I might not get this post done in time to technically qualify as Wednesday…but I did the Bible reading part on Wednesday, just not the blogging, so I think it still counts.
I decided to start a painting today for the first time in years, and it completely swallowed my life. I had forgotten just how consuming art making could be. Sometimes I look back on my days as an art major and think, “WTF was I doing being an art major?!” but, today has reminded me that I enjoy art. Just, you know, not as a career.
Alright, down to business. These are the last 3 chapters in Judges! Where has the time gone?
Chapter 19- An unnamed Levite living in Ephraim takes a concubine. She runs off to stay with her father in Bethlehem in Judah. He goes after her, and his father-in-law invites him to stay several days (and actually makes it really hard for him to leave.) When the man, his concubine, and servants do finally leave, it is late in the day, and they debate where to camp that night. The decide to stay in Gibeah in Benjamin. Nobody will take them in, so they settle down in the town square for the night. A fellow Ephraimite who happens to live in Benjamin offers to take them in. The townsfolk come and demand to rape the traveler. The homeowner offers them his virgin daughter and the traveler’s concubine instead. They refuse the offer, until the traveler throws his concubine out to them. She gets raped all night. In the morning, the man packs up her limp body onto a donkey, takes her home, then chops her into 12 pieces and scatters her parts throughout Israel.
This story is bonkers. Straight up freaking bonkers. Why hasn’t anybody ever told me that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah happens TWICE!?!?! Why is this a recurring theme in the Bible?!?
For some reason, this man’s father-in-law’s house is like the Hotel California- you can check out but you can never leave. I have no idea why the man didn’t want them to go, but it’s creepy none-the-less
Then one of the servants wants to camp with the Jebusites, but our unnamed protagonist refuses because they are foreigners and he wants to stay with Israelites. Racist jerk. See what good clinging to your own messed up people got you? I guess this story was included to show just how depraved the Israelites have become.
I still don’t understand why offering your virgin daughter is the responsible thing to do when the mob wants to rape your house guest. Protecting your guest is a noble cause…but to so callously offer your daughter? Disgusting.
And then the way the concubine gets treated… “they knew her and abused her all night until morning.” (25) “So the man lifted her onto the donkey; and the man got up and went to his place. When he entered his house he took a knife, laid hold of his concubine, and divided her into twelve pieces, limb by limb, and sent her throughout all the territory of Israel.” (28, 29)
Chapter 20- The people of Israel gather together to attack Gibeah as revenge for their wicked, rapey ways. The Benjamites side with the rapists, and battle ensures. God tells the men of Judah to attack the Benjamites on the first day, and 22,000 men from Judah are killed. Then God tells the rest of the Israelites to try again, and 18,000 more (non-Benjamite) men are killed. God tells them to try one more time, because they will actually succeed this time, and 25,000 Benjamites are killed and their cities are burned. 600 Benajmites flee for their lives.
God allowed more good guys to be killed than rapist protectors. Seriously? My head hurts from how bizarre tonight’s chapters are.
Also, verse 16, “Among all this people were seven hundred select men who were left-handed; every one could sling a stone at a hair’s breadth and not miss.” This is the second time that lefties have been singled out as really good fighters- the first being Ehud, the guy who killed fat king Eglon earlier in Judges. Anybody have any idea why the Bible loves lefties?
Chapter 21- The people vow not to let their daughters intermarry with the remaining 600 Benjamites, so they have to figure out how to find wives for them. They decide that any people who didn’t join them in the assembly that day shall be killed, and have their virgins given to be wives for the men of Benjamin. The people from Jabesh Gilead weren’t in attendance that day, so the people go and kill all the men and non-virginal women, and give the 400 remaining virgin women as wives. This leaves 200 un-wifed Benjamites, and so the people allow those men to steal wives from amongst the daughters of the people of Shiloh, who are out dancing for a festival.
So, they’ve decided that it’s a bad thing to let their daughters marry the rapist protectors, which clearly means that the proper course of action is murder, kidnapping, and forced marriages!
If any of the fathers from Shiloh complain about their daughters being kidnapped, the people’s response was, “Be kind to them for our sakes, because we did not take a wife for any of them in the war; for it is not as though you have given the women to them at this time, making yourself guilty of your oath.” (22) Did you catch that? The fathers who had their daughters stolen should be grateful that they aren’t guilty of giving their daughters to a Benjamite. That’s Bible logic for you!
Hey look! I finished before midnight! Yeah!