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Judges

Introduction

Deuteronomy is a warning that possession of the promised land is absolutely dependent on our continuing to live by every Word of God, while Joshua is a lesson that it is through faith and a diligent living by every Word of God that the enemy of sin and Satan is conquered.

There are three books of Judges:  Judges, Ruth and the combined book of the last judge Samuel.

The books of Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are a history of what happens when we are zealous to live by every Word of God, and what happens when we fall into idolatry exalting anyone or anything above the Word of Almighty God. 

The first king of Israel, Saul, was the people’s choice for God gave them a worldly kind of political king who catered to the whims of the people and did what he thought was right instead of living by every Word of God.  

King  Saul was then contrasted to king David who was the choice of Almighty God because he tried to live by every Word of God in spite of making occasional errors.  The book of Ruth is an introduction to this godly king called David.

The first two chapters of Judges are largely a recap and expansion on the last few chapters of Joshua, explaining the situation in Palestine around the time of the death of Joshua and the transition into the period of the Judges.

During all the days of the leadership of Joshua, and the days of those that he had taught; the people followed Christ as Joshua did. Joshua was a godly man and after he died many ungodly men led people away from God in this history, and in the modern COG constellation.

The Canaanites were a type of sin and when Israel failed to drive them out they fell into their ways. This was recorded for our instruction, that we are to work diligently to drive all sin out of our lives and to follow the whole Word of God, not compromising and not tolerating any sin.

Leaders make a profound impression on the people, and people will largely follow the physical leader for good or evil. Remember this natural tendency and prove the words of men by the whole Word of God; to follow men only as they follow God!

Judges is an historical lesson for us that when we are zealous for God he will be zealous to deliver us; and when we are lax to follow God and to keep his Word; God will turn away from us.

Judges 1

Judah and Simeon go up to occupy the land given to them.

Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? 1:2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. 1:3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.

The Canaanites and those who lived in the land were extremely wicked, and were used as a type of sin. Many have said that Egypt was a type of sin and that idea is wrong. Egypt was a type of BONDAGE, all the Egyptians not being destroyed; while the dwellers in Canaan were to be utterly destroyed as types of sin; as an example that we, spiritually and physically must also destroy all sin out of our lives.

1:4 And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. 1:5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 1:6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.

Judah and Simeon then did to Adonibezek what he had himself done to seventy kings. The word kings might be better translated today as rulers or leaders, since they ruled over cities and not great nations.

1:7 And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.

Jerusalem was taken and destroyed but not occupied.

1:8 Now the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

Judah and Simeon then went south to attack Hebron.

1:9 And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley. 1:10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.

Caleb’s portion

1:11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher: 1:12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.

Kenaz was Caleb’s younger brother and his son took the city and was given his cousin Achsah in marriage.

1:13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

1:14 And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou? 1:15 And she said unto him, Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.

The in-laws of Moses, then came and dwelt with and were grafted into Judah in the Negev.

1:16 And the children [descendants, family of] of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.

Judah and Simeon take the Negev and all the lands of the Philistines.

1:17 And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called Hormah. 1:18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

If we are zealous to follow and keep the whole Word of God; sin shall not have dominion over us; but we shall conquer sin through the Might of the God that we follow as he fights for us, and gives us the victory through his mighty deliverance!

Caleb the faithful, receives his promised inheritance

1:20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak [the physical giants].

Jerusalem which was given to Benjamin remained inhabited by the Jebusites to the day that this was written; later being taken by David the king and made teh royal capital city and the place of the Temple of God.

1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.

Judah and Simeon and Joseph and all Israel; were victorious as long as they remained faithful to live by every Word of God; it was when they began to turn away from zeal for the Eternal that they ran into trouble.

The same is true of the spiritually called out; as long as we are turned away from the Eternal to do as we think is right in our own eyes, we cannot overcome sin; it is only when we are zealous to follow the Eternal and to learn and to keep every Word of God, that we will be victorious over sin trough the power of our Mighty Deliverer!

1:22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them. 1:23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)

The man and his family who helped Joseph were saved alive and let go.

1:24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy. 1:25 And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family. 1:26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day [the day that this was written].

When Israel became strong they began to be filled with pride in their own greatness and began to defy God and they did not drive out the Canaanites but put them under tribute. They did not drive the type of sin out, but began to try  gain advantage from sin.

Jesus Christ then used the Canaanites [a type of sin] to test, try and prove Israel, as to their zeal for God. Even so; WE are also being tested as to our zeal to put out all sin and passionately keep the whole Word of God!

This is the same thing that has happened in the COG Groups as they have not utterly turned from sin, but put sin to tribute; seeking advantage from compromising with and allowing unrebuked sin.

1:27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 1:28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.

1:29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.

1:30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

1:31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob: 1:32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

1:33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.

1:34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley: 1:35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries. 1:36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

 

Judges 2

The messenger of God then pronounces sentence on Israel for breaking his covenant to obey God alone and to utterly destroy the Canaanites [the type of sin], and to zealously keep the Word of God.

The Ekklesia as organized groups, have also broken their baptismal covenant and turned away from zeal for the Word of God, into a zeal for their idols of men who teach them contrary to the Word of God.

Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said,

The question being asked of physical Israel here, is also being asked of the latter day spiritual Israel of the church of God groups. WHY are you zealous for your idols of men, and WHY are you not zealous to destroy all sin out of your midst to keep every Word of God,  asks the Eternal to the later day called out?

I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. 2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

Therefore the Canaanites will be as thorns among Israel to tempt them away from the Eternal; as the tolerated unrebuked and unrepentant sins in the Ekklesia today are separating them from the Eternal God in this end time.

2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

Israel repented in words only and not in deeds; Even so we today make a pretense of keeping the Word of God, while in actual deeds, we are doing our own ways.

2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. 2:5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.

Joshua lets the people go as he prepares to die

2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.

2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

The next generation turned from the Eternal into the sins of the Canaanites. For the Canaanites had been left in the land with their gods and sins, becoming a temptation to Israel to turn to their sins, just as the Ekklesia have been infected by and turned to worldliness today.

2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served [the sun god] Baal and Ashtaroth [Easter (Semiramis) his consort, today called Columbia or Liberty as well as Easter by the Anglo Saxon people].

Jesus Christ then corrected his people who had turned away from him; as he will correct spiritual Israel for our idols of men and corporate entities, for our tolerating of sin in our midst; and for our lack of zeal to learn and live by every Word of God.

As Christ corrected physical Israel, he will correct spiritual Israel.

2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

Christ then gave them judges [champions] from time to time, who would deliver the people and teach them the Word of God, and yet they continued in their sins, repenting in name and appearance only, while continuing their wicked deeds. Claiming to be righteous while continuing in rebellion against any practical zeal for keeping the Word of God.

They proclaimed themselves the people of God, while in their deeds they rebelled against God; just like the COG Groups of today.

2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. 2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

From time to time Christ did raise up champions in response to the cries of the people, but they quickly returned back to their sins after the judges were gone.

2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Each time a judge died the people corrupted themselves; as today most of the COG Groups are largely morally corrupt, rejecting any zeal to keep and live by every Word of God and tolerating sin within themselves.

2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

The anger of Jesus Christ was hot against the rebellious and lukewarm of Israel; as it is hot against us the later day called out, which he will cast out into the correction of great tribulation.

2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; 2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Christ used the Canaanites to prove and test the zeal and loyalty of Israel to God the Father and their covenant with him; even as Jesus Christ is TESTING US TODAY, to prove us, as to whether we will be zealous for our covenant with him to replace the old sinful man with zeal for the righteousness of the whole Word of God!

2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.

2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them [all of the Canaanites] into the hand of Joshua.

 

Judges 3

Before I continue let me say that we now live in a different dispensation then the period of the Mosaic Covenant. Physical Mosaic Covenant Israel was a national entity with a national religion, while other nations also had their national gods.

Jesus Christ as the God of Israel, was using Israel to demonstrate his might to all peoples, and the history of physical Mosaic Israel was recorded as object lessons for us as to our spiritual battle against all sin.

The entire history of physical Mosaic Israel in their struggles over physical opposition and sin, is a prophetic allegory of and instructions about, the struggle of spiritual Israel, of the spiritually called out with Satan and sin.

The New Covenant person is to understand that our struggle is not against flesh and blood; it against the spiritual powers in high places which manipulate and control men. We are to condemn the sin, and love the men; forgiving them but not tolerating any sin; we are to loudly and openly rebuke all sin.

Judges 3:1 Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; 3:2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;

God let five cities of the Philistines and many of the Canaanites and others that dwelt in the promised land remain to test and try the descendants of Israel who were born after the death of Joshua. Just as the spiritually called out are tested concerning our zeal to live by every Word of God.

3:3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. 3:4 And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

As physical Israel fell away from any zeal for God and turned to a zeal for their own ways and the pleasures of sin; the Church of God has done the same thing today.

3:5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: 3:6 And they took their [unconverted pagan] daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their [unconverted pagan] sons, and served their gods.

Even so, the called out of today have tried to marry the Word of God with pagan prophecies and teachings, cleaving to many false teachings, and rejecting any zeal for the Word of God; some even allowing marriages with the unconverted.

3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.

In Hebrew, Asherah (of which the plural is Asherim or Asheroth), refers to any idol, and especially refers to either a living tree representing vigorous life, or a tree-like pole, or column, set up as an object of worship, being symbolical of the male reproductive organ.

The word is often translated “green trees” or “grove.” God forbade all idolatry (Deut. 16: 21; cf. Num. 25: 3; Judg. 2: 11-13; 1 Sam. 7: 3-4; 1 Kgs. 11: 5; Isa. 17: 8; Micah 5: 12 ).

Groves were mainly upright poles; which were fertility symbols [the penis] of pagan sun worship based on fertility. In the pagan religion of Baal [worshipped by different names in Egypt, Greece, Rome and other lands] the winged serpent Satan was worshipped as the sun god who gave light and fertility to the earth.

Baal [Satan] was worshipped by fertility rites involving eggs, rabbits, evergreen trees [today the Christmas tree supposedly representing eternal life]  and poles. These groves were places of obelisks [when the king Nimrod died, his wife Semiramis make a pole to represent his phallic fertility remaining in the land]. Today these “groves” are common through the world as obelisks and in our churches are commonly known as steeples.

We are commanded not to gather to worship God near groves [which are steeples, idols [such as crosses, religious pictures, statues or obelisks or any pagan symbols]; this forbids meeting in any place having these pagan objects including mainstream church’s and Masonic Temples.

This is utterly forbidden by the Word of God; and so is the spiritual idolizing of men and corporate churches as being in authority between men and God.

It was because of the sins of Israel in turning away from any zeal for the Word of God [especially idolatry and Sabbath pollution and marrying the unconverted; which are common sins in the Ekklesia today] that they were allowed to fall before their enemies.

Here we have mention of one of the first great and powerful Mesopotamian rulers. God used this king to correct Israel and they were laid under tribute to him for eight years.

This was Jesus Christ correcting physical Israel; how much more will he correct spiritual Israel who are supposed to have his spirit and are supposed to know better than physical Israel?

3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim[interpreted, as “man from Cush”] king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.

When the people cried out [repented], God used the nephew of righteous Caleb to deliver them.

3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

Othniel was a faithful man on whom God placed his Spirit; the Holy Spirit has been given to certain called out people since righteous Abel!

3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. 3:11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

And as soon as this righteous leader died; Israel fell right back into her sins!  Her repentance only being a reaction to the correction, and not genuinely sincere.

This reminds me of fastings in today’s assemblies; whenever they feel troubled, desiring a relief from their trouble, but not willing to change their behavior towards a zeal to live by every Word of God. Their fastings are all about selfishness,  me, myself and I, and what we want; and have nothing to do with sincere repentance and doing what God teaches us to do.

Moab, Ammon and the Amalekites are then allowed by Christ to discomfit and correct Israel.

3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. 3:13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees [by Jericho].

3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

Christ then raises up Ehud who killed Eglon of Moab.

3:15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.

3:16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length [about 18 inches long from the tip of the blade to the tip of the handle]; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh. 3:17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. 3:18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.

Ehud asks to tell Eglon a secret in privacy; and uses the opportunity to kill him in private.

3:19 But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.

Consider the courage of Ehud who stood alone and slew the oppressor alone in his own chambers! Yet he was not alone for Jesus Christ was with him and had called upon him to do this astounding act; just as God the Father has called each of us to Jesus Christ to follow HIM, to trust in HIM and to be strong and of good courage to do whatever he commands us.

As Ehud and Joshua were men of COURAGE to destroy sin and to do the will of God; let each of us have the courage to take a stand and keep the Word of God with our all our hearts and minds and strength, in our Deliverer!

3:20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

3:21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: 3:22 And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.

3:23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them. 3:24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet [relieves himself] in his summer chamber. 3:25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.

3:26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.

Ehud then sounded the alarm and call to war; proclaiming that Eglon was dead and they should rise up and fight to throw off the yoke of bondage. Even so, the spiritually called out are to sincerely repent of their idolatry and sin; and rise up and fight valiantly to throw off the yoke of sin; overcoming sin by the Mighty One of Jacob!

3:27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.

3:28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.

3:29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty [strong courageous young men], and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man. 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.

The next judge was Shamgar the son of Anath

3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

 

Judges 4

After Ehud and Shamgar, the people again fell into sin and Jesus afflicted them for their backsliding and covenant breaking by the Canaanite Sisera, until they cried out to God.

Judges 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles.

Israel was then oppressed twenty years under the very heavy yoke of Jabin and Sisera.

4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.

Now Deborah a woman was very zealous for the whole Word of God and became known throughout the nation as a person filled with the wisdom of God and the people looked to her for God had called her to be a prophetess.

Deborah as a woman, could not be a priest or officiate over sacrifices or over formal commanded assemblies; she could take a Nazarite vow to dedicate herself to serve God; and God could call her as one of his prophets, to declare unto the nation the Word of God, and she could teach and judge the people.

