Table of Contents




Date and Writer







A. Hostilities between the Israelites and the Canaanites following Joshua's death 1:12:5

1. Initial successes and failures ch. 1

The leadership of Judah 1:1-21

The activities of the other tribes 1:22-36

2. The announcement of God's discipline 2:1-5

B. Israel's conduct toward Yahweh and Yahweh's treatment of Israel in the period of the judges 2:63:6

1. Review of Joshua's era 2:6-10

2. The pattern of history during the judges' era 2:11-23

3. God's purposes with Israel 3:1-6


A. The first apostasy 3:7-11

B. The second apostasy 3:12-31

1. Oppression under the Moabites and deliverance through Ehud 3:12-30

2. Oppression under the Philistines and deliverance through Shamgar 3:31

C. The third apostasy chs. 45

1. The victory over Jabin and Sisera ch. 4

2. Deborah's song of victory ch. 5

Introduction 5:1

Call to praise 5:2

God's former salvation 5:3-5

Background of God's recent deliverance 5:6-8

A renewed call to bless God 5:9-11

The faithful and unfaithful participants 5:12-18

God's defeat of the Canaanites 5:19-22

God's curse and blessing 5:23-27

A picture of frustrated hope 5:28-30

The final chorus 5:31

D. The fourth apostasy 6:110:5

1. The story of Gideon 6:18:32

Renewed apostasy and its punishment 6:1-10

Gideon's commissioning by Yahweh 6:11-32

The appearance of the Angel of the Lord 6:11-18

The Angel's sign 6:19-24

Gideon's public confession 6:25-32

Gideon's personal struggle to believe God's promise 6:337:18

The mobilizing of four tribes in fear 6:33-35

Gideon's desire for encouragement 6:36-40

God's command to reduce the troops 7:1-8

God's invitation to visit the Midianites' camp 7:9-11

God's provision of encouragement 7:12-14

The mobilizing of Gideon's band in faith 7:15-18

The defeat of the Midianites 7:198:21

Gideon's initial victory 7:19-22

Pursuit of the enemy 7:23-25

The resentment of the Ephraimites 8:1-3

Gideon's capture of the two Midianite kings 8:4-12

The punishment of Succoth and Penuel 8:13-17

The execution of the Midianite kings 8:18-21

Later events in Gideon's life 8:22-32

Gideon's compromise 8:22-28

Gideon's family 8:29-32

2. Israel's departure from Yahweh 8:33-35

3. The story of Abimelech ch. 9

Abimelech's murders and election as king 9:1-6

Jotham's fable 9:7-21

Abimelech's reign 9:22-49

Abimelech's death 9:50-57

4. The judgeships of Tola and Jair 10:1-5

Tola's judgeship 10:1-2

Jair's judgeship 10:3-5

E. The fifth apostasy 10:612:15

1. Renewed oppression 10:6-7

2. Oppression under the Ammonites 10:8-18

3. Deliverance through Jephthah 11:112:7

The choice of Jephthah as Gilead's leader 11:1-11

Jephthah's negotiations with the king of Ammon 11:12-28

Jephthah's vow and victory 11:29-33

The fate of Jephthah's daughter 11:34-40

Jephthah's battle with the Ephraimites 12:1-7

4. The judgeships of Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon 12:8-15

Ibzan's judgeship 12:8-10

Elon's judgeship 12:11-12

Abdon's judgeship 12:13-15

F. The sixth apostasy chs. 1316

1. Samson's birth ch. 13

The Philistine oppression 13:1

The announcement of Samson's birth 13:2-7

The revelations of the Angel 13:8-23

Samson's earliest years 13:24-25

2. Samson's intended marriage to the Timnite ch. 14

Samson's decision to marry a Philistine 14:1-4

Samson's disregard of God's grace 14:5-9

Samson's further willful behavior 14:10-14

Samson's losses 14:15-20

3. Samson's vengeance on the Philistines ch. 15

Samson's revenge on the Timnites 15:1-8

Samson's treatment by the Judahites 15:9-13

Samson's victory at Ramath-lehi 15:14-20

4. Samson's final fatal victory ch. 16

Samson's weakness and strength at Gaza 16:1-3

Samson and Delilah 16:4-21

Samson's triumph in death 16:22-31


A. The idolatry of Micah and the Danites chs. 1718

1. The idolatry of Micah ch. 17

Micah's unlawful worship 17:1-6

Micah's Levite 17:7-13

2. The apostasy of the Danites ch. 18

The messengers from Dan 18:1-6

The report of the spies 18:7-10

The theft of Micah's images and his Levite priest 18:11-20

Micah's attempt to recover his losses 18:21-26

The establishment of idolatry at Dan 18:27-31

B. The Immorality of Gibeah and the Benjamites chs. 1921

1. The atrocity in Gibeah ch. 19

The background of the incident 19:1-15

The hospitality of the stranger 19:16-21

The immorality of the Gibeahites 19:22-26

The Levite's reaction to the atrocity 19:27-30

2. The civil war in Israel ch. 20

Preparations to besiege Gibeah 20:1-11

Attempt at a peaceful settlement 20:12-19

The Israelites' initial defeats 20:20-28

The Israelites' final victory 20:29-48

3. The preservation of Benjamin ch. 21

The plight of the Benjamites 21:1-4

Israel's first, insufficient solution: a previous oath 21:5-15

Israel's second, sufficient solution: a technical loophole 21:16-24

The concluding key 21:25