Thursday, November 26, 2009

82: Killed With an Ass

Judges 13-15
Finding a fresh jawbone of a donkey, he grabbed it and struck down a thousand men. - Judges 15:15

Thanksgiving edition (aka super late and half-assed)!

Again the Israelites are naughty. I think you get the idea at this point. See every other post on Judges if you don't know what I'm talking about. This time they are occupied by the Philistines.

An angel comes to a sterile woman named Zorah, and tells her she will have a child. She has a child and names him Samson. Again, this angel is strangely interchangeable with God. When they find out who the angel is they are afraid they are going to die because they looked at God. Is this an angel or God? Make up your mind bible.

Samson grows up and falls in love with a Philistine. Oh no! The bible says that God somehow arranged this infatuation. So God suspends free will in that situation but not in others? That makes perfect sense.

This chapter gets a little trippy. A lion comes and attacks Samson while he is going to claim the Philistine woman as his wife (with his parents). God gives Samson super human strength and he rips apart the lion with his bare hands. He rips apart the lion just "as he might have torn a young goat". What? Who tears apart young goats? He finally meets the woman (I guess he was just checking her out before) and they plan to get married. "Some time later" (however long that is) he looks at the lion carcass and bees have nested inside of it. His first instinct is to eat the honey, from inside a rotting lion carcass, and give some to the rest of his family. Yummy?

Samson's father throws him a party for the wedding and 30 Philistines attend. Samson decides to give them a riddle. If they can't figure it out, they have to give him 30 linen garments, if they can he has to give them all linen garments. Here's the riddle:
Out of the eater, something to eat;
Out of the strong, something sweet.
Wow, the riddle actually rhymes in English. Anyway, the Philistines can't figure it out because that's the most cryptic riddle of all time. These Philistines really don't want to lose this bet. They threaten to burn down Samson's wife's house if she wont tell them the answer to the riddle.

Samson's wife begs Samson for seven days to tell her the riddle. Finally he does and she tells the Philistines. What's the huge deal with this riddle? This is a whole new level of competitiveness.
Here is the equally cryptic answer:
What is sweeter than honey?
What is stronger than a lion?
Instead of Samson spending his own money and giving the Philistines garments, he kills 30 men from Ashkelon (some random city) and steals their clothes. Somehow I think the Philistines are going to notice that the garments are covered in blood.

Samson's wife is given to one of the Philistines that attended the wedding. Samson's wife's father says that he thought Samson hated his wife so he gave her to his friend. Samson is pissed. He goes out and catches 300 foxes and ties them together, he then ties torches to them and runs them through the Philistine's fields, setting them ablaze. There has to be an easier way to set fields on fire. Why is he punishing random Philistines for something that his wife's father did?

The Philistines respond by killing Samson's wife and her father. Again, what did they do? It was Samson that lit their fields on fire. The Philistines then go to apprehend Samson. Samson finds the "fresh jawbone of a donkey". What's a fresh jawbone? Does that mean he grabbed a donkey and ripped it's jaw out? He uses this fresh jawbone to slaughter a thousand men. I guess God got bored with normal killing.

Hate the twilight book series? You're not alone. The Vatican has released a message about the newest movie "New Moon", calling it a “moral void more dangerous than any deviant message".

Monsignor Franco Perazzolo (aka, some Catholic guy) says that "This film is nothing more than a moral vacuum with a deviant message and as such should be of concern". Anyone who has read the books (as I'm sure none of the people at the Vatican have) knows that the books aren't tomes of demonology. Maybe tomes of preteen Edward worship. There aren't any gay vampires so the Vatican shouldn't be upset.

If you want to see some of the other quotes or the rest of the story click the link below.

(via CathNews USA [and about a billion other places])


  1. Why is he punishing random Philistines for something that his wife's father did?

    Does Fort Hood make more sense to you? Did each of the people killed have something to do with this guy having to go to fight against other Muslims? Atheists are like Fetal Alcohol Brain Damaged children. They find it impossible to transfer learning from one situation to another.

  2. What are you talking about? I'm going to assume you're talking about the Fort Hood massacre and "this guy" is Nidal Hasan.

    The Fort Hood massacre doesn't make sense to me. It never makes sense to me to kill random people.

    Aren't you supposed to be supporting Samson, considering he's a prophet, not comparing him to Nidal Hasan?

    What did you learn from the Fort Hood massacre that you transfered to this situation? I'm obviously incapable of making the connection on my own.

    Your profile says you have a relationship with Jesus Christ. I'm glad to see you're going around calling people brain damaged, very christlike.

  3. Actually, Makarios, I do see the link there. It's wrong to kill people. And both killers were inspired by God. Coincidence? Really, I don't think so.

    On a lighter note, I have to agree with the Vatican on the Twilight series. I studied it at university last year in a popular culture unit. Let's review some major themes of the Twilight saga:

    -The inferiority of native Americans
    -The inferiority of South Americans
    -The inferiority of women
    -Why women need to be protected from their own mistakes.

    It's basically a book series reaffirming all the pre- Civil Rights stereotypes...

    But with VAMPIRES!

  4. I've read that Samson is actually an old Israelite sun god from before they got the monotheist bug and decided that there couldn't be any other gods but Yahweh. From the same root source as the Babylonian sun god "Shamash" - apparently something like "shem" means "sun" in old Hebrew too and "Samson" means something like "from the sun". The suggestion was that the stories around Samson are "historicized" versions of old sun god myths. The stories still don't make a lot of sense even with that context, but it might explain a bit why they seem somewhat random.

    And I'm somewhat impressed with anyone who can get through any of the Twilight books enough to condemn them. I tried to read the first book and it was so Grod-awful that I couldn't even finish it. Frankly I was dying for Buffy the Vampire Slayer to show up and smack some sense into the main character. I know I'm not the target audience, but jeez.

  5. For once I agree with the Vatican on something

  6. Jer, there is no record I know of that the Israelites worshipped a “sun god” called Shemesh. They struggled with the Canaanite pantheon of Baal, El, and their female cohorts which were the dominate gods of the land in which they lived. But you are correct in the fact that “Shemesh” is the Hebrew word for sun and a cognate word was used for “sun god” in other ANE cultures.

    Nevertheless, the name “Samson” is thought to be derived from that word, “Shemesh,” and hence he was “sun-like.” Yet the irony of the story is that the “sun-like” Samson ends up in the “dark” (blinded). For most of his life he was in the dark “spiritually.” This is evident in the story by observing what happens after each feat of strength given by God. Where does Samson’s focus turn after each feat of strength? Samson gives into the ladies regularly but struggles to given in to God (except at the very end). Samson had been given 1. A miraculous birth (like Isaac from Abraham and Sarah), 2. A special set of distinct behaviors indicating his special consecration to God (Nazarite vow) and 3. A Moses like purpose-deliverer. For most of his life he does not understand #3 and therefore disregards #2 even though he himself is in the exact same position of the special seed that started his people - #1.

    All of this is not just indicative of Samson’s state but the whole nation as well. The nation is losing their knowledge of God because of their violation of the covenant. In the Samson cycle, you will not that the typical judges “cycle” is broken in that the people do not even “cry out” under the oppression of the Philistines, but God sends a deliverer anyway. Yet, the deliverer is self-absorbed, concerned more about his own interests and fraternizes with the enemy more than recognizing his purpose. And the Israelites turn over their own deliverer to the enemy (Judges 15:12—does this foreshadow a future turning over of a deliverer?).

    On a more light note (Get BlagHag, Jen, she will like this), Samson violated his Nazarite vow by touching the dead carcass of the lion in order to retrieve honey. Why? Did he have a hunger for honey? The text indicates that he was on his way to take the Philistine woman (as his wife). What was coming? Honeymoon! He was preparing for his "Philistine honey" on "honeymoon" night by eating some "honey!" :) Honey was in the ANE and sometimes still is considered an aphrodisiac (Read SoS 5:1 only if you are over 13 :)



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