This is the first subdivision in which I think the authors significantly misread a book. I will give some additional comments below

“The body of the book features stories about twelve leaders (2:6-16:31), with the stories arranged geographically, from Othniel in the south and moving further north each time, telling of the deeds of Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Jephthah, and finally Samson, from teh tribe of Gan, which will secure territory for itself in the far north by the end of the book (ch. 18; cf. Josh. 19:47). (p167-168)

“The book opens with Judah cooperating with Simeon “his brother” to fight the Canaanites (1:3, 17). the uncoordinated action of the other tribes in chapter 1 is to be viewed as symptomatic of a serious decline in the national life of the one people of God.” (p168)

“The older critical view was that the figure of the judge grew out of local tribal heroes, but the book itself maintains a national perspective (e.g., 12:7: “Jephah judged Israel six years”), so that only one judge can officiate at any one time.” (p168) Not sure I agree with this, and most of the good biblical chronologists insist that that there is overlap in the timing of the judges who are ruling in different areas.

“Two Hebrew terms sum up the activity of the leaders, namely, they ‘save’ (root ys) (Judg. 3:31; 6:14) or ‘judge/lead’ (root spt) (10:3; 12:7, 8, 11, 13).” (p168)

“Her [Deborah] primary designation is as ‘a prophetess’ (4:4), and just as the later prophets directed kings (e.g., Samuel telling Saul to destroy Amelek in 1 Samuel 15), Deborah directs Barak.” (p169)

“Judges does not seem to see kingship as a viable option for God’s people at this time.” (p170)

“It seems best¬† to interpret Gideon’s statement in 8:23 [refusal of kingship] as expressing an exemplary sentiment, which, however, he may have failed to uphold in practice.” (p171)

“…Samson’s ethnic joke in 16:28: ‘that I may be avenged on the Philistines for one of my two eyes’ [our translation]; implying that the deaths of many Philistines are not worth the value of his two eyes).” (p172)

The two following quotes are representative of a reading by the authors of judges in relation to kingship, in which they see a strong discontinuity between judging and kingship, and read Judges in a far more positive light in view of this. I disagree, and given the suggestion of a future Israelite king in Deuteronomy, and the appalling concluding stories in the book, I see the lack of a more permanent ruler to represent a problem that will be “solved” wrongly through Saul and rightly through David.

“God’s use of the ad hoc office of judgeship, wherein leaders are raised up only when needed to address a crisis, shows that God is actively exercising his role as King over his people.” (p173)

“The refrain in the closing chapters (“In those days there was no king in Israel”), when read in context, implies that Israelite nation can function satisfactorily without kings.” (p174)



No responses yet

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *