Why couldn't God stop the Iron Chariots?


#1

In Judges 1:19, it says “And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron…” Does this mean that God isn’t omnipotent?


#2

So he could make the universe, but chariots were too much?:confused::stuck_out_tongue:


#3

As generations of priests and pastors have said when confronted with out-of-context passages, I'm pretty sure God wanted you to read the next chapter, and a couple after that, as well. Everything in context.

The victory of God's people is tied to their willingness to abide by His covenant in Chapter 2: Judges 2:2-3: “But you have not obeyed my voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”

But the new technology of iron chariots is defeated later in the text:

“And the children of Israel cried out to the Lord; for Jabin had nine hundred chariots of iron and for twenty years he had oppressed the children of Israel… And the Lord routed Sisera and all his chariots and all his army with the edge of the sword (Judges 4:3, 15).


#4

[quote="Arizona_Mike, post:3, topic:341902"]

The victory of God's people is tied to their willingness to abide by His covenant in Chapter 2: Judges 2:2-3: “But you have not obeyed my voice. Why have you done this? Therefore I also said ‘I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.”

[/quote]

But why does it say he 'couldn't'? If he did later on, would it not have been better to say 'wouldn't', to signify that God COULD HAVE BUT DIDN'T WANT TO stop the Iron Chariots?


#5

[quote="xvFIRESTORMvx, post:1, topic:341902"]
In Judges 1:19, it says "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.." Does this mean that God isn't omnipotent?

[/quote]

I believe that the phrase "could not" is a singular verb in Hebrew and can potentially describe the action of any singular noun in the context. There are two singular nouns in this context, the Lord and Judah, and thus the one it applies to has to be determined using textual evidence. The translation you are using applies it to the Lord, but I don't think that's justified, and I would submit that it is saying that Judah couldn't drive out the iron chariots, not that the Lord couldn't.


#6

[quote="dmar198, post:5, topic:341902"]
I believe that the phrase "could not" is a singular verb in Hebrew and can potentially describe the action of any singular noun in the context. There are two singular nouns in this context, the Lord and Judah, and thus the one it applies to has to be determined using textual evidence. The translation you are using applies it to the Lord, but I don't think that's justified, and I would submit that it is saying that Judah couldn't drive out the iron chariots, not that the Lord couldn't.

[/quote]

Is it more to do with the translation I used than what the actual meaning is?


#7

I think so. Compare the New American Standard Bible, well-known for its literalism, which says this: “Now the LORD was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots.” This translation doesn’t say that God couldn’t do it.


#8

God sees the whole picture. Not just what we see. He put the Iron Chariots there Himself as a test for Judah to trust in Him to get the Iron Chariots out. Judah didn't put his entire trust in the Lord and just gave up so God was not pleased and didn't move them for Judah.

I don't know if that even makes sense. It's been a long day and it's late. Good night. :o


#9

[quote="dmar198, post:7, topic:341902"]
I think so. Compare the New American Standard Bible, well-known for its literalism, which says this: "Now the LORD was with Judah, and they took possession of the hill country; but they could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley because they had iron chariots." This translation doesn't say that God couldn't do it.

[/quote]

:thumbsup:


#10

[quote="xvFIRESTORMvx, post:1, topic:341902"]
In Judges 1:19, it says "And the Lord was with Judah; and he drove out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.." Does this mean that God isn't omnipotent?

[/quote]

I think "he" may refer to Judah and not God.


#11

DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.