The seventh book of The Bible
The Jewish structure holds Judges to be the second book of the Nevi'im
(Prophets), the second part of the Tanakh. With Joshua, Samuel and Kings, they form the Nevi'im Reshonim
(First Prophets), in opposition to the Nevi'im Acharonim
(Later Prophets, called the "Minor Prophets" in some circles because there are a lot of them, none really stands out, and it's easy to get confused).
Years after the Israelites settled into Canaan, they are still suffering from foreign attacks and inter-tribal conflicts. Whenever Israel is in trouble, God calls a "Judge" to save them.Judges
is followed by the Book of Ruth
in the Christian Old Testament and by Books of Samuel
in the Jewish Tanakh.
This book contains the following tropes
- Adipose Rex: King Eglon is so fat, that after he is stabbed his body swallows up the entire sword.
- Anti-Hero - Ehud, Jepthah and Samson.
- Arc Words: "Israel had no king in those days. Everyone did as he pleased."
- Badass: The Judges
- Chosen One: The Judges
- Chronic Villainy: The Israelites lapse in their faith whenever God saves them. Not to mention that the phrase "The children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD" has been mentioned seven times.
- Cowardly Lion: Gideon.
- Also, Barak. When he insists on Deborah accompanying him to the battle even though he has already been promised a victory, Deborah tells him that she'll come, but for demanding this he won't be the one to kill Sisera; a civilian woman named Jael will be.
- Crapsack World: Isralites are attacked constantly. Things were so bad in Gideon's time that people had to live in caves.
- Cycle of Revenge: The Central Theme of Samson.
- Fat Bastard: Eglon.
- Fatal Flaw: Samson's drunkenness and tendency to fall for "bad" women.
- Jephthah's rashness led to the death of his daughter and a breakout of civil war that had previously been defused by Gideon.
- Foreshadowing: The Israelites did not destroy all the Canaanites. They became thorns in Israel's side.
- Hope Spot: The battle of Gibeah showed the Israelite tribes can still band together to oppose evil.
- Improbable Weapon User: Shamgar used an ox goad and Samson had his... donkey's jaw bone.
- Also, Yael, who killed the enemy king using a tent peg.
- No Ending: The book's last lines are the above Arc Words.
- One-Man Army: Several of the judges. Notably, Samson kills one thousand Philistines with a donkey's jawbone. Give a medal to those 400 hundred soldiers that thought they'd succeed where 600 of them had failed.
- Rape and Revenge: A Levite man gives his concubine to a bunch of horny townsmen to protect his own ass. They rape her to death, and he hacks up her body and distributes the pieces to his buddies to call them to war with the town of Gibeah.
- Sequel Hook: "Israel had no king in those days." Guess what the next book is about.
- The Smurfette Principle: Deborah is the only female judge.
- Too Dumb to Live: Most notably Samson, tells Delilah his weakness after she has already tried to betray him multiple times.
- Undignified Death: When King Eglon is stabbed by Ehud through his bowels, fecal matter spills out from the wound.
- King Sisera is lured to sleep by the wife of one of his allies then stabbed in the head with a tent peg.
- Abimelech was mortally wounded when a woman dropped a millstone on his head. He immediately told his armor bearer to finish the job, so that no one would know he had been killed by a woman. It didn't work.