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The Book of Judges

Today, we continue our journey through the Bible with today’s study of Judges. May we remember to ask God to show us what He wants us to learn? Psalm 19:14; “May these words of my mouth and this meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, Lord, my Rock and my Redeemer.”

As we study the Bible alone or in a group setting, I think there are several questions we can ask ourselves to help us dig deeper. The five questions are as follows:

  1. What does the scripture say about God?
  2. Then what does the scripture say about me?
  3. Does something in this passage challenge me?
  4. What gives me hope in this passage?
  5. Is anything unclear to me?

I hope these questions help you as much as they help me.


Author: Unknown but possible Samuel.

Audience: The people of Israel

Date Written: Possibly around 1045 BC

Length: 21 Chapters

Key Words: Failure and sin

Key Verses: “In those days Israel had no king; everyone did as they saw fit.” (17:6)

Key People:  Othniel, Ehud, Deborah, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, Samson, Delilah 


Summary of Judges:

The book of Judges picks up right after the death of Joshua. The book details the total failure of Israel to follow Joshua’s final instructions to stay faithful to God. But, this is not just a book of relapses. Judges is also a book of deliverance. We see God pursuing and restoring His people. Additionally, experts believe the book covers about 450 years of history, of which 100 years show Israel lost in idolatry and not following God. The twelve judges try to lead the people to repentance and return to their one true God. In the pages, we see the dark side of life without God emphasized in these historical records. Furthermore, the Bible suggests that there were seven periods of apostasy, seven periods of servitude, and seven restorations during the time of the judges!

Sections of Judges:

There are three periods in the book of Judges. They periods are defined as follows:

  1. Period of incomplete conquest and apostasy after the death of Joshua (1:1-3:6). 
  2. Oppression and deliverance (3:7-16:31).
  3. Religious and moral disorder (chs.17-21).

Messages in Judges:

  1. The main messages show us human failure and the power of prayer that restores us after our failures. 
  2. Next, we find the first recorded parable in chapter nine, known as the parable of the trees. And, this story shows us how God can use each of us for His purposes when we are led by His Spirit. 
  3. Finally, chapter Four mentions the first woman in a role of prominence when Deborah become a Judge. 

“And he went unto his father’s house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem. And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us.”

(Judges 9:5-8)

Final thoughts:

 The book of Judges traces the people of Israel through seven periods of complete rebellion against God. And, during each period, specific judges are shown as deliverers and saviors for the fallen people of Israel. These judges illustrate Christ as the final Savior and King of His people (Luke 2:11; John 4:42; Mark 15:2). Also, we see God’s character of righteousness (5:11) and wrathfulness (9:56). Because of God’s covenant relationship with His people, we gain an understanding of His faithfulness no matter how often they mess up. This book demonstrates the incredible patience and longsuffering of God during this unsettled period. And it still implies to us today. 

Bible Studies

Each book of the Bible contains lessons for us to learn as well as historical information. We need to study God’s Word to see what to do and what not to do in life. Paul reminds all of us of the importance of the words within the text in 2 Timothy 3.

The Bible Project - Judges

“14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned and have become convinced of, because you know those from whom you learned it, 15 and how from infancy you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

2 Timothy 3:14-17


Heavenly Father, guide our thoughts as we study your Word. Please show us how to apply the principles to our daily lives. Thank you for the many blessings we find within its pages. In Jesus’ Holy Name. Amen. 

Do you need prayer? I would love to pray for you. Submit your prayer request on my website at

Grace and Peace to you,

Yvonne M. Morgan is a Christian #author, #blogger, and #speaker. #BibleGatewayPartner

Matthew 28:19 “Therefore, GO and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit.”

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This Post Has 12 Comments

  1. JD Wininger

    Great lessons to hold onto here ma’am. Thank you; and Happy Thanksgiving my friend. Posts like this remind me of why I’m so grateful for all the Christian writing friends God has brought into my life. All y’all speak such life into mine.

    1. Yvonne Morgan

      As do you with so many of us. Blessings my friend

  2. Ava Pennington

    I’ve often heard the book of Judges taught from the perspective of how sinful the people were (“everyone did what was right in their own eyes”). So I really appreciate your observation that the book of Judges also “demonstrates the incredible patience and longsuffering of God.” Yes!

  3. Melissa G. Henderson

    Great message that reminds us to ask God what He wants us to learn from reading His Word. Each word in the Bible has the ability to teach us something new. 🙂

  4. Melissa McLaughlin

    I love to study the Bible, there is always something new to ponder and I appreciate this overview. It helps us carry the bigger picture into the specific passages as we read through the book of Judges. God’s faithfulness, despite our sinful rebellion, is truly amazing.

  5. Nancy E. Head

    I love the picture you show of the judges foreshadowing Christ. Happy Thanksgiving, Yvonne. God bless!

  6. karentfriday

    Thank you for another well-written and insightful summary, Yvonne. Judges and the over arching theme of everyone doing what they saw fit in their own eyes, reminds us of our own waywardness at times. And definitely that theme emerges in our culture today.

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