God calls his prophets from the lowly [and often calls women as prophetesses] to communicate with the leaders of the brethren; and very often also calls them to humble the priests and Levites, the elders and leaders; to correct them because they are not doing their jobs in teaching a zeal for the Word of God.

The Word of God teaches that a woman may not officiate in solemn assembly; that does not mean that women cannot be called to the office of prophetesses, to communicate the Word of God to the elders and brethren; or to be leaders and teachers.

They simply cannot usurp the functions of the priesthood in officiating over commanded assemblies and formal services. Nevertheless a woman is always under the authority of her husband as long as he lives. We can therefore say that the husband of Deborah, Lapidoth, was probably also a godly person.

4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.

Jesus Christ sends a message through Deborah to Barak. Notice that Deborah is the messenger; it is Barak who must lead the people and do the job.

4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?

Jesus Christ promises that he will draw Sisera out to battle and will go before Barak to destroy Sisera and his army.

4:7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.

Timid and fearful Barak then demanded that she go with him; thereby losing any personal acclaim that he might have been given.

4:8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. 4:9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh.

4:10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet [this phrase means under his authority]: and Deborah went up with him.

Now God uses Heber to bring out the army of Sisera to battle. Here we also see the father in law of Moses named.

4:11 Now Heber the Kenite [was used by God to bring Sisera out to battle], which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh. 4:12 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor.

Sisera gathered his whole army to battle

4:13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.

Deborah delivered Christ’s message to enter the fight

4:14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.

As the Eternal went before his people in physical battles; If we put our trust in him and follow him; the battle to overcome sin: Is the Lord’s!

Be not fearful or hesitant to keep the whole Word of God and to follow our Mighty One to overcome sin by HIS might!

4:15 And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet.

Sisera fled and hid while Barak continued to pursue the army and destroy it utterly; figurative of our utterly destroying all sin from ourselves.

4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.

Now Sisera while fleeing happens to come by the tent of the very Heber who had warned him that Barak had marshaled an army against him! God had said that he would bring out the army of Sisera and God did so by the word of Heber! And now Sisera was delivered to the tent of Heber, and thinking himself among friends and safe he goes in.

4:17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.

Jael offers Sisera rest with kind words of peace and encouragement.

4:18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. 4:19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.

Sisera requests that Jael stand guard over his safety.

4:20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.

When Sisera was asleep Jael went quietly to him and killed him; for she knew that victorious Barak would surely destroy her and her family for their association with Jabin and Sisera, which doubtless had brought them much gain over the years as collaborators.

4:21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. 4:22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.

As Deborah had prophesied, Sisera was killed by the hand of a woman; And by Jael’s repudiation of Sisera at the end, she also saved her own family alive.

Spiritually, this speaks of the fact that it is never too late to repent and turn to zeal for our Deliverer and his Word! It is now time to sincerely repent ,and turn to zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God

4:23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.

After the defeat of Sisera, Barak continued the fight until king Jabin was totally destroyed.

4:24 And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan

Brethren, We must call out to our Great God to deliver us; and we must rise up to battle against the sin that besets us!  We must fight the good fight to keep the whole Word of God and internalize the very nature of God, through the power of our Mighty One!

 

Judges 5

The victory song of Deborah and Barak praising God for the victory

Judges 5:1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, 5:2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

5:3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.

This song pictures God’s deliverance of physical Israel from Jabin and Sisera is an allegory of the coming of Christ to open the graves of the overcomers and to establish his kingdom over all the earth. When Christ comes with his chosen elect, the earth and its mountains shall SHAKE [this has the meaning of both the physical earth and its governments large and small] at the presence of the Deliverer and God’s Spirit will be poured out as rain on the earth (Joel 2:28).

5:4 LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. 5:5 The mountains [including small and large governments shall melt as Sinai was on fire in the day that Christ stood on it] melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.

Deborah then speaks of the days of the lordship of the Canaanite Jabin over Israel. Symbolic of sin controlling the brethren. Here it is revealed that the Judge Shamgar who fought the Philistines did not defeat Jabin and Sisera until Deborah stood up.

Judges 3:31 And after him [Ehud] was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.

Judges 5:6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways [back roads and trails]. 5:7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

Deborah then rebukes Israel for their sin against God and God’s Word. When the brethren turned away from zeal to live by every Word of God to follow their idols of men; the Eternal brought then low and humbled them; and when they repented he delivered them.

This was a cyclical history in Judges, as for four hundred years; the people rebelled against God, were corrected and repented and delivered, and then the next generation and the next went through the same process.

This has also been a cyclical process in the spiritual called out of spiritual Israel, as each generation must be tested for their loyalty and zeal for the Eternal and the whole Word of God.

5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

Deborah longs for righteous judges [elders] in the land, who would offer themselves willingly to serve the Eternal and to teach zeal for the Word of God to all the brethren.

What man ordained the Judges? No man; they were ordained of God and they judged and led at the direct calling of God, because the priests and Levites were not doing their jobs!.

5:9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly [from] among the people. Bless ye the LORD.

Deborah calls on the judges, and leaders [elders and priests and Levites] to Israel the whole Word of their Great God.

5:10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.

Let every elder teach the great deeds and righteous acts of the Mighty One of Jacob; and turn the people back from their sins to embrace with true sincere repentance the Eternal and his Word.

Repent you elders and leaders and return to a zeal for God and the enthusiastic keeping of his Word; then do your jobs and teach the people a passionate uncompromising zeal for God and the learning and keeping of the whole Word of God.

5:11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates. [In those days the elders and leaders sat at the gates to be easily found by the people.]

At his coming Jesus Christ will lead captivity captive and deliver his people and all humanity will be called to him.

It is time for the Barak’s and the Ehud’s and the Deborah’s; the Joshua’s and Daniel’s; to awake and arise and set the example of godliness and courage to take a stand for the Word of our God, and teach a passionate zeal for the whole Word of our Mighty God!

5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

The faithful and the zealous for the whole Word of God shall be given dominion over the assemblies of the called out in the Kingdom of God; so that they may teach the same zeal for the whole Word of God to all their brethren and to all of humanity!

5:13 Then he made him [the faithful to God] that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.

At that time there was a revival of righteousness in northern Israel, Barak then fought the Amalekites, and righteous governors were set up and the Word was copied as before by the scribes.

5:14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.

Issachar was with Deborah who asks; why does Reuben remain among the sheep and not go up to destroy the enemy?

5:15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart. 5:16Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.

Reuben remained beyond Jordan and Dan remained with his ships, Asher remained by the sea; it was Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali who fought the oppressor.

5:17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.

Alone in Israel, Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali fought the oppressors Jabin and Sisera with their God.

5:18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.

Then Barak fought the other Canaanite kings who came out against him. The armies of Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali fought alone, but their God was with them; they fought without wages in enthusiastic zeal for their God!

5:19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they [Issachar, Zebulun and Naphtali] took no gain of money.

They fought with the backing of Christ and then the Canaanite enemy was swept away. Even so, WE must fight all sin with burning zeal for internalizing the very nature of our God!

5:20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. 5:21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.

The proud strength of sin shall be broken in us by the strength of our Deliverer, if we will only rise up and follow him; to fight the good fight and contend with passion for the learning and keeping of the whole Word of God.

5:22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings [pride], the pransings [pride] of their mighty ones.

Those who do not stand up in zeal to live by every Word of God are as cursed as the people of Meroz who refused to aid in the fight against the Canaanites [a type of sin].

5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

Jael is called blessed because she repented of serving the Canaanites [a type of sin] and rose up to destroy the man of sin in her time. Let us also repent of serving sin, following idols of men and from polluting the holy Sabbath day; and turn to serve the whole Word of our God.

5:24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. 5:25 He [Sisera] asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish. 5:26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen’s hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

This man, a type of sin; was destroyed by Jael who overcame; let the spiritually called out to spiritual Israel, also smite the sin among us and turn back to a passionate zeal for our Mighty One.

5:27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.

The mother of Sisera bewailed her son and her ladies sought to comfort her with false words. Will we the spiritually called out to the New Covenant, who are full of idolatry and sin, be comforted by smooth words when we are in the tribulation of God’s righteous correction for our sins?

5:28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots? 5:29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself, 5:30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?

Let those who love the Eternal enough to be zealous to follow him [even alone if necessary] withersoever he goeth; and zealously, passionately learn and keep the whole Word of God, be shining lights of righteousness forever!

Daniel 12:3 And they that be wise [living by every Word of God] shall shine as the brightness of the firmament; and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars for ever and ever.

Judges 5:31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

 

Judges 6

By the end of forty years Israel again fell into sin and was then oppressed by the Midianites for seven years.

Judges 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years.

Because of the severe oppression many of Israel fled into the wilderness.

6:2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds.

The oppressors tool away all the harvest and food out of the land

6:3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; 6:4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. 6:5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it.

Israel then began to repent and to cry out to their Husband Jesus Christ.

6:6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. 6:7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,

As physical Israel had no zeal to keep the Word of God and fell to their idols; so the latter day spiritual Israel, has not had a zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; and has instead followed their idols of men and corporate churches.

As physical Israel; was delivered out of the bondage of physical Egypt; the called out of spiritual Israel have been delivered out of spiritual bondage from the spiritual Egypt of Satan; yet we have fallen away from Christ our Deliverer, even as physical Israel also fell away.

6:8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; 6:9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 6:10 And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear [do not respect foreign gods and the idols of men] not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice.

Gideon is called out by Christ to deliver a somewhat repentant physical Israel. Gideon, like Moses, Paul and all the judges and prophets, was not called or ordained by men; he was called and ordained to his office by Jesus Christ himself.

6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites.

Gideon is proclaimed a mighty man of valour and zeal for the Eternal and his Word.

6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour.

Gideon asks; why have they fallen into such a state if God is with them?

6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites.

Gideon is among the poor of Manasseh and asks how he a lowly man can save Israel. God often uses the poor and the lowly to save his people; in fact nearly always; and in that way all will know that the man did not save, but the deliverance was from God. And all may also learn that the lowliest and poorest and physically afflicted may conquer all sin through the power of God.

Jesus Christ sent Gideon! Gideon was not ordained to his office by any man, but directly by Jesus Christ.

6:14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might [the might of Gideon was his Deliverer Jesus Christ], and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee?

6:15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.

Even though God promises to be with him, Gideon lacks faith to take a stand to obey and follow God. And so it is today that very many are fence sitting and lack faith to take a stand on the whole Word of God. They will soon be given the biblical signs of the approaching tribulation and the sign of God’s two servants standing up in the power of God.

6:16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man [completely destroy all of them as if they were one man].

6:17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. 6:18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he [Christ] said, I will tarry until thou come again.

Gideon went and prepared a kid to offer to the Eternal; and the Eternal showed Gideon a miracle.

6:19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. 6:20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. 6:21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight.

Then Gideon was filled with fear; but God comforted him.

6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O LORD God! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die.

6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: [YHVH’s peace] unto this day [the day this was written] it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

Jesus then appears to Gideon and commands him to destroy the altar of baal and build an altar to the Eternal and sacrifice his father’s bullock as a burnt offering on it.

6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father’s young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: 6:26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down.

Gideon obeyed the voice of the Eternal.

6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father’s household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night.

On the morning the people sought to kill Gideon for destroying their idol and building an altar to the Eternal and offering a Burnt Offering on it.

Today the called out to the New Covenant of the later day Ekklesia of God, have many idols; preferring to obey men instead of being zealous to wholeheartedly keep the whole Word of God. These idols of men and false traditions that are preferred above zeal for the Word of God, need to be totally destroyed [as Gideon destroyed the altar of baal], so that all may become wholeheartedly zealous to learn to live by every Word of God [which wholehearted zeal as symbolized by the whole Burnt Offering].

6:28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. 6:29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing.

The brethren loved their idols and hated the iconoclast in their midst and desired to kill him. It is the same in today’s spiritual Israel.

6:30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it.

The father of Gideon then helped him saying; if baal be a god let him come and defend himself!

Even so Jesus Christ will plead with the brethren in the great tribulation saying; You followed these men instead of my Word; now save yourselves if you can!

6:31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar.

6:32 Therefore on that day he called him [Gideon was called “Let baal plead for himself”] ecause he hath thrown down his altar.

At the time of harvest the enemies came up on the land to take the harvest; and YHVH [the God who became Jesus Christ] inspired Gideon to rise up against them.

6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel.

6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. 6:35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them.

Gideon then seeks reassurance from the Eternal.

6:36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said, 6:37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. 6:38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water.

And Gideon still being unsure asked for a third test [the first being the kid and the fire].

If we say that Gideon was without faith; remember that Moses also sought reassurance from God.

Remember that we all had very little faith in  the beginning and that faith grew as we grew in experience, knowledge and the understanding that comes from DOING the Word of God.

Consider the degree of faith in the Ekklesia today, as so many fear to be zealous for the Word of God; afraid of the cost. There are high level elders who know that I speak the truth; yet they are afraid of being ostracized by fellow elders and friends! And so they let their fear of men come between them and the Eternal God!

Gideon did not trust in himself, nor did he hide away; rather he sought assurance from God.

If one is unsure, always seek assurance from the Eternal! Today we have a much larger and complete volume of the Word of God then Gideon had; let us go to, and proving all things by the whole Word of God!

6:39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.

 

Judges 7

Christ then tells Gideon that the numbers of his army are to be reduced to the point that the people will ascribe the victory to God.

Both physical and spiritual Israel must learn that the victory belongs to the Eternal. As Israel could not overcome the Canaanites [a type of sin] alone without God; spiritual Israel cannot overcome sin on their own and by their own ways.

Judges 7:1 Then Jerubbaal [let baal speak for himself], who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley.

7:2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me.

God commanded Gideon to let all the fearful go home. This represents that the spiritually fearful cannot overcome sin. To overcome sin we must have the faith to stand up on the whole Word of God, no matter what the physical consequences may be.

7:3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand.

Christ then chooses to reduce the numbers through a test of how they drink water.

7:4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go.

