Biblical gangsters

We’re working through 2 Samuel at church at the moment, during Bible Study on Wednesday I was struck by the thought that the book reads like a gangster novel (I’ve read quite a few, I consider myself an expert). There’s a touch of Arthurian legend about David and his champion (Joab) and Saul and his (Abner).

Someone ought to use the narrative structure of Samuel 2 to write a mafia drama. In chapter 2 there’s this cool scene where Saul’s Capo (Mafia for captain) Abner decides that Ish-Bosheth will take over running Saul’s family.

Then Saul’s family meets David’s family for a bit of a discussion (2:12-13), family enforcers Abner and Joab decide to let the up and comers earn their bones – and twelve of the men knife each other (2:14).

Then Abner whacks Joab’s brother (2:13). But David’s family gets more powerful, and people stop paying tribute to Saul’s gang (3:1). Before long, Abner falls out with his Godfather and wants to switch families after an argument about some broad (3:6-21). Joab doesn’t like this, so tricks him, and sends him to sleep with the fishes. His Don (David) doesn’t like this (3:22-38).

Ish-Bosheth goes to the (metaphorical) mattresses, but two of his capos betray him, killing him on his (literal) mattress. David whacks them (4:1-12).

And the rest of the book plays out a bit like the Godfather, David, like Michael Corleone, comes to power, has to deal with the betrayal of a family member, the jostling for power of his “family”, while taking over the kingdom of his predecessor.

Who says the Old Testament can’t be fun…

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