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List Of Judges In The Bible

The List of Judges in the Bible refers to the individuals mentioned⁤ in the Book of Judges who served ⁢as‍ leaders⁢ and deliverers⁤ of the Israelites during ‍a tumultuous period in biblical⁢ history. The ​judges were appointed ‍by God to rescue⁤ the Israelites from their enemies and guide them ⁣in their⁢ spiritual and moral ‌journey.



The features ⁢of the List of⁣ Judges in the Bible include:



1. Divine‌ appointments: The⁤ judges were chosen by God to ⁣fulfill the specific role of delivering the Israelites from‌ oppression and leading them towards righteousness. Their appointments were not based‍ on⁣ social status or personal⁢ ambition but on their willingness to ⁤follow God’s commands.



2. Military leadership: ‌Most of

Most of the biblical Judges can be found, as expected, in the Book of Judges with additional judges in the books of Joshua and Samuel. They were described as individuals who occupied positions as military rulers in times of conflict, in the era preceding Israelite sovereignty being established.

The Book of Judges frequently conveys a pattern that shows why the many judges were necessary: the Israelites turn away from God, calamity strikes as a result of their transgression, and then they cry out to the Lord for deliverance. The biblical story of the judges seems to show a succession of people, each from a distinct tribe of Israel, as being selected by God to deliver the people from their enemies (as well as from their own wicked ways) and then restore justice and respect in the community.

List Of Judges In The Bible

The biblical scholar Kenneth Kitchen argues that, from the conquest of Canaan by Joshua until the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel and Judah (c. 1150–1025 BCE), the Israelite tribes may have formed a loose confederation. In this conception, no central government would have existed but in times of crisis, the people would have been led by ad hoc chieftains, known as judges (shoftim) However, some scholars are uncertain whether such a role existed in ancient Israel.

Using the chronology of Judges, Payne notes that while Jephthah’s remark (Judges 11:26) that Israel had occupied the land for about 300 years indicates the timeline of Judges, some of the judges overlapped. He asserts that archeology conducted at Hazor has proven Deborah’s victory occurred in 1216 and speculates that the time may have spanned from approximately 1382 to approximately 1063.

Bill T. Arnold and H.G.M. Williamson wrote that if

all the figures given in Judges (years of oppression, years the judges led Israel, years of peace achieved by the judges) are treated as consecutive, then the total duration of the events described in Judges is 410 years. If we accept a date of 1000 BCE for the beginning of David’s reign over all Israel, which puts the beginning of Eli’s leadership of Israel at about 1100 BCE, then the judges period would begin no later than 1510 BCE – impossible even for those who date the conquest to the fifteenth century BCE[9]

There is also doubt among some scholars about any historicity of the Book of Judges.

Judges: The Twelve Heroes of Israel

The following is a presentation from Council 5207 Lecturer, John F. Meyer:

  • Judges in the Old Testament were not magistrates, but military leaders chosen by God to aid the Israelites in times of external danger. However, these Judges described in Judges exercised their authority over one or other tribe but, never the entire nation.
  • The Book of Judges describes the activities of these twelve judges
  • The Judges protected and defended Israel from the death of Joshua until the institution of the monarchy in Israel
  • Six of the Judges are described in some detail: Othniel, Ehud, Deborah/Barak (her general), Gideon, Jephtah, and Samson. They are considered the Major Judges. Gideon and Samson are probably the most familiar of these six.
  • The Minor Judges are: Shamgar, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon.
  • In chronological order: Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah/Barak, Gideon, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan , Elon, Abdon , and Samson.
  • There were two other Judges, Eli and Samuel whose judgeships are described in 1 Samuel. They exercised their authority over the entire nation until the institution of the monarchy.


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