Primitive Christianity Revived, Again
Judges 16 – Samson goes to Gaza and sees a prostitute he wants. The men of Gaza lie in wait for him all night. But he fools them by leaving in the middle of the night, taking the doors of the city gate with him to the top of the hill that is in front of Hebron—another feat of strength.
Then comes the episode with Delilah. Samson falls in love with her. The lords of the Philistines come to Delilah and induce her to help them find out the secret…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 19, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments
Judges 10 – Tola is the next judge God raises up, a man of the tribe of Issachar, but nothing is said of the particulars of his 23-year rule.
Then comes Jair, the Gileadite. He ruled 22 years. He had 30 sons who rode on 30 donkeys and they had 30 towns in Gilead.
The Israelites backslide again, and the Lord sells them “into the hand of the Philistines and into the hand of the Ammonites, and they crushed and oppressed the Israelites. . .”…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 14, 2013 at 5:48am — No Comments
Judges 8:4-35 - On the way through Succoth (pursuing the remaining Midianite kings—Zebah and Zalmunna), Gideon asks the people to feed his men, but they refuse. Then the people of Penuel deny them too. Gideon vows to return and punish them for their unwillingness to help.
Gideon finally defeats the last two, he returns and exacts the revenge he has promised on the leaders of Succoth and Penuel.
Then he tells the kings he wouldn’t kill them had they…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 12, 2013 at 6:40am — No Comments
Judges 6 – When the people turn again to what is evil, the Lord gives them into the hands of the Midianites (And Amalekites—people of the east). They would come and pilfer whatever Israel grew or raised in the way of livestock. They were like Locusts. This time, the prophet the Lord sent is Gideon (c.1100). The Lord comes to him and says, “The Lord is with you, you mighty warrior” (6:12). Gideon questions God. He ways, “And…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 11, 2013 at 6:13am — No Comments
Judges 5 – There follows a poetic celebration of the victory of Deborah and Barak—it includes a brief retelling of “the story:
“[W]hen you marched from the region of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens poured, the clouds indeed poured water. The mountains quaked before the Lord, the One of Sinai, before the Lord, the God of Israel” (5:4-5).
“The peasantry prospered in Israel, they grew fat on plunder, because you arose, Deborah, arose as a…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 10, 2013 at 6:16am — No Comments
Judges 4 – King Jabin, Canaanite of Hazor, is the next tyrant Israel must fight. His military commander is Sisera. They dominate Israel because of their chariots of iron.
Deborah (around 1125—her song is one of the most ancient pieces of writing in the Old Testament)is a prophetess at this time and also a judge. As judge, she sat under a palm tree situated in the hill country of Ephraim, between the towns of Ramah and…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 9, 2013 at 6:20am — No Comments
Judges 2 – The angel of the Lord reminds the people to make covenants with the inhabitants of the land, but to “tear down their altars” (2:2). But they do not obey. For this reason it says, they will be forced to share the land.
At age 110, Joshua dies and is buried in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mt. Gaash. Another generation comes along “who did not know the Lord or the work that he had done for Israel. Then the Israelites did what was evil in the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 7, 2013 at 6:26am — No Comments
Introduction to Judges: We learn in Judges that the ban upon the enemies of the Israelites during their wars of conquest were not so thorough as Joshua may have led us to believe. It is the theme of Judges to show how a remnant of the native peoples remained and how this remnant persisted as a temptation for the Jews. The point of these conquest stories seems to be to show that God’s people are a people set apart. Their ways and the ways of the world around them are not to…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 6, 2013 at 5:37am — No Comments
Joshua 16 – The other Josephite tribe, Ephraim, receives land around Bethel, Beth-horon and out to Gezer. “They did not drive the Canaanites out of Gezer, however, so the people of Gezer live as slaves among the people of Ephraim to this day” (16:10).
Joshua 17 – Another allotment is made to a son of Joseph, Manasseh—other than the one to his son Machir, on the east side of the Jordan.
