautiful. As there are more details to the story we will let the Bible whisper them to us.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 34.
|3. And David sent and inquired after the woman. And one said,
Is not this Bath-sheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of
Uriah the Hittite?
4. And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her; for she was purified from her uncleanness: and she returned unto her house.
One thing about David; he certainly lost no time in the satisfaction of his lustful desires. What a perfect Biblical character he is. No romance, no wooing on a moonlight night, no fervent manifestations of passionate love; just brutal sexual satisfaction. Aye, even a parody upon prostitution. Not a single line to give a redeeming color to this brutal case of adultery. "And David sent messengers, and took her; and she came in unto him, and he lay with her." As cold-blooded as it is possible to be.
It is not a difficult task to understand what a pernicious influence the Bible exerts upon the world when such a story as this is one of its prominent features. Why, the very conditions under which the Biblical characters lived, and the time and place of the narratives, is sufficient to discredit the Bible as a cultural guide. And the struggle to free mankind from the influence of those barbaric times is constantly interfered with by the Bible and its multitude of deluded supporters and defenders. Before passing to the next event of this episode, I wish to record a thought which has just occurred to me.
Is it possible, because of the circumstances surrounding the event by which David observed Bath-sheba, that she was given her name? Perhaps in her girlhood she was known only as "Sheba," but since David observed her taking a bath she was renamed "Bath-sheba" or "Sheba, the maid of the Bath." I consider this thought well founded and at the same time deserving of mention. I refer it for investigation to those devout Biblical scholars who think it more sacred to read the Bible from morning to night than to do anything useful in the world. But let us see what has happened to Bath-sheba after David "lay with her."
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verse 5.
|5. And the woman conceived, and sent and told David, and said, I am with child.|
Well, what do you expect? What generally results from forbidden sex relation? David was not as considerate as Onan. The question of preventing conception did not enter his mind. Nevertheless, here is an opportunity for David to show his manhood, and at the same time an example of chivalry which would add credit and lustre to his name, and perhaps atone for his dastardly act.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 6-11.
|6. And David sent to Joab, saying, Send me Uriah the Hittite.
And Joab sent Uriah to David.
7. And when Uriah was come unto him, David demanded of him how Joab did, and how the people did, and how the war prospered.
8. And David said to Uriah, Go down to thy house, and wash thy feet. And Uriah departed out of the king's house, and there followed him a mess of meat from the king.
9. But Uriah slept at the door of the king's house with all the servants of his lord, and went not down to his house.
10. And when they had told David, saying, Uriah went not down unto his house, David said unto Uriah, Camest thou not from thy journey? why then didst thou not go down unto thine house?
11. And Uriah said unto David, The ark, and Israel, and Judah, abide in tents; and my lord Joab, and the servants of my lord, are encamped in the open fields; shall I then go into mine house, to eat and to drink, and to lie with my wife? as thou livest, and as thy soul liveth, I will not do this thing.
The words of a true soldier. So loyal was this man Uriah to his duty, he refused on a leave of absence, to go to his own home, enjoy its comforts, and spend the night in the company of his wife, who was, according to the Bible, very beautiful. He preferred to gird himself so as to face more stoically the hardships which he would naturally encounter in the performance of his duty as a soldier. He avoided the temptation of the irresistible desire which he knew would result while in the company of his beautiful wife. He preferred to stand ready to do service to his country and uphold allegiance to his oath. What a pitiable exposure this incident makes of the leaders and makers of war. While men are fighting for their country and fatherland, these securely protected leaders, rulers, and kings find sport with the wives of their loyal subjects.
What reward does David give Uriah for such loyalty? What amends does he make for the seduction of his beautiful wife? More pertinent than anything I might say to impeach the character of David is the following as it consecutively appears in the Bible.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 12-15.
|12. And David said to Uriah, Tarry here to-day also, and to-morrow
I will let thee depart. So Uriah abode in Jerusalem that day, and the morrow.
13. And when David had called him, he did eat and drink before him; and he made him drunk: and at even he went out to lie on his bed with the servants of his lord, but went not down to his house.
