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Easton's Bible Dictionary

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JudgeJudgment hall
 
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• Smith's Bible Dictionary
Judges, Book of
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Judges, Book of
Judges, Book of

The book contains,

  • An introduction ((1-3:6),), connecting it with the previous narrative in Joshua, as a "link in the chain of books."
  • The history of the thirteen (Judges (3:7-16:31)) in the following order:

    | FIRST PERIOD (3:7-ch. 5) | Years | I. Servitude under Chushan-rishathaim of | Mesopotamia 8 | 1. OTHNIEL delivers Israel, rest 40 | II. Servitude under Eglon of Moab: | Ammon, Amalek 18 | 2. EHUD'S deliverance, rest 80 | 3. SHAMGAR Unknown. | III. Servitude under Jabin of Hazor in | Canaan 20 | 4. DEBORAH and, | 5. BARAK 40 | (206) | | SECOND PERIOD ((6-10:5)) | | IV. Servitude under Midian, Amalek, and | children of the east 7 | 6. GIDEON 40 | ABIMELECH, Gideon's son, reigns as | king over Israel 3 | 7. TOLA 23 | 8. JAIR 22 | (95) | | THIRD PERIOD (10:6-ch. 12) | | V. Servitude under Ammonites with the | Philistines 18 | 9. JEPHTHAH 6 | 10. IBZAN 7 | 11. ELON 10 | 12. ABDON 8 | (49) | | FOURTH PERIOD (13-16) | VI. Seritude under Philistines 40 | 13. SAMSON 20 | (60) | In all 410

    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 (17-21), which has no formal connection with that which goes before. It records (a) the conquest (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 (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 18:30,31, 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)


  • Copyright Statement
    These dictionary topics are from M.G. Easton M.A., D.D., Illustrated Bible Dictionary, Third Edition, published by Thomas Nelson, 1897. Public Domain, copy freely.

    Bibliography Information
    Easton, Matthew George. "Entry for 'Judges, Book of'". "Easton's Bible Dictionary".
    <http://classic.studylight.org/dic/ebd/view.cgi?number=T2134>. 1897.

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