Judges
the pure theocracy
What we know of the history of Israel between the life of Joshua and the life of Samuel is
covered in the book of Judges. Cod, through the revelation of his will to the prophets and
priests, guided the nation.

The judges of Israel, more properly - deliverers most of the time - brought Israel out of the
bondage which their lapse into idolatry had caused Jehovah to send them. The nation would
sin; the Lord would send them into bondage; the people would repent; and, Cod would send a
judge to deliver them.

Then the whole process would repeat itself. This period is one of failure to keep the
commands of God and the great deliverances by the judges.

This period of the history of Israel is explained in fudges 2:10-23. This passage effectively
explains all that transpires in the book.

"And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another
generation after them, who knew not the lord, nor yet the works which He had done for Israel.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord God of their fathers, which brought
them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were
round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the lord to anger. And they
forsook the lord, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

"And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of
spoilers that spoiled them, and He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so
that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Wherever they went out, the hand of
the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto
them: and they were greatly distressed.

"Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that
spoiled them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went awhoring after
other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their
fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the Lord; but they did not so. And when the
Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the
hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their
groanings by reason of those who oppressed them and vexed them. And it came to pass,
when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their
fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them: they ceased not
from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel; and He said, Because that this people have
transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto My
voice; I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left
when he died: that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the Lord
to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not. Therefore the Lord left those nations without
driving them out hastily; neither delivered He them into the hand of Joshua."

Throughout the history of Israel, from their complaints at the Red Sea to the rebuilding of the
temple and the walls of Jerusalem, the nation was faithless and disobedient to God (although
there always remained a faithful remnant). The book of Judges is no exception: In those days
there was no king in Israel, but every man did that which was right in his own eyes — Judges
17:6.

Following is an outline of the book of Judges:
I.        Introduction (1:1-3:4)
A. Review of the Conquest (1:1-2:10)
   1. The failures (1:1-36)
   2. The rebuke of an angel at Bochim (2:1-5)
   3. Death of Joshua (2:6-9)
   4. The people that followed (2:10)
B. The Anger of the lord (2:11-3:4)
   1. Israel's idolatry (2:11-13)
   2. God's punishment (2:14-15)
   3. Jehovah's deliverance (2:16-19)
   4. The test of faithfulness (2:20-3:4)
II. Othniel & Mesopotamia (3:5-11)
III. Ehud & the Moabites (3:12-30)
IV. Shamgar & the Philistines (3:31)
V. Deborah, Barak & the Canaanites (4:1-5:31)
A. The oppression (4:1-3)
B. Barak refuses to go to battle without Deborah (4:4-9)
C. The battle at Kadesh (4:10-16)
D. Jael slays Sisera (4:17-24)
E. The Song of Deborah and Barak (5:1-31)
VI. Gideon & the Midianites & the Amalekites (6:1-8:35)
A. The oppression (6:1 -6)
B. The prophet's message to Israel (6:7-10)
C. Gideon's Selection as judge, or deliverer (6:11-40)
   1. The appearance of an angel (6:11-24)
   2. Gideon destroys his father's altar of Baal (6:25-32)
   3. The Midianites and Amalekites gather for battle (6:33-35)
   4. The sign of the fleece (6:36-40)
D. The Midianites & Amalekites overthrown (7:1-8:28)
   1. Gideon's army reduced to 300 (7:1-8)
   2. The battle by Moreh (7:9-23)
   3. The finish of the campaign (7:24-8:28)
E. The remainder of Gideon's life (8:29-35)
VII. Abimelech, the first king in Israel (9:1-57)
A. Abimelech made a king (9:1-6)
B. Jotham's rebuke of Abimelech (9:7-21)
C. Abimelech's battle against Gaal & Shechem (9:22-49)
D. Abimelech's battle against Thebez and his death (9:50-57)
VIII. Tola (10:1-2)
IX. Jair (10:3-5)
X. Jephthah & the Philistines and the Ammonites (10:6-12:7)
A. The oppression (10:6-18)
B. Jephthah made ruler (11:1-11)
C.The battle (11:12-33)
D. Jephthah's daughter (11:34-40)
E. The battle with Ephraim (12:1-6)
F. Jephthah's death (12:7)
XI. Ibzan (12:8-10)
XII. Elon (12:11-12)
XIII. Abdon(12:13-15)
XIV. Samson & the Philistines (13:1-16:31)
A. The oppression (13:1)
B. Samson's birth (13:2-25)
C. Samson's Philistine wife (14:1-20)
D. Samson's revenge on the Philistines (15:1-20)
E. The gates of Gaza (16:1-3)
F. Delilah's deception (16:4-20)
G. Samson's bondage & death (16:21-31)
XV. Micah, Dan and idolatry (17:1-18:31)
A. Micah and his idolatry (17:1-13)
B. Dan sends spies to Laish (18:1-10)
C. The campaign against Laish (18:11-29)
D. Micah's idols set up in Dan (18:30-31)
XVI. The Levite and his concubine & Benjamin (19:1-21:25)
A. The Levite's concubine killed (19:1-2b8)
B. The Levite calls together Israel (19:29-20:11)
C. The battle against Benjamin (20:12-48)
D. The rebuilding of Benjamin (21:1-25)
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