Beware the Woods!

I just love it when I "stumble upon" something in my morning devotions that I've never noticed before.  It's like the words take on a life of their own and jump off the page, smacking me smartly across the face, screaming, "Look at me!"  Well, this morning, I looked.  I read.  Then I read again.  But to tell you the truth, I'm completely stumped. Next, I read it to Jason, and he couldn't really figure it out either.  So, do you love a good mystery?  If so, check out the verses below?

So the people went out into the field against Israel: and the battle was in the wood of Ephraim; Where the people of Israel were slain before the servants of David, and there was there a great slaughter that day of twenty thousand men. For the battle was there scattered over the face of all the country: and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured. - II Samuel 18:6-8

The fact that there was a battle is not unusual.  The fact that David was in the midst of it isn't saying much either (although he wasn't actually on the battlefield at this time).  No, the part that struck me as odd was the last phrase of verse 8:  and the wood devoured more people that day than the sword devoured.  The woods devoured the people?  The soldiers were killed by the forest?  That doesn't even make sense. . . unless. . .

Perhaps the trees came alive like those in The Wizard of Oz, Prince Caspian or The Lord of the Rings.

Perhaps the woods were full of poisonous plants or animals.

Perhaps the woods housed a large number of predatory creatures.

Perhaps the woods contained hazardous pits or quicksand.

What do you think?  According to the Bible, more than 10,000 soldiers were killed by the woods.  Do you have any theories?  If so, I'd love to hear them. 

I realize today's post is a little unusual, but I simply felt led to give you a little meat to chew on for the day.  Meditate.  Ponder.  Question.  Study.  And if you have something to add, please leave a comment below for others to read. 

God's Word is perfect and complete, but don't you love how He's inserted these juicy little mysteries for us to try to wrap our brains around?  No matter what genre of reading you prefer, the Bible contains them all--mystery, romance, adventure, suspense and yes, even horror.  It's the perfect Book with the perfect message, and if that weren't enough, God made certain it was enjoyable to read too.  What an awesome God we serve!