Book of Ezra
The Book of Ezra is a book of the Hebrew Bible. The two became separated with the first printed rabbinic bibles of the early 16th century, following late medieval Latin Christian tradition, its subject is the Return to Zion following the close of the Babylonian captivity, it is divided into two parts, the first telling the story of the first return of exiles in the first year of Cyrus the Great and the completion and dedication of the new Temple in Jerusalem in the sixth year of Darius I, the second telling of the subsequent mission of Ezra to Jerusalem and his struggle to purify the Jews from marriage with non-Jews. Together with the Book of Nehemiah, it represents the final chapter in the historical narrative of the Hebrew Bible. Ezra is written to fit a schematic pattern in which the God of Israel inspires a king of Persia to commission a leader from the Jewish community to carry out a mission; the theological program of the book explains the many problems. It appeared in its earliest version around 399 BC, continued to be revised and edited for several centuries before being accepted as scriptural in the early Christian era.
The Book of Ezra consists of ten chapters: chapters 1–6, covering the period from the Cyrus the Great to the dedication of the Second Temple, are told in the third person. The book contains several documents presented as historical inclusions, written in Aramaic while the surrounding text is in Hebrew Chapters 1–6 1. Decree of Cyrus, first version: Cyrus, inspired by God, returns the Temple vessels to Sheshbazzar, "prince of Judah", directs the Israelites to return to Jerusalem with him and rebuild the Temple. 2. 42,360 exiles, with men servants, women servants and "singing men and women", return from Babylon to Jerusalem and Judah under the leadership of Zerubbabel and Jeshua the High Priest. 3. Jeshua the High Priest and Zerubbabel celebrate the Feast of Tabernacles. In the second year the foundations of the Temple are laid and the dedication takes place with great rejoicing. 4. Letter of the Samaritans to Artaxerxes, reply of Artaxerxes: The "enemies of Judah and Benjamin" offer to help with the rebuilding, but are rebuffed.
The officials of Samaria write to king Artaxerxes warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt, the king orders the work to stop. "Thus the work on the house of God in Jerusalem came to a standstill until the second year of the reign of Darius king of Persia." 5. Tattenai's letter to Darius: Through the exhortations of the prophets Haggai and Zechariah and Joshua recommence the building of the Temple. Tattenai, satrap over both Judah and Samaria, writes to Darius warning him that Jerusalem is being rebuilt and advising that the archives be searched to discover the decree of Cyrus. 6. Decree of Cyrus, second version, decree of Darius: Darius finds the decree, directs Tattenai not to disturb the Jews in their work, exempts them from tribute and supplies everything necessary for the offerings; the Temple is finished in the month of Adar in the sixth year of Darius, the Israelites assemble to celebrate its completion. Chapters 7–107. Letter of Artaxerxes to Ezra: King Artaxerxes is moved by God to commission Ezra "to inquire about Judah and Jerusalem with regard to the Law of your God" and to "appoint magistrates and judges to administer justice to all the people of Trans-Euphrates—all who know the laws of your God."
Artaxerxes directs all Persian officials to aid him. 8. Ezra gathers a large body of returnees and much gold and silver and precious vessels for the Temple and camps by a canal outside Babylon. There he discovers he has no Levites, so sends messengers to gather some; the exiles return to Jerusalem, where they distribute the gold and silver and offer sacrifices to God. 9. Ezra is informed that some of the Jews in Jerusalem have married non-Jewish women. Ezra is appalled at this proof of sin, prays to God: "O God of Israel, you are righteous! We are left this day as a remnant. Here we are before you in our guilt, though because of it not one of us can stand in your presence." 10. Despite the opposition of some of their number, the Israelites assemble and send away their foreign wives and children. In the early 6th century BC, the Kingdom of Judah rebelled against the Neo-Babylonian Empire and was destroyed; as a result, the royal court, the priests, the prophets and scribes were taken into captivity in the city of Babylon.
