This is my favorite book of the bible. It’s such a book of depravity that it really has no business being in a holy book.
So, after Joshua died, everyone gathered around and asked the question, “Alright, who are we going to kill next?”
And the tribe of Judah said, “Hey, Simeonites, how about we go kill those guys, and then I’ll go help you kill those guys?”
And Simeon said, “Yep.”
And so they went over there and killed all of those guys, and captured a king and cut off his thumbs and big toes. And then king realized it was karmic justice. And they captured Jerusalem and in what would become a long standing tradition, they set Jerusalem on fire.
We repeat the story of Caleb and his daughter, and then we go through more wars and more territory captured. So Judah took control of the hill country, because the Lord was with them. But they couldn’t take the valleys, because the people there had iron chariots.
God: NOOOOOOO! NOT IRON CHARIOTS! MY ONE WEAKNESS! HOW DID YOU KNOW????!
And the rest of the tribes went and killed a bunch more people, but they didn’t kill them all, and made them slaves instead.
Our heroes, ladies and gentlemen.
Angel: Hey, uh, God?
Angel: Well, I was down on the Earth and I just noticed that, well, your people, your Chosen people, the ones that You wanted to be a witness to You to all the nations of the Earth, well, they sort of killed a bunch of people, and, uh, took the rest and enslaved them. I thought you might want to know so you could go and tell them that they shouldn’t be doing those things…
Angel: I know you’re angry, but if you just talk to them, I’m sure you can convince them that slavery is wrong.
God: You’re darned right, it’s wrong! They were supposed to kill everyone. You go down there this instant and tell them because they didn’t kill everyone, I’m not going to help them win any more battles and they can just see how they like those other gods down there.
Angel: You… you wanted them to kill everyone? Sigh… okay, you’re the boss, Lord.
Joshua dies again.
Israelite: Well, Joshua’s dead… what should we do now?
Israelite 2: I don’t know. Want to go worship the gods of the people we just killed?
Israelite: Wasn’t an angel of Jehovah like right here a second ago?
Israelite 2: What’s your point?
Israelite: No point. Sure, I mean, let’s go worship the gods of the people who lost the war. I’m sure God won’t mind.
And we get a summary of the entire book of Judges. Israel worships other gods, God gets mad and sends some raiders to kill and enslave them, Israel gets weepy and begs for forgiveness, God forgives them and sends a deliverer, and then as soon as the deliverer dies, everyone goes back to worshipping other gods.
And apparently, the omniscient God of the Universe didn’t know if Israel would stay faithful to Him, so that’s why He left the Canaanites alive, to test them.
So these are the nations that God left alive to test Israel so He could know if they would stay faithful to Him… God of the Universe… you should know the answer to this already…
The Philistines, the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites.
So everyone in Israel decided to worship Ba’al and Asheroth, so God send Cushan-rishathaim, King of Mesopotamia to enslave them. And they were his vassals for eight years. Then they cried out to God and God sent them Othniel, Caleb’s nephew and he defeated that King and delivered Israel and they had 40 years of peace and then he died.
Israelite 1: Well, Othniel is dead. What do you want to do now?
Israelite 2: I don’t know. Let’s go worship Ba’al some more.
Israelite 1: Uh… didn’t we just do that and God got pissed at us and had Mesopotamia enslave us for eight years?
Israelite 2: What’s your point?
So God gives them up to serve the Moabites. And then they all were really sorry for worshipping Ba’al and promised never to do that again, so God raised up a man named Ehud, who had somehow avoided being stoned to death for being left-handed.
Israel: Okay, Ehud, you take the tribute up to King Eglon.
“Right,” Ehud said, as he strapped a sword to his right thigh. “’Take the tribute.’”
Israel: Should we be worried that you just made the air quotes sign?
Ehud: No, no. I’ll ‘take the tribute’ to Eglon. Wink.
Israel: Okay, you’re not supposed to say ‘wink’.
So Ehud goes to deliver the tribute to King Eglon whom the bible describes as being a very fat man.
After he delivers the tribute, Ehud sends the other men away and tells the King he has a secret message for him.
Eglon: A secret message? Okay, person whose country I’ve just enslaved, everyone leave us!
Guard: Should I, I don’t know, maybe search him first, your majesty?
Eglon: No, no, you’re not going to kill me, right, Ehud?
Ehud: I’m totally not going to kill you. Wink.
Ehud totally kills him. The sword gets sucked into Ehud’s fat and “refuse came out”.
Ehud escapes while the courtiers are outside wondering if the King is taking a crap, and rallies the troops to attack Moab and they conquer Moab and have peace for 80 years.
And after Israel screwed up again, Shamgar kills 600 Philistines with an ox goad.