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Tuesday, December 13 2016
The Warlords Of Israel
"Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so"
A "warlord" is defined as a "Supreme military leader exercising civil power in a region, especially one accountable to nobody when the central government is weak" (The WordWeb Dictionary by Princeton University). The Israelites experienced such a time of warlords. It's known in the Holy Bible as the Book of Judges.
After the death of Joshua (see Joshua's Commission), Israel had no human national leader. They did however have the Levite priesthood that had charge of the written Word of God that was given to them through Moses (see When Were The Levites Set Apart?). They needed only to follow the Way that the LORD (see The LORD God Our Saviour) had given to them - which Joshua's generation did. But the next generation chose to become ignorant ("ignorant" means to ignore) of the Way of peace and prosperity. They instead became worshipers of carved stones, wooden posts and themselves (see The History Of Idolatry and The Idolatry Of Rebellion).
With the Exodus and Sinai generations gone (see Why A Book Of Deuteronomy In The Bible?), and the crossing of the Jordan generation gone (see The Crossing Of The Jordan), the next generation of Israelites then degenerated into a loose adolescent-minded confederation of tribes and sub-tribes sometimes led by a "judge." The term does not equate with judiciary. The Biblical "judges" were military leaders - "deciders" whose word and whims were law.
"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel" was without excuse. The written Law and their history were available to them - if the Levites had been doing their job. They chose however to be proudly ignorant of it all.
"2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.
The inevitable result is that the Israelites became losers. They not only behaved like fools, they provoked the LORD from fighting their battles for them, to fighting their battles on the side of their enemies.
"2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed." (Judges 2:14-15 KJV)
The LORD did not forsake them however. When the time of their painful lesson should have been over, He permitted the rise of tribal warlords, the "judges," who were appropriate to the again-frontier savagery of the time. But even then, "when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way."
"2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.
So it continued for the entire era of the Judges - a time that would end with the establishment of the Israelite monarchy of King David (see the Fact Finder question below).
"2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; 2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: 2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. 2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua." (Judges 2:20-23 KJV)
This Day In History, December 13
558: King Chlothar I reunited the Frankish Kingdom after his brother Childebert I died. Chlothar thereby became sole ruler of the Franks.
1204: Medieval Jewish (see also Jews - Three Tribes and Three Meanings) scholar Maimonides (Moses ben Maimon) died at age 69.
1250: Frederick II, Holy Roman Emperor and King of Germany and Sicily (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation), died and was succeeded by Conrad IV.
1545: The Council of Trent, summoned by Pope Paul III in 1542, opened to discuss doctrinal matters, especially the rise of Protestantism.
1577: English explorer Sir Francis Drake left England with 5 ships, including the Golden Hind, on his voyage around the world - a journey that took almost 3 years.
1636: English colonists at the Massachusetts Bay Colony organized three militia regiments to defend themselves against the "Americans" - a term originated by the English in referring to the native people (later called "Indians"). It was only much later that the children of the colonists began calling themselves "Americans," but even then referring to where they were, not who they were. (see also The First Chinese American War)
1642: New Zealand was discovered by Dutch explorer Abel Tasman.
1643: During the English Civil War, the Battle of Alton was fought in Hampshire.
1862: During the U.S. Civil War, General Robert E. Lee with 80,000 Confederates repulsed General Burnside with his 150,000 Federals at the Battle of Fredericksburg, Virginia. After hard fighting, Burnside lost almost 14,000 troops.
1916: During the First World War (1914-1918), an avalanche killed 10,000 Austrian and Italian troops in Tyrol.
1937: Japanese forces took the Chinese city of Nanking. Over the next 6 weeks, in one of the worse atrocities of the Second World War, they killed an estimated 200,000 Chinese in what became known as the "Rape of Nanking."
1939: During the Second World War (1939-1945), the captain of the German battleship Graf Spee ordered his vessel scuttled after being encircled by 3 British cruisers (Exeter, Ajax and Achilles) off the coast of Uruguay.
1941: During the Second World War, British forces withdrew to Hong Kong island as the invading Japanese army took Kowloon and the New Territories. See also Why Was Korea Divided Into North And South?.
1945: France and Britain announced that were leaving Syria and Lebanon.
1949: In defiant response to United Nations and Papal demands to make Jerusalem an "international" city, the Israeli Knesset unanimously approved David Ben-Gurion's proposal that the sovereign legislature of the state of "Israel" (see Israel In History and Prophecy: Israel Of Judah and A History Of Jerusalem: The Capital Of Judah) be moved to Jerusalem, from Tel Aviv, which it was the next January 1.
1967: King Constantine of Greece and his family fled the country after a counter-coup failed to topple the military-backed government.
1981: In response to the success of the Solidarity Union, Polish communist leader General Wojciech Jeruzelski proclaimed a national emergency and martial law. His action in all probability prevented a Soviet invasion which would have made Solidarity's later victory less likely.
1993: The European Union ratified a treaty creating the world's largest trade bloc, the European Economic Area (EEA).
2000: Al Gore conceded the U.S. Presidential election to George W. Bush, 5 weeks after the very close election was held.
2003: Following the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Iraqi President Saddam Hussein (a former U.S. "ally" during the Iraq-Iran war of the 1980s) was captured near his home town of Tikrit. He was later hung for his war crimes.