Looking at the Book of Judges

There are a lot of topics that are common among various Christian events and conferences. Many female Christian speakers usually use the book of Judges because of its prominent use of female leaders and showing how they helped guide Israel. Let’s take a closer look at this book.

The book of Judges contains a history of approximately 299 years according to Henry’s Commentary. This is based on how long each of the judges ruled, and also the periods of time in between judges; there are places that the “land was at rest,” both after Ehud and Barak’s time as judges. The timing is a little different according to Clarke’s commentary, listing the amount of time explored in the book of Judges to around 317 years.

The Judges were not “judges” in our modern day use of the word. The Judges were more military leaders than people who passed judgment. The word was used to signify a leader who practiced the activity of governance, including warfare. As we can see throughout the book of Judges, leading armies and taking Israel out of the hand of her enemies was the primary purpose of the judges themselves.

The purpose of the book of Judges is that wholehearted worship of Yahweh is the key to the nation being delivered, and that centralized leadership is also vital to the nation moving forward as God intended. Judges 17:6 is a key observation; Israel had no king, and everyone did as they saw fit. Matthew Henry appears to agree with this observation; in his introduction to the Book of Judges, he makes a point to talk about this same verse, pointing out that the Israelites had basically forgotten that God was their king and had gone into a state of anarchy due to it.