Reading 68/341, Judges 2-4

Two stories today.

...Judges...

The angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, “I brought you up out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to your fathers, and I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.’ But you have not listened to my voice, why have you done this? Therefore I say, ‘I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.’” It happened, when the angel of the Lord spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. They called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there to the Lord. Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel went each to his inheritance to possess the land. The people served the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the Lord that he had worked for Israel. Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died, being one hundred ten years old. They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash. Also all that generation were gathered to their fathers, and there arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord, nor the work which he had worked for Israel. The children of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals, and they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were round about them, and bowed themselves down to them, and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord, and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whenever they marched out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had spoken, and as the Lord had sworn to them, and they were sore distressed.

The Lord raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. Yet they did not listen to their judges; for they played the prostitute after other gods, and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying the commandments of the Lord; they did not do as they had done. When the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge, for it grieved the Lord because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and vexed them. But it happened, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down to them. They did not cease from their doings, nor from their stubborn way. The anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he said, “Because this nation have transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not listened to my voice; I will no longer drive out any from before them of the nations that Joshua left when he died; that by them I may prove Israel”, whether they will keep the way of the Lord and walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not. So the Lord left those nations, without driving them out hastily, and did not deliver them into the hand of Joshua.

Now these are the nations which the Lord left, to prove Israel by them, all of Israel who had not known all the wars of Canaan. It was only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, such as those before knew nothing of: the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites who lived on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Baal-hermon to Libo-hamath. They were left to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would listen to the commandments of the Lord, which he commanded their fathers by Moses. The children of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites, and they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their own daughters to their sons and served their gods. The children of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baals and the Asheroth. Therefore the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cushan Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, and the children of Israel served Cushan Rishathaim eight years. When the children of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a savior to the children of Israel, who saved them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord came on him, and he judged Israel, and he went out to war, and the Lord delivered Cushan Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, into his hand, and his hand prevailed against Cushan Rishathaim. The land had rest forty years. Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

The children of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, and the Lord strengthened Eglon, the king of Moab, against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the Lord. He gathered to himself the children of Ammon and Amalek, and he went and struck Israel, and they possessed the city of palm trees. The children of Israel served Eglon, the king of Moab, eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up for them a savior, Ehud, son of Gera, the Benjamite, a left-handed man. The children of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon, the king of Moab. Ehud made for himself a double-edged sword, a cubit in length, and he girded it under his clothing on his right thigh. He offered the tribute to Eglon, king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. When Ehud had made an end of offering the tribute, he sent away the people who bore the tribute. But he himself turned back from the idols that were by Gilgal, and said, “I have a secret message for you, O king.” He said, “Keep silence.” All who stood by him went out from him. Ehud came to him, and he was sitting by himself alone in the cool upper room. Ehud said, “I have a message from God to you.” He arose out of his seat. Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly, and the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed on the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his body, and the dung came out behind. Then Ehud went forth into the porch, and closed the doors of the upper room behind him, and locked them. Now when he was gone out, his servants came, and they saw, and behold, the doors of the upper room were locked, and they said, “Surely he is relieving himself in the upper chamber.” They waited until they were embarrassed, but behold, he did not open the doors of the upper room, so they took the key, and opened them, and behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. Ehud escaped while they waited, and passed beyond the idols, and escaped to Seirah. It happened, when he had come, that he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the hill country, and he led them. He said to them, “Follow after me; for the Lord has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” They went down after him, and took the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and did not allow a man to pass over. They struck of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, every strong man and man of valor, no man escaped. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. The land had rest for eighty years. After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck six hundred Philistine men with an oxgoad, and he also saved Israel.

The children of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the Lord, when Ehud was dead. The Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor, the captain of whose army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth of the Gentiles. The children of Israel cried to the Lord, for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and twenty years he cruelly oppressed the children of Israel. Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time. She lived under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of Ephraim, and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. She sent for Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedesh-naphtali, and said to him, “Has not the Lord, the God of Israel, commanded you, saying, “Go and gather you men at Mount Tabor, and take with you ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? I will draw to you, to the river Kishon, Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude, and I will deliver him into your hand. Barak said to her, “If you will go with me, then I will go, but if you do not go with me, I will not go.” She said, “I will surely go with you. Nevertheless, the journey that you take shall not be for your honor, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.” Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali together to Kedesh, and ten thousand men went up at his heels, and Deborah went up with him. Now Heber the Kenite had separated himself from the Kenites, the children of Hobab the brother-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far as the oak in Zaanannim, which is by Kedesh. They told Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to Mount Tabor. Sisera gathered together all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people who were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles, to the river Kishon. Deborah said to Barak, “Up; for this is the day on which the Lord has delivered Sisera into your hand. Has not the Lord gone out before you?” So Barak went down from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. The Lord confused Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his army, with the edge of the sword before Barak, and Sisera alighted from his chariot, and fled away on foot. But Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Harosheth of the Gentiles, and all the army of Sisera fell by the edge of the sword. There was not a man left.

However, Sisera fled away on foot to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite, for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said to him, “Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; do not be afraid.” He turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. He said to her, “Please give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty.” She opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. He said to her, “Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man comes and asks you, “Is there any man here?”, that you shall say, “No.” Then Jael, wife of Heber, took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him, and drove the peg into his temple, and it pierced through into the ground, for he was in a deep slee because of weariness. He died. Behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said to him, “Come, and I will show you the man whom you seek.” He went into her tent, and behold, Sisera lay dead, and the tent peg was in his temples. So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. The hand of the children of Israel prevailed more and more against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.

No comments:

Post a Comment

In order to comment, you first must "Join this Site" using the blue button on the left side of the page.