Remember that Christmas Movie with Mary Steenburgen? (Judges 6)

I’m getting concerned that this blog is becoming less a scholarly work of post-modern biblical hermeneutics and more an arena for me to free associate and bring up things I liked as a kid. Indulge me one last time.

In Judges 6 – guess what? – God disapproves of something the Israelites do and hands them over to the Midianites. For seven years. I’m not sure why the number seven keeps appearing but there’s some significance that’s lost on me. I went to an offshoot of a Judaism website called “Ask a Rabbi” and all it really said was that seven represents “wholeness” and “completion”. That seemed to be an unsatisfyingly retroactive explanation, based on biblical events like God taking seven days to create mankind. No matter. I’m sure this is something that conspiracy theorists have loads to say about in relation to paganism and the Knights Templar and Christmas trees and all sorts of stuff that really isn’t significant anymore anyways.

Moving on. An angel of God hand-picks a young guy named Gideon to deliver the Israelites from the Midianites. Gideon is spotted shearing wheat under an oak tree in a land called Ophrah (a misreading of this passage probably accounts for Oprah’s God complex).

If I had an angel visit me (I’d rather an incubus but beggars can’t be choosers), I’d certainly want him to be named Gideon, just like that Christmas movie with the fragile and flinty Mary Steenburgen. I used to watch this movie all the time as a kid around the holidays knowing that I was going to cry. I think it was a way to gain the emotional release I was denied as the child of two British imports. This movie, I remember, involved Steenburgen losing her “Christmas spirit,” which is then compounded by her husband getting shot trying to save the day in a bank robbery. An angel named Gideon comes down from heaven to convince her Welch’s commercial-worthy daughter to get her Christmas spirit back. She does and the angel makes the Dad come alive again. And it’s the best. 

I might have just cried watching this; it’s been a while.

Gideon in Judges 6, manages to get himself all worked for battle by trashing an altar to Baal, earning himself the new nickname Jerubbaal.

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Published in: on May 11, 2011 at 2:59 am  Leave a Comment  
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