Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Jawbone of an Ass

The mandible of the ass, and ours as well, for that matter, is developed from the primitive mandibular processes in utero, forming on either side of the primitive face. The left and right primitive mandibular processes are united at a symphysis in front, at the point of the chin, which later fuses. Either the left or right half of the mandible, when detached from its counterpart, becomes a serious weapon. No doubt there were vultures who had denuded the face of a young ass with an as yet unfused symphysis, that provided a half jawbone for Samson to kill a number of fleeing Philistines in "heaps". He had broken the bonds the Philistines had tied him with, and he exacted revenge upon his captors and protection of the Isrealites with a weapon that was, and is, shaped like a sickle. It may have been used as a sharpened tool to cut grain stalks as well in this pre-bronze era! The slaughter was seen in the oral tradition of the Israelites as sanctioned by God; later, recorded as Judges 15: 15-16. In the movie of Billy Bob Thornton, Sling Blade, the protagonist, Karl Childers, a retarded strongman, protects a desperately abused woman and child who have befriended him, from a pathological abuser they cannot escape, by killing him with a sharpened lawnmower blade, a curvilinear instrument to cut grass. Karl had spent many years previously in an asylum for the criminally insane from childhood for an earlier killing of his mother and her lover when he, in ignorance, employed "biblical justice" in this act. He used a sling blade at that time which is like a sickle for cutting grass stalks. He was released as cured from the asylum, but during his years there, came to relearn his bible. Like Samson, he was bound by the bonds of his simplistic understanding, but cast those bonds and his freedom aside, to protect helpless people he had come to love, from their abuser. This slaughter could well be seen by contemporaries, and me, as sanctioned, if not by by God, at least by Judges. See the movie before you judge! Nothing is simple.

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