This is a long one. This is the day that I talked about in this post when I mentioned 18 verses in one passage. So it took me a few days to get through, specifically answering the questions that I had and the cross-references. This is Study 2. As a reminder, I am studying the Bible chronologically and starting with Judges. That means the death of Joshua comes beforehand even though it is in Chapter 2. You can catch up here.
Upon my first read through this passage, I realized that it was a lot of information that I consider “all else.” Meaning it doesn’t fit into what I thought to be my main focus when reading and studying scripture. A couple of things jumped out, though. The Israelites went directly to the Lord with their question of what to do next. Judah was to go first (remember Jesus comes from the tribe of Judah). And it was the Lord who gave them victory (and He even told them this before they fought the Canaanites).
And this is where I realized how wrong I was when I said most of this passage didn’t fit into my main focus. There was a lot to unpack here when it came to the names of the two tribes mentioned, the people, and the different places mentioned. Let me tell you, chasing down all of these meanings was a bit fun. And it is impressive how deep the definitions are to their legacy (Judah and Simeon) or how descriptive they are (the places) or how simple they can be (Adoni-bezek means the lord of…Bezek lol). You won’t hear me breaking out into Hebrew anytime soon, but it was a great lesson seeing how words are put together in the Hebrew language.
Thoughts and Questions
Because I was interested in the meaning of the names and places, I had a lot of questions or areas I wanted to dive deeper into with this passage. Using the combination of my Hebrew – Greek Key Word Study Bible NASB and the Blue Letter Bible app helped so much during this process, and I now have it streamlined in a way that truly works for me and has me understanding what I am reading. Because this passage was 18 verses, this section, along with the cross-references, took a bit of time. One thing that I realized I am probably messing up with my notes is how I type names and places. Obviously, the spelling of the words is different than what is in the actual Bible verse that I read in English. I haven’t taken the time to look into switching to a Hebrew keyboard. I have been using the transliterated word spellings but without all of the symbols. But I do think I am going to change that. While I haven’t tried pronouncing the words, maybe I will want to one day.
There were a ton of cross-references! As to be expected with a longer passage. One thing I learned this week, that really reading the Bible chronologically helps us see, is that there is a lot of repeated information in the Bible. For example, verse 12 talks about Caleb. I then had 4 cross-references that made mention of how Caleb was one of two who would be saved from the wilderness to actually see the Promised Land. Also, while I did this in Study 1 as well, underlining the part of the cross-reference that relates to the initial verse helps tremendously when it comes to connecting the dots between the scriptures. And remember where I talked about second-guessing myself with starting in Judges and missing out on the first 6 books of the Bible? Well, the cross-references provide me with plenty of reading in those books.
One thing that Israel did here was asking YHWH, who should go first in the quest against the Canaanites. And is it a coincidence that the Lord said He gave them victory over the land and the land only? Judah partnering with Simeon, had me looking into the 12 tribes of Israel a little bit. So you may know that the 12 tribes of Israel came from Jacob, aka Israel and his two wives Rachel and Leah. Well, Judah and Simeon are actually full brothers since their mom was Leah. I also learned that Jacob’s blessing spoke about Simeon’s violence and that they would be scattered and dispersed. Welp, not only were they not mentioned in the blessing that Moses gave, but they also weren’t mentioned in the song of Deborah. It seems like the tribe was indeed scattered and dispersed.
Now Judah was victorious. Specifically in Jerusalem, where they followed God’s advice by completely destroying the people and the city. We also see Othniel, who will end up being a judge. After a successful battle, he won the hand of Caleb’s daughter in marriage. Acsha decided to ask for an additional gift from her father, springs. This made no sense to me until I found out that Negev was a very dry land, so the upper and lower springs that she was given allowed her to have water.
YHWH, allow me always to come to You first and seek Your guidance. Thank You for the victories that You have given me. For allowing me to be successful over my enemies. God provide me with the courage to set fire to my enemies and completely destroy their idols and altars. Help me see the gods in my life so I can set fire to them. Open my eyes to the things around me that you are asking me to destroy. Lord, help me see the dry land in my life and give me the courage to ask for springs to revive the land. In Jesus Name, I Pray, Amen.
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