Recounts the stories of Deborah, Gideon, Samson, and other judges. 

Judges Diagram

Judg 1-2 shows that Israel's relation to God followed a cyclical pattern: (a) the people worship the gods of other nations, (b) God allows other nations to oppress Israel, (c) the people turn to God for help, (d) God raises up a leader to deliver them.

Judg 3-16 recalls the exploits of Israel's "judges."  Deborah organizes the Israelites to fight against the Canaanites who have invaded from the north.  A sudden rainstorm leaves the Canaanite chariots stuck in the mud, so that the Israelites prevail.   Gideon mounts a surprise attack against the Midianites who have invaded from the east.  By blowing trumpets, smashing jars, and waving torches, Gideon's men rout the enemy.  Jephthah was an outcast who led the Israelites to victory over the Ammonites from the east, but a rash vow bound him to sacrifice his own daughter.  Samson was a strong man who led raids against the Philistines to the south.  He also loved Philistine women, one of whom betrayed him.

Judg 17-21 recounts a civil war in Israel.  The Israelites turn from battling other nations to fighting each other.  An incident of rape and murder lead to a civil war that nearly destroys the tribe of Benjamin. When "every man does what is right in his own eyes," the result is violence (21:25).

Judg 4 - Deborah defeats Sisera
Judg 7 - Gideon defeats Midianites
Judg 16 - Samson and Delilah


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