Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Judges 16-21

The Facts (Chapter number: Verse)

16:1 - Samson went to Gaza and saw a prostitute and went into her.
16:4-22 - Samson fell in love with a woman in the valley of Sorek named Delilah. The lords of the Philistines heard of this and asked Delilah to cox Samson into telling her what make his strength so great and how he could be bound. So Delilah asks Samson and Samson tells her, "If they bind me with seven fresh bowstrings that are not dried out then I shall become weak, and be like anyone else." So Delilah was brought seven fresh bowstrings and bound Samson. When he was bound she cried out, "The Philistines are upon you, Samson!" And Samson broke out of the bowstrings as if they were nothing. Delilah tells Samson that he has mocked her by telling her lies and asks again for him to tell her how to bind him. Samson says, "If they bind me with new ropes that have not been used then I shall become weak and be like anyone else." The Philistines bring Delilah the rope and she binds Samson again. She cries out to him and Samson breaks through the rope as if it was nothing. Delilah again bemoans that Samson has mocked her and told her lies and asks again to know how he can be bound. Samson tells her, "If you weave the seven locks of my head with the web and make them tight with the pin I shall become weak and be like anyone else." So while he slept Delilah wove the seven locks of his head. Once finished she cries out and Samson breaks free again, as if nothing was holding him at all. Delilah asks how Samson can say he loves her when he keeps lying to her and mocking her. Finally, after she nags him day after day he gives in and tells her, "If my head were shaved then my strength would leave my. I would become weak and like anyone else." Delilah goes to tell the Philistines to lie in wait, and while he slept in her lap a Philistine cut the hairs on Samson's head, and his strength did leave him. Delilah calls out once more and Samson awoke, not knowing the Lord had left him. The Philistines seize Samson and gouge out his eyes. He is shackled and forced to grind at the mill in prison as his hair slowly grows back.
16:27 - The house where people watched Samson perform was filled with men and women, all the lords of Philistine were there and about 3,000 men and women were on the roof to watch Samson perform.

17:1-5 - A man in Ephraim named Micah said to his mother, "The eleven hundred pieces of silver that were taken from you, about which you uttered a curse, and even spoke about within my hearing - that silver is in my possession. I took it but now I will return it to you." The mother cried, "May my son be blessed by the Lord!" When the mother received the silver pieces she had two hundred pieces cast into an idol, and it was in the house of Micah.

Judges 18 - No mention of any women.

19:1-9 - A certain Levite took a concubine from Bethlehem to Judah. But his concubine became angry with him and went away from him to her father's home at Bethlehem in Judah and was there for four months. Her husband set out to speak to her and bring her back. The girls father met him when he arrived and made him stay, so the husband stayed three days. On the fourth day the husband made to leave and the girl's father asked him to stay and fortify himself with food, and as the day got dark the husband stayed another night. The same happened on the fifth day when the husband rose to leave, but the husband did not stay this time and left with his servant and concubine.
19:19 - The husband meets a man in Gibeah and tells the man that he has straw for his donkeys and bread and wine for him, his servant and his concubine. He does not need more. The man from Gibeah offers him a place to stay.
19:24-30 - While staying with the Gibeah man a bunch of men come and demand to have sex with the husband. The Gibeah man offers the mob his virgin daughters and the husband's concubine, as long as they leave the husband alone. But the men would not listen so the Gibeah man took the concubine and threw her outside. The men raped and abused her all night until the morning. As the dawn broke they let her go, and the woman went to the Gibeah man's doorstep and fell down. In the morning her master found her on the doorstep. He tells her to get up, and when she doesn't answer he puts her on the back of a donkey and sets out for his home. When he has entered his house he takes a knife and cuts his concubine into twelve parts and sent her throughout the territory of Israel.

20:4-6 - The man tells the people of God what happened. How he stayed with the man from Gibeah, how the men intended to kill him and how they raped his concubine until she died, and how he took her body and cut it into twelve pieces and sent them throughout Israel, for a vile act had been committed.

21:1 - The Israelites swear at Mizpah that no one of them shall give his daughter in marriage to a Benjamin.
21:7 - The Israelites wonder what to do for wives for those Benjamin who are left, since they swore they would not give their daughters in marriage to them.
21:10-12 - The Israelites go to Jabesh-gilead and kill the inhabitants, including the women and children. And every woman who had lain with a man is killed, which left 400 young virgins, which they brought back to the camp at Shiloh.
21:14 - They gave the women to Benjamin but they did not suffice for them.
21:16-18 - Again the Israelites wonder what they should do for wives for the Benjamin since they swore to not give them their daughters in marriage but they did not want a tribe of the Lord to vanish.
21:20-23 - The Israelites tell Benjamin to lie in wait in a vineyard and watch while a festival goes on in Bethel. And when the women come out to dance the Benjamin may take a wife as they see fit. And if the fathers or brothers complain to the Israelites the Israelites will just say, "Be generous and allow them to have them because we did not capture in battle a wife for each man. But neither did you incur guilt by giving your daughters to them." The Benjamins did this and took wives for each of them from the dancers they abducted.

My Comments

I'm not feeling well so this will be very short since it took so long to write all the notes for these chapters.

First I will just say that these sections have made me about as furious as the rape laws did in Deuteronomy.

In the Delilah story the Bible once again says that she "nagged" Samson. Samson's previous wife "nagged" him as well about the riddle. Is this a translator choice? Because it just kinda rubs me the wrong way when it describes her as "nagging" Samson.

Delilah may not be the best spy in the world, but Samson has to be dumb as mud to fall for it. Even if it took him days before he finally caved in and told her. How stupid to you get, she was obviously setting him up.

Nice to see that the trading your daughters and women to save a male guest is apparently a normal custom. Except this time, unlike in Soddom, the woman thrown outside actually dies from being raped. And yeah, the husband didn't do it himself but did he put up a fight? Sounds like the owner of the house threw his concubine outside and he just kinda shrugged and was like "Oh well." Seriously, after she was thrown outside and raped to death he only stumbled upon her body because he was just planning on taking a stroll outside. He doesn't even seem to be phased by this since he tells her corpse to get up so they can go. I mean what the fuck?! He could have done something about this, but instead he left his concubine to the crazed men outside to have their way with her. And the best part is how he takes her corpse home and then cuts it into twelve pieces. What kind of person does that? And all of this is apparently okay, as he tells the Israelites this story later, with no real changes, and they get super pissed for him to. It just makes me so angry. How worthless is a woman's life to these men?! Just how worthless does a woman have to be where her being thrown out to an angry mob of horny men is no cause for alarm but her husband/master. Where her abused lifeless body is ordered to get up and go before asked if she is okay. Before any comfort or solace is offered to her.

What kind of book is this where when a tribe of Israel is slaughtered that the next logical step is to steal women from a neighboring town so that they can take them as wives. Where it is okay for men to kidnap women in order to force them into marriage and rape them.

Seriously, not a book I want around. And definitely not a book I would hold up as my source of morals. Not in any sense of the word. I don't care if it has a few nice fluffy passages of some substance. Those fluffy passages are drowning in rape and slaughter and immorality that is often endorsed by the God people hold up to be the ultimate source of goodness and love.

There may not be a post tomorrow if I start feeling any worse. This kind of frustration takes too much out of me.

Tomorrow (possibly): Ruth

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