Tuesday, April 20, 2010


Judges 13-15

In Judges chapter 13, "again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years." Toward the end of that time, a childless couple was visited by the angel of the LORD, who told them that they would have a son, and that "no razor may be used on his head" because he was to be a Nazirite. And when he was born, they named him Samson.

In chapter 14, Samson saw a Philistine woman and wanted her for his wife. While he was going down to Timnah to see her, a lion attacked and "the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power so that he tore the lion apart with his bare hands." Later, when he went back to marry her, he look at the lion's carcass and saw that bees had nested there, and he scooped out honey and ate it. When he made a wedding feast, he gave a riddle to the 30 companions he had been given, to which the answer was the honey, but no one could solve it. His wife pressed him for the answer, and he finally gave it to her, and she explained it to her people. They then answered it before the deadline, and he had to give suits of clothes to the 30 companions. He struck down thirty in Askelon and gave those clothes to those who had answered the riddle and returned to his father's home. His wife was then given to the friend who had attended him at his wedding.

In chapter 15, Samson went to see his wife and found that she'd been given to his friend. He was mad and got even with the Philistines by catching three hundred foxes, tying their tails together, tying lit torches to each pair of tails and setting them loose in the Philistines' grain. When the Philistines found out who had done it and why, they burned his wife and her father to death. Samson vowed further revenge on the Philistines. Three thousand men from Judah came to him and asked why he was doing what he was doing (because, after all, the Philistines were rulers over Israel.) They told him that they had come to tie him up and take him to the Philistines and he agreed as long as they promised not to kill him themselves. They tied him up, but as they approached Lehi and the Philistines came towards him shouting, "the Spirit of the LORD came upon him in power. The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands." He grabbed the fresh jawbone of a donkey and struck down a thousand of them. He then prayed and the LORD opened up a well from which he drank, and his strength returned. "Samson led Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines."

Thoughts, questions, issues

  • Samson's parents are told by the angel of the LORD that he is to be a Nazirite. This is the second time of three times that the term is used in the Old Testament. The first time it appears is in Numbers 6, when the Nazirite is described, and the third is in the writings of the prophet Amos, who talks about Israel's treatment of prophets and Nazirites. The Nazirite is set apart for God.
  • Obviously, Samson shouldn't be marrying a Philistine. The Israelites are supposed to have driven out the Philistines. Of course, the scripture says that the LORD wanted this because he "was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines."

Proverbs 20:15-25

Words, words, words - much more here about words.

I thinks this is an amusing verse: "Like one who seizes a dog by the ears is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own." Very descriptive.

And that frequent theme of the proverbs, "fervent lips...disguises with his lips...a lying tongue...a flattering mouth..."

Proverbs 26:17-28 (New International Version)

17 Like one who seizes a dog by the ears
is a passer-by who meddles in a quarrel not his own.

18 Like a madman shooting
firebrands or deadly arrows

19 is a man who deceives his neighbor
and says, "I was only joking!"

20 Without wood a fire goes out;
without gossip a quarrel dies down.

21 As charcoal to embers and as wood to fire,
so is a quarrelsome man for kindling strife.

22 The words of a gossip are like choice morsels;
they go down to a man's inmost parts.

23 Like a coating of glaze [a] over earthenware
are fervent lips with an evil heart.

24 A malicious man disguises himself with his lips,
but in his heart he harbors deceit.

25 Though his speech is charming, do not believe him,
for seven abominations fill his heart.

26 His malice may be concealed by deception,
but his wickedness will be exposed in the assembly.

27 If a man digs a pit, he will fall into it;
if a man rolls a stone, it will roll back on him.

28 A lying tongue hates those it hurts,
and a flattering mouth works ruin.

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