Graphics of Judges




Judges's Times

 Exodus from Egypt Israelites enter Canaan Period of the judges beginsOthniel Ehud  Deborah
 
GideonSamuel born Samson Saul anointed David become king 
 1446 B.C.
(1280 B.C.)
 1406
(1240)
1375
(1220) 
 1367-1327
(1202-1162)
1309-1229 
(1184-1104)
1209-1169
(1192-1152) 
 1162-1122
(1146-1106)
 1105
(1083)
 1075-1055
(1083-1063)
 1050
(1045)
1010 





Vital statistics


 Propose: To show that God's judgment against sin is certain, and his forgiveness of sin and restoration to relationship are just as certain for those who repent.   
 Author:  Possibly Samuel
 Original audience:  The people of Israel
 Setting: The land of Canaan, later called Israel. God had helped the Israelites conquer Canaan, which had been inhabited by a host of wicked nations. But they were in danger of losing this Promised Land because they compromised their convictions and disobeyed God.
 Key verse: "In those days Israel had no king; all the people did whatever seemed right in their own eyes" (17:6)
 Key people:  Othniel Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson. 
 Special feature:  records Israel's first civil war 






Analysis of Judges


1
2
3
4
5
6
7
SIN
Did
evil …
Forgot
Jehovah …
Served
Baalim
Again
did
evil …
Many
Gods
SERVITUDE
Sold Israel to Jabin for 20 years
SUPPLICATION
Cried to
Jehovah
SALVATION
Raised
up Ehud
SILENCE
Rest
40 years
No
deliverance!
3:7–11
3:12–30
4:1–5:31
8:33–9:57
10:6–12:7
13:2–16:31

Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (178). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.







The Judges and Their Rules


NAME
OPPRESSORS
YEARS OF OPPRESSION and REST
REFERENCE
Othniel
Mesopotamians
48
3:7–11
Ehud
Moabites
98
3:12–30
Shamgar
3:31
Deborah/Barak
Canaanites
60
4 5
Gideon
Midianites
47
6–8
Tola
23
10:1–2
Jair
22
10:3–5
Jephthah
Ammonites
24
10:6–12:7
Ibzan
7
12:8–10
Elon
10
12:11–12
Abdon
8
12:13–15
Samson
Philistines
60*
13–16
TOTAL
407**
* Some scholars would have Samson’s 20 years running concurrecntly with the Philistines’ 40 years.
** Abimelech, not a judge but a son of Gideon who set himself up as a king, ruled for three years (9:22) to bring the total number of years in the period to 410.

Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (181). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.




For instance, we can look at the number of verses given in this Bible book to the story of each judge.
Othniel
3:7–11
5 verses
Ehud
3:12–30
19 verses
Shamgar
3:31
1 verse
Deborah/Barak
4:1–5:31
55 verses
Gideon
6:1–8:35
100 verses
Tola
10:1–2
2 verses
Jair
10:3–5
3 verses
Jephthah
10:6–12:7
80 verses
Ibzan
12:8–10
3 verses
Elon
12:11–12
2 verses
Abdon
12:13–15
3 verses
Samson
13:1–16:31
96 verses
Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher's commentary. Includes index. (182). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.




