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Cruelty and Violence
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Dwindling in Unbelief
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- Adonibezek fed 70 kings (with their thumbs and big toes cut off) under his table. 1:7
- "The Lord ... could not drive out the
inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron." 1:19
- God promised many times that he would drive out all the inhabitants of the lands they encountered. But
these verses show that God failed to keep his promise since he was unable to driver out the Canaanites.
- An angel drops by to rebuke the Israelites for being too tolerant of the religious
beliefs of the people they have been massacring. He tells them that since they didn't complete their
job (of killing everyone), God will not completely drive them out (like he promised to do). Instead
he'll keep some of them around so that the Israelites will be ensnared by their false gods.
- God anger "was hot against Israel, and he sold them." Well, I hope he got a good price. 2:14,
- "Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber."
"Covering his feet" is the biblical equivalent of "going to the bathroom." 3:24
- Shamgar kills 600 Philistines with an ox goad. Praise God. 3:31
- "The children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he [Sisera, not God] had nine hundred chariots of
iron." Yet just a few verses ago (1:19) God was overpowered by chariots of iron.
- "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera." Unless astrology is true, how can the
stars affect the outcome of a battle? 5:20
- "The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and
the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years."
God forces the Israelites to be slaves to the Midianites for seven years. 6:1
- "They (the Midianites) came as grasshoppers for multitude;
for both they and their camels were without number."
Every male Midianite was killed during the time of Moses (Numbers 31:7), and
yet 200 years later they flourish like grasshoppers "without number." 6:6
- "The children of Israel cried unto the LORD."
This is always step three in God's four-step slavery/slaughter plan. 1: The Israelites do evil in the site of the Lord;
2: God sells them into slavery; 3: The Israelites cry unto the Lord; and 4: God kills the people he sold the Israelites to. 6:7
- "There came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak ...
And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD
is with thee, thou mighty man of valour." 6:11-12
- "And the LORD looked upon him, and said..."
God joins in the conversation with Gideon and the angel. 6:14
- To prove he's for real, the angel makes fire come out of a rock, burning the flesh and cakes. 6:20-21
- "The Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet." 6:34
- Gideon needs some (more) signs to convince him that God isn't lying to him. (The
burning flesh sign from 6:20-21 didn't satisfy him.)
So he puts down some wool on the
ground and asks God to make it wet, while keeping the surrounding ground dry. And God does it, no sweat. But
Gideon is still not sure he can trust God, so he asks him to reverse the trick, and make the ground wet and the wool
dry. "And God did so ..." Gideon must have been impressed by a God that could do such great things.
- "The people that are with thee are too many."
God tells Gideon to reduce the size of his army so that they couldn't claim to have killed all the Midianites without him.
God doesn't like to share credit for his killings. 7:2
- God picks the men to fight in Gideon's army by the way they drink water. Only those that lap water with their
tongues, "as a dog lappeth," shall fight. 7:4-7
- "And the LORD said unto Gideon,
By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you." 7:7
- The Midianites and Amalekites had an infinite number of camels -- well, maybe not quite, but at least as many
"as the sand by the sea shore." 7:12
- Some guy had a dream about barley cakes and tents. The barley cake smote the tent and -- well, anyway, it was a sign from
God that he and Gideon would massacre the Midianites. 7:13-14
- Gideon's men break three hundred pitchers while holding lamps, blowing trumpets, and yelling "The sword of the Lord and of
- "Gideon made an ephod ... and all Israel went thither a whoring after it." 8:27
- Abimelech kills 70 brothers "upon one stone." (He was trying to get in the Guinness Book of World Records.)
- And now for something completely different: Talking Trees 9:8-15
- "Wine ... cheereth God and man." So God drinks wine and it makes him happy. 9:13
- God sends evil spirits that cause humans to deal treacherously with each other. 9:23-24
- Abimelech and his men burned to death 1000 men and women who were trapped in a tower.
