(The Book of Judges)
JUDGES HERE DOES NOT MEAN A “JUDGE” as in a courtroom today. In Hebrew, it carries more of the meaning of a “leader” than anything else. This could be a civil leader, or a religious leader, or a prophet that had a lot of influence in the nation. One man as a “judge” did not rule over all of Yisrael. Indeed, sometimes several were at work at one time during the period, which lasted about 350 years. Shemuel (8050 Samuel) was the probable author of this book, and most likely while he was living. Only thirteen of the fifteen judges are in this book. Eliy (5941 Eli) and Shemuel are in 1 Samuel. Here, chapters 1 and 2 are an introduction, and 3 through 16 recount the stories of the judges who led or rescued the people. Chapters 17 through 21 describe the conditions of the times. Neither the introduction, nor the conclusion follow the time-line of the story order of the judges.
The order of the judges are, Othniyel (6274), Ehud (261), Shamgar (8044), Deborah (1683), Gideon (1439), Abiymelech (40, Abimelech), Tola (8439), Yaiyr (2971, Jair), Tiptach (3316, Jephthah), Ibtsan (78,Ibzan), Eylon (356, Elon), Abdon (5658), and Shim’shon (8123, Samson). Mikayehu (4321, Micah) was not a judge, but had a false priest, and worshiped idols, and is in chapter 17 following the story of Shim’shon. Please remember, some of the judges were not all “good”, and made some personal mistakes, but served the purpose called for by Yahweh. Shim’shon was a good example of this at his end.