Author: Samuel or another prophet (date of writing: c.1050 B.C. or shortly thereafter)

Period: c.1380-1050 B.C.

Title: “Judges,” like the Latin (Iudices) and Greek (Kritai) names of the book, is a translation of the Hebrew title Shopetim, a plural term that means rulers, champions, saviours or deliverers.

Summary: The Book of Judges covers the period from the death of Joshua to the establishment of the monarchy under Saul. This was a time of great immorality as the result of the failure of the Israelites to drive out the inhabitants of the land. “Rulers” were set up by God to direct and judge the affairs and people of Israel. The book of Judges closes by setting the stage for the people’s desire for a human king.


Introduction: Chapter 1:1 – 2:5

  • Political background of the period of the Judges: 1:1-36
  • Religious background of the period of the Judges: 2:1-5

History of the Judges: Chapter 2:6 – 16:31

  • Israel’s failure to subdue the enemy nations: 2:6 – 3:6
  • The oppressors and the deliverers of Israel: 3:7 – 16:31

Lawless conditions during period of the Judges: Chapter 17:1 -21:25

  • Appendix 1: Corruption of doctrine: 17:1 – 18:31
  • Appendix 2: Corruption of practice: 19:1 – 21:25