Tag Archives: book of judges

Samson and the Gaza Prostitute: Did He or Didn’t He?

Samson and the Gaza Prostitute: Did He or Didn’t He? Samson’s visit to the prostitute in Gaza has usually been considered as one example, among many, of his misadventures. Recently, several scholars have questioned this interpretation, suggesting that Samson has been misunderstood. How should the brief episode between Samson and the Gaza Prostitute be read? Is Samson a “good guy” whose intentions at the prostitute’s house have been misrepresented, or is this story just another example of his “bad boy” behavior? Before beginning, I want…

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Reconciling Violence and Kingship

Reconciling Violence and Kingship Reconciling Violence and Kingship is a study of the beginnings of the Israelite monarchy based on an examination of Judges 9, 17-21, and 1 Samuel 9-11. In this book author, Marty Alan Michelson, proposes that a new understanding of the establishment of Israel’s monarchy is possible when the above texts are viewed through the lens of Renee Girard’s philosophical theory of institutionalized violence. This theory involves the “textual interplay of desire, mimesis, rivalry, and scapegoating” (p. 2–more on this below). Along with…

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Temple of Human Sacrifice: Amman Jordan

Temple of Human Sacrifice: Amman Jordan In a recent post on my series “Violence in the Old Testament” I refer to the story of Jephthah from Judges 11 (The Moral Failure of Biblical Characters Part 7). In this article I noted that the stories of moral failure are not written for us to emulate, but are written as warnings when we stray from God’s Word. Jephthah is famous for sacrificing his daughter due to a foolish vow that he made (Judg. 11:30-40). In the article I suggested…

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The City of Dan: A Legacy of Apostasy

The City of Dan: A Legacy of Apostasy Did you know that the end of the story of the conquest of the city of Dan holds a very interesting surprise? In my previous article on Tel Dan, we looked at the fascinating archaeological discoveries that have been uncovered, while noting that only about 10% of the site has been excavated. This article will focus on the biblical history of the city of Dan and its sad legacy. The conquest of the city of Dan (formerly…

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Violence in the Old Testament Part 1: The Problem

Violence in the Old Testament Part 1: The Problem What is someone who believes in the Bible to make of all the violence in the Old Testament? Only 6 chapters into the book of Genesis, God is already planning on destroying the world with a flood. A few chapters later, God rains down fire and brimstone on the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah (Gen. 19:24). In the next book of the Bible God sends plagues on the Egyptians and kills their firstborn (Exod. 5-12). Furthermore,…

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