Sunday, June 4, 2017

Judges 17-18

It's been a long time. I've missed you. Let's suffer through this book together. 

Chapter 17 Micah's Idols: 

I couldn't bring myself to read for awhile because I knew once Samson died that this book couldn't be that good again, at least not for another thousand pages and I was right. What's this exciting chapter about? Micah the thief. The chapter starts out assuming we already know these characters. I checked to see if some pages were missing but no, all the numbers are there, it's just poorly written. I can tell Jesus and James have the ambition of George R. R. Martin for world building with about a thousand characters but the difference is George can actually develop his characters, give them dialogue, and the women have names. Jesus and James should really just focus on a handful of characters, and they should name the women. Seriously guys. 

The chapter starts out thusly: 

"Now a man named Micah from the hill country of Ephraim said to his mother, 'The eleven hundred shekels of silver that were taken from you and about which I heard you utter a curse-I have that silver with me; I took it.' "

Just look at that shit sentence. That sentence would be covered in red marks in a middle school English class. What is that? Who let this get published? Intro sentence: There's this guy and his nameless mother and he says "You know how you were swearing about stolen money, I stole that money." 

Were the authors just racing each other? This book is thousands of pages long and you couldn't take like a paragraph to set up a scene? Why couldn't this whole book just be about lion carcass honey eating, donkey jawbone wielding, compulsive lady liar loving, harry Samson? You were taken too soon from us. 

I found this on a website titled "Bible Fun for Kids"

Back to boring Micah who probably isn't man enough to fight a lion. Micah stole money from his nameless mother and instead of giving him a beating, she asks that the Lord bless him and not in a passive aggressive way a mother might pray for a child before punishing them severely. 

She's just so excited that her son admitted to it. Dear Micah's nameless mother, this enabling behavior creates criminals. I'm naming Micah's mother Cersei. That's a Game of Thrones reference and if you were hoping I was going to stop making those and find yourself frustrated with me, just keep in mind that I was hoping this book would start naming women. I guess we're both just going to have to keep being disappointed aren't we? 

So Cersei takes her enabling a few steps further. When Micah returns the stolen money, she turns the silver into an idol for him to worship. Micah grows up and adds to his idols, creating a stay at home temple. He turns one of his sons into a priest. The book foreshadows that worshipping Lord in your pajamas is a no no: 

"In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit." 

A Levite passed through looking for a place to stay. Micah's thirsty for a Levite priest and asks him to stay. The Levite agrees and is treated like a son. Dear authors, just because you didn't name the male Levite doesn't make up for not naming women. That's like saying it's cool to objectify women because we now demand that celebrity males have abs. Two wrongs don't make a right. Name your ladies or I will and they will all be Game of Thrones references. All of them.

Chapter 18 The Danites Settle in Laish: 

The book emphasizes that Israel has no king during these times so people did whatever tf they wanted. Things are about to get real. The Danites, which are a tribe of people I can't remember if I'm supposed to remember or not, are in search of land. They send out five men in search of land. They spend the night at Micah's and recognize the Levite and ask what he's doing there. The Levite explains he is a live-in priest. The Danites ask him to ask God if their journey will be successful. Levite priests are Lord Translators now. The Levite immediately says they have Lord's approval. Lord doesn't get direct quotes anymore. 

Since the Danites get Lord's approval, are they the good guys? Because the next section does not make it seem like they are the good guys. 

"So the five men left and came to Laish, where they saw that the people were living in safety, like the Sidonioans, at peace and secure. And since their land lacked nothing, they were prosperous. Also, they lived a long way from the Sidonians and had no relationship with anyone else."

Once upon a time a sleepy little village lived in peace and prosperity...until a group of people chosen by Lord decided to fuck their shit up. 

The five men return to the Danites and let them know about the peaceful innocent Laish and about the man who let them stay as guests: 

"Do you know that one of these houses has an ephod, some household gods and an image overlaid with silver? Now you know what to do." 

Our heroes proceed with their plans to murder a town of innocent people and steal from the man who showed them hospitality. These are the protagonists stamped with Lord approval. 

600 men go to Micah's to steal all his idols and silver. They ask the Levite, who is like a son to Micah, to betray his father figure. They have to spend a lot of time convincing him:

"'Be quiet! Don't say a word. Come with us, and be our father and priest. Isn't it better that you serve a tribe and clan in Israel as priest rather than just one man's household?' The priest was very pleased. He took the ephod, the household gods and the idol and went along with the people." 

Our heroes set off with the loot. Micah and his men pursue them and the Danites are really offended:

"What's the matter with you that you called out your men to fight?"

I'm not making this up. The men who just stole everything from Micah ask "Hey, what's your problem? Why can't you just let us get away with this?"

Micah's response:

"You took the gods I made, and my priest, and went away. What else do I have? How can you ask, 'what's the matter with you?'"

Dinate's response:

"'Don't argue with us, or some of the men may get angry and attack you, and you and your family will lose your lives.'"

The Danites are Marvel fans and probably children. 

Micah shrugs his shoulders and heads back home. Our heroes go onto slaughter, rape, and pillage the unsuspecting town of Laish because they wanted the land for themselves. They burn the city to the ground because the Danites and Lord are strongly against recycling. Our Lord approved heroes make a life there and continue to use the silver idols that belonged to Micah. Remember when the the Exodus Israelites were horribly punished for worshipping a golden calf? Lord doesn't talk directly in the book anymore either. Do you think the big twist in this book is that he's dead now and the humans are making up rules that are convenient for them?