Guest Author - Charisse Van Horn
The author of the book of Judges is anonymous, however it is believed to have been written between 1050 and 1000 B.C. Judges is viewed as the historical document that details the time following the death of Joshua to Israelís rule under various kings. There are 13 judges mentioned in the book, and they served as leaders over Israel before the kings were established. The judges ruled during times when foreign neighbors oppressed the Israelites, due to Israelís sin. Several accounts of foreign oppression are told throughout the book. Judges shows a connection between the apostasy and disobedience of the children of Israel and the oppression they encountered at their enemyís hands. The book covers events from 1375 to 1050 B.C.
The book of Judges describes the following as judges, Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah, Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson. The book of First Samuel, which immediately follows Judges, describes Eli and Samuel as judges as well. Samuel was a judge and prophet who anointed Israelís first king, Saul. Judges states multiple times in the book that during the events that transpired, Israel had no king, indicating that during the time of writing, a monarchy had been established. This is found in Judges 17:6 and Judges 18:1.
Moses, in Deuteronomy 28: 25 prophesied Israelís oppression by their enemies if they failed to keep Godís word.
Judges begins with the children of Israelís disobedience to Godís word following Joshuaís death. These events are documented in Judges 1 through Judges 3:6. Judges 3:7- Judges 16:31 details the events of the children of Israel as they rebelled against God, were led into oppression and servitude, and then cried out to God for deliverance. God would appoint a judge over the land who would bring them freedom, only the children of Israel would continually disobey. Judges recounts multiple times that the children of Israel were oppressed by their enemies. These accounts are found in Judges 3:7-Judges 16:31 and include accounts of oppression by the Mesopotamians, Moabites, Philistines, Canaanites, Midianites, Ammonites, and the Philistines. Judges chapters 17-19: 30 discusses Israelís idolatry and immorality. Judges chapters 20 and 21 discuss the internal strife within the Hebrew tribes.
The Holy Spirit is revealed as the one who anointed the judges to make rightful decisions.
Judges is a powerful book that not only illustrates the oppression that falls upon Godís people when they disobey Him, but also illustrates His incredible mercy when His people cry out in repentance, Godís practice of using wicked, foreign nations to rebuke His children and lead them to repentance, and how He instills anointed leaders as deliverers to set His children free from oppression.