The Guide to the Scriptures

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Judges, Book of

A book in the Old Testament. The book of Judges deals with the Israelites from the death of Joshua to the birth of Samuel.

Chapters 1–3 are a preface to the entire book of Judges. They explain that because the Israelites did not drive out their enemies (Judg. 1:16–35), the Israelites must suffer the consequences: loss of faith, marriages with nonbelievers, and idolatry. Chapters 3–5 relate the experiences of Deborah and Barak, who delivered Israel from the Canaanites. Chapters 6–8 are the faith-promoting experiences of Gideon, whom the Lord blessed to deliver Israel from the Midianites. In chapters 9–12, several different men serve as judges in Israel, mostly in apostasy and under oppression. Chapters 13–16 tell of the rise and fall of the last judge, Samson. The final chapters, 17–21, can be described as an appendix that reveals the depths of Israel’s sins.