Death and some other Minor Ailments – Part 2
Last Thursday, we saw God’s love bestowed on the Midianites. This week, we’ll get a bit juicier!
Jabin; The King of Hazor
Another example of someone whose death didn’t quite “take”, was Jabin, the King of Hazor.
In Joshua, chapter 11, the story is told of several tribes who tried to stop the bloodthirsty reign of terror of the Israelites.
Jabin, the King of Hazor, sends word to several other kings. So, they muster their forces. “And they came out, with all their troops, a great host, in number like the sand that is upon the seashore, with very many horses and chariots.” (vs 4)
Joshua asks Jehovah what to do. In response, God issues his standard death order. So Joshua goes forth killing in the name of God. “And the Lord gave them into the hand of Israel, who smote them, and chased them as far as great Sidon and Misrephothmaim, and eastward as far as the valley of Mizpeh; and they smote them until they left none remaining.” (vs 8)
Just so that there is no doubt, the bible specifically mentions Jabin. “And Joshua turned back at that time, and took Hazor, and smote its king with the sword; for Hazor formerly was the head of all those kingdoms.” (vs 10)
Therefore, the armies of these kingdoms were destroyed, Jabin was killed, and then Joshua went one step further. He left the army dead on the field of battle, and turned his attention to the city itself. “And they put to the sword all who were in it, utterly destroying them; there was none left that breathed, and he burned Hazor with fire.” (vs 11)
Just to summarize: the army of Hazor was destroyed; Jabin, the king, was killed; the city was burned; and every breathing person in it was killed. That’s pretty final.
But, not long after, they were back. Judges chapter 4 begins by saying that the Israelites were doing what was evil in the sight of the Lord. So, as punishment, “the Lord sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan, who ruled in Hazor…” (vs 2)
Not only did Jabin and the people of Hazor come back to life, but they were so numerous and strong that they could purchase the Israelites as slaves. This may have something to do with their secret weapon. “Then the people of Israel cried to the Lord for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron and oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years.” (vs 3)
There appears to be a bit of a mixed review on the effectiveness of iron chariots. On the one hand God tells the Israelites in Joshua 17:18:
For you shall drive out the Canaanites, though they have chariots of iron, and though they are strong.
On the other hand, Judges 1:19 tells us:
The Lord was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain, because they had chariots of iron.
Almighty God must not have realized just how tough those iron chariots were, when he made his initial boast. It appears that a little technology, and I do mean a little, can defeat an army that has God’s backing.