14. And it came to pass in the morning, that David wrote a letter to Joab, and sent it by the hand of Uriah.
15. And he wrote in the letter, saying, Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten, and die.
The medal of honor that David gave Uriah for his loyalty and duty as a soldier was his own death warrant. "Set ye Uriah in the forefront of the hottest battle, and retire ye from him, that he may be smitten and die." This is the reward and compensation which Uriah received from the man who had seduced his wife.
This is the chivalry of David, that wonderful Biblical character and leader of the Jews. Shame, shame and everlasting disgrace is such a personage among men; he is anathema. If the Jews take pride in the personage of David, then what do they condemn in a fiend?
And now, if you will let me depart for a moment from the continuity of this story I will demonstrate to you by an actual case, the pernicious influence the Bible, and particularly the story of David, has upon the minds of men and the damnable hypocrisy which follows in its wake.
On Monday, September 22, 1924, in all the newspapers of that day, the horrible and shocking news was sent broadcast that the Reverend Lawrence M. Hight, Methodist minister of Ina, Illinois, had confessed to a diabolical double murder -- that of his loyal and dutiful wife, the mother of his children, and also the husband of his paramour.
If David is "a man after God's own heart," and to emulate David is the surest path to eternal glory, it is no small wonder then that such a conviction not only justifies but actually prompts murder. And did the Reverend Mr. Hight fashion his life after that of David? David wanted Bath-sheba, and so he sent Uriah, her husband, to the forefront of the hottest battle, -- that he may be smitten and die: and similarly, Hight "cast his eyes" upon Mrs. Sweeten, the wife of one of his parishioners and, like David, "sent for her, and he lay with her." He also bought some arsenic poison, which was afterwards administered to her husband.
The New York Sunday American, commenting upon the bold effrontery of this scoundrel, in a full-page feature story, in bold type, says:
|Preached the Funeral Sermon
of the Man He Murdered
With pretended grief the Rev. Mr. Hight eulogized his victim's worthy character and wondered why the Almighty had called him to the world beyond. Standing at the head of the flower-decked coffin of the man whose death he had arranged and while the widow, the clergyman's sweetheart, sat beside the casket with her three fatherless boys, the Rev. Mr. Hight preached his hypocritical sermon, which is now recalled with bitter indignation by those who were present.
Although it was unnecessary for David to be rid of his wife (or wives) to take another man's wife, it was necessary for Hight to be free of his, that he might more fully enjoy his "Bath-sheba," and so under the pretense of "ministering to his wife," while she lay ill, pleading for some help, he cold-bloodedly and with murderous intent put arsenic in her coffee, and she died in writhing agony. On a previous occasion, it has now been unearthed, a high-school girl, a pretty organist and member of his flock, died under similar circumstances.
Did Hight think he could commit murder with the same immunity as David? Fortunately the laws of this country are not founded upon the Bible, and this disciple of God is now serving a term of life imprisonment for his "David-like" crime.
Let us pick up the thread of our story and continue with the narrative of the book "blessed with divine inspiration."
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 16-21.
|16. And it came to pass, when Joab observed the city, that he assigned
Uriah unto a place where he knew that valiant men were.
17. And the men of the city went out, and fought with Joab; and there fell some of the people of the servants of David; and Uriah the Hittite died also.
18. Then Joab sent and told David all the things concerning the war;
19. And charged the messenger, saying, When thou hast made an end of telling the matters of the war unto the king,
20. And if so be that the king's wrath arise, and he say unto thee, Wherefore approached ye so nigh unto the city when ye did fight? knew ye not that they would shoot from the wall?
21. Who smote Abimelech the son of Jerubbesheth? did not a woman cast a piece of a millstone upon him from the wall, that he died in Thebez? why went ye nigh the wall? then say thou, Thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
That human life was held valueless by these monsters is self-evident from the above verses. And so diabolical was this cunning, and so anxious were David's lieutenants to please him that hundreds of innocent men were slaughtered that Uriah might die also. How David censured his men for being so unnecessarily murderous follows.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 22-25.
|22. So the messenger went, and came and shewed David all that Joab
had sent him for.
23. And the messenger said unto David, Surely the men prevailed against us, and came out unto us into the field, and we were upon them even unto the entering of the gate.
