Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Boy's Life in the Palace

David SM Maggiore.jpgIn 2 Samuel chapter three and continued in chapter five, we find a listing of the names of the sons of David.  The count runs to seventeen, not counting children by concubines to whom he was not married. The last name on the list is Eliphalet.  Perhaps David knew at the birth of this child that it would be his last, and thus the name which means “God delivers me”  takes on meaning.  I would have been relieved, too, to see the last of a string of offspring such as that. Other than his place in this list, which also appears in the Chronicles, there is no scriptural mention of Eliphalet.

Picture this.  The child, say four years of age, is wandering around the palace attempting to entertain himself when he turns quickly and runs into the hall leading to the throne room.  And wham! He runs smack into the knees of his regal parent who is headed to a conference with his ministers and generals.  The King grasps the boy by the shoulders and says, “Whose little rugger are you?”
“I am the King’s son, Sire.”
“Oh, really.  I lose track.  What is your name?”
“Eliphalet, by your leave, Sire.”
“Oh.  Oh-ho!  Run along then.  Daddy has things to do.”

So it is that the child runs to his mother’s oda and excitedly bursts into the room.  “Mama,” he cries, “I just talked to Abba in the great hall!”
“And did he talk to you?” his mother enquired.
“Oh, yes, Mama.  He asked me my name!”
“Very well, then, Eliph.  You should go at once to your chamber and record this on your calendar, for it is indeed a memorable day, and very likely the last time your father shall ever speak to you.”

Stature of King David by Nicholas Cordier


Vee said...

Indeed! Even now, an only child of a very famous person might get little" face-time" with his/her parent. However, such child would no doubt be recognized by the parent upon chance encounter.

Sharkbytes said...

Haha! I thought you were going to go with a lesson about how our Abba is there for us when we run into him. Love surprises that are ironic and actually honest.

vanilla said...

Vee, perhaps, to put the best face on it, the King was having a bit of sport with his child.

Sharkey, reading your comment makes me realize that I did miss a great opportunity to develop a Sunday school lesson.

Shelly said...

The children of David, Solomon, and the like hopefully received much nurturing from their moms because as you pointed out, their dads probably couldn't even keep track of their names.

vanilla said...

Shelly, it may well be that the care and rearing of children devolved on the mother, no matter the socio-economic level she occupied. Men perhaps were tasked primarily with herding, husbandry, hunting, and war. Remember the “virtuous woman” text in Proverbs 31? Seems as though that ideal woman took care of just about everything so that her spouse could “sit in the gates” with his cronies. Sweet! ;-D