Easton's Bible Dictionary
is so called because it contains the history of the deliverance
and government of Israel by the men who bore the title of the "judges." The book
of Ruth originally formed part of this book, but about A.D. 450 it was separated
from it and placed in the Hebrew scriptures immediately after the Song of Solomon.
The book contains, An introduction ( Judges
1 - 3:6
), connecting it with the previous narrative in Joshua, as a "link in the chain
The history of the thirteen Judges ( Judges
3:7 - 16:31
) in the following order:
|FIRST PERIOD (Judges
3:7 - 5),
206 years total
|I. Servitude under Chushan-rishathaim of Mesopotamia, 8
|1. OTHNIEL delivers Israel, rest, 40 years
II. Servitude under Eglon of Moab: Ammon, Amalek, 18 years
|2. EHUD'S deliverance, rest, 80 years
3. SHAMGAR Unknown.
III. Servitude under Jabin of Hazor in Canaan, 20 years
|4. DEBORAH and,
5. BARAK, 40 years
SECOND PERIOD (Judges
6 - 10:5),
95 years total
|IV. Servitude under Midian, Amalek, and children of the
east, 7 years
|6. GIDEON, 40 years, ABIMELECH, Gideon's son, reigns as
king over Israel, 3 years
7. TOLA, 23 years
8. JAIR, 22 years
THIRD PERIOD (Judges
10:6 - 12),
49 years total
|V. Servitude under Ammonites with the Philistines,
|9. JEPHTHAH, 6 years
10. IBZAN, 7 years
11. ELON, 10 years
12. ABDON, 8 years
FOURTH PERIOD (Judges
13 - 16),
60 years total
|VI. Seritude under Philistines, 40 years
In all 410 years
Samson's exploits probably synchronize with the period
immediately preceding the national repentance and reformation under Samuel ( 1
Samuel 7:2 - 6
After Samson came Eli, who was both high priest and judge. He directed the civil
and religious affairs of the people for forty years, at the close of which the
Philistines again invaded the land and oppressed it for twenty years. Samuel was
raised up to deliver the people from this oppression, and he judged Israel for
some twelve years, when the direction of affairs fell into the hands of Saul,
who was anointed king. If Eli and Samuel are included, there were then fifteen
judges. But the chronology of this whole period is uncertain.
The historic section of the book is followed by an appendix (Judges
17 - 21),
which has no formal connection with that which goes before. It records (a) the
17 , 18)
of Laish by a portion of the tribe of Dan; and (b) the almost total extinction
of the tribe of Benjamin by the other tribes, in consequence of their assisting
the men of Gibeah (Judges
19 - 21).
This section properly belongs to the period only a few years after the death of
Joshua. It shows the religious and moral degeneracy of the people.
The author of this book was most probably Samuel. The internal evidence both of
the first sixteen chapters and of the appendix warrants this conclusion. It was
probably composed during Saul's reign, or at the very beginning of David's. The
words in 1
Samuel 18:30 , 18:31
, imply that it was written after the taking of the ark by the Philistines, and
after it was set up at Nob ( 1
Samuel 21 ). In David's reign the ark was at Gibeon ( 1
Chronicles 16:39 )
Hitchcock's Dictionary of Bible Names
Smith's Bible Dictionary
of which the book or Ruth formed originally a part, contains
a history from Joshua to Samson. The book may be divided into two parts:--
Chs. 1 - 16.
We may observe in general on this portion of the book that it is almost entirely
a history of the wars of deliverance.
Chs. 17 - 21.
This part has no formal connection with the preceding, and is often called an
appendix. The period to which the narrative relates is simply marked by the expression,
"when there was no king in Israel." ch. ( Judges
19:1 ; 18:1
) It records --(a) The conquest of Laish by a portion of the tribe of Dan, and
the establishment there of the idolatrous worship of Jehovah already instituted
by Micah in Mount Ephraim. (b) The almost total extinction of the tribe of Benjamin.
Chs. 17 - 21
are inserted both as an illustration of the sin of Israel during the time of the
judges and as presenting a contrast with the better order prevailing in the time
of the kings.
The time commonly assigned to the period contained in this book is 299 years.
