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Thoughts and Reflection

In today’s reading we see that while Joshua is alive, the people are faithful. After he dies, the following generation fails to do what Moses and Joshua told them to do. The people forget about what God has done for them and fail to teach this to their children. This begins a new cycle. One of disobedience, distress, and repentance. The Lord will intervene with redeemer and renewal.

The twelve judges in the book of Judges are redeemers and generals. People who lead others into battle in dark times. They aren’t perfect and effective in defeating their enemies.

The story of Naomi and Ruth shows that only true worship of the lord and belonging to his covenant matters in the end. It doesn’t matter what your ethnic origin is. Ruth later converts and becomes a member of the covenant. Through the line of Ruth will come David and later Jesus himself.

About This Project

For the year 2022, I decided that my New Year’s Resolution was to read the whole Bible following the Bible in the Year plan presented by Fr. Mike Schmitz. It is a big and bold undertaking. You can follow along by subscribing. Feel free to look at previous day’s post and comment. It’s something we can all learn from together!

Daily Readings

Judges 1

Now after Joshua’s death, the Israelites consulted Yahweh, asking, ‘Which of us is to march on the Canaanites first, to make war on them?’

2 And Yahweh replied, ‘Judah is to march on them first; I am delivering the country into his hands.’

3 Judah then said to his brother Simeon, ‘March with me into the territory allotted to me; we shall make war on the Canaanites, and then I in my turn shall march into your territory with you.’ And Simeon marched with him.

4 So Judah marched on them, and Yahweh delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands, and they defeated them at Bezek-ten thousand of them!

5 At Bezek they came upon Adoni-Bezek; they joined battle with him and defeated the Canaanites and Perizzites.

6 Adoni-Bezek took to flight, but they chased and captured him and cut off his thumbs and big toes.

7 Adoni-Bezek said, ‘Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off used to pick up the crumbs under my table. As I did, Goddoes to me.’ He was taken to Jerusalem, and there he died.

8 (The sons of Judah attacked Jerusalem and took it: they put its people to the sword and set fire to the city.)

9 After this the sons of Judah went down to make war on the Canaanites who were living in the highlands, the Negeb and the lowlands.

10 Judah next marched on the Canaanites living in Hebron — the name of Hebron in olden days was Kiriath-Arba — and beat Sheshai, Ahiman and Talmai.

11 From there, he marched on the inhabitants of Debir — the name of Debir in olden days was Kiriath-Sepher.

12 Caleb said, ‘To the man who conquers and captures Kiriath-Sepher, I shall give my daughter Achsah as wife.’

13 The man who captured it was Othniel son of Kenaz, younger brother of Caleb, who gave him his daughter Achsah as wife.

14 When she arrived, he urged her to ask her father for arable land, but when she alighted from the donkey and Caleb asked her, ‘What is the matter?’

15 she said to him, ‘Grant me a blessing! As the land you have given me is the Negeb, give me springs of water, too!’ So Caleb gave her what she wanted: the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 The sons of Hobab the Kenite, father-in-law of Moses, marched up with the sons of Judah from the City of Palm Trees into the desertof Judah lying in the Negeb of Arad, where they went and settled among the people.

17 Judah then set out with his brother Simeon. They beat the Canaanites who lived in Zephath and delivered it over to the curse of destruction; hence the town was given the name of Hormah.

18 Judah then captured Gaza and its territory, Ashkelon and its territory, Ekron and its territory.And Yahweh was with Judah, who made himself master of the highlands;

19 he could not, however, dispossess the inhabitants of the plain, since they had iron chariots.

20 As Moses had directed, Hebron was given to Caleb, and he drove the three sons of Anak out of it.

21 As regards the Jebusites living in Jerusalem, the sons of Benjamin did not dispossess them, and the Jebusites have been living in Jerusalem with the sons of Benjamin ever since.

