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The Agora
Bible Commentary
Judges

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21

OVERVIEW

Author: Samuel or another prophet (date of writing: c1050 BC or shortly thereafter).

Time: 1400–1100 BC.

Summary: After arriving in Canaan, many Israelites became disobedient to God, partly because of their failure to drive out the inhabitants of the land. The book of Judges shows how God raised up leaders to call them back to faithfulness and to continue the conquest of the land. It covers the period from the death of Joshua to the establishment of the monarchy under Saul. The book of Judges closes by setting the stage for the people's desire for a human king.

Key verses: "Whenever the Lord raise up a judge for them, he was with the judge and saved them out of the hands of their enemies... But when the judge died, the people returned to ways even more corrupt than those of their fathers" (Jdg 2:18,19).

1. Introduction: Jdg 1:1 – 3:6

a) Israel's failure to purge the land: Jdg 1:1– 2:5:
(1)         Political background (Jdg 1:1-36).
(2)         Religious background (Jdg 2:1-5).

b) God's dealings with Israel's rebellion, and their failure to subdue the nations of Canaan: Jdg 2:6 – 3:6

2. Oppression and deliverance: Jdg 3:7 – 16:31

a) Othniel: Jdg 3:7–11
b) Ehud: Jdg 3:12–30
c) Shamgar: Jdg 3:31
d) Deborah: Jdg 4:1–5:31
e) Gideon: Jdg 6:1–8:35
f) Abimelech: Jdg 9:1–57
g) Tola: Jdg 10:1–2
h) Jair: Jdg 10:3–5
i) Jephthah: Jdg 10:6–12:7
j) Ibzan: Jdg 12:8–10
k) Elon: Jdg 12:11–12
l) Abdon: Jdg 12:13–15
m) Samson: Jdg 13:1–16:31

3. Appendices: Religious and moral disorder: the lawlessness of the Judges period: Jdg 17:1 – 21:25

a) Corruption of doctrine: Jdg 17:1 – 18:31
b) Corruption of practice: Jdg 19:1 – 21:25

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