Gilbert House Fellowship #341: Judges 14–18

SAMSON WAS the stereotypical alpha male. Ruled by his passions, Samson fell into the hands of Israel’s enemies, the Philistines—but God used even Samson’s failings to save His people from their enemies.

We discuss Samson’s flaws, such as his pride and rather flexible approach toward keeping his vow as a Nazirite. It’s clear that Samson either wasn’t the smartest guy in Israel, or he put so much trust in his own strength that he did foolish things.

The setting for the life of Samson. Click to enlarge (courtesy

Then we move on to the story of the tribe of Dan’s relocation from its original land allotment west of Judah to the north, at the base of Mount Hermon. The Danites, unable to push the Philistines out of their territory, seized the area around the ancient city of Laish and settled there.

This story is connected to that of an ambitious Levite priest who left the territory of Judah and settled with a wealthy Ephraimite named Micah, who had fallen into the pagan practices of Israel’s Amorite neighbors. We revisit the practice of ancestor veneration and the monthly kispum ritual, which involved the household idols called teraphim, through which pagans in the ancient Near East believed they provided food and drink for their dead ancestors.

Migration of the tribe of Dan (map courtesy of

Judges 17 and 18 show the fulfillment of Moses’ prophecy over Dan in Deuteronomy 33:22: “Dan is a lion’s cub that leaps from Bashan.” Mount Hermon and the area around the city of Dan were part of Og’s kingdom, Bashan, but at the time of the prophecy, the Israelites were still camping on the plains of Moab east of the Jordan River.

The account also shows that Dan was the first of the tribes of Israel to fall back into pagan worship. By taking the Levite, Jonathan (a descendant of Moses!), as their tribal priest, they violated the Law, since the approved priesthood served at the Tabernacle in Shiloh. This may be the reason early Christian theologians such as Irenaeus believed the Antichrist would come from the tribe of Dan.

Here’s the link for information about Jamie Walden and the Calico Buffalo Base Camp. The first gathering will be August 4–7, 2022 at the camp, located just outside Durango, Colorado. Jamie’s website is You can help support the Waldens and their work to rebuild the camp by clicking here.

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  1. Good evening Sharon
    I have enjoyed all of your books. You are both very gifted writers . Any news on the eighth book of the Redwing Saga books. I can’t wait for it to come out. My the Lord keep you both safe and well and very blessed.
    Hugs to you

    1. Author

      Derek here: Sharon odd hard at work on The Poisoned Pawn. She figures it will be a couple of months yet, but the extra research she’s brought in will be worth the wait. Another well known historic character shows up, and some of the history she’s woven into this story are the events that led to World War I.

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