The dates given in the last article amount to 410 years, without the 40 years
of Eli; but in ( 1
Kings 6:1 ) the whole period from the exodus to the building of the temple
is stated as 480 years. But probably some of the judges were contemporary, so
that their total period is 299 years instead of 410. Mr. Smith in his Old Testament
history gives the following approximate dates:
||Ending about B.C
|1. From the exodus to the passage of Jordan
|2. To the death of Joshua and the surviving elders
|3. Judgeship of Othniel
|4,5. Judgeship of Ehud (Shamgar included)
|6. Judgeship of Deborah and Barak
|7. Judgeship of Gideon
|8,9. Abimelech to Abdon, (total)
|10. Oppression of the Philistines, contemporary with the judgeships of Eli,
Samson (and Samuel?)
|11. Reign of Saul (including perhaps Samuel)
|12. Reign of David
On the whole, it seems safer to give up the attempt to
ascertain the chronology exactly.
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
The English name of the Book of Judges is a translation
of the Hebrew title (shopheTim), which is reproduced in the Greek Kritai, and
the Latin Liber Judicum. In the list of the canonical books of the Old Testament
given by Origen (apud Euseb., HE, VI, 25) the name is transliterated Saphateim,
which represents rather "judgments" (shephatim; krimata) than "judges." A passage
also is quoted from Philo (De Confus. Linguarum, 26), which indicates that he
recognized the same form of the name; compare the Greek title of "Kingdoms" (Basileiai)
for the four books of Samuel and Kings.
2. Place in the Canon
In the order of the Hebrew Canon the Book of Judges invariably
occupies the 7th place, following immediately upon Joshua and preceding Samuel
and Kings. With these it formed the group of the four "earlier prophets" (nebhi'im
ri'shonim), the first moiety of the 2nd great division of the Hebrew Scriptures.
As such the Book of Judges was classified and regarded as "prophetical," equally
with the other historical books, on the ground of the religious and spiritual
teaching which its history conveyed. In the rearrangement of the books, which
was undertaken for the purposes of the Greek translation and Canon, Judges maintained
its position as 7th in order from the beginning, but the short historical Book
of Ruth was removed from the place which it held among the Rolls (meghilloth)
in the 3rd division of the Jewish Canon, and attached to Judges as a kind of appendix,
probably because the narrative was understood to presuppose the same conditions
and to have reference to the same period of time. The Greek order was followed
in all later VSS, and has maintained itself in modern Bibles. Origen (loc. cit.)
even states, probably by a mere misunderstanding, that Judges and Ruth were comprehended
by the Jews under the one title Saphateim.
The Book of Judges consists of 3 main parts or divisions,
which are readily distinguished.
(1) Introductory, Judges 1 through 2:5.
A brief summary and recapitulation of the events of the conquest of Western Israel,
for the most part parallel to the narrative of Joshua, but with a few additional
details and some divergences from the earlier account, in particular emphasizing
(Judges 1:27 - 36) the general failure of the Israelites to expel completely the
original inhabitants of the land, which is described as a violation of their covenant
with Yahweh (Judges 2:1 - 3), entailing upon them suffering and permanent weakness.
The introductory verse (Judges 1:1), which refers to the death of Joshua as having
already taken place, seems to be intended as a general indication of the historical
period of the book as a whole; for some at least of the events narrated in Judges
1 through 2:5 took place during Joshua's lifetime.
(2) The Central and Main Portion, Judges 2:6 through 16.
A series of narratives of 12 "judges," each of whom in turn, by his devotion and
prowess, was enabled to deliver Israel from thralldom and oppression, and for
a longer or shorter term ruled over the people whom he had thus saved from their
enemies. Each successive repentance on the part of the people, however, and their
deliverance are followed, on the death of the judge, by renewed apostasy, which
entails upon them renewed misery and servitude, from which they are again rescued
when in response to their prayer the Lord "raises up" for them another judge and
deliverer. Thus the entire history is set as it were in a recurrent framework
of moral and religious teaching and warning; and the lesson is enforced that it
is the sin of the people, their abandonment of Yahweh and persistent idolatry,
which entails upon them calamity, from which the Divine long-suffering and forbearance
alone makes for them a way of escape.
|(a) Judges 2:6 through 3:6:
A second brief introduction, conceived entirely in the spirit of the following
narratives, which seems to attach itself to the close of the Book of Joshua, and
in part repeats almost verbally the account there given of the death and burial
of Israel's leader (Judges 2:6 - 9 parallel Joshua 24:28 - 31), and proceeds to
describe the condition of the land and people in the succeeding generation, ascribing
their misfortunes to their idolatry and repeated neglect of the warnings and commands
of the judges; closing with an enumeration of the peoples left in the land, whose
presence was to be the test of Israel's willingness to obey Yahweh and at the
same time to prevent the nation from sinking into a condition of lethargy and
(b) Judges 3:7 through 3:11:
Judgeship of Othniel who delivered Israel from the hand of Cushan-rishathaim.
