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Leadership's Top 40: #25

Preaching the Terrors

What do we say about the ghastly parts of the Bible?
Preaching the Terrors

We are highlighting Leadership Journal's Top 40, the best articles of the journal's 36-year history. We will be presenting them in chronological order. Today we present #25, from 1992.

Not too long ago, I was invited to address a senior citizens' group on "Women in the Old Testament." They had been studying various biblical characters and wanted me to introduce them to some of Israel's heroines; so I did.

I told them about Jael, "most blessed of women" (Judg 5:24), who drove a tent peg through Sisera's temple with a mallet.

I told them about Judith (whose exploits, mentioned in the Apocrypha, parallel Jael's), who seduced Holofernes and then paused to pray—"give me strength today, O Lord God of Israel!"— before taking the man's own sword and plunging it into his neck (Judith 13:7).

I told them about Esther, who won permission for the Jews of her husband's Persian empire "to destroy, kill and annihilate" ...

From Issue:Spring 1992: The Message
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