Synopsis Judith 1:14-2:14 10/1/2020
After he finally defeated the Medes, King Nebuchadnezzar feasted with his army for one hundred and twenty days. After this, he turned his attention to those nations that had refused to help in the war.
Now, King Nebuchadnezzar’s prime general was Holofernes. And so, the king directed Holofernes to ravage all the lands that had refused to help in the war.
Accordingly, Holofernes assembled a massive army consisting of one hundred and twenty thousand foot soldiers and twelve thousand calvary. Holofernes chose the finest warriors and prepared with extensive provisions of food.
Nebuchadnezzar desired revenge. He raged against the nations who refused to help. But this wasn’t irrational. A tyrant-king has only one mechanism he had to enforce his rule. So, if he did not get revenge, the people would perceive weakness. And, in his mind, this would have encouraged more rebellion.
Revenge is the Lord’s
Historically, social-contract communities almost always end in tyranny. This is an essential mark of the synthetic nature of the way social contracts come into being.
But God’s authentic community is different. In God’s economy, there is no place for coercion or revenge.
“Take no revenge and cherish no grudge against your own people. You shall love your neighbor as yourself. I am the LORD.” Lev 19:18