Thematic Bible: Judge


Thematic Bible



And after him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. And he had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy donkey colts; and he judged Israel eight years. Then Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried at Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the hill country of the Amalekites.


And what shall I say further? For time would fail me to tell of Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, of David and Samuel and the prophets,



I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:




Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead.


Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.

But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead.


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. And he had thirty sons and thirty daughters whom he gave [to husbands] outside his tribe, and thirty daughters [daughters-in-law] whom he brought in from outside his tribe for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. Then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.


After him arose Jair the Gileadite, and he judged Israel twenty-two years. And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkey colts, and they had thirty towns called Havvoth-jair [towns of Jair] which to this day are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died and was buried in Kamon.





I charge [you] in the presence of God and of Christ Jesus, Who is to judge the living and the dead, and by (in the light of) His coming and His kingdom:




Because He has fixed a day when He will judge the world righteously (justly) by a Man Whom He has destined and appointed for that task, and He has made this credible and given conviction and assurance and evidence to everyone by raising Him from the dead.


Why do you criticize and pass judgment on your brother? Or you, why do you look down upon or despise your brother? For we shall all stand before the judgment seat of God.

But they will have to give an account to Him Who is ready to judge and pass sentence on the living and the dead.



I [also] saw the dead, great and small; they stood before the throne, and books were opened. Then another book was opened, which is [the Book] of Life. And the dead were judged (sentenced) by what they had done [ their whole way of feeling and acting, their aims and endeavors] in accordance with what was recorded in the books.

So shall her plagues (afflictions, calamities) come thick upon her in a single day, pestilence and anguish and sorrow and famine; and she shall be utterly consumed (burned up with fire), for mighty is the Lord God Who judges her.

Far be it from You to do such a thing -- "to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?

Men will say, Surely there is a reward for the [uncompromisingly] righteous; surely there is a God Who judges on the earth.

But God is the Judge! He puts down one and lifts up another.

Before the Lord, for He comes, for He comes to judge and govern the earth! He shall judge the world with righteousness and justice and the peoples with His faithfulness and truth.

I said in my heart, God will judge the righteous and the wicked, for there is a time [appointed] for every matter and purpose and for every work.


Then two women who had become mothers out of wedlock came and stood before the king. And one woman said, O my lord, I and this woman dwell in one house; and I was delivered of a child with her in the house. And the third day after I was delivered, this woman also was delivered. And we were together; no stranger was with us, just we two in the house. read more.
And this woman's child died in the night because she lay on him. And she arose at midnight and took my son from beside me while your handmaid slept and laid him in her bosom and laid her dead child in my bosom. And when I rose to nurse my child, behold, he was dead. But when I had considered him in the morning, behold, it was not the son I had borne. But the other woman said, No! But the living one is my son, and the dead one is your son! And this one said, No! But the dead son is your son, and the living is my son. Thus they spoke before the king. The king said, One says, This is my son that is alive and yours is the dead one. The other woman says, No! But your son is the dead one and mine is the living one. And the king said, Bring me a sword. And they brought a sword to the king. And the king said, Divide the living child in two and give half to the one and half to the other. Then the mother of the living child said to the king, for she yearned over her son, O my lord, give her the living baby, and by no means slay him. But the other said, Let him not be mine or yours, but divide him. Then the king said, Give her [who pleads for his life] the living baby, and by no means slay him. She is the child's mother. And all Israel heard of the judgment which the king had made, and they stood in awe of him, for they saw that the wisdom of God was in him to do justice.


Now Elisha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, Arise and go with your household and sojourn wherever you can, for the Lord has called for a famine, and moreover, it will come upon the land for seven years. So the woman arose and did as the man of God had said. She went with her household and sojourned in the land of the Philistines seven years. At the end of the seven years the woman returned from the land of the Philistines, and she went to appeal to the king for her house and land. read more.
The king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, Tell me all the great things Elisha has done. And as Gehazi was telling the king how [Elisha] had restored the dead to life, behold, the woman whose son he had restored to life appealed to the king for her house and land. And Gehazi said, My lord O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha brought back to life. When the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed to her a certain officer, saying, Restore all that was hers, and all the fruits of the field since the day that she left the land even until now.

