Memory Verse
“In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.”
Judges 21:25

The book of Judges displays, in graphic form, the tragedy of autonomy. It shows what it looks like when every man does what is right in his own eyes. In the book of Joshua, we observed faithfulness and the rest God gave His people on every side. The book of Judges shows us what disobedience looks like and the effects of doing what is right in your own eyes. It is violent, unsettling, and even embarrassing to read in certain places. It records family feuds, civil wars, sexual abuse, radical immaturity, and unspeakable violence that occurred over a 350-year timeframe. Judges provides us with one of the most dramatic warnings in the Bible. 

Hymn: Take My Life and Let It Be Consecrated
Sheet Music
Top 5 Facts to Remember
  1. To deliver Israel from Eglon, king of Moab, God raised up a left-handed man named Ehud who assassinated Eglon with a cubit-long dagger (Judg. 3:12–30).
  2. When the Lord gave Barak victory over Sisera, not a single man of Sisera’s army survived (Judg. 4:15–16).
  3. Jael, Heber’s wife, killed Sisera by driving a tent peg through his temple (Judg. 4:21).
  4. To prevent the Israelites from taking any credit for their victory, the Lord made Gideon send most of his army away, reducing its size from 32,000 to 300 men (Judg. 7:1–8).
  5. When a young lion attacked Samson, the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he tore the lion apart with his bare hands (Judg. 14:5–6).
Theme: Disobedience

In Judges, God is glorifying Himself through disobedience, so that He might demonstrate His superior goodness in the salvation sinners, the damnation of the wicked, and for the preservation of His people for His eternal glory, and their eternal joy.

Author: Probably Samuel

The Scriptures are silent on the authorship of Judges, though Jewish tradition attributes the book to Samuel.

Time of Writing: 1043 B.C.

The author of Judges implies that he is writing after Israel’s transition to a monarchy, making 1051B.C. (the beginning of Saul’s reign) the earliest possible time of writing. The Jebusites still occupied Jerusalem at the time Judges was written, making the date of their expulsion by David (1004 B.C.) the latest possible time of writing. Therefore, it is reasonable to conclude that Judges was written sometime between 1051 and 1003 B.C.

Key Verses:

“Then the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served the Baals; and they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; and they followed other gods from among the gods of the people who were all around them, and they bowed down to them; and they provoked the Lord to anger. They forsook the Lord and served Baal and the Ashtoreths. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel. So He delivered them into the hands of plunderers who despoiled them; and He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies.”

Judges 2:11–14

“And when the Lord raised up judges for them, the Lord was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who oppressed them and harassed them.”

Judges 2:18

  1. It is tragic when people seek to do what is right in their own eyes. 
  2. There is much blessing in repenting of your sin and turning to the Lord.
  3. Idolatry is a serious sin and all men have a duty to flee from it.
  4. God pours out His wrath on wicked nations.
Christ in Judges:

The judges were raised up as shadows of the coming Christ. While the judges were sent to deliver an undeserving people from their enemies, Christ was sent to deliver an undeserving people from their sins. 

  1. Living with the Canaanites (Judg. 1:1–3:4)
    1. Israel’s Failure to Complete the Conquest (Judg. 1)
    2. God’s Judgement on Israel (Judg. 2:1–3:4)
  2. War with the Canaanites (Judg. 3:5–16:31)
    1. The Mesopotamian Invasion (Judg. 3:5–11)
    2. The Moabite Invasion (Judg. 3:12–31)
    3. The Canaanite Invasion (Judg. 4–5)
    4. The Midianite Invasion (Judg. 6:1–10:5)
    5. The Ammonite Invasion (Judg. 10:6–12:15)
    6. The Philistine Invasion (Judg. 13–16)
  3. Living like the Canaanites (Judg. 17–21)
    1. The Sin of Idolatry (Judg. 17–18)
    2. Sins of Immorality (Judg. 19)
    3. The Sin of Civil War (Judg. 20–21)
Study Questions

Chapters 1–5

Why were King Adoni-Bezek’s thumbs and big toes cut off?
Because he had done the same to 70 other kings (Judg. 1:6–7).

What was the spiritual condition of the people of Israel?
They did not know the Lord nor the work which He had done for Israel (Judg. 2:10).

What did the people do instead of listening to their judges?
They played the harlot with other gods (Judg. 2:17).

