Mark asked professors at Wartburg Seminary how to sum up Judges. They said look at the last verse. In the last verse, it says in those days there was no king and everyone did what they felt was right. AL brought up the Luke passage that mentioned broiled fish and thought that sounded terrible. This was a description of the battles of Jephthah who was a sort of hired gun. Jephthah vowed to God if he would give him the victory he would kill the first being that came out to meet him. Jephthah’s daughter was the first to meet him. She asked for a 2 month reprieve to mourn her virginity with her girl friends. It then became a tradition for girls have a 4 day commemoration of Jephthah each year. Human sacrifice was not part of the Israelite tradition and some commentaries say Jephthah kept his daughter in isolation, maybe she was the first nun. Despite it being against God’s will to do human sacrifice, God appeared to agree with the promise and gave Jephthah the victory. Afterwards, the people of Ephraim said Jephthah should have included them, but Jephthah said he tried and there was no response, so he ended up killing 42,000 soldiers from Ephraim when they came to get him. It is interesting that Jephthah had just one daughter, but the judges who came after him had 20-60 sons and daughters and they all rode donkeys. It must have been a status symbol of some kind.
Is there a meaning to the numbers used in this text. Mark suggested that there is a martyrdom of the Christians in the near east and east. Possibility it is a martyrdom of the western world.
Communication is much better today and it makes it easier to broadcast minority opinions and terrorist attacks and others join in the fight because of insults and affront from others. Do we want vengeance today just like the terrorists do.