And [he] rose up early and stood beside the gateway; and when any man who had a controversy came to the king for judgment, Absalom called to him, Of what city are you? And he would say, Your servant is of such and such a tribe of Israel.

Blessed be the Lord your God, Who delighted in you and set you on the throne of Israel! Because the Lord loved Israel forever, He made you king to execute justice and righteousness.

Give the king [knowledge of] Your [way of] judging, O God, and [the spirit of] Your righteousness to the king's son [to control all his actions]. Let him judge and govern Your people with righteousness, and Your poor and afflicted ones with judgment and justice. The mountains shall bring peace to the people, and the hills, through [the general establishment of] righteousness. read more.
May he judge and defend the poor of the people, deliver the children of the needy, and crush the oppressor,

Now Jesus stood before the governor [Pilate], and the governor asked Him, Are you the King of the Jews? Jesus said to him, You have stated [the fact]. But when the charges were made against Him by the chief priests and elders, He made no answer. Then Pilate said to Him, Do You not hear how many and how serious are the things they are testifying against You? read more.
But He made no reply to him, not even to a single accusation, so that the governor marveled greatly. Now at the Feast [of the Passover] the governor was in the habit of setting free for the people any one prisoner whom they chose. And at that time they had a notorious prisoner whose name was Barabbas. So when they had assembled for this purpose, Pilate said to them, Whom do you want me to set free for you, Barabbas, or Jesus Who is called Christ? For he knew that it was because of envy that they had handed Him over to him. Also, while he was seated on the judgment bench, his wife sent him a message, saying, Have nothing to do with that just and upright Man, for I have had a painful experience today in a dream because of Him. But the chief priests and the elders prevailed on the people to ask for Barabbas, and put Jesus to death. Again the governor said to them, Which of the two do you wish me to release for you? And they said, Barabbas! Pilate said to them, Then what shall I do with Jesus Who is called Christ? They all replied, Let Him be crucified! And he said, Why? What has He done that is evil? But they shouted all the louder, Let Him be crucified! So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this righteous Man's blood; see to it yourselves. And all the people answered, Let His blood be on us and on our children! So he set free for them Barabbas; and he [had] Jesus whipped, and delivered Him up to be crucified.

Having read the letter, he asked to what province [Paul] belonged. When he discovered that he was from Cilicia [an imperial province], He said, I will hear your case fully when your accusers also have come. And he ordered that an eye be kept on him in Herod's palace (the Praetorium).

If then I am a wrongdoer and a criminal and have committed anything for which I deserve to die, I do not beg off and seek to escape death; but if there is no ground for their accusations against me, no one can give me up and make a present of me [ give me up freely] to them. I appeal to Caesar. Then Festus, when he had consulted with the [ men who formed his] council, answered, You have appealed to Caesar; to Caesar you shall go.


And you shall come to the Levitical priests and to the judge who is in office in those days, and you shall consult them and they shall make clear to you the decision.

But those who had seized Jesus took Him away to Caiaphas, the high priest, where the scribes and the elders had assembled. But Peter followed Him at a distance, as far as the courtyard of the high priest's home; he even went inside and sat with the guards to see the end. Now the chief priests and the whole council (the Sanhedrin) sought to get false witnesses to testify against Jesus, so that they might put Him to death; read more.
But they found none, though many witnesses came forward [to testify]. At last two men came forward And testified, This Fellow said, I am able to tear down the sanctuary of the temple of God and to build it up again in three days. And the high priest stood up and said, Have You no answer to make? What about this that these men testify against You?

Also in Jerusalem, Jehoshaphat set certain Levites, priests, and heads of families of Israel to give judgment for the Lord and decide controversies. When they [of the commission] returned to Jerusalem,

The priests shall teach My people the difference between the holy and the common or profane, and cause them to distinguish between the unclean and the clean. And in a controversy they shall act as judges, and they shall judge according to My judgments; and they shall keep My laws and My statutes in all My appointed feasts, and they shall keep My Sabbaths holy.