Christ tells Gideon to separate those who lap up water like a dog [lifting up the water in their hands to their mouth, instead of bending down and putting their mouth down to the water to drink like the others].  Who do you suppose inspired these men to do that?  Could it be that God had already chosen his men and inspired them to drink like that to fulfill the test?

7:5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink.

Only three hundred were separated out

7:6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water.

Jesus Christ then tells Gideon to take the three hundred and send the others home. This appears to have been to build faith in Gideon [Gideon had much more to do for the Eternal after this battle] and to make it certain that he and all Israel knew that the battle and the victory were the Lord’s.

7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped [lifting water up to their mouth by their hands] will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place.

7:8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley.

Later as the night fell God instructed Gideon to begin the fight, yet Christ again sought to encourage Gideon. As we read further we shall see that the Midianites had killed Gideon’s brothers which is why he feared them so much.

7:9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 7:10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: 7:11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he [Gideon] down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host.

7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude.

God inspired a dream to the enemy that was heard by Gideon. Now Gideon needed to hear this dream from the mouth of the enemy and understand the fear that God had placed in their hearts; to encourage him to the battle. How often do we need encouragement to take that final step and take a stand for what we know is true; the whole Word and all the commandments of God?

Today, very many are sitting on the fence fearing the cost of offending their elders, leaders and friends, or the cost of zealously living by every Word of God in their personal lives.

As Christ encouraged Gideon; he will also encourage his called out. Shortly you will see all of the biblical signs of the imminent correction; and then the two servants of God will come in the full power that the scriptures ascribe to them; to encourage you to turn to the Eternal with a wholehearted and sincere zeal for learning and keeping the whole Word of God.

7:13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along.

7:14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host.

My friends, God will deliver all those who turn to him in sincerity and truth, to be zealous to follow our Lord and keep his Word in passionate zeal. If we have the courage to stand UP AND FOLLOW HIM; HE WILL GIVE US VICTORY OVER SIN!

7:15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped [Gideon was at last impressed and exalted God], and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian.

How long will it be before “God’s people” are impressed with God and his Word; to love God enough to exalt him and to DO what he has said?

Let us RISE UP, and with the help of our Mighty One, join the battle against sin and turn to a zeal to perform every Word of our God!

7:16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. 7:17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do.

The order of battle

7:18When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon.

7:19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands.

7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. 7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp; and all the [enemy] host ran, and cried, and fled.

In panic the men of the oppressing army turned on each other

7:22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man’s sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath.

Then all the people rose up and pursued the Midianites

7:23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites.

Gideon then called on Manasseh to secure the water sources from the Midianites.

7:24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan.

The two commanders of the Midianites were taken and killed.

7:25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan.

 

Judges 8

Ephraim then was offended that they had not been called to partake in such a victory.

Judges 8:1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply.

To pacify Ephraim Gideon then praised Ephraim for their zeal and delivered the princes of Midian in to their hands.

8:2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? 8:3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that.

8:4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. 8:5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian.

Then the leaders of Succoth refused food to Gideon out of their remaining fear of the Midianites.

8:6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army?

Gideon responded that they were helping the enemies of Israel and would face their end as collaborators.

8:7 And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers.

The men of Penuel also refused to help Gideon and Israel and Gideon responded that they were helping the enemies of Israel and would face their end as collaborators.

8:8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. 8:9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower.

120,000 fell leaving only 15,000 remaining,  and Gideon and Israel went up to attack them.

8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword.

8:11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host; for the host was [felt] secure.

God and Gideon defeated Midian and took their two rulers

8:12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host.

8:13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up, 8:14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.

Gideon the brought the two rulers of Midian to Succoth and destroyed their seventy-seven elders in the wilderness.

8:15 And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary? 8:16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth.

8:17 And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city.

Now a personal element entered in as Gideon declares that these two kings had killed his brothers.

8:18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. 8:19 And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you.

8:20 And he [Gideon] said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth.

8:21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels’ necks.

Then Israel sought to make Gideon their king

8:22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son’s son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian.

Gideon then gives an answer that we would not hear in most of the Ekklesia today

8:23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you.

Gideon only asks for the ear rings of the Midianites

8:24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) 8:25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey.

8:26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels’ necks.

Ephod: A vest like garment connected with being in communication with God. The man who was in communication with God; usually a priest wore an ephod as an outward sign, and people would see the ephod and recognize the man as able to give an answer from God.

Sometimes people began to look to the ephod as some kind of oracle, instead of looking to God and it became an idol to the people.

The ephod was symbolic recognition of those [elders] who are commanded to deliver the Word of God to the brethren. The ephod of Gideon began to be worshipped itself and became an idol and snare to many.

Today the elders have allowed themselves to become idols of the brethren, instead of teaching the people zeal for every Word of God.

8:27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house.

8:28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon.

8:29 And Jerubbaal [baal answer for thyself; Gideon] the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.

Gideon had 70 sons; having profited from his fame by marrying many wives.

8:30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives.

8:31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. 8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites.

After the death of Gideon the people quickly turned away from the Eternal back to baal [the sun god representing Satan].

8:33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. 8:34 And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: 8:35 Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel.

Lessons From Gideon

1. When we are called out to fight against sin and serve the Eternal; HE will fight for us and even though the situation may look hopeless, we are not to fear what any man can do; for the Eternal is far more powerful then all men together.

2. If we have the courage to take a stand on the Word of God; Jesus Christ will give us total victory over sin! Even if we must suffer or die in this life, it is because we are being tested as to our zeal to follow Christ and keep the Word of God, and we are also being formed and molded into the person God wants us to be!

Even if we are not delivered in this life as Gideon and physical Israel were; the faithful and chosen of spiritual Israel shall be raised up to that Promised Land of eternal life at the call of our Lord.

3. When men do what they think is right, even with the best of intentions [as in making the ephod] it will result in bad fruits; ALWAYS seek out the Eternal and his Word to do as the whole Word of God and our Lord commands us.

3. Polygamy appeals to the lusts of men and to the desire of women for helpers in a time without modern machines; but its fruits are very bad. Polygamy like divorce, was winked at for a certain time, but neither act was intended by the Creator and both are spiritually sin in the spiritual New Covenant, not being the intention of the Creator. Polygamy is about the sin of selfishness, lust and greed; and divorce is the fruit of our unrepented sins against our spouses in our marriages.

 

Judges 9

Abimelech the concubine’s son by Gideon in Shechem seeks the kingship.

Judges 9:1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal [Gideon] went to Shechem unto his mother’s brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother’s father, saying, 9:2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal [Gideon], which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. 9:3 And his mother’s brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother.

This rebellion was backed y the worshippers of baal in Shechem to rise up against the 70 sons of Gideon, worshippers of God. The term “vain and light persons” refers to persons who had departed from God to baal.

9:4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him.

9:5 And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal [Gideon], being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself.

The baal worshippers made Abimelech king.

9:6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem.

Jotham [Gideon’s son] cried out to these men saying that they had rejected the good and godly to rule over them and had instead chosen the lowly and wicked to be their leader. It is the same today, for men have chosen other men to rule over them and have rejected the oil tree of God, his Spirit and his Word.

9:7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you.

The olive tree represented Gideon and the Eternal, refused to be the king of these wicked men of baal; representing that Jesus Christ will reject and break off the wicked from himself (John 15, Rev 3).

9:8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. 9:9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? 9:10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us.

The fig tree representing fruitfulness rejected these wicked men as they worshipped baal.

9:11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? 9:12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.

The vine also rejected these wicked baal worshippers.

9:13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? 9:14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us.

Then a wicked man represented by a bramble weed rose up to lead them.

9:15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon.

Jotham then declares that if they have done righteously let them trust in Abimelech; but if Abimelech has done wickedly, let them be destroyed for their wickedness. He then rehearses the good that Gideon had done for them and their wickedness against Gideon and his children.

9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal [Gideon] and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; 9:17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian: 9:18 And ye are risen up against my father’s house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;)

9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal [Gideon] and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you:

The curse proclaimed against Abimelech and the men of Milo and Shechem.

9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech.

Then Jotham the remaining son of Gideon [besides Abimelech] fled to hide himself for he was alone against the men of Milo and Shechem

9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother.

After three years YHVH [ who became Jesus Christ] remembered the sin of Abimelech, Milo and Shechem and the words of Jotham and intervened to cause the curse to come to pass.

9:22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: 9:24 That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren.

The men of Shechem rebelled and set an ambush for Abimelech

9:25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech.

Abimelech then saved himself from the rebels, as the people rejected Abimelech, setting a new king over themselves.

9:26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. 9:27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech.

Gaal then threatens Abimelech to battle

9:28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal [Gideon]? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? 9:29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out.

Then the governor of the city sent word to Abimelech

9:30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. 9:31 And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee.

Abimelech is advised to hide his men in the fields and attack the people as they come out of the city to work the fields.

9:32 Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field: 9:33 And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion.

Abimelech heeds the advice

9:34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Abimelech attacks when Gaal opens the city gates in the early morning.

9:35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.

Gaal sees the men running towards him, but his captain says that there are only shadows.

9:36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men.

Then they are sure and go out to fight instead of closing and barring the gate.

9:37 And Gaal spake again, and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim.

The captain tells Gaal to put his money where his mouth is and fight.

9:38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them.

Abimelech defeats Gaal the usurper.

9:39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. 9:40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate.

Abimelech and Gaal each went to other cities and were rejected by Shechem.

9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul [the governor of the city] thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem.

The people of Shechem then told Abimelech that Gaal had been thrust out.

9:42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.

Abimelech then attacked Shechem and utterly destroyed the city.

9:43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. 9:44 And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them.

9:45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt.

The remaining men of Shechem gathered themselves into a strong hold, a citadel of baal-berith.

9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith.

9:47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together.

Abimelech then burns them with fire, and the curse against Shechem is fulfilled fully.

9:48 And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done.

9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women.

Then Abimelech went to attack another city.

9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it.

9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. 9:52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. 9:53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech’s head, and all to brake his skull. 9:54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A women slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.

And Abimelech died fulfilling the curse against him for his wickedness.

9:55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.

9:56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: 9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal [Gideon].

 

Judges 10

After these things and after Israel had fallen into baalism [idolatry] again; Tola was raised up to judge in Israel for 23 years. These judges were not kings but teachers and keepers of the Word of God who delivered them from their enemies as God commanded them.

Their principle job was to teach a zeal to live by every Word of God, after God had demonstrated his power to go before Israel and defeat the Canaanites.

In spiritual terms the Canaanites were a type of sin and the people could not overcome sin on their own and fell into idolatry! It was only when they turned to God and called out to the Eternal in repentance that God delivered them from sin.

This is a lesson for spiritual New Covenant Israel, that we cannot overcome sin on our own!

It is ONLY by being zealous for learning and keeping the whole Word of God and by following our God in all things, that sin can be overcome through the power of our God dwelling in us and driving sin out of us. When trying to do so on our own we quickly fall into doing what we think is right instead of what God says is right, idolizing our own ways and other men; instead of exalting the Word of God.

Judges 10:1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. 10:2 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir.

Then Jair was called to judge Israel 22 years.

10:3 And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years. 10:4 And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havothjair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead. 10:5 And Jair died, and was buried in Camon.

The people turned from zeal for their God, which then led to their complete falling away into idolatry.

This is an instruction for us, that if we lose our zeal for learning and living by every Word of God; we are falling away from the Word of God and into the idolatry of exalting our own ways as idols above the Word of God.

10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.

By turning away from any zeal for the Word of God, they angered Christ who sold them into yet another captivity in their own land; which land was promised to them ONLY as long as they were faithful to God.

The same thing is true of spiritual Israel! When we turn away from zeal to keep the whole Word of our God and instead are filled with zeal for the idols of our own ways and leaders; Jesus Christ is offended and angered and he WILL correct us!

This next oppression began on the east of Jordan [Golan] which would be Reuben, Manasseh and Gad, and then expanded against Judah.

10:7 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. 10:8 And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. 10:9 Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed.

The people only seem to repent when they are suffering correction, and when the next generation comes along it falls back into sin against God.

Very soon now, there will be a final and sincere repentance of both physical and spiritual Israel, at the coming of Christ as King of kings.

10:10 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim.

Once we refuse the warnings from God and insist on our own ways and we fall into great tribulation by doing so; Jesus will tell us to cry out to our idols for deliverance! and only when we honestly repent in true sincerity and PROVE that repentance with the works of faithfulness; will we be chosen for the resurrection of the faithful!

10:11 And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 10:12 The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.

The next two paragraphs will also take place in the present apostate spiritual church of God during the great correction to try all the earth in the very near future.

10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation.

10:15 And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.

The opposing armies then assembled and Israel sought for a leader

10:17 Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh.

10:18 And the people and princes of Gilead [Manasseh, Reuben and Gad] said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead [Golan, including Manasseh, Reuben and Gad] .

 

Judges 11

Jephthah is called by Christ to be the next judge of Israel.

Judges 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite [Bashan, Golan; the land of Reuben, Manasseh and Gad east of Jordan] was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah.

Jephthah was despised by his brothers in his father’s house.

11:2 And Gilead’s wife bare him sons; and his wife’s sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father’s house; for thou art the son of a strange woman.

Despised and downtrodden people then gathered around Jephthah, like they would later gather around the rejected David.

11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain [“empty”; in context; lowly, despised, men who fled from their oppressors in Israel] men to Jephthah, and went out with him.

Then when Ammon came to fight Israel the elders called Jephthah back to save them. To them he was not good enough to have a share in his father’s house, but later was to become their deliverer.

11:4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. 11:5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: 11:6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon.

Jephthah asks the elders why they called on him; they answer that they want him to lead them. In context Jephthah had led his band in the wilderness as David did and was the only one prepared to go to battle against Ammon.

11:7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead [Bashan, Golan; the land of Reuben, Manasseh and Gad east of Jordan], Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father’s house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? 11:8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.

The elders covenant with Jephthah that if he delivers them, Jephthah will be their head.

We can see a spiritual pattern here; as Jesus Christ is the leader of a little band [flock] and is rejected by the physical nations of Israel today. In the near future the physical nations of Israel will call upon the name of the Mighty One that they have rejected, to come and save them and to be their King.

