Questions tagged [judges]

Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the second book of the Former Prophets.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
47
votes
9answers
62k views

In Judges 11:39-40 did Jephthah actually sacrifice his daughter?

It's clear that what Jephthah intended was to sacrifice the first animal that he met when he returned home: Then the spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah. He marched through Gilead and Manasseh, ...
17
votes
5answers
10k views

Was there some connection between barley bread and Gideon in the mind of the Midianites?

Before attacking the Midianite camp, Gideon does a little spying: When Gideon came, behold, a man was telling a dream to his comrade. And he said, “Behold, I dreamed a dream, and behold, a cake of ...
14
votes
3answers
4k views

Why was, “for they were Ishmaelites” considered an explanation for why the Midianites had golden earrings in Judges 8:24?

Gideon's Ephod Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “Rule over us, you and your son and your grandson also, for you have saved us from the hand of Midian.” Gideon said to them, “I will not ...
13
votes
2answers
860 views

Did Jephthah have pets?

Judges 11:29-40 tells the story of Jephthah's victory over the Ammonites. Before the battle he promises, "whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the ...
11
votes
4answers
1k views

Does the Hebrew in Judges 4:4 explicitly identify Deborah as a woman?

I have no skill at reading Hebrew, so I was using some tool to try and parse the sentence in Judges 4:4. I noticed that the definition given for the second word (אִשָּׁה) is "woman"; but what I'm ...
11
votes
1answer
319 views

Does Rashi's interpretation of Jephthah's fate hold water?

When Rashi looks back on the life of Jephthah, he notes: Jephthah was afflicted with boils and dismemberment as it is stated, (below 12:7) “And he was buried in the cities [pl.] of Gilead.” (His ...
11
votes
2answers
2k views

In Judges 17:7, how could the young man be both “a Levite” and “of the family of Judah”?

In Jdg. 17:7, it is written, ז וַיְהִי נַעַר מִבֵּית לֶחֶם יְהוּדָה מִמִּשְׁפַּחַת יְהוּדָה וְהוּא לֵוִי וְהוּא גָר שָׁם which may be translated as, 7 And there was a young man of Beit-Lechem ...
11
votes
1answer
411 views

Does the Shibboleth story help us date the book of Judges?

This story has always fascinated me: Judges 12:4-6 (ESV) 4 Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim. And the men of Gilead struck Ephraim, because they said, “You are ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Was Deborah considered a sub-optimal leader?

I've sometimes heard that Deborah was allowed to be a leader of Israel only because no man stepped up to the responsibility. However, when she is introduced there is no indication of that: ...
10
votes
2answers
476 views

Judges 3:9 and the meaning of זעק

In Judges 3:9 we read: “When the children of Israel cried out to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the children of Israel, who delivered them: Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's ...
9
votes
2answers
611 views

How should the first line of Judges 5:2 be translated?

So at some point, I'm hoping to be able to answer this question. In the meantime, though, I keep running into more questions, this one concering the first line of the Song of Deborah (Judges 5:2). It ...
9
votes
4answers
4k views

How were Samson's parents to know his foreign wife was “from the Lord” in Judges 14:4?

In Judges we read: Judges 14:3-4 (NIV) (emphasis added) 3 His father and mother replied, “Isn’t there an acceptable woman among your relatives or among all our people? Must you go to the ...
9
votes
5answers
502 views

Why are there so many unusual weapons used in Judges?

There are a number of unusual or unconventional weapons used in the book of Judges: Shamgar uses an oxgoad to strike down Philistines (3:31) Jael uses a tent peg to kill Sisera (4:21) Gideon's army ...
9
votes
2answers
19k views

What is the significance of switching from Gideon to Jerubbaal?

Gideon got a new name in this story: When the men of the town rose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was broken down, and the Asherah beside it was cut down, and the second bull was ...
8
votes
3answers
2k views

Ehud, a Left-Handed Man

When Ehud is introduced in Judges 3:15, it is mentioned that he is a left-handed man. "Again the Israelites cried out to the LORD, and he gave them a deliverer—Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera ...
8
votes
2answers
682 views

Message of the Sodom/Gibeah parallel

The narrative in Genesis with Lot's guests (19:1-11) and the one at the end of Judges with the concubine at Gibeah (Chapter 19) obviously parallel each other, and (as noted by Daat Mikra) even share ...
8
votes
3answers
3k views

Are there differences in how the Spirit empowers people?

