Today’s reading is: Jdg. 16-18
Judges Chapter Sixteen
- 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).
- The Philistines surrounded the place, and intended to kill Samson in the morning.
- Samson thwarted their intentions with another demonstration of Divine might.
- Samson “fell in love” with another Philistine woman—Delilah from the valley of Sorek.
- Delilah. דְּלִילָה deliylāh #1807: feeble.
- Josephus calls her a harlot (Ant.V.8.11).
- 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).
- 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).
- Finally, Samson tells Delilah about his Nazirite vow, and the prohibition against shaving (Jdg. 16:15-17).
- Samson is enslaved, and kept as entertainment for the Philistines (Jdg. 16:18-27).
- Samson’s final victory was his own suicidal vengeance (Jdg. 16:28-31).
- 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
- The final portion of Judges (chapters 17-21) forms an appendix to the book.
- Various tragic stories reflect the lawless conditions of the period.
- Israel was politically lawless.
- Israel was Mosaically lawless.
- Chapter 17 begins with an introduction to Micah.
- An Ephraimite during the late period of the Judges (Jdg. 17:1).
- Other Micah’s in the Old Testament:
- Head of a family of Reuben (1st Chr. 5:5).
- A son of Mephibosheth & grandson of Jonathan (1st Chr. 8:34,35).
- A Levite of the family of Asaph (1st Chr. 9:15). Perhaps the same as #2.
- A Kohathite (1st Chr. 23:20; 24:24,25).
- The father of Abdon, whom Josiah sent to inquire of the Lord when the book of the law was found (2nd Chr. 34:20).
- The Minor Prophet, of Moresheth-gath (Mic. 1:1; Jer. 26:18).
- Micah confesses to his mother the theft of 1,100 pieces of silver (Jdg. 17:2).
- Micah’s mother had previously cursed the unknown thief.
- Micah’s mother now blesses Micah for his honesty.
- Micah’s mother dedicates the silver “to the Lord” and funds Micah’s idolatry.
- Micah’s household idolatry is then described (Jdg. 17:4,5).
- A graven & molten image.
- A house shrine.
- An ephod.
- A teraphim.
- A son to serve as family priest.
- 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).
- A second character is introduced (Jdg. 17:7).
- A young man.
- From Bethlehem in Judah, of the family of Judah (father’s side? Or just drifting?).
- A Levite, specifically Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Moses (Jdg. 18:30).
- 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
- The lawless period of Judges is furthermore described by the roaming bands of Danites (Jdg. 18:1,2).
- 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.
- Dan had been unable/unwilling to conquer the land the Lord gave them (Jdg. 1:34; 3:3).
- Dan decided to find their own land (Josh. 19:47; Jdg. 18:1,2,29).
- 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).
- The Danites observe the Sidonian citizens of Laish (Lemesh in Josh.), and view a people they can conquer (Jdg. 18:7-10).
- 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).
- The armies of Dan offer a promotion to the fly-by-night Levite (Jdg. 18:13-26).
- Dan establishes a rival religion, which will continue until the captivity (Jdg. 18:27-31).
- This captivity is more likely the Philistine captivity rather than the Assyrian captivity (Jdg. 13-16; Ps. 78:61).
- Dan’s idolatry fit in well with Jeroboam’s idolatry (1st Kgs. 12:29,30).