(c) Judges 3:12 - 30:
Victory of Ehud over the Moabites, to whom the Israelites had been in servitude
18 years. Ehud slew their king Eglon, and won for the nation a long period of
(d) Judges 3:31:
In a few brief words Shamgar is named as the deliverer of Israel from the Philistines.
The title of "judge" is not accorded to him, nor is he said to have exercised
authority in any way. It is doubtful, therefore, whether the writer intended him
to be regarded as one of the judges.
(e) Judges 4; 5:
Victory of Deborah and Barak over Jabin the Canaanite king, and death of Sisera,
captain of his army, at the hands of Jael, the wife of Kenite chief; followed
by a Song of Triumph, descriptive and commemorative of the event.
(f) Judges 6-8:
A 7-year oppression at the hands of the Midianites, which is described as peculiarly
severe, so that the land became desolate on account of the perpetual raids to
which it was subject. After a period of hesitation and delay, Gideon defeats the
combined forces of the Midianites and Amalekites and the "children of the east,"
i.e. the wandering Bedouin bands from the eastern deserts, in the valley of Jezreel.
The locality and course of the battle are traced by the sacred writer, but it
is not possible to follow his account in detail because of our inability to identify
the places named. After the victory, Gideon is formally offered the position of
ruler for himself and his descendants, but refuses; nevertheless, he seems to
have exercised a measure of restraining influence over the people until his death,
although he himself and his family apparently through covetousness fell away from
their faithfulness to Yahweh (Judges 8:27 , 33).
(g) Judges 9:
Episode of Abimelech, son of Gideon by a concubine, who by the murder of all but
one of his brethren, the legitimate sons of Gideon, secured the throne at Shechem
for himself, and for 3 years ruled Israel. After successfully stamping out a revolt
at Shechem against his authority, he is himself killed when engaged in the siege
of the citadel or tower of Thebez by a stone thrown by woman.
(h) (i) Judges 10:1-5:
Tola and Jair are briefly named as successive judges of Israel for 23 and 22 years
(j) Judges 10:6 through 12:7:
Oppression of Israel for 18 years by the Philistines and Ammonites. The national
deliverance is effected by Jephthah, who is described as an illegitimate son of
Gilead who had been on that account driven out from his home and had become the
captain of a band of outlaws. Jephthah stipulates with the elders of Gilead that
if he undertakes to do battle on their behalf with the Ammonites, he is afterward
to be recognized as their ruler; and in accordance with the agreement, when the
victory has been won, he becomes judge over Israel (Judges 11:9 f; 12:7). See
(k) (l) (m) Judges 12:8 - 15:
Three of the so-called "minor" judges, Ibzan, Elon and Abdon, judged Israel in
succession for 7, 10 and 8 years respectively. As they are not said to have delivered
the nation from any calamity or oppression, it is perhaps to be understood that
the whole period was a time of rest and tranquillity.
(n) Judges 13 through 16:
The history of Samson (see separate article).
(3) An Appendix, Judges 17 through 21.
The final section, in the nature of an appendix, consisting of two narratives,
independent apparently of the main portion of the book and of one another. They
contain no indication of date, except the statement 4 times repeated that "in
those days there was no king in Israel" Judges 6 ; 18:1 ; 19:1 ; 21:25). The natural
inference is that the narratives were committed to writing in the days of the
monarchy; but the events themselves were understood by the compiler or historian
to have taken place during the period of the Judges, or at least anterior to the
establishment of the kingdom. The lawless state of society, the violence and disorder
among the tribes, would suggest the same conclusion. No name of a judge appears,
however, and there is no direct reference to the office or to any central or controlling
authority. Josephus also seems to have known them in reverse order, and in a position
preceding the histories of the judges themselves, and not at the close of the
book (Ant., V, ii, 8-12; iii, 1; see E. Konig in HDB, II, 810). Even if the present
form of the narratives is thus late, there can be little doubt that they contain
elements of considerable antiquity.
|(a) Judges 17 through 18:
The episode of Micah the Ephraimite and the young Levite who is consecrated as
priest in his house. A war party, however, of the tribe of Dan during a migration
northward, by threats and promises induced the Levite to accompany them, taking
with him the priestly ephod, the household goods of his patron, and a costly image
which Micah had caused to be made. These Micah in vain endeavors to recover from
the Danites. The latter sack and burn Laish in the extreme North of Israel, rebuilding
the city on the same site and renaming it "Dan." There they set up the image which
they had stolen, and establish a rival priesthood and worship, which is said to
have endured "all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh" (Judges 18:31).