11:9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? 11:10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words.

This covenant between Jephthah and Israel was made in a meeting before God.

11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh.

11:12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land?

Jephthah enquires why Ammon has come up to fight, and the king of Ammon gives his answer.

11:13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably.

11:14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 11:15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon:

Jephthah then rehearses the history to show that Israel took no land from Moab or Ammon.

11:16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 11:17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh.

11:18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab.

Israel did not fight Edom or Moab, but fought the Amorites.

11:19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. 11:20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel. 11:21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country. 11:22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

Japhath declares that the lands Ammon is demanding are the lands of the Amorites, and not any land belonging to Ammon; he then asks the king of Ammon why he is demanding the lands of the Amorites for himself.

11:23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it?

Japhath then asks the king of Ammon why he is not content with the “land of his god”; as Israel would have the land that their God gave to them.

11:24Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess.

Japhath then asked if the king of Ammon was like Balak who strove with Israel without a cause.

11:25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them

Japhath then declares that God had given Israel the land and that they had dwelt in it for three hundred years; meaning that the king of Ammon was looking for a reason to make war and to take away the lands given to Israel.

We can see here that Japhath knew his history and he knew the Word of God, and gave a reasoned argument in order to try and avoid war with Ammon. Remember that Ammon was of Lot and they were NOT Canaanites.

11:26While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time?

The Eternal had forbidden Israel to attack Moab, Ammon or Edom or to take their lands over three hundred years previously; therefore this attack by the king of Ammon was not right before God.

11:27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon.

11:28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him.

Then Jephthah being rejected by the king of Ammon proceeded to the battle.

11:29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon.

Then Jephthah makes a rash vow

11:30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, 11:31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD’s, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering.

YHVH who became Jesus Christ; went before Jephthath and gave him the victory

11:32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. 11:33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel.

Then upon returning home from the victory to become king over Israel; his daughter comes out to meet him in dances of rejoicing. This must have been crushing to Jephthah. Perhaps this was from God to teach us all a lesson about rash vows?

11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back.

Jephthah tells his daughter and she accepts the situation with grace and humble obedience. How many of us even keep our baptismal vow of faithfulness to the whole Word of God today!

11:36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon.

It is to be understood that the Burnt Offering typified whole hearted service to God; and that this lady was not killed and burned [which was forbidden by God’s command] but was to remain an unmarried virgin, totally dedicated to the service of God for her lifetime. Hence she bewailed her virginity which was never to be given to any husband.

11:37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. 11:38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains.

11:39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, 11:40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year.

 

Judges 12

Ephraim then seeks to have a part of the victory after the battle is won.

Judges 12:1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah,Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire.

Jephthah, in jeopardy of his life, then boldly declares that they were called and did not come.

12:2 And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands.

12:3 And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me?

Then Ephraim said that these men of Japhthah were wanted men in Ephraim for not including Ephraim in the fight against Ammon. Then war broke out between Ephraim and the Jephthah..

12:4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives [wanted men] of [by] Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites.

Then the men of Jephthah defeated Ephraim and were able to take the crossing of Jordan before the fleeing Ephraimites arrived.

12:5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand.

12:7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.

12:8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. 12:9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. 12:10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

12:11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. 12:12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun.

12:13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. 12:14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. 12:15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites.

 

Judges 13

We now come to the story of Samson which is full of lessons for us today. Samson was called by God before his birth to be a Nazarite and a Judge in Israel, yet he was a weak man desiring strange [unconverted] wives. 

The first lesson is that God has commanded us and we are NOT to willfully [those converted after marriage is a different matter] marry unconverted people, like Samson and Solomon did, for unconverted spouses are a very strong influence to lead us to compromise with the Word of God.

The second lesson is that God can use the weak person to accomplish his will; for God used Sampson ‘s fascination with Philistine women to lead Samson into destroying many Philistines who were oppressing Israel at that time.

The third lesson is that Jesus Christ does NOT tolerate sin; and as Moses was corrected for his sin, God allowed his champion Sampson to be corrected for his sins against his calling.

The primary lesson of Judges, is that God will NOT tolerate any compromise with his Word and will correct those who allow anything to come between them and God [like unconverted spouses or corporate idols], or to turn away from God to follow idols of men; but God will show mercy to all who sincerely repent and commit to “go and sin no more”!

God is his marvelous wisdom can still use the sinner to accomplish his will; which does NOT justify the sin and it does not justify us taking part in their sins either. Today spiritual Israel is to be faithful and zealous for our calling to internalize and passionately live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal.

The circumstances surrounding the birth of Samson

Judges 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD [YHVH who became Jesus Christ] delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

Here we have a barren woman and she was visited by a spirit and promised a son. Like Manoah Abraham, Elkanah and Zacharias also had barren wives and received promises of sons. These sons were all special gifts of God to barren women and were all called by God for very special purposes.

13:2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not.

The angel gives the promise of a son and then reveals that this son was from God and called by God from before his conception; and gives instructions to the woman to keep herself from any unclean thing. The woman is herself forbidden to take any wine or alcohol [strong drink] during her pregnancy, for the child was to be kept pure even from conception.

Notice the detailed instructions for the purity and holiness of this man; in sharp contrast to his own personal behavior in adulthood.

13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing:

Samson is called to be a Nazarite from his very conception.

13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines.

The woman then tells her husband these things.

13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: 13:7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death.

The husband believes his wife and full of faith asks God for instructions regarding the child.  Notice that Manoah Abraham, Elkanah and Zacharias were all godly men of faith and the works of faith.

13:8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. 13:9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. 13:10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day.

Manoah asks for instructions about the child

13:11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. 13:12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order [teach and raise] the child, and how shall we do unto him?

The angel then repeats his instructions concerning the woman during her pregnancy.

13:13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. 13:14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe.

Manoah offers the angel food; which the angel rejects and instructs them that a Burnt Offering be made to YHVH.  The Burnt Offering being entirely burned was a symbol of wholehearted service to God.

13:15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. 13:16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread [food]: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD.

Manoah asks the angel his name and the angel refuses him an answer; must assuredly because all honor should be given to God.

13:17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret?

The angel then ascended into heaven in the fire of the offering.

13:19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wonderously; and Manoah

and his wife looked on. 13:20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground.

13:21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD.

Manoah then feared, and was consoled by his wife.

13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. 13:23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat [unleavened bread] offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these.

13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him.

Samson seems have to lived in the section of Dan that was on the coast near Philistia.

13:25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol.

 

Judges 14

Samson now a young man feeling his need, saw and desired a Philistine woman.

Judges 14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines.

Samson asks his parents to get this woman for his wife; it being the custom for parents to provide wives for their sons after the example of Abraham.

14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife.

Samson’s parents object but Samson desires her greatly and insists.

14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well.

Samson’s parents were greatly grieved and knew not that God would use this situation to bring down the Philistines.

14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel.

Samson then began to exhibit the gift of God’s strength.

14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done.

14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well.

After speaking with the lady he left and later returned on the appointed day.

14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion.

Samson now eats honey telling NO ONE of the lion and the honey, and devises a riddle.

14:9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion.

Samson and his family went to take the bride and a wedding feast is held.

14:10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a [wedding] feast; for so used the young men to do. 14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him.

Samson then sets a challenge to his thirty Philistine “friends”.

14:12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: 14:13 But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it.

The riddle

14:14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle.

After three days they ask the lady to entice her husband to reveal the answer, and on the seventh day they threaten to burn her and her family alive.

14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson’s wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father’s house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so?

14:16 And Samson’s wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? 14:17 And she wept before him the [on the seventh day, fearing the threat and having no faith in God and in Samson to protect them] seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people.

How often do we betray our baptismal vows to our  espoused spiritual Husband out of fear in stead of being filled with faith to rely on His deliverance?

Again as in Joshua, the sun going down [sunset] ended the day; the Philistines then answered the riddle and Samson immediately knew that the only one he had  ever told the matter to was his bride.

14:18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? And what is stronger than a lion? and he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle.

In has fury Samson killed thirty Philistines of Ashkelon and gave their clothes to pay off his wager. And Samson was angry with his bride and returned to his father’s house. 

Just so Jesus Christ will be furious with us for our betrayal of Him to follow idols of men and corporate entities or if we lose faith and turn aside from Him for ANY REASON! 

If we turn aside from absolute loyalty to God and faith in God to deliver us;  We will be rejected by Almighty God the Father and Jesus Christ our espoused Husband.

14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father’s house.

The woman’s father then thinking that she had been abandoned, gave her to a Philistine the friend of Samson.

14:20 But Samson’s wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend.

 

Judges 15

After his anger cools before Pentecost, Samson goes back to take his wife.

Judges 15:1 But it came to pass within a while after, in the time of wheat harvest, that Samson visited his wife with a kid; and he said, I will go in to my wife into the chamber. But her father would not suffer him to go in.

The father explains what he has done and offers Samson the younger woman to make things right, but Samson is again enraged for he had loved his bride. In this case the father was very high handed and wrong.

15:2 And her father said, I verily thought that thou hadst utterly hated her; therefore I gave her to thy companion: is not her younger sister fairer than she? take her, I pray thee, instead of her. 15:3 And Samson said concerning them, Now shall I be more blameless than the Philistines, though I do them a displeasure.

Then Samson burns the fields of the Philistines.

15:4 And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

15:5 And when he had set the brands on fire, he let them go into the standing corn [grain; referring g to the wheat just before harvest] of the Philistines, and burnt up both the shocks, and also the standing corn [wheat], with the vineyards and olives.

The Philistines then burned his wife and her father, for they could not stand before Samson.

15:6 Then the Philistines said, Who hath done this? And they answered, Samson, the son in law of the Timnite, because he had taken his wife, and given her to his companion. And the Philistines came up, and burnt her and her father with fire.

Samson then attacks the Philistines once more, for his rage was hot.

15:7 And Samson said unto them, Though ye have done this, yet will I be avenged of you, and after that I will cease. 15:8 And he smote them hip and thigh with a great slaughter: and he went down and dwelt in the top of the rock Etam.

Then the Philistines went out to get rid of this troublemaker Samson.

15:9 Then the Philistines went up, and pitched in Judah, and spread themselves in Lehi. 15:10 And the men of Judah said, Why are ye come up against us? And they answered, To bind Samson are we come up, to do to him as he hath done to us.

Judah then goes to bind Samson and turn him over to their masters the Philistines.

15:11 Then three thousand men of Judah went to the top of the rock Etam, and said to Samson, Knowest thou not that the Philistines are rulers over us? what is this that thou hast done unto us? And he said unto them, As they did unto me, so have I done unto them.

Samson permits Judah to bind him.

15:12 And they said unto him, We are come down to bind thee, that we may deliver thee into the hand of the Philistines. And Samson said unto them, Swear unto me, that ye will not fall upon me yourselves. 15:13 And they spake unto him, saying, No; but we will bind thee fast, and deliver thee into their hand: but surely we will not kill thee. And they bound him with two new cords, and brought him up from the rock.

The strength of Samson was by the Spirit of God, revealing lesson four of Samson; that our own strength is nothing compared to the strength of God.

Spiritually, it is by the strength of God the Father and Jesus Christ IN US; that we overcome sin; not by trying to fight the battle alone.

15:14 And when he came unto Lehi, the Philistines shouted against him: and the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and the cords that were upon his arms became as flax that was burnt with fire, and his bands loosed from off his hands.

15:15 And he found a new jawbone of an ass, and put forth his hand, and took it, and slew a thousand men therewith. 15:16 And Samson said, With the jawbone of an ass, heaps upon heaps, with the jaw of an ass have I slain a thousand men.

15:17 And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking, that he cast away the jawbone out of his hand, and called that place Ramathlehi.

15:18 And he was sore athirst, and called on the LORD, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of thy servant: and now shall I die for thirst, and fall into the hand of the uncircumcised?

God brings water from the jaw of the ass

15:19 But God clave an hollow place that was in the jaw, and there came water thereout; and when he had drunk, his spirit came again, and he revived: wherefore he called the name thereof Enhakkore, which is in Lehi unto this day.

15:20 And he judged Israel in the days of the Philistines twenty years.

 

Judges 16

The Philistines supposed that they have surrounded and trapped Samson in a harlot’s house and that he will remain there until morning. Visiting harlot’s is not the act of a righteous man, but God still uses the weakness of Samson to help deliver Israel from the Philistines.

Judges 16:1 Then went Samson to Gaza, and saw there an harlot, and went in unto her. 16:2 And it was told the Gazites, saying, Samson is come hither. And they compassed him in, and laid wait for him all night in the gate of the city, and were quiet all the night, saying, In the morning, when it is day, we shall kill him.

Samson arises at midnight and removes the strong and very heavy city gates to a far hill top. This exploit would have astonished the Philistines and convinced them of his strength.

16:3 And Samson lay till midnight, and arose at midnight, and took the doors of the gate of the city, and the two posts, and went away with them, bar and all, and put them upon his shoulders, and carried them up to the top of an hill that is before Hebron.

Samson still finds pleasure in foreign women.

16:4 And it came to pass afterward, that he loved a woman in the valley of Sorek, whose name was Delilah.

Delilah is offered a huge irresistible price for finding out the secret of Samson’s strength,

16:5 And the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and said unto her, Entice him, and see wherein his great strength lieth, and by what means we may prevail against him, that we may bind him to afflict him; and we will give thee every one of us eleven hundred pieces of silver.

Delilah seeks the secret from Samson but he toys with her.

16:6 And Delilah said to Samson, Tell me, I pray thee, wherein thy great strength lieth, and wherewith thou mightest be bound to afflict thee. 16:7 And Samson said unto her, If they bind me with seven green withs that were never dried, then shall I be weak, and be as another man.

Delilah then tests out what Samson has said delivering him to the Philistines. Samson is still distracted by her charms and does not reject her for betraying him.

