1. After the Death of Joshua... (1:1-2:23)
a. Israel's Relationship to People in the Land (1)
b. God Quits Fighting for Israel (2)
2. The sin-servitude-sorrow-salvation cycle commences
a. Othniel (3:1-11)
b. Ehud (3:12-30)
c. Shamgar (3:31)
d. Deborah and Barak (4-5)
e. Gideon (6-8)
f. Abimelech (not a judge) (9)
g. Tola, Jair (10:1-5)
h. Jephthah (10:6-12:7)
i. Ibzan, Elon, Abdon (12:8-15)
j. Samson (13-16)
k. The "Dark Ages" of the Judges (17-21)
l. Micah, the "priest," and the Danites (17-18)
m. Perversion in Israel (19-21)
The book of Judges covers about 300 years of Israel's darkest days
and is thought to have been written by Samuel. After the generation
of Joshua died, the people fell into idolatry and sin, for which God
would punish them. When they cried out for a deliverer, God sent a
judge to rescue them and then rule over them. But when that faithful
man died, the process would repeat itself (2:11-19). This book does
not make man look good. God's people prove themselves to be
faithless time after time, yet God is patient, loving, and forgiving
(though not without limits). The book closes with two sorrowful
incidents which are typical of what life is like when people do that
which is "right" in their own eyes (17:6; 21:25).
4:4-5, 8-9 Deborah, the humble judge.
5:1-31 Deborah, a mother in Israel, sings a song of victory
(especially verse 7).
5:23 "Curse Meroz...."
6:17-24 Gideon asks for evidence that God is with him (see
also 6:36-40; 7:9-14).
8:23 "...the Lord shall rule over you."
8:24-27 Gideon's foolish act (see also 33-35).
8:1-3; 12:1-6 The complaints of the Ephraimites.
9:7-21 The parable.
14:1-3 Samson and women (see also 16:1-3; 16:4-20).
19:22-28 Homosexuals in Gibeah. The irony is seen in
13:8 "...teach us what we shall do for the child who will be
21:25 "In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did
what was right in his own eyes."
*Send comments or questions concerning this survey to Gary Summers.[Old Testament Survey Index]