1st Samuel 13-14

Chapter 13- Saul and his son Jonathan gather 3000 men to fight the Philistines. They are vastly outnumbered, though, and end up scattering in fear. Saul waits for Samuel to arrive, but when he doesn’t show up on time, Saul goes ahead and offers a burnt offering. Samuel shows up and gets mad at Saul for not following God’s commands, and tells Saul that his kingdom will not continue. Philistine raiders come to attack the Israelites, who have no swords or spears.

Apparently during the Philistine occupation, the Israelites weren’t allowed to have blacksmiths. The Philistines feared that they would make swords and spears to attack with (rightfully so, it seems). Any time they needed an ax or sickle sharpened, the Israelites would have to pay the Philistine blacksmiths to do it for them. So, this leaves our Israelites in bad shape when it comes to fighting their overlords.

I was curious how the previous battles with the Philistines had been won if the people didn’t have any weapons, but upon skimming back over the previous chapters in 1st Samuel I realized that the Israelites haven’t really won any battles recently. God thundered away the bad guys in chapter 7, but otherwise the Israelites have been losing a lot of fights as of late.

Also, I don’t really understand what Saul did that displeased God. Offering a burnt offering instead of waiting for Samuel to do it? But Samuel was late, and he’s not a Levite either, so what makes one non-Levite burnt offering less wrath-inducing than another?

Chapter 14- Jonathan and his armor bearer decide to go fight the Philistines without telling Saul what they’re doing. They kill about 20 men. When Saul and the people with him hear the ruckus coming from the Philistine camp, they join the fight. Saul threatens to curse any man who eats anything before the battle is won, but Jonathan didn’t hear him say that, and he eats some honey. This encourages other men to slaughter animals and eat them as well. Saul is going to follow through on his curse and Jonathan killed for eating, but the people protest and save Jonathan. Saul goes on to battle the Philistines and other assorted bad guys and defeat them/plunder them.

Verse 20, “Then Saul and all the people who were with him assembled, and they went to the battle; and indeed every man’s word was against his neighbor; and there was very great confusion.” And where, pray tell, did these men get swords? In that last chapter they didn’t have any, and now they all have one? Or maybe this means that the Philistines were confused and attacked each other. That makes more sense perhaps… I sure wish the Bible could be more clear (and learn to properly use semicolons!)

Saul, this man appointed by God Himself, thinks that the moral thing to do is kill his own son for eating honey. The people, who have a track record of being wicked in the eyes of God here lately, are the ones that see fit to save Jonathan. Remind me again how following God makes people more moral?

ImageAnd speaking of stupid ideas Saul had- what’s up with not letting your army eat. Why would you want to starve your fighters? I guess I could see meal time being a distraction during battle, but I suspect that really hungry people aren’t going to be in their best fighting form either.



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1st Samuel 9-12

Chapter 9- Kish the Benjamite has a very handsome son named Saul. Kish’s donkeys get lost, and so he sends Saul and a servant to look for them. Saul doesn’t have any luck locating them, so the servant suggests they go speak with a man of God for guidance where they might be. This man of God just so happens to be Samuel, who had received a message from God the day before that the Benjamite who comes to see him should be anointed as commander over Israel. Samuel takes Saul to a feast, and gives him choice portions of food, then sends the servant away so that he may tell Saul the word of God.

Verse 2, “And he [Kish] had a choice and handsome son whose name was Saul. There was not a more handsome person than he among the children of Israel. From his shoulders upward he was taller than any of the people.” Makes me wonder what they considered handsome back then. Too bad cameras didn’t exist yet. Or more detailed accounts of what Saul looked like. I’m curious.

Chapter 10- Samuel anoints Saul, then tells him where to go to receive some messages, prophesy for a bit, then meet up with Samuel again. Things happen as Samuel said they would. Saul runs in to his uncle who asks where he’s been. Saul says he was looking for the donkeys, but doesn’t mention the whole getting anointed bit. Then Samuel presents Saul to the people as their king, and gives the people a book about the behavior of royalty. Some people aren’t happy about Saul being king.


Samuel anoints Saul, from the Maciejowski Bible circa 1250.

I have to wonder if Saul realized what was going on. It kinda went from “Where are my donkeys?” to “Let’s eat dinner” to “Go prophesy for a bit” to “Oh, by the way, you’re king now.”