16:8 Then the lords of the Philistines brought up to her seven green withs which had not been dried, and she bound him with them. 16:9 Now there were men lying in wait, abiding with her in the chamber. And she said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he brake the withs, as a thread of tow is broken when it toucheth the fire. So his strength was not known.

Delilah quickly uses her influence to get the secret of Samson’s strength, before he comes to his senses and rejects her.

16:10 And Delilah said unto Samson, Behold, thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: now tell me, I pray thee, wherewith thou mightest be bound.

Samson again deceives her not willing to reveal his secret.

16:11 And he said unto her, If they bind me fast with new ropes that never were occupied, then shall I be weak, and be as another man. 16:12 Delilah therefore took new ropes, and bound him therewith, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And there were liers in wait abiding in the chamber. And he brake them from off his arms like a thread.

Again she betrays Samson and again he cleaves to this traitorous woman, and again they play their little game.

16:13 And Delilah said unto Samson, Hitherto thou hast mocked me, and told me lies: tell me wherewith thou mightest be bound. And he said unto her, If thou weavest the seven locks of my head with the web.

Delilah wove his hair and fastened it to a main beam of the house, yet he rose up and carried the beam away.

16:14 And she fastened it with the pin, and said unto him, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awaked out of his sleep, and went away with the pin of the beam, and with the web.

Again the game is played by Delilah and one wonders at Samson and his blind passion for her.

16:15 And she said unto him, How canst thou say, I love thee, when thine heart is not with me? thou hast mocked me these three times, and hast not told me wherein thy great strength lieth.

Finally even though she has betrayed him many times, Samson is foolish enough to tell this traitorous woman his secret.

16:16 And it came to pass, when she pressed him daily with her words, and urged him, so that his soul was vexed unto death; 16:17 That he told her all his heart, and said unto her, There hath not come a razor upon mine head; for I have been a Nazarite unto God from my mother’s womb: if I be shaven, then my strength will go from me, and I shall become weak, and be like any other man.

Delilah then caused Samson to lie down with his head on her knees so that the Philistines could easily cut his hair while he slept.

16:18 And when Delilah saw that he had told her all his heart, she sent and called for the lords of the Philistines, saying, Come up this once, for he hath shewed me all his heart. Then the lords of the Philistines came up unto her, and brought money in their hand. 16:19 And she made him sleep upon her knees; and she called for a man, and she caused him to shave off the seven locks of his head; and she began to afflict him, and his strength went from him.

16:20 And she said, The Philistines be upon thee, Samson. And he awoke out of his sleep, and said, I will go out as at other times before, and shake myself. And he wist not that the LORD was departed from him.

Samson was then taken by the Philistines and his eyes blinded; he was then made to pull the millstone like a bullock.

16:21 But the Philistines took him, and put out his eyes, and brought him down to Gaza, and bound him with fetters of brass; and he did grind in the prison house.

16:22 Howbeit the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven.

16:23 Then the lords of the Philistines gathered them together for to offer a great sacrifice unto Dagon their god, and to rejoice: for they said, Our god hath delivered Samson our enemy into our hand. 16:24 And when the people saw him, they praised their god: for they said, Our god hath delivered into our hands our enemy, and the destroyer of our country, which slew many of us.

The Philistines held a victory feast for their god Dagon [the fish (is an ancient fertility god) and is NOT Christian, as thought by many today]. The papal crown is a Dagon hat, and depictions of fish for religious purposes are Dagon worship,  the legends of mermaids and mermen are also based on Dagon.

16:25 And it came to pass, when their hearts were merry, that they said, Call for Samson, that he may make us sport. And they called for Samson out of the prison house; and he made them sport: and they set him between the pillars.

They made sport and mocked Samson rejoicing for they supposed Dagon had power over Samson and the God of Israel.

16:26 And Samson said unto the lad that held him by the hand, Suffer me that I may feel the pillars whereupon the house standeth, that I may lean upon them.

16:27 Now the house was full of men and women; and all the lords of the Philistines were there; and there were upon the roof about three thousand men and women, that beheld while Samson made sport.

Then Samson called on the Eternal to strengthen one last time.

16:28 And Samson called unto the LORD, and said, O Lord God, remember me, I pray thee, and strengthen me, I pray thee, only this once, O God, that I may be at once avenged of the Philistines for my two eyes. 16:29 And Samson took hold of the two middle pillars upon which the house stood, and on which it was borne up, of the one with his right hand, and of the other with his left.

16:30 And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life.

16:31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. And he judged Israel twenty years.

Samson is a story that was recorded for our instruction.

His mother and father were instructed to maintain the holiness of avoiding all uncleanness from the moment of conception, yet Samson lusted after the uncleanness of unconverted women, did not hesitate to engage in whoring, and partook of the unclean thing.

The honey being in the carcass was unclean and yet Samson ate of it; Samson loved the favors of unconverted women and all these things were his downfall.

Yet in spite of his weakness, God used him to perform God’s will.

Samson was an example of how NOT to live, when called out by the Father to Christ!

Samson was also used by God to demonstrate to us that God’s will, will be done regardless of the actions of men.

We have been called to a zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God; a zeal which Samson did not have. His love for the unconverted is a type of the modern day spiritually called out brethren’s love for worldliness and their idols of men; for in scripture the great false religion and her daughters are painted as a great whore.

We are to love the Lord our God with all our hearts; and not to marry unconverted spouses; or associate with false doctrines and false religions. 

God will judge all people based on what they do or do not do with what they have been given.

Samson had many things going for him including a set of virtuous parents who scrupulously followed God’s instruction to them regarding Samson’s rearing. Yet in the end it was Samson and no one else, who determined what he would do with the special calling God had granted.

Many of us are familiar with the biblical teaching: Prov. 22:6 “Train up a child in the way he should go: and when he is old, he will not depart from it.” We also know that Paul was inspired of God to write: I Cor 7:14 “For the unbelieving husband is sanctified by the wife, and the unbelieving wife is sanctified by the husband: else were your children unclean; but now are they holy.

Many converted parents model God’s way for their children, they teach them that in God’s eyes they have a special calling and then when some of these kids reach the age of personal accountability, parents sometimes have their hearts broken by seeing their children turn their backs on God and the teachings and examples of their parents. With the possible exception of having to bury a child, there is no greater heartache for a parent than to witness such a spectacle in the lives of their own child or children.

They then wonder: What did I forget to do? What did I do wrong? How did I fail my child? I am sure that Samson’s parents must have wondered these same things as they watched how their beloved son (godly calling and all!) turned out.

Sometimes the answer is that the parents did nothing wrong and that the children exercised poor judgement which, as free moral agents, is their right to do if they so choose. 

Finally the really big lesson from Samson is that being called of God does not mean one has it made, for many are called and few will be chosen. 

We are called to a life of growing, overcoming and living by every Word of God.  It is not the calling to God or an office that saves; it is our response to God’s calling to live by every Word of God or to go our own way, which determines our final end.  

Baptism and or ordination itself, means absolutely nothing if we do not live by every Word of God

 

Judges 17

How Dan gets their city and their gods.

Micah of Ephraim, steals eleven hundred shekels of silver from his mother; and later repents and restores it.

Judges 17:1 And there was a man of mount Ephraim, whose name was Micah. 17:2 And he said unto his mother, The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from thee, about which thou cursedst, and spakest of also in mine ears, behold, the silver is with me; I took it. And his mother said, Blessed be thou of the LORD, my son.

His mother tells him that she had dedicated her silver to make an idol for him.

17:3 And when he had restored the eleven hundred shekels of silver to his mother, his mother said, I had wholly dedicated the silver unto the LORD from my hand for my son, to make a graven image and a molten image: now therefore I will restore it unto thee.

Micah’s mother made him an idol.

17:4 Yet he restored the money unto his mother; and his mother took two hundred shekels of silver, and gave them to the founder, who made thereof a graven image and a molten image: and they were in the house of Micah.

Micah had many idol gods just like the Ekklesia do in the spiritual sense today.

17:5 And the man Micah had an house of gods, and made an ephod [priestly vestment], and teraphim [idols], and consecrated one of his sons, who became his priest [of Ephraim and NOT of Aaron, therefore a false priest of false gods].

The judges as rulers were in fact placed in authority by God, as opposed to dynastic kings.

17:6 In those days there was no king [Judge] in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

A Levite came to them from Bethlehem of Judah.

17:7 And there was a young man out of Bethlehemjudah of the family of Judah, who was a Levite, and he sojourned there.

The Levite traveled from Bethlehem of Judah looking for a place to start his synagogue [school], to teach.

17:8 And the man departed out of the city from Bethlehemjudah to sojourn where he could find a place: and he came to mount Ephraim to the house of Micah, as he journeyed.

Micah met the Levite and invited the Levite to come in and be his “priest”.

17:9 And Micah said unto him, Whence comest thou? And he said unto him, I am a Levite of Bethlehemjudah, and I go to sojourn where I may find a place. 17:10 And Micah said unto him, Dwell with me, and be unto me a father and a priest, and I will give thee ten shekels of silver by the year, and a suit of apparel, and thy victuals. So the Levite went in.

This Micah was no respecter of gods and worshipped all gods; and included an apostate Levite in his collection of priests and gods.

17:11 And the Levite was content to dwell with the man; and the young man was unto him as one of his sons. 17:12 And Micah consecrated the Levite; and the young man became his priest, and was in the house of Micah.

17:13 Then said Micah, Now know I that the LORD will do me good, seeing I have a Levite to my priest.

 

Judges 18

The area east of Lake Hulah including Dan was given to, but not occupied by Naphtali; when Israel divided the land under Joshua. The land given to Dan was by the sea coast.

Judges 17-19 covers the taking of the northern territory of the tribe of Dan. Dan had been given land on the coast and considered that land too small for them, and so sought out another place and thus Dan became divided between a part on the coast and a landlocked part in the north belonging to but not occupied by Naphtali; which these chapters record.

Later the costal seafaring Dan went by sea to Spain and then on to Ireland; and when God gave the northern ten tribes to Assyria, northern Dan was taken to Mesopotamia and then migrated to Danmark.

It was prophesied that [Northern] Dan would leap from Bashan [Golan] and that is what Dan did. 

Dan is still divided with two nations [Ireland and Denmark] today.

 

When there was no king [Judge] in Israel to keep order between the tribes; Dan sought more inheritance of land because they did not have enough.

Judges 18:1  In those days there was no king in Israel: and in those days the tribe of the Danites sought them an inheritance to dwell in; for unto that day all their inheritance had not fallen unto them among the tribes of Israel.

Dan sent out reconnaissance to find themselves more land, and the five men came and found rest with Micah the worshipper of many gods of chapter 17.

18:2 And the children of Dan sent of their family five men from their coasts, men of valour, from Zorah, and from Eshtaol, to spy out the land, and to search it; and they said unto them, Go, search the land: who when they came to mount Ephraim, to the house of Micah, they lodged there.

At Micah’s house they heard the voice of the Levite which they recognized as someone that they knew and asked him his story.

18:3 When they were by the house of Micah, they knew the voice of the young man the Levite: and they turned in thither, and said unto him, Who brought thee hither? and what makest thou in this place? and what hast thou here?

The Levite told them that Micah had made him a priest, and they requested that he ask God if their journey would be prosperous.

The whole situation in the area is one of gross idolatry and attempts to call idolatry and false priests as godly. A Levite was NOT an Aaronic priest of God and these idols and foreign gods separated these folks from the Eternal God.  This, just as many false leaders have infiltrated the Ekklesia today and have led the brethren to exalt and follow them away from any zeal for the Word of God; which is the same idolatry!

18:4 And he said unto them, Thus and thus dealeth Micah with me, and hath hired me, and I am his priest.

18:5 And they said unto him, Ask counsel, we pray thee, of God, that we may know whether our way which we go shall be prosperous.

This false priest told these men that God was with them. The same lie is told to the brethren today, as the false leaders and elders feign to be of God, to lead men to follow themselves, away from zeal for the word of God as Jesus himself warned his disciples in Matthew 24.

You shall know the godly from the ungodly by their fruits, Mat 7: Are your leaders zealous for the word of God to learn it and to keep it?  Or do they teach the brethren to relax any zeal to live by every Word of God and instead follow themselves?

18:6 And the priest said unto them, Go in peace: before the LORD is your way wherein ye go.

The spies scouted the land and came to Laish east of the northern lake and rivers, and found it undefended and a rich land.

18:7 Then the five men departed, and came to Laish, and saw the people that were therein, how they dwelt careless, after the manner of the Zidonians, quiet and secure; and there was no magistrate in the land, that might put them to shame in any thing; and they were far from the Zidonians, and had no business with any man.

The five spies reported back to their cities.

18:8 And they came unto their brethren to [in] Zorah and Eshtaol: and their brethren said unto them, What say ye? 18:9 And they said, Arise, that we may go up against them: for we have seen the land, and, behold, it is very good: and are ye still? be not slothful to go, and to enter to possess the land. 18:10When ye go, ye shall come unto a people secure, and to a large land: for God hath given it into your hands; a place where there is no want of any thing that is in the earth.

An army of 600 was sent to take the city, and they camped at the beginning of their journey at the house of Micah to seek a blessing from the “priest”.

18:11 And there went from thence of the family of the Danites, out of Zorah and out of Eshtaol, six hundred men appointed with weapons of war. 18:12 And they went up, and pitched in Kirjathjearim, in Judah: wherefore they called that place Mahanehdan unto this day: behold, it is behind Kirjathjearim. 18:13 And they passed thence unto mount Ephraim, and came unto the house of Micah.

The five men told the 600 about the priest and the house of Micah.

18:14 Then answered the five men that went to spy out the country of Laish, and said unto their brethren, Do ye know that there is in these houses an ephod, and teraphim, and a graven image, and a molten image? now therefore consider what ye have to do.

The 600 went to the home of Micah and his “priest,” and waited at the gate, as the five men went inside.

18:15 And they turned thitherward, and came to the house of the young man the Levite, even unto the house of Micah, and saluted him. 18:16 And the six hundred men appointed with their weapons of war, which were of the children of Dan, stood by the entering of the gate.