There a profound intellectual revolution took place, the exiles blaming their fate on disobedience to their God and looking forward to a future when he would allow a purified people to return to Jerusalem and rebuild the Temple in Jerusalem. The same period saw the rapid rise of Persia an unimportant kingdom in present-day southern Iran, to a position of great power, in 539 BC Cyrus II, the Persian ruler, conquered Babylon, it is difficult to describe the parties and politics of Judea in this period because of the lack of historical sources, but there seem to have been three important groups involved: the returnees from the exile who claimed the reconstruction with the support
Samuel is a figure who, in the narratives of the Hebrew Bible, plays a key role in the transition from the period of the biblical judges to the institution of a kingdom under Saul, again in the transition from Saul to David. He is venerated as a prophet by Jews and Muslims. In addition to his role in the Hebrew Scriptures, Samuel is mentioned in the New Testament, in rabbinical literature, in the second chapter of the Qur'an, although here not by name, he is treated in the fifth through seventh books of Josephus's Antiquities of the Jews, written in the first century CE. He is called Samuel the Seer in 1 Chronicles. Samuel's mother was Hannah and his father was Elkanah. Elkanah lived at Ramathaim in the district of Zuph, his genealogy is found in a pedigree of the Kohathites and in that of Heman the Ezrahite his grandson. According to the genealogical tables in Chronicles, Elkanah was a Levite - a fact not mentioned in the books of Samuel; the fact that Elkanah, a Levite, was denominated an Ephraimite is analogous to the designation of a Levite belonging to Judah.
According to 1 Samuel 1:1-28, Elkanah had two wives and Hannah. Peninnah had children. Nonetheless, Elkanah favored Hannah. Jealous, Penninah reproached Hannah for her lack of children; the relationship of Penninah and Hannah recalls that between Sarah. Elkanah was a devout man and would periodically take his family on pilgrimage to the holy site of Shiloh; the motif of Elkanah and Hannah as devout, childless parents will reoccur with Zachariah and Elizabeth and the birth of John the Baptist, with Joachim and Saint Anne and the birth of Mary, mother of Jesus. On one occasion Hannah prayed for a child. In tears, she vowed that were she granted a child, she would dedicate him to God as a Nazirite. Eli, sitting at the foot of the doorpost in the sanctuary at Shiloh, saw her mumbling to herself and thought she was drunk, but was soon assured of her motivation and sobriety. Eli was the priest of Shiloh, one of the last Israelite Judges before the rule of kings in ancient Israel, he had assumed the leadership after Samson's death.
Eli blessed her and she returned home. Subsequently Hannah gave birth to Samuel. Hannah's exultant hymn of thanksgiving resembles in several points Mary's Magnificat. After the child was weaned, she left him in Eli's care, from time to time she would come to visit her son. According to 1 Samuel 1:20, Hannah named Samuel to commemorate her prayer to God for a child. "... called his name Samuel, Because I have asked him of the Lord". The Hebrew root rendered as "asked" in the KJV is "sha’al", a word mentioned seven times in 1 Samuel 1. Once it is mentioned in the form "sha’ul", Saul’s name in Hebrew. According to the Holman Bible Dictionary, Samuel was a "ersonal name in the Ancient Near East meaning,'Sumu is God' but understood in Israel as'The name is God,"God is exalted,' or'son of God.'" Samuel worked under Eli in the service of the shrine at Shiloh. One night, Samuel heard a voice calling his name. According to the first-century Jewish historian Josephus, Samuel was about 11 years old. Samuel assumed it was coming from Eli and went to Eli to ask what he wanted.
Eli, sent Samuel back to sleep. After this happened three times, Eli realised that the voice was the Lord's, instructed Samuel on how to answer: If He calls you you must say, "Speak, for Your servant hears". Once Samuel responded, the Lord told him that the wickedness of the sons of Eli had resulted in their dynasty being condemned to destruction. In the morning, Samuel was hesitant about reporting the message to Eli, but Eli asked him to recount to him what he had been told by the Lord. Upon receiving the communication, Eli said that the Lord should do what seems right unto him; this event established that Samuel was now "established as a prophet of the Lord" and "all Israel from Dan to Beersheba" became aware of his prophetic calling. Anglican theologian Donald Spence Jones comments that "the minds of all the people were thus prepared when the right moment came to acknowledge Samuel as a God-sent chieftain" During Samuel's youth at Shiloh, the Philistines inflicted a decisive defeat against the Israelites at Eben-Ezer, placed the land under Philistine control, took the sanctuary's Ark for themselves.