22 Similarly, the House of Joseph marched on Bethel, and Yahweh was with them.

23 The House of Joseph made a reconnaissance of Bethel. (In olden days, the name of the town was Luz.)

24 The scouts saw a man coming out of the town and said to him, ‘Show us how to get into the town and we shall show you faithful love.’

25 And when he had shown them a way into the town, they put the town to the sword but let the man and his whole clan go.

26 The man went off to the country of the Hittites and built a town which he called Luz; and that has been its name ever since.

27 Manasseh did not dispossess Beth-Shean and its dependencies, nor Taanach and its dependencies, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its dependencies, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and its dependencies, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its dependencies; in those parts the Canaanites held their ground.

28 But when the Israelites became stronger, they subjected the Canaanites to forced labour, although they did not dispossess them.

29 Nor did Ephraim dispossess the Canaanites living in Gezer; thus, the Canaanites went on living in Gezer with him.

30 Zebulun did not dispossess the inhabitants of Kitron or of Nahalol. The Canaanites lived on with Zebulun but were subjected to forced labour.

31 Asher did not dispossess the inhabitants of Acco, nor those of Sidon, of Mahalab, of Achzib, of Helbah, of Aphek or of Rehob.

32 So the Asherites lived among the Canaanite inhabitants of the country, not having dispossessed them.

33 Naphtali did not dispossess the inhabitants of Beth-Shemesh or of Beth-Anath; they settled among the Canaanite inhabitants of the country, but the inhabitants of Beth-Shemesh and of Beth-Anath were subjected to forced labour for them.

34 The Amorites drove the Danites back into the highlands and would not let them come down into the plain.

35 The Amorites held their ground at Har — Heres and Shaalbim, but when the hand of the House of Joseph grew heavier, they were subjected to forced labour. (

36 The territory of the Edomites begins at the Ascent of Scorpions, runs to the Rock and continues on upwards.)

Judges 2

1 The Angel of Yahweh went up from Gilgal to Bethel and said, ‘I have brought you out of Egypt and led you into this country, which I promised on oath to your ancestors. I said, “I shall never break my covenant with you.

2 You for your part must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this country; you will destroy their altars.” But you have not listened to my voice. What is the reason for this?

3 Very well, I now say this, “I am not going to drive these nations out before you. They will become your oppressors, and their gods willbe a snare for you.”

4 When the angel of Yahweh had spoken these words to all the Israelites, the people began to wail at the top of their voices.

5 And they called the place Bochim, and offered sacrifices to Yahweh there.

6 Joshua having dismissed the people, the Israelites then went away, each one to his own heritage, to occupy the country.

7 The people served Yahweh throughout the lifetime of Joshua and throughout the lifetime of those elders who outlived Joshua and had known all the great deeds which Yahweh had done for the sake of Israel.

8 Joshua son of Nun, servant of Yahweh, was a hundred and ten years old when he died.

9 He was buried on the estate which he had received as his heritage at Timnath-Heres in the highlands of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.

10 And when that whole generation had been gathered to its ancestors, another generation followed it which knew neither Yahweh nor the deeds which he had done for the sake of Israel.

11 The Israelites then did what is evil in Yahweh’s eyes and served the Baals.

12 They deserted Yahweh, God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt, and they followed other gods, from those of the surrounding peoples. They bowed down to these; they provoked Yahweh;

13 they deserted Yahweh to serve Baal and Astartes.

14 Then Yahweh’s anger grew hot against Israel. He handed them over to pillagers who plundered them; he delivered them to the enemies surrounding them, and they were no longer able to resist their enemies.

15 Whenever they mounted an expedition, Yahweh’s hand was there to foil them, as Yahweh had told them and as Yahweh had sworn to them, so that they were in dire distress.

16 Yahweh then appointed them judges, who rescued them from the hands of their plunderers.

17 But even to their judges they refused to listen. They prostituted themselves to other gods and bowed down before these. Very quickly they left the path which their ancestors had trodden in obedience to the orders of Yahweh; they did not follow their example.

