Book Review – Judges 20-21

If this is your first time reading a book review of mine, click here and find out what it’s all about…and read everyone else too because I’m sure they made more sense than mine! 

I’m happy to be back to doing a review today. I really felt like I was probably missing something by not being able to post a review the two weeks previous…even though I mostly had a bunch of questions, I still missed writing it. And since I didn’t have a computer to check what we were reading, I read 20 and 21 along with the rest of the chapters last week so reading them again means I should have a pretty good grasp on them, eh? We’ll see 🙂

Before I start, I have something else to ask you, I had asked Shannon and Charmin if they read those portions of Scripture that were, you know, sketchy in content (like the raping and murder and then the chopping up of the Levite’s concubine) to thier children. Shannon and Marty chose not to and Charmin and Jon did. You can go to thier blogs and read why they made thier decisions but I really want to know if that is something you would read to your children. It won’t be long until Chloe will be old enough to understand those things and I think I am struggling with just how much a child can take in about that sort of thing. I know every kid is different and age has lots to do with it too but I’m wavering. Originally I thought no way would I read that to a child…but now I’m thinking, well, it’s the Bible and everything in it is worthy because it’s God’s word. Anyway, just wondering what you thought. I know I had a hard enough time reading it and not thinking it was awfully disturbing (which it is) I’m just trying to find the relevance in it from a spiritual learning stand point for a child. Know what I mean? We would totally guard our kids against a news program that graphically described the rape, murder, and dismemberment of a woman so I guess that’s why I’m undecided. Ok, well, that was more than I planned on writing about that so on to my review for this week!

So I guess the first thing I noticed is that for the first time in what would seem like a long time, all the tribes of Isreal (except Benjamin of course) united together as one to wage war on Gibeah of Benjamin for the horrible crime that was committed to that woman. Apparently they didn’t think that chopping her up into 12 pieces and sending them around was part of the crime but that’s not the point I guess. Anyway, it says in verse 1 that they gathered in the presence of the Lord. So does this mean that the people were acknowledging God at this time or they all of a sudden decided to ask God for help? I’ve found this confusing throughout Judges because sometimes the Lord was with them and sometimes they were on thier own but thought the Lord was with them. Boy, the Bible sure takes alot of studying to make sure you’ve got it, eh?

And then I liked that the Isrealites sort of gave Benjamin a chance by asking them to give up the bad men that did this crime and the silly Benjaminites refused. Oh dear, bad move. But it sort of reminds me how God is willing to help you if you listen to Him. He gives people way more chances than they deserve but God will do battle with the world and those who refuse to listen will be defeated.

So the Isrealites get a little beat up but they don’t give up. Verse 22 says “But the Israelites encouraged each other and took their positions again at the same place they had fought the previous day.” Wow! I think that is so profound! Imagine if all the Christians who have been persecuted, riduculed, mocked, etc, etc, encouraged eachother and took thier positions again knowing the Lord was with them. I just really liked that passage 🙂 They were weeping to the Lord in verse 23 because they didn’t know if they should fight against their relatives from Benjamin again. They were feeling defeated and it seems here that they were feeling bad that thier relatives had sinned and they had to fight them. Hmmm, relevant for today? I’d say so.

Chapter 22 was also very interesting to me and as with most of the book of Judges, I’m not sure if I’ve understood the important parts of it or not. Here’s where I’m confused again. At the beginning of the chapter, it says that the people sat in the presence of the Lord weeping etc so this would make me think that the Lord told them what to do to find the remnant of Benjamin some wives. But then there is more carnage and stuff and at the end of the chapter is says that Isreal had no king so they did what was right in their own eyes. So, the Lord didn’t tell them to go kill people for wives for Benjamin? Were they just not listening or did they misunderstand or is it another case of them thinking they were in the presence of the Lord because they offered burnt offerings and such? I’ll be glad to read your input.

Anyway, I’ve enjoyed reading Judges and I know next time I read it I’ll understand even more! I know I’ve read it before (probably once through quickly) and I’m certain I got tonnes more out of it this time!



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5 responses to “Book Review – Judges 20-21

  1. One more thought on the “to read or not to read” question: there is a HUGE difference to me between watching something happen, hearing it described graphically and reading the bare facts. I think the Bible presents the bare facts. I would NEVER let my kids watch anything like what we read in Judges. We are careful what our kids watch and read. If they were exposed to all the garbage that is available to kids these days, they’d have a lot of ‘baggage’ to wade through when presented with the bare facts. Does that make sense? It does to me, but sometimes it’s hard to type what you mean.

    You do what you feel is best for your kids, even in a ‘small’ thing like this, and you pray all along the way that God will show you when you’re headed in a wrong direction. He will. 🙂

    I’m glad you asked. It made me think it all through again. That’s a good thing to do every now and then!

  2. I liked your review, by the way. Can you believe how much we’re learning? It’s so exciting.

  3. Oh Jenn it’s so nice to see you name on Mr.Linky again! We missed you! 🙂 I really liked that part about them taking their positions again to fight as well. It was all so good, and full of questions too. Next time we read Judges we’ll have some understanding to use as a foundation and be able to grasp even more I’m sure.
    See ya soon. 🙂

  4. When you were reading these chapters and it talked about them lining up again, did you picture King Theoden shouting, “Reform the line!”?


  5. charmin, I didn’t but I am so disappointed in myself for not thinking that! Good one 🙂

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