Questions From Readers
● The Bible records three serious mistakes that David made during his kingship. What shows that God had not failed to do his part to keep David from stumbling, as he did in using Abigail?—1 Sam. 25:32-34.
These mistakes involved (1) David’s having the Ark transported on a wagon instead of having it carried on the shoulders of priests, resulting in the death of Uzzah; (2) his sin with Bath-sheba, resulting in the death of both Uriah and the child born of their adultery; and (3) his numbering the armed might of Israel, with the result that 70,000 perished.
With regard to the death of Uzzah: God’s law required that David as king make a copy of the Law and read in it every day. (Deut. 17:18) His failure to observe what the Law said regarding the right way to transport the Ark resulted in Uzzah’s death. (Num. 4:15; 7:6-9) It is to be noted that David humbly took the blame for what had happened at this attempt to bring up the Ark.—2 Sam. 6:2-10; 1 Chron. 15:12, 13.
As for his affair with Bath-sheba, David had God’s explicit law governing the matter of adultery, but chose to disregard it.—Ex. 20:14.
As for his mistake in numbering Israel’s armed might: There certainly was willfulness connected with this. Jehovah used Joab to dissuade David, that he might be kept from stumbling, but David insisted on having his own way.—2 Sam. 24:1-17.
In each of the foregoing cases, therefore, Jehovah could not be accused of failure to keep David from stumbling.
● At Habakkuk 2:5, who is the one that “has made his soul spacious just like Sheol,” and what does this mean?
The text reads: “And, indeed, because the wine is dealing treacherously, an able-bodied man is self-assuming; and he will not reach his goal, he who has made his soul spacious just like Sheol, and who is like death and cannot be satisfied. And he keeps gathering to himself all the nations and collecting together to himself all the peoples.”
The one who makes “his soul spacious” is one who through military conquests ‘gathers to himself all the nations.’ Habakkuk chapter 1 shows that this is not an individual but a composite man, the Babylonians or Chaldeans collectively. With his war machine, the Chaldean ‘killed nations constantly.’ (Habakkuk 1 Vs. 17) His “soul,” or the life pattern that pursued conquest, could not be satisfied. As unrestrained drinking of wine may deceptively throw the drinker off balance and make a man act in a “self-assuming” or arrogant manner, so it was with the Chaldean whose military successes had gone to his head. Like Sheol and like death that are always ready to claim more victims, he was ever eager to take over one nation after another. (Compare Proverbs 30:15, 16.) Nevertheless, the Chaldean would not succeed in attaining his goal, indicating that he and his wars of conquest would come to their end.
In fulfillment of Bible prophecy, Babylon fell in one night in the year 539 B.C.E. The vast Chaldean empire then came under the control of Cyrus the Persian and Darius the Mede.—Dan. 5:28.