Then God caused the Midianite soldiers to turn on each other, and they fled. Barak said he would only go if Deborah went with him, and Deborah prophesied: “Certainly I will go with you . If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Jephthah. Othniel conquered it and Caleb gave him Achsah to be his wife. Later, God changed Jacob’s name to Israel (Genesis 35:10). c. They forsook the Lord. 15. Samuel was the son of Elkanah, and his wife Hannah. Following is a list of the judges and how long each ruled. The Supreme Court is the highest court in Israel. 11. 4. He grew up under Eli, who was the priest at Shiloh. Interestingly, Tola means “worm,” but his name wasn’t an insult, because it carried another meaning: “worm of scarlet.” Tola is the word used to describe the expensive cloth that was used in the Tabernacle. The dating of this event is very difficult and can only be estimated. Traditionally the major judges are Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson. But it also shows us that even leaders appointed by God can do evil deeds and mislead God’s people. He cried out to the Lord, and God miraculously created a spring for him (Judges 15:18–19). The Judges who Delivered Israel. 20 Oppressed. Two specific sins of the time of the judges are that they failed to destroy all the Canaanites when they entered the promised land, and they worshipped idols. Later, Israel’s enemies gathered forces, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Gideon (Judges 6:33–34). Deborah was leading the Israelites, and she summoned Barak son of Abinoam to command the Israelite army, telling him God would give Sisera and his army into his hand. When the Philistines found out who started the fire, they burned Samson’s wife and father-in-law to death. Deborah (the Judge) was the 4th of the 15 judges who ruled over the land of Israel during ancient times, before the Israelites had kings. There are three other people named Abdon in the Old Testament, and we know even less about them. 11:32). The Gileadites won, and captured the river crossing that led back to Ephraim. The book of Judges lists twelve: Some of the more well-known judges (like Gideon and Samson) get several chapters in the Book of Judges. In return, he killed a bunch of Philistines and hid in a cave. The servants saw Ehud and assumed the meeting was over, and since the door was locked from within, they assumed the king was using the bathroom (which, in a manner of speaking, he was). The Bible however, never stated how long he ruled as a Judge (Judges 3:31). by Ryan Nelson | Mar 2, 2020 | Bible characters. 40 At Peace: Judges 6:1-8:35. God disciplines them. Introduction. Interestingly, Samson is also one of the few people in Scripture who had a miraculous birth. The only other mention of Shamgar is in The Song of Deborah (Judges 5): in the days of Jael, the highways were abandoned; travelers took to winding paths.” —Judges 5:6. Here’s everything Judges tells us about him: “He had forty sons and thirty grandsons, who rode on seventy donkeys. (Judges 12:11-12). The Beginner’s Guide to the Bible gives you an overview of what the Bible is, what it’s for, and what it’s all about. He is listed in the Book of Hebrews as one of the heroes of faith (Heb. The Judges of Israel. She gets upset again. This first Jair was the one who named these thirty towns Havvoth Jair (which just means “towns of Jair”). Samson. Shamgar gets a single verse. Dennis Bratcher. 8. Series: Studies in the Book of Judges Introduction: 1. It struck the tent with such force that the tent overturned and collapsed.”, His friend responded, “This can be nothing other than the sword of Gideon son of Joash, the Israelite. 4:4). In the conquest of Canaan, Othniel captured Debir. How much do you know about the judges? 10. Instead, he got up and left in the middle of the night and casually ripped out the city gate and carried it away on his shoulders. Abimelech was one of 70 sons of Gideon’s many wives. She tries the new thing. They served the Baals. Tola the judge was the son of Puah, which is an alternative spelling of Puvah, which is the name of one of the first Tola’s brothers. He summoned the tribes of Israel, and then proposed two tests to confirm God’s promise from before. 10. 15. In the Hebrew Bible, Moses is described as a shofet over the Israelites and appoints others to whom cases were delegated in accordance with the advice of Jethro, his Midianite father-in-law. Eli. Eli the High Priest, in the line of Ithamar. He was Gideon's son by a concubine from Shechem. 13 Taking the Ammonites and Amalek as allies, he went and defeated Israel, taking possession of the City of Palms. He was a left handed man from the tribe of Benjamin. Jephthah Delivers Israel. Judges 13:1,5 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years… Judges 16:31 Then his brethren and all the house of his father came down, and took him, and brought him up, and buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the buryingplace of Manoah his father. The men were: 1. Nephtali. Gideon son of Joash the Abiezrite from the town of Ophrah, was Israel’s fifth Judge. During his time as Judge, he conquered Midian with just 300 men; Midian never recovered from this defeat, and there was peace for 40 years during Gideon’s lifetime. Encyclopedia of Jewish and Israeli history, politics and culture, with biographies, statistics, articles and documents on topics from anti-Semitism to Zionism. The name Jerubbaal means “let Baal contend against him.”