18 When Yahweh appointed judges for them, Yahweh was with the judge and rescued them from the hands of their enemies as long as the judge lived, since Yahweh relented at their groans under their persecutors and oppressors.

19 But once the judge was dead, they relapsed into even worse corruption than their ancestors. They followed other gods; they served them and bowed before them and would not give up the practices and stubborn ways of their ancestors at all.

20 Yahweh’s anger then blazed out against Israel, and he said, ‘Since this people has broken the covenant which I laid down for their ancestors, since they have not listened to my voice,

21 in future I shall not drive before them any one of those nations which Joshua left when he died,

22 in order, by means of them, to put Israel to the test, to see whether or not they would tread the paths of Yahweh as once their ancestors had trodden them.’

23 Hence, Yahweh allowed these nations to remain; he did not hurry to drive them out, and did not deliver them into the hands of Joshua.

Judges 3

1 These are the nations which Yahweh allowed to remain, by their means to put all those Israelites to the test who had not experienced any of the Canaanite wars

2 (this was only to instruct the Israelites’ descendants, to teach them the art of war, those at least who had not experienced it previously):

3 the five chiefs of the Philistines, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hittites who lived in the range of the Lebanon, from the uplands of Baal-Hermon to the Pass of Hamath.

4 They were used to put Israel to the test and see if they would keep the orders which Yahweh had given their ancestors through Moses.

5 The Israelites lived among the Canaanites, Hittites and Amorites, the Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites;

6 they married their daughters, they gave their own sons to their daughters and they served their gods.

7 The Israelites did what is evil in Yahweh’s eyes. They forgot Yahweh their God and served Baals and Asherahs.

8 Then Yahweh’s anger blazed out against Israel: he handed them over to Cushan-Rishathaim king of Edom, and the Israelites were enslaved to Cushan-Rishathaim for eight years.

9 The Israelites then cried to Yahweh and Yahweh raised for the Israelites a deliverer who rescued them, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

10 The spirit of Yahweh was on him; he became judge in Israel and set out for war. Yahweh delivered Cushan-Rishathaim king of Edom into his hands, and he triumphed over Cushan- Rishathaim.

11 The country then had peace for forty years. Othniel son of Kenaz then died.

12 Again the Israelites began doing what is evil in Yahweh’s eyes, and Yahweh strengthened Eglon king of Moab against Israel, since they were doing what is evil in Yahweh’s eyes.

13 Eglon in conjunction with the sons of Ammon and Amalek marched on Israel, beat them and captured the City of Palm Trees.

14 The Israelites were enslaved to Eglon king of Moab for eighteen years.

15 The Israelites then cried to Yahweh, and Yahweh raised a deliverer for them, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjaminite; he was left-handed. The Israelites appointed him to take their tribute to Eglon king of Moab.

16 Ehud made himself a dagger — it was double-edged and a foot long — and strapped it under his clothes on his right thigh.

17 He presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. This Eglon was a very fat man.

18 Having presented the tribute, Ehud sent away the men who had been carrying it;

19 but he himself, on reaching the Idols which are near Gilgal, went back and said, ‘I have a secret message for you, O king.’ The king commanded silence, and all his attendants withdrew.

20 Ehud went up to him; he was sitting in his private room upstairs, where it was cool. Ehud said to him, ‘I have a message from God for you, O king.’ The latter immediately rose from his seat.

21 Then Ehud, reaching with his left hand, drew the dagger he was carrying on his right thigh and thrust it into the king’s belly.

22 The hilt too went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, since Ehud did not pull the dagger out of his belly again.

23 Ehud went out through the privies, having shut and bolted the doors of the upstairs room behind him.

24 When he had gone, the servants came back and looked; the doors of the upstairs room were bolted. They thought, ‘He is probably covering his feet in the inner part of the cool room.’

25 They waited until they became embarrassed, but still he did not open the doors of the upstairs room. Eventually, they took the key and opened the door; and there lay their master, dead, on the ground.