As the “priest ” spoke with the 600, the five went and stole the priestly raiment and the gods of Micah.

18:17 And the five men that went to spy out the land went up, and came in thither, and took the graven image, and the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image: and the priest stood in the entering of the gate with the six hundred men that were appointed with weapons of war. 18:18 And these [the five men] went into Micah’s house, and fetched the carved image, the ephod, and the teraphim, and the molten image. Then said the priest unto them, What do ye?

When the “priest” saw this he demanded to know what they were doing in taking away the gods. The men then offered the man to be the “priest” of the 600 instead of a priest of only one family; and the priest left for the better job, stealing the gods of his benefactor!  How like many elders today who reject any zeal for the Word of God to sell themselves to follow idols of men.

18:19 And they said unto him, Hold thy peace, lay thine hand upon thy mouth, and go with us, and be to us a father and a priest: is it better for thee to be a priest unto the house of one man, or that thou be a priest unto a tribe and a family in Israel? 18:20 And the priest’s heart was glad, and he took the ephod, and the teraphim, and the graven image, and went in the midst of the people.

The 600 men and their animals and families moved on towards the north, and Micah called out his neighbors and friends to pursue them.

18:21 So they turned and departed, and put the little ones and the cattle and the carriage before them. 18:22 And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah’s house were gathered together, and overtook the children of Dan.

Micah demands back his gods that he has made.

18:23 And they cried unto the children of Dan. And they turned their faces, and said unto Micah, What aileth thee, that thou comest with such a company? 18:24 And he said, Ye have taken away my gods which I made, and the priest, and ye are gone away: and what have I more? and what is this that ye say unto me, What aileth thee?

Then the people of Dan replied that they had 600 men of war and told Micah to be content to let go of his “priest” and gods, lest he die.

18:25 And the children of Dan said unto him, Let not thy voice be heard among us, lest angry fellows run upon thee, and thou lose thy life, with the lives of thy household. 18:26 And the children of Dan went their way: and when Micah saw that they were too strong for him, he turned and went back unto his house.

Dan then smote Laish a city at peace with Israel and named it Dan.

18:27 And they took the things which Micah had made, and the priest which he had, and came unto Laish, unto a people that were at quiet and secure: and they smote them with the edge of the sword, and burnt the city with fire. 18:28 And there was no deliverer, because it was far from Zidon, and they had no business with any man; and it was in the valley that lieth by Bethrehob. And they built a city, and dwelt therein.

18:29 And they called the name of the city Dan, after the name of Dan their father, who was born unto Israel: howbeit the name of the city was Laish at the first.

Northern Dan then set up false priests not of Aaron, and worshipped idols all their history. Even today it is recorded of Dan that they shall have no part in the 12,000 called out of each tribe of Israel at the end of the tribulation.

18:30 And the children of Dan set up the graven image: and Jonathan, the son of Gershom, the son of Manasseh, he and his sons were priests to the tribe of Dan until the day of the captivity of the land [of the ten tribes by the Assyrians].

18:31 And they set them up Micah’s graven image [in northern Dan], which he made, all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh.

Brethren, in the Mosaic Covenant a true priest of God was a son of Aaron who was called to that office; to teach zeal for the whole Word of God, to officiate over the offerings and to turn the people to God.

This Levite was not a son of Aaron and was not called to be a priest of God; neither was he a faithful Levite for he was willing to serve idols and teach others to do likewise.

In the New Covenant Jesus Christ commanded us to judge who we are willing to follow by their fruits of godliness.

An elder who is not called of God to that office and does not live and teach others to zealously live by every Word of God; is not a true elder!

A man who was ordained for his talents and organizational loyalty, is not ordained of God; ONLY a person who is called and ordained to his office by God the Father, and who has the fruits of that calling by their zeal for God and his Word to keep it and to teach it; is a true elder and minister of Jesus Christ.

As John only baptized only those who had proved their repentance by their fruits: We are to baptize and  ordain only those who have the full fruits of repentance to godliness, evidenced by their uncompromising zeal to learn, keep and teach the whole Word of God, and to fearlessly rebuke all sin!

As Micah’s false “priest” was ordained of men; to our great shame we have also ordained false elders who are content to close their eyes to idolizing men and corporate entities and false teachings, and encouraging lukewarmness for keeping the Word of God; for a reward of wages.

Prove all things, hold fast that which is good and consistent with the whole Word of God (1 Thess 5:20-22).

Serve God with all your hearts and do good to others; that is the will of God.

Matthew 7:13 Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: 7:14 Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it.

Few have the dedication to follow through with enduring and overcoming to become part of the chosen. God wants Kings and Priests for offices of responsibility for all eternity. He must be certain of our fidelity to him; therefore let us put him and his Kingdom FIRST at all times, and be passionate DOERS of his commandments. that you may have a part in the bride of Christ!

Like a marriage; salvation is a duel effort. God the Father must call people to the Son, and open our minds to Him and his Word; yet WE must respond!  Jesus Christ as the espoused Husband leads and enables, but those who want a part in the collective bride must FOLLOW HIM!

We MUST sincerely repent and We MUST commit to keeping God’s Word; to “Go and sin NO more!”

We MUST make every possible effort to overcome; and we MUST diligently seeks God’s help!

We are called to a marriage to Christ!  A marriage is a TEAM effort; two uniting as one. We as a part of the collective bride MUST do our part and that part is to follow Christ and obey God the Father; and we NEED their help to accomplish that!

We overcome through the power of Christ living in us through the indwelling of God’s spirit; we must also be willing to follow Christ and God’s spirit as it leads us to live by every Word of God.

The big problem in religion today is that people do not follow Christ and do not diligently live by every Word of God, instead they do what is right in their own eyes.  We have become righteous in our own eyes! and are wicked in the eyes of Almighty God, by doing what we think is right; instead of doing what God says is right!

Our part is NOT to do what WE think is right! Our part is to do what God SAYS is right.

We are to seek to grow in knowledge and understanding of God’s ways; we are to seek to become like God the Father with ALL our hearts minds and strength; but not ALONE! We are also to seek God’s help, diligently and consistently; for we ultimately can overcome ONLY by God’s power.

As God delivered Israel out of Egypt, he can and will deliver us out of the bondage of sin! 

Christ overcame this world, he WILL overcome this world living in you! Even in Egypt Israel had to follow God out of bondage! So we must be willing to follow God in whatever he commands; that is our part.

Matthew 22:37 Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. 22:38 This is the first and great commandment.

IF we loved God: We would DO what God says!

We must be willing followers of Christ and willing DOERS of God the Father’s commandments; for the sacrifice of Christ the very Lamb of God will ONLY be applied to the repentant who are committed DOERS of God’s law [Acts 5:32)!

Romans 2:13 (For not the hearers of the law are just before God, but the doers of the law shall be justified.

Yes we have our part; we MUST be willing DOERS of the law!  We must diligently seek out God with all our hearts; and we MUST serve God ONLY!  and not idols of men with their false traditions!  When we are tempted to compromise with God’s commandments we must boldly declare in the name of Jesus Christ:

Matthew 4:10 Then saith Jesus unto him, GET THEE HENCE, SATAN: for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve.

Yes we do have our part, yet we cannot do it alone!

We MUST seek our God with all our might, follow him in all things, trust and obey him alone and serve him with passionate love! We must ASK for his spirit of power to overcome, we MUST diligently seek knowledge of his ways and apply what we learn as we learn.

We must reject temptation the second it rears its ugly head and hide ourselves in the armor of God.

We must fight the good fight, but if we rely on our Mighty One we are not alone in that fight against temptation, compromise and sin!

Alone we will fail, for we are no match for Satan the god-king of this world, but TOGETHER with our Awesome Beloved Father; the god-king of this world is NO match for us!

Ephesians 6:10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

It is our FAITH in our Great God, married to the action of faithfully FOLLOWING Him and living by His every Word, that makes us strong!  It is our faithful service to our God which brings deliverance for us!

The whole armor of God is there for us; but we MUST put it on: We must USE it!

Ephesians 6:11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 6:12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

We MUST fight the good fight against the wickedness warring against us, USING all the help and strength that God provides!

Ephesians 6:13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

We MUST fight to overcome, but we shall overcome by the power and righteousness of God the Father and Christ dwelling in and strengthening us; actually living in us through the Spirit of God!

Ephesians 6:14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Righteousness IS the keeping of all of God’s commandments! We MUST live in and by the truth of God, which is every WORD of God.

Ephesians 6:16 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

The Gospel of peace between God and man, is the Gospel of repentance and reconciliation to God. It is sincere repentance, an unshakable commitment to faithful obedience; and the gift of atonement, reconciliation and empowerment with God’s Spirit of power and a sound mind; which enables us to overcome.

We MUST DO our part and God will DO his!

Ephesians 6:16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

If we are filled with faith in the strength of our God; and we depend and put our TRUST in our God and His Word, rejecting any temptation to compromise with God’s law; God WILL deliver us.

Brethren, it is this lack of faith which has caused us to compromise with the commandments; and to turn the Gospel message of warning and repentance into a lukewarm business model inoffensive message. This in turn offends Jesus Christ and we will be rejected by him until we repent.

Each year at Passover time we study the mighty miracles that Christ performed for his people; and then we go and compromise with God’s ways out of fear of persecution or lust for mammon!

2 Timothy 3:5 Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

Ephesians 5:17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Let us cover ourselves with the gift of salvation; given to the sincerely  repentant diligent commandment keeper; and fight the good fight, wielding the TRUTH, the WORD of God; which is the sword of the Sprit; for God is truth and his Spirit shall:

John 16:13 Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth:

Yes we MUST DO our part, yet we NEED God’s HELP!  We cannot overcome ALONE!

Ephesians 6:18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;

Matthew 7:15 Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.

A wolf feeds himself first, and ravages the flock.

Ezekiel 34 the entire chapter is about those shepherds in BOTH physical and spiritual Israel who are wolves and feed themselves with all the good things of the flock while neglecting to feed the flock with the truth is due season.

Those who are  political and seek the chief seats, who seek self aggrandizement and personal advantage; are the wolves hiding among the sheep. Today there are very many wolves who do not feed the sheep the true Gospel of: warning, repentance, and diligent faithful obedience to God and salvation. Which is the way of life, the very Word of God, and the way to salvation.

Ezekiel 34:1 And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 34:2 Son of man, prophesy against the shepherds of Israel, prophesy, and say unto them, Thus saith the Lord GOD unto the shepherds; Woe be to the shepherds of Israel that do feed themselves! should not the shepherds feed the flocks?

Matthew 7:16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? 7:17 Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.

If any man teaches tolerance for sin out of a phony false love; if any elder tolerates sin [the breaking of God’s commandments, not the breaking of some organizational edict] without rebuke; if any organization does not preach a message of warning and repentance to the world; They are corrupt branches that will be pruned off at the judgment!

The True Good Shepherd feeds the flock with the words of truth; with the teachings that lead to salvation; strongly rebuking all sin. We are to follow that true Good Shepherd with the diligent KEEPING of the whole Word of God, so that the whole flock internalizes God the Father and the Son; growing into a full spiritual unity with God!

Matthew 7:18 A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.

The good tree is that Good Shepherd who is working to bring the whole flock into a fullness of unity with Christ and the Father! We are to follow that Good Shepherd who gave his all, his very life for the Father’s flock and did not seek his own.

We are to follow that example that was set for us, and faithfully serve the Father by feeding his flock with the very Word of God, the very nature of God; without fear or compromise; regardless of what men think or do.

There are some good shepherds among you even now, who teach the true way of salvation and are alert watchmen discerning the signs of the times. They may be kept down, ridiculed and even persecuted by others, yet the Father will reward them.

Luke 12:42 And the Lord said, Who then is that faithful and wise steward, whom his lord shall make ruler over his household, to give them their portion of meat in due season?

12:43 Blessed is that servant, whom his lord when he cometh shall find so doing.  12:44 Of a truth I say unto you, that he will make him ruler over all that he hath.

 

The evil servant.

Luke 12:25 But and if that servant say in his heart, My lord delayeth his coming; and shall begin to beat the menservants and maidens, and to eat and drink, and to be drunken;

To abuse others and seek his own pleasures.

Matthew 7:20 Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

You shall know the good shepherds by their love of God and their diligent keeping and teaching of the commandments of God and by their diligence to do the will of HIM who called them.

Matthew 23:11 But he that is greatest among you shall be your servant. 23:12 And whosoever shall exalt himself shall be abased; and he that shall humble himself shall be exalted.

Matthew 7:21 Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.

7:22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 7:23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.

7:24 Therefore whosoever heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them, I will liken him unto a wise man, which built his house upon a rock [the Might Rock of our Salvation, the whole Word of God and Messiah the Christ]: 7:25 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock.

Those who internalize the nature of God the Father and Jesus Christ; who become one with them in total spiritual unity, through a deep love for God and all the things of God, those who love the passionate keeping of all of their commandments and who set a good example of godliness and FEED THE FLOCK with the good pasture of the Word, watering them with the Spirit of Godliness, are building on the foundation of the Word of God: Which shall NEVER be moved.

Ephesians 2:20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;

Matthew 7:26 And every one that heareth these sayings of mine, and doeth them not, shall be likened unto a foolish man, which built his house upon the sand: 7:27 And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell: and great was the fall of it.

The words of Christ are not taught  today, because they are NOT KEPT!  It is because the Word of God exposes the many false shepherds among us!  It is because the Word of God cuts sharply into the very heart and spirit of our organizations and convicts us of our sins and egocentric complacency; and our lack of Christ centeredness; exposing our almost total lack of Christ-like zeal for God the Father’s will and ways!

Jesus Christ stands at the door of each of those called to him; knocking (Rev 3), calling us to repent of our self righteous idolizing of our own ways; calling us to a diligent dedicated passionate obedience to the commandments of God; calling us to a zeal for the keeping of God’s Word and instructions; calling us to sincerely repent of our self seeking embracing of worldliness.

 

Judges 19

A concubine is a woman contracted to a man for long term ongoing sexual activity; outside of and having a lower standing than a legal wife. In modern terms a mistress: In ancient times a servant belonging to a man like Hagar was. In cases of infidelity a concubine was considered as belonging to a man, in the same sense as a wife.