. Jephthah was a mighty warrior and the son of a prostitute. When he returned to marry the woman later, he found a hive of honeybees in the carcass of the lion, and he ate some honey. The Israelites who worshipped Baal wanted to kill Gideon, but his father Joash told them to let Baal defend himself, because his altar was torn down. But because of the course you are taking, the honor will not be yours, for the Lord will deliver Sisera into the hands of a woman.” —Judges 4:9. His name means either “oak” or “terebinth” (another type of tree), which doesn’t tell us much. The date for the Judges of Israel is c. 1389-1050 B.C. He burnt down all their grain, vineyards, and olive groves (Judges 15:5). She asks for two months to mourn, and Jephthah lets her grieve with her friends. “The ropes on his arms became like charred flax, and the bindings dropped from his hands” (Judges 15:14). The Philistines were hiding in the room, waiting to capture him, and in an uncharacteristic display of restraint, he snapped the bowstrings and didn’t kill anyone. Judges 20:29 "And Israel set liers in wait round about Gibeah." When the Israelites’ enemies oppressed them, they cried out to God, and he refused: “When the Egyptians, the Amorites, the Ammonites, the Philistines, the Sidonians, the Amalekites and the Maonites oppressed you and you cried to me for help, did I not save you from their hands? Then things get pretty graphic: “Even the handle sank in after the blade, and his bowels discharged. The king refused, and the Israelites began driving the Ammonites out of the land. There he found a man who was telling his friend about a dream: “A round loaf of barley bread came tumbling into the Midianite camp. 18 Oppressed. But Gideon was still hesitant, so he tested God again: “Allow me one more test with the fleece, but this time make the fleece dry and let the ground be covered with dew.” —Judges 6:39. A number of years ago I was preaching through the Book of Judges. . Ehud. And if the Bible is to be believed, we do, too. She ties him up. And then the biblical author just moves on. Go and cry out to the gods you have chosen. Some Bible translations use the word “leader” instead in a few of these passages. Before Israel had a king, it had a series of tribal leaders called judges. The. 80 At Peace: Judges 3:12-30. The judges continued until Saul was made king, which ended the line of judges. Delilah reacted by saying, perhaps playfully or poutily (it doesn’t say), “You have made a fool of me; you lied to me. There were twelve judges who some were in a different tribe which were named in the book of Judges. Moab became subject to Israel, and there was peace for 80 years. 5. After his death, he was buried in a city of Gilead. 12. He had thirty sons, who rode thirty donkeys. Abdon. 15 But when the Israelites cried out to the LORD, he raised up for them a savior, … If my head were shaved, my strength would leave me, and I would become as weak as any other man.” —Judges 16:17. 1400 – 1350 B.C.). He was afraid, so he did it at night. 5. Then Elon died and was buried in Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.” —Judges 12:11–12. If they could, he’d give them 30 linen garments and 30 sets of clothes. It was a constant cycle of sin and deliverance. Since he was a Gileadite, scholars believe Jair was likely a descendant of a much older Jair: Jair, son of Manasseh. Before Gideon even died, the Israelites had already gone astray again. Elon from the tribe of Zebulun is perhaps the most unknown judge. He too saved Israel.” —Judges 3:31. . “Again the Israelites cried out to the Lord, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite. Barak took 10,000 soldiers and slaughtered Sisera’s entire army, but Sisera fled and hid in the tent of a woman named Jael. This was “from the Lord, who was seeking an occasion to confront the Philistines; for at that time they were ruling over Israel” (Judges 14:4). Then Abdon son of Hillel died and was buried at Pirathon in Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.” —Judges 12:14–15. They were stumped, so they threatened his new wife and said they’d kill her and her family if she didn’t tell them the riddle. Israel’s Dark Ages (Judges) The Book of Judges 147. 13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. Canaanites. The Midianite and Amalekite armies camped in the valley below them, “thick as locusts,” and “their camels could no more be counted than the sand on the seashore.”