In the Hebrew Bible, the Spirit of the Lord empowers people. Examples include: Judges 14:19 The Lord’s spirit empowered him. [NET] The word used in Judges 14:19 is a form of tsalach meaning "rush, ...
7
votes
2answers
7k views

Who or where is Meroz in Judges 5:23?

We read: “Curse Meroz!” said the angel of the Lord. “Bitterly curse its inhabitants, Because they came not to the aid of the Lord, To the aid of the Lord among the warriors.”—Judges 5:...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Why did Dan remain on ships?

In Judges 5: 17, Deborah sang that Dan remained on ships. Did the Israelites have ships in the time of the judges? Is 'ships' the correct translation? Is there an explanation for this curious mention?
7
votes
6answers
7k views

Lapping like dogs or using their hands? An inconsistency in Judges 7:5-7

In Judges 7:5-7 God tells Gideon to make a test and to decide, based on the this, who will stay with him and who will leave. This is what what we are told from verse 5 about the test: And the LORD ...
6
votes
5answers
2k views

Has anyone seen God or not?

In Exodus 33:11 So the Lord used to speak to Moses face to face, just as a man speaks to his friend. When Moses returned to the camp, his servant Joshua, the son of Nun, a young man, would not depart ...
6
votes
6answers
11k views

When Samson posed his riddle, how were his companions supposed to guess it?

From the story of Samson in Judges 14 (NIV): Now his father went down to see the woman. And there Samson held a feast, as was customary for young men. When the people saw him, they chose thirty ...
6
votes
1answer
58 views

Did Abimelech sacrifice his brothers?

In Judges 9:5 (NASB) Then he went to his father’s house in Ophrah and killed his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left, because ...
6
votes
4answers
2k views
+50

Exodus 23:20-21 A divine Angel?

Exodus 23:20-21(KJV) 20 Behold, I send an Angel before thee, to keep thee in the way, and to bring thee into the place which I have prepared. 21 Beware of him, and obey his voice, provoke him ...
6
votes
3answers
54k views

What is the significance of the honey inside the lion's carcass?

In Judges 14, Samson kills a lion and leaves the body there. When he comes back to it, a swarm of bees has taken over and there is now honey there: 5 Samson went down to Timnah together with his ...
5
votes
2answers
3k views

Tribe of Benjamin Elite Corps of Slingers

In the book of Judges, we learn that the tribe of Benjamin fielded a corps of slingers. These soldiers were not mere conscripts, but rather we're informed that they were "chosen", in the sense of '...
5
votes
2answers
378 views

Did Samson pull the door off by his own strength?

In Judges 14:6 (NASB) And the Spirit of the Lord rushed upon him, so that he tore it apart as one tears apart a young goat, though he had nothing in his hand; but he did not tell his father or mother ...
5
votes
3answers
3k views

Were all the Canaanites slaughtered or not?

It seems pretty clear in some of the texts that when Land of Canaan was conquered, there were no one left alive, all were killed: Joshua defeated the whole land, including the hill country, the Negev,...
5
votes
2answers
612 views

How did Deborah (or any of the Judges) get their position?

Judges 4:4: Now Deborah, a prophet, the wife of Lappidoth, was judging Israel at that time. The text doesn't directly comment on how she came to be judging Israel. How might she have gotten such a ...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

A word ending in “ti”--in archaic Hebrew, who does it refer to?

In Judges 5:7 (in the song of Deborah) we find:   חָדְלוּ פְרָזוֹן בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל,  חָדֵלּוּ, עַד שַׁקַּמְתִּי דְּבוֹרָה, שַׁקַּמְתִּי אֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל The archaic Hebrew word shakamti is ...
5
votes
3answers
4k views

Why does Judges 18:1 say that Dan had no inheritance?

Judges 18:1 says that Dan had no inheritance but Joshua 19:40-48 indicates otherwise. What am I missing? Judges 18:1 ESV In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of ...
5
votes
1answer
269 views

Why does Manoah's wife alter the angel's words in Judges 13: 5-7?

When the angel speaks to the wife of Manoah, he says : For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

What does Gideon's new name, Jerub-baal, mean?

In Judges 6:25, Gideon is told to destroy his father's alter to Baal and the Asherah pole next to it. When the people learn the next day that Gideon has broken it down they verbally spar with Gideon's ...
4
votes
1answer
911 views

Judges 5:30 - The Hebrew word for womb or damsel translated as “two”. Why?

