Purpose of The Book of Judges


In the Saint Joseph Edition of The New American Bible, the following sentence is in the explanation about The Book of Judges:

The purpose of the book is to show that the fortunes of Israel depended upon the obedience or disobedience of the people to God’s law.

 Do you agree about the purpose of The Book of Judges?


I do not know. Other books can also show the consequences of disobedience, like the book of Jerermiah.

1 Samuel 15:22-23
22 But Samuel replied:
“Does the Lord delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices
as much as in obeying the Lord?
To obey is better than sacrifice,
and to heed is better than the fat of rams.
23 For rebellion is like the sin of divination,
and arrogance like the evil of idolatry.
Because you have rejected the word of the Lord,
he has rejected you as king.”


Don’t know if this helps, but in my Bible Timeline Bible Study, there’s a bit more elaboration on the question you raise.

I would agree with the NAB’s general assessment. (Scripture scholar that I am. ;)) In the central part of Judges, there’s a cycle the people of Israel go through which is described seven times, though there are twelve judges.
I personally think the book of Judges is a wonderful reflection on human nature and the spiritual life.


From “The Companion Bible” AV of 1611 has:

"Judges - The Heb. name is Shoph’tim = rulers; from verb ‘to put right and then rule’.

The book records the history of 13 Judges (12 called of God and 1 usurper), whose names by Gematria make a muiltiple of 8 and 13; 6 “evil” doings, 6 oppressors and oppressions, and 6 deliverances."


I suppose. It’s certainly true that there’s a cyclic nature to the story. Everything’s fine, then Israel sins, then they get attacked, then someone saves them, then they start obeying God again, then they sin again… The other notable feature of this cycle being that it speeds up at the book progresses.


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