Judges – Intro

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I. Why? Because of God’s Love-Part One. Aug 19, 2019. Why did God choose Israel? God is completely sovereign and purposeful in His choices, His plans are greater than we can comprehend and He is present in the details. The Why series explores why God chose Israel and how this decision impacts our view of God, Israel and His plans for us. In Part 1 we look at God’s love as one of the motivations behind His choosing Israel.

II. Introduction. In this article we continue our prophetic journey of Israel, as opposed to a verse-by-verse scripture discussion. In future articles, we will discuss how the Israelites in the Book of Judges relate to the nation of Israel in the times of the millennium (Kingdom Age), and the eternal state. This course of Jewish travel is based on John F. Walvoord’s book, “Every Prophecy of the Bible.” Dr. Walvoord is deceased; https://www.blueletterbible.org/commentaries/walvoord_john/

III. Notes of Robert L. Deffinbaugh. https://bible.org/users/bob-deffinbaugh

A. Robert L. (Bob) Deffinbaugh graduated from Dallas Theological Seminary with his Th.M. in 1971. Bob is a pastor/teacher and elder at Community Bible Chapel in Richardson, Texas.

B. The Book of Judges depicts a very dark hour in the history of Israel, and yet the events of this book come so very soon after the “golden years” of the “Joshua generation.” It is not the kind of reading we do for pure enjoyment, but it is an important era in the history of Israel, an era that we need to understand, and from which we should learn important lessons. Sad to say, it is an era that is very similar to the days in which we live, making it a message all the more pertinent to us. Let us listen well, and heed the message God has for us in these difficult pages. https://bible.org/seriespage/15-israel-s-dark-ages-judges

IV. Judges Overview by C.I. Scofield – https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn.html

A. This book takes its name from the thirteen men raised up to deliver Israel in the declension and disunion which followed the death of Joshua. Through these men God continued His personal government of Israel. The key-verse to the condition of Israel is (Judges 17:6), “Every man did that which was right in his own eyes.” Two facts stand out–the utter failure of Israel; the persistent grace of God. In the choice of the Judges is illustrated Zechariah’s great word (Zechariah 4:6), “not by might, nor by power, but by My Spirit, saith the Lord”; and Paul’s word (1 Corinthians 1:25), “not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble, are called.”

B. The book records seven apostasies, seven servitudes to seven heathen nations, seven deliverances. The spiritual parallel is found in the history of the professing church since the Apostles, in the rise of sects and the lost sense of the unity of the one body (1 Corinthians 12:12; 1 Corinthians 12:13).

C. Judges is in two parts:

1. Judges 1-16 inclusive; key-verse, Judges 2:18.

2. Judges 17-21; key-verse, Judges 21:25.

3. The events recorded in Judges cover a period of 305 years (Ussher).

V. MacArthur Study Bible Introduction To Judges. https://www.gty.org/

A. Introduction To Judges – https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=judges+1&version=NKJV
Below “Study This,” “Bible Studies,” scroll down to “MacArthur Study Bible,” and click onto the tab. Read “Introduction.”

B. The book bears the fitting name “Judges,” which refers to unique leaders God gave to His people for preservation against their enemies (2:16–19). The Hebrew title means “deliverers” or “saviors,” as well as judges (cf. Deut. 16:18; 17:9; 19:17). Twelve such judges arose before Samuel; then Eli and Samuel raised the count to 14. God Himself is the higher Judge (11:27). Judges spans about 350 years from Joshua’s conquest (ca. 1398 b.c.) until Eli and Samuel judged prior to the establishment of the monarchy (ca. 1043 b.c.).

VI. Names Of Judges Of Israel (Length Of Rule). https://jesusalive.cc/ques349.htm

1. Othniel.(40 yrs) 2. Ehud (80 yrs) 3. Shamgar (Unknown) 4. Deborah/Barak (40 yrs) 5. Gideon (40 yrs) 6. Abimelech (3 yrs)
7. Tola (23 yrs) 8. Jair (22 yrs) 9. Jephthah (6 yrs) 10. Ibzan (7 yrs) 11. Elon (10 yrs) 12. Abdon (8 yrs) 13. Samson (20 yrs)
14. Eli (40 yrs) 15. Samuel (12 yrs – app.) ** Until Saul made king (Some people consider Joshua to have been a judge).

VII. Ryrie Study Bible Introduction Notes (Dr. Charles Ryrie, Deceased). https://www.moodypublishers.com/authors/r/charles-ryrie/

A. Historical Background: The events of this book (Judges) cover the turbulent period in Israel’s history from about 1380 to 1050 B.C., from the conquest of Palestine to the beginning of the monarchy. Though the land had been generally conquered and occupied under Joshua, many important Canaanite strongholds had been bypassed, leaving their subjugation to include Israelite tribes. The book of judges describes this warfare, as the Hebrews tried to complete their occupation of the land. The judges were military and civil leaders ruling during this time when the nation was a loose confederation. Some of the judges ruled concurrently since each one did not necessarily rule over the entire land.

B. Authorship And Date. Though the author of this book is unknown, the Talmud suggests Samuel, and it is possible that he may have written portions. Judges was written after the death of Samson and after the coronation of King Saul, but before the conquest of Jerusalem by David about 990 B.C.

C. Timeline Of The Judges. Othniel became the first judge of Israel in 1353 B.C (Judges 3:9). Samuel’s reign as Israel’s last judge ended when Saul became King of Israel in 1050 B.C. (1 Samuel 11:10).

VIII. Defining Points Of Israel’s Sins.

A. Judges 21:25 (NKJV) 25 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

MacArthur Study Bible Note. 21:25 Judges 17–21 vividly demonstrates how bizarre and deep sin can become when people throw off the authority of God as mediated through the king (cf. 17:6). This was the appropriate, but tragic, conclusion to a bleak period of Israelite history (cf. Deut. 12:8). (MacArthur Study Bible) https://www.gty.org/

B. Judges 17:6 (NKJV) 6 In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

MacArthur Study Bible Note. 17:6 everyone did…own eyes. This is the general characterization of the time, and of sinful behavior in all times. This attitude had been mentioned much earlier in Israel’s history (cf. Deut. 12:8; Judg. 21:25).

C. Deuteronomy 12:8 (NKJV) 8 “You shall not at all do as we are doing here today—every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes—

MacArthur Study Bible Note. 12:8 every man doing whatever is right in his own eyes. There seems to have been some laxity in the offering of the sacrifices in the wilderness which was not to be allowed when Israel came into the Promised Land. This self-centered attitude became a major problem in the time of Judges (cf. Judg. 17:6; 21:25).

IX. God’s Love For Israel.

A. Deuteronomy 14:2 (NKJV) 2 For you are a holy people to the Lord your God, and the Lord has chosen you to be a people for Himself, a special treasure above all the peoples who are on the face of the earth.

B. Jeremiah 31:10-11 (NKJV) 10 Hear the word of the Lord, O nations, And declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He who scattered Israel will gather him, And keep him as a shepherd does his flock. 11 For the Lord has redeemed Jacob, And ransomed him from the hand of one stronger than he.

C. Ezekiel 36:24-28 (NKJV) 24 For I will take you from among the nations, gather you out of all countries, and bring you into your own land. 25 Then I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean; I will cleanse you from all your filthiness and from all your idols. 26 I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; I will take the heart of stone out of your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 I will put My Spirit within you and cause you to walk in My statutes, and you will keep My judgments and do them. 28 Then you shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers; you shall be My people, and I will be your God.

D. Ezekiel 39:27-28 (NKJV) 27 When I have brought them back from the peoples and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and I am hallowed in them in the sight of many nations, 28 then they shall know that I am the Lord their God, who sent them into captivity among the nations, but also brought them back to their land, and left none of them captive any longer.

MacArthur Study Bible Note. 39:21–29 I will set My glory. God vanquishes Israel’s foes to show His glory so that His enemies and Israel will all know that He is the Lord (vv. 6, 22). This is Israel’s salvation spoken of in Zech. 12:10—13:9 and Rom. 11:25–27.

X. Consider the following closing thoughts from the Introduction to Judges in The Moody Bible Commentary.

The key to understanding the work of the Judges appears in 2:16, “The LORD raised up judges who delivered them from the hands of those who plundered them….That even divinely empowered human leaders could not lead Israel to spiritual triumph points to the need for a great King beyond even Saul and David….The term, “great King,” refers to the messianic leader who alone can fulfill the needs of mankind….The author of Judges was building a case for the need for a great King….Chapters 17-21 show a period of history in which the people of Israel increasingly slid into apostasy. The location of these chapters in the book may not be chronological, but the intention is clear: to give the reader a bad portrait of Israel without God as their King.

XI. The following video of the Book of Judges provides a good look at this often overlooked book of the Bible.

Click on the image to see the text. Click on the arrow to see the video.

The Bible Project. 1,431,848 views. Mar 9, 2016. Watch our overview video on the book of Judges, which breaks down the literary design of the book and its flow of thought. In Judges, the Israelites turn away from God and face the consequences. God raises judges in cycles of rebellion, repentance, and restoration.

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