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I Samuel – Chapter 1
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There was a man named Elkanah, who was Levite from Mt. Ephraim. Elkanah had two wives; Chana (Hannah) had no children, but Penina did. When Elkanah would bring a sacrifice, he would always give Chana an extra portion, but it was small consolation. Peninah would make snide comments that only made Chana feel worse. Chana […]
Judges – Chapter 21
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Because of the atrocity committed in Gibeah, the other Tribes had sworn at the meeting in Mitzpah not to give their daughters as wives to the Tribe of Benjamin. Now they had a problem: the entire Tribe had been wiped out except for the 600 refugees! What could be done? They couldn’t violate their oath, […]
Judges – Chapter 20
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Every Tribe sent representatives to the national meeting at Mitzpah. The Levite man told his story and the nation demanded an explanation from the Tribe of Benjamin. Benjamin refused to yield to national authority, insisting that they would deal with the situation as an internal matter. This was unacceptable to the rest of the Tribes, […]
Judges – Chapter 19
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Another story from the early days of the Judges: there was a Levite who lived in Mt. Ephraim whose concubine left him and returned to her father’s home. After four months, the Levite went to retrieve her. Everyone was reconciled and the Levite stayed at his father-in-law’s house for several days. (A concubine is sort […]
Judges – Chapter 18
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Despite being placed after the story of Samson, there is a consensus that it actually occurred much earlier, in the time of Osniel, the first Judge. Scouts from the Tribe of Dan were looking for territory when they discovered the altar in Micah’s house. They asked the Levite if they would be successful in their […]
Judges – Chapter 17
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There was a man from Mt. Ephraim named Micah, who stole a large sum of silver from his mother, but returned it fearing her curse on the thief. She had already resolved to consecrate the money, so she gave it back to him to have made into a statue. When he received the statue from […]
Judges – Chapter 16
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Samson went to Gaza where he saw a prostitute and desired her. The Philistines were told that Samson was in town, so they set an ambush. No problem for Samson! He simply ripped the city gates off the wall and carried them away with him. But here’s where the trouble began: Samson was permitted to […]
Judges – Chapter 15
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Samson had left his wife with her father. He later went to reclaim her, only to find that the father had given her away to another man. Since she was not divorced from Samson, this was blatant adultery, tacitly sanctioned by the local Philistine community in violation of the Seven Universal Laws. Samson tied foxes […]
Judges – Chapter 14
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Samson saw a Philistine woman in Timnah and asked his parents to get her for his wife. The obvious question is how this was permissible. Granted, people do impermissible things all the time, but Samson was the Judge of Israel and would logically be expected to follow halacha (Jewish law). Samson’s parents were equally bothered […]
Judges – Chapter 13
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The Jews slacked off again, so G-d allowed the Philistines to take over for forty years. A man named Manoach, from the Tribe of Dan, had no children. An angel appeared to Manoach’s wife and told her that she would have a child who would begin to save the nation from Philistine oppression; he would […]