24. And the shooters shot from off the wall upon thy servants; and some of the king's servants be dead, and thy servant Uriah the Hittite is dead also.
25. Then David said unto the messenger, Thus shalt thou say unto Joab, Let not this thing displease thee, for the sword devoureth one as well as another: make thy battle more strong against the city, and overthrow it: and encourage thou him.
Now that Uriah is dead and no longer an obstacle to the complete fulfillment of David's desire for Bath-sheba, we will let the Bible reveal to us the libidinous details of this episode.
Samuel 2, Chapter 11, Verses 26-27.
|26. And when the wife of Uriah heard that Uriah her husband was dead,
she mourned for her husband.
27. And when the mourning was past, David sent and fetched her to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son. But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord.
So much for the actual record of this foul act.
After accomplishing his ends with diabolical cunning, and Uriah dead, "David sent and fetched Bath-sheba to his house, and she became his wife, and bare him a son." Under the circumstances, Bath-sheba should have considered herself lucky to have had David marry her. The general rule of the Biblical characters is that she would have merely become one of his "women," or as the Bible would say, "concubines." What can one say in commenting upon such a story? Words are inadequate to express properly our feelings. And yet David, because of his deeply religious convictions, is looked upon as an ideal example for our youths. If religious convictions produce such a man as David, then, by all means, the sooner we do away with religion and its mania, the sooner we will be able to attain that high moral standard which the world has set as its goal.
Would you consider the character of David the proper example for your son to follow?
Would you consider the story just related as being conducive to elevate the the moral standard of your children?
With the knowledge of the infamous character of David, would you propose him as being a man fashioned after the heart of God?
What would be your opinion of a God who selected such a man as David to be his prototype?
Yes, I would consider the reading of such a story with the admonition that such a character pictures the loathsomeness and degradation which we should struggle to avoid. But no! The Bible is the Holy Word of an Ever-Existing God and every word carries divine inspiration! Not a single question must be raised against it. Just think of it! The mind of a child is imbued with the thought that this book -- the Bible -- is the Holy of Holies and must be ever held in reverence. Do you wonder at the terrible harm inflicted upon a child when this trash of the Bible is forced upon him as Divine Truth?
And that it must be accepted even with his life as such! And that the book is so sacred, that he must pick it up and kiss it when it falls to the floor!
There is reason enough why the mentality of the world has lagged so miserably behind in the march of progress. Instead of the Bible's being forced upon the people as "divine truth," it should be looked upon as a record of the barbarous acts of long ago when the human race was groping for a path of light in the darkness of ignorance and superstition and savagery.
"But the thing that David had done displeased the Lord," if you remember, and the dastardly crime is brought home to him in the parable of the ewe lamb. And as the story is related to him, and the monstrous crime unfolded, and he perceives the cruel injustice perpetrated, "David's anger was greatly kindled against the man," and he says, "as the Lord liveth, the man that hath done this thing shall surely die." When the grim truth is brought home to him that "Thou art the man," what happened? The "liveth" Lord steps into the scene, and proceeds to inflict punishment for the deed. What a wonderful opportunity for the Lord to reveal a sample of his divine justice that we poor mortals may follow. Let me not tell in my own words what this punishment was that the Lord was to inflict upon David whom he had so lavishly endowed with wealth and power. The Bible tells it in such a way that it deserves to speak for itself.
Samuel 2, Chapter 12, Verses 11-12.
|11. Thus saith the Lord, Behold, I will raise up evil against thee
out of thine own house, and I will take thy wives before thine eyes, and
give them unto thy neighbour, and he shall lie with thy wives in
the sight of this sun.
12 For thou didst it secretly: but I will do this thing before all Israel, and before the sun.
Surely the world should listen when the Lord speaks. And what does he say? Does he tell David that for his crime he will take from him his kingdom, his wealth and his power? No. He tells David that for his crime he will take his wives from him, and give them to his neighbor, "and he shall lie with them in the sight of this sun", so all may see it, and that David may suffer humiliation for his deed.
Divine Justice, mingled with a delicate and edifying situation! What a most interesting scene this must have been! Performing such an act in broad daylight as a punishment for a hellish crime !