This story of how Saul comes to be the king reminds me of Monty Python and the Holy Grail:

King Arthur: The Lady of the Lake, her arm clad in the purest shimmering samite, held aloft Excalibur from the bosom of the water, signifying by divine providence that I, Arthur, was to carry Excalibur. That is why I am your king.
Dennis the Peasant: Listen. Strange women lying in ponds distributing swords is no basis for a system of government. Supreme executive power derives from a mandate from the masses, not from some farcical aquatic ceremony.
Arthur: Be quiet!
Dennis the Peasant: You can’t expect to wield supreme power just ’cause some watery tart threw a sword at you!

Chapter 11- Nahash the Ammonite comes to Jabesh Gilead and threatens to put out everyone’s right eye. Saul threatens to kill the oxen of anyone who won’t go to battle against the Ammonites. Lots of people show up for battle, they defeat the Ammonites, and now the people all recognize Saul as king.

At least, that’s my best guess as to what happened in this chapter. The Bible’s editor did a poor job when it comes to story flow and continuity, and this chapter was particularly hard to parse.

Verse 8 is of interest to me, as it lists 300,000 fighters from Israel, and 30,000 from Judah. From my church-going childhood, I remember that the people eventually end up with two main kingdoms, Israel and Judah, and I had been wondering how they transitioned from 12 tribes to two kingdoms. This is the first indication I’ve noticed of that shift occurring.

Chapter 12- Samuel speaks to the people and basically washes his hands of the fact that he anointed Saul as king. He again tells them that they are wicked for asking for a king, but that if they are faithful to God their king will lead them well. Then he has God deliver a thunderstorm as a sign to make the people fearful.

And that’s all I have to say about that.

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Ist Samuel 4-8

I did not do my Bible reading/ blog post yesterday… I was off hiking, crawling into crevices, getting rained on, eating pickle flavored chips, enjoying pleasant company, and generally having a way better time than the Bible can provide.

ImageBut I’m back now, so let’s do this.

Chapter 4- The Philistines attack the Israelites and kill 3000 men. The Israelites decide to take the ark of the covenant into battle with them so God will protect them, but the Philistines still win. They kill 30,000 men, including the two sons of Eli the priest, and capture the ark. One man steals away from the battle and brings the news to Eli, who is so shocked he keels over dead. The news also sends Eli’s daughter-in-law into labor, which kills her. Her son, Ichabod survives.

I feel badly for little Ichabod. His name means “Inglorious” and he is named such because of the capture of the ark. What a heavy thing to saddle a kid with.

Chapter 5- The Philistines put the ark in the temple of Dagon (one of their idols). The next morning, Dagon is face down in front of the ark. They set him back up, but then next day he has fallen over again and his hands and head have broken off. The ark gets shuffled between 5 different cities, but every city where the Philistines try to store the ark gets plagued with tumors and rats.

The footnotes here say that the “tumors” might have been bubonic plague. For what that’s worth. It only serves to make the next chapter a little more confusing, though.

Chapter 6- The Philistines decide to send the ark back to the Israelites, along with a trespass offering. They make five golden tumors and golden rats, include them with the ark on cart attached to two young milk cows. They separate the calves from the mother cows as a test to see if God was responsible for the bad things that keep happening to them. The cows go to Beth Shemesh (back to the Israelites) instead of toward their calves. The people of Beth Shemesh are happy to have the ark back, and they turn the cart and cows into a burnt offering to God. However, they also looked in the ark, which displeased God, so He killed 50,070 of them. They ask the people of Kirjath Jearim to come get the ark.

So, golden tumors and rats are a thing. That’s weird in and of itself, but then when you consider that “tumors” might mean “bubonic plague”… how do you make a golden bubonic plague? Maybe the swollen lymph nodes that often accompany the plague.

Image“Now therefore, make a new cart, take two milk cows which have never been yoked, and hitch the cows to the cart; and take their calves home, away from them. Then take the ark of the lord and set it on the cart; and put the articles of gold which you are returning to Him as a trespass offering in a chest by its side. Then send it away, and let it go. And watch: if it goes up the road to its own territory, to Beth Shemesh, then He has done us this great evil. But if not, then we shall know that it is not His hand that struck us– it happened to us by chance.” (7-9)

This confused me. At first I thought that “if it goes up the road to it’s own territory” meant if the cows go home to their calves, but I think it is referring to if the ark returns back to the Israelites. It kinda has to mean that, since the cows went to the Israelites instead of to their calves. Oh Bible and your vague pronouns.

