Church Education Trust

Church and the Bible

BHB007 Judges



"the first 300 years"

Key verses: Judges 12:2, 21:25.

"And they forsook the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt and followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were around them and bowed themselves down to them, thus they provoked the Lord to anger." ch12:2.

"In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes." ch.21:25.

Key Words

"Right in their own eyes." 

Key Themes

1.National Sin and Disobedience.

2.Results ofthat disobedience.

3.Restoration from backslidding.


The book of Judges reveal the disobedience and idolatrous ways of the children of Israel. As a nation they continually rejected the word and will of god for them as a nation. For 350 years they were strangers to the blesssings of god. the book of Judges reveal clearly the spiritual deterioration of the nation, the constant experiences of oppression and  deliverance.

The Judges were civil and military leaders and in the book some 13 are named and a further 4 judges are mentioned in first Samuel. In chapters 1&2 the repeated failure of the children of Israel to deal with their neighbours is revealed. Their lack of faith and obedience to God word, their compromises religiously and socially created a weak nation. In chapters 3-16 there are accounts of seven times that the nation dissobeyed God, seven judgements and seven deliverances by God on their behalf.

It was an period of great instability and at times intense hopelessness for the nation through its own personal failure. In chapters 17-21 the extent of the nations dissobedience is recorded, religious apostacy, social and moral depravity and the writer sums up the nations attitude as "everyone doing what was right in their own eyes."


Ch.1        Canaanites who lived along side the Israelites.

Ch.2        Joshua`s death & national apostacy.

Ch.3        Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar.

Ch.4-5     Deborah and Barak.

Ch.6-8     Gideon.

Ch.9        Abimelech.

Ch.10-12 Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon.

Ch.13-16 Samon.

Ch.17-18 The Danties migration.

Ch.19-21 Benjamite shame and sin. 


The Hebrew word "shophetim" is translated " judges or ruler" the position of the Judge was one who settled problems faced by the people in the nation of Israel.


The authorship of the book of Judges is UNKNOWN. What we do know is that it was written sometime after the Ark of the covenant was removed from Shiloh. (1 Sam.4:3-11) It could be argued that the book was written in between the period of the reign of King Saul and the dividing of the kingdom after Solomon`s reign.(Judges 17:6, 18:1,19:1 & 21:25) The Jebusites were dwelling in Jerusalem and that would have been before 1004 B.C., for King David later drove them out of the city. (2 Samuel 5:5-9). It is therefore reasonable to suggest that the author could well have been Samuel or one of his helpers.


The book could well have been written around 1043 B.C., the events contained in the text reflect an historical perion from 1380 to 1045 B.C.

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