Category: Physical Violence

Saul’s skill at non-apologies

Saul’s skill at non-apologies

As part of his armoury of abusive tactics, we can see Saul’s skill at non-apologies. If we understand his tactics, that can help us spot non-apologies in our own situations.

In our last few articles, we have been looking at some of the story of King Saul, and his son Jonathan. The few details we have of Saul’s life give us many examples of emotional and physical abuse, and one of his tactics was to avoid responsibility for his behaviour. Avoiding responsibility is a key feature of abuse. That hasn’t changed over millennia.

Saul’s narcissism and rage

Saul’s narcissism and rage

In our previous post, we looked at some of King Saul's blame-shifting tactics, and now we come to consider Saul's narcissism and rage. When Saul's desires were frustrated, he lashed out at others. In the story of Israel's war with the Philistines at this time, Samuel...

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

The sons of Belial and Hophni and Phinehas

"Sons of Belial" is a Hebrew term that can help us find stories of abuse in the Bible. There are many examples of abuse in the Bible, but as mentioned previously, the Bible doesn’t categorise abuse in the same way we do now. It refers to abusive behaviours as specific...

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Hophni and Phinehas: Violence, and Flying Monkeys

Yesterday we started looking at Hophni and Phinehas’s behaviour with the women who served at the entrance of the Tent of Meeting. Was it sexual assault? The strong power imbalance made consent unlikely. If you missed it, you can read about it here. Hophni and Phinehas...

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Eli, Hophni, and Phinehas

Today we start a series looking at Eli, and his two sons, Hophni and Phinehas.

When we read 1 and 2 Samuel, and look for what it has to say to us about abuse, we are flooded with stories and examples. This makes sense because what we now categorise broadly as abuse is a grouping of different harmful or toxic behaviours: different sins.

Some trust in chariots and some in horses

Some trust in chariots and some in horses

One of the many difficult and important challenges for victims of abuse is to predict future behaviour. Is the abuser going to change? Abuse often happens in a cycle, with increasing tension until there is an episode, followed by a show of “remorse” from the abuser,...

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace

Too long have I lived among those who hate peace

What is life like for those who are living with abuse? The psalmist wrote: Too long have I lived among those who hate peace Living with abuse is a daily experience for many. Abusers do not need to fill their time with violence, anger,...

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