Thumbs and Toes

When we were children, one form of fun and entertainment for us was playing board games. One year my oldest brother brought home a Bible Trivia game called The Gold Talent.

To this day, I remember my brother with his handsome smile, asking, "Who was the king who had his thumbs and big toes cut off?" As a teenager, in all of my reading of the Bible, I'd never found anything like this. Back then, we didn't have cell phones or even a computer at home. We had encyclopedias, but this information would not be in them, and if it was, it would take too long to find.

So we were stumped, and we said, "Who?" He said, "Adoni-Bezek." Adoni be who??? I had never heard of him; perhaps you hadn't either.

Adoni-Bezek's story is found in Judges 1:1-7. Adoni-Bezek was a Canaanite king of Bezek, captured by two brothers, Judah and Simeon. Judah and Simeon were heads of their tribes, they sought the Lord, and they had victory in claiming the land allotted to them. When they captured the king, they cut off his thumbs and big toes. Their punishment of Adoni-Bezek may seem cruel, yet we see that it was merely justice in its truest sense. God did not command the disfigurement of Adoni-Bezek, but the king confessed that what was done to him was justified. "As I have done, so God has requited me." Then they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died.

There are no random stories or mere coincidences in the Bible; everything is there for a reason and serves a purpose.

Initially, we don't know why Judah and Simeon chose to inflict this punishment on Adoni-Bezek, but as we continue reading, we realize there was a method to the madness; this was a practice Adoni-Bezek had employed regularly. As he did to the kings he captured the same was done to him. This form of punishment reduced dexterity. Cutting off the thumbs made working difficult; removal of the big toes made walking difficult. Those captured kings gathered crumbs from under Adoni-Bezek's table. They were totally humiliated!

Sometimes God in his providence, makes punishment the answer for the sin.

So be careful about cutting off the toes and thumbs of others; the same punishment may be inflicted on you. Unlike Adoni-Bezek, if you have the chance to right a wrong, do so before the wrong comes right back to you.

Adoni-Bezek said, "I once had seventy kings with their thumbs and big toes cut off, eating scraps from under my table. Now God has paid me back for what I did to them." They took him to Jerusalem, and he died there. (Judges1:7 NLT)

Dear Lord, it seems that so many of us have had our dexterity limited by the wicked kings of this world. For those that are hurt, give us wisdom, courage, and strength. For those in a position to right a wrong, give them your heart even in difficult situations. Thank you, Lord, for the truths within your Word. Amen.

What do you need to make right today? What does the church need to make right today? What does the country need to make right today?

nylse-headshotNylse is a Christian wife and a mother of four who loves life and inspiring others. She likes to have fun but is very clear on who she is and Whose she is. A prolific thinker, she blogs to encourage others from a Christian perspective at She can be found online on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.