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The Book of Judges

Old Testament Bible Studies


True Love Church of Refuge
Prophetess Delisa Lindsey
April 1, 2009
Introduction
The Book of Judges picks up where Joshua left off.
Israel is experiencing a season of rest until the leaders
who served with Joshua died.
The Israelites relaxed in their commitment to the Lord
and neglected to drive out the remaining Canaanites as
He commanded.
They forced the inhabitants into slavery, refused to
attack enemy strongholds, intermarried, and adopted
pagan gods and customs.
The Book of Judges traces the spiritual and political
decay of the Israelites.
The theme of this book is Spiritual Apostasy.

Introduction, Contd.
The Judges in this book were charismatic leaders who led
rebellions against Israels oppressors and also served as
spiritual and political leaders of the nation or several of its
territories.
The Judges exercised their offices comparable to the
government we have today; legislative, executive, and judicial.
They were actually considered heroes more so than legal
figures.
The Judges were empowered and raised up by God to deliver
His people and execute judgment on their oppressors.
Joshua vs. Judges
Judges is the exact opposite of Joshua in that under
Joshuas leadership, Israel was strictly obedient to the
commands of the Law and won every battle.
On the contrary, in Judges, Israel neglected the Law,
compromised with her enemies, tolerated them, and co-
existed with them.
The victorious conquests in Joshua were replaced by
incomplete settlement of conquered territory and lack of
real leadership.
Joshua led troops of spiriutally and morally strong
soldiers, while througout Judges, the people abandoned
their one and only true God for dumb pagan idols and
married foreigners.
They ordained improper priests and held private worship
ceremonies.
The moral code was so low that lying, stealing, murder,
and adultery were tolerated and condoned.
Five Cycles of Characteristics
Sin- Israel abandons God
and turns to pagan idols.
Servitude- God permits
the enemy to enslave and
His people.
Supplication- Israel
becomes desperate and
turns to God confessing
their sins and begging for
help.

Salvation- in the form of
the Judge who defeats
the oppressor
Silence- a period of rest
during which the Judge
helps Israel remain
faithful to the Lord.

Meet the Seven Cycles of Judges
Othniel the first judge whose story first reveals the cyclical pattern
(3:7-11).
Ehud brought Israel peace for 2 generations (80 years) (3:12-31).
Deborah (honeybee) wife of Lapidoth (the lamp) only female
judge whose bold leadership inspired General Barak to win a great
victory (4-5).
Gideon a reluctant warrior whose increasing faith was
demonstrated by God discharging the host of his army to defeat the
Midianites (6-8).
Tola and Jair two judges who have no mighty deeds recorded
(8:33-10:5).
Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon were raised up to defeat the
Ammonites (10:6-12:15). Jephthah was considered an outcast who
returned Israel to lead them into personally costly victory.
Samson a judge with gifted physical strength but moral weakness.
He failed to deliver his people although he killed many of their
enemies(13-16).

Who is the Author?!?

Rabbinic tradition holds to the conclusion that
Samuel, the Prophet wrote the book of Judges.
It is believed that Samuel, inspired by the Holy
Spirit recorded all the events recorded in
Judges. Moses, the author of the Pentateuch
(Five Books of Moses or the Torah), has also
received historical accounts by prophetic
revelation.
Samuel is the last Judge and first male prophet
to Israel since Moses.
Political Problems in the
Days of the Judges
Judges 1:1-36
Judges 1:1-4
After Joshuas death, the question was
asked, Who will go up to fight against
the Canaanites?
The Lord instructs Judah (thanks,
gratitude and praise) to go up to war
against the Canaanites. He said, He
has given the land into their hands.
Judah and Simeon (to hear or be
heard) allied themselves to war
against the Canaanites.
Simeon was not assigned a specific
territory of their own, they were
allowed to settle in the portion
belonging to Judah. The two tribes
were virtually inseperable.
When Judah attacked, the Lord gave
the Canaanites and the Perizittes into
their hands.
They struck down 10,000 men at
Bezek.

Judges 1:5-8
While capturing the Canaanite and
the Perizzites, the men discovered
Adoni-Bezek (lord of Bezek) and
fought against him. The captured
and brought him to Jerusalem and
cut off his big toes and his
thumbs.
Previously Adoni-bezek had
captured seventy kings and cut
their big toes and thumbs off and
forced them into slavery.
He realized that the Lord repaid
him for his grotesque deeds.
He died in Jerusalem.
The men of Judah attacked
Jerusalem, captured it, killed with
the sword and burned it with fire.
Because Judah did not occupy
Jerusalem, the escapee Jebusites
returned to rebuild and retained it
as a stronghold until the time of
David, 400 years later.
Why did the tribes cut off Adoni-
bezeks thumbs and big toes?
Although a strange notion, this was a very
specific military strategy used in the Near East
when arresting enemies.
Physical mutilation disqualified an applicant from
religious or political office.
It also rendered a person militarily impotent. A
person cannot handle a weapon effectively
without his thumb.
Judah followed the ways of their transgressors.
Judges 1:9-13