(They had really big towers back then.) 9:49
- "Jair ... had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities."
- God was angry at Israel so he sold them to the Philistines. [He had previously sold them to the kings of
Mesopotamia (3:8) and Canaan (4:2).] 10:7
- "And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD." 10:10
- "And the LORD said unto the children of Israel ... I will deliver you no more ... Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen."
- "And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned ... And they put away the strange gods from among them,
and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel." 10:15-16
- "He rent his clothes." 11:35
- 42,000 Ephraimites fail the "shibboleth" test and are killed by Jephthah's army. 12:6
- "Ibzan ... had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters." 12:8-9
- Abdon had 70 sons and nephews that rode on 70 ass colts. 12:13-14
- "The children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD;
and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years." 13:1
- "And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her,
Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son." 13:2-3
- "The child shall be a Nazarite from the womb."
According to Numbers 6:6 Nazarites are not to touch any dead bodies. But Samson was a mass murderer.
He must have touched hundreds of dead bodies. (Or did he just kill his victims, being careful not to touch them after they were dead?)
- A man of God came unto me [Samson's mom]."
She didn't ask him any questions and he didn't tell her his name. 13:6
- "The angel of God came again unto the woman
as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her."
Husbands are never around when angels come unto women and make them pregnant. 13:9
- "Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?"
The angel had a secret name. (Clarence?, 007?, agent 99?) 13:18
- "The angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And
Manoah and his wife ... fell on their faces." 13:20
- "But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife.
Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD."
Manoah and his wife knew the angel was from God because they never saw him again. 13:21
- "And the child [Samson] grew, and the Lord blessed him." Samson was one of the vilest of all the vile Bible
heroes; Yet he was especially blessed by God. 13:24
- Samson's lust for the Philistine woman was "of the Lord." It was all a part of God's plan for killing Philistines.
- Samson rips up a young lion when "the spirit of the Lord came mightily upon him." Later, when going to "take"
his Philistine wife he notices a swarm of bees and honey in the lion's carcass (a Divine miracle -- or just rotting flesh, flies,
and maggots?). 14:5-8
- "I will now put forth a riddle unto you ... Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness."
That's the riddle. Whoever can figure it out before the week of partying is over will get 30 sheets and 30 garments.
But whoever can't will have to give Samuel 30 sheets and 30 garments. 14:12-13
- "Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire."
Samson's party buddies are taking the riddle seriously. They tell Samson's new Philistine wife to tell them the answer to
the riddle or they'll burn her house down. 14:15
- "And she wept before him the seven days ... and ... on the seventh day ... he told her ... and she told the riddle to ... her people."
- Samson catches 300 foxes, ties their tails together, and sets them on fire; the Philistines
burn Samson's ex-wife and father-in-law; and Samson smites them "hip and thigh with a great
- "The spirit of the Lord came mightily upon" Samson and "he found a new jawbone of an ass ... and took it,
and slew 1000 men therewith." 15:14-15
- After Samson killed 1000 men with the jawbone of an ass, he was thirsty. So God
created and filled a hollow in the very same jawbone and put water in it for Samson to drink.
- Samson, after "going in unto" a harlot, takes the doors, gate, and posts of the city and carries them to the top of a
hill. Why did he do this? Did God make him do it or was he just showing off? The Bible doesn't say.
- Delilah is paid by the Philistines to find out the magical source of Samson's strength and how he could be restrained.
She asks Samson three times. He says he'd become as week as any other man if he were tied up with bowstrings.
So she does that, but he breaks the bow strings. She askes again and he says to use ropes. So she uses ropes, but he breaks the ropes.
