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The Blue Letter Bible

Dr. J. Vernon McGee :: Notes for Judges

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A Philosophy of History

Righteousness exalteth a nation: but sin is a reproach to any people. (Proverbs 14:34)

WRITER: Unknown
This book comes from the period of the monarchy, judging by the phrase which occurs 4 times, “In those days there was no king in Israel” (Jdg 17:6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25). Probably written by Samuel.

KEY VERSE: Judges 21:25 (last verse in book)

THEME: Backsliding — and the amazing grace of God in recovering and restoring.

PURPOSE: The Book of Judges serves a twofold purpose:

1. Historically it records the history of the nation from the death of Joshua to Samuel, the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. It bridges the gap between Joshua and the rise of the monarchy. There was no leader to take Joshua’s place in the way he had taken Moses’ place. This was the trial period of the theocracy after they entered the land.

2. Morally it is the time of the deep declension of the people as they turned from the Unseen Leader and descended to the low level of “In those days there was no king in Israel: every man did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6; also compare Judges 1:1 with Judges 20:18). This should have been an era of glowing progress, but it was a dark day of repeated failure.
This course can be plotted like a hoop rolling down the hill of time. The steps of a nation’s downfall are outlined in the last division of the book (see outline). Isaiah, chapter 1, presents these same fatal steps downward that eventually led to the final captivity of the nation.

Cycle of History Chart
Outline for Joshua ← Prior Section
Comments for Judges Next Section →
Notes for Joshua ← Prior Book
Notes for Ruth Next Book →
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