So when Pilate saw that he was getting nowhere, but rather that a riot was about to break out, he took water and washed his hands in the presence of the crowd, saying, I am not guilty of nor responsible for this righteous Man's blood; see to it yourselves.


And they struck His head with a staff made of a [bamboo-like] reed and spat on Him and kept bowing their knees in homage to Him. And when they had [finished] making sport of Him, they took the purple [robe] off of Him and put His own clothes on Him. And they led Him out [of the city] to crucify Him. And they forced a passerby, Simon of Cyrene, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who was coming in from the field (country), to carry His cross. read more.
And they led Him to Golgotha [in Latin: Calvary], meaning The Place of a Skull. And they [attempted to] give Him wine mingled with myrrh, but He would not take it. And they crucified Him; and they divided His garments and distributed them among themselves, throwing lots for them to decide who should take what.


But the Lord raised up judges, who delivered them out of the hands of those who robbed them. And yet they did not listen to their judges, for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them. They turned quickly out of the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the Lord, and they did not so. When the Lord raised them up judges, then He was with the judge and delivered them out of the hands of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved to relent because of their groanings by reason of those who oppressed and vexed them. read more.
But when the judge was dead, they turned back and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, following and serving other gods, and bowing down to them. They did not cease from their practices or their stubborn way.

After that, He gave them judges until the prophet Samuel.


Now Eli was very old, and he heard all that his sons did to all Israel and how they lay with the women who served at the door of the Tent of Meeting. And he said to them, Why do you do such things? For I hear of your evil dealings from all the people. No, my sons; it is no good report which I hear the Lord's people spreading abroad. read more.
If one man wrongs another, God will mediate for him; but if a man wrongs the Lord, who shall intercede for him? Yet they did not listen to their father, for it was the Lord's will to slay them.

The sons of Eli were base and worthless; they did not know or regard the Lord. And the custom of the priests with the people was this: when any man offered sacrifice, the priest's servant came while the flesh was boiling with a fleshhook of three prongs in his hand; And he thrust it into the pan or kettle or caldron or pot; all that the fleshhook brought up the priest took for himself. So they did in Shiloh with all the Israelites who came there. read more.
Also, before they burned the fat, the priest's servant came and said to the man who sacrificed, Give the priest meat to roast, for he will not accept boiled meat from you, but raw. And if the man said to him, Let them burn the fat first, and then you may take as much as you want, the priest's servant would say, No! Give it to me now or I will take it by force. So the sin of the [two] young men was very great before the Lord, for they despised the offering of the Lord.



