Judges Intro

The title of the book “Judges” is literally translated deliverers. There were 12 “deliverers” God raised up throughout the book. Some like Samson and Gideon are well known, even in history books. The reason for God setting up these men is clearly explained all throughout the book – “and everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. A phrase that sadly ends the book of Judges yet truly summarizes a course in Israel’s history that lasted over 350 years. Beginning at the death of Joshua, the time period of the Judges lasts up until shortly after the death of Samson in about 1070 B.C. at around the time of Samuel, the last Judge, and quite possibly the author of the book of Judges.

There are 7 cycles of a four-part sequence that repeats itself as a theme throughout the book:

1. Israel turned from God

2. God sends punishment to Israel

3. Israel repents and pleads with God

4. God sends a deliverer, or Judge

In the end it was clear that Israel was not doing a good job of following the laws God gave Moses and passed down to Joshua on their own. It was evident they needed a leader that went beyond a judge to help keep them in line, they needed a king.