Who Were the Judges? \ April Week 1 Summary Posted

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat ...

Mosaic of the 12 Tribes of Israel. From Givat Mordechai synagogue wall in Jerusalem. Top row, right to left: Reuben, Judah, Dan, Asher Middle: Simeon, Issachar, Naphtali, Joseph Bottom: Levi, Zebulun, Gad, Benjamin (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Tomorrow, we will learn that Caleb’s younger brother Othniel, mentioned in Judges 1:13, will become one of the judges. But for now, the people have no leader.  But what was a judge?  generally, these were people called by the Lord to administer justice, and to drive out the adversaries of the people – often given miraculous power for doing so.  Many of them served purposes almost entirely military in nature.  In order of appearance in the book, the oppressors of the people at various times are Mesopotamians, Moabites, Philistines, Canaanites Midianites, Ammonites, and then the Philistines.  The book tells us that the judges came from at least 8 of the twelve tribes of Israel (Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, Manasseh, Issachar, Gilead-Manasseh, Zebulun, Dan).

Here are the judges in order of the scripture:

Othniel (ch 3:7–11)           – written time for oppression and period of rest was 48 years (Judges 3:8,11)
Ehud (ch 3:12–30)            – written time for oppression and period of rest was 98 years (Judges 3:14, 30)
Shamgar (ch 3:31)             – written time for oppression and period of rest is unknown.
Deborah (chs. 4–5)           – written time for oppression and period of rest was 60 years (Judges 4:3,5:31)
Gideon (chs. 6–8)             – written time for oppression and period of rest was 47 years (Judges 6:1, 8:28)
Tola (ch 10:1–2)                – written time for oppression and period of rest was 23 years (Judges 10:2)
Jair (ch 10:3–5)                 – written time for oppression and period of rest was 22 years (Judges 10:3)
Jephthah (ch 10:6–12:7)  – written time for oppression and period of rest was  24 years (Judges 10:8, 12:7)
Ibzan (ch 12:8–10)            – written time for oppression and period of rest was 7 years (Judges 12:9)
Elon (ch 12:11–12)             – written time for oppression and period of rest was 10 years (Judges 12:11)
Abdon (ch 12:13–15)         – written time for oppression and period of rest was 8 years (Judges 12:14)
Samson (chs. 13–16)         – written time for oppression and period of rest was 60 years (Judges 13:1, 15:20, 16:31)

The pattern of the book of Judges is:

(1) The people do what is evil in the sight of God
(2) God allows them to be oppressed
(3) They cry out to God
(4) God sends a judge to deliver them
(5) There is a period of rest, before the apostasy begins the cycle again.

Summing Up

Each weekend, I am now posting a small PDF of one week of chapter summaries (on the website’s “Summaries” page), current to the beginning of the previous week.  I have posted the summary for Week 14 (April Week 1) of the schedule I am following.  This short PDF document contains condensed comments about Joshua chapters 4, 5, 6, 7 and 8, with hyperlinks to the ESV version of each chapter for listening or reading, and joins the summaries for other weeks already posted there.

/Robert
___________________
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers

Please note: I did not design the reading plan that I am following in my blog.  All of my comments in this blog, however, are solely my responsibility.  When reading ANY commentary, you should ALWAYS refer first to the scripture, which is God’s unchanging and unfailing word. Reading schedules, as well as a link to the site where you can get the reading plan that I’m currently following for yourself can be found on the “Bible Reading Schedules” page of my website at http://graceofourlord.com.  For questions and help, please see the “FAQ” and “Summaries” pages there.

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