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Judges 2

1 - The LORD's angel came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, "I brought you out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to give your fathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you.

2 - You shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You shall break down their altars.' But you have not listened to my voice. Why have you done this?

3 - Therefore I also said, 'I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be in your sides, and their gods will be a snare to you.'"

4 - When The LORD's angel spoke these words to all the children of Israel, the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

5 - They called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there to The LORD.

6 - Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel each went to his inheritance to possess the land.

7 - The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD that he had worked for Israel.

8 - Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of The LORD, died, being one hundred ten years old.

9 - They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.

10 - After all that generation were gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them, who didn't know The LORD, nor the work which he had done for Israel.

11 - The children of Israel did that which was evil in The LORD's sight, and served the Baals.

12 - They abandoned The LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger.

13 - They abandoned The LORD, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.

14 - The LORD's anger burned against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.

15 - Wherever they went out, The LORD's hand was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were very distressed.

16 - The LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.

17 - Yet they didn't listen to their judges; for they prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying The LORD's commandments. They didn't do so.

18 - When the LORD raised up judges for them, then the LORD was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for it grieved the LORD because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and troubled them.

19 - But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down to them. They didn't cease what they were doing, or give up their stubborn ways.

20 - The LORD's anger burned against Israel; and he said, "Because this nation transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to my voice,

21 - I also will no longer drive out any of the nations that Joshua left when he died from before them;

22 - that by them I may test Israel, to see if they will keep The LORD's way to walk therein, as their fathers kept it, or not."

23 - So the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily. He didn't deliver them into Joshua's hand.

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
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