Judges

This book is a collection of local hero narratives about pre-monarchy judges, including Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson. The book closes with stories about the migration of Dan and a variation on the Sodom story involving the Benjaminites.

  • [Addition: Introduction to Judges.]
  • Judges 1: A listing of tribal conquests (and failures) in Israel.
  • Judges 2: The moral failings of the Israelites, and need for judges.
  • [Addition: What are judges?]
  • Judges 3: The stories of Othniel, Ehud, and Shamgar.
  • Judges 4: The story of Deborah and Jael.
  • Judges 5: The song of Deborah.
  • Judges 6: Gideon is called to serve as a judge.
  • Judges 7: Gideon defeats the Midianites and Amalekites.
  • Judges 8: After the battle, Gideon chases down remaining Midianite chieftains.
  • Judges 9: Gideon’s son, Abimelech, kills his brothers to take the kingship.
  • Judges 10: Record of the minor judges Tola and Jair. The people pray for help against their enemies.
  • Judges 11: The bandit Jephthah is enlisted to lead the people in defeating the Ammonites.
  • [Addition: On the possible origins of Jephthah’s story.]
  • Judges 12: Jephthah battles the Ephraimites. Record of the minor judges Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon.
  • Judges 13: The foretelling and birth of Samson.
  • Judges 14: Samson marries a Philistine and poses a riddle at the wedding.
  • Judges 15: Samson kills many Philistines and sets their fields on fire.
  • Judges 16: Samson is betrayed by his new love, Delilah.
  • [Addition: On the possible origins of Samson’s story.]
  • Judges 17: Micah acquires a Levite.
  • [Addition: What are the ephod and teraphim?]
  • Judges 18: Dan finds its “inheritance.”
  • Judges 19: The Benjaminites rape a woman to death.
  • Judges 20: The other tribes attack the Benjaminities for their crimes.
  • Judges 21: The tribe of Benjamin is brought back from the brink of extinction by Israel finding them brides.
  • [Addition: Closing thoughts on Judges.]

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