In my bible reading, I've come to the book of Judges. I must admit, a secular part of me is glad because I'm getting into what I'll call the "Bodacious, reads kinda like Conan The Barbarian, or something" part of the OT. I mean, 70 kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off under a table - Some fat dude getting stabbed so hard the sword disappears in his stomach - Poor Jepthath's daughter - that chick that got cut up into 12 pcs - it's a pretty brutal and probably accurate depiction of life in the time of City-States.
Strangely, what I consider the most tender book in the old testament - Ruth, is set in this time. Indeed it seems that Boaz may have been the Judge Ibzan.
Most biblical scholars are familiar with the pervading theme of a cycle of sin and righteousness this book communicates. It also (with a rough start and Abimelech killing 70 brothers all on one stone - which implies pagan sacrifice) describes the transition of the Jews from a federation of city-states to the kingdoms.
I'm a data-driven entity, I nerd out on spreadsheets - so I made the below depicted spreadsheet of the Judges, which I am in no way saying is accurate or complete.... Anyone think of any columns I should Add? What patterns do you see? I've attached a copy of the excel file for my fellow data lovers
16And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.
King James Version (KJV)
28And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes.
29And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.
30And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.
It's interesting to study the vows of a Nazirite - Which Samson was. They are enumerated in the sixth chapter of Numbers.
vs 2 - they were to separate themselfs to God
vs 3 - Nothing from grape
vs 4 - no kernels or husks
vs 5 - no razor can touch a Nazirite's head until his vow is complete
vs 6-9 - no touching dead people, not even mom and dad
vs 9-13 - has to go through a cleansing process if someone keels over next to him
vs 13-16 - at end of vow, has to shave his head AT THE TABERNACLE, and make sacrifices.
7 vows. Samson broke a lot of them.
8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
10And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.
11And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:
13And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.
14And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
16Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
17And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
18And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
19And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
20And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;
21I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
22That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
I've got the book... anything in particular about the passages you're posting?
I meant to shorten that & add a commentary & got distracted & sent it anyway...
I find it amazing how history repeats itself... I feel like mainstream american culture is very much like the one being referred to in verse 10: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel... most kids these days have no clue to what extent people have fought for to live in a country with religious freedom, or even to have a Bible they can read in English... many "christians" are into eastern meditation & yoga, and "contemplative prayer"... or are allured by the charismatic "name it & claim it" white witchcraft deception... they are going after other gods, but it is couched in "christian" rhetoric, so people are destroyed for a lack of knowledge...
I see the OT as typologies for Christ & how he deals with His children in the New Testament... How the Lord chastens His children when they go astray or are in rebellion... this is not just a testing to see if we will keep the way or not, but also a way to instill healthy boundaries and bearings... which engenders an internal discipline...
I'd add a column for special objects associated with the judge. Also, I prefer how the Bible narrates the time, not BCE years.
I've added that column and an adjacent one labled "signifigance of object/s"
For example, last night was reading about Mr. "Just one more quick Test" - Gideon.... Torches in pitchers..... hmmm... let your light shine..... vessels of clay.....
Thanks for the excellent suggestion, Rebekah!
I like how Gideon started out...
Though a man of little means, he was smart enough to thresh his wheat where the economic foreign oppressors would least suspect, in order to honestly provide for his family... The Lord recognized this quality, & chose to use Gideon to lead his people to freedom... It shows that God values character in trying circumstances more than riches or innate intelligence... how God often uses the weak, the simple, and the poor to spread His Word in order to confound the wealthy, the proud, & the wise, and to bring greater Glory to Himself... He told the thousands of Hebrew warriors to go home, & conquered the enemies with only a handful of dedicated men... again to show the omnipotence of God through His chosen vessels for the Glory of God...
It also shows how the Lord will perform miracles to an audience of one, if that is what it will take to convince them to step up into the manly role of leadership... God is saying "I've got your back... so don't worry about the size or shape of your enemy, I will destroy them as I protect you..."
I'm still studying Gideon. A Jewish Encyclopedia Article includes an assertion that Judges has three sources, or editors Jahvist (J), the Elohist (E), and the Deuteronomic (D) writers. One fact offered as evidence of the Elohist revision is the changing of the name to Jerub-baal... The critics imply that revisions were made to Judges and Samuel to explain the older inter-chagability of the word baal and god.... never heard of that - perk up, Ridgeway! I know you have an opinion on that one!
It also mentions allusions to the Gideon narrative in Isa. ix. 3, x. 26, and in Ps. lxxxiii. 12 (A. V. 11)
Jealousy seems to be a theme (just my observation). The Ephriamites were jealous of his victory, and Abimelech is now getting Jealous and wanting sovereign claim to the kingship offer given to his father. Come-uppance, maybe, against his half brothers who were sons of wives, not concubines as his mother was.
Why do folks who use pseudonyms are the only ones who call me by my last name...? I don't mind, it is just a curious coincidence...
