Biblical judges

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A Biblical judge (Hebrew: shôphatîm or shoftim שופטים) is "a ruler or a military leader, as well as someone who presided over legal hearings."Coogan, A Brief Introduction to the Old Testament, Glossary, pg. 426

Following the conquest of Canaan by Joshua till the formation of the first Kingdom of Israel (ca. 1150-1025 BCE), the Israelite Tribes formed a loose confederation. No central government existed in this confederation and in times of crisis, the people were led by ad hoc leaders known as judges.Kitchen, Kenneth A. (2003), On the Reliability of the Old Testament (Grand Rapids, Michigan. William B. Eerdmans Publishing Company)(ISBN 0-8028-4960-1)

Role of the Judges

In the Book of Judges, a cyclical pattern is given to show the need for the various judges: apostasy of the Israelite people, hardship brought on as punishment from Yahweh, crying out to the Lord, and rescue.Boling, Robert G., revised by Richard D. Nelson, Harper Collins Study Bible: The Book of JudgesLewittess Mendell, Jewish law: An Introduction, New Jersey, 1994 pp. 58-59, "Moses also laid foundation for another separation, which has since become indispensible for any democracy. He...
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