Today’s reading is: Jdg. 11:29-15:20
Judges Chapter Eleven
(Outline continues from yesterday)
- God imbued His Spirit into Jephthah, and Jephthah went forth under the leading of God the Holy Spirit (Jdg. 11:29).
- He joins Othniel, Gideon, and Samson as the only 4 Judges said to have received the Holy Spirit.
- Jephthah vowed a dedication to the Lord in gratitude to the Lord for the upcoming victory (Jdg. 11:30,31).
- It shall be the Lord’s [and/or]
- I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.
- The Lord provided Jephthah with a tremendous victory—20 cities of the Ammonites (Jdg. 11:32,33).
- When Jephthah returned home, he sadly fulfilled his vow to the Lord (Jdg. 11:34-40).
- Some scholars believe that Jephthah offered his daughter up as a burnt offering, violating Mosaic Law (Lev. 20:2-3).
- Most scholars believe that Jephthah’s daughter was given to the service of the tabernacle (Ex. 38:8; 1st Sam. 2:22; Lk. 2:37).
Judges Chapter Twelve
- Ephraim complains to Jephthah that they weren’t invited to the Ammonite war (Jdg. 12:1 cf. 8:1-3).
- Jephthah replies that Ephraim had the chance to help, but chose not to (Jdg. 12:2,3).
- Jephthah then initiated hostilities against Ephraim for their disdain (Jdg. 12:4-7). Our shibboleths are shameful, producing pronunciation prejudices, turning differences into destructive divisions.
- The 10th Judge was Ibzan of Bethlehem (Jdg. 12:8-10). He was another polygamous judge, who engaged in tremendous inter-tribal marriage alliances for his thirty sons and thirty daughters. These endeavors took considerably longer than the seven years Ibzan spent judging Israel.
- The 11th Judge was Elon, the Zebulunite (Jdg. 12:11,12). He followed Ibzan and judged Israel for ten years.
- The 12th Judge was Abdon, the Pirathonite (Jdg. 12:13-15). He presided over two generations of 70 sons and grandsons.
Judges Chapter Thirteen
- The seventh major oppressor of Israel was the Philistines, for a 40 year period of oppression (Jdg. 13:1).
- The Lord’s call of Samson as the 13th Judge occurred before his birth (Jdg. 13:2-23).
- Manoah and his wife are charged by the Lord with raising a special son, under life-long Nazirite-vow conditions (Jdg. 13:5; Num. 6).
- Manoah and his wife are faithful believers in a tribe of faithless unbelievers (Jdg. 13:2; 18:1-31).
- Samson is born, and the Holy Spirit started to stir him to action from an early age (Jdg. 13:24,25).
Judges Chapter Fourteen
- Samson “fell in love” with an attractive Philistine woman (Jdg. 14:1,2). He “saw her” and “she looked good” to him.
- Manoah disapproved of the marriage to an uncircumcised Philistine (Jdg. 14:3; Dt. 7:3 cf. 1st Sam. 17:26,36).
- The Lord had engineered the attraction so He could begin to deliver Israel from the Philistine oppression (Jdg. 14:4).
- Samson’s first act of might was to tear a lion in half bare-handed (Jdg. 14:5-9).
- While Manoah was contracting for Samson’s marriage, Samson was observing Philistine wedding customs (Jdg. 14:10,11).
- He feasted and riddled with the Philistines (Jdg. 14:12-14).
- His wife nagged him into revealing the answer to the riddle (Jdg. 14:15-18).
- Samson paid his wager with the clothes of thirty Philistines, and the bride was married to the best man (Jdg. 14:19,20).
Judges Chapter Fifteen
- Samson went down to Timnah, thinking that he was married (Jdg. 15:1,2).
- He is angered at the loss of his wife, and takes vengeance upon the Philistines (Jdg. 15:3-5).
- The Philistines responded to Samson’s revenge with their own revenge—killing Samson’s almost-wife and almost-father-in-law (Jdg. 15:6).
- Samson responded to the Philistines revenge of his revenge with another revenge—a great slaughter (Jdg. 15:7,8).
- The Philistines invade Judah as revenge for Samson’s 2nd revenge of the Philistines’ 1st revenge for Samson’s 1st revenge (Jdg. 15:9-16). Notice how human vengeance never ends!
- Judah agrees to deliver Samson to the Philistines in exchange for their departure from Judah.
- Samson agrees to be delivered to the Philistines.
- When given to the Philistines, Samson snapped the ropes, and killed 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
- Samson served 20 years as a judge (Jdg. 15:17-20; 16:31), ostensibly to deliver Israel, but really just living a life of debauchery.