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)
WE BEGIN our study of the second of the Historical Books of the Bible. Judges is named for the twelve leaders who were raised up by Yahweh at critical points in Israel’s history from the late 13th century to the mid-11th century B.C., and it chronicles Israel’s slide into apostasy and chaos, showing the need for a godly king to lead them.
Today, we look at the first five judges: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar (who may have been a devotee of the Canaanite goddess of war), Barak, and Deborah.
We also discuss a few interesting aspects of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5), especially the curse by the Angel of Yahweh (Jesus, if you’ve just joined us) against Meroz. According to a Jewish tradition, Meroz was a group of supernatural inhabitants of the second heaven who refused to fight for Yahweh against the Canaanites.