the stories of Deborah, Gideon, Samson, and other judges.
shows that Israel's relation to God followed a cyclical pattern:
(a) the people worship the gods of other nations, (b) God allows other
nations to oppress Israel, (c) the people turn to God for help, (d) God
raises up a leader to deliver them.
recalls the exploits of Israel's "judges." Deborah organizes the Israelites to fight
against the Canaanites who have
invaded from the north. A sudden rainstorm leaves the Canaanite
chariots stuck in the mud, so that the Israelites prevail. Gideon
mounts a surprise attack against the Midianites who have invaded from
the east. By blowing trumpets, smashing jars, and waving torches,
Gideon's men rout the enemy. Jephthah was an outcast who led the
Israelites to victory over the Ammonites from the east, but a rash vow
bound him to sacrifice his own daughter. Samson was a strong man who led raids against
the Philistines to the south.
He also loved Philistine women, one of whom betrayed him.
recounts a civil war in Israel. The Israelites turn from
battling other nations to fighting each other. An incident of rape
and murder lead to a civil war that nearly destroys the tribe of Benjamin.
When "every man does what is right in his own eyes," the result
is violence (21:25).
4 - Deborah defeats Sisera
Judg 7 - Gideon
Judg 16 - Samson