Reading Judges

This week we began reading the book of Judges in our Bible reading plan.  What is this book about?

One of the overriding themes in this book is that of apostasy. “This book is a revelation of the perpetual proneness of the human heart to wander away from God.” [Donald Campbell]  Furthermore, Gleason Archer says,

The basic theme of the book is Israel’s failure as a theocracy to keep true to the covenant even under the leadership of men chosen of God to deliver them from oppression by the pagan world. The frequent and repeated failures of the twelve tribes to remain true to God and His holy law prepared the way for the institution of a central monarchy. [Gleason Archer, A Survey of Old Testament Introduction, p. 262.]

This attitude is exhibited by one of the key verses in the book, 17:6, which states, “In those days there was no king in Israel, but every man did what was right in his own eyes.” [Merrill Unger, Unger’s Bible Handbook, p. 169.]

It is interesting to note that the book of Joshua ended with Joshua’s admonition to the people to keep the covenant, and then his death. Judges begins with the incomplete victories of the Israelites, and then the statement in 2:11 “Then the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals.” In other words, immediately after the death of Joshua, they forsook the advice and admonition which he gave them, and turned their backs on their God. Unger points out that “the book of Judges begins in compromise and ends in anarchy and confusion.” [Unger, p. 169.]

Read more about the book of Judges here.

Judges chart

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