. Before Jephthah was a judge, the Israelites were basically worshiping any god that wasn’t Yahweh. (Both names are used throughout Judges.). When Tola came onto the scene, Israel was a mess. Judges 3:7-11. When Israel repents, God raises up a judge to deliver them. He “tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat” (Judges 14:6). Tola. It’s also possible that Samson was simply that arrogant, and he didn’t believe it was possible for someone to cut his hair. After all that jawboning, Samson was thirsty. “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” —Judges 21:25. In this guide, we’ll look at each of the 12 judges of Israel, exploring what the Bible says about them and the role they played in delivering Israel. 12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. First, he put a wool fleece on a threshing floor and said: “If there is dew only on the fleece and all the ground is dry, then I will know that you will save Israel by my hand, as you said.” —Judges 6:37. She was also a prophet and the wife of Lappidoth (Judg. Lexicon. Israel repents. Over the next several days, she coaxed the answer out of Samson, and when they shared it with him he angrily replied: you would not have solved my riddle.” —Judges 14:18. Samson was one of the Judges of Israel. List two specific sins of the Israelites in the time of the judges. You have brought me down and I am devastated. 15. As Gideon prepared to fight the Midianites, God said: “You have too many men. Abimelech is not numbered as a judge but as a son of a Judge and as a usurper who ruled unjustly. When the Philistines saw him they started shouting, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson again. We read about Jephthah in Judges 10:6–12:7, and while he delivered Israel from its enemies, his story ends in one of the most unforgettable tragedies in Scripture—a tragedy of his own making. Gideon. But not their own God. Known as “The Song of Deborah,” Judges 5 is believed to be one of the oldest biblical passages. He was one of the major biblical characters in the Old Testanment. Shamger : Judah ? These judges, drawn from various tribes of Israel, included some of the most heroic figures in Jewish history. Ehud was the second Judge of Israel. He was widely recognized throughout the country (1 Samuel 3:20). 11 Now d Jephthah the Gileadite was e a mighty warrior, but he was the son of a prostitute. When Jephthah came on the scene, Israel had been giving themselves over to other gods, so he may have simply been treating God like one of them. 7. On his way to visit the woman, a lion came toward him, and the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson and gave him strength. Midianites. OK so it was basically a spear, but saying he killed 600 Philistines with a cattle prod sounds way more impressive, right? 7 Oppressed. The Israelites worshiped it, and the ephod “became a snare to Gideon and his family” (Judges 8:27). Now, the Bible doesn’t go into detail about how much Samson loved Delilah, but it’s probably safe to assume that his love for her was why he eventually tells her his real weakness: “No razor has ever been used on my head,” he said, “because I have been a Nazirite dedicated to God from my mother’s womb. Jair Becomes Israel’s Judge 3 After Tola died, Jair from Gilead judged Israel for twenty-two years. He challenged his guests to solve it within seven days. God has given the Midianites and the whole camp into his hands.” —Judges 7:13–14, This gave Gideon the confidence he needed to execute his battle plan. 12:1-7. Tola, son of Puah, was a “minor judge” (which just means the Bible doesn’t say much about him) who led Israel for 23 years after the death of Abimelech (Gideon’s son). He governed (not “judged”) Israel for three years, and fought and killed many Israelites who opposed him. 2. This time, when the Israelites cried out for help, God sent a prophet to remind them what he’d done for them, and then the angel of the Lord—a mysterious biblical figure who some believe was Jesus—appeared to Gideon and commanded him to save Israel: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. Delilah put him to sleep and had the Philistines cut his hair. They worshiped the Baals, Ashtorahs, the gods of Aram, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. Awhile after that, Samson fell in love with a woman named Delilah, who lived in a valley that bordered the Philistines and the Israelite tribe of Dan. The other judges are viewed in greater detail in the Book of Judges: Othniel 3:7-11 a nephew of Caleb, delivered Israel from the Mesopotamians. Ehud concealed a small, double-edged sword under his clothes—on the right side, where he could easily draw it and the king’s men (apparently) wouldn’t think to check for weapons. If they couldn’t, they’d do the same for him. So naturally, she tied him up with seven fresh bowstrings. His discovery inspired a riddle, which he shared with the Philistine guests at his wedding feast: out of the strong, something sweet.” —Judges 14:14. Samson’s whole family went to retrieve his body, and they buried him “between Zorah and Eshtaol in the tomb of Manoah his father” (Judges 16:31). Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson again, and he killed 30 men, took their clothes, and gave them to the men who solved the riddle. It is probably no more than three years off in either direction. Interestingly, while he’s listed among the judges, the Bible never explicitly calls him a judge or states that he “saved Israel,” as we see with most of the other judges. He was born an illegitimate child, but judged over Israel for a period of six years (Judges 12:7). Her name means “honey bee,” and she was also the wife of a man named Lappidoth. The current President of the Supreme Court … Deborah was both a prophetess and judge. Every time Israel repented, God showed mercy, and raised up someone to deliver them from their enemies and lead them toward himself. The next morning, everyone wanted him dead, Joash said, “If Baal really is a god, he can defend himself when someone breaks down his altar” (Judges 6:31), and Gideon became known as Jerubbaal. He led Israel eight years. 9. Who Was Herod? The Israelites eventually defeated King Jabin, and there was another forty years of peace. 14 So the Israelites served Eglon, king of Moab, for eighteen years. # 10:4 Hebrew Havvoth-jair. And he judged Israel twenty years. 3,000 Israelites went to fetch Samson from his cave, and he allowed them to tie him up and take him to the Philistines. Shamgar son of Anath was a judge, but we only get one verse to learn of his accomplishments: “After Ehud came Shamgar son of Anath, who struck down six hundred Philistines with an oxgoad. So the Lord handed them over to their enemies and used the surrounding nations to test them, seeing whether they would walk in his ways as their ancestors did (Judges 2:22). Othniel. While Sisera was hiding under a blanket, Jael drove a tent peg through his head, fulfilling Deborah’s prophecy. Some have suggested that Judges 3:31 was added much later, possibly reconciling Judges 5:7 with an oral tradition. They began worshipping other gods. Judges 3:31. Scholars believe there’s a relationship between the name Elon and the place where he was buried—Aijalon—because in ancient Hebrew they’re spelled the same, but Aijalon doesn’t appear anywhere else in the Bible. If they said, “No,” the Gileadites tested them to say “shibboleth.” Ephraimites pronounced it “sibboleth.” And then the Gileadites would kill them. Others only get a paragraph. Bookstore Glossary Library Links News Publications Timeline Virtual Israel Experience. It doesn’t work either. 3. Pretty much the only thing we know about Ibzan is that he had 30 sons and 30 daughters, and he made a point of marrying all of them to people outside of his tribe. Please, God, strengthen me just once more, and let me with one blow get revenge on the Philistines for my two eyes.” —Judges 16:28. Samuel Ibzan. This likely would’ve helped extend his influence throughout Israel, and could have played a role in creating a period of peace. He served as a prophet, a judge and a military leader of Israel. But as a favor, Gideon asked them all to give him one of their gold rings, and he had them melted down and made into an ephod—a garment used in oracle-related rituals. God used these men and women to save the Israelites from their enemies and lead them back to him. As part of the celebration, they forced Samson to perform. He authored the Book of Judges and, together with the prophets Gad and Nathan, the book of Samuel. 4. In the privacy of the king’s upper room, Ehud told Eglon, “I have a message from God for you” (Judges 3:20), and then plunged his sword into the king’s belly. With a great desire to lead Israel, and with the help of his mother’s clan in Shechem, he assassinated all his brothers, only his youngest brother, Jotham, escaped. After the victory, Deborah wrote a song celebrating what God had done and honoring the Israelites who played a role in defeating the Canaanites. The title “judge” makes us think of someone who determines guilt or innocence in a court case. 5 When Jair died, he was buried in Kamon. Most scholars believe Abdon was wealthy, since his family owned (at least) 70 donkeys. He basically blames her for his mistake: “Oh no, my daughter! Analyzing Deborah’s word choice and the way she describes Israel (she only mentions 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel, for example), scholars believe it could date back to the ninth or tenth century BC. Like the overture of an oratorio, it sounds the main themes of the story which follows. Jephthah insists that he did call them to fight with the rest of the Israelites, and when they didn’t come, the fighting simply started without them. Once appointed, Judges serve until retirement at the age of 70 unless they resign or are removed from office. Ehud did not pull the sword out, and the fat closed in over it.” —Judges 3:22. Understandably, Gideon was afraid, so God told him to sneak into the camp and listen to what the troops were saying. 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