Upon hearing the news of the capture of the Ark of the Covenant, the death of his sons, Eli collapsed and died. When the Philistines had been in possession of the Ark for seven months and had been visited with calamities and misfortunes, they decided to return the Ark to the Israelites. According to Bruce C. Birch, Samuel was a key figure in keeping the Israelites' religious heritage and identity alive during Israel's defeat and occupation by the Philistines. "t may have been possible and necessary for Samuel to exercise authority in roles that would not converge in a single individual."After 20 years of oppression, who had gained national prominence as a prophet, summoned the people to the hill of Mizpah, led them against the Philistines. The Philistines, having marched to Mizpah to attack the newly amassed Israelite army, were soundly defeated and fled in terror; the retreating Philistines were slaughtered by the Israelites. The text states that Samuel erected a large stone at the battle site as a memorial, there ensued a long period of peace thereafter.
Samuel appointed his two sons as his successors. The Israelites rejected them
Kingdom of Judah
The Kingdom of Judah was an Iron Age kingdom of the Southern Levant. The Hebrew Bible depicts it as the successor to the United Monarchy, a term denoting the Kingdom of Israel under biblical kings Saul and Solomon and covering the territory of two historical kingdoms and Israel. For the parallel history of the southern Kingdom of Judah and its northern neighbour, the Kingdom of Israel, see History of ancient Israel and Judah. In the 10th and early 9th centuries BCE, the territory of Judah appears to have been sparsely populated, limited to small rural settlements, most of them unfortified. Jerusalem, the kingdom's capital did not emerge as a significant administrative center until the end of the 8th century. In the 7th century its population increased prospering under Assyrian vassalage, but in 605 the Assyrian Empire was defeated, the ensuing competition between the Twenty-sixth Dynasty of Egypt and the Neo-Babylonian Empire for control of the Eastern Mediterranean led to the destruction of the kingdom in a series of campaigns between 597 and 582, the deportation of the elite of the community, the incorporation of Judah into a province of the Neo-Babylonian Empire.
The legendary history of David and Solomon in the 10th century BCE tells little about the origins of Judah. There is no archaeological evidence of an extensive, powerful Kingdom of Judah before the late 8th century BCE. Prior to this the kingdom was no more than a small tribal entity, limited to Jerusalem and its immediate surroundings; the status of Jerusalem in the 10th century BCE is a major subject of debate. The oldest part of Jerusalem and its original urban core is the City of David, which does not show evidence of significant Israelite residential activity until the 9th century. However, unique administrative structures such as the Stepped Stone Structure and the Large Stone Structure, which formed one structure, contain material culture dated to Iron I. On account of the apparent lack of settlement activity in the 10th century BCE, Israel Finkelstein argues that Jerusalem in that century was a small country village in the Judean hills, not a national capital, Ussishkin argues that the city was uninhabited.
Amihai Mazar contends that if the Iron I/Iron IIa dating of administrative structures in the City of David are correct, "Jerusalem was a rather small town with a mighty citadel, which could have been a center of a substantial regional polity."A collection of military orders found in the ruins of a military fortress in the Negev dating to the period of the Kingdom of Judah indicates widespread literacy, given that based on the inscriptions, the ability to read and write extended throughout the chain of command, from commanders to petty officers. According to Professor Eliezer Piasetsky, who participated in analyzing the texts, "Literacy existed at all levels of the administrative and priestly systems of Judah. Reading and writing were not limited to a tiny elite." This indicates the presence of a substantial educational infrastructure in Judah at the time. According to the Hebrew Bible, the kingdom of Judah resulted from the break-up of the United Kingdom of Israel after the northern tribes refused to accept Rehoboam, the son of Solomon, as their king.
At first, only the tribe of Judah remained loyal to the house of David, but soon after the tribe of Benjamin joined Judah. The two kingdoms, Judah in the south and Israel in the north, coexisted uneasily after the split until the destruction of the Kingdom of Israel by Assyria in c. 722/721. The major theme of the Hebrew Bible's narrative is the loyalty of Judah, its kings, to Yahweh, which it states is the God of Israel. Accordingly, all the kings of Israel and all the kings of Judah were "bad", which in terms of Biblical narrative means that they failed to enforce monotheism. Of the "good" kings, Hezekiah is noted for his efforts at stamping out idolatry, but his successors, Manasseh of Judah and Amon, revived idolatry, drawing down on the kingdom the anger of Yahweh. King Josiah returned to the worship of Yahweh alone, but his efforts were too late and Israel's unfaithfulness caused God to permit the kingdom's destruction by the Neo-Babylonian Empire in the Siege of Jerusalem; however it is now well established among academic scholars that the Biblical narrative is not an accurate reflection of religious views in either Judah or Israel during this period.
