Thursday, March 19, 2009

The Book of Shmu'el and Kings

The book of Kings, in the Prophets tome of the Bible begins with the now Old King of Israel David, and his succession by his son, King Solomon. The new NBC show Kings deals with king Silas Benjamin and his succession by someone other than his son - the young military upstart, David Shephard.

The book of Shmu'el, which precedes the book of Kings, tells the story of the Prophet Shmu'el of the Ephraim tribe and his anointing of the first Kings of Israel. First there was Sha'ul, of the Benjamin tribe, anointed to be chancellor to save Israel from the hands of the Philistines, waging war on them. In Kings we are introduced to King Silas Benjamin of Gilboa, war hero of the war with the Gath. Anointed to king hood by Reverend Ephram Samuels.

The book of Shmu'el also mentions Gath. Today's Israeli town of Kiryat Gat (the Campus of Gat) is built where the ancient Philistine city of Gat dwelled, and from which the almost 3 meters tall Philistine warrior Goliath came.
Goliath is the type of ominous tanks used by the Gat in their war against Gilboa, in Kings.

In the first episode, we learn of a Gath ambush taking prisoner one Jack Benjamin - the son of King Silas. And although orders have been issued not to attempt a rescue, private David Shephard feel compelled to mount a solo rescue mission into the Gath camp. It's worth mentioning that David did not know that one of the prisoners was Jack Benjamin.
Indeed, in the middle of the night, David sneaks past several sentries and Goliath tanks, and quickly rescues the prince and a fellow prisoner from the prince's platoon. However, during the escape from the Gath camp, the three are spotted and Goliaths are sent to eliminate. It is then that David decides to play bait, so the two rescued prisoner can escape. And in doing so, comes face to face with a Goliath tank, which explodes several second later from a grenade David threw earlier.

David is treated to hero's welcome, even by the King himself who offers him half is kingdom - and an immediate promotion to the rank of Captain. There, at the reception David meets the King's daughter - Michelle Benjamin. Again, in the book of Shmu'el, the daughter of Sha'ul, Michal, was King David's first love and first wife.

Additional correlations include the origin of the name Jack - which is a nickname to the name John, short for Johnathan. The name of Sha'ul's son and ultimately David's best friend was indeed Johnathan.
General Linus Abner, King Silas' Chief of Military Officer, is also name after Sha'ul's Chief Military Officer, Avner Ben Ner.

I'm sure all the above is not a revelation to many people, but I wanted to write this here and say that I find the idea of this show - Kings - bringing an established Biblical story to the modern time, although artificially in this case, very intriguing. I believe this drama has real potential.

Hey, the source material has endured for over 3000 years. So it's already tried and true.
Despite taking the name of the wrong Book of the Prophets Tome in the Bible, I definitely recommend this show. Although we'll see what the future holds.

Meanwhile, check out these virally related sites:

I've actually wanted to do a modernized rendition of the Ten Plagues story from Exodus. This definitely gives me some extra motivation. I'll Idea Map this... idea today.

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