Judges

The Book of Judges remains a bit of a mystery to lots of Christians, although some of the more notable names from Old Testament scripture are from the Book of Judges: Deborah, Sampson, and Gideon. The Hebrew word translated “Judges” in the English title of the book refers not to specialized judicial officers or magistrates but to leaders in general. According to the biblical narrative these judges led Israel from the end of the conquest of Canaan until the beginning of the monarchy. The period of the Judges, therefore, extended from the death of Joshua (Jos 24:2931; cf. Jgs 1:1) until the installation of Saul as Israel’s first king by the prophet Samuel, who was also the last judge (see 1 Sm 7:1517). Continue reading