OUR STUDY of the Old Testament now moves to the time of the creation of the monarchy in Israel. We discuss the birth of Samuel, the wickedness of the sons of Eli, the loss of the Ark of the Covenant in battle (because the Israelites treated it like a magic talisman and not as the literal seat of Yahweh), and the resulting humiliation of Dagon and punishment on the Philistines.
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WE CONCLUDE our study of the Book of Judges today with several incidents from the period between the conquest of Canaan and the establishment of the monarchy in Israel. The most famous of the judges, of course, is Samson, whose physical appetites repeatedly led him into trouble. Nevertheless, Samson was used by God to begin to deliver Israel from the Philistines.
We also look at the relocation of the tribe of Dan to the foot of Mount Hermon and the horrific story of the Levite’s concubine, which led to civil war and the near-destruction of the tribe of Benjamin. This episode emphasizes the overall theme of the Book of Judges, which is summarized by the book’s final verse:
In those days there was no king in Israel. Everyone did what was right in his own eyes. (Judges 21:25, ESV)