Tuesday, July 24, 2018

2 Samuel 11.1-15: The Spring of the Year

They really do that? That was my response when I read my nephew's undergrad thesis. I had read 2 Samuel 11 before (Proper 12(17)/Pentecost +10), but the thesis confirmed it. It's right at the beginning of the text. In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle. They really do that. And Americans have in our historic conscious (at least if you were in school around the time I was) an episode that helps illuminate that opening sentence in Hebrew scripture.
Do you know the building in the photo above? Any idea what it is? How about the one below? Any clues?
Does this painting help? Probably.
William T. Trego. The March to Valley Forge. 1883. Philadelphia, PA: Museum of the American Revolution.
We usually refer to it as just "Valley Forge." The winter that George Washington spent at Valley Forge, the Continental Army was in what was called Winter Quarters. According to my favorite historians, it was traditional to stop fighting in late October because the weather got worse. Some soldiers wound up doing low level operations such as raids and foraging for supplies, but for the most part the armies dispersed into winter quarters. Washington led his troops into winter quarters on December 19, 1777. William Trego imagined the scene as you see it above. The winter would not improve.

Around mid-April, after the spring rains died down, armies would come back out to resume their fight. In the spring of the year, the time when kings go out to battle...

Yes, they really do that. 

For thoughts on John 6:1-21, click here.

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