The Philistines killed 33,000 Israelties before stealing the ark. God killed 50,000+ Israelites for looking in the ark. Who’s the bigger bad buy here?

Chapter 7- The men of Kirjath Jearim come and get the ark, and consecrate Eleazar son of Abinadab to be its care taker. Samuel convinces the Israelites to repent and get rid of their false gods. Next time the Philistines attack, God helps the Israelites defeat them. Samuel was judge to the Israelites for for the rest of his life.

Wanna know how the Israelites were able to defeat the Philistines? Verse 10, “But the Lord thundered with a loud thunder upon the Philistines that day, and so confused them that they were overcome before Israel.” That must have been some serious thunder to be able confuse a whole army.

Chapter 8- When Samuel gets old, he appoints his sons as judges over Israel. They turn out to be dishonest and the people come to Samuel to ask for a king instead. Samuel asks God if he should, and God has him tell the people what bad things a king will do in the land. The people still want a king. God tells Samuel to go ahead and give them a king.

Back in the book of Judges, when things started to get really whack at the end, the excuse the Bible gives for the Israelites egregious behavior is that “in those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.” But here we are told that a king is a bad idea. I don’t think both of those statements can be true.

I was going to go ahead and do the next section of 1st Samuel, to make up for slacking yesterday. But I think 5 chapters in one day is sufficient, and I’ll survive being a day behind.

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1st Samuel 1-3

Happy Friday, ya’ll!

Chapter 1- Elkanah the Ephraimite has two wives; Peninnah who has several children, and Hannah who is barren (but also Elkanah’s favorite wife.) When they go to the temple to make a yearly offering, Hannah crys, prays, begs God for a son, and promises to dedicate him to God after he is born. The priest Eli sees her in her sad, prayerful state and accuses her of being drunk, but then blesses her when he learns what is really going on. She does conceive, and gives birth to a son named Samuel. After he is weaned, she takes him to the house of the Lord in Shiloh, makes sacrifices and dedicates Samuel to God.

I’m noticing a theme with the barren wife being the favorite wife. It happened with Rachel/Leah/Jacob as well. I guess God uses babies a consolations prizes for unloved wives.

I’m also noticing a trend that people didn’t deal with multiple marriages very well back in the day. “And [Hannah’s] rival [Peninnah] also provoked her severely, to make her miserable, because the Lord had closed her womb. So it was, year by year, when she went up to the house of the Lord, that she provoked her; therefore she wept and did not eat.” (6,7) Look, I understand that women didn’t really have any say in this multiple marriage business, but I think they could’ve made better use of the bad situation. Is it really a good plan to be a jerk to your barren, and obviously grieving, sister wife? I don’t think so. Let’s try to be friends.

After we finally get gay marriage fully legalized, I think multiple marriages will be one of the next issues to come up in society. So, let me be an equality hipster, and go on the record as supporting polyamorous marriages before it’s cool to do so. But, I think it needs to be a hell of a lot more consensual than the multiple marriages of the Bible.

Chapter 2- Hannah prays, then she and Elkanah leave Samual at the house of God and go home. Hannah goes on to have 3 more sons and 2 daughters. The sons of Eli the priest are corrupt and are taking more of the sacrificial meat for themselves than they should be. A man of God comes to Eli and rebukes him for this, and tells him that God will raise up a new priest  to serve and that Eli’s family will have to beg for food from the new priest after they have been removed from power. All this time Samuel is growing up in the temple and is being a faithful person.

In verse 25, Eli attempts to chastise his sons for their wicked ways: “‘If one man sins against another, God will judge him. But if a man sins against the Lord, who will intercede for him?’ Nevertheless they did not heed the voice of their father; because the Lord desired to kill them.”  They did not listen because their rebellion was part of God’s plan to kill them. Yay free will!

