Judges 1-20*

I found this to be a very interesting proposal from 1982.

Gooding, D., & גודינג, ד. (1982). אופן חיבורו של ספר שופטים / THE COMPOSITION OF THE BOOK OF JUDGES. Eretz-Israel: Archaeological, Historical and Geographical Studies / ארץ-ישראל: מחקרים בידיעת הארץ ועתיקותיה, טז, 70*-79*. Retrieved from http://www.jstor.org/stable/23619563

A. Introduction 1:1:1-2:5

a. ‘the Israelites asked of the LORD, saying,  who shall go up for us first against the Canaanites to fight against them? And the LORD said, Judah shall go up’ –  1:1-2

b. the story of how Othniel got his wife – 1:11-15

c. the Benjaminites fail to drive out the Jebusites from Jebus – 1:21

d. Bochim: God’s covenant: Israel’s unlawful covenants with the Canaanities: Israel weeping before the angel of the LORD – 2:1-5

B. Introduction 2:2:6-3:6

degeneration of the generations after the death of Joshua –  2:6-19; God leaves certain nations ‘to prove Israel … whether they would obey the commandments … which he commanded … by Moses – 2:20-3:4.

C. Othniel 3:7-11

Set in contrast to the Israelites who took Gentiles’ daughters to be their wives – 3:6; wife had been incentive for capturing Kiriath-Sepher, and pressed him to ask of her father a field (1:11-15).

D: Ehud (plus Shamgar) 3:12-31

Announces ‘a message from the LORD to the king (3:19-20); with the Ephraimites takes the fords of Jordan and kills the enemy.

E. Deborah, Barak, Jael 4:1-5:31

A woman pierces the enemy commander’s skull with a tent peg and so ends the war.

F. Gideon

a. his stand against idolatry – 6:1-32

b. his fight against the enemy – 6:33-7:25

b’. his fight against his own nationals – 8:1-21

a’. his lapse into idolatry – 8:22-32

E’. Abimelelch (plus Tola, Jair) 8:33-10:5

A woman smashes the enemy commander’s skull with a mill-stone and so ends the war.

D’. Jephthah (plus Ibzan, Elon, Abdon) 10:6-12:15

Sends messengers to the king – 11:12-14; takes the fords of Jordan and kills his fellow nationals.

C’. Samson 13:1-16:31

takes Gentile wives; his wives press him to tell them his secrets and so prove his undoing.

B’. Epilogue 1. 17:1-18:31

a. mother dedicates silver the the LORD for her son to make an idol. The son makes one of his own sons a priest in his idolatrous shrine: Moses’ grandson and his sons become priests at Dan’s shrine.

A’. Epilogue 2. 19:1-20:29

a. “the Israelites … asked … of God … Who shall go up for us first to battle against the Benjaminites? And the LORD said, Judah …’ – 20:18

b. the story of how the remainder of Benjamin got their wives – 21:1-25

c. a Levite carefully avoiding the Jebusites in Jebus, suffers terrible outrage in Gibeah of Benjamin – 19:1-30

d. Bethel: the ark of the covenant of God: Israel weep and fast before the LORD – 20:26-29.


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