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THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
1262. Hercules born; he died 1240.
Why called the
The Book of Judges is so Book of Judges. called, because it is an historical ac. count of the Hebrews under the government of their judges. What period it comprises.
It comprises a period of nearly 300 years, from the death of Joshua to the history of Eli and Samuel. By whom it
It was probably written by
Samuel, who continued the sacred history in the 1st Book of Samuel) almost
to the death of Saul. The judges, who The Hebrew judges were military chiefs of temporary and local authority, appointed by God in times of danger.
The office somewhat resembled that of a Roman dictator. The judges had no salary, insignia, nor retinue; could not epact laws or levy taxes; and their authority was limited to the tribe over which they were elected. In regard to the name, it is interesting to know that the rulers of Carthage were called Suffetés, which means the same thing.
There were in all 14 judges, whose names were as follows:-(1) Othniel; (2) Ehud; (3) Shamgar; (4) Deborah and Barak; (5) Gideon; (6) Tola; (7) Jair; (8) Jephthab; (9) Ibzan; (10) Elon; (11) Abdon ; (12) Samson ; (13) Eli, the
high-priest; and (14) Samuel. How long they The succession of judges continued for about 350 years, during which time the nation enjoyed far more prosperity than adversity.
All their troubles arose from their forsaking God to serve idols. Thus scripture saith, when “Israel
Whence their troubles arose.
When they were delivered.
chose new gods, then there was war in the gates.
On repentance, a judge was raised
up, and the people were delivered from their oppressors, till fresh idolatry brought punishment again.
Idolatry made the Hebrews effeminate, cowardly, and jealous of each other, and thus prepared them for bondage. (1) Effeminate, from indulging in the effeminating vices of idolatry; (2) Cowardly, from want of confidence in God; (3) Jealous of each other, because different tribes worshipped different idols; and nothing produces more unhappy divisions than religious differences.
THE JUDG E S.
THE FIRST FIVE DELIVERERS.
How idolatry began.
The first idol made in Canaan by the Israelites was by Micah, a man
How the evil spread.
The first oppression.
of Ephraim, who set up a silver image in his own house to save him the trouble of going to the tabernacle at Shiloh.
This image was stolen by the men of Dan, who set it up in their own territory, and the corruption soon spread from tribe to tribe.
The first oppression was when God chastised the idolaters by sending
against them the king of Mesopota'mia. How longs They were reduced by him to slavery for eight years, when they repented and were delivered.
God appointed Othniel, the nephew of Caleb, to effect this deli
He repelled the invaders, restored the land to peace, and continued in office for 40 years. (B.c. 1401.)
The second oppression oCcurred soon after the death of Oth'niel, when the people again fell into idolatry, and God sent against them Eglon, the king of Moab. (B.C. 1339.)
How the land was delivered.
The second oppression.
How they were delivered.
What Eglon Eglon took from them the city of palm-trees, which he made his royal residence, and continued to lord it over the land for 18 years; when the people repented and were delivered.
They were delivered by Ehud, who slew Eglon in his palace. After which, the land enjoyed peace for 80 more years. (B.C. 1321.)
During the government of Ehud, 600 Philistines made an incursion on the south. SHAMGAR, who was ploughing at the time, summoned to his assistance such of his companions as were at hand; they fell upon the free-booters with their ox-goads and slew them.
The ox-goad was about eight feet long. The thicker end was furnished with a strong massive iron paddle, about six inches in circumference, to clear the plough; and the smaller end was armed with an iron spike or goad, to urge the oxen to their work.
The third oppression occurred soon after the death of Ehud, when the people again relapsed into idolatry; and God sent against them Jabin, a king of Canaan. (B.c. 1281.) How long Jabin
Jabin severely afflicted the
The third oppression.