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EXEGESIS > Old Testament > History > Judges           


Judges covers the period from the death of Joshua until the time of Samuel, the prophet and judge who anointed Saul as the first king of the nation; the timespan is approximately 350 years. According to tradition, Samuel is the author, but it is not definitively supported.

The Judges were twelve individuals, eleven men and one woman, who were raised up by the Lord (2:16); they delivered the nation from oppression and then judged or guided the nation for a period of time. Thus they were both military and civil leaders. It is interesting to note that during the time of the Judges the events in the book of Ruth took place.

Two verses, 17:6 and 21:25, depict the general attitude of the nation during this time: “everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. This state of affairs led to a monotonous cycle: Sin; Servitude; Supplication; and Salvation. The people would do evil in the sight of the Lord; He would sent an oppressor who would subjugate them; they would cry out for intervention; therefore, God would raise up a judge to deliver them. After a period of time the cycle would repeat.

Some well-known names are found among the Judges: Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. At least one Judge, Shamgar, has only one verse related to him, while Gideon has three chapters and Samson has four chapters.

Passages with Exegesis

        Jud. 3:5-11 - The Wretched Cycle


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