(b) Judges 19 through 21:
Outrage of the Benjamites of Gibeah against the concubine of a Levite lodging
for a night in the city on his way from Bethlehem to the hill country of Ephraim.
The united tribes, after twice suffering defeat at the hands of the men of Benjamin,
exact full vengeance; the tribe of Benjamin is almost annihilated, and their cities,
including Gibeah, are destroyed. In order that the tribe may not utterly perish,
peace is declared with the 600 survivors, and they are provided with wives by
stratagem and force, the Israelites having taken a solemn vow not to permit intermarriage
between their own daughters and the members of the guilty tribe.
The period covered by the history of the Book of Judges
extends from the death of Joshua to the death of Samson, and adds perhaps a later
reference in Judges 18:31, "all the time that the house of God was in Shiloh"
(compare 1 Samuel 1:3). It is, however, difficult, perhaps impossible, to compute
in years the length of time that the writer had in mind. That he proceeded upon
a fixed chronological basis, supplied probably by tradition but modified or arranged
on a systematic principle, seems evident. The difficulty may be due in part to
the corruption which the figures have suffered in the course of the transmission
of the text. In 1 Kings 6:1 an inclusive total of 480 years is given as the period
from the Exodus to the building of the Temple in the 4th year of the reign of
Solomon. This total, however, includes the 40 years' wandering in the desert,
the time occupied in the conquest and settlement of the Promised Land, and an
uncertain period after the death of Joshua, referred to in the Book of Judges
itself (Judges 2:10), until the older generation that had taken part in the invasion
had passed away. There is also to be reckoned the 40 years' judgeship of Eli (1
Samuel 4:18), the unknown length of the judgeship of Samuel (Judges 7:15), the
years of the reign of Saul (compare 1 Samuel 13:1, where, however, no statement
is made as to the length of his reign), the 40 years during which David was king
(1 Kings 2:11), and the 4 years of Solomon before the building of the Temple.
The recurrence of the number 40 is already noticeable; but if for the unknown
periods under and after Joshua, of Samuel and of Saul, 50 or 60 years be allowed--a
moderate estimate--there would remain from the total of 480 years a period of
300 years in round numbers for the duration of the times of the Judges. It may
be doubted whether the writer conceived of the period of unsettlement and distress,
of alternate oppression and peace, as lasting for so long a time.
The chronological data contained in the Book of Judges itself are as follows:
A total of 410 years, or, if the years of foreign oppression and of the usurpation
of Abimelech are omitted, of 296. It has been supposed that in some instances
the rule of the several judges was contemporaneous, not successive, and that therefore
the total period during which the judges ruled should be reduced accordingly.
In itself this is sufficiently probable. It is evident, however, that this thought
was not in the mind of the writer, for in each case he describes the rule of the
judge as over "Israel" with no indication that "Israel" is to be understood in
a partial and limited signification. His words must therefore be interpreted in
their natural sense, that in his own belief the rulers whose deeds he related
exercised control in the order named over the entire nation. Almost certainly,
however, he did not intend to include in his scheme the years of oppression or
the 3 years of Abimelech's rule. If these be deducted, the resultant number (296)
is very near the total which the statement in 1 Kings 6:1 suggests.
No stress, however, must be laid upon this fact. The repeated occurrence of the
number 40, with its double and half, can hardly be accidental. The same fact was
noted above in connection with earlier and later rulers in Israel. It suggests
that there is present an element of artificiality and conscious arrangement in
the scheme of chronology, which makes it impossible to rely upon it as it stands
for any definite or reliable historical conclusion.
5. Authorship and Sources
Within the Book of Judges itself no author is named,
nor is any indication given of the writer or writers who are responsible for the
form in which the book appears; and it would seem evident, also, that the 3 parts
or divisions of which the book is composed are on a different footing as regards
the sources from which they are drawn. The Talmudic tradition which names Samuel
as the author can hardly be seriously regarded. The historical introduction presents
a form of the traditional narrative of the conquest of Israel which is parallel
to but not identical with that contained in the Book of Joshua. Brief and disconnected
as it is, it is of the greatest value as a historical authority, and contains
elements which in origin, if not in their present form, are of considerable antiquity.
