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The Conclusion For Judges

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The Conclusion for Judges

The book of Judges tells of an era in Israel in which the people of the land had no king. This book follows the incidents of twelve individuals whom were selected by God and shown favor to lead the Israelites out of the hands of the oppressors of their days. A judge is a military official known for his or her bravery in battles or incidents and nothing more than a mere warlord. This individual was given authority over decision-making and political squabbles among the people of Israel since there was no king. A judge would arise in the time of need and lead the tribe or tribes to victory over their enemies. God would show favor unto the judges and they would lead the people of Israel for their lifetime. The book of Judges displays an era of chaos in which the people of Israel did what was right in their opinion. This period is full of utter chaos in which the lack of leadership led to idolatry, rape, murder, the absence of unity among the tribes, and disorder. The last verse in Judges reads, "In those days there was no king in Israel; all the people did what right in their own eyes" (21:25), this conclusion is perfect for a book whose entire writings describe a time of such turmoil.

The most prevalent form of worship throughout the book of Judges is idolatry. This is one of the sins of the covenant but the people of Israel for some reason cannot abandon this tradition among themselves. Idolatry is the worship of an idol, statue, or some other god or gods. The most popular among the people of Israel were Baal and Astartes. The people of Israel may have been led in a different path if there would have been some sort of leadership or power. Instead, the people of Israel followed a judge by the name of Gideon who created an ephod out of golden earrings for them to worship. There are several incidents throughout the book of Judges that exemplify the worship of idols, which resulted in the anger of God. The people of Israel take up gods from other towns and worship them, also. The presence of a king may have changed this due to the fact he would have been able to shed insight on a specific religion among the people.

A disturbing fact of the book of Judges was the senseless raping of women throughout this wretched era. A Levite man's concubine was raped in a town of which he should be able to trust the people. The men of the town initially come to have intercourse with him and his male servant, but the host of the house, in which they are staying, offers the Levite's wife to the men. The men raped and beat her all through the night until she was left on the step of the household nearly dead the next morning. The Levite took her body, cut it in twelve pieces, and sent it though the towns of all the tribes. Another incident of rape takes place as the Benjaminites are faced with extinction. The people of Israel first kill off the entire population of Jabesh-gilead except four hundred virgins that will be designated to be the wives of the Benjaminites, but this is not suffice. The elders of the Israelites then suggested that the Benjaminites take dancers at the festival of the Lord in Shiloah. They were given permission to rape these women and take them as their wives. If the families of the women had a problem with this, they were instructed to refer it to the elders. This is clearly a ruthless era of people without some form authority. The people were simply making up their own rules as they went along. They were not concerned with the affects of their actions because they would handle those when the time came.

Another prominent sign of lacking leadership would be the slaughter and murder of many individuals throughout the book of Judges. Judges sets the stage for some of the most gruesome and senseless murders to this point in the Bible. These murders take place as if there are no rules to abide by and the individuals whom commit them are not seemingly punished. Sisera, a general in the Jabin's army, is tricked by the wife of an ally into the belief that she is going to protect him from an enemy and she, in turn, kills him herself. It is also through trickery that Ehud who concealed a sword by his thigh and fled from the murder, killed King Eglon. Neither of these stories can compare to the grisly deeds of Abimelech who is neither a judge nor king but acts as an authority. Abimelech killed all seventy of his brothers so that he would be the only heir to his father. He also goes to battle with Gaal and kills all the townspeople. He, than, burned down the Tower of Shechem with one thousand unsuspecting men and women inside worshipping. Each of these individuals act on their own accord and murder for their own reasons whether it is revenge or pure betrayal. There are no consequences given unto them and for this reason the murders stretched far and wide. Without the appointment of a king, the people of the land felt free to do as they pleased and this was the result.

With the aid of kings, the tribes may have been able to gain better unity among themselves. Unfortunately, throughout the book of Judges, there are incidents in which the unity of the tribes should have been present but this was not the case. In the case of the battle with Sisera's Army under the leadership



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