Benjamin almost destroyed for their gross wickedness.

Judges 19:1 And it came to pass in those days, when there was no king in Israel, that there was a certain Levite sojourning on the side of mount Ephraim, who took to him a concubine out of Bethlehemjudah.

This concubine was unfaithful to the man and went [perhaps out of fear of an angry husband] back to her father’s house.

19:2 And his concubine played the whore against him, and went away from him unto her father’s house to Bethlehemjudah, and was there four whole months.

After four months the man cooled down and went to take her back.

19:3 And her husband arose, and went after her, to speak friendly unto her, and to bring her again, having his servant with him, and a couple of asses: and she brought him into her father’s house: and when the father of the damsel saw him, he rejoiced to meet him.

The father in law rejoiced at the reconciliation.

19:4 And his father in law, the damsel’s father, retained him; and he abode with him three days: so they did eat and drink, and lodged there.

When the man desired to return to his home the father in law tried to delay their departure.

19:5 And it came to pass on the fourth day, when they arose early in the morning, that he rose up to depart: and the damsel’s father said unto his son in law, Comfort thine heart with a morsel of bread, and afterward go your way. 19:6 And they sat down, and did eat and drink both of them together: for the damsel’s father had said unto the man, Be content, I pray thee, and tarry all night, and let thine heart be merry. 19:7 And when the man rose up to depart, his father in law urged him: therefore he lodged there again.

19:8 And he arose early in the morning on the fifth day to depart; and the damsel’s father said, Comfort thine heart, I pray thee. And they tarried until afternoon, and they did eat both of them. 19:9 And when the man rose up to depart, he, and his concubine, and his servant, his father in law, the damsel’s father, said unto him, Behold, now the day draweth toward evening, I pray you tarry all night: behold, the day groweth to an end, lodge here, that thine heart may be merry; and to morrow get you early on your way, that thou mayest go home.

Finally on the fifth day of this delaying; the man refused to delay any longer and took his servant and lady, departing late in the day to go to his own home.

19:10 But the man would not tarry that night, but he rose up and departed, and came over against Jebus, which is Jerusalem; and there were with him two asses saddled, his concubine also was with him.

The man felt safer and more comfortable in a city of Israel.

19:11 And when they were by Jebus [Jerusalem], the day was far spent; and the servant said unto his master, Come, I pray thee, and let us turn in into this city of the Jebusites, and lodge in it. 19:12 And his master said unto him, We will not turn aside hither into the city of a stranger, that is not of the children of Israel; we will pass over to Gibeah.

They made it to Gibeah of Benjamin as the sun set.

19:13 And he said unto his servant, Come, and let us draw near to one of these places to lodge all night, in Gibeah, or in Ramah. 19:14 And they passed on and went their way; and the sun went down upon them when they were by Gibeah, which belongeth to Benjamin.

19:15 And they turned aside thither, to go in and to lodge in Gibeah: and when he went in, he sat him down in a street of the city: for there was no man that took them into his house to lodging.

19:16 And, behold, there came an old man from his work out of the field at even, which was also of mount Ephraim; and he sojourned in Gibeah: but the men of the place were Benjamites.

19:17 And when he had lifted up his eyes, he saw a wayfaring man in the street of the city: and the old man said, Whither goest thou? and whence comest thou? 19:18 And he said unto him, We are passing from Bethlehemjudah toward the side of mount Ephraim; from thence am I: and I went to Bethlehemjudah, but I am now going to

the house of the LORD [at Shiloh]; and there is no man that receiveth me to house.

The old man of Ephraim that dwelled among Benjamin was hospitable while the Benjamites were not.

19:19 Yet there is both straw and provender for our asses; and there is bread and wine also for me, and for thy handmaid, and for the young man which is with thy servants: there is no want of any thing. 19:20 And the old man said, Peace be with thee; howsoever let all thy wants lie upon me; only lodge not in the street. 19:21 So he brought him into his house, and gave provender unto the asses: and they washed their feet, and did eat and drink.

As they were eating and drinking, wicked men came to the door and demanded sexual satisfaction from the man.

19:22 Now as they were making their hearts merry, behold, the men of the city, certain sons of Belial [wickedness], beset the house round about, and beat at the door, and spake to the master of the house, the old man, saying, Bring forth the man that came into thine house, that we may know him.

19:23 And the man, the master of the house, went out unto them, and said unto them, Nay, my brethren, nay, I pray you, do not so wickedly; seeing that this man is come into mine house, do not this folly.

This man then protested against these perverts and then instead of trusting in God; tried to deal with the situation on his own by offering his own daughter and the women to these despicable people.

19:24 Behold, here is my daughter a maiden, and his concubine; them I will bring out now, and humble ye them, and do with them what seemeth good unto you: but unto this man do not so vile a thing.

Then the “husband” of the concubine brought her out himself. He probably remembered her earlier betrayal and in his fear betrayed her himself. Yet that is no excuse; for when we face such severe tests we are to RUN TO OUR GOD for his help and are not to sin against our Mighty One by doing what is right in our own eyes!

19:25 But the men would not hearken to him: so the man took his concubine, and brought her forth unto them; and they knew her, and abused her all the night until the morning: and when the day began to spring, they let her go.

The woman was finally let go and she sought out her lord dying on his door step.

19:26 Then came the woman in the dawning of the day, and fell down at the door of the man’s house where her lord was, till it was light. 19:27 And her lord rose up in the morning, and opened the doors of the house, and went out to go his way: and, behold, the woman his concubine was fallen down at the door of the house, and her hands were upon the threshold.

The woman died at his threshold.

19:28 And he said unto her, Up, and let us be going. But none answered.

The Levite then took her to his home and cut her into twelve pieces to send one to every tribe in Israel calling on them to destroy this wicked city.

Then the man took her up upon an ass, and the man rose up, and gat him unto his place. 19:29 And when he was come into his house, he took a knife, and laid hold on his concubine, and divided her, together with her bones, into twelve pieces, and sent her into all the coasts of Israel.

The Levite managed to shock Israel into action.

19:30 And it was so, that all that saw it said, There was no such deed done nor seen from the day that the children of Israel came up out of the land of Egypt unto this day: consider of it, take advice, and speak your minds.

 

Judges 20

All Israel gathered to come before God at the place of the covenant between Laban and Jacob; the pillar in Mizpeh.

Judges 20:1 Then all the children of Israel went out, and the congregation was gathered together as one man, from Dan even to Beersheba, with the land of Gilead, unto the LORD in Mizpeh.

400,000 men gathered themselves at Mizpeh.

20:2 And the chief of all the people, even of all the tribes of Israel, presented themselves in the assembly of the people of God, four hundred thousand footmen that drew sword.

Israel then demanded an explanation of the actions of the Levite in cutting up the woman and calling them together.

20:3 (Now the children of Benjamin heard that the children of Israel were gone up to Mizpeh.) Then said the children of Israel, Tell us, how was this wickedness?

20:4 And the Levite, the husband of the woman that was slain, answered and said, I came into Gibeah that belongeth to Benjamin, I and my concubine, to lodge. 20:5 And the men of Gibeah rose against me, and beset the house round about upon me by night, and thought to have slain me: and my concubine have they forced, that she is dead. 20:6 And I took my concubine, and cut her in pieces, and sent her throughout all the country of the inheritance of Israel: for they have committed lewdness and folly in Israel.

The Levite then asks the decision of the people.

20:7 Behold, ye are all children of Israel; give here your advice and counsel.

The people decided to take 10% of the men to carry food; and the remainder would go up to destroy Gibeah.

20:8 And all the people arose as one man, saying, We will not any of us go to his tent, neither will we any of us turn into his house. 20:9 But now this shall be the thing which we will do to Gibeah; we will go

up by lot against it; 20:10 And we will take ten men of an hundred throughout all the tribes of Israel, and an hundred of a thousand, and a thousand out of ten thousand, to fetch victual for the people, that they may do, when they come to Gibeah of Benjamin, according to all the folly that they have wrought in Israel.

20:11 So all the men of Israel were gathered against the city, knit together as one man.

Then Israel demanded of Benjamin that they deliver up the wicked, but Benjamin would not deliver the wicked from among them. 

This is a lesson for us that today’s Ekklesia will also be destroyed for not rejecting wickedness from among us.

20:12 And the tribes of Israel sent men through all the tribe of Benjamin, saying, What wickedness is this that is done among you? 20:13 Now therefore deliver us the men, the children of Belial, which are in Gibeah, that we may put them to death, and put away evil from Israel. But the children of Benjamin would not hearken to the voice of their brethren the children of Israel.

Benjamin sought to join battle to defend wickedness.

20:14 But the children of Benjamin gathered themselves together out of the cities unto Gibeah, to go out to battle against the children of Israel. 20:15 And the children of Benjamin were numbered at that time out of the cities twenty and six thousand men that drew sword, beside the inhabitants of Gibeah, which were numbered seven hundred chosen men. 20:16 Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded; every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.

Benjamin with 26,700, sought to defend the wicked against the 400,000 of Israel

20:17 And the men of Israel, beside Benjamin, were numbered four hundred thousand men that drew sword: all these were men of war.

God commanded that Judah go up to the battle first.

20:18 And the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God [at Shiloh], and asked counsel of God, and said, Which of us shall go up first to the battle against the children of Benjamin? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up first.

Benjamin then wins the day’s battle, killing 22,000 of Israel; most would have been of Judah. God seems to be trying to teach Israel a lesson with these defeats by the obviously wicked.

20:19 And the children of Israel rose up in the morning, and encamped against Gibeah. 20:20 And the men of Israel went out to battle against Benjamin; and the men of Israel put themselves in array to fight against them at Gibeah. 20:21 And the children of Benjamin came forth out of Gibeah, and destroyed down to the ground of the Israelites that day twenty and two thousand men.

Israel seeks to encourage themselves and asks God if they should go up to battle or leave off; and YHVH who became Jesus Christ said; go up and fight.

20:22 And the people the men of Israel encouraged themselves, and set their battle again in array in the place where they put themselves in array the first day. 20:23 (And the children of Israel went up and wept before the LORD until even, and asked counsel of the LORD, saying, Shall I go up again to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother? And the LORD said, Go up against him.) 20:24 And the children of Israel came near against the children of Benjamin the second day.

Benjamin again wins the day’s battle killing 18,000 of Israel with no mention of casualties in Benjamin.

20:25 And Benjamin went forth against them out of Gibeah the second day, and destroyed down to the ground of the children of Israel again eighteen thousand men; all these drew the sword.

Israel did not lose faith but fasted and gave offerings to the Eternal.

20:26 Then all the children of Israel, and all the people, went up, and came unto the house of God, and wept, and sat there before the LORD, and fasted that day until even, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before the LORD.

At this point the Eternal said; go up to the battle and promises them the victory.

20:27 And the children of Israel enquired of the LORD, (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, 20:28 And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

Israel now uses a strategy, drawing the now over confident Benjamin out into an ambush.

20:29 And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah. 20:30 And the children of Israel went up against the children of Benjamin on the third day, and put themselves in array against Gibeah, as at other times.

Israel drew Benjamin out of their place and fled before them.

20:31 And the children of Benjamin went out against the people, and were drawn away from the city; and they began to smite of the people, and kill, as at other times, in the highways, of which one goeth up to the house of God, and the other to Gibeah in the field, about thirty men of Israel. 20:32 And the children of Benjamin said, They are smitten down before us, as at the first. But the children of Israel said, Let us flee, and draw them from the city unto the highways.

Israel fled only so far and then turned back upon Benjamin; while others of Israel rose up out of their hiding place and sacked the city of Gibeon.

20:33 And all the men of Israel rose up out of their place, and put themselves in array at Baaltamar: and the liers in wait of Israel came forth out of their places, even out of the meadows of Gibeah. 20:34 And there came against Gibeah ten thousand chosen men out of all Israel, and the battle was sore: but they knew not that evil was near them.

YHVH [Jesus Christ] then went out before Israel and Israel destroyed 25,100 men of Benjamim that day.

20:35 And the LORD smote Benjamin before Israel: and the children of Israel destroyed of the Benjamites that day twenty and five thousand and an hundred men: all these drew the sword.

Israel trusted in the ambush and fled drawing Benjamin away from the city.

20:36 So the children of Benjamin saw that they were smitten: for the men of Israel gave place to the Benjamites, because they trusted unto the liers in wait which they had set beside Gibeah.

Then the 10,000 of Israel were able to rise up and take the city.

20:37 And the liers in wait hasted, and rushed upon Gibeah; and the liers in wait drew themselves along, and smote all the city with the edge of the sword.

When the flames began to rise from the city; it was the appointed sign for those fleeing to turn back on their pursuers.

20:38 Now there was an appointed sign between the men of Israel and the liers in wait, that they should make a great flame with smoke rise up out of the city. 20:39 And when the men of Israel retired [were fleeing] in the battle, Benjamin began to smite and kill of the men of Israel about thirty persons: for they said, Surely they are smitten down before us, as in the first battle.

Then when Benjamin looked back and saw their city in flames and Israel turned back to fight them; Benjamin was taken by surprise and in shock they tried to return to defend the city and were run down by Israel.

20:40 But when the flame began to arise up out of the city with a pillar of smoke, the Benjamites looked behind them, and, behold, the flame of the city ascended up to heaven. 20:41 And when the men of Israel turned again, the men of Benjamin were amazed: for they saw that evil was come upon them. 20:42 Therefore they turned their backs before the men of Israel unto the way of the wilderness; but the battle overtook them; and them which came out of the cities they destroyed in the midst of them. 20:43 Thus they inclosed the Benjamites round about, and chased them, and trode them down with ease over against Gibeah toward the sunrising.

Then was Benjamin destroyed to almost the loss of a whole tribe of Israel.

20:44 And there fell of Benjamin eighteen thousand men; all these were men of valour. 20:45 And they turned and fled toward the wilderness unto the rock of Rimmon: and they gleaned of them in the highways five thousand men [Israel killed 5,000 more of Benjamin in the highways] ; and pursued hard after them unto Gidom, and slew [another] two thousand men of them.

