Monthly Archives: May 2012

The Vibe of Samuel

The books of Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are just one long Vibus historias which, as the Latin buffs among you will know, is a pretty heavy history vibe.

Samuel is the last of the judges to lead Israel but there is a restless vibe among the people – they don’t want any more judges, they want a king. God goes along with the vibe and Samuel sees a lad looking for some lost donkeys and makes him King of Israel.This turns out to be a bit of a bad call and King Saul turns out to be mentally unhinged.

A young shepherd called David is drafted in to play the lyre for the King and, to everyone’s surprise, the boy steps up to give a gigantic enemy warrior called Goliath  a good walloping.

David becomes a military commander and Saul becomes so jealous of him he tries to kill him. David actually has to run away from the royal court and hide in caves as his psychotic king hunts him down.

After Saul commits hari kiri on the battlefield, David becomes king of Israel and gets his groove on with the wife of one his soldiers. This is a mucky episode and no one comes out looking shiny.

David’s son then decides he wants to be king and the vibe of rebellion is so strong that David has to go back on the run. Happily, all ends well with David back at the wheel. An ‘Ooh, that was a bit of a roller coaster, can we get off now?’ vibe.

General vibe of Samuel: Kings aren’t all they’re cracked up to be.

Factvibe: Saul’s vibe is the Bible’s only clear cut case of bipolar disorder.

Kings. Ultimately, not a good vibe

 

The Vibe of Ruth

Ruth has a lovely, warm, cup of cocoa at bedtime vibe to it. Almost a Disney vibe. If the vibe of Ruth could walk up to you in the street it would give you a cuddle.

Ruth’s husband was a migrant worker from Israel but he is dead. Her husband’s mum, Naomi is about to go back to Israel because there’s been a bumper grain harvest and that means there will be work.

Instead of taking the easy vibe, staying put in her own country and trying to remarry, Ruth tags along with Naomi to Bethlehem. Her kind deed is rewarded with the kind of happy ever after vibe usually reserved for Hollywood movies when the man who owns the fields where they find work not only protects her from the amorous advances of her co-workers but takes her as his wife.

Ruth and her new man have a son whose grandson is none other than King David, direct blood ancestor of Joseph, Earth father of Jesus Christ. A heart warming, chicken soup for the soul vibe.

General vibe of Ruth: Be nice and good things come your way.

Factvibe: Ruth’s vibe didn’t get off to a good start – she was descended from Moab who was the son of Lot by incest with his daughter. 

Ruth: 100% feelgood vibe

The Vibe of Samson and Delilah

The story of Samson and Delilah has a pretty messy vibe to it. Samson is clearly not great at picking women – his first wife is from an enemy tribe and turns out to be a wrong‘un, especially when she switches her loyalties to his best friend. His next wife, Delilah is no better.

Samson’s story has an angry vibe throughout and he wages a one man war against the Philistines who live alongside the Israelites. He is the original superhero and can fight lions and kill a thousand men with the jawbone of a donkey, a feat which helps him become ruler of Israel.

However, his strength is in his hair and foolishly, he tells Delilah this, despite her trying to have him killed several times before. Bald and weak, he is slapped in chains, blinded and made to grind corn in prison. But the story ends with a satisfying ‘he’s back!’ vibe. Samson is brought in as ‘entertainment’ to a huge Philistine banquet held in honour of his downfall.

However, his hair has grown, his strength is back and he brings about a Judgment Day vibe all of his own by pushing down the two pillars that support the building. Death and carnage ensue and the vibe ends in a triumphant blaze of glory.

General vibe of Samson and Delilah: Revenge is sweet.

Factvibe: The logo on tins of Tate and Lyle golden syrup says: ‘out of the strong came forth sweetness’ and shows a picture of a dead lion surrounded by bees, taken from an episode where Samson feeds on honey made by bees which have nested in the carcass of a lion he killed with his bare hands.

Scissors – a bit of a vibe killer in the story of Samson and Delilah

The Vibe of Gideon

Those Bibles in hotel bedrooms? Gideon is their patron saint. Not that his was an expressly ‘tell everyone the good news’ vibe. His vibe was much more ‘oh no, not me’. Pretty similar to the Moses vibe but not quite as obstinate and downright truculent as the Jonah vibe.

Gideon is a bit weedy; the youngest member of the family in the weakest of the twelve tribes of Israel. And he’s actually hiding when God finds him. This makes him a natural choice in the upside down vibe of God’s world and he is hand picked to repel a raiding party of 130,000 warriors who want to steal Israel’s cows and sheep.

The underdog vibe continues when Gideon can only muster 30,000 troops and, to prove a point, God only lets him take 300 of them into battle. Despite being the clear favourites, the enemy get a ‘weak at the knees’ vibe quite early on and run like scared children from Gideon and his modest sized fighting force.

After an emphatic victory, the Israelites naturally want Gideon to be their king but Gideon, being a good egg, tells them that God is the only big cheese in Israel. All in all, a good, little guy makes good, day saving vibe.

