Oh why could 71 kings be missing with their thumbs + big toes cut off?
Why, oh why could 71 kings be "missing" with their thumbs and big toes cut off?
Adoni-Bezek (King (of Canaan and Perizz?)) said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off have picked up scraps under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." Judges 1:7
He was the 71st king with the same finger and toe fate.
He was brought to Jerusalem, where he was missing to his people and his family. He died there. Did he then even get the scraps from the royal table? With the food rules and his history he may not have been tolerated.
The 71st king thought he knew the reason why. In his case he thought God "paid" him back. But he really was just not exempted from the consequences of his actions and of the consequences of the sins of others.
What about the 70 others?
They were victims of Adoni-Bezek's power hunger. They suffered the consequences of this king's sin. Adoni-Bezek was not interested in having peace on his borders. Adoni-Bezek made no treaties with possible trading partners. He welcomed no strangers to come within his borders. He made an alliance with another group with the same aims. These kings could have been defiant or passive, but in this case they all suffered the same trials.
God permitted the consequences of Adoni-Bezek's sins to happen until the 70 kings had suffered the thumb and toe torture.
70 kings x 4 thumb/toes for each = 280 cuts
Was Adoni-Bezek present when there were altogether 280 criers for mercy or curses. Was he the cutter or did he assign the job to a sadist? Did Adoni-Bezek listen to the earnest prayers of those who called on the name of God Most High? He heard enough specific prayers, so that the perpetrator recognized later, without a doubt, that God permitted his ultimate sentence.
God was there all along,...even in the midst of the victim's degrading time. During the time when they were missing to their peoples and their families, they ate "the scraps" of the royal table. It was the best food, but with dirt. They were not alone. They were "at the royal table" within the menagerie of "fellow king slaves".
It was a time to forge strong alliances. A time to really ponder how to be a king. Some of them could not accept their changed position. Some of them grew in their compassion. Some may have been like Joseph, who was sold into slavery and then put into jail. God permitted Joseph's time of preparation and time of "being missed".
So why? There were 70 more reasons why these 70 suffered this torture. The "God permitting consequences of all peoples' sins" interpreted as "God paid back" reasons and the "preparation for God's good plan" reasons add up to account for all cases.
Dear Lord of all, Lord of the lowly and the not "lowly".
We thank you that you are there, even in the most horrible places of consequences of sin. Hear the earnest prayers of captives now. Release captives NOW, Lord,...we beg you.
Stop unrepentant perpetrators NOW by confusing them. Give them a significant chance to repent NOW. We trust in your holy purposes. Amen.