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u d g e s:
The book of Judges is the history of Israel
during the government of the Judges, who were occasional deliverers, raised
up by God to rescue Israel from their oppressors, to reform their spiritual
state, and to administer justice to the people.
The state of
God's people does not appear in this book as very prosperous, nor is their
character so religious as might have been expected.
There were many
believers among them, and the service of the ancient tabernacle was attended
is the name given to those rulers who presided over the affairs of the
Israelites during the interval between the death of Joshua and the accession
2:18), a period of general anarchy
and confusion. Judges is the history of Israel's
passing into the land of Canaan, conquering and dividing it, under the
command of Joshua, and their history until his death. The power and truth
of God in fulfilling his promises to Israel, and in executing his justly
threatened vengeance on the Canaanites are displayed.
Their authority was limited by the
law alone and in doubtful cases they were directed to consult the divine
King through the priest by Urim
and Thummim. Their authority extended only over those tribes by whom
they had been elected or acknowledged. There was no income attached to
their office, and they bore no external marks of dignity.
The only cases
of direct divine appointment are those of Gideon (see a Bible Dictionary)
and Samson, and the latter stood in
the peculiar position of having been from before his birth ordained 'to
begin to deliver Israel.'
was called to deliver Israel, but was already a judge. Samuel was called
by the Lord to be a prophet
but not a judge, which ensued from the high gifts the people recognized
as dwelling in him; and as to Eli, the office of judge seems to have devolved
naturally or rather ex officio (by virtue of position) upon him." Of five
of the judges, Tola (Judges 10:1), Jair (3), Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon (Judges
12:8-15), we have no record at all beyond the bare fact that they were
judges. Sacred history is not the history of individuals but of the kingdom
of God in its onward progress.
u t h: means 'a friend'. Written 1312
Widow to Mahlon. On the death of Elimelech her father, Naomi, Ruth's
mother, came with Ruth, her daughter-in-law,
who refused to leave her, to Bethlehem, the old home from which Elimelech
had migrated. There she had a rich relative, Boaz, to whom Ruth was eventually
She became the mother of Obed, the
grandfather of David. Thus Ruth, a Gentile, is among the maternal progenitors
of our Lord -Matthew 1:5.
Ruth, though not of the chosen race,
was, like the Canaanitess Tamar (Genesis 38:29; Matthew 1:3) and the Canaanitess
Rahab (Matthew 1:5), privileged to become the ancestress of David, and
so of 'great David's greater Son' -Ruth 4:18-22.
This book contains
excellent examples of faith, piety, patience, humility, industry, and loving
kindness, in the common events of life. Also we see the special care which
God takes of our smallest concerns, encouraging us to full trust therein.
and his sons die in the land of Moab -Ruth chapters 1-5.
home -Ruth chapters 6-14.
behind, but Ruth goes with Naomi -Ruth chapters 15-18.
to Bethlehem -Ruth chapters 19-22.
S a m u e l: means 'heard of God'. Written 1055 and 1018 B.C.E.
respectively. The peculiar circumstances connected with his birth are recorded
in 1Samuel 1:20.
Hannah, one of the two wives of Elkanah,
who came up to Shiloh to worship before the
Lord, earnestly prayed to God that she might become the mother of a son.
Her prayer was graciously granted; and after the child was weaned she brought
him to Shiloh and consecrated
him to the Lord as a perpetual Nazarite -1Samuel 1:23-2:11.
Here his bodily wants and training
were attended to by the women who served in the tabernacle, while Eli cared
for his religious culture. Thus, probably, twelve years of his life passed
away. "The child Samuel grew on, and was in favour both with the Lord,
and also with men" -1Samuel 2:26; compare Luke 2:52.
It was a time of great and growing
degeneracy in Israel -Judges 21:19-21; 1Samuel 2:12-17,22.
The Philistines, who of late had greatly
increased in number and in power, were practically masters of the country,
and kept the people in subjection -1Samuel 10:5; 13:3.
In the book
of 1Samuel we have an account of Eli and the wickedness of his sons; also
of Samuel, his character and actions. Then of the advancement of Saul to
be the king of Israel, and his ill behaviour, until his death made way
for David's succession to the throne, who was an eminent type of Christ.
David's patience, modesty, constancy, persecution by open enemies and feigned
friends, are a pattern and example to the church, and to every member of
it. Many things in this book encourage the faith, hope, and patience of
the suffering believer. It contains also many useful cautions and awful
and his family -Samuel chapters 1-8.
presents him to the Lord -Samuel chapters 19-28.
In the book
of 2Samuel is the history of the reign of king David.
It relates his victories, the growth of the prosperity of Israel, and his
reformation of the state of religion. With these events are recorded the
grievous sins he committed, and the family as well as public troubles with
which he was punished. We here meet with many things worthy of imitation,
and many that are written for our warning. The history of king David is
given in Scripture with much faithfulness, and from it he appears, to those
who fairly balance his many virtues and excellent qualities against his
faults, to have been a great and good man.
brought to David of the death of Saul -2Samuel chapters 1-10.
is put to death -2Samuel chapters 11-16.
for Saul and Jonathan -2Samuel