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Summary of the Book of Judges
Posted In: Religion Articles  5/30/12
By: Yona Williams

To read about some of the greatest tales in the Bible, take a look at the Book of Judges. It is here that you will encounter the history of Israel that traces from the death of Joshua to the start of the monarchy under Saul – the first king of Israel. In this article, you will find information regarding the Book of Judges, including interesting facts.

It is thought that the prophet Samuel wrote the Book of Judges even though the author is not specifically named. Since there is evidence that the writer of Judges lived for a sort period after the book was penned, Samuel is usually viewed as the author. It is likely that the text was written sometime between 1045 and 1000 BC. The Book of Judges is divided into two sections. From chapters 1 to 16, you will read an account of the wars of deliverance starting with the Israelites beating the Canaanites, and ending with the defeat of the Philistines and the death of Samson. An appendix appears from chapters 17 to 21. Originally, the Book of Ruth was a part of this book, but in 450 AD, it was removed to stand alone.

The Book of Judges highlights the tragedy of how Yahweh (God) was taken for granted over the years.
His children would continue to disregard Him throughout the centuries. There is no longer the obedience that is displayed in the Book of Joshua. Since the people were disobedient, they suffered many defeats. However, whenever His people asked for forgiveness, God did not turn his back on them. Throughout the 15 judges of Israel, God kept his promise made to Abraham mentioned in the Book of Genesis to protect and bless his offspring.

Following the death of Joshua and his contemporaries, the Israelites returned to serving Baal and Ashtaroth. During this time, God was permitted to deliver the consequences that come to those that worship false gods. The people of God started to cry out for His help, and his answer was judges that lead them towards living lives that were righteous. The Book of Judges chronicles 480 years where God would save His people from their oppressors.

In the text, one of the most notable of judges was most likely the twelfth – Samson. He became the leader of the Israelites following captivity that lasted for 40 years when the merciless Philistines were rulers. Samson is at the root of a victory against the Philistines. He was only a judge of Israel for 20 years before he died.

A few verses found in the Book of Judges include:

"But the Israelites said to the LORD, 'We have sinned. Do with us whatever you think best, but please rescue us now.'" (Judges 10:15)

"In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as he saw fit." (Judges 21:25)

Interesting Facts

In an effort to train Ehud to pursue a life as a warrior, his parents tied up his right hand so that the left-handed fighter could have the benefit of being ambidextrous.
 
Abimelech dies in an unfortunate incident when a woman fleeing for her life from an attacking army, tosses an upper millstone into her purse and later chucks it down on him.

When Gideon fought in the battle against Midian, God disqualified him for his participation.
 
In Judges 6:5, the reference to camels is thought to be the earliest evidence that the military used camels throughout history.

Ehud made a unique sword to kill Eglon, but it was lost inside of the king's body. Following the stabbing of king Eglon, Ehud was able to escape from the king's locked chamber when he passed through the sewerage access.


 

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