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Characters / Book of Judges

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The Judges
  • Unlikely Hero: A interesting characteristic common among the titular judges is how they go against the norm of expected hero tropes.


King Eglon of Moab

"And I rose a mother in Israel".
  • Action Girl: She got her job as judge/ruler by acting when the men would not.
  • Animal Theme Naming: Her name means bee.
  • Brains and Brawn: Deborah is the brains to Barak's Brawn; Without her at his side guiding him every step of the way, he wouldn't have gone to war.
  • Iron Lady: She was nearly unstoppable in battle
  • Lady of War: Again, how she got her job.
  • The Smurfette Principle: Certainly not intentional, but she IS the only female Judge.
  • Team Mom: See the quote. She's the team mom for the entire Jewish nation.
  • Token Girl: Deborah is the only female judge; she took the job when no men were willing or able.
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  • Warrior Poet: Her and Barak celebrate the victory over Sisera and his army by breaking into song.

"Come and I shall show you the man you are looking for"

"If you will go with me, I also shall certainly go; but if you will not go with me, I shall not go."

"You say that you have decided to use me to rescue Israel. Well, I am putting some wool on the ground where we thresh the wheat..."
  • Offered the Crown: After the big battle he won with only 300 men.
  • Really Gets Around: This trope almost has to be accurate if you have 71 sons. And that's not counting any daughters.
  • A Real Man Is a Killer: Is goaded by Zebah and Zalmunnah into him putting them to death himself when his son Jether refuses to do the honors since he was still a youth, with the two saying, "As the man is, so is his strength."
  • Refusal of the Call: Initially was skeptical and wanted God to prove He is who He says he is by "putting out a fleece".
  • Shaming the Mob: Gideon's father saved him when he destroyed an altar to Baal.
  • Think Nothing of It: Refuses to be king.


  • Anti-Hero
  • Break Them by Talking: While he is better known for his rash vow to God, he's also notably the only Judge who tries to talk down his enemies first. He contests their claims that Israel has stolen their land using legal justifications and appeals to their sense of religion to be happy with what their god has given them. It fails, but he remains the only Judge who even attempted diplomacy.
  • Didn't Think This Through: He made a spur-of-the-moment oath to God that he'd sacrifice the first thing that exited his house if the Lord gave him a victory. He won, and the first thing that stepped out was his daughter.
  • Hot-Blooded
  • Human Sacrifice: Literalist interpretations of the scripture contend that this is what he did to his daughter.
    • Taking the Veil: The other prevailing interpreation is that the daughter was sent away to live as a virginal servant of God.
  • Ragtag Bunch of Misfits: Led a band of outlaws.
  • Son of a Whore: He was kicked out of town for it.
  • The Unfavorite: Being the son of a prostitute, his step-mother didn't like him.

"From this day I shall be blameless in what I do against the Philistines: For I will do you evils.


The other Judges (Othniel, Shamgar, Tola, Jair, Ibzan, Elon and Abdon)
  • The Cavalry: Jair and Abdon had sons and grandsons who rode donkeys, making them excellent cavalry in the hill country
  • Chosen One: God picked them personally.
  • Improbable Weapon User: Shamgar's weapon was an ox goad. Or, basically, a sharpened stick designed to poke livestock and get them moving. Given that he killed 600 men with it, he must have been absurdly strong in his own right.
  • Massive Numbered Siblings: Not perhaps to Gideon levels, but Ibzan is said to have had thirty sons and thirty daughters. It's also mentioned he found wives for each of his thirty sons, so his number of eventual grandchildren may have been very large indeed.


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