Israel’s men had made this serious promise to the Lord at Mizpah

Chapter 21 v1 Israel’s men had made this serious promise to the Lord at Mizpah. ‘We will not allow our daughters to marry a man from Benjamin’s *tribe.’ v2 The people went to Bethel. They sat where God was. They sat there until evening. They were weeping very much. v3 They said this. ‘*Lord God of *Israel’s people, this should not have happened to *Israel’s people. Now one *tribe in *Israel has almost gone.’v4 Early next morning, the people built an *altar and they offered *burnt offerings and *peace offerings. v5…

Read More

Then all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba came to meet together

Chapter 20 v1 Then all the Israelites from Dan to Beersheba came to meet together. They also came from the area called Gilead. They all met at Mizpah, where the *Lord was. v2 This meeting of God’s people included the leaders of all *Israel’s *tribes. There were 400 000 people with swords. v3 (The people in Benjamin’s *tribe heard that *Israel’s people had gathered at Mizpah.) The *Israelites said, ‘Tell us how this awful crime happened.’ v4 The husband of the woman that the wicked men had murdered spoke. (He was…

Read More

A man from Levi’s tribe lived in the hills

Chapter 19 v1 At that time, Israel’s people had no king. A man from Levi’s tribe lived in the hills. These were where Ephraim’s *tribe was. The part where he lived was a long way from the main places. He took a *concubine from Bethlehem. This was in the area where Judah’s *tribe lived. v2 But she was not loyal to him. She left him. And she went back to her father’s house in Bethlehem-Judah. After she had been there for 4 months, v3 her husband went there. He went…

Read More

At that time, Israel’s people had no king

Chapter 18 v1 At that time, Israel’s people had no king. Dan’s *tribe were looking for a place where they might live. They had not yet received any area that was their own among *Israel’s *tribes. v2 So Dan’s *tribe sent out 5 fighting men from Zorah and Eshtaol. They were trying to get secret information about the country. They wanted to discover what it was like. These men acted for all their families. The families had told them to discover what the land was like. The men came to…

Read More

There was a man called Micah from the hilly country where Ephraim’s tribe lived

Chapter 17 v1 There was a man called Micah from the hilly country where Ephraim’s tribe lived. v2 He said to his mother, ‘Someone stole the 1100 pieces of silver from you. I heard that you declared a *curse on the thief. I have the money. I took it.’ His mother said, ‘I hope that the *Lord will bless you, my son.’ v3 He returned the 1100 pieces of silver to her. She said, ‘I give my silver to the *Lord for my son. It is to make something from…

Read More

One day Samson went to Gaza

Chapter 16 v1 One day Samson went to Gaza. There he saw a woman that sold sex. He went to spend the night with her. v2 The people heard that Samson had come. They surrounded the place. They waited for him all night. They waited at the gate of the town. They did not do anything during the night. Instead, they said, ‘At dawn we will kill him.’ v3 Samson only stayed with the woman until midnight. Then he got up and he seized the gate of the town. He…

Read More

Later, at the time when people were harvesting corn, Samson went to visit his wife

Chapter 15 v1 Later, at the time when people were harvesting corn, Samson went to visit his wife. He took a young goat as a present. He said, ‘I am going to visit my wife in her bedroom.’ Her father would not let him go in. v2 He spoke to Samson. ‘I really thought that you hated her. So I gave her to your best man (the friend that helped Samson at the wedding). Her younger sister is more attractive. Marry her instead.’v3 Samson said, ‘Now I have a complete…

Read More

Samson went to Timnah

Chapter 14 v1 Samson went to Timnah. There he saw a young woman, who was a *Philistine. v2 When he returned, he spoke to his father and mother. ‘I have seen a woman in Timnah. She is a *Philistine. Arrange for me to marry her.’ v3 His father and mother answered him. ‘Can you not find a suitable woman among your relatives? Or can you not find one among our own people? Must you go to marry a dirty *Philistine?’ But Samson said to his father, ‘Get her for me.…

Read More

Again, the Israelites did what God did not want

Chapter 13 In total, there were 12 judges in the book called Judges. Samson was the last one. The story about him shows that matters had got much worse. People turned away from God. They suffered pain for what they had done wrong. They did not change their ways. The *Israelites made friends with the *Philistines. They married people from other nations now. The men from Judah’s *tribe chose to remove Samson, because otherwise they would spoil their good relations with the *Philistines. They let *Philistines rule. In the story…

Read More

The men from Ephraim’s tribe called out their army

Chapter 12 v1 The men from Ephraim’s tribe called out their army. And they went over the river to Zaphon. They said to Jephthah, ‘You went to fight against the army from Ammon. But you did not call us to go with you. So, we intend to burn down your house while you are inside it.’ v2 Jephthah replied, ‘My people and I had a great struggle with the army from Ammon. I asked you to help, but you did not come. v3 I saw that you did not intend…

Read More

Jephthah, a man from Gilead’s family, was a brave soldier

Chapter 11 v1 Jephthah, a man from Gilead’s family, was a brave soldier. Gilead was his father. v2 His mother was a woman who sold her body for sex. Gilead’s real wife had several sons. When they grew up, they forced Jephthah to leave. ‘You will not receive anything when our father dies’, they said. ‘You are another woman’s son.’ v3 So Jephthah ran away from his brothers and he lived in the area called Tob. There, a group of men that were worth nothing joined him. And they followed…

