AUTHOR: Anonymous
DATE: 1050-1000 B.C.

The events of this book cover the turbulent period in Israel’s history from the conquest of Palestine to the beginnings of the monarchy (circa 1380 to 1050 B.C.).

Under Joshua, the land had been conquered and occupied, but many important Canaanite strongholds still remained, leaving Israel vulnerable. The book of Judges describes an ongoing warfare, as the Hebrews tried to complete their occupation of the land.

God set up a system of judges to rule over His people.  The judges were military and civil leaders who ruled over regions and therefore some judges ruled concurrently.

The author of Judges is unknown, but the Talmud suggests it was Samuel.  The book was written after the death of Samson and after Saul became King of Israel, but before the conquest of Jerusalem by David about 990 B.C. (see 1:21; 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25).

Historically, the book of Judges serves to link the conquest of Palestine and the monarchy. Theologically, the book provides many examples of the principle that obedience to the law brings peace, whereas disobedience means oppression and death. Spiritually, the faithfulness of God in forgiving the sins of His people is seen clearly in this time when “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (17:6; 21:25).

OUTLINE OF JUDGES

I. Background of the Period of the Judges, 1:1-3:6

A. The Political Background, 1:1-36
B. The Spiritual Background, 2:1-3:6

II. History of the Period of the Judges, 3:7-16:31

A. Mesopotamian Oppression and Othniel’s Deliverance, 3:7-11
B. Moabite Oppression and Ehud’s Deliverance, 3:12-30
C. Shamgar’s Victory over the Philistines, 3:31
D. Canaanite Oppression and Deliverance by Deborah and Barak, 4:1-5:31

1. The story, 4:1-24
2. The song, Judg 5:1-31

E. Midianite Oppression and Gideon’s Deliverance, 6:1-8:35

1. Gideon’s call, 6:1-40
2. Gideon’s conquests, 7:1-8:35

F. Abimelech’s Tyranny, 9:1-57
G. Tola’s Judgeship, 10:1-2
H. Jair’s Judgeship, 10:3-5
I. Ammonite Oppression and Jephthah’s Deliverance, 10:6-12:7

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J. Ibzan’s Judgeship, 12:8-10
K. Elon’s Judgeship, 12:11-12
L. Abdon’s Judgeship, 12:13-15
M. Philistine Oppression and Samson’s Career, 13:1-16:31
1. Annunciation and birth of Samson, 13:1-25
2. Marriage of Samson, 14:1-20
3. Exploits of Samson, 15:1-20
4. Fall of Samson, 16:1-31
III. Apostasy of the Period of the Judges, 17:1-21:25
A. Micah and the Migration of the Danites, Judg 17:1-18:31
1. Micah and his private priest, Judg 17:1-13
2. Danite migration, 18:1-31
B. The Benjamite War, 19:1-21:25
1. The reason for the war, 19:1-20:13
2. The execution of the war, 20:14-48
3. The results of the war, 21:1-25

A Hidden Message in Psalm 23

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Do not be anxious about anything.  (Phil 4:6)

In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, we must rightly remember who is in control.  Our God is sovereign over all things, including COVID-19.  As Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) said, “The sovereignty of God is a soft pillow on which weary people lay their heads.” 

Remember also God’s gracious promise, and that it is true and He is faithful to keep it:  Hebrews 13:5 …”I will never leave you, nor forsake you.”  The next verse remind us of the power that comes in trusting God and how we can live:  Hebrews 13:6 So that we may boldly say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not fear what man [or COVID-19] shall do to me.

God loves us, and in Christ we find confidence and calm in times of uncertainty and trouble.  When we trust in God, fear is replaced with faith, stress is replaced with strength, anxiety is gone and hope abounds, problems become opportunities, and we are able to receive the blessings God has for us in the midst of difficult circumstances. Turn to Jesus. He will lead you to the still waters and give rest for your troubled soul.  

This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast…Hebrews 6:19

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