Reading through the Bible: day 80

Judges 5 – 8

Was Sisera sleeping

In Judges 5:26,27 we get an image of the death of Sisera that implies he was awake and sitting up when Jael drove the nail into his temple. In 4:21 though, it makes it clear he was sleeping.

This isn’t too much of a problem, since this is simply a record of Deborah’s song, in which she likely exaggerated Jael’s heroism.

What about those Midianites

In Judges 6 Midian oppresses Israel, yet Israel allegedly killed all the Midianite males and took the virgins as wives, so there should be no Midianites. At first this really perplexed me, so I did some looking into Midian.

Midian was Abraham’s son to Keturah. Thus all the males offspring of Midian would be Midianites. It’s possible that as the decendants of Midian got more and more numerous (by Numbers 31 there were nearly three million Israelites), living in close proximity may have become less practical. If this happened, then Midianites could have settled near Sinai, and others could have settled in Canaan. Moses crushed those staying near Sinai, and Gideon fought those living in Canaan. Thus the entire nation state of Midian in the Sinai region was utterly annihilated, but not all descendants of Midian.

There is no way of knowing if this happened, but it’s a possibility, so in the interests of being charitable, we can say that there may not be a contradiction here.

One thing that struck me when I first read the Judges was that Gideon, Jephthah and Samson were the most prominent and the most misguided, Gideon with his ephod and we’ll see the other two shortly.

What are your thoughts?

Please give the reading through the Bible page a look if you haven’t already, there are some background posts and the index to this reading plan. Share it with others who you think can benefit from Reading the Bible.


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