My fourth paper of 2011-2012 (Haven’t gotten my third paper back yet) … Grade received: A-
Dr. Marion Taylor
1 November 2011
Inductive Study on the Book of Judges
Part 1: Table of Contents
|Judges 1:1 to 3:6||Opening: Introducing the Cycle of Israel’s Apostasy|
|Judges 3:7 to 3:11||The First Cycle: Othniel|
|Judges 3:12 to 3:31||The Second Cycle: Ehud and Shamgar|
|Judges 4:1 to 5:31||The Third Cycle: Deborah and Barak|
|Judges 6:1 to 10:5||The Fourth Cycle: Gideon (and Abimelech)|
|Judges 10:6 to 12:15||The Fifth Cycle: Jephthah|
|Judges 13:1 to 16:31||The Sixth Cycle: Samson, and the Turning Point|
|Judges 17:1 to 21:25||Ending: Israel’s Apostasy is Complete|
Part 2: Analysis of the Book’s Structure
The book of Judges can be neatly divided into three major section, an opening section which contains two introductions to the book, a middle section containing six degrading cycles of apostasy, and an ending which contains stories that illustrate Israel’s apostasy. This structure can be seen in the clever use of two phrases “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” and “Everyone did what was right in his own eyes”. These two phrases mark are introduced at turning points in first two sections of the story, and then go on to serve as a dividing points for the proceeding section.
The opening section can be further divided to two parts: Judges 1:1 to 2:4, and Judges 2:5 to 3:6. Both of these parts begin with the death of Joshua and both serve as introductions to the cycle of apostasy that will follow in the middle section. The first part seems to be a point-by-point presentation of the events following the death of Joshua. It shows the Israelites at first succeeding in conquering the land, but slowly falling into sin and compromise and ultimately failing in the conquest. The second part serves as a commentary of the first, introducing the key phrase which will dominate the middle section: “And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the Lord” (2:11). The basic plot structure of the book is further introduced as the author explains that the Lord both gives Israel over to plunderers, but also raises up judges, or saviours, to deliver them from oppression.