1. Author - Probably written by an early prophet, possibly Samuel
2. Date - Written before David captured Jerusalem (1003 B.C. - Judges 1:21).Written after Israel had a king (1050 B.C.).
The events of Judges took place for a period of over 300 years beginning about 1390 and ending about 1030 B.C.
3. Setting - Israel had taken most of the land of Canaan and had settled in. They were living as separate tribes without any
physical king and acted as though they had no heavenly king either. (21:25).
1) Religious State of Israel: a series of returns into idolatry because of:
a. Ancestors who practiced idolatry - 24:2-14
b. Egyptian bondage - 24:14
c. Bad influence from Canaanite tribes
2) Political Condition: Three factors kept Israel from breaking into a dozen different nations:
a A common ancestry and history
b. A common language - Hebrew
c. A common religion - one altar, great annual feasts, one line of priests, etc.[Explanation: Chapters 17 - 21 probably
occurred long before the events of Judges 1 - 16 (see Judges 18:1, 30).]
II. PURPOSE OF THE BOOK
1. Key Verses: 2:10-19, especially 16; 17:6; 21:25
2. Theme: The book of Judges pictures God's people and the cycle of events that occurred to them as they lived without
recognizing God as their King (1 Samuel 8:7-8; Judges 21:25). The recurring cycle is:1) Sin - Israel worships false
2) Bondage - God lets other nations enslave Israel
3) Sorrow and appeal - from the Israelites
4) Salvation - God sends a judge to deliver Israel
III. ABOUT THE MESSIAH
The Christ came to deliver God's people from bondage and to end the oppression of their enemy (Hebrews 2:14-15). This
was pictured long before in God's raising up judges to deliver His people Israel in the book of Judges.
IV. APPLICATIONS - LESSONS
1. Sometimes it is more important to win the battle for God than to receive the honor ourselves. (Deborah and Barak)
2. The leadership of a group of people has great influence over whether the people will be faithful to God.
3. God will oppress a nation who follows and serves idols.
4. God is able to use us only when we believe we are not able to get the job done on our own. (Gideon)
5. God is able to do great things with just a few. (Gideon)
6. Never make a rash pledge to the Lord. (Jephthah)
7. God expects us to keep our pledges to Him. (Jepthah)
8. God's leaders are not perfect. (Samson)
9. God can still work good out of our mistakes.
10. Just because a man thinks something is right, does not make it right. (Judges 17:6; 21:25)
11. Here are the judges of Israel in the book of Judges:
4) Deborah (Barak)
1. Name the 13 judges of Israel presented in the book of Judges.
2. Why were some of the Gentile nations left in Israel?
3. Explain how Israel got into trouble with God.
4. Explaining how Israel would get God's attention and favor again.
5. Who would God send to deliver His people?
6. Who received the greatest honor, Deborah or Barak? Why?
7. Why do we need to be careful what we say to others and to God?
8. Does God always work with great numbers of people to do what he wants?
9. Do we have to be perfect to be used by God for His purpose?