Old Testament Summary Lesson 19: “The Reign Of The Judges”
- Defense Minister, Mr. Lightning: Barak (“lightning” in Hebrew), the military leader of Israel, was hesitant to follow Deborah’s prophetic instruction to engage the enemy. He acquiesced after she agreed to accompany him. (There may have been fewer wars if presidents and prime ministers had accompanied their young soldiers to battle.)
- Kenites: Modern archaeology has discovered Kenite temples identical to Israelite temples. Jael, Heber’s wife, of the Kenite people, apparently may have been a descendant of Jethro, the father-in-law of Moses. Jethro taught and ordained Moses. (Doctrine & Covenants 84:6) “Jael . . . slew the Canaanite General Sisera . . . while he slept, using a hammer and a tent pin rather than a sword, in accordance with the biblical command prohibiting the use of weapons by women (Deuteronomy 22:5) . . . thus fulfilled Deborah’s prophecy . . . that God would “sell Sisera into the hand of a woman” (4:9) “Jael was blessed by Deborah (Judges 5:24–27) and was considered even greater than the matriarchs Sarah, Rebekah, Rachel and Leah.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)
- Spiritual Blindness: Samson was “blind” to his gift from the Lord, his strength. The scripture writer called his gift “The Spirit of the Lord,” which Samson abused to seek selfish revenge. Samson, a Nazarite, covenanted to abstain from anything that would draw him away from the Spirit of the Lord and would have nothing to do with the dead other than the firstborn, unblemished sacrifices at the appointed Altar of the Lord. Blind to his covenant, he slew an unclean carnivorous lion (not Kosher) with his bare hands but did not tell his parents. He later ate honey from the carcass of that lion and gave it to his priestly parents. In those acts Samson was triple non-kosher!
- Good News! Explanations of Miracles: “In modern times, some people have attempted to offer scientific explanations for several of the biblical miracles, such as the parting of the Red Sea. Others have “relativized” them by viewing them as natural occurrences which were recorded as if extraordinary and supernatural, because of the crucial role they played at the particular time.” “. . . God can impose His will upon the workings of the natural world as He pleases . . . but He can also transfer some of His controlling power to others. This God did when He created and blessed man. Although part of the natural world, man was given dominion over it, and told that the natural world was to serve his greater interests.” (Encyclopedia Judaica Jr.)