Read More

After the time when Abimelech had lived, Puah’s son Tola came to rescue Israel

Chapter 10 v1 After the time when Abimelech had lived, Puah’s son Tola came to rescue Israel. (Puah was Dodo’s son.) Tola was from Issachar’s *tribe. He lived in Shamir in the hilly country where Ephraim’s *tribe were. v2 He led *Israel’s people for 23 years. He died and they buried him in Shamir. Tola was not an important judge. He did not do any great work. He probably only decided the results of legal arguments. v3 Jair from Gilead came after him. He led *Israel’s people for 22 years.…

Read More

Abimelech, Jerubbaal’s son, went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem

Chapter 9 v1 Abimelech, Jerubbaal’s son, went to his mother’s brothers in Shechem. He spoke to them and he spoke to all his mother’s *tribe. v2 ‘Ask all the people who live in Shechem this question. Is it better to have Jerubbaal’s 70 sons to rule over you? Or is it better to have only one? Remember that I am a member in your family.’ v3 The brothers repeated this to the people in Shechem. As a result, they decided to serve Abimelech. ‘He is our brother’, they said. v4…

Read More

The people in Ephraim’s tribe asked Gideon

Chapter 8 v1 The people in Ephraim’s tribe asked Gideon, ‘Why have you done this to us? Why did you not call us when you went to fight the people from Midian?’ They complained loudly to him. v2 But he answered, ‘I have not done very much, if one compares me with you. Your actions were more useful than what my whole *tribe has done. v3 By God’s power, you killed Midian’s leaders Oreb and Zeeb. I was not able to do much, if one compares me with you.’ After…

Read More

Early in the morning, Jerubbaal Gideon

Chapter 7 v1 Early in the morning, Jerubbaal Gideon and his men camped at the *spring called Harod. The army from Midian had their camp north from them. It was in the valley near the hill called Moreh. v2 The *Lord spoke to Gideon. ‘You have too many men. With so many, I cannot help you to defeat the army from Midian. I do not want *Israel’s people to be proud. Then they would say that they had won by their own strength. v3 Ask them if anyone is afraid.…

Read More

Again Israel’s people did not obey God

Chapter 6 The stories about Gideon and his son, Abimelech are the most important ones in the book. John J. Davies says, ‘Gideon is the ideal judge like Moses. His son is the very opposite.’ v1 Again Israel’s people did not obey God. For 7 years, he let people from Midian rule them. v2 The people from Midian were stronger than the *Israelites. The *Israelites hid in holes in the mountains. They hid in caves and other safe places. v3 They planted their seeds. Then people from Midian, Amalek’s people…

Read More

On that day Deborah and Barak, Abinoam’s son, sang this song.

Chapter 5 v1 On that day Deborah and Barak, Abinoam’s son, sang this song. v2 ‘Praise the *Lord because the leaders of *Israel led. The people were glad to follow! v3 Listen, kings and rulers! I will sing to the *Lord. I will make music to the God of *Israel’s people. v4 *Lord, you went out from Seir and you marched from the country called Edom. Then the earth shook and rain fell from the sky. Rain poured down from the clouds. v5 The mountains shook in front of the…

Read More

After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did not obey God

Chapter 4 v1 After Ehud’s death, the Israelites again did not obey God. v2 The *Lord allowed Jabin to *conquer them. Jabin was the king of Hazor in *Canaan. Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-Haggoyim, led the king’s army. v3 He had 900 iron *chariots. And he made life very hard for the *Israelites for 20 years. Then they cried to the *Lord for help. These stories are about the northern *tribes. The people in *Canaan may have attacked 6 northern *tribes. The enemy is Jabin the king of Hazor. He…

Read More

These are the nations that the Lord left

Chapter 3 v1 These are the nations that the Lord left. He left them in order to test *Israel’s people. These people had not fought any wars in *Canaan. v2 He did this to teach them how to fight. They had not had any experience of battle. v3 The nations included the 5 rulers of the *Philistines. They included all the people in *Canaan and Sidon. They also included the *Hivites. These lived in the mountains of Lebanon. They lived there from Mount *Baal Hermon to Hamath’s border. v4 God…

Read More

The angel of the Lord came from Gilgal to Bokim

Chapter 2 v1 The angel of the Lord came from Gilgal to Bokim. He said ‘I brought you out of Egypt. And then I brought you into the country that I promised to your family. I said, “I will never stop doing what I agreed with you. v2 You must not make an agreement with the people in this country. You must destroy their stone tables where they offer *burnt offerings to their gods.” You have not done what I said. v3 So now I will not force them to…

Read More

Life Without Law

Life Without Law About this book Beliefs The book called Judges was in the *Hebrew *Scriptures. It was in the section called Former (earlier) *Prophets. In Deuteronomy chapters 27 and 28, we can read what would happen in *Israel’s future. If *Israel’s people were loyal to God, God would bless them. If they were not loyal to him, he would *curse them. (Look at Deuteronomy 28:15-26.) And nobody can make God believe anything that is not true. In Judges, we can see examples of how those things happened. Sometimes people…

Read More