Sunday, June 15, 2014

The Bible Project: Week 23 (Judith, Esther)

Oh no, I'm a week behind again. :-( I'll catch up at some point, I guess...

Judith is a pretty badass character. The whole book of Judith* is about how she saved the Israelites basically singlehandedly (well, there was her handmaid too, but she just carried supplies).Judith is gorgeous, clever, level-headed, and not afraid of blood. Not only does she go weaponless with her handmaiden to the enemy camp, but she also makes up a darned good story about why she's there, doesn't flinch one bit through the whole thing, and, after three days of ingratiating herself into the enemy's favors, cuts off the enemy chieftains head. Boom. Done. Israel is free.I love Judith. :-)

~Sophia____________________________________________*I believe that Judith is like Tobit in that it is only in the Catholic Bible, and not Protestant ones. Again, a pity, because it's a fantastic story, and there are so many famous paintings such as this Caravaggio below that show Judith with Holofernes' head. And if you don't know the story, you have no clue what's going on. If you don't have a Catholic Bible, you can read Judith here. It's pretty short.

I think this week's theme is strong women! :-)
Esther is another female savior of the Israelites. Esther is a very important book in Jewish religion, and is the source of the holiday Purim. Almost everyone knows the story of Esther - how she braved court rules and went to see her royal husband without his permission, and how she tricked Haman into thinking he had won royal favor, and then denounced him in front of the king. (Admit it, we all inwardly cheer at that point - Haman is such a dirty, dirty villain.)

But what I want to mention is the ultimate punishment for Haman. He got hung on the gibbet he had prepared for Mordecai, and all his ten sons were also hung. They had done nothing - why did they have to suffer?
Two things that we need to remember before jumping to the conclusion that perhaps Esther overdid the idea of revenge just a bit:
 1. Jesus hadn't come to preach forgiveness yet.
2.The book of Esther, like those of Judith and Tobit, was probably not a historical work. It was most likely based loosely on a historical event, and it's prime motive was to teach faith and loyalty to God. Because of this, certain things get taken to extremes sometimes, to prove a point: here, the point is Injustice (aka Haman) and the enemies of Israel will fall before the justice of the Lord. 

That's all I have for today!
Hopefully I'll catch up soon.

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