20:46 So that all which fell that day of Benjamin were twenty and five thousand men that drew the sword; all these were men of valour.

Israel then went and destroyed all Benjamin but 600 men escaped and hid in the wilderness.

20:47 But six hundred men turned and fled to the wilderness unto the rock Rimmon, and abode in the rock Rimmon four months. 20:48 And the men of Israel turned again upon the children of Benjamin, and smote them with the edge of the sword, as well the men of every city, as the beast, and all that came to hand: also they set on fire all the cities that they came to.

 

Judges 21

Judges 21:1 Now the men of Israel had sworn in Mizpeh, saying, There shall not any of us give his daughter unto Benjamin to wife.

The people realized the magnitude of their rash oath and the deed of destroying Benjamin and cried out to God.

21:2 And the people came to the house of God, and abode there till even before God, and lifted up their voices, and wept sore; 21:3 And said, O LORD God of Israel, why is this come to pass in Israel, that there should be to day one tribe lacking in Israel? 21:4 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people rose early, and built there an altar, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings.

The people then sought for those who had not made a vow to withhold their daughters from Benjamin in marriage, that the 400 of Benjamin may have wives, and that Benjamin might not perish out of Israel.

21:5 And the children of Israel said, Who is there among all the tribes of Israel that came not up with the congregation unto the LORD? For they had made a great oath concerning him that came not up to the LORD to Mizpeh, saying, He shall surely be put to death.

The people repented dearly for Benjamin, but were forced to keep their vow, therefore they sought out any who had not made the vow.

21:6 And the children of Israel repented them for Benjamin their brother, and said, There is one tribe cut off from Israel this day. 21:7 How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing we have sworn by the LORD that we will not give them of our daughters to wives?

They found one city that had not made the vow not to give their daughters to Benjamin.

21:8 And they said, What one is there of the tribes of Israel that came not up to Mizpeh to the LORD? And, behold, there came none to the camp from Jabeshgilead to the assembly. 21:9 For the people were numbered, and, behold, there were none of the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead there.

Israel then destroyed the males that did not come up to fight against the wickedness of Benjamin and took their virgins for the remaining men of Benjamin.  Those who tolerate open sin among us will also be destroyed from among the people of God.

21:10 And the congregation sent thither twelve thousand men of the valiantest, and commanded them, saying, Go and smite the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead with the edge of the sword, with the women and the children. 21:11 And this is the thing that ye shall do, Ye shall utterly destroy every male, and every woman that hath lain by man.

21:12 And they found among the inhabitants of Jabeshgilead four hundred young virgins, that had known no man by lying with any male: and they brought them unto the camp to Shiloh, which is in the land of Canaan. 21:13 And the whole congregation sent some to speak to the children of Benjamin that were in the rock Rimmon, and to call peaceably unto them. 21:14 And Benjamin came again at that time; and they gave them wives which they had saved alive of the women of Jabeshgilead: and yet so they sufficed them not.

Israel repented and sought more wives for the remainder of Benjamin.

21:15 And the people repented them for Benjamin, because that the LORD had made a breach in the tribes of Israel. 21:16 Then the elders of the congregation said, How shall we do for wives for them that remain, seeing the women are destroyed out of Benjamin? 21:17 And they said, There must be an inheritance for them that be escaped of Benjamin, that a tribe be not destroyed out of Israel. 21:18 Howbeit we may not give them wives of our daughters: for the children of Israel have sworn, saying, Cursed be he that giveth a wife to Benjamin.

They then decided on a stratagem that they would not give wives to Benjamin, but neither would they fight if Benjamin kidnapped wives away for themselves.

21:19 Then they said, Behold, there is a feast of the LORD in Shiloh yearly in a place which is on the north side of Bethel, on the east side of the highway that goeth up from Bethel to Shechem, and on the south of Lebonah.

The elders of Israel therefore told the men of Benjamin to kidnap wives of the daughter of Shiloh for themselves  when they came out to dance and rejoice at the annual Feast of God.

21:20 Therefore they commanded the children of Benjamin, saying, Go and lie in wait in the vineyards; 21:21 And see, and, behold, if the daughters of Shiloh come out to dance in dances, then come ye out of the vineyards, and catch you every man his wife of the daughters of Shiloh, and go to the land of Benjamin.

The leaders of Israel promised to aid Benjamin by reasoning with the men of Shiloh; saying that because they did not “give” their daughters voluntarily they did not break their vow.

21:22 And it shall be, when their fathers or their brethren come unto us to complain, that we will say unto them, Be favourable unto them for our sakes: because we reserved not to each man his wife in the war: for ye did not give unto them at this time, that ye should be guilty.

Thus was the problem of wives for Benjamin solved

21:23 And the children of Benjamin did so, and took them wives, according to their number, of them that danced, whom they caught: and they went and returned unto their inheritance, and repaired the cities, and dwelt in them. 21:24 And the children of Israel departed thence at that time, every man to his tribe and to his family, and they went out from thence every man to his inheritance.

The book of Ruth comes next an dis appointed to be read on the Feast of Pentecost. Ruth is in the later Judges period, setting the background for the rise of the dynasty of the house of David.

In Judges God raised up occasional Judges [strong men or temporary kings], it was not until David that God established a dynastic covenant to create a dynasty of kings leading to Jesus Christ at his now soon coming to rule the whole earth as King of kings.

LESSONS FROM JUDGES

21:25 In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.

Today the church of God groups are no different than Mosaic Israel was during the period of the Judges.

The vast majority of today’s Ekklesia have fallen away from any zeal to follow their KING, Jesus Christ [YHVH], and have fallen away from any zeal to learn and gain more understanding of and live by every Word of God.

They will go to great lengths to cleave to error even when they know they are in error, as they prove in their Passover order error and their  Calendar and New Moon papers.

Indeed the latter day COG Groups have no zeal to learn more about, or to KEEP the Word of God; and each group follows THEIR OWN WAYS which seem right to them; while even daring to condemn those who do have a zeal to follow Christ and to learn and keep the whole Word of God.

Even in the details of the various hero’s of Judges we find that many of these men, called of God to deliver the people and turn them back to the Eternal, were often self willed and wicked themselves.

It is the same today, many COG leaders and elders are also idolaters who refuse to rebuke sin, and reject what they know is the truth, and turn aside from following the Eternal wherever he goes; to follow men away from God.

Let me be very clear; whatever the specific sins during the period of the Judges; the main overriding core and foundational sin was: to turn away from any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God!

It is because they fell away from their covenant, to be zealous to live by every Word of God; that they fell into all of these sins and evil situations.

The situation is exactly the same today!

It is because the Ekklesia has fallen away from the New Covenant of zeal to learn and to live by every Word of God on our part; and have followed our own ways, exalting ourselves and our leaders and corporate entities above any zeal for the Word of God; that we have fallen into many sins, and each one does what is right in his own eyes, instead of doing what is right in the eyes of God today!

Because we are full of zeal for our own ways and have no zeal for advancing in the knowledge of God or for keeping the Word of God; because as we each do what is right in our own eyes; instead of what God says is right: We have been judged and found wanting by our espoused Husband Jesus Christ, and are in grave danger of being fully rejected by him into the correction of the furnace of affliction that through the afflicting of the flesh the spirit may possibly be saved.

Revelation 3:14 And unto the angel of the church of the Laodiceans write; These things saith the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the beginning of the creation of God;

Laodicea is spiritually lukewarm, professing godliness while keeping the commandments according to their own imaginations instead of keeping them the way that God commands. 

They pay lip service to godliness without any zeal to learn and live by every Word of God.  Their zeal is for their own ways and what they think, it is for their own past false traditions and their idols of men and not for what God says. They stand on false past traditions and proudly think they know it all; refusing any spiritual growth they are stagnant or even falling backward in their spiritual condition. 

They are hot for their own traditions, and for the teachings of their idols of men about the Word of God, and cold for zealously keeping the whole Word as God, as God has commanded them.  This mixture of hot for their idols of men and corporate entities, and a cold, lack of zeal to keep the Words of God makes them lukewarm and revolting to Christ. 

They are idolaters of men and the traditions of men; proud, thinking that they know it all spiritually and therefore refuse correction from God or man; they reject the Word of God for their own ways and they reject any growth in truth and refuse to turn from error, going deeper and deeper into error and sin. 

Because these folks have rejected Christ to follow him above our idols of men, they will be rejected by Christ into the correction of great tribulation, in the hope that through the correction of the flesh the spirit may be saved.

3:15 I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot. 3:16 So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth [They will be rejected by Christ into severe correction] .

The vast majority of COG Groups today think they know it all, because they trust in their own ways; and they have no idea of how spiritually wretched and blind they really are.

Proud and self willed, they think they are spiritually rich and know it all, having need of no spiritual growth, and reject the promised increase in spiritual knowledge and understanding promised for the last days (Dan 12). 

They reject any part of scripture that they do not want to follow, saying it is for others; or that it is not reliable and are so proud they have no idea how spiritually wretched, miserable and poor they really are. 

They are willfully blind to their own condition and to the things of God that disprove their own false ways;  They lack the garments of righteousness and are naked before God,  their many sins exposed to Him; beginning with the sins of pride, stubborn self will,  self justification and self approval.

3:17 Because thou sayest, I am rich [spiritually], and increased with goods [spiritual knowledge], and have need of nothing [no one not even Christ (the Word of God) can tell them anything]; and knowest not that thou art [spiritually] wretched, and miserable, and [spiritually] poor [knowing almost nothing of God as they ought to know it], and blind [willfully blind to their wretched spiritual state], and naked [naked of any true godly righteousness, not being zealous to keep the Word of God]:

Seek the gold of the Word of God in the fire of affliction that we may become spiritually rich. Seek the clothing of the righteousness of the Word of God, that the shame of our own ways be covered by the righteousness of the ways of God. Seek after the eye salve of the Spirit of God, through zeal for all the things of God that our spiritual blindness may be healed.

Christ counsels those with the Laodicean attitude to buy spiritual gold in the fire of tribulation; that they may become spiritually rich. 

They are bidden to sincerely repent of their prideful sins that the nakedness of their wickedness may be covered by the application of the sacrifice of Christ; so that they may receive God’s Holy Spirit and the  white raiment of the righteousness of the zealous keeping of the whole Word of God. 

They are commanded to anoint their eyes and open them to see themselves as God sees them, and to sincerely repent from their pride and false ways and to turn away from their idols of men and false traditions to follow the Spirit of God into all truth; rejecting all error and sin to embrace godly truth that they might be saved.

3:18 I counsel thee to buy of me [spiritual] gold tried in the fire [during the period of your correction in the fire of tribulation], that thou mayest be [become spiritually rich] rich; and white raiment [the righteousness of zealously keeping the whole Word of God], that thou mayest be clothed, and that the shame of thy nakedness [that our sins might be covered by the righteousness of God] do not appear; and anoint thine eyes with eyesalve, that thou mayest see [open our eyes to see ourselves as God sees us, to see ourselves as we really are so that we can repent and be saved].

Jesus reminds these folks that he rebukes them only because he truly loves them and is not willing that they should perish.  They are rejected only because they first rejected Christ, refusing to live by every Word of God, refusing to follow Christ and refusing to live by every Word of God in Christ-like zeal. 

Jesus Christ tells those of the Laodicean attitude; which is the overwhelming attitude in the Ekklesia today;  to REPENT of their pride and self righteousness. and to REPENT of trusting in their idols of men and false traditions. 

Jesus Christ tells us to turn to him; and turn to a zeal for the whole Word of God, to learn it and to keep it; to turn from our false idols and false traditions and to become zealous to remove error and embrace the truth of God! 

3:19 As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten: be zealous therefore, and repent.

Jesus is warning and calling each one of his straying sheep; He wants them to open up to him, to reject idols and to follow him, to be zealous to remove sin and embrace God’s righteous truth, to internalize  the solid meat of the Word of God in fellowship with Christ. 

They have an open invitation from Jesus Christ who is gladly willing to accept them, if they would only open up their eyes and turn to Him! 

3:20 Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup [eat; internalize the Word of God] with him, and he with me.

Only those who overcome this Laodicean attitude of pride and self-centeredness will be resurrected to spirit.  Those who sincerely repent of the sins of Laodicea will be in the resurrection to eternal life and will have a place in the eternal government of God.

3:21 To him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne.

3:22 He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

As the seventh and last assembly Laodicea has all of the problems of the other churches.  

That is because pride is the chief cause of most of the various problems.  Today professing Christianity and the Brotherhood are full of pride and idolatry, rejecting any biblical thing they do not agree with, as unreliable or applying only to others. 

They think of themselves as the repository of all wisdom and truth, and refuse any zeal to keep the whole Word of God, in order to follow their corporate idols, idols of men and their own false traditions. 

Today the Organizations call the Sabbath and High Days, Holy; and then walk all over them, while claiming that the commandments not to cook or buy food on Sabbath somehow applies to others and not to themselves.  They insist on following the apostate Rabbinic Calendar and refuse to keep the Biblical Calendar of God; even though the proofs are now overwhelming. 

They have almost no understanding of the Festivals, rejecting the true meanings of the Festivals; even claiming that the seven day Feast of Tabernacles somehow represents only one thousand years.  They reject any zeal for living by every Word of God, and insist on a zeal for the corporate idols, idols of men and past false traditions, insisting that people should obey them, above the Word of God. 

Jesus Christ loves his people, therefore he will correct us, that through afflicting the flesh the spirit may be saved. If we continue to each group exalt its own ways above any zeal to learn and to keep the whole Word of God: We SHALL be chastised in the furnace of affliction. We have the promise of Jesus Christ that he will do that for us, to save us from ourselves!

I will not lie to you brethren. Only a few scattered here and there are truly pillars standing on the solid foundation of the whole word of God.

The vast majority of the people, are enthusiastically following their own ways and lacking in any zeal to grow in understanding, or in any zeal to keep the whole Word of God with enthusiastic joy

 

 

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