March 17th

Judges 19-21

  • 19:1 – Stories continue to be started with the phrase, “when there was no king in Israel”. Remember: God didn’t want Israel to have a human king- God was their king. So, for there to be no king in Israel means that God is no longer there- because Israel has rejected the authority of God, Israel no longer has any sort of moral guidance.
  • 19:22-26 – This is almost identical to the story in Genesis 19 about Sodom and Gomorrah and the townsmen trying to have sex with the visiting angels. In that story, the angels prevent Lot from sending his daughters out to be raped- the implication being that it’s not acceptable to God to allow such a fate to happen to anyone. The Levite, who, being a religious leader, should have known this, clearly missed the point- this highlights just how evil the Israelites have become.
  • 19:27-30 – Obviously a very disturbing story, the Levite dismembers his dead concubine and sends pieces to every tribe, demanding justice while ignoring his own complicity in her death and never once showing any grief or remorse. Again- this story is here to show how evil Israel has become.
  • 20:23 – The first time in the whole ordeal when someone calls on God for direction.
  • 21:25—This verse is the interpretive key for the whole book of Judges- because Israel has rejected the kingship of God, and everyone is doing what’s right in their own eyes, they’ve descended into chaos, violence, and an evil way of life.

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