Judges 19-21 and many similar passages treat women terribly; also Jewish army men are even allowed to kill foreign families and take virgin girls as their wives. These stories sound more like the current Muslims extremist who carry out such practices in the name of Allah. Passages like these have always troubled me, but I am rereading the Bible at present and the terribleness of these stories has hit me again. I fail to see how these stories teach us anything, especially since the Jews weren’t condemned for such practices.

Chapters 17.1-21.25 form an Appendix to the book of Judges. The stories told in this segment of Judges are tales that occurred during the time when Israel had abandoned the covenant relationship with God as the stories in this section note. The book closes with the sad picture of “everyone did as he saw fit.” Without the recital and recommitment of their forefathers, they doomed themselves to disaster.

They may teach us today that left to ourselves without God’s leadership we may be doomed to the same disaster as our forefathers were during this period.

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