Ark of the Covenant - Bible History Online
Bible History Online
Picture Study Bible with Maps and Background Information

Judges 1

1 - After the death of Joshua, the children of Israel asked of The LORD, saying, "Who should go up for us first against the Canaanites, to fight against them?"

2 - The LORD said, "Judah shall go up. Behold, I have delivered the land into his hand."

3 - Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into your lot." So Simeon went with him.

4 - Judah went up, and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand. They struck ten thousand men in Bezek.

5 - They found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek, and they fought against him. They struck the Canaanites and the Perizzites.

6 - But Adoni-Bezek fled. They pursued him, caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his big toes.

7 - Adoni-Bezek said, "Seventy kings, having their thumbs and their big toes cut off, scavenged under my table. As I have done, so God has done to me." They brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there.

8 - The children of Judah fought against Jerusalem, took it, struck it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

9 - After that, the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who lived in the hill country, and in the South, and in the lowland.

10 - Judah went against the Canaanites who lived in Hebron. (The name of Hebron before that was Kiriath Arba.) They struck Sheshai, Ahiman, and Talmai.

11 - From there he went against the inhabitants of Debir. (The name of Debir before that was Kiriath Sepher.)

12 - Caleb said, "I will give Achsah my daughter as wife to the man who strikes Kiriath Sepher, and takes it."

13 - Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it, so he gave him Achsah his daughter as his wife.

14 - When she came, she got him to ask her father for a field. She dismounted from off of her donkey; and Caleb said to her, "What would you like?"

15 - She said to him, "Give me a blessing; because you have set me in the land of the South, give me also springs of water." Then Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.

16 - The children of the Kenite, Moses' brother-in-law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which is in the south of Arad; and they went and lived with the people.

17 - Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they struck the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. The name of the city was called Hormah.

18 - Also Judah took Gaza with its border, and Ashkelon with its border, and Ekron with its border.

19 - The LORD was with Judah; and drove out the inhabitants of the hill country; for he could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.

20 - They gave Hebron to Caleb, as Moses had said, and he drove the three sons of Anak out of there.

21 - The children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites who inhabited Jerusalem, but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

22 - The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel, and the LORD was with them.

23 - The house of Joseph sent to spy out Bethel. (The name of the city before that was Luz.)

24 - The watchers saw a man come out of the city, and they said to him, "Please show us the entrance into the city, and we will deal kindly with you."

25 - He showed them the entrance into the city, and they struck the city with the edge of the sword; but they let the man and all his family go.

26 - The man went into the land of the Hittites, built a city, and called its name Luz, which is its name to this day.

27 - Manasseh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shean and its towns, nor Taanach and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and its towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and its towns; but the Canaanites would dwell in that land.

28 - When Israel had grown strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, and did not utterly drive them out.

29 - Ephraim didn't drive out the Canaanites who lived in Gezer, but the Canaanites lived in Gezer among them.

30 - Zebulun didn't drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites lived among them, and became subject to forced labor.

31 - Asher didn't drive out the inhabitants of Acco, nor the inhabitants of Sidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob;

32 - but the Asherites lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out.

33 - Naphtali didn't drive out the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth Anath; but he lived among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land. Nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth Shemesh and of Beth Anath became subject to forced labor.

34 - The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the hill country, for they would not allow them to come down to the valley;

35 - but the Amorites would dwell in Mount Heres, in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim. Yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became subject to forced labor.

36 - The border of the Amorites was from the ascent of Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.


Select a Chapter
Judges 1 Judges 2 Judges 3 Judges 4 Judges 5
Judges 6 Judges 7 Judges 8 Judges 9 Judges 10
Judges 11 Judges 12 Judges 13 Judges 14 Judges 15
Judges 16 Judges 17 Judges 18 Judges 19 Judges 20
Judges 21


Select a Book of the Bible
Genesis      Exodus      Leviticus      Numbers      Deuteronomy     
Joshua      Judges      Ruth      1 Samuel      2 Samuel     
1 Kings      2 Kings      1 Chronicles      2 Chronicles      Ezra     
Nehemiah      Esther      Job      Psalms      Proverbs     
Ecclesiastes      Song of Solomon      Isaiah      Jeremiah      Lamentations     
Ezekiel      Daniel      Hosea      Joel      Amos     
Obadiah      Jonah      Micah      Nahum      Habakkuk     
Zephaniah      Haggai      Zechariah      Malachi      Matthew     
Mark      Luke      John      Acts      Romans     
1 Corinthians      2 Corinthians      Galatians      Ephesians      Philippians     
Colossians      1 Thessalonians      2 Thessalonians      1 Timothy      2 Timothy     
Titus      Philemon      Hebrews      James      1 Peter     
2 Peter      1 John      2 John      3 John      Jude     
Revelation     
Judges Images and Notes

The Book of Judges

Judges 4:1 - And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD
Judges 6:6 - And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD.
Judges 6:7 - And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites,
Judges 6:8 - That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel.