And now a thought about David's poor wives. What did they do to merit such a disgrace? They did not become his wives willingly; David, with the help of God, took them. And if they did willingly choose their wifehood, what difference would that make? Why should they be made to suffer such humiliation with other men before the eyes of all the people for a crime committed by their husband. If God is just, why didn't he punish David himself for the crime he committed?
God's action is not only abhorrent to our sense of justice, but his action puts woman in a position beneath that of the promiscuous dog. If this is a sample of divine justice, the sooner we get rid of God, the sooner real justice will prevail. But all this talk about what the Lord intended to do to David was mere spoofing, for we read in the next verse:
Samuel 2, Chapter 12, Verse 13.
|13. And David said unto Nathan, I have sinned against the Lord. And Nathan said unto David, The Lord also hath put away thy sin; thou shalt not die.|
What can we say of such an example of justice? David merely made a confession, like the rites practiced in the Catholic church, and he was absolved of his sin. The narrative does not make mention of any contribution, so I presume another method was in vogue in those days to "satisfy the Lord." Nowadays the contribution box is a very essential part of the "absolution."
Is this method of repentance conducive to the development of high moral character? Can a person "commit any crime on the calendar," and surely David did, and then say, "I have sinned against the Lord" (by the way this is what Hight said when he was apprehended) and all is forgiven and the punishment stayed? Is this where the Catholic church got one of its most profitable principles? What do you think of such a method; of such a travesty of the holy principle of right; of such a "covering up" for such a dastardly crime?
David's punishment is very similar to that of Judah in his illicit relations with his daughter-in-law, Tamar. You remember when Judah was informed that Tamar, his daughter-in-law, was with child by whoredom, he cried, "Bring her forth that she may be burnt," and when he was confronted with the evidence showing by whom she was with child, and he recognized it as belonging to him, he punished himself to the extent that he "knew her again no more."
In beginning my task of writing this book I did not think I would encounter such distasteful episodes. I feel as if I have already recounted a sufficient amount of obnoxious scenes from the Bible to alone condemn it before the world; but I cannot stop now. No matter how distasteful my task becomes I believe my efforts in bringing to light just what the Bible actually contains, will more than repay the effort I put into the work. If I can convince the people that the Bible is not the Holy book they were taught to believe it is, I will consider my work well repaid. If I can bring the truth of the Bible to the attention of our Government officials and have them withdraw the Government sanction and support of it, my work will be productive of great benefit and I will feel more than satisfied with such a recompense.
We have not conduded all there is to say about David, although enough has been recorded to bring the blush of shame to a multitude of libertines. The climax of his life is very fitting and proper and we will proceed to it, despite the fact "that as the Lord liveth this man would surely die." What would you expect would be the final act of the man whose wickedness we have just related? What would be the general attitude of most men who had lived a most profligate life and knew that the end was at hand? What moral ending would you expect to find, as a final act of David's life, in a book that for nearly two thousand years has been sacredly worshipped as the infallible Word of God? Surely here is an opportunity to give to the world an example of a repentent soul. Truly a message that one could call divine. But it is the following episode which concludes the life of "David the son of Jesse, and the man who was raised up on high, the anointed of the God of Jacob, and the sweetest psalmist of Israel." What a mockery!
The delectable scene follows.
The First Book of Kings, Chapter 1, Verse 1.
|Now king David was old and stricken in years; and they covered him with clothes, but he gat no heat.|
Now if you think David was covered with clothes merely for the purpose of keeping his body warm, you are greatly mistaken and I am surprised at your ignorance. It was for an altogether different purpose that efforts were made to give him heat, as the following verse reveals.
The First Book of Kings, Chapter 1, Verse 2.
|2. Wherefore his servants said unto him, Let there be sought for my lord the king a young virgin: and let her stand before the king, and let her cherish him, and let her lie in thy bosom, that my lord the king may get heat.|
Of all of David's wives and concubines none were sought to arouse within his breast a final passionate response. The beautiful Bath-sheba has lost her charm and the multitude of his other women were as stale bread. Perhaps the delicacy of the untouched soft skin of a young virgin was necessary to arouse that spark of sexual desire to overcome the harrowing impotence in this Biblical Lothario. Certainly the method selected to revive his "heat" was a most delightful one, as recorded in the following.
