Usually God speaks to the people through a prophet or an angel (messenger).

But throughout the Book of Judges, the major theme is that the Israelites abandon faith in God, turn to idolatry, experience hardship and oppression due to abandoning their faith in God, and afterwards, they "cry out to the Lord" after recognizing their wrongdoing in turning to idolatry.

For example, Judges 10:10-10:11 says, "Then the Israelites cried out to the Lord, 'We stand guilty before you, for we have forsaken our God and served the Baalim.' But the Lord said to the Israelites..."

How does God talk to the whole community if a prophet is not mentioned as an intermediary between the people and God?


Regarding the phrase, "And Yahveh said to the children of Israel," Rabbi David Kimchi wrote, על ידי נביא, that is, "by the hands of a prophet" (cp. Jdg. 6:8). One should recall that the Israelites pleaded with God that He no more speak to them personally (Exo. 20:19 cp. Deut. 18:15-19). So, in particular contexts where it seems as though God is speaking to the entire nation personally, we should consider that He's doing so by an angel or prophet even if the text does not explicitly state this.

  • 2
    Excellent answer. Also note the Ralbag and Metzudot on Judges 10:10-11 write the same thing.
    – bjorne
    Sep 2 '13 at 14:18

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.