The Period of the Judges



 Judge and Tribe Scripture References Major Events Oppressors Period of Oppression Period of Rest
 (1) Othniel (Judah) Son of Kenaz, the younger brother of Caleb Judg. 1:11–153:1–11 Josh. 15:16–191 Chr. 4:13 (1) Othniel was the nephew of Caleb (3:11) and became his son-in-law after the capture of Kirjath Sepher (1:1213).
(2) Defeated Cushn-Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia (
3:10).
 Cushan-Rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia (3:8) 8 years (3:8) 40 years (3:11)
 (2) Ehud (Benjamin) Son of Gera Judg. 3:12–4:1 (1) Ehud, the left-handed Benjamite, personally slew Eglon, the fat king of Moab (3:2122).
(2) Led in the slaying of 10,000 Moabites (3:29).
 Eglon, king of Moab (3:12)
Ammonites (3:13)
Amalekites (3:13)
 18 years (3:14) 80 years (3:30)
 (3) Shamgar (Perhaps foreign) Son of Anath Judg. 3:315:6 (1) Shamgar slew 600 Philistines with an oxgoad (3:31). Philistines (3:31) Not given Not given
 4) Deborah (Ephraim) and Barak (Naphtali) Son of Abinoam) Judg. 4:1–5:31
Heb. 11:32
 (1) Deborah, a prophetess and judge, was the wife of Lapidoth (4:45:7)
(2) Deborah, and Barak defeated Sisera (with his 900 iron chariots) at the Battle of Kishon (4:13–16).(3) Sisera killed by Jael, the wife of Heber, with a tent peg (4:21).
(4) The Song of Deborah (ch. 5) recounts the victory of Deborah and Barak over Sisera.
(5) Barak is listed among the “Heroes of the Faith” in Heb. 11:32.
 Jabin, king of Canaan (4:2);
Sisera was the commander of his army (4:2)
 20 years (4:3) 40 years (5:31)
 (5) Gideon (Manasseh) Son of Joash the Aiesrite Also called: Jerubbaal (6:327:1) Jerubbesheth (2 Sam. 11:21) Judg. 6:1–8:32
Heb. 11:32
 (1) The Angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon at Ophrah as he was beating our wheat in the winepress (6:11–18).
(2) Gideon’s offering consumed by fire (6:19–24).(3) Gideon destroyed the altar of Baal by night (6:25–27).
(4) Gideon “put out the fleece” twice for a “sign” (6:36–40). 
(5) Gideon reduced his army from 32,000 to 10,000 to 300 (7:2–8); he routed the Midianites with trumpets, pitchers, and torches (7:16–22).
(6) Oreb and Zeeb killed by the Ephraimites (7:24–8:3).
(7) Gideon took revenge on teh men of Succoth and Penuel for not giving his army bread (8:5–914–17).
(8) Gideon killed Zebah and Zalmunna (Midianite kings) in revenge for the death of his brothers at Tabor (8:18–21). 
(9) Gideon made a gold ephod which led the people into idolatry (8:24–27).
 Midianites (6:13337:12)
Amalekites (6:3337:12)
“People of the East” (6:3337:12)
 7 years (6:1) 40 years (8:28)
 (6) Abimelech (Manasseh) Son of Gideon by a concubine Judg. 8:33–9:57 2 Sam. 11:21 (1) Abimelech slew all his half brothers (70) except Jotham, the youngest (9:5).
(2) Abimelech defeated Gaal, who conspired against him (9:26–41).
(3) Abimelech captured Shechem and razed the city (9:42–49).
(4) At Thebez a woman thre a millstone which hit Abimelech on the head; Abimelech then had his armorbearer kill him with a sword (9:50–54).
 Civil war Abimelech ruled over Israel 3 years (9:22). 
 (7) Tola (Issachar) Son of Puah Judg. 10:12 (1) Tola was probably from one of the leading families of Issachar (cf. Gen. 46:13Num. 26:23).   Judged Israel 23 years (10:2)
 (8) Jair (Gilead-Manasseh) Judg. 10:3–5 (1) Jair was probably a descendant of the Jair who distinguished himself during the days of Moses and Joshua (Num. 32:41Deut. 3:14Josh. 13:301 Kin. 4:131 Chr. 2:21).
(2) Jair had 30 sons who were itinerant judges (10:4).
   Judged Israel 22 years (10:3)
 9) Jephthah (Gilead-Manasseh) Son of Gilead by a harlot (11:1) Judg. 10:6–12:7
Heb. 11:32
 (1) Jephthah was the son of Gilead by a harlot (11:1); he was driven off by his vengeful half brothers and fled to the land of Tob.
(2) Elders of Gilead brought Jephthah back and made him their chief at Mizpah (11:4–11).
(3) Jephthah sent a message to the King of Ammon saying that the Israelites had been in possession of Gilead for 300 years-too long for the Ammonites to challenge their right to it (11:26). 
(4) Jephthah subdued the Ammonites, conquering some 20 cities (11:3233).
(5) Jephthah devoted his daughter to the service of the Lord for the rest of her life, in fulfillment of his foolish vow (11:31–40).
(6) Jephthah defeated the Ephraimites, who were offended because they had not been asked to join in the battle against the Ammonites (12:1–6).
 Philistines (10:7)
Ammonites (10:7)
Civil war with the Ephraimites (12:4)
 18 years (10:8) Judged Israel 6 years (12:7)
 (10) Ibzan (Judah or Zebulun) (Bethlehem-Zebulun; cf. Josh. 19:15) Judg. 12:8–10 (1) Ibzan had 30 sons and 30 daughters, for whom he arranged marriages; this indicates his wealth and social prominence (12:9).
(2) A Jewish tradition identifies Ibzan with Boaz of Bethlehem-Judah.
   Judged Israel 7 years (12:9)
 (11) Elon (Zebulun) Judg. 12:1112 (1) The only information given concerning Elon is that he was buried at the Aijalon in Zebulun, distinguishing if from the better -known Aijalon in Danite territory (12:12)   Judged Israel 10 years (12:11)
 (12) Abdon (Ephraim, 12:15) Son of Hillel Judg. 12:13–15 (1) The wealth and proinence of Abdon is revealed by the fact that he had 40 sons and 30 grandsons, who all rode on mounts (12:14).
(2) Abdon was a native of Pirathon and was later buried there (12:1315).
   Judged Israel 8 years (12:14)
 (13) Samson (Judg. 13:2) Son of Manoah Judg. 13:1–16:31 Heb. 11:32 (1) Samson’s birth was announced by the Angel of the Lord; he was consecrated a Nazirite from birth (ch. 13).
(2) Samson slew a lion barehanded (14:56).
(3) Samson slew 30 Philistines at Ashkelon (14:19)
(4) Samson caught 300 foxes, tied them in pairs with a torch between their tails, and turned them into the grain fields of the Philistines (15:1–8).
(5) Samson slew a thousand Philistines with the jawbone of an ass (15:14–19).
(6) Samson carried off the gate of Gaza (16:1–3).
(7) Samson was conquered by Delilah, blinded, and imprisoned at Gaza (16:4–22).
(8) Samson pulled down the Temple of Dagon, killing himself and about 3,000 Philistines (16:23–31).
   

