The title of the Book of Judges was probably suggested by verse 16 of Chapter 2. Nevertheless the LORD raised up Judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that oppress them. These Judges were spirit filled persons who in time of national emergencies led the people to war and having delivered them from the bondage of foreign oppression, continued to lead the people in peace. They functioned either as military and as civil magistrates or as Judges.
By inviting two or more tribes for concerted action, several of the Judges paved the way for the union of the twelve tribes in the future Monarch. In the three fold divisions of the Hebrew Bible,the law the prophets and the writings the book of Judges was counted as among the books of prophets.
The book of Judges contains the account of the thirteen Judges who ruled Israel from the death of Joshua until the time of Eli and Samuel. It is possible that some of the Judges ruled simultaneously. Time covered in the Book of Judges is approximately four hundred years. The book of Judges is valuable for the historical evidence it presents of the development of the religion of Israel during the early years of the conquest. The book covers the period of transition from unsettled and disintegrated tribal life to the organization of a federation that eventually led to the forming of monarchy.
The struggles of the various tribes with their individual problems amid an alien population are seen more clearly in the book of judges than in the Pentateuch or in the book of Joshua. Although the latter prophets make greater appeal to men’s conscience, the book of Judges presents a philosophy of history that commands the attention of the modern Christians.
The neglect of the Lord’s ordinances and the worship of false gods led to punishment, while sincere repentance brings about divine favour. The fact that God deals with nations in view of their attitude toward His moral laws merits our present day consideration.
THE OUTLINE OF THE BOOK OF JUDGES INVASION OF CANAAN-CHAPTER 1:1-2:5
Victories of Judah and Simeon-Chapter 1:1-21. Victories of other tribes – Chapter 2:1-5
REIGN OF THE JUDGES-CHAPTER 2:6-16:31
Introduction to the story of the Judges-Chapter 2:6-3:6
Death of Joshua-Chapter 2: 11-10.
Israel Apostasy-Chapter 2:11-19.
Israel and Her neighbors-Chapter 2:20-3:6 .
Othnlel, the First Judge-Chapter 3:7-11
Oppression by Cushan- Rishathanim-Chapter 3:7-8
Deliverance by Othniel-Chapter 3:9-11
Ehud,the Second Judge-Chapter 3:12-30
Oppression by Moab-Chapter 3:12-14
Deliverance by Ehud-Chapter 3:15-30
Shamger the Third Judge-Chapter 3:31
A Co-regency, Deborah and Barak.
The fourth and fifty Judges-Chapter 4:1-5:31.
Oppression by Canaanites-Chapter 4:1-3.
Deliverance by Deborah and Barak-Chapter4 :4-5:31.
Defeat of Sisera -Chapter 5:1-31
Gideon,the sixth Judge. Chapter 6:1-9:57
Oppression by Midian-Chapter6:1-6
Deliverance by Gideon-Chapter6:7-8:35
Message of Prophet-Chapter6:7-10
Call of Gideon-Chapter 6:11-32
Midianaite invasion-Chapter 6:33-7:14
lsraelite victory-chapter 7:15-8:21
Gideon’s Refusal to become King-Chapter 8:22-23
Gideon’s lapse and Israel’s Apostasy-Chapter 8:24-35
Abortive Reign of Gideon’s son Abimelech- Chapter 9:1-57
King of Shechem-Chapter9 :1-69:22-49
Shechemite lnsurrection-Chapter 9:22-49
Campaign Against The bez-Chapter 9:50-57
Tola the seventh Judge -Chapter 10:1-2
Jair, the Eight Judges-Chapter 10:3-5
Jephthah, the Ninth Judge-Chapter 1-6-12:7.
Oppression by the Philistines and Ammonites-Chapter 10:6-18
Deliverance by Jepthah-Chapter 11:1-2:7
Campaign against Ammonites-Chapter 11:1-28
Jepthan’s vow and Fulfilments-Chapter 11:29-40
Jephthan and the Ephraimite contention-Chapter 12:1-7
lbzan,the Tenth Judge-Chapter 12:8-10
Elon,the Eleventh Judge-Chapter 12:11-12.
Abdon, the Twelfth Judge-Chapter 12:13-15
Samson the thirteenth Judge-Chapter 13:1-16:31
The Birth of Samson-Chapter 13:1-25
The Women of Timnah-Chapter 14:1-15:8
Samson’s Arrest and Retaliation-Chapter 15:9-20
The Harlot of Gaza-Chapter 16:1-3
Death of Samson-Chapter 16:23-31.
Relocation of Danites-Chapter 17:1-18:31
Micah and the Levite-Chapter 17:1-13
The Danite removal-Chapter 18:1-31
The Gibeah Offense-Chapter 19:1-21:25
The Levite and His concubine-Chapter 19:1-30
Assembly of Israel at Mizpha-Chapter 20:1-7
Israel Decides to punish Wrongdoers- Chapter 20:8-11
Israel Wars with Benjamin-Chapter 20:21-48
Maidens for Benjamin -Chapter 21:1-25