The main portion of the book, comprising the narratives of the judges, is based
upon oral or written traditions of a local and perhaps a tribal character, the
value of which it is difficult to estimate, but which undoubtedly in some instances
have been more carefully preserved than in others. In particular, around the story
of Samson there seem to have gathered elements derived from the folklore and the
wonder-loving spirit of the countryside; and the exploits of a national hero have
been enhanced and surrounded with a glamor of romance as the story of them has
passed from lip to lip among a people who themselves or their forefathers owed
so much to his prowess. Of this central part of Judges the Song of Deborah (Judges
5) is the most ancient, and bears every mark of being a contemporary record of
a remarkable conflict and victory. The text is often difficult, almost unintelligible,
and has so greatly suffered in the course of transmission as in some passages
to be beyond repair. As a whole the song is an eloquent and impassioned ode of
triumph, ascribing to Yahweh the great deliverance which has been wrought for
His people over their foes.
The narratives of Judges, moreover, are set in a framework of chronology and of
ethical comment and teaching, which are probably independent of one another. The
moral exhortations and the lessons drawn from hardships and sufferings, which
the people of Israel incur as the consequence of their idolatry and sin, are conceived
entirely in the spirit of Deuteronomy, and even in the letter and form bear a
considerable resemblance to the writings of that book. In the judgment of some
scholars, therefore, they are to be ascribed to the same author or authors. Of
this, however, there is no proof. It is possible, but perhaps hardly probable.
They certainly belong to the same school of thought, of clear-sighted doctrine,
of reverent piety, and of jealous concern for the honor of Yahweh. With the system
of chronology, the figures and dates, the ethical commentary and inferences would
seem to have no direct relation. The former is perhaps a later addition, based
in part at least upon tradition, and applied to existing accounts, in order to
give them their definite place and succession in the historical record. Finally,
the three strands of traditional narrative, moral comment, and chronological framework
were woven into one whole by a compiler or reviser who completed the book in the
form in which it now exists. Concerning the absolute dates, however, at which
these processes took place very little can be determined.
The two concluding episodes are distinct, both in form and character, from the
rest of the book. They do not relate the life or deeds of a judge, nor do they,
explicitly at least, convey any moral teaching or warning. They are also mutually
independent. It would seem therefore that they are to be regarded as accounts
of national events or experiences, preserved by tradition, which, because they
were understood to have reference to the period of the Judges, were included in
this book. The internal nature of the narratives themselves would suggest that
they belong rather to the earlier than the later part of the time during which
the judges held rule; and their ancient character is similarly attested. There
is no clue, however, to the actual date of their composition, or to the time or
circumstances under which they were incorporated in the Book of Judges.
6. Relation to Preceding Books
The discussion of the relation of the Book of Judges
to the generally recognized sources of the Pentateuch and to Joshua has been in
part anticipated in the previous paragraph. In the earliest introductory section
of the book, and in some of the histories of the judges, especially in that of
Gideon (Judges 6 through 8), it is not difficult to distinguish two threads of
narrative, which have been combined together in the account as it now stands;
and by some scholars these are identified with the Jahwist (Jahwist) and the Elohist
(E) in the Pentateuch. The conclusion, however, is precarious and uncertain, for
the characteristic marks of the Pentateuch "sources" are in great measure absent.
There is more to be said for the view that regards the introduction (Judges 1
through 2:5), with its verbal parallels to Joshua as derived ultimately from the
history of JE, from which, however, very much has been omitted, and the remainder
adapted and abbreviated. Even this moderate conclusion cannot be regarded as definitely
established. The later author or compiler was in possession of ancient documents
or traditions, of which he made use in his composite narrative, but whether these
were parts of the same historical accounts that are present in the books of Moses
and in Joshua must be regarded as undetermined. There is no trace, moreover, in
Judges of extracts from the writing or school of P; nor do the two concluding
episodes of the book (Judges 17 through 21) present any features which would suggest
an identification with any of the leading "sources" of the Pentateuch.
The moral and religious teaching, on the other hand, which makes the varied national
experiences in the times of the Judges a vehicle for ethical instruction and warning,
is certainly derived from the same school as Deuteronomy, and reproduces the whole
tone and spirit of that book. There is no evidence, however, to identify the writer
or reviser who thus turned to spiritual profit the lessons of the age of the Judges
with the author of Deuteronomy itself, but he was animated by the same principles,
and endeavored in the same way to expound the same great truths of religion and
the Providence of God.