New Geneva study Bible. 1997, c1995 (electronic ed.) (Jue 1.8). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.




The Lord Raised Up Judges


The Book of Judges reveals a cycle that was often repeated during the early years of Israel’s history in Canaan: the people fell into sin (Judg. 2:11–13); God sent judgment upon them (2:14); the people cried out for deliverance (2:15); God raised up a “judge” or deliverer to deliver them from their enemies and bring spiritual renewal (2:16–18); eventually the people fell into sin again after the passing of the judge (2:19). The table below lists the twelve judges mentioned in the Book of Judges.
Judge
Duration of Leadership
Major Accomplishments
Othniel (3:7–11)
40 years
Caleb’s nephew; defeated a king of Mesopotamia.
Ehud (3:12–30)
80 years
Left-handed; killed Eglon, king of Moab, and subdued the Moabites.
Shamgar (3:31)
Unknown
Killed 600 Philistines.
Deborah (4:4–5:31)
40 years
Recruited Barak to lead Israelite warriors to victory over a Canaanite king, Jabin, and his general, Sisera.
Gideon (6:11–8:32)
40 years
With an “army” of only 300, defeated the Midianites.
Tola (10:1–2)
23 years
Unknown.
Jair (10:3–5)
22 years
Unknown.
Jephthah (11:1–12:7)
6 years
Subdued the Ammonites, but at the cost of his daughter whom he vowed to sacrifice as a burnt offering; disciplined the Ephraimites.
Ibzan (12:8–10)
7 years
Unknown.
Elon (12:11–12)
10 years
Unknown.
Abdon (12:13–15)
8 years
Unknown.
Samson (13:2–16:31)
20 years
Harassed the Philistines; destroyed a pagan temple and killed many at the cost of his own life.
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Jue 3.1). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.




