The Bible in a Year: Day 69 (Judges 12-17)

Judges 13:3-23 — Here’s another passage where the Angel of the LORD/God and thre LORD are equated throughout the narrative. The Angel appears (vv. 3, 6, 9) and Manoah is worried about dying because they had seen God (v. 22).

Judges 14:3, 7 — I never noticed that this is the first time in Judges that we read of something being “right in [someone’s] eyes” (cf. 17:6; 21:25). Samson is probably the greatest hero of the period of the judges and yet he was really no different than everyone else in Israel who did what was right in their own eyes.

Judges 14:15-17 — This is a perfect example of why the Israelites shouldn’t have married those outside of the covenant. His wife’s allegiance was to her people, not her husband or his God. We see this repeatedly throughout the Samson story (cf. Judg. 16).

Judges 15:4-5 — The inspiration for Firefox.

Judges 15:10-13 — It seems that not much changed from the time of Samson to the time of David. The Israelites were scared of the Philistines. But both Samson and David had no fear. They both recognized the power that comes from covenant.

Judges 16:5-17 — What does this tell us about Samson’s appearance? Presumably he wasn’t observably big and strong; otherwise why would they wonder where his strength come from? Also, what does this tell us about the Philistines’ view of Israel’s God? Surely they knew of the covenant that Israel had with the LORD, but they must not have taken it very seriously if they’re asking where Samson’s power comes from.

Judges 16:28-30 — I’ve always been amazed by how Samson asks for strength one more time in order to die. While he died a physical death when the building came down on him I think there’s a lesson to be learned about dying to ourselves. It requires strength to do so and when we die to ourselves we defeat more enemies than we ever would if we didn’t.

Judges 17:7 — This is one of those thorny verses when discussing Jewish identity. How is it that a man of Judah could be a Levite? Was he a Levite who simply resided among the family of Judah (cf. v. 9)? Or was he a Levite on his mother’s side as Rashi suggests? And if so, then are modern Jews correct to identify Jewish identity based on matrilineage? Or is Jewish identity based on patrilineage as some anti-missionaries (e.g., Rabbi Bentzion Kravitz) assert?

B”H

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