Thursday, October 20, 2022

Queerying Narrative Lectionary 107

ID: photo of a protest against rape and sexual assault. Some of the prominent protest signs read "Silence is violence," "Rape is rape," and "Fuck your fake concern". A black box on the side reads "Narrative Lectionary / Year 1 - October 23 2022 / David and Bathsheba / 2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27, 12:1-9; Psalm 51:1-9" with the logo at the bottom.
Pace Warfield-May queeries the Narrative Lectionary readings.

2 Samuel 11:1-5, 26-27; 12:1-9
1Kings often went out to battle in the spring, so King David sent Joab with his officers and all of Israel to ravage the Ammonites and besiege Rabbah, but David remained in Jerusalem while his army went off to fight his battles. 2Late one spring afternoon, David rose from his settee and went for a walk on the roof of the palace. While on the roof he saw a woman bathing and thought she was very beautiful. 3David sent someone to find the identity of the woman. The person reported, "This is Bathsheba, the daughter of Eliam, the wife of Uriah the Hittite." 4So David sent messengers to bring her to him, and she came to him, and he raped her while she was in the stage of purifying herself after menstruation. Then she returned to her house. 5Bathsheba conceived; and she sent and told David, "I am pregnant."


26When Bathsheba heard Uriah, her husband, was dead, she grieved for him. 27When the official period of mourning was over, David sent and brought Bathsheba to his house and married her. She gave birth to a son.

But the Becoming One saw what David had done to Bathsheba and became upset, 12:1and the Becoming One sent the prophet Nathan to David. Nathan came to him and said, "There were two men in a certain city, one rich and the other poor. 2The rich man had many herds of animals and many sheep, 3but the poor man had nothing but one little ewe lamb which he had bought. He brought it up, and it grew up with him and with his children; it used to eat of the meager food he could provide and drink from his cup, and lie in his house, and the ewe was like a daughter to him. 4Now a traveler came to the rich man. The rich man didn't want to take one of his own flock or herd to prepare for the wayfarer who had come to him, so he took the poor man’s lamb, and prepared that for the guest who had come to him." 5David became greatly angered against the man in the story. He said to Nathan, "As the Becoming One lives, the rich man who has done this deserves to die; 6he shall restore the lamb fourfold, because he did this thing, and because he had no pity."

7Nathan said to David, "You are the man! Thus says the Becoming One, the God/ess of Israel: I anointed you king over Israel, and I rescued you from the hand of Saul; 8I gave you your master’s house, and your master’s wives into your heart, and gave you the house of Israel and of Judah; and if all of that had still been too little, I would have added as much more. 9Why have you despised the word of the Becoming One, to do what is evil in my sight? You have purposefully caused Uriah the Hittite to be struck down with the sword, and have taken his wife to be your wife, and have killed him with the sword of the Ammonites.


Psalm 51:1-9
To the leader. A Psalm of David, when the prophet Nathan came to him, after he had raped Bathsheba.
1Have mercy on me, O divine one,
as your love is steadfast
and your mercy overflows in abundance
erase the harm I've done.
2Bathe me so that my inequity may be washed away,
and cleanse me from the harm I've done.

3For I know my transgressions,
and my harm is ever before me.
4Against you, you alone, have I caused harm,
and I have done what is evil in your sight,
so that you are justified in your punishment
and without blame when you pass judgment on me.
5Indeed, I was born guilty,
a sinner when my mother conceived me.

6You long for a truthful heart,
so teach me wisdom in my deepest, most secret part of me.
7Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean;
wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
8Let me hear joy and gladness;
let the bones that you have crushed rejoice.
Look away from the harm I've done,
and erase my inequities.

Queeries for the text:
What is this building on?
What is missing from this passage? Why was it left out?
What is the companion text?
Where is this headed?
Who has agency in this story?
What makes sex consensual?
Who did David commit sin against?
What is holy about blackness? What is sinful about whiteness?

What are your queeries?

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