How did God judge Israel when they did evil after Othniel’s death?
He strengthened Eglon king of Moab against them (Judg. 3:12).

How did Ehud kill Eglon?
He stabbed him with a dagger (Judg. 3:16–22).

How did Ehud escape?
He went out through the porch and locked the doors of the upper room behind him (Judg. 3:23–26). 

How did Ehud and the children of Israel defeat Moab?
They seized the fords of the Jordan which led to Moab (Judg. 3:27–30).

Who was Deborah?
She was a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, and a judge of Israel (Judg. 4:4).

How did Jael kill Sisera?
She drove a tent peg through his temple (Judg. 4:21).

Which chapter of Judges contains the song of Deborah?
Judges 5.

Chapters 6–10

What did Gideon cite as evidence that he was not fit to be a judge?
His clan was the weakest in Manasseh and he was the least in his father’s house (Judg. 6:15).

What was the name of the altar that Gideon built?
“The-Lord-Is-Peace”  (Judg. 6:24).

What did God command Gideon to destroy in his father’s house?
The altar of Baal and the wooden image beside it (Judg. 6:25–26).

What was the first sign that Gideon asked God to do with the piece of fleece?
That there would be dew on the fleece alone (Judg. 6:36–38).

What was the second sign?
That there would be dew on everything except the fleece (Judg. 6:39–40).

Why did God reduce the size of Gideon’s army?
So Israel would not be able to claim any glory for its deliverance (Judg. 7:2).

How did God reduce the size of Gideon’s army?
He commanded Gideon to send home all who were afraid, and then all who got down on their knees to drink water (Judg. 7:3–7).

What did the people of Israel do with the ephod that Gideon made?
They played the harlot with it (Judg. 8:27).

What crime did Abimelech commit?
He murdered all his brothers except one (Judg. 9:5).

What was the point of Jotham’s parable?
That the men of Shechem had acted wickedly and foolishly in making Abimelech king (Judg. 9:7–20).

What did God send between Abimelech and Shechem that led to Abimelech’s downfall? 
A spirit of ill will (Judg. 9:23).

What did the men of Shechem do to those who were passing on their way to Abimelech?
They robbed them (Judg. 9:25).

Why did Abimelech ask his armorbearer to kill him?
So no one would say, “A woman killed him” (Judg. 9:53–54).

How did God repay the wickedness of Abimelech?
By bringing his reign to an end and causing him to die a violent death (Judg. 9:53–56).

Who was raised up by God to be a judge after the death of Abimelech?
Tola, the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar (Judg. 10:1–2).

Which judge had “thirty sons who rode on thirty donkeys”?
Jair (Judg. 10:3–4).

Chapters 11–21

Who was Jephthah?
The son of Gilead and a mighty man of valor (Judg. 11:1).

Why did Jephthah’s half-brothers drive him out?
Because he was the son of a harlot (Judg. 11:1–2).

Who was the victim of Jephthah’s foolish vow?
His daughter (Judg. 11:10–31, 34–40).

What was Samson’s riddle?
“Out of the eater came something to eat,
And out of the strong came something sweet” (Judg. 14:14).

Why did Samson’s wife trick him into giving her the answer?
Because the Philistines had threatened to burn her and her father’s house with fire (Judg. 14:15–16).

What did Samson use to kill 1,000 Philistines?
The jawbone of a donkey (Judg. 15:14–17).

What did the lords of the Philistines tell Delilah to do?
To find out what caused Samson’s strength (Judg. 16:5).

How did Delilah get Samson to tell her the cause of his strength?
She pestered him daily with her words and pressed him (Judg. 16:16–17).

What did Delilah do when she found out the source of Samson’s strength?
She called for the lords of the Philistines, and had Samson’s hair shaved off while he was asleep (Judg. 16:18–19).

What did the Philistines do to Samson when they saw his strength was gone?
They put out his eyes, bound him with bronze fetters, and made him a grinder in the prison (Judg. 16:21).

How did Samson kill 3,000 Philistines?
He collapsed their temple on them by pushing on the two middle pillars (Judg. 16:25–30).

What do we learn from the account of Samson regarding the kind of people God uses to accomplish His will?
God uses sinful people to accomplish his purposes.

What moral guidance did the people follow during the period of the judges?
Everyone did what was right in his own eyes (Judg. 21:25).

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