Friday, February 15, 2013

Judges 1-10

I read WAY more than that this week, but considering how long it's been since i've done one of these posts and how much reading i've done (and how boring most of it was; i can't even express how glad i am to be done with Deuteronomy and Joshua and all the other reviews of the Law), i'm just starting with Judges, because i like Judges. It has lots of awesome stories, like Gideon (which is full of Gideon testing God and God testing people and people playing crazy pranks on one another that win wars for them).

Chapter four of Judges has one of my favorite stories, about a woman named Deborah who was really kick-ass and a man named Barak who was a pussy.

Deborah was a prophet and a judge of Israel. Barak was a commander in the Israelite army, who were at war with Canaan. Deborah spoke to Barak, and told him that God wanted him to go to battle and that the Canaanite commander (Sisera) would be delivered into his hand. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went with him. vs. 9 "So she said, 'I will surely go with you; nevertheless there will be no glory for you in the journey you are taking, for the Lord will sell Sisera into the hand of a woman.'" Sure enough, Deborah lured Sisera into a tent and kept watch while Jael, the wife of one of the soldiers, drove a tent peg through his temple and into the ground. Two women teamed up to kill him, and no men were involved at all.

And in Judges 9:53-54, we get a tiny little story about the death of a corrupt king of Israel named Abimelech. There was an uprising, and Abimelech, fighting for his life, was driven back against a tower. A woman dropped a millstone on his head, crushing his skull. He lived long enough to ask his armorbearer to drive a sword through him, so that no one would say that a woman killed him.

I hope you see the irony of that. Abimelech's story is only 57 verses long, and two of those verses are about him being killed by a woman. She's not even named; she wasn't an important person in her own right, like Deborah, or the wife of someone important. The text just calls her "a certain woman". His death may have been accelerated by a young man, but it was unquestionably caused by a woman. It's like she shot him, and he was in the hospital on life support, and his assistant pulled the plug. Still killed by a woman, Abimelech! Still counts!

Go ahead and tell me how clear the Bible is that women should submit quietly to men.

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