7. Relation to Septuagint and Other versions
There are two early Greek translations of the Book of
Judges, which seem to be on the whole independent of one another. These are represented
by the two great uncial manuscripts, B (Codex Vaticanus) and A (Codex Alexandrinus).
With the former is associated a group of cursive manuscripts and the Sahidic or
Upper Egyptian version. It is therefore probable that the translation is of Egyptian
origin, and by some it has been identified with that of Hesychius. It has been
shown, moreover, that in this book, and probably elsewhere, the ancient character
of the text of B is not always maintained, but in parts at least betrays a later
origin. The other version is contained in A and the majority of the uncial and
cursive manuscripts of the Greek texts, and, while certainly a real and independent
translation from the original, is thought by some to show acquaintance with the
version of B. There is, however, no definite evidence that B's translation is
really older. Some of the cursives which agree in general with A form sub-groups;
thus the recension of Lucian is believed to be represented by a small number of
cursives, the text of which is printed by Lagarde (Librorum VT Canonicorum, Pars
Prior, 1883), and is substantially identical with that in the "Complutensian Polyglot"
(see G. F. Moore, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges, Edinburgh, 1895,
xliii ff). It is probable that the true original text of the Septuagint is not
represented completely either by the one or the other version, but that it partially
underlies both, and may be traced in the conflicting readings which must be judged
each on its own merits.
Of the other principal versions, the Old Latin and the Hexaplar Syriac, together
with the Armenian and the Ethiopic, attach themselves to a sub-group of the manuscripts
associated with A. The Bohairic version of the Book of Judges has not hitherto
been published, but, like the rest of the Old Testament, its text would no doubt
be found to agree substantially with B. Jerome's translation follows closely the
Massoretic Text, and is independent of both Greek VSS; and the Peshitta also is
a direct rendering from the Hebrew.
8. Religious Purpose and Value
Thus the main purpose of the Book of Judges in the form
in which it has been preserved in the Old Testament is not to record Israel's
past for its own sake, or to place before the writer's contemporaries a historical
narrative of the achievements of their great men and rulers, but to use these
events and the national experiences of adversity as a text from which to educe
religious warning and instruction. With the author or authors spiritual edification
is the first interest, and the facts or details of the history, worthy of faithful
records, because it is the history of God's people, find their chief value in
that they are and were designed to be admonitory, exhibiting the Divine judgments
upon idolatry and sin, and conveying the lesson that disobedience and rebellion,
a hard and defiant spirit that was forgetful of Yahweh, could not fail to entail
the same disastrous consequences. The author is preeminently a preacher of righteousness
to his fellow-countrymen, and to this aim all other elements in the book, whether
chronological or historical, are secondary and subordinate. In his narrative he
sets down the whole truth, so far as it has become known to him through tradition
or written document, however discreditable it may be to his nation. There is no
ground for believing that he either extenuates on the one hand, or on the other
paints in darker colors than the record of the transgressions of the people deserved.
Neither he nor they are to be judged by the standards of the 20th century, with
its accumulated wealth of spiritual experience and long training in the principles
of righteousness and truth. But he holds and asserts a lofty view of the character
of Yahweh, of the immutability of His wrath against obstinate transgression and
of the certainty of its punishment, and yet of the Divine pitifulness and mercy
to the man or nation that turns to Him with a penitent heart. The Jews were not
mistaken when they counted the Book of Judges among the Prophets. It is prophecy,
more than history, because it exhibits and enforces the permanent lessons of the
righteousness and justice and loving-kindness of God.
A complete bibliography of the literature up to date will be found in the Dicts.
under the word "Judges," D B2, 1893; HDB, II, 1899; EB, II, 1901; compare G. F.
Moore, Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Jgs, Edinburgh, 1895; SBOT, Leipzig,
1900; R. A. Watson, "Jgs" and "Ruth," in Expositor's Bible, 1889; G. W. Thatcher,
"Jgs" and "Ruth," in Century Bible; S. Oettli, "Das Deuteronomium und die Bucher
Josua und Richter," in Kurzgefasster Kommentar, Munchen, 1893; K. Budde, "Das
Buch der Richter," in Kurzer Hand-Kommentar zum Altes Testament, Tubingen, 1897;
W. Nowack, "Richter," in Hand-kommentar zum Altes Testament, 1900.
A. S. Geden
bible commentary, bible history, bible reference, bible study, book of judges, define, deliverance, history from joshua to samson, israel, old testament, shopheTim