Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Jdg. 11:29-15:20


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Judges Chapter Eleven

(Outline continues from yesterday)

  1. God imbued His Spirit into Jephthah, and Jephthah went forth under the leading of God the Holy Spirit (Jdg. 11:29).
    1. He joins Othniel, Gideon, and Samson as the only 4 Judges said to have received the Holy Spirit.
    2. Jephthah vowed a dedication to the Lord in gratitude to the Lord for the upcoming victory (Jdg. 11:30,31).
      1. It shall be the Lord’s [and/or]
      2. I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.
    3. The Lord provided Jephthah with a tremendous victory—20 cities of the Ammonites (Jdg. 11:32,33).
  2. When Jephthah returned home, he sadly fulfilled his vow to the Lord (Jdg. 11:34-40).
    1. Some scholars believe that Jephthah offered his daughter up as a burnt offering, violating Mosaic Law (Lev. 20:2-3).
    2. 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

  1. Ephraim complains to Jephthah that they weren’t invited to the Ammonite war (Jdg. 12:1 cf. 8:1-3).
  2. Jephthah replies that Ephraim had the chance to help, but chose not to (Jdg. 12:2,3).
  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.
  4. 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.
  5. The 11th Judge was Elon, the Zebulunite (Jdg. 12:11,12). He followed Ibzan and judged Israel for ten years.
  6. The 12th Judge was Abdon, the Pirathonite (Jdg. 12:13-15).  He presided over two generations of 70 sons and grandsons.

Judges Chapter Thirteen

  1. The seventh major oppressor of Israel was the Philistines, for a 40 year period of oppression (Jdg. 13:1).
  2. The Lord’s call of Samson as the 13th Judge occurred before his birth (Jdg. 13:2-23).
    1. 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).
    2. Manoah and his wife are faithful believers in a tribe of faithless unbelievers (Jdg. 13:2; 18:1-31).
  3. Samson is born, and the Holy Spirit started to stir him to action from an early age (Jdg. 13:24,25).

Judges Chapter Fourteen

  1. Samson “fell in love” with an attractive Philistine woman (Jdg. 14:1,2). He “saw her” and “she looked good” to him.
    1. Manoah disapproved of the marriage to an uncircumcised Philistine (Jdg. 14:3; Dt. 7:3 cf. 1st Sam. 17:26,36).
    2. The Lord had engineered the attraction so He could begin to deliver Israel from the Philistine oppression (Jdg. 14:4).
  2. Samson’s first act of might was to tear a lion in half bare-handed (Jdg. 14:5-9).
  3. While Manoah was contracting for Samson’s marriage, Samson was observing Philistine wedding customs (Jdg. 14:10,11).
    1. He feasted and riddled with the Philistines (Jdg. 14:12-14).
    2. His wife nagged him into revealing the answer to the riddle (Jdg. 14:15-18).
  4. 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

  1. Samson went down to Timnah, thinking that he was married (Jdg. 15:1,2).
  2. He is angered at the loss of his wife, and takes vengeance upon the Philistines (Jdg. 15:3-5).
    1. The Philistines responded to Samson’s revenge with their own revenge—killing Samson’s almost-wife and almost-father-in-law (Jdg. 15:6).
    2. Samson responded to the Philistines revenge of his revenge with another revenge—a great slaughter (Jdg. 15:7,8).
  3. 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!
    1. Judah agrees to deliver Samson to the Philistines in exchange for their departure from Judah.
    2. Samson agrees to be delivered to the Philistines.
    3. When given to the Philistines, Samson snapped the ropes, and killed 1000 Philistines with the jawbone of a donkey.
  4. 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.