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Adonibezek – the ‘Lightning Master’ – is a little known character who appears briefly in Judges, the seventh book of the Bible.
Briefly – Adonibezek claimed to have maimed seventy other kings by cutting off their thumbs and big toes so that they begged for scraps ‘under his table’. This imaginative form of imprisonment meant that the victims could neither run nor fight (though they were doubtless able to complain).
God enabled the Tribe of Judah to defeat Adonibezek; they cut off his … etc., etc. Eventually he was killed at Jerusalem.
‘Adonibezek’ represents the Devil, who destroys the Christian’s ability to act. A little later in Judges, Deborah and Barak sing a song about ‘leading captivity captive’, words also used by St. Paul in his letter to the Ephesians to describe what Jesus did in rising from the dead.
These poems build on the image in the poem ‘Light’ in the Words collection: At night, life desperate,/ alone with the enemy of souls,/ light shines within. They draw on several literary themes including ‘The Waste Land’ by T.S. Eliot.