Caleb then led the Judean army to
conquer Hebron, which he in turn
made the capital of Judah.
It was home of the former giants, the
Anakims.
It was Calebs assigned territory
(Joshua 15), and it was the burial
place of their fathers.
Caleb then turned his attention to
Debir.
Caleb made a challenge offering his
daughter to the man who would
conquer and capture Kirjath-sephir
(Debir).
Othniel, Calebs nephew took the
challenge, took the city, and took
Acsah to wife.
Judges 1:14-15
The Wise Wife and her Hero Husband
Acsah urged her new husband
to to ask her father, Caleb for
a field.
Her father granted her and
Othniel the land in Negev.
The land they inherited was
parched, scorched and
infertile. Therefore she
requested springs of water.
Caleb gave her the upper and
lower springs.
Those same springs water the
land of Hebron to this day.


Judges 1:16-19
The Kenites, Moses in-laws,
went up from Jericho (city of
palm trees) to live with the
men of Judah near Othniel.
Judah and Simeon allied
together again against the
Canaanites in Zephath and
totally destroyed the city. The
renamed it Hormah (devotion
to destruction).
The men also took three other
cities along with their
territories; Gaza, Ashkelon,
and Ekron.
The Lord was with the men as
they drove the natives from
the hill country.
Judges 1:19
The Iron Chariots
The allied forces of Judah and Simeon
could not drive out the natives in the
plains because their enemies utilized
iron chariots.
Their chariots represented military
strength and superiority. Instead of
calling on the Lord for greater grace,
they failed to complete their mission
and abandoned the conquest.
The Lord was demonstrating to the tag-
teaming brothers that they needed to
sharpen their military skills.
The chariots of Canaan were sturdier
than those of the Egyptians
(lightweight vehicles used to carry
archers). They used three man chariots
made of iron with blades attached to
the wheels.
Spiritually chariots are any
overwhelming challenge that we may
flee from in fear, but can overcome by
faith and confidence in God.
Judges 1:20-22
Hebron was given to Caleb
who had driven away the three
sons of Anak (giants).
The Benjamites were unable to
drive away the Jebusites who
rebuilt Jerusalem, therefore
the initial victory Judah won
over Jerusalem was lost.
Until the time of David,
Jerusalem remained a
stronghold.
The Lord strengthened the
house of Joseph (West
Manessah and Ephraim) to
attack Bethel (Luz). Jacob
named it Bethel (house of
bread) in Gen. 28:19.
Judges 1:23-26
When the house of Joseph
sent spies out to Bethel, they
captured a man they saw
leaving the city.
They told him, Show us the
city and we will see that you
are treated well. Sound
familiar? Rahab.
They put the city to the sword
but spared the man and his
family.
The escapee later migrated
north and established a new
and unknown city by the old
name, Luz.

Index of Unoccupied Territory
Judges 1:27-36
This chapter ends with the sad account
of incomplete settlements in the land
of Canaan by various Israelite tribes.
Although the land was totally under
control in Joshuas name, but the tribes
were either unwilling or unable to bring
their territories under total settlement
to prevent the enemy from returning
and rebuilding.
Judges 1:27-30
West Manasseh could not drive
out the people of Beth Shan,
Taanach, Dor, Ibleam, Megiddo
and their surrounding settlements.
The Canaanites built up a strong
resistance and separated the
central tribes from the northern
tribes.
Rather than force the natives out,
the Israelites forced them into
slavery when they acquired
military might to over take their
enemies.
Ephraim could not drive out the
Gezers, but allowed them to dwell
among them.
Zebulun could not drive out the
natives of Kitron nor Nahalol, but
forced them into slavery.
Judges 1:31-33
Asher was unable to drive out
the inhabitants of Acco, Sidon
(Zidon a famous Phoenician
city), Ahlab, Aczib, Helbah,
Aphek, or Rehob.
Even during the time of David
and Solomon, the Israelites
were unable to conquer
Phoenicia but maintained
friendly ties with them
(Jezebels hometown).
Naphtali could not drive out
those living in Beth-Shemesh
(house of the sun) or Beth
Anath (house of anath)
(centers of Canaanite
worship), but forced them into
slavery and lived among them.

Judges 1:34
The worst report of all
tribes comes from Dan
who allows the Amorites
to confine them to the
hills and would not allow
them to come down to
the valley.
Eventually they were
unable to control any of
their territory and
migrated far north for
safety.
Ironically, Samson, the
strongest man, came
from the weakest tribe!
Judges 1:35-36
The Amorites held the
territories of Mount Heres
(mountian of the sun
god), Aijalon, and
Shaalbim until the house
of Joseph forced them
into slavery.
The Amorites once
controlled the territory of
the Northern
Mesopotamian Valley.
Judges Chapter 2 -3
April 15, 2009


*April 8, 2009
Resurrection Bible Quiz
Night*