General vibe of Gideon: God likes underdogs.

Factvibe: The people who put Bibles in hotel rooms chose their name because Gideon did ‘exactly what God wanted him to do regardless of his own judgement’.

Hotels – forever linked to the vibe of Gideon

The Vibe of Judges

You’d be forgiven for thinking that the book of Judges might have a pretty heavy legal vibe. Not so. The judges aren’t old men in wigs, they’re righteous men and women who come and save the Israelites’ skin when all appears to be going belly up.

The Israelites have adopted a haughty ‘we don’t need God’ vibe which doesn’t sit well with God, and which doesn’t do them any favours when they’re trying to settle down in a country filled with people who don’t want them there. However, each time the Israelites’ behaviour gets them in hot water, along comes a judge to clear up the mess.

The judges aren’t always the obvious choices and there’s a pretty big ‘if God is with them, anyone can do it’ vibe in Judges. A kind of easy going, things taking care of themselves vibe.

General vibe of Judges: While there are good people, God will step in.

Factvibe: One of the judges, Deborah, was a lady.

Despite the name, this is sooo not the vibe of Judges

The Vibe of Jericho

Joshua and his army have arrived in the Promised Land but the resistance vibe from the locals is strong and they’re in no hurry to move on. However the ‘we will prevail’ vibe in the Israelite camp is also strong and no fortified city is going to stand in the way of the people moving into the land promised to them by God.

After a preliminary scouting mission where secret agents are given safe haven by a hooker, Israel advances. Using the unorthodox vibe of sonic warfare, the army walks the Ark of the Covenant round the city seven times then blows on trumpets. The vibes are so powerful that the city walls crumble and carnage ensues. Happily, the tart with a heart and all her family are kept safe as payback for her good deed. An air punching, flag waving victory parade of a vibe.

General vibe of Jericho: Victory.

Factvibe: The red cord displayed in the lady’s window to show the Israelite army where she lived could be the origin of the vibe: ‘red light district’.

The vibe of weapons of mass destruction in the story of Jericho

The Vibe of Joshua

Pretty much from start to finish, Joshua has a warlike, take no prisoners kind of vibe. The Promised Land is already filled with people who call it home and if the Israelites are to stand a chance of settling down, Joshua and his armies need to send the locals packing.

There’s a guns blazing, blood and thunder, action movie vibe in Joshua that’s definitely not for the squeamish. Starting with the epic attack on the fortified city of Jericho, the Israelites tear into their enemies with vigour. Nothing gets in the way of their slash and burn approach to colonisation and once the previous tenants have either been killed or cowed into submission, the Israelites divvy up the land and get their settling in and settling down vibe on. A ruthless, bloody yet businesslike vibe.

General vibe of Joshua: Moving in

Factvibe: Egyptian tablets record marauding attacks by a tribe called the Habiru who some believe were the Hebrews under the command of Joshua.

Joshua’s vibe, in a truck

The Vibe of Deuteronomy

There is a tangible vibe of excitement in Deuteronomy. Forty years after the Israelite slaves first left Egypt, they are camped at Moab, about to enter the Promised Land of Canaan.

Moses is very much on a recapping vibe as he reminds the people of who they are, where they came from and where they are going. He goes over all the laws that were dished out in Exodus and reminds them that they are only free because God loves them.

The vibe throughout is pretty much ‘keep the faith’ and make sure God is a part of the new world order in the Promised Land.

General vibe of Deuteronomy: On your marks, get set…

Factvibe: Of all the history vibes in the Bible, Deuteronomy covers the shortest time span – around one month.

Camping – a vibe that the Israelites would have been pretty good at by the time Deuteronomy was written

The Vibe of Numbers

Numbers has a petulant, crybaby vibe to it. The Israelites are two years into their odyssey in the Sinai wilderness and have become a bunch of moaning minnies. In an age before GPS, the relatively short 250 mile journey from the Nile Delta to the Promised Land of Canaan should have taken less than two years. Still, the Israelites are an unruly bunch and their squabbling slows things up a bit.

There is major grumbling in the camp and a serious apathy vibe stops anything getting resolved. Moses sends spies out into the land that God promised to Abraham but when news comes back that the place is filled with scary giants everyone forgets that God is all powerful and gets cold feet. In fact the scaredy cat vibe is so strong that the people ask if they can go back and be slaves in Egypt again. God wants to point the finger of death at huge sections of the camp for being so unruly but Aaron, speaking on behalf of his tongue tied brother, Moses steps in and the people are saved.

However, God decides they have to stay put until every Jew who left Egypt has died which adds another thirty eight years to their journey. During this delay, battles against hostile kingdoms are won and eventually everyone is ready to enter into the Promised Land. By now, Moses is pretty ancient and God chooses Joshua to replace him and lead the rebellious and ungrateful rabble into their new home.

General vibe of Numbers: Grumbling only slows you down

Factvibe: The name Numbers comes from the two occasions in the book where all the men who are fit enough to fight are counted.

The general vibe of Numbers in an airport display board.