By Barry G. Webb
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Extra resources for Book of the Judges
A'. 22-32 In this symmetrical pattern the second item in each pair of elements (a-a', b-b') represents a serious decline in or worse example of the situation depicted in the first element. That is, it is 'a symmetry which calls attention to decline' (p. 75), and this is its thematic significance. It is Gooding's contention that the entire book consists of paired elements which stand in the same kind of relationship to each other within a comprehensive symmetrical pattern, as follows: 1. Rationale AB Introduction C D E F E' D' C' 35 B' A' Epilogue Gideon a b b' a' A and A' are paired for the same reasons as in the contributions of other scholars referred to above.
Appeal for immediate aid. 'Only deliver us this 15d day' The cry is accompanied by D. Acts indicative of renewed loyalty to Yahweh. Removal of foreign gods and return to the worship of Yahweh. 16a Yahweh does not hear Israel out and then respond but interjects at an early stage. The divine speech is marked formally as an interjection by the way in which the cry is resumed (by 'we have sinned' in 15b) from the point at which it was interrupted (lOb-d). Yahweh anticipates the appeal (C) and rejects it even before it is made.
Hence when used of a personal response to a situation isp normally expresses frustration, impatience, exasperation, anger—inability to tolerate the situation any longer. g. Gen. 51; Deut. 16; Pss. 5,16; Prov. 7; Isa. 11; Jer. 18). As such it is an entirely appropriate term to sum up the condition of Israel described in vv. 8-9. It is apparently this which exasperates Yahweh in 16c. 10 throws the special character of our present text into sharp relief: not, 'God repented when he saw what they did, how they turned from their evil way,' but 'Yahweh could no longer tolerate their misery" (my emphasis).