Daily reading

Today’s reading is: Jdg. 16-18


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Judges Chapter Sixteen

  1. Despite the ending to chapter fifteen (Jdg. 15:20), Samson’s profligacy wasn’t done. He spent the evening with a Philistine prostitute (Jdg. 16:1-3).
    1. The Philistines surrounded the place, and intended to kill Samson in the morning.
    2. Samson thwarted their intentions with another demonstration of Divine might.
  2. Samson “fell in love” with another Philistine woman—Delilah from the valley of Sorek.
    1. Delilah.  דְּלִילָה deliylāh #1807: feeble.
    2. Josephus calls her a harlot (Ant.V.8.11).
    3. She obeys the Lords of the Philistines (Josh. 13:3; Jdg. 3:3) agreeing to “entice” Samson into giving up the secret of his strength (Jdg. 16:5).
  3. Three times she entices Samson into revealing his secret.  Each time he lies to her, and uses the snare to kill more Philistines (Jdg. 16:6-14).
  4. Finally, Samson tells Delilah about his Nazirite vow, and the prohibition against shaving (Jdg. 16:15-17).
  5. Samson is enslaved, and kept as entertainment for the Philistines (Jdg. 16:18-27).
  6. Samson’s final victory was his own suicidal vengeance (Jdg. 16:28-31).
  7. Hebrews 11 provides a remarkable commentary on the Judges, listing Samson along with Gideon, Barak, and Samson as heroes of faith (Heb. 11:32).

Judges Chapter Seventeen

  1. The final portion of Judges (chapters 17-21) forms an appendix to the book.
    1. Various tragic stories reflect the lawless conditions of the period.
    2. Israel was politically lawless.
    3. Israel was Mosaically lawless.
  2. Chapter 17 begins with an introduction to Micah.
    1. An Ephraimite during the late period of the Judges (Jdg. 17:1).
    2. Other Micah’s in the Old Testament:
      1. Head of a family of Reuben (1st Chr. 5:5).
      2. A son of Mephibosheth & grandson of Jonathan (1st Chr. 8:34,35).
      3. A Levite of the family of Asaph (1st Chr. 9:15).  Perhaps the same as #2.
      4. A Kohathite (1st Chr. 23:20; 24:24,25).
      5. The father of Abdon, whom Josiah sent to inquire of the Lord when the book of the law was found (2nd Chr. 34:20).
      6. The Minor Prophet, of Moresheth-gath (Mic. 1:1; Jer. 26:18).
  3. Micah confesses to his mother the theft of 1,100 pieces of silver (Jdg. 17:2).
    1. Micah’s mother had previously cursed the unknown thief.
    2. Micah’s mother now blesses Micah for his honesty.
    3. Micah’s mother dedicates the silver “to the Lord” and funds Micah’s idolatry.
  4. Micah’s household idolatry is then described (Jdg. 17:4,5).
    1. A graven & molten image.
    2. A house shrine.
    3. An ephod.
    4. A teraphim.
    5. A son to serve as family priest.
  5. The summary statement of societal conditions is in agreement with other periods of time within the Book of Judges (Jdg. 17:6 cp. 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).
  6. A second character is introduced (Jdg. 17:7).
    1. A young man.
    2. From Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah (father’s side? Or just drifting?).
    3. A Levite, specifically Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses (Jdg. 18:30).
  7. This fly-by-night Levite is looking for a place to live and work, so Micah hires him as his household priest (Jdg. 17:8-13).

Judges Chapter Eighteen

  1. The lawless period of Judges is furthermore described by the roaming bands of Danites (Jdg. 18:1,2).
    1. Dan had been given an inheritance and allotment (Josh. 19:40-48).  They were the last tribe to receive their inheritance, but they did receive one.
    2. Dan had been unable/unwilling to conquer the land the Lord gave them (Jdg. 1:34; 3:3).
    3. Dan decided to find their own land (Josh. 19:47; Jdg. 18:1,2,29).
  2. The Danites recognized the fly-by-night Levite, and ask him to inquire of the Lord for the success of their mission (Jdg. 18:3-6).
  3. The Danites observe the Sidonian citizens of Laish (Lemesh in Josh.), and view a people they can conquer (Jdg. 18:7-10).
  4. The staging-area of Dan becomes known for this event (Jdg. 18:12), and helps date these chapters as coming before the judgeship of Samson (Jdg. 13:25), and likely during the last days of Joshua, or earliest days of the Judges (i.e. Josh. 19:40-48).
  5. The armies of Dan offer a promotion to the fly-by-night Levite (Jdg. 18:13-26).
  6. Dan establishes a rival religion, which will continue until the captivity (Jdg. 18:27-31).
    1. This captivity is more likely the Philistine captivity rather than the Assyrian captivity (Jdg. 13-16; Ps. 78:61).
    2. Dan’s idolatry fit in well with Jeroboam’s idolatry (1st Kgs. 12:29,30).