Chapter 3- God calls out to Samuel. Samuel thinks it’s Eli, and goes to him. Eli tells him to go back to bed. The third time this happens, Eli realizes it’s God calling the boy, and tells Samuel to answer God next time it happens. God tells Samuel that he plans to destroy the house of Eli. The next day, Eli asks to hear what vision God gave Samuel, so he hesitantly tells Eli about it. From that time on, God is with Samuel, and he becomes known in the land as a prophet.


“Go back to bed, kid.”

“So Samuel grew, and the Lord was with him and let none of his words fall to the ground.” (19) I like that. Very poetic.

Aaand, that’s all I have to say about that. I’ve entered back in to relatively familiar biblical territory, so nothing terribly surprising happened today.


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Ruth 1-4

Today we’re doing the whole book of Ruth…4 chapters…2 pages…

While I’m happy to be marking another book off my to-do list, I’m seriously disappointed that there are only two books in the whole Bible named after a woman, and this one is only 2 measly pages.

Chapter 1- There is a famine in the land, so Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons move to Moab. Elimelech dies. The sons take wives, Orpah and Ruth, then they both die. Naomi decides to move back to Bethlehem in Judah, and tells her daughters-in-law to move back in with their mothers and try again to find a husband. Orpah does, but Ruth says she plans to stay with Naomi no matter what. Naomi decided to change her name to Mara (which means bitter) because her husband and sons are dead. When they arrive in Bethlehem, it is the time of the barley harvest.

After Naomi renames herself Mara, the Bible continues to refer to her as Naomi. What was the point of including that tidbit, if we aren’t going to respect her name choice?

I feel like there needs to be a mother-in-law joke in here somewhere. But, how to do you hate on a mother-in-law that is apparently so awesome that Ruth would rather move to another country with her than return home? Or maybe Ruth’s actual family is really awful…

Chapter 2- Boaz is a relative of Elimelech, and Ruth decides to go glean barley from his field during the harvest. Boaz takes a liking to her, and tells his servants to leave some extra grain behind for her, as well as offers her lunch. Some very conservative flirting passes between Ruth and Boaz. Ruth works really hard and gathers a lot of barley. Naomi is happy to see how much grain Ruth brought home.

I don’t have much to say about this. It’s a sweet story so far. I’m certainly happy for the break from reading about people being murdered.

Chapter 3- Naomi tells Ruth to sneak onto the threshing floor that night, and after Boaz has laid down, to uncover his feet and wait for instructions. Boaz say that there is another close relative of Elimelech whose duty it would be to care for Ruth, but if that man won’t do it, he would be happy to. Then he gives her all the grain she can carry home. Ruth goes and tells Naomi about all this, and together they wait to see what will happen.


“Then it shall be, when he lies down, that you shall notice the place where he lies; and you shall go in, uncover his feet, and lie down; and he will tell you what to do.” (4) When I first read this, I was expecting some wanton seduction to go down. The rest of the chapter, however, makes it seem more innocent. Boaz wakes up and notices Ruth lying at his feet. They talk some, and then he refers to her as “a virtuous woman” (verse 11). But then he advises her to sneak out of the threshing floor so nobody knows there was a woman there.

I was going to write it off as weird, but innocent flirting, until I Google’d it. There’s a lot of talk on the internet that “feet” is a Hebrew euphemism for genitalia. Some seem to think that laying down at a man’s (actual) feet was a way to propose marriage. Which happened here? I don’t know. I suspect no hanky panky happened, since women who have sex don’t get called “virtuous” in the Bible, like, ever.

From my previous understanding of this story, I remembered Boaz as some super romantic figure. But now that I’ve read the previous books of the Old Testament, I happen to know that the next of kin marrying a widow was required. If you remember, Onan died because he wouldn’t impregnate his brother’s widow…so…Boaz seems less romantic in light of that.

Chapter 4- Boaz goes and talks to the other close relative, and offers him the opportunity to buy the land and Ruth from Naomi. The relative declines, so Boaz now gets the land and Ruth as a wife. She bears a son, whom Naomi nurses, and the neighbor women name Obed. Then there is a genealogy from Perez through David.

I think Boaz was playing sneaky to get to keep Ruth for himself. He first tells this other guy that the should buy the land from Naomi, and the guy agrees. Then Boaz adds, “Oh, btdubs, you have to deal with Ruth the widow as well.” At which point the other guy backs out. Shady tactics, perhaps, but I won’t deny that I was rooting for Boaz.