26 Meanwhile, Ehud had got away, passed the Idols and made good his escape to safety in Seirah.

27 Once there, he sounded the horn in the highlands of Ephraim, and the Israelites came down from the hills with him at their head.

28 And he said to them, ‘Follow me, because Yahweh has delivered your enemy Moab into your hands.’ So they followed him, seized the fords of the Jordan against Moab and allowed no one to cross.

29 On that occasion they beat the Moabites, some ten thousand men, all tough and seasoned fighters, and not one escaped.

30 That day Moab was humbled under the hand of Israel, and the country had peace for eighty years.

31 After him came Shamgar son of Anath. He routed six hundred of the Philistines with an ox-goad; he too was a deliverer of Israel.

Ruth 1

1 In the days when the Judges were governing, a famine occurred in the country and a certain man from Bethlehem of Judah went-he, his wife and his two sons — to live in the Plains of Moab.

2 The man was called Elimelech, his wife Naomi and his two sons Mahlon and Chilion; they were Ephrathites from Bethlehem of Judah. Going to the Plains of Moab, they settled there.

3 Elimelech, Naomi’s husband, died, and she and her two sons were left.

4 These married Moabite women: one was called Orpah and the other Ruth. They lived there for about ten years.

5 Mahlon and Chilion then both died too, and Naomi was thus bereft of her two sons and her husband.

6 She then decided to come back from the Plains of Moab with her daughters-in-law, having heard in the Plains of Moab that God had visited his people and given them food.

7 So, with her daughters-in-law, she left the place where she was living and they took the road back to Judah.

8 Naomi said to her two daughters-in-law, ‘Go back, each of you to your mother’s house.

9 May Yahweh show you faithful love, as you have done to those who have died and to me. Yahweh grant that you may each find happiness with a husband!’ She then kissed them, but they began weeping loudly,

10 and said, ‘No, we shall go back with you to your people.’

11 ‘Go home, daughters,’ Naomi replied. ‘Why come with me? Have I any more sons in my womb to make husbands for you?

12 Go home, daughters, go, for I am now too old to marry again. Even if I said, “I still have a hope: I shall take a husband this very night and shall bear more sons,”

13 would you be prepared to wait for them until they were grown up? Would you refuse to marry for their sake? No, daughters, I am bitterly sorry for your sakes that the hand of Yahweh should have been raised against me.’

14 They started weeping loudly all over again; Orpah then kissed her mother-in-law and went back to her people. But Ruth stayed with her.

15 Naomi then said, ‘Look, your sister-in-law has gone back to her people and to her god. Go home, too; follow your sister-in-law.’

16 But Ruth said, ‘Do not press me to leave you and to stop going with you, for wherever you go, I shall go, wherever you live, I shall live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God.

17 Where you die, I shall die and there I shall be buried. Let Yahweh bring unnameable ills on me and worse ills, too, if anything but death should part me from you!’

18 Seeing that Ruth was determined to go with her, Naomi said no more.

19 The two of them went on until they came to Bethlehem. Their arrival set the whole town astir, and the women said, ‘Can this be Naomi?’

20 To this she replied, ‘Do not call me Naomi, call me Mara, for Shaddai has made my lot bitter.

21 I departed full, and Yahweh has brought me home empty. Why, then, call me Naomi, since Yahweh has pronounced against me and Shaddai has made me wretched?’

22 This was how Naomi came home with her daughter-in-law, Ruth the Moabitess, on returning from the Plains of Moab. They arrived in Bethlehem at the beginning of the barley harvest.

Psalm 133

1 [Song of Ascents] How good, how delightful it is to live as brothers all together!

2 It is like a fine oil on the head, running down the beard, running down Aaron’s beard, onto the collar of his robes.

3 It is like the dew of Hermon falling on the heights of Zion; for there Yahweh bestows his blessing, everlasting life.

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