Wednesday, April 21, 2010


Judges 16-18

Judges 16 contains the well-story of Samson and Delilah. Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, and the rulers of the Philistines promised her great wealth if she could find out the secret of Samson's great strength for them. He first told her that if he were tied with seven fresh thongs, then if he were tied with seven new ropes, then if his hair was woven and pinned, but each time, when bound, he snapped the restraints easily. She kept asking, though, and "with such nagging she prodded him day after day until he was tired to death, so he told her everything." When he was sleeping, she had his head shaved "and his strength left him." The Philistines took him, gouged his eyes out, and took him to prison. Then they arranged a sacrifice to their god Dagon, and brought Samson in to entertain them. He prayed to the LORD to strengthen him just once more, and he pushed the center pillars apart, bringing the temple down, killing everyone there, as well as himself. "Thus he killed many more when he died than while he lived."

Chapter 17 starts with a man named Micah, out of the hill country of Ephraim, who admits to his mother that he took the eleven hundred shekels that she was missing. He returned the silver and she took some to the silversmith and had made an image and an idol, which he put in his house, making a shrine. "In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." A Levite from Bethlehem, looking for a place to stay, agreed to stay with Micah and be his priest.

In chapter 18, five Danites, looking for their tribe's inheritance. They stopped at Micah's house and the Levite priest told them that their journey had the LORD's approval. They went into Laish and saw that the land lacked nothing and the people living there did not expect an attack. So six hundred Danites started towards Laish, but stopped in Ephraim, and took Micah's priest, and his idols and household gods. Micah challenged them, but recognized that they were stronger than he, and let them go. They took Laish, and renamed it Dan. "There the Danites set up for themselves the idols... they continued to use the idols Micah had made, all the time the house of God was in Shiloh."

Thoughts, questions, issues

  • I'm sorry, but how dumb is Samson? Every time he tells her the false secret of his strength, she ties him up and calls the Philistines. What did he expect to happen when he told her the real secret?
  • Samson is the last of the Judges in the book. The story of Micah and his household idols is the first of the two epilogues I spoke of earlier.

Proverbs 27:1-14

Some of the things that are in this book make me chuckle. Like this one - "If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning, it will be taken as a curse." True, of course, but the kind of thing that seems almost too trite and obvious to be in here.

Proverbs 27

1 Do not boast about tomorrow,
for you do not know what a day may bring forth.

2 Let another praise you, and not your own mouth;
someone else, and not your own lips.

3 Stone is heavy and sand a burden,
but provocation by a fool is heavier than both.

4 Anger is cruel and fury overwhelming,
but who can stand before jealousy?

5 Better is open rebuke
than hidden love.

6 Wounds from a friend can be trusted,
but an enemy multiplies kisses.

7 He who is full loathes honey,
but to the hungry even what is bitter tastes sweet.

8 Like a bird that strays from its nest
is a man who strays from his home.

9 Perfume and incense bring joy to the heart,
and the pleasantness of one's friend springs from his earnest counsel.

10 Do not forsake your friend and the friend of your father,
and do not go to your brother's house when disaster strikes you—
better a neighbor nearby than a brother far away.

11 Be wise, my son, and bring joy to my heart;
then I can answer anyone who treats me with contempt.

12 The prudent see danger and take refuge,
but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

13 Take the garment of one who puts up security for a stranger;
hold it in pledge if he does it for a wayward woman.

14 If a man loudly blesses his neighbor early in the morning,
it will be taken as a curse.

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