 The Women of Judges: Acclaimed and Abused

The book of Judges illustrates a wide range of women’s experiences in history, as the following table shows:
Women
Experience
Achsah
Caleb gave away his daughter Achsah as a reward for success in war (1:12–13). He also gave her land, which was unusual in that Hebrew women generally did not own land (1:14–16).
Deborah
She judged the nation for 40 years, enlisting Barak to lead the people to victory over the Canaanite general Sisera (4:1–5:31).
Jael
The wife of Heber the Kenite became a war hero by assassinating the general Sisera (4:17–22).
An Unnamed Concubine
Gideon’s concubine gave birth to Abimelech (8:31), a man who brought great trouble to the nation.
An Unnamed Prostitute
She gave birth to a son, Jephthah, who was rejected by his half brothers, but later was recruited to deliver the nation from the Ammonites (11:1–33).
An Unnamed Daughter
Jephthah’s daughter was presumably sacrificed as a burnt offering because of her father’s rash vow (11:29–40).
An Unnamed, Barren wife
Manoah’s wife was chosen by God to be the mother of Samson, Israel’s deliverer from the Philistines (13:2–25).
An Unnamed Philistine Wife
Samson’s marriage to his wife from Timnah lasted one week before he gave her to the companion who had been his best man at their wedding (14:1–20).
An Unnamed Prostitute
She used her wiles in an attempt to trap Samson in an ambush by the Philistines, but his physical strength confounded her efforts (16:1–3).
Delilah
Having captured Samson’s affections, she wore down his resistance until he finally revealed the secret of his strength, to his own undoing (16:4–31).
An Unnamed Mother
Her son, Micah, stole 1, 100 shekels of silver from her, but returned it. Together they fashioned idols that became a spiritual snare to a foolish Levite (17:1–13).
An Unnamed Concubine
She proved unfaithful to her Levite husband and returned to her father’s house at Bethlehem. After the Levite retrieved her, she was gang-raped until she died, and her husband dismembered her swearing revenge. The incident led to civil war in Israel (19:1–30).
Four Hundred Virgins of Mizpah
Captured as prizes in a civil war, they were given as wives to the wayward Benjamites (21:1–25).
Word in life study Bible . 1997, c1996 (electronic ed.) (Jue 21.14). Nashville: Thomas Nelson.



The Blueprint


   A. THE MILITARY FAILURE OF ISRAEL (1:1-3:6)
  1. Incomplete conquest of the land 
  2. Disobedience and defeat
   The tribes had compromised God's command to drive out the inhabitants of the land. Incomplete removal of evil often means disaster in the end. We must beware of compromising with wickedness.   
   B. THE RESCUE IF ISRAEL BY THE JUDGES (3:7-16:31) 
  1. First period: Othniel 
  2. Second period: Ehud and Shamgar
  3. Third period: Deborah and Barak
  4. Fourth period: Gideon, Tola, and Jair
  5. Fifth period: Jephthah. Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon
  6. Sixth period: Samson 
   Repeatedly we see the nation of Israel sinning against God and God allowing suffering to come upon the land and the people. Sin  always has its consequences. Where there is sin we can expect suffering to follow. Rather than living in an endless cycle  of abandoning God and then crying out to him for rescue, we should seek to live a consistent life of faithfulness.  
   C. THE MORAL FAILURE IS ISRAEL (17:1:21:25)
  1. Idolatry in the tribe of Dan
  2. War against the tribe of Benjamin 
   Despite the efforts of Israel's judges, the people still would not turn wholeheartedly to God. They all did whatever they thought was best for themselves. The result was the spiritual, moral, and political decline of the nation. Our lives will also fall into decline and decay unless we live by the guidelines God has gives us.