Book of Judges
The seventh book of the Bible.
It is thus called because it relates the deeds of those temporary leaders who, under the name of "Judges" (practically they were dictators), ruled over a part at least of the Tribes of Israel, between the death of Josue and the days of Samuel.
The book may be divided as follows:
The purpose of the author is evidently to illustrate this truth which is the key to the whole history of the Jewish people, viz., that their apostasies are invariably punished and their fidelity to God invariably rewarded.
- Introduction describing the political and religious conditions of the Jews after Josue's death (1-3).
- Selected episodes from the history of the Judges, valiant leaders raised by God at different points of the territory, to free the people from their oppressors, after each one of their many apostasies (3,7, to 17); the best known are: Debbora and Barac (4, 5), Gedeon (6 to 10,5), Jephte (10, 6, to 12, 15), and Samson (13-15).
- Two appendices (18-21) relate two very sad episodes which illustrate the lawlessness of the times, viz., the migration of Dan (17, 18) and the crime of the Benjamites, with the frightful war that followed (19-21).
New Catholic Dictionary