Next he says to weave his braids into a cloth. So she does that, but he breaks out of that one too. 6:6-14
- Samson reveals the secret of his strength to Delilah: "If I be shaven, then my strength will go from me." (And I
thought his strength was from God.) 16:17
- Micah, his mother, and the ephod and teraphim
A man named Micah stole 1100 shekels of silver from his mother. When he returned the silver to his mother, she made a graven
image in the form of an ephod and teraphim. 17:1-5
- The Massacre of the Peaceful, Unsuspecting People
The story begins with the tribe of Dan (one of the 12 tribes of Israel) looking for a nice place to live.
So they sent out five men to find some land. 18:1-27
- On their way, they stopped at a Micah's house and asked his priest to ask God where they should go to find some land. The priest told them to just
go looking for it, and that God would be with them wherever they went. 18:3-6
- So they left there and came to a place called Laish, where the people lived peaceful, secure, carefree lives. 18:7
- Then the five men returned and told the other Danites to attack Laish, saying that God had given it into their hands. 18:8-10
- So the Danites steal the Levite priest's ephod and teraphim, round up 600 soldiers, and march off toward Laish. 18:11-20
- The Danites slaughtered the peaceful, unsuspecting people with the help of the ephod and teraphim. 18:31
- After taking in a traveling Levite, the host offers his virgin daughter and his guest's concubine to a mob of
perverts (who want to have sex with his guest). The mob refuses the daughter, but accepts the concubine and they
"abuse her all night." The next morning she crawls back to the doorstep and dies. The Levite puts her dead body on an
ass and takes her home. Then he chops her body up into twelve pieces and sends them to each of the twelve tribes of
- "The children of Israel ... gathered together as one man [along with] four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword."
After receiving the Levite's rotting-concubine-body-part-message (see the last chapter for the gory details),
the entire population of Israel along with 400,000 soldiers gathered together to decide what to do about it.
- "I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country."
The Levite tells everyone his story (leaving out the part about how he gave his concubine to the
mob to do with as they pleased), explaining the mysterious rotting body part messages that brought everyone in Israel together.
- "And all the people arose as one man, saying...."
Can't you just picture it? After hearing the Levite's story, the entire population of Israel spoke in unison, saying "We will not any of us go to his tent,
neither will we any of us turn into his house." 20:8
- The Benjamites had 700 left-handed men who could sling a stone at a hair and not miss.
- After the Benjamites refuse to turn over the men from Gibeah (the town that wanted to have sex with the Levite
but settled for his concubine instead), the Israelites asked God which tribe should go to war with them. God said the tribe
of Judah should go first. So Judah goes to war, but the Benjamites with their sharp shooting lefties kill 22,000 Israelites.
- After 22,000 Israelites were killed by the Benjamites, they cry all day before the Lord. Then they ask God (again)
if they should go to war against Benjamin. God said yes, so they try it again, and another 18,000 Israelites are killed.
- Once again all of the Israelites sit and weep before God, and ask again (for the third time) if they should attack the
Benjamites. God give them his usual answer: Attack. This time he promises (he was just kidding the last couple times) that
he "will deliver them into thine hand." 20:26-28
- God tells Phinehas to fight against the Benjamites, saying he will deliver them into his hand.
So the Israelites kill some more people for God. 20:38-41
- After the Israelites heard the Levite's story (about chopping up his dead concubine and sending her body parts to each
tribe of Israel) they vowed not to "give" their daughters to the Benjamites. So now they had a problem: they just finished
killing all the Benjamite women and children (Jg 20:48) so there were no women for the surviving Benjamite men to marry.
[There were 600 Benjamite men that survived the war with the Israelites. (Jg 20:47)]
- But they find a great solution. They check their records and find that no one from Jabeshgilead came to the
rotting-concubine- body-part meeting. So they'll go and steal their women and give them to the 600 surviving Benjamites.
- Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are
destroyed out of Benjamin?" 21:16
- "We may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that
giveth a wife to Benjamin." 21:18
- So they come up with another brilliant plan. Have the Benjamites hide in the bushes and then catch the daughters
of Shiloh when they come out to dance. So that's what they did and everyone lived happily ever after. 21:19-23