“But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.”
Judges 1:6, 7
As a young person, I was not familiar with the phrase, “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.” But it is commonly used in this part of the country. The meaning is simple. Things that we say or do have a tendency to return to us. If we mistreat others, we might expect to be mistreated in a similar way. Adonibezek felt that he experienced this very thing. He was the king of Bezek, his name meaning “lord of Bezek.”
In our text, the Israelites were given a great victory over the Canaanites and Perizzites and killed ten thousand of them in Bezek. When they captured Adonibezek, they “cut off his thumbs and his great toes.” He would be unable to run and unable to fight. Adonibezek acknowledged that he had treated his enemies the same way: “Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me.”
Adonibezek was a ruthless and powerful king. There is no reason to believe that he had any knowledge of the true God. He had apparently been responsible for conquering seventy rival kings. But, he was able to make the connection between the way he was treated and the way he treated others; “God hath requited me.” He felt that his sinful behavior was being punished.
Although the cliche’, “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND,” is not found in the Bible, similar principles are in the Scripture. Leviticus 24:20 says, “Breach for breach,
eye for eye, tooth for tooth: as he hath caused a blemish in a man, so shall it be done to him again.” Offenders were to be punished with the identical injury they had inflicted. Jesus teaches us, “Judge not, that ye be not judged. For with what judgment ye judge, ye shall be judged: and with what measure ye mete, it shall be measured to you again” (Matthew 7:1-2). We should be careful to treat others the way we want to be treated. Otherwise, it may come back to us again. Sometimes, “WHAT GOES AROUND COMES AROUND.”