I’ll admit this makes me chuckle, but I think it gets the story all wrong. Ruth didn’t wait patiently for Boaz, she snuck into the threshing floor, undressed him, and proposed. She went after what she wanted.

They make it pretty clear here that the son Boaz gives Ruth is actually to carry on the name of her dead husband, but then in the genealogy at the end of the chapter, it’s Boaz that is listed, not the first husband…so…I guess it was only a passing nod to the dead guy?

Verse 16, “Then Naomi took the child and laid him on her bosom, and become a nurse to him.” I know that induced lactation is possible without having recently had a child, but I’m still skeptical that it happened here.

Also, I’m annoyed that as soon as the baby is out, Ruth doesn’t get mentioned any more. It suddenly becomes Naomi’s baby, she nurses it, and the neighbor women name it. What happened to the person attached to the womb that gave life to the kid? Huh?

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Judges 19-21

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!


Unsuspecting dancers at Shiloh


And the Benjamites stealing the women.

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!

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Judges 16-18

Chapter 16- The conclusion of the Samson story. While he is sleeping with a harlot, the Gazites decide to wait for him at the gates of the city to kill him in the morning. In the middle on the night, Samson gets up and tears apart the gates. Later he falls in love with Delilah. Philistines bribe her to give them the secret of Samson’s strength so they can defeat him. Samson lies to her 3 times- so each time she ineffectually ties him up, the Philistines arrive, and Samson hulks out and defeats them. Finally he admits that his hair is the source of his strength; and Delilah and the Philistines shave his head in his sleep. The Philistines then poke his eyes out and take him captive. They have Samson perform for them for entertainment, but one day (after his hair has grown back out some), Samson regains his strength and knocks down a temple on top of himself and thousands of Philistines. He dies with them.

I’m still amazed that hair cutting is what ultimately breaks the Nazirite oath, and not murder or sleeping with multiple women. 

So, three times Samson tells Delilah that being tied up a certain way will sap his powers and then allows himself to be tied up that way. She obviously didn’t over power him to tie him up, what with Samson being the strongest person ever, so I’m thinking he was into a little bondage play.

Verse 15, “Then she said to him, ‘How can you say, ‘I love you,’ when your heart is not with me? You have mocked me these three times, and have not told me where your great strength lies.'” She’s joking right? Every time he’s told her where his strength supposedly comes from, she’s had the Philistines lie in wait to ambush him…so, who doesn’t love whom here?

I’m pretty amazed he actually gave up the secret, although it does say “Then she lulled him to sleep on her knees.” (19) So maybe she had certain skills to persuade him to give up that information, if you catch my drift.


Samson and Delilah, Guercino

Chapter 17- I don’t even know what just happened here, but I’ll try to recap it as best as I understand it. This guy named Micah had stolen some money from his mother, but returned it to her. She took part of it and had it turned into an idol for Micah. An unnamed Levite was traveling through town, and Micah convinced him to move in and be the personal priest to Micah’s household.

Back in chapter 16, the Philistines who bribed Delilah each offered her 1,100 pieces of silver, which just so happens to be the amount of money that Micah had stolen from his mother. So, I guess he was supposed to have been one of the guys who bribed Delilah? But those people were Philistines, and Micah is from Ephraim. Maybe the amount of money was just a confusing coincidence? I have no idea.

And, he has a silver idol in his house, but expects God to bless him for having his own Levite priest? I’m predict that this won’t turn out well. Although, Micah is the name of a book of the Bible, so who knows. Same Micah? Different Micah? I honestly don’t remember this story from my childhood church days, so I guess we’ll find out together!

Chapter 18- The Danites don’t have a place to live (because, if you remember, the natives had driven them out of their promised land) and so they go off in search of a place to claim. One of their scouts find the house of Micah, where the priest blesses the Danites and says they will be successful. Then 600 armed, ready for war Danites show up at Micah’s house and steal his idols and convince the priest to come work for them. They go attack the city of Laish and overtake/claim it, and rename it “Dan.” They set up the false idols for themselves, and Jonathan and his sons act as priests for the Danites.

So, I guess the unnamed priest was Jonathan?

I’m still really confused as to what’s going on here. They rebuked Micah for having idols…but then then stole them and kept them as their own, going so far as to set them up and worship them in their new city? What’s going on?

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