Judges 17–21: Israel Suffers for Disobedience

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 88


Judges 17–21 can be tied together with a statement made in Judges 17:6 and then repeated as the last verse of Judges in 21:25: “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” The writer seemingly showed us the truth of these verses by what he wrote in Judges 17–21. These chapters describe some of the worst times in Israel’s history and perhaps prepare us to understand why Israel thought they needed a king (which occurs early in the next book, 1 Samuel). Unfortunately, Israel didn’t realize they could have made the Lord their king and that He would have given them peace and provided a way to solve the problems facing them. In this case, we must learn from Israel’s mistakes rather than their successes.