The First Book of Kings, Chapter 1, Verses 3-4.
|3. So they sought for a fair damsel throughout all the coasts of Israel,
and found Abishag a Shunammite, and brought her to the king.
4 And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the hug, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not.
What a delicate mission the servants of David undertook, in examining all the young girls "throughout all the coasts of Israel" to determine their virginity and pick out the most beautiful one. I wonder if there were a scramble by all the young ladies to submit to the scrutinizing examination? Or rather was there a protest against such an abominable undertaking?
But the more we inquire into the social conditions of the people of the Biblical narratives the more we are convinced that the less said the better. So after the examination of the young girls "throughout all the coasts of Israel," a damsel "very fair" was found; and she "cherished the king, and ministered to him: but the king knew her not." Let us reflect for a moment on what is recorded in the verses just quoted.
Abishag, this beautiful young virgin, "cherished and ministered" to David. Now what do the narrators mean by that? What an elevating and inspiring scene this must have been. What a situation it presented! What a conundrum it must be to a clergyman to explain this event of David's life to his congregation.
All the efforts of the beautiful young virgin seem to have been of no avail; even to that of "lying in his bosom." If David was unable to respond to the caresses of a beautiful young damsel, "that had not known man," as the Bible would say, then surely his poignancy must have been indeed great. Impotence to David was worse than death, and even the Lord offered no help to David in his plight.
That Abishag "ministered" to David for a considerable time and that David made heroic efforts to "gat" heat that he may "know her," can be judged from the quotation of verses 15 and 16 of the same chapter. While Abishag was ministering to David, Nathan, the prophet, was entreating Bath-sheba to intervene with David before he died that Solomon should inherit the throne, for news had just been brought to them that another son by another wife had set up a throne and had proclaimed himself King of Israel.
That Bath-sheba was aware that a young virgin was ministering to her husband seems quite evident also from the following.
The First Book of Kings, Chapter 1, Verses 5-16.
|5. Then Adonijah the son of Haggith exalted himself, saying, I will
be king: and he prepared him chariots and horsemen, and fifty men to run
6. And his father had not displeased him at any time in saying, Why hast thou done so? and he also was a very goodly man; and his mother bare him after Absalom.
7. And he conferred with Joab the son of Zeruiah, and with Abiathar the priest: and they following Adonijah helped him.
8. But Zadok the priest, and Benaiah the son of Jehoiada, and Nathan the prophet, and Shimei, and Rei, and the mighty men which belonged to David, were not with Adonijah.
9. And Adonijah slew sheep and oxen and fat cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by Enrogel, and called all his brethren the king's sons, and all the men of Judah the king's servant:
10. But Nathan the prophet, and Benaiah, and the mighty men, and Solomon his brother, he called not.
11. Wherefore Nathan spake unto Bath-sheba the mother of Solomon, saying, Hast thou not heard that Adonijah the son of Haggith doth reign, and David our lord knoweth it not?
12. Now therefore come, let me, I pray thee, give thee counsel, that thou mayest save thine own life, and the life of thy son Solomon.
13 Go and get thee in unto king David, and say unto him, Didst not thou, my lord, O king, swear unto thine handmaid, saying, Assuredly Solomon thy son shall reign after me, and he shall sit upon my throne? why then doth Adonijah reign?
14. Behold, while thou yet talkest there with the king, I also will come in after thee, and confirm thy words.
15. And Bath-sheba went in unto the king into the chamber: and the king was very old; and Abishag the Shunammite ministered unto the king.
16. And Bath-sheba bowed, and did obeisance unto the king. And the king said, What wouldest thou?
What a pitiful sight David must have been, with the beautiful Abishag "ministering unto the King", as Bath-sheba entered his presence. Bath-sheba observed that the King was very old.
"And the damsel was very fair, and cherished the King, and ministered to him: but the King knew her not."
What a fitting epitaph is this for the gentleman whose acts we have just reviewed.
Notes for File 1; File 2; File 4; File 5; File 6; File 7