No punches pulled this week, folks. The Judges story narrates a story of truly inhuman violence that pushes the tribes into a civil war, and we are forced to confront the age-old abomination of man's inhumanity to woman. Thankfully, Deutero-Isaiah and the John pull us back from the brink to show us the better way.

I've always loved 1 John, where the writer asks and answers the questions we ask ourselves during our times of doubt and uncertainty. The Isaiah segment this week stands as an introduction to the creation imagery of Deutero-Isaiah, as the prophet uses the ancient Near Eastern concept of the cosmos to assert and celebrate the love and power of God.

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Baltzer, Klaus; tr. Kohl, Margaret (2001). Deutero-Isaiah: A Commentary on Isaiah 40–55, Hermeneia — A Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible. Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press.
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Schneider, Tammi J. (2000). Judges, Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.
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Judges 19, Judges 17, Judges 18, 2 Samuel 5, Joshua 15, 1 Samuel 11, Isaiah 41, Psalm 115, Ezekiel 26, Isaiah 14, Genesis 1, 1 John 3, 1 John 4, BOJUDG, HRMNEIA23CIS