Shamgar, Divine Weapon

by Dody Gibson

Judges ruled Israel about 375 years. About 16 are recorded. These were without exception, local struggles. It is highly probable that the incidents were overlapping, in some cases, making an exact record difficult if not impossible. Also, Samuel who was the last judge is the more likely author.

Shamgar, the 5th, has but one verse in the book of Judges committed to his memory. He is mentioned once more in Deborah’s song. We know very little about him. His father’s name was Anath.

The Scripture in Judges 3:31, states that he slew of the Philistines 600 men with an ox goad. This is a wooden rod with a metal spike on the end and used to spur the herd of cattle along.

How he managed to slay 600 men is unknown to us except that God was with him. Were these Philistines unarmed? Were they asleep in their camp? Where were the other Israelites? Did this take place all at once or a combined record over a period of time? Many questions are left unanswered. It must have happened abruptly or he would have had time to secure a more appropriate weapon.

We do know that God blessed his efforts in this victory over the enemy. David also slew the giant, Goliath who was also a Philistine, with only a smooth white stone. Nothing is impossible when God is with you.

Therefore, Shamgar, using an ox goad was able to end the lives of 600 men. This weapon is significant in this story. God does not need man-made battle instruments of war to achieve the end result. Shamgar was God’s weapon and by him God had vengeance on the enemy. Would you be surprised to learn that the name Shamgar means “sword”?

And that’s the Amazing Truth!
Millstadt, IL 62260

Dody Gibson See other articles by Dody Gibson