One of the sons of Manasseh had no…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 6th mo. 3, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments
Joshua 8 - The Lord prepares the Israelites to take the city of Ai (the name of which actually means “ruin” according to Eerdman’s) and this time allows them to take booty. He sends 30,000 men to lay in ambush to the west of Ai and then approaches the city with the rest of his force. When they attack him, he pretends to flee and they pursue, leaving ambushers in position to attack from the west and burn the city. When the main army sees the smoke, the turn and attack too. The…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 30, 2013 at 6:18am — No Comments
Joshua 5 – When the people of the region hear that the Israelites have crossed the Jordan in such a miraculous way, “their hearts melted, and there was no longer any spirit in them” (5:1).
We learn in this chapter that all the men of military age who were circumcised before leaving Egypt have died in the desert passage. Meanwhile the sons born in the desert have not been circumcised, so this is something that must be done now that the people are…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 27, 2013 at 6:44am — No Comments
Numbers 29 - Continuing on with this reprise of the sacrificial offerings throughout the year:
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 21, 2013 at 5:30am — No Comments
Numbers 20 – The people arrive at Kadesh in the desert of Zin, southwest of the Dead Sea. Here Miriam dies. But the focus of the chapter is on another rebellion, this time over the lack of water at Kadesh. When Moses consults the Lord, He tells Moses to order water to issue from a rock to satisfy the people. When Moses does this he strikes the rock twice and orders it to yield the promised water, saying, “Listen to me, you rebels! Are we to bring water for you out of this…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 15, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Numbers 19 - This reading has to do with the preparation of “lustral water” which is necessary under the law for purifying or cleansing those who have had some kind of contact with death. The water is made first of all by sacrificing an unblemished red heifer as a sin [hattat] offering, outside the camp, burning its remains with some cedar wood, hyssop and scarlet yarn, all suggestive of blood as is the color of the heifer.
The ashes from this burning are…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 14, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Numbers 16 – Two new rebellions—a) Korah’s rebellion and b) a rebellion led by Dathan and Abiram—The rebellions are conflated here, but they clearly are distinct. Korah, a Levite and Moses’ first cousin, leads 250 “men of note” (16:2) to Moses, complaining as follows: “’Enough from you! The whole community, all of them, are holy; the Lord is in their midst. Why then should you set yourselves over the Lord’s congregation?” This is the same old story—now the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 11, 2013 at 6:44am — No Comments
Numbers 11 – The first of what Schocken Bible editors call “rebellion narratives,” [there will be six] the people become discontented in the year following the second Passover celebration, angering God, so that “the fire of the Lord burned among them and consumed the outskirts of the camp” (11:1).
Despite the organization of the people and the establishment of a kind of community order; despite the loving care of the Lord in providing manna and water for the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 5th mo. 8, 2013 at 5:38am — No Comments
Leviticus 19 – There are many more “Holiness Rules.”
- You must honor your parents and always keep the Sabbath
- Turn aside from idols
- Eat all peace offerings by the day following the sacrifice
- Leave some grains after harvesting for the poor and alien
- No stealing, lying or defrauding
- No withholding wages overnight
- No cursing the deaf or putting stumbling blocks in front of the…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 30, 2013 at 5:54am — No Comments
Leviticus 17 – Every sheep, goat or ox must be presented as an offering to the Lord in front of the Dwelling before it can be slaughtered for food. The blood needs to be splashed on the altar and the fat burned.
Offerings previously were made to “satyrs” [goat-demons] but this shall be no more (17:7).
This differs from Deut.12 where slaughter is permitted as long as the blood is poured out—scholars disagree which practice came first, Schocken says. …Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 28, 2013 at 6:00am — No Comments
Leviticus 12 – Rules governing the “uncleanness” or ritual “pollution” surrounding childbirth. For seven days after birth of a boy, the mother shall be deemed “unclean.” After the circumcision on the 8th day, 33 days must pass for her to be over the period of ritual pollution. It is twice that time – sixty-six days – after the birth of a female child.
At the end, she is to bring animals – a one-year-old lamb and a young pigeon or turtledove - for a…Continue
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 25, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments
Added by Irene Lape on 4th mo. 24, 2013 at 6:17am — No Comments