For the first sixty years, the kings of Judah tried to re-establish their authority over the northern kingdom, there was perpetual war between them. Israel and Judah were in a state of war throughout Rehoboam's seventeen-year reign. Rehoboam built elaborate strongholds, along with fortified cities. In the fifth year of Rehoboam's reign, pharaoh of Egypt, brought a huge army and took many cities. In the sack of Jerusalem, Rehoboam gave them all of the treasures out of the temple as a tribute and Judah became a vassal state of Egypt. Rehoboam's son and successor, Abijah of Judah, continued his father's efforts to bring Israel under his control, he fought the Battle o
Seder Olam Rabbah
Seder Olam Rabbah is a 2nd-century CE Hebrew language chronology detailing the dates of biblical events from the Creation to Alexander the Great's conquest of Persia. It adds no stories beyond what is in the biblical text, addresses such questions as the age of Isaac at his binding and the number of years that Joshua led the Israelites. Tradition considers it to have been written about 160 CE by Yose ben Halafta, but it was also supplemented and edited at a period. In the Babylonian Talmud this chronicle is several times referred to as "Seder Olam", it is quoted as such by the more ancient Biblical commentators, including Rashi, but starting in the 12th century, it began to be designated as "Seder Olam Rabbah" to distinguish it from a smaller chronicle, Seder Olam Zuṭa. In its present form, Seder Olam Rabbah consists of 30 chapters, each 10 chapters forming a section or "gate." The work is a chronological record, extending from Adam to the revolt of Bar Kokba in the reign of Hadrian, the Persian period being compressed into 52 years.
The chronicle is complete only up to the time of Alexander the Great. It has been concluded, that Seder Olam was more extensive and consisted of two parts, the second of which, dealing with the post-Alexandrian period, has been lost, with the exception of a small fragment, added by the copyists to the first part. Many passages quoted in the Talmud are missing in the edition of Seder Olam; the author designed the work for calendrical purposes, to determine the era of the creation. Adhering to the Pharisaic interpretations of Bible texts, he endeavored not only to elucidate many passages, but to determine certain dates which are not indicated in the Bible, but which may be inferred by calculation. In many cases, however, he gave the dates according to tradition, inserted, the sayings and halakhot of preceding rabbis and of his contemporaries. In discussing Biblical chronology he followed three principles: To assume that the intention of the Biblical author was, wherever possible, to give exact dates To assign to each of a series of events the shortest possible duration of time, where necessary, in order to secure agreement with the Biblical text To adopt the lesser of two possible numbers.
The application of these principles would have had the effect of compressing the Biblical chronology. The following examples will illustrate the manner. According to Genesis, the confusion of languages took place in the days of Peleg. Seder Olam attempts to identify when in Peleg's life this occurred, it concludes. The Bible must therefore mean that the confusion of languages took place in the last year of Peleg's life, which occurred 340 years after the Flood, or 1996 years after the creation of the world. After dealing in the first 10 chapters with the chronology of the period from the creation of the world to the death of Moses, the writer proceeds to determine the dates of the events which occurred after the Israelites, led by Joshua, entered the Holy Land. Here Biblical chronology presents many difficulties, dates not being given, in many cases Seder Olam was used by Biblical commentators as a basis of exegesis, it is known that from the entry of the Israelites into the Holy Land to the time of Jephthah a period of 300 years elapsed.
By computing the life periods of the Judges and assuming that Jephthah sent his message in the second year of his rule, Seder Olam concludes that the reign of Joshua lasted 28 years. The work places two events in the Book of Judges. I Kings states that Solomon began to build the Temple in Jerusalem in the fourth year of his reign, 480 years after the Exodus, that is, 440 years after the Israelites entered the Holy Land, thus 140 years passed from the second year of Jephthah to the building of the Temple. Seder Olam concludes that the forty years during which the Israelites were harassed by the Philistines did not begin after the death of Abdon, as it would seem, but after that of Jephthah, terminated with the death of Samson. There was a period of 83 years from the second year of Jephthah to the death of Eli, who ruled 40 years, the last year of Samson being the first of Eli's judgeship. At that time the Tabernacle was removed from Shiloh, whither it had been transferred from Gilgal, where it had been for 14 years under Joshua.
