The Old Testament

A Historical, Theological, and Critical Introduction


7. Judges

Bible Reading Guide

  1. What part of Benjamin did the Benjaminites not conquer?
  2. When did the people begin to serve the Baals?
  3. Who was Othniel?
  4. Who was Jael?
  5. Which tribe stayed among the sheep pens rather than help Deborah?
  6. What was the incident regarding Gideon and the altar of Baal?
  7. By what means were Gideon’s three hundred fighting men chosen?
  8. What did Gideon make from the rings that the Israelites had taken?
  9. What was the point of the fable about the thornbush?
  10. What did Israel do to persuade God to help them in the Ammonite oppression?
  11. How did Jephthah respond to the charge of the Ammonite king?
  12. How did Jephthah respond to the charge of the Ephraimites?
  13. What did the angel require from Manoah’s wife for the birth of a child?
  14. Whence came Samson’s riddle?
  15. Why did Samson allow other Israelites to bind him?
  16. Before cutting his hair, what did Samson tell Delilah would weaken him?
  17. What did Micah’s mother purchase?
  18. What did the five Danites take from Micah’s house?
  19. What caused the rape of the concubine?
  20. What caused all Israel to unite for the first time in Judges?
  21. From what two cities did Israel obtain wives for the Benjaminites?

Study Questions

  1. Which recension of the Septuagint probably preserves the original Greek Judges?
  2. Who killed Jabin?
  3. What was “Shibboleth” in the Judges story?
  4. Who did Micah hire for a priest?
  5. In early Christian allegory, what do the two pillars of Samson represent?
  6. In the opinion of most, how much of Judges is Deuteronomistic?
  7. What does the literary pattern in Judges suggest about its historical worth?
  8. What do Deborah and Barak and Tukuliti-Ninurta I share?
  9. What other biblical character resembles Samson?
  10. What corresponds to the worsening fortunes of Israel in Judges?
  11. As propaganda, how is Judges sometimes understood?
  12. When do the number of villages in the central hill country increase dramatically?
  13. Discoveries of abecedaries at Izbet Sartah and Tel Zayit suggest what?
  14. Who was Cushan-Rishathaim?
  15. The Jabin who fought Deborah is king of Hazor, but more often he is what?
  16. By the end of Judges, who is the enemy?
  17. Overall, what does the cycle of the judges prefigure?