The Book of Judges

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The book of Judges is the sequel to Joshua. It is the seventh book of the Old Testament. It recounts stories and events from the death of the hebrew leader and prophet Joshua to the birth of the hebrew Samuel. That is roughly, from the end of the Israelite conquest of Canan in the 13th Century B.C to the beginning of the monarchy in the 11 th century B.C. It tells about the hebrews from Joshua’s Death to the time of Samuel. It was written in about 550 BC, on tablets named the Ras Shamra tablets. The Ras Shamra tablets where later discovered in the early 20th Century, even though the stories and acountings of the judges where already known and written. The book of Judges belongs to a specific historical tradition which is called the Deuteronomic history. The author of the book of Judges, was in exile in Babylonia. While in exile he was deeply concerned with foreign domination. So he wrote many of his stories on the migration of the tribe of Dan to the North and the sins of the Benjamites. The author emphasized that Israel was being influenced by foreign powers and the loss of freedom and prosperity. Recurring throughout the book is the stereotyped formula: “The people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the lord.” Then after each period or subjection the author introduces another formula: “ But when the people of Israel cried the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people. Through-out the book, the book of judges tells about prophets, rulers and influential people such as: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Tilian and Samson. There are also many more minor people.

The name of the book is very deceptive, because there weren’t any judges at all, nor any judges notified of this book been written. The word Judges was actually a translation for the hebrew word “Shofet” which signifies a ruler or a great military ruler, which through out the book, influential people such as Samson and or even...
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