As far as Judges goes... I didn't realize that the JEDP theory was applied beyond the Pentateuch... I don't have much of an opinion for it, since the theory is unsubstantiated by any documented evidence, and tampering with the Word of God goes against everything the Hebrew Scribes stood for... I mean, they would burn any lambskin scroll that had even one error in letter, jot or tittle, and they had scholars proof-checking every copy to ensure it's accuracy... to ensure that God's Word would be preserved in perpetuity...
I would add that I believe Moses gave permission for Joshua to finish up the last chapter of Exodus, since Moses never made it to the Promised Land.
The following is from: http://www.gotquestions.org/JEDP-theory.html
"What is the JEDP Theory?"
Answer: In brief, the JEDP theory states that the first five books of the Bible, Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, and Deuteronomy, were not written entirely by Moses, who died in the 1400's B.C., but also by different authors/compliers after Moses. The theory is based on the fact that different names for God are used in different portions of the Pentateuch, and there are detectable differences in linguistic style. The letters of the JEDP theory stand for the four supposed authors: the author who uses Jehovah for God’s name, the author who uses Elohim for God’s name, the author of Deuteronomy, and the priestly author of Leviticus. The JEDP theory goes on to state that the different portions of the Pentateuch were likely compiled in the 4th Century B.C., possibly by Ezra.
So, why are there different names for God in books supposedly written by a single author? For example, Genesis chapter 1 uses the name Elohim while Genesis chapter 2 uses the name YHWH. Patterns like this occur quite frequently in the Pentateuch. The answer is simple. Moses used God’s names to make a point. In Genesis chapter 1, God is Elohim, the mighty Creator God. In Genesis chapter 2, God is Yahweh, the personal God who created and relates to humanity. This does not point to different authors but to a single author using God’s various names to emphasize a point and describe different aspects of His character.
Regarding the different styles, should we not expect an author to have a different style when he is writing history (Genesis), writing legal statutes (Exodus, Deuteronomy), and writing intricate details of the sacrificial system (Leviticus)? The JEDP theory takes the explainable differences in the Pentateuch and invents an elaborate theory that has no basis in reality or history. No J, E, D, or P document has ever been discovered. No ancient Jewish or Christian scholar has even hinted that such documents existed.
Ridgeway is one of those last names that beckons to be used.
I'd heard of the JEDP theory, to be honest it just suprised me to read it in the Jewish Encyclopedia... I don't know why, because Jewish scripture study is all about dissecting and critiqing. I guess it's because I'd only studied it in christian education, and first encountered it in the opening notes of various books in various study bibles.
I'm now reading about Abimelech.
Lots of trees in Judges, going to have to look into that
If you are interested in studying biblical objects for their symbolic meaning and prophetic function, I recommend listening to a teaching by Mike Hoggard on Sermonaudio.com... He goes into detail about the typologies and "pictures" in the OT & NT that prophecy the first incarnation of Christ, as well as End-times prophecy for His return... by following certain words every time they are mentioned, like clouds, trumpets, rock, trees, water, etc... and then comparing their respective contexts within the prophetic literature (psalms, major & Minor prophets, NT red-ink, & the book of Revelation, one can draw amazing parallels between said objects and the symbolic relationship between Jesus Christ and His people... For instance, Jesus is not only symbolized the Rock that Moses struck with his staff (chief cornerstone, bedrock of faith, etc)... also He is the Water of Life that gushed forth and provided the needs for the Israelites near Mt. Sinai... The Staff that Moses used to strike the Rock was also symbolic of Jesus' Crucifixion that would provide salvation for those who believe & follow Him... This is why Yahweh got so mad at Moses for disobeying the Lord when he struck the Rock a second time, instead of speaking forth for the Rock to provide the Water of Life a second time... God is saying... "Moses... you are messing up my Picture...! The coming Messiah only needs to be struck Once & for All, then after that, all one needs to do is to call on the Name of the lord to be saved... By striking the Rock a second time, Moses was unknowingly symbolically crucifying Jesus again...
There are dozens of other "types" mentioned throughout the Bible that show the proper time sequence for the end-times tribulation & Last Day... There are several excellent Bible Prophecy books that also deal with Typologies and time signatures, like tracing all the scripture verses that mention the "moon turned red" or "stars fell from the sky" or the "sun darkened" or what have you... by overlapping the key words and arranging them in a proper literal chronology with the understanding that they all happen in a run up to the Main Event, the "Last Day" when Christ puts an end to this current dispensation and all those that believed on Him throughout history will be resurrected and those still alive will stand before our Creator at the Judgment Seat of Christ, and then we will co-reign with Christ in glorified bodies during the Millennial Kingdom here on Earth...
Typology is a crucial study for making sense of Eschatological events in order to avoid the more scatological assumptions and conclusions made by date-setters and the pre-trib rapture crowd...