Book of Judges in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE
The Book of Jdg consists of 3 main parts or divisions, which
are readily distinguished.
(1) Introductory, Judges 1 through 2:5.
A brief summary and recapitulation of the events of the
conquest of Western Israel, for the most part parallel to
the narrative of Joshua, but with a few additional details
and some divergences from the earlier account, in particular
emphasizing (Jdg 1:27-36) the general failure of the
Israelites to expel completely the original inhabitants of
the land, which is described as a violation of their
covenant with Yahweh (Jdg 2:1-3), entailing upon them
suffering and permanent weakness. The introductory verse
(Jdg 1:1), which refers to the death of Joshua as having
already taken place, seems to be intended as a general
indication of the historical period of the book as a whole;
for some at least of the events narrated in Jdg 1 through
2:5 took place during Joshua's lifetime.
(2) The Central and Main Portion, Judges 2:6 through 16.
A series of narratives of 12 "judges," each of whom in turn,
by his devotion and prowess, was enabled to deliver Israel
from thralldom and oppression, and for a longer or shorter
term ruled over the people whom he had thus saved from their
enemies. Each successive repentance on the part of the
people, however, and their deliverance are followed, on the
death of the judge, by renewed apostasy, which entails upon
them renewed misery and servitude, from which they are again
rescued when in response to their prayer the Lord "raises
up" for them another judge and deliverer. Thus the entire
history is set as it were in a recurrent framework of moral
and religious teaching and warning; and the lesson is
enforced that it is the sin of the people, their abandonment
of Yahweh and persistent idolatry, which entails upon them
calamity, from which the Divine long-suffering and
forbearance alone makes for them a way of escape...
Read More about Book of Judges in the Bible Encyclopedia - ISBE