It is to be concluded that Samuel judged Israel for 11 years, which with the two years of Saul, the 40 of David's reign, the four of Solomon's reign, make 57 years, during which the Tabernacle was first at Nob at Gibeon. The chronology of the Kings was more difficult, as there were differences to reconcile between the book of Kings and book of Chronicles. Here the author applied the principle of "fragments of years
Wife of Manoah
The wife of Manoah is an unnamed figure the Book of Judges. She is introduced in Judges 13:2 as barren woman; the angel of the Lord appears to her and tells her she will have a son. She gives birth to Samson. J. Cheryl Exum argues that the wife of Manoah is more perceptive than her husband, in that she "senses at once something otherworldly" about the man of God who visits her, "recognizes a divine purpose behind the revelation." Bruce Waltke regards her as cynical, noting that, unlike Hannah, she neither prays for a child nor praises God afterwards. Ancient Rabbinic tradition identifies this woman as the Hazelelponi mentioned in 1 Chronicles 4:3, though the Talmud identifies Samson's mother as a woman named "Tzelelponit". List of names for the biblical nameless
Book of Deuteronomy
The Book of Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Christian Old Testament and of the Jewish Torah, where it is called "Devarim". Chapters 1–30 of the book consist of three sermons or speeches delivered to the Israelites by Moses on the plains of Moab, shortly before they enter the Promised Land; the first sermon recounts the forty years of wilderness wanderings which had led to that moment, ends with an exhortation to observe the law referred to as the Law of Moses. The final four chapters contain the Song of Moses, the Blessing of Moses, narratives recounting the passing of the mantle of leadership from Moses to Joshua and the death of Moses on Mount Nebo. Presented as the words of Moses delivered before the conquest of Canaan, a broad consensus of modern scholars see its origin in traditions from Israel brought south to the Kingdom of Judah in the wake of the Assyrian conquest of Aram and adapted to a program of nationalist reform in the time of Josiah, with the final form of the modern book emerging in the milieu of the return from the Babylonian captivity during the late 6th century BC.
Many scholars see the book as reflecting the economic needs and social status of the Levite caste, who are believed to have provided its authors. One of its most significant verses is Deuteronomy 6:4, the Shema Yisrael, which has become the definitive statement of Jewish identity: "Hear, O Israel: the LORD our God, the LORD is one." Verses 6:4–5 were quoted by Jesus in Mark 12:28–34 as part of the Great Commandment. Patrick D. Miller in his commentary on Deuteronomy suggests that different views of the structure of the book will lead to different views on what it is about; the structure is described as a series of three speeches or sermons followed by a number of short appendices – Miller refers to this as the "literary" structure. Chapters 1–4: The journey through the wilderness from Horeb to Kadesh and to Moab is recalled. Chapters 4–11: After a second introduction at 4:44–49 the events at Mount Horeb are recalled, with the giving of the Ten Commandments. Heads of families are urged to instruct those under their care in the law, warnings are made against serving gods other than Yahweh, the land promised to Israel is praised, the people are urged to obedience.
Chapters 12–26, the Deuteronomic code: Laws governing Israel's worship, the appointment and regulation of community and religious leaders, social regulation, confession of identity and loyalty. Chapters 27–28: Blessings and curses for those who keep and break the law. Chapters 29–30: Concluding discourse on the covenant in the land of Moab, including all the laws in the Deuteronomic code after those given at Horeb. Chapters 31–34: Joshua is installed as Moses's successor, Moses delivers the law to the Levites, ascends Mount Nebo or Pisgah, where he dies and is buried by God; the narrative of these events is interrupted by two poems, the Song of Moses and the Blessing of Moses. The final verses, Deuteronomy 34:10–12, "never again did there arise in Israel a prophet like Moses," make a claim for the authoritative Deuteronomistic view of theology and its insistence that the worship of the Hebrew God as the sole deity of Israel was the only permissible religion, having been sealed by the greatest of prophets.
Deuteronomy 12–26, the Deuteronomic Code, is the oldest part of the book and the core around which the rest developed. It is a series of mitzvot to the Israelites regarding how they ought to conduct themselves in Canaan, the land promised by Yahweh, God of Israel; the following list organizes most of the laws into thematic groups: All sacrifices are to be brought and vows are to be made at a central sanctuary. The worship of Canaanite gods is forbidden; the order is given to destroy their places of worship and to commit genocide against Canaanites and others with "detestable" religious beliefs. Native mourning practices such as deliberate disfigurement are forbidden; the procedure for tithing produce or donating its equivalent is given. A catalogue of which animals are permitted and which forbidden for consumption is given; the consumption of animals which are found dead and have not been slaughtered is prohibited. Sacrificed animals must be without blemish. First-born male livestock must be sacrificed.