Judges 5:30 One interpretation says: http://biblehub.com/esv/judges/5.htm ‘Have they not found and divided the spoil?— A womb or two for every man; The word Strong's #7361 ra·ḥă·mā·ṯa·yim means ...
4
votes
3answers
66 views

Does Judges 5:14 imply that Ephraim had distant Amalekite roots?

Judges 5:14 Some came from Ephraim, whose roots were in Amalek; ; Benjamin was with the people who followed you. From Makir captains came down, from Zebulun those who bear a commander's staff. (NIV) ...
4
votes
3answers
47 views

In a calling narrative, is the initial demurring to be viewed positively?

The calling narratives of Moses and Gideon both follow a similar pattern that involves the called person initially demurring to the calling. In Exodus 3:10-11 we read: "So now, go. I am sending ...
4
votes
1answer
76 views

By the end of Judges (Judges 21:25) who comprised the Israelites?

This question is solely about the peoples in the document sets, not archaeological claims. Apologies if this is a bad fit: I checked the site tour; this seems to be an exegesis request in relation to ...
4
votes
1answer
252 views

What is the purpose of the minor judges in the narrative?

After Gideon dies in Judges 8, we're given two short stories at the start of Judges 10: After Abimelech there arose to save Israel Tola the son of Puah, son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, and he lived ...
4
votes
1answer
546 views

Why did the Benjamites (in Gibeon) rape a foreigner?

In Judges 19 we read, While they were enjoying themselves, some of the wicked men of the city surrounded the house. Pounding on the door, they shouted to the old man who owned the house, “Bring ...
3
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is “ishah” translated “woman” instead of “offering by fire,” more to the true etymology of that term in Hebrew before vowel points? [closed]

This is not dealing with just the Judges 4:4 reference, already asked; but we see throughout that the word is translated "woman" or "offering by fire," especially in Leviticus. In fact, it looks like ...
3
votes
3answers
95 views

Mount Gilead, Galaad or Gilboa?

In Judges 7:3 which mount is it really? NASB Now therefore come, proclaim in the hearing of the people, saying, ‘Whoever is afraid and worried, is to return and leave Mount Gilead.’” So twenty-two ...
3
votes
1answer
496 views

Why did 400,000 men of the Tribes of Israel assemble over one rape in Judges 19:20-30 and Judges 20?

In Judges 19:20-30, a Levite is faced with the rape of his concubine and the tribes of Israel destroy the tribe of Benjamin over it. Why?
3
votes
4answers
319 views

Why does the angel of the LORD speak in the first person in Judges 2:1-5?

Judges 2:1-5 (KJV): And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, ...
3
votes
3answers
650 views

Could Abimelech be regarded as the first king of Israel?

After Gideon had helped deliver the Israelites from the hand of the Midianites they requested that he rule over them,but he declined. Judges 8:22 NASB 22 Then the men of Israel said to Gideon, “...
3
votes
5answers
7k views

When Samson refers to his wife as a “heifer”, is he doing so in a derogatory sense?

I am reading in the book of Judges at chapter 14.The passage concerns a riddle given by Samson to thirty of his companions at a feast.Please read here. The thirty companions put pressure on Samson's ...
3
votes
1answer
294 views

Did Barak already know what he was supposed to do in Judges 4:6-7?

Since we're on a Deborah kick lately: The ESV renders Deborah's statement to Barak in Judges 4:6-7 as a question: Has not the LORD, the God of Israel, commanded you, "Go, gather your men at ...
3
votes
2answers
74 views

Was Micah a high priest?

In Judges 17:5 (NASB) And the man Micah had a shrine and he made an ephod and household idols, and consecrated one of his sons, so that he might become his priest. Was Micah a high priest?
3
votes
1answer
36 views

What is the significance of Ehud hiding the sword on his right thigh in Judges 3:21?

Judges 3:21 Ehud reached with his left hand, drew the sword from his right thigh and plunged it into the king's belly. Couldn't he have achieved the same goal by hiding it on his left thigh?
3
votes
4answers
240 views

In Judges 3:16 what is the length of a “gomed”?

In Judges 3:16, Ehud's sword or dagger was said to be a gomed in length. How long is a gomed? I'm aware some translations have cubit, but if it was a cubit, why wasn't the Hebrew word for cubit used?
3
votes
2answers
3k views

Why did Samson hide from his parents the two incidents in Judges 14?

Judges 14:6 (KJV) 6 And the spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he ...