Thus far in Judges God as appointed leaders (judges) for the Israelites, but in between leaders the Israelites rebel, so God hardens the hearts of other people to oppress the Israelites, then helps the Israelites defeat the very oppressors God forced on the Israelites. Yes, one big, ridiculous loop. Let’s see what Chapter 8 brings us.
“Gideon and his three hundred men, exhausted yet keeping up the pursuit, came to the Jordan and crossed it.” – Judges 8:4
God led Gideon and his three hundred men in a defeat of the Midianites. Defeating them is not enough. They must be killed so Gideon and his men are chasing them. The first several verses focus on Gideon asking others to help him capture the Midianites but others refuse. Here’s my question. Why does Gideon need help? God specifically selected 300 men to defeat the Midianites so God could receive all the credit. Why are these 300 men not enough now to capture and kill the fleeing Midianites? Looks like God did not think through his plan. There was no end game.
“Then Gideon replied, ‘Just for that, when the Lord has given Zebah and Zalmunna into my hand, I will tear your flesh with desert thorns and briers.’” – Judges 8:7
LOL! God demands only 300 men, but now, when more are needed, Gideon, under the support of God, places death threats on those who do not help! LOL!
“He took the elders of the town and taught the men of Sukkoth a lesson by punishing them with desert thorns and briers. He also pulled down the tower of Peniel and killed the men of the town.” – Judges 8:16-17
Holy shit!!! First God demands only 300 men be used in the fight against the Midianites, but then when no others come to help, God has the others killed! WTF!?!?! This is bat shit insane!!!
“And he (Gideon) said, ‘I do have one request, that each of you give me an earring from your share of the plunder.’” – Judges 8:24
Translation: I am supported by God. I led you in a slaughter of thousands of Midianites. Now give me earrings. As the late John Karpf would say: “You may face palm now!”
“Gideon made the gold into an ephod, which he placed in Ophrah, his town. All Israel prostituted themselves by worshiping it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and his family.” – Judges 8:27
A mere three verses later, the Israelites are prostituting themselves to gold. LOL! I guess it’s time for God to find some oppressors!!!
“Thus Midian was subdued before the Israelites and did not raise its head again. During Gideon’s lifetime, the land had peace forty years.” – Judges 8:28
Wait a second. The Israelites immediately prostitute themselves to gold, but have peace for 40 years? You waited 40 years, God, to punish them? You are a horrible leader.
“Jerub-Baal son of Joash went back home to live. He had seventy sons of his own, for he had many wives. His concubine, who lived in Shechem, also bore him a son, whom he named Abimelek.” – Judges 8:29-31
Biblical family values. Men can have multiple wives, but women who want multiple husbands or sleep with multiple men are to be put to death. Misogyny at its finest.
Judges 8 ends with the Israelites forsaking God once again. This is a chapter filled with much nonsense. First God commands only 300 men defeat the Midianites, but then turns around and has those that don’t help killed. Huh? Make up your freaking mind!!!
Coming Soon: Judges – Chapter 9: Abimelek