Category Archives: Tales of the Unexpected (Judges)

Tales of the Unexpected: Samson

(Judges 13-16) Could we get any worse than Jephthah? The story of Samson suggests that God could – and did. Samson had everything going for him: like John the Baptist (Luke 1:5-17), he had devout parents, was conceived by God’s power, … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unexpected: Who’s heard of Tola?

There are twelve judges named in the book of Judges, but only five have their stories told in detail (and only one or two of those are household names). Everyone knows about Gideon and Samson – but who’s heard of … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unexpected: Jephthah

(Judges 10:6-12:7) The Israelites continued their downward spiritual spiral, and this time they went one step further: not only did they worship the usual Canaanite gods, but they also started importing the deities of the surrounding nations. God also went … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unexpected: Gideon

(Judges 6-8) In the book of Judges, history repeats itself with almost monotonous regularity. After each deliverance, the next generation of Israelites became as idolatrous as their parents, if not more so. This time, their punishment was the resurgence of … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unexpected: Beware of the women!

(Judges 4 & 5) Deborah is unique among the judges – the only woman. She is also unusual (although not unique) in being a prophetess: God’s mouthpiece in her generation. She is therefore a key person in our understanding of … Continue reading

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Tales of the unexpected: the ox-goad, the tent-peg, the millstone & the jawbone

The judge Shamgar gets just one verse of Scripture to tell of his exploits (Judges 3:31). Such a brief account inevitably forces us to use our imaginations. How did the situation come about? Why did he not have time to … Continue reading

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Tales of the Unexpected: Ehud

(Judges 3:12-30) Barely a generation after their triumphant entry into the Promised Land, the Israelites were in bondage to an occupying power – the Moabites – to whom they were obliged to pay tribute. The small stone memorial that Joshua … Continue reading

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