Today’s reading is: Jdg. 19-21
Judges Chapter Nineteen
- Chapter 19 introduces a new character—yet another Levite dwelling in Ephraim.
- This Levite was willing to take back his unfaithful concubine (Jdg. 19:1-9).
- This Levite was unwilling to spend the night in a Canaanite city (Jdg. 19:10-13).
- The Levite was pleased to celebrate with a fellow Ephraimite (Jdg. 19:14-21).
- The ugly scene which follows reminds the reader of Lot in the city of Sodom (Jdg. 19:22-30; Gen. 19:1-11).
- The aftermath of this incident is far worse than the aftermath Lot’s incident (incest).
Judges Chapter Twenty
- The Levite’s dismembered concubine incites all Israel to action (Jdg. 19:29,30).
- Israel (minus Benjamin) assembles themselves, ready for action (Jdg. 20:1,2).
- They are “as one man” in a lemming-like lockstep (Jdg. 20:1,8,11). Ever read Charles Mackay? Memoirs of Extraordinary Popular Delusions and the Madness of Crowds (1852). How about Dr. Mattias Desmet? He calls this phenomenon “mass formation psychosis” (2020).
- They are bound by foolish vows (Jdg. 21:1,5,7).
- The Levite recites his testimony, and his audience is impassioned to punish Gibeah for their evil (Jdg. 20:3-11). Note: the responsibility to deal with an apostate city belongs to the clan(s) and/or tribe to deal with (Dt. 13:12-18). See the notes in TTB Day 077.
- The Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin demanded jurisdiction over the guilty Sons of Belial (Jdg. 20:12,13a).
- When Benjamin refuses their demands, a civil war ensues (Jdg. 20:13b-17). Note: these combined tribal forces were supposed to be finishing the Tribal Conquest left unfinished in the days of Joshua.
- The Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin endured two humiliating defeats before their final, crushing victory (Jdg. 20:18-48). Interesting how the Lord through Phinehas kept goading them on (Jdg. 20:18,23,26,27,28,35).
- The Benjamite military is destroyed, with only a remnant fleeing to Rimmon for a four month refuge (Jdg. 20:47).
- The Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin inflicted a near-total destruction of the Benjamite civilian population (Jdg. 20:48).
Judges Chapter Twenty-One
Judges Chapter Twenty-One
- At the time that the Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin vowed to defeat Benjamin martially, they also vowed to punish Benjamin maritally (Jdg. 21:1).
- This oath also included a “great oath” to execute any clans who did not participate in the action against Benjamin (Jdg. 21:5).
- Following the crushing defeat of Benjamin, the Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin realized that their vow to deny Benjamite marriages will result in Benjamite extinction (Jdg. 21:2,3). At this point they are beginning to return to sanity but they fail to inquire of the Lord.
- Israel was delighted to discover that the inhabitants of Jabesh-gilead were not party to the vow of Mizpah (Jdg. 21:4-10).
- Jabesh-gilead then became the victim of “the great oath.”
- The Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin put Jabesh-gilead to the sword, and captured 400 virgins for Benjamin’s survival (Jdg. 21:11,12).
- In the peace talks with the 600 Benjamite fugitives, the Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin found themselves 200 virgins short (Jdg. 21:13-15).
- The Self-righteous Opponents of Benjamin concocted a scheme by which 200 of their daughters could be kidnapped by Benjamin, thereby keeping their vow to not “give” Benjamin any of their daughters (Jdg. 21:16-24).
- Judges concludes with the repeated statement of societal chaos via personal rightness (Jdg. 17:6; 21:25 cf. Prov. 12:15; 21:2).