Athena's Web Weekly Column

Week of October 3rd - October 9th,  2003

The Book of Judges

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Stonehenge Equinox

Stonehenge Equinox

  Now that the Sun has crossed the Earth's equator and is headed over the southern hemisphere, we have entered Fall and the sign of Libra. Last week we briefly explored this archetype associated with the Scales, peace, balance, and harmony. This is the sign of opposites and how they come together.

  If our hypothesis is correct, those who choreographed the arrangement and contents of the Bible did so intentionally. If this is true, then the 7th sign of the zodiac should equate to the 7th Book of the Bible, Judges. The themes of Libra should be found interwoven throughout the Book of Judges.

  Historically speaking, Judges is a strange book. It covers the time between Joshua's death and beginning of the monarchy and portrays a wide range of events which scholars study with curiosity. It's general theme follows the lives of 12 Judges, who may have been legal officials in the modern context (Deborah is as she sits under the tree administering justice), but are more depicted as tribal leaders. The term 'judge' (shofet in Hebrew) translates as 'spirit-filled' leaders. Other than this general theme, however, the thread running through Judges is a thin one. Some leaders are described in detail, while others warrant only a sentence or two. While Joshua (the previous Book) painted a picture of national unity among the tribes, Judges paints a much different picture, with tribes acting separately, lamenting the others' lack of participation.

Astronomical Equinox

Astronomical Equinox

  What is missed in these deliberations are the astrological themes which run throughout; themes characterized by the sign Libra. War and Peace is the essential mode, and Judges does whatever it has to to achieve peace. Just as we saw certain keywords being repeated throughout Numbers, Deuteronomy and Joshua, so now we see the words 'marriage' and 'peace' reappearing with greater regularity.

  From Judges 1:12, "Caleb said, 'I shall give my daughter Achsah in marriage to the man who attacks and captures Kiriath-sepher'. In 3:5 we witness bad marriages, "Thus the Israelites lived among the Canaanites,.. they took their daughters in marriage and gave their own daughters to their sons; and they served their gods." In 12:8 all we are told of one 'Judge' is his marital contributions. "After him Ibzan of Bethlehem was made judge over Israel. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He gave away the 30 girls in marriage and brought in 30 girls for his sons." He then lived to be 70, died and was buried. That's it! After the various romantic relationships of Samson, the Book ends with the whole tribe of Benjamin needing new wives. The other eleven tribes pull together to see what they can do.

  The conclusion of many of the earlier chapters of this book 'back stitch' into a formula for peace. In 3:11, "Thus the land was at peace for forty years until Othniel son of Kenas died." and 3:30, "...and the land was at peace for eighty years." And 5:31, 8:28, and 11:13. In 6:24, we are even given a new slant on this theme. "Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it 'The Lord is Peace.' One of the central themes we examined last week was 'War and Peace'. The Book of Judges illustrates the common thread of ways to achieve peace (using whatever force is needed), balance, and marriage under various circumstances. Ask Samson and Delilah as they work out their differences. It's here.

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