ARCHAEOLOGY

Philistine Captives Temple of Ramses III

Wall Relief with Philistines

The ancient Egyptian temples reveal what the Philistines looked like in the ancient world. In the sculptured scenes within the funerary temple of Ramses III at Medinet Habu, near Thebes in Upper Egypt, is an incredible bas relief portraying Philistine captives. Pharaoh had hired these warriors as mercenaries. Rameses III who reigned from 1198-1167 BC saw that the Canaanite area was being invaded and with the help of the Philistines he established peace, according to his own record. Later the Philistines rose to a powerful position in the region with five powerful cities, they flourished in the time of Samson and the judges, their supremacy might have been due to their formal acknowledgment of pharaohs authority. Within a couple centuries they disappeared from history.

The Old Testament - A Brief Overview

Bible Survery - Judges
Hebrew Name - Shophtim "Judges or Deliverers"
Greek Name - Krites (Greek form of the Hebrew)
Author - Samuel (According to Tradition)
Date - From 1425 to 1120 BC Approximately
Theme - 7 cycles of idolatry, oppression, repentance, and deliverance during the first 300 years in the land of Canaan
Types and Shadows - In Judges Jesus is the great judge and deliverer of His people

Summary of The Book of Judges

In the book of Judges we can see the first 300 years of the history of Israel, from the time of the death of Joshua to the time of Samuel the last of the Judges. All of the events mentioned in the book of Judges are not meant to be given in a strict chronological order and it is impossible to determine exact dates. Everything that took place happened really on a local level in the land of Israel and not necessarily on a national level. The first two chapters deal with the death of Joshua and after his death and the generation surrounding him, "there arose another generation after them, who did not know the Lord or the work which he had done for Israel" (Judges 2:10).

This generation of Israelites, and every generation after that during this time period fell into idolatry, they forgot the commands of God and there is a severe decline morally and spiritually. As each generation unfolded idolatry would prevail, a foreign invasion would take place and oppress the people of Israel in that local area, they would cry out to God for help, and God would send a deliverer. This cycle happened seven times in the book of Judges and speak clearly about the cycle of sin and its consequences, as well as God's love and willingness to send help when his people cry out to him.

Quick Reference Map
The Judges and the 12 Tribes of Israel
Map of the Judges and the Twelve Tribes of Israel (Click to Enlarge)


The book of Judges records six such major invasions:

Outline of the Book of Judges

The first was the Mesopotamian invasion from the northeast (Judges 3:8-11) from which Othniel delivered his people.

The second was by the Moabites and came from the southeast (Judges 3:12-20). Israel was delivered from the Moabites by Ehud, the left handed assassin of the Moabite king, Eglon.

The third invasion came under the Canaanite leaders Jabin and Sisera (Judges 4, 5). Israel was delivered from the Canaanites by Deborah, the only woman judge of which there is any record. It is interesting to note that Sisera himself was killed by a woman, Jael, the wife of Heber the Kenite.

The Midianite invasion from the southeast (Judges 6-9) lasted seven years and was ended under the bold leadership of Gideon.

The foolish vow of Jephthah, which cost him the life of his daughter, came after he delivered Israel from the fifth invasion, that by the Ammonites from the east (Judges 10:6-11:40).

The sixth invasion was by the Philistines, from the southwest, and was apparently something of a recurrent nature rather than one particular campaign. During a period of at least 200 years, Israel was delivered from the Philistines by Shamgar, Samson, Samuel, Saul, and David.

The major social problem stemmed from the recurrent failure of the Israelites to drive the Canaanites out of the land, a direct violation of God's commandment. The Israelites then intermarried with the Canaanites, adopting many of their customs. This assimilation of Canaanite culture promoted the growth of idolatry which constituted the religious problem of the people.

The three most prominent deities of Canaanite worship were Baal, Asherah, and Dagon.

Baal was usually represented by a stone pillar and was a god of fertility, usually worshipped in the groves. At various times Baal-worship included fornication (Jeremiah 7:9 ), self-mutilation (1 Kings 18:28), and human sacrifice (Jeremiah 19:5). Baal is the deity most often mentioned in the Old Testament as being a snare for the people of God.

The symbol of Asherah was a wooden post set up in the "high places" of idolatrous worship. The Phoenician goddess of procreation and love, she was the chief female deity and is often mentioned in connection with Baal.

Dagon was a Philistine deity having the body of a fish with human hands and a human face. It was a temple of Dagon which Samson pulled down in his final act of strength.

There is seen in the book of Judges a consistent pattern—Israel is oppressed by a foreign power; the people cry to God and he raises up a judge to deliver them from their predicament; after peace is established the people become complacent and relapse into idolatry.

The judges, although chosen by God, to lead His people, were not always men of ideal character, yet they fulfilled God's purposes in delivering Israel. They served in a multiple role as judicial, military, and spiritual leaders. The period of the judges may be said to extend through the life of the last judge, Samuel, whose death is recorded
in 1 Samuel 25.

Quick Reference Maps - Judges

The Twelve Tribes and the Judges

Hazor

Jezreel

Mizpeh

Zorah

The Danites

Gibeah

Jabesh Gilead

 

The First Day. Light.

Judges Resources

The Judges

More About the Book of Judges
Judges in the Picture Study Bible
Timeline of the Ancient World
Back to the Old Testament
Back to Bible History Online