Wednesday, December 29, 2010
A Duet Before an Assassination (Judges, Chapter 5) - Okay, five chapters into Judges and I've concluded that it is just a horribly written book. Chapter 5 seems like a slightly different version then Chapter 4.
First, Deborah and Barak (not the President, of course) sing a praise to Yahweh. They totally hype him up, talking about He marched on the fields of Edom, and about how mountains melted before Him. It's holds true to the expectations that we might have toward Bronze Age desert tribesman singing about their favorite war god. In fact, I urge you, please check it out. It's like a bad musical, and with Deborah's heartfelt support for the governors of Israel, you'd even think that she was inspired by the Soviets' own propaganda machine.
Then this musical starts to contradict the story. Well, it contradicts reality when it says that the stars were against Sisera (if you remember, Sisera was just assassinated by a woman named Jael). This seems to indicate that astrology was predominant back then. Of course it was! This is before science and astronomy and astrophysics.
Anyways, the contradiction is in the account of Sisera's death. In the previous chapter, Jael hammered a tent stake through Sisera's skull while he was sleeping. In Chapter 5, it says Sisera was standing up while she hammered the tent stake through his temples, and then "smote off his head." After doing this, Sisera bowed and then fell at Jael's feet.
And for this behavior, Jael is exalted as being "blessed above all women in the tent." For killing a man in his sleep, or who was at the very least exhausted from running away from battle.
In a very fitting manner, the chapter ends with a taunting thought of Sisera's poor mother, crying for her lost son.
After reading this song of Deborah, I can only say this. THESE PEOPLE ARE NUTS!