Article Index

Names of the Book

SAMSON- Gregor Smukovic

English:  Judges
Hebrew:  שׁוֹףּטים
Transliterated:  Shoftim
Other names:   

 

whoWho

Wrote the book:  Possibly Samuel
Are the key people:  Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson, Delilah
Is it written to:  The people of Israel

 

whatWhat

The Descent of Israel into bondage (Judges 1:1-3:6)
The Judges and the six periods of peace (Judges 3:7-16:31)
The Moral Failure of the tribes of Dan and Benjamin (Judges 17:1-21:25)

 

whenWhen

Was it written:  unknown place in Israel
Did the events occur:  c 1380-1050 BCE
Was it canonized:  c 499-100 BCE
(see the Timeline of the Tanakh)

 

whereWhere

Was it written:  unknown
Did the events occur:  The Land of Israel, tribal areas of Dan and Benjamin

 

whyWhy

Judges was written to inform us that: 
Compromising G-d's commands results in personal and national decline.
Moral decay can turn into apostasy.
Abandoning G-d and His ways results in bondage.
Repentance and a return to G-d results in deliverance.

 

whyIntroduction

Judges is a historical narrative that relates Israel's history for a period of about 400 years after Joshua's death. The book is named after the collection of individuals (judges) who led Israel during that time. The more well known of these judges include Deborah, Gideon, and Samson. The book describes Israel's recurring cycles of apostasy, foreign oppression, repentance, and deliverance during this period. Repeatedly, we read about Israel abandoning G-d and disobeying His commandments.  G-d responds by sending foreign nations to oppress Israel leading them to repent and cry out to G-d for mercy and deliverance. G-d raises up a judge who liberates them from the foreign oppression and the cycle begins again in a subsequent generation. The book concludes with another period of lawlessness where "everyone did what was right in his own eyes".

 

 

Torah Portion

שׁפטים (Shoftim)

 

 

or view this week's triennial cycle reading.

Today is

Yom Chamishi, 5 Elul, 5778

Thursday, August 16, 2018

 

Learn more about this date in history.