A fresh look at the Judges!

I have read the Bible through over twenty times now and I am always amazed at the new and inspiring things I read each time.

While participating in our local church program this year called “Early Morning Light”, I took a fresh look at the Judges of Israel.

I confess I have always seen these freedom fighters we call Judges, as being listed in chronological order from early until late as the book unfolds. Recently I began to look at a different possibility.

It appears that they possibly are listed not in chronological order, but in the region of the country they lived and served. The book would in this case be given to us in a region by region account for no Judge ruled over all twelve tribes. Their battles when viewed on a map certainly cover different regions of the nation.

If this supposition is accurate, then rather than Samson being at the end of the reign of Judges, he would actually live during the last twenty years of Eli’s time of Judging Israel. This would also, by the longevity of his tenure, push him into the years of Samuel as Judge as well.

For me, this is a radical transition from a lifetime of thinking. Is it possible? Probable? Some scholars seem to believe it so.

If this format holds true, the book of Judges would deal with the Northern most territories first with the major campaign being actioned by Deborah and her great battle and ultimate victory. Bible historians list this as the first major section of the book.

The book would then shift eastward and relate to us the important battle of that region with the campaign of Gideon. This would be seen as the second great period of history.

This would be followed by the Southeastern region of this nation wide recording of the Judges and finally end with the Southwestern area and Samson. This would be the third and final time of historical reporting of the Judges.

If this hypothesis is accurate, the battle at which the Ark was captured would coincide with Samson’s capture, Eli’s death, and the years of Philistine supremacy. It would also mean that the book is not chronological as much as it is a regional accounting of the campaigns of the Judges that possibly overlapped or coincided at times.

I do not know if this thinking is accurate or even relevant. I know it provokes me to want to know more, think more, and meditate more.

The Bible is the greatest book in my life. Nothing else is even in the comparison. It stands alone, mammoth, towering, and sublime.

To study the Bible, to ponder it, to discuss it, to debate it, is truly one of my life’s greatest joys!

If these few paragraphs stimulate thought or debate, then I am content. For what can be more worthy of discussion and thought than the immutable Word of God.

To discuss this grand Word is truly exciting and invigorating! May it ever live in your heart and mind!

Thanks for reading today!