The Pilgrimage Festivals of Passover and Sukkot are instituted. The worship at Asherah groves and setting up of ritual pillars are forbidden. Prohibition of mixing kinds (22
Book of Judges
The Book of Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew Bible and the Christian Old Testament. In the narrative of the Hebrew Bible, it covers the time between the conquest described in the Book of Joshua and the establishment of a kingdom in the Books of Samuel, during which Biblical judges served as temporary leaders; the stories follow a consistent pattern: the people are unfaithful to Yahweh and he therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies. Scholars consider many of the stories in Judges to be the oldest in the Deuteronomistic history, with their major redaction dated to the 8th century BCE and with materials such as the Song of Deborah dating from much earlier. Judges can be divided into three major sections: a double prologue, a main body, a double epilogue; the book opens with the Israelites in the land that God has promised to them, but worshiping "foreign gods" instead of Yahweh, the God of Israel, with the Canaanites still present everywhere. Chapters 1:1–2:5 are thus a confession of failure, while chapters 2:6–3:6 are a major summary and reflection from the Deuteronomists.
The opening thus sets out the pattern which the stories in the main text will follow: Israel "does evil in the eyes of Yahweh", the people are given into the hands of their enemies and cry out to Yahweh, Yahweh raises up a leader, the "spirit of Yahweh" comes upon the leader, the leader manages to defeat the enemy, peace is regained. Once peace is regained, Israel does right and receives Yahweh's blessings for a time, but relapses into doing evil and repeats the pattern set forth above. Judges opens with a reference to Joshua's death; the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges suggests that "the death of Joshua may be regarded as marking the division between the period of conquest and the period of occupation", the latter being the focus of the Book of Judges. The Israelites meet, most at the sanctuary at Gilgal or at Shechem and ask the Lord who should be first to secure the land they are to occupy; the main text gives accounts of six major judges and their struggles against the oppressive kings of surrounding nations, as well as the story of Abimelech, an Israelite leader who oppresses his own people.
The cyclical pattern set out in the prologue is apparent at the beginning, but as the stories progress it begins to disintegrate, mirroring the disintegration of the world of the Israelites. Although some scholars consider the stories not to be presented in chronological order, the judges in the order in which they appear in the text are: Othniel vs. Chushan-Rishathaim, King of Aram. Ehud vs. Eglon of Moab Deborah the prophetess, accompanied by Barak the army leader, vs. Jabin of Hazor and Sisera, his captain Gideon vs. Midian and the "children of the East" Abimelech vs. all the Israelites who oppose him Jephthah vs. the Ammonites Samson vs. the PhilistinesThere are brief glosses on six minor judges: Shamgar and Jair, Ibzan and Abdon. Some scholars have inferred that the minor judges were actual adjudicators, whereas the major judges were leaders and did not make legal judgements; the only major judge described as making legal judgments is Deborah. By the end of Judges, the Israelites are in a worse condition than they were at the beginning, with Yahweh's treasures used to make idolatrous images, the Levites corrupted, the tribe of Dan conquering a remote village instead of the Canaanite cities, the tribes of Israel making war on the tribe of Benjamin, their own kinsmen.
The book concludes with two appendices, stories which do not feature a specific judge: Micah's Idol, how the tribe of Dan conquers its territory in the north Battle of Gibeah, a war between Benjamin and the other tribes. Despite their appearance at the end of the book, certain characters and idioms present in the epilogue show that the events therein depict a point in time early in the period of the judges. Judges contains a chronology of its events, it is overtly schematic and, according to biblical scholar Jeremy Hughes, shows signs of having been introduced at a period. It is unclear; the basic source for Judges was a collection of loosely connected stories about tribal heroes who saved the people in battle. This original "book of saviours" made up of the stories of Ehud and parts of Gideon, had been enlarged and transformed into "wars of Yahweh" before being given a comprehensive Deuteronomistic revision. In the 20th century, the first part of the prologue and the two parts of the epilogue were seen as miscellaneous collections of fragments tacked onto the main text, the second part of the prologue as an introduction composed expressly for the book.
More this view has been challenged, there is an increasing willingness to see Judges as the work of a single individual, working by sel