Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Jdg. 3:31-6:40


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Judges Chapter Four

  1. The third oppressor of Israel was Jabin, the Canaanite king of Hazor (Jdg. 4:2). 
    1. This Jabin is likely a descendant of the Jabin, King of Hazor, that led the northern Canaanite alliance against Joshua (Josh. 11:1-14).
    2. His commanding general was Sisera, who commanded an invasion force of 900 iron chariots.
    3. This time, it took 20 years of oppression before Israel cried out to the Lord for deliverance.
  2. Judge #4 was the prophetess Deborah, the wife of Lappidoth.
    1. Deborah.  דְּבֹורָה debowrāh #1682 (Gen. 35:8; 9x in Jdg. 4; 5) &1683: bee (Deut. 1:44; Jdg. 14:8; Ps. 118:12; Isa. 7:18).
    2. Woman אִשָּׁה ’ishshāh #802: wife, woman + Prophetess נְבִיאָה nebiy’āh #5031: fem. of prophet: prophetess.
      1. Miriam (Ex. 15:20), Huldah (2nd Kgs. 22:14), & Mrs. Isaiah (Isa. 8:3) were all prophetesses in the OT. 
      2. Anna (Lk. 2:36), and the four daughters of Philip the evangelist (Acts 21:9) were prophetesses in the NT.
      3. Noadiah (Neh. 6:14) and Jezebel (Rev. 2:20) were false prophetesses.
    3. Lappidoth: torches.  Otherwise unknown.
    4. Deborah’s “office” was under a palm tree between Ramah and Bethel, where Israel would come to her for judgment (Jdg. 4:5; cf. Deut. 17:9; 19:17).
  3. Barak the son of Abinoam from Kedesh-naphtali.
    1. Barak.  בָּרָק bārāq #1301: lightning, lightning flash.
    2. Some have been tempted to identify Barak with Lappidoth, but context and linguistic evidence doesn’t support that idea very well.
    3. Barak was a well-known military commander from the tribe of Naphtali, whom Deborah commissioned for the war against Sisera.
    4. Barak is usually thought of as Judge #5.  Although he is not called a Judge here, he is referred to elsewhere with the Judges (Heb. 11:32 & likely 1st Sam. 12:11).
  4. Deborah commissions Barak according to the Word of the Lord (Jdg. 4:6,7).
    1. Barak won’t go without Deborah’s accompaniment (Jdg. 4:8).
    2. Deborah consents to go with him, but also prophesies that the glory will be given to a woman (Jdg. 4:9).
  5. Barak assembles an army of Zebulun & Naphtali for the battle against Sisera (Jdg. 4:10; 5:18).
    1. They were joined by volunteers from Ephraim, Benjamin, Machir (a clan of Manasseh), and Issachar (Jdg. 5:14,15a).
    2. They were ignored by Reuben, Gilead (Gad, and Manasseh clans), Dan, & Asher (Jdg. 5:15b-17).
  6. Sisera has an ally among the people of Israel—Heber the Kenite (Jdg. 4:11). “From out of nowhere, and for no immediately apparent reason, the narrator introduces a new character, Heber the Kenite.” [Daniel Block, NAC: Judges, Ruth] See the TTB Day 093 notes on the Kenites.
  7. Sisera leads his armored divisions against Barak’s infantry, but the victory was the Lord’s (Jdg. 4:12-16).
  8. Sisera fled the battle on foot, and found a refuge in his ally’s tent (Jdg. 4:17-22).
    1. Jael (Mrs. Heber) invited Sisera in, and tended to his needs.
    2. Jael then executed the enemy general, fulfilling Deborah’s prophecy (Jdg. 4:9,21).
  9. The destruction of Sisera’s army was followed by the overthrow of Jabin (Jdg. 4:23,24).

Judges Chapter Five

  1. Chapter Five is a hymn, sung by Deborah & Barak, to give the glory to the Lord for His victory over Sisera.
  2. The hymn of praise celebrates the volunteer army of leaders and people, who stepped forward to serve the Lord (Jdg. 5:2).
  3. Just as the Wilderness Generation went forth from Sinai in the shadow of God’s power, Deborah’s generation went forth against Sisera in the shadow of God’s power (Jdg. 5:3-5).
  4. Deborah describes the terrible conditions of Israel, as a result of their own idolatry prior to Deborah’s rise to office (Jdg. 5:6-8).
  5. Deborah is thankful that faithful leaders and people who came forward to serve the Lord (Jdg. 5:9-11).
  6. Deborah reviews the faithful tribes who participated in the battle, and the faithless tribes who did not (Jdg. 5:12-18).
  7. Deborah describes the battle, in human, angelic, and Divine terms (Jdg. 5:19-22).
  8. Meroz is cursed (Jdg. 5:23), but Jael is most blessed (Jdg. 5:24-27).
  9. Sisera’s mother is anxiously awaiting a return which will not happen (Jdg. 5:28-30).
  10. The song is concluded, and mention is made of Israel’s peace—forty years undisturbed (Jdg. 5:31). Perhaps 1209-1169BC.

Judges Chapter Six

  1. The fourth oppressor was Midian (Jdg. 6:1-6).
    1. They oppressed Israel for seven years.
    2. They enlisted the assistance of the Amalekites.
  2. The Lord dispatched a man, a prophet (אִ֥ישׁ נָבִ֖יא ’iysh nābiy’) to rebuke Israel for their disobedience (Jdg. 6:7-10). The only prophet in the book of Judges other than Deborah, and he is left unnamed in the text.
  3. The Angel of the Lord appears to a young Manassite named Gideon (Jdg. 6:11-24).
    1. Gideon is threshing wheat in a wine press, hiding from the Midianites (Jdg. 6:11).
    2. Gideon is a mighty man of valor (Jdg. 6:12). גִּבּוֹר הֶחָיִל.  See the TTB Day 85 notes on Josh. 6 for this description.
    3. Gideon is grieved over the current oppression of Israel, and doesn’t see any human solution to their problem (Jdg. 6:13).
  4. The Lord commissions Gideon to deliver Israel, but Gideon remains skeptical (Jdg. 6:14-40).
    1. Gideon wants to see a sign (Jdg. 6:17).
    2. The miraculous burnt offering humbles Gideon (Jdg. 6:19-24).
    3. Gideon’s first assignment is to destroy the Baal altar in his father’s house, and build an altar to the Lord in its place (Jdg. 6:25-27).
    4. The men of Ophrah demanded that Joash the Abiezrite surrender his son for what he did to the Baal altar, but Joash defended Gideon, and renamed him Jerubbaal (Jdg. 6:28-32).
    5. The Midianite forces mustered in Jezreel, and Gideon assembled an army of Manasseh, Asher, Zebulun, and Naphtali to fight against them (Jdg. 6:33-35).
    6. Gideon is one of the few OT saints to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Jdg. 6:34).
    7. Gideon’s faith wavers, and he asks the Lord twice to prove His presence (Jdg. 6:36-38,39-40).
  5. The faithfulness and longsuffering of the Lord is demonstrated by His tolerance of Gideon’s testing the Lord (Deut. 6:16).