Eye for an Eye, Thumb for a Thumb, Big Toe for a Big Toe, and the World for the World

adonibezekJudah, the firstborn, is selected to go up and fight for Israel. Judah recruits Simeon to help. A fitting partner for the task. According to Genesis 34, Simeon and Levi take vengeance on the Canaanites and the Perizites for raping their sister Dinah. They go over board and slaughter everything and everyone. Certainly not an “eye for an eye” punishment. So Jacob curses Simeon sentencing him to be “scattered” in Israel (Gen. 49:7). Both Judah and Simeon go to fight against Adoni-Bezek (Lord of Scattering or Lightning) at Bezek (Scattering/Lightning), and they send him and his army scattering in retreat. When Judah and Simeon finally catch up to Adoni-Bezek, they cut off his thumbs and big toes. He replies, “70 kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to gather scraps under my table. As I have done, so God has repaid me.” Simeon might have learned his lesson.

Genesis 10 gives us a list of 70 nations that comprise the world after the flood. in Genesis 11 those nations are scattered at the tower of Babel. ¬†Adoni-Bezek had 70 kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off gathering scraps under his table is a telling picture of the Serpent’s demonic rule over the entire world. He crippled the world and enslaved them, and made them dependent upon him for scraps of food to survive. In an “eye for an eye” fashion, God has repaid the serpent Adoni-Bezek by cutting off his thumbs and big toes, thus crippling him and taking him captive. Judah and Simeon bind the strong man and take him to Jerusalem to die, where the city is burned with fire (Jud. 1:8). The 70 nations are now freed from the clutches of the Lord of Scattering/Lightning, and now Israel can begin taking dominion over the land and conquering any other serpents along the way.

Jesus in Luke 10, send out 70 disciples to preach the gospel of the kingdom of God. When the disciples returned they were amazed that even the demon were subject to them in the Jesus’ name. The Lord replies, “I was watching Satan fall from Heaven like lightning.” Like Adoni-Bezek, the Lord of Scattering/Lightning, Jesus sees Satan fall from Heaven like Lightning. His kingdom is then divided and scattered against itself as Satan is crippled of his power, bound and led to Jerusalem to die by the fire of Pentecost, where the nations of the world are reunited in Christ by the Holy Spirit to take dominion over the whole world through the preaching of the Gospel of the kingdom.

Judges 1:1-7 pictures for us God’s plan to take back the world from the clutches of the Serpent, the Lord of Scattering/Lightning. The gospel cuts off the thumbs and big toes of the serpent and his demons and leaves them in slavery under the reign of King Jesus, the Greater Judah, the firstborn of Israel.