The Book of Judges seems to record an example of God sending Israel a deliverer who was also a calamitous leader.

The shadowy figure of Shamgar, son of Anath, is mentioned in two lonely verses in Judges. The first mention comes in 3:31. Wedged between two detailed, lurid, and compelling accounts of deliverance – that of Ehud’s stealthy assassination of King Eglon and of Deborah, Barak, and Jael who drove the spike through Sisera’s head – we are told, in an almost offhanded way, “After him came Shamgar the son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad; and he also saved Israel.”

That’s it. No details about the context; no indications whether this was in the context of a battle, or whether Shamgar went out alone against them like Samson did with the jawbone of a donkey (Did he happen to be out working in the field when the Philistines came upon him, hence why he was holding an oxgoad, or did he have to use this as a weapon because the Philistines had taken all the Israelites’ swords?); no details at all about Shamgar himself.

Praise the Lord

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