Now the Angel of the Lord came and sat under the oak (terebinth) at Ophrah, which belonged to Joash the Abiezrite, and his son Gideon was beating wheat in the winepress to hide it from the Midianites. And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of [fearless] courage. And Gideon said to him, O sir, if the Lord is with us, why is all this befallen us? And where are all His wondrous works of which our fathers told us, saying, Did not the Lord bring us up from Egypt? But now the Lord has forsaken us and given us into the hand of Midian. read more.
The Lord turned to him and said, Go in this your might, and you shall save Israel from the hand of Midian. Have I not sent you? Gideon said to Him, Oh Lord, how can I deliver Israel? Behold, my clan is the poorest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. The Lord said to him, Surely I will be with you, and you shall smite the Midianites as one man. Gideon said to Him, If now I have found favor in Your sight, then show me a sign that it is You Who talks with me. Do not leave here, I pray You, until I return to You and bring my offering and set it before You. And He said, I will wait until you return. Then Gideon went in and prepared a kid and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour. The meat he put in a basket and the broth in a pot, and brought them to Him under the oak and presented them. And the Angel of God said to him, Take the meat and unleavened cakes and lay them on this rock and pour the broth over them. And he did so. Then the Angel of the Lord reached out the tip of the staff that was in His hand, and touched the meat and the unleavened cakes, and there flared up fire from the rock and consumed the meat and the unleavened cakes. Then the Angel of the Lord vanished from his sight. And when Gideon perceived that He was the Angel of the Lord, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the Angel of the Lord face to face! The Lord said to him, Peace be to you, do not fear; you shall not die. Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and called it, The Lord is Peace. To this day it still stands in Ophrah, which belongs to the Abiezrites. That night the Lord said to Gideon, Take your father's bull, the second bull seven years old, and pull down the altar of Baal that your father has and cut down the Asherah [symbol of the goddess Asherah] that is beside it; And build an altar to the Lord your God on top of this stronghold with stones laid in proper order. Then take the second bull and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the Asherah which you shall cut down. Then Gideon took ten men of his servants and did as the Lord had told him, but because he was too afraid of his father's household and the men of the city to do it by day, he did it by night. And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the Asherah was cut down that was beside it, and the second bull was offered on the altar which had been built. And they said to one another, Who has done this thing? And when they searched and asked, they were told, Gideon son of Joash has done this thing. Then the men of the city commanded Joash, Bring out your son, that he may die, for he has pulled down the altar of Baal and cut down the Asherah beside it. But Joash said to all who stood against him, Will you contend for Baal? Or will you save him? He who will contend for Baal, let him be put to death while it is still morning. If Baal is a god, let him contend for himself because one has pulled down his altar. Therefore on that day he called Gideon Jerubbaal, meaning, Let Baal contend against him, because he had pulled down his altar. Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the people of the east came together and, crossing the Jordan, encamped in the Valley of Jezreel. But the Spirit of the Lord clothed Gideon with Himself and took possession of him, and he blew a trumpet, and [the clan of] Abiezer was gathered to him. And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh, and the Manassites were called to follow him; and he sent messengers to Asher, to Zebulun, and to Naphtali, and they came up to meet them. And Gideon said to God, If You will deliver Israel by my hand as You have said, Behold, I will put a fleece of wool on the threshing floor. If there is dew on the fleece only and it is dry on all the ground, then I shall know that You will deliver Israel by my hand, as You have said. And it was so. When he rose early next morning and squeezed the dew out of the fleece, he wrung from it a bowlful of water. And Gideon said to God, Let not your anger be kindled against me, and I will speak but this once. Let me make trial only this once with the fleece, I pray you; let it now be dry only upon the fleece and upon all the ground let there be dew. And God did so that night, for it was dry on the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground.


So they gathered at Mizpah and drew water and poured it out before the Lord and fasted on that day and said there, We have sinned against the Lord. And Samuel judged the Israelites at Mizpah.

And Samuel judged Israel all his days. And he went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and was judge for Israel in all those places. Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there; there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.


The men of Ephraim were summoned together and they crossed to Zaphon and said to Jephthah, Why did you cross over to fight with the Ammonites and did not summon us to go with you? We will burn your house over you with fire. And Jephthah said to them, I and my people were in a severe conflict with the Ammonites, and I when I called you, you did not rescue me from their hands. And when I saw that you would not rescue me, I put my life in my hands and crossed over against the Ammonites, and the Lord delivered them into my hand. Why then have you come up to me this day to fight against me? read more.
Then Jephthah gathered all the men of Gilead and fought with Ephraim; and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim because they had said, You Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim in the midst of Ephraim and Manasseh. And the Gileadites took the fords of the Jordan before the Ephraimites; and when any of those Ephraimites who had escaped said, Let me go over, the men of Gilead said to him, Are you an Ephraimite? If he said, No, They said to him, Then say Shibboleth; and he said, Sibboleth, for he could not pronounce it right. Then they seized him and slew him at the fords of the Jordan. And there fell at that time 42,000 of the Ephraimites. Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then Jephthah the Gileadite died and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead.


So she wrote letters in Ahab's name and sealed them with his seal and sent them to the elders and nobles who dwelt with Naboth in his city. And in the letters she said, Proclaim a fast and set Naboth up high among the people. And set two men, base fellows, before him, and let them bear witness against him, saying, You cursed and renounced God and the king. Then carry him out and stone him to death. read more.
And the men of his city, the elders and the nobles who dwelt there, did as Jezebel had directed in the letters sent them. They proclaimed a fast and set Naboth on high among the people. Two base fellows came in and sat opposite him and they charged Naboth before the people, saying, Naboth cursed and renounced God and the king. Then he was carried out of the city and stoned to death.


At the same time he hoped to get money from Paul, for which reason he continued to send for him and was in his company and conversed with him often. But when two years had gone by, Felix was succeeded in office by Porcius Festus; and wishing to gain favor with the Jews, Felix left Paul still a prisoner in chains.


And after him Abdon son of Hillel the Pirathonite judged Israel. And he had forty sons and thirty grandsons who rode on seventy donkey colts; and he judged Israel eight years.


After him Elon the Zebulunite judged Israel, and he judged Israel ten years. Then Elon the Zebulunite died and was buried at Aijalon in the land of Zebulun.


And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. And he had thirty sons and thirty daughters whom he gave [to husbands] outside his tribe, and thirty daughters [daughters-in-law] whom he brought in from outside his tribe for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. Then Ibzan died and was buried at Bethlehem.


But when the Israelites cried to the Lord, the Lord raised them up a deliverer, Ehud son of Gera, a Benjamite, a left-handed man; and by him the Israelites sent tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Ehud made for himself a sword, a cubit long, which had two edges, and he girded it on his right thigh under his clothing. And he brought the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. read more.
And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people who had carried it. He himself went [with them] as far as the sculptured [boundary] stones near Gilgal, and then turned back and came to Eglon and said, I have a secret errand to you, O king. Eglon commanded silence, and all who stood by him went out from him. When Ehud had come [near] to him as he was sitting alone in his cool upper apartment, Ehud said, I have a commission from God to execute to you. And the king arose from his seat. Then Ehud put forth his left hand and took the sword from his right thigh and thrust it into Eglon's belly. And the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed upon the blade, for [Ehud] did not draw the sword out of his belly, and the dirt came out. Then Ehud went out into the vestibule and shut the doors of the upper room upon [Eglon] and locked them. When [Ehud] had gone out, [Eglon's] servants came. And when they saw the doors of the upper room were locked, they thought, Surely he [is seeking privacy while he] relieves himself in the closet of the cool chamber. They waited a long time until they became embarrassed and uneasy, but when he still did not open the doors of the upper room, they took the key and opened them, and there lay their master fallen to the floor, dead! Ehud escaped while they delayed and passed beyond the sculptured [boundary] stones (images) and escaped to Seirah. When he arrived, he blew a trumpet in the hill country of Ephraim, and the Israelites went down from the hill country, with him at their head. And he said to them, Follow me, for the Lord has delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. So they went down after him and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites and permitted not a man to pass over. They slew at that time about 10,000 Moabites, all strong, courageous men; not a man escaped. So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel, and the land had peace and rest for eighty years.


When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. read more.
All the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint us a king to rule over us like all the other nations.


When Samuel was old, he made his sons judges over Israel. Now the name of his firstborn was Joel and the name of his second, Abijah. They were judges in Beersheba. His sons did not walk in his ways, but turned aside after gain, took bribes, and perverted justice. read more.
All the elders of Israel assembled and came to Samuel at Ramah And said to him, Behold, you are old, and your sons do not walk in your ways; now appoint us a king to rule over us like all the other nations.


Now Abimelech son of Jerubbaal (Gideon) went to Shechem to his mother's kinsmen and said to them and to the whole clan of his mother's family, Say, I pray you, in the hearing of all the men of Shechem, Which is better for you: that all seventy of the sons of Jerubbaal reign over you, or that one man rule over you? Remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. And his mother's kinsmen spoke all these words concerning him in the hearing of all the men of Shechem, and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech, for they said, He is our brother. read more.
And they gave him seventy pieces of silver out of the house of Baal-berith, with which Abimelech hired worthless and foolhardy men who followed him. And he went to his father's house at Ophrah and slew his brothers the sons of Jerubbaal, seventy men, on one stone. But Jotham, the youngest son of Jerubbaal, was left, for he hid himself. And all the men of Shechem gathered together and all of Beth-millo, and they went and made Abimelech king by the oak (terebinth) of the pillar at Shechem. When it was told to Jotham, he went and stood at the top of Mount Gerizim and shouted to them, Hear me, men of Shechem, that God may hear you. One time the trees went forth to anoint a king over them, and they said to the olive tree, Reign over us. But the olive tree said to them, Should I leave my fatness, by which God and man are honored, and go to wave over the trees? Then the trees said to the fig tree, You come and reign over us. But the fig tree said to them, Should I leave my sweetness and my good fruit and go to wave over the trees? Then the trees said to the vine (grapevine), You come and reign over us. And the vine (grapevine) replied, Should I leave my new wine, which rejoices God and man, and go to wave over the trees? Then all the trees said to the bramble, You come and reign over us. And the bramble said to the trees, If in good faith you are anointing me king over you, then come and take refuge in my shade; but if not, let fire come out of the bramble and devour the cedars of Lebanon. Now therefore, if you acted sincerely and honorably when you made Abimelech king, and if you have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house and have done to him as his deeds deserved -- " For my father fought for you, jeopardized his life, and rescued you from the hand of Midian; And you have risen up against my father's house this day and have slain his sons, seventy men, on one stone and have made Abimelech, son of his maidservant, king over the people of Shechem because he is your kinsman -- " If you then have acted sincerely and honorably with Jerubbaal and his house this day, then rejoice in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you; But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech and devour the people of Shechem and Beth-millo, and let fire come out from the people of Shechem and Beth-millo and devour Abimelech. And Jotham ran away and fled, and went to Beer and dwelt there for fear of Abimelech his brother. Abimelech reigned three years over Israel. And God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem, and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech, That the violence done to the seventy sons of Jerubbaal might come, and that their blood might be laid upon Abimelech their brother, who slew them, and upon the men of Shechem, who strengthened his hands to slay his brothers. And the men of Shechem set men in ambush against [Abimelech] on the mountaintops, and they robbed all who passed by them along that way; and it was told to Abimelech. And Gaal son of Ebed came with his kinsmen and moved into Shechem, and the men of Shechem put confidence in him. And they went out into the field, gathered their vineyard fruits and trod them, and held a festival; and going into the house of their god, they ate and drank and cursed Abimelech. Gaal son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who are we of Shechem, that we should serve him? Were not the son of Jerubbaal and Zebul, his officer, servants of the men of Hamor the father and founder of Shechem? Then why should we serve him? Would that this people were under my hand! Then would I remove Abimelech and say to him, Increase your army and come out. When Zebul the city's mayor heard the words of Gaal son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. And he sent messengers to Abimelech slyly, saying, Behold, Gaal son of Ebed and his kinsmen have come to Shechem; and behold, they stir up the city to rise against you. Now therefore, rise up by night, you and the men with you, and lie in wait in the field. Then in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, rise early and set upon the city; and when Gaal and the men with him come out against you, do to them as opportunity permits. And Abimelech rose up by night, and all the men with him, and they laid in wait against Shechem in four companies. And Gaal son of Ebed came out and stood in the entrance of the city's gate. Then Abimelech and the men with him rose up from ambush. When Gaal saw the men, he said to Zebul, Look, men are coming down from the mountaintops! Zebul said to him, The shadow of the mountains looks to you like men. And Gaal spoke again and said, See, men are coming down from the center of the land, and one company is coming from the direction of the oak of Meonenim [the sorcerers]. Then said Zebul to Gaal, Where is your [big] mouth now, you who said, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? Are not these the men whom you have despised? Go out now and fight with them. And Gaal went out ahead of the men of Shechem and fought with Abimelech. And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him; and many fell wounded -- "even to the entrance of the gate. And Abimelech lodged at Arumah, and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his kinsmen so that they could not live in Shechem. The next day the men went out into the fields, and Abimelech was told. He took his men and divided them into three companies and laid in wait in the field; and he looked and behold, the people were coming out of the city. And he rose up against them and smote them. And Abimelech and the company with him rushed forward and stood in the entrance of the city's gate, while the two other companies rushed upon all who were in the field and slew them. And Abimelech fought against the city all that day. He took the city and slew the people who were in it. He demolished the city and sowed it with salt. And when all the men of the Tower of Shechem heard of it, they entered the stronghold of the house of El-berith [the god of Berith]. Abimelech was told that all the people of the Tower of Shechem were gathered together. And Abimelech went up to Mount Zalmon, he and all the men