The Book of Judges (Hebrew: Sefer Shoftim ספר שופטים) is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Bible. It contains the history of the Biblical judges, the divinely inspired leaders whose direct knowledge of Yahweh allows them to act as champions for the Israelites against oppression by foreign rulers, and models of the wise and faithful behaviour required of them by their God Yahweh following the exodus from Egypt and the conquest of Canaan. The stories follow a consistent pattern: the people are unfaithful to Yahweh and he therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies; the people repent and entreat Yahweh for mercy, which he sends in the form of a leader or champion (a “judge”); the judge delivers the Israelites from oppression and they prosper, but soon they fall again into unfaithfulness and the cycle is repeated. Scholars consider many of the stories in Judges to be the oldest in the Deuteronomistic history, with their major redaction dated to the 8th century BCE and with materials such as the Song of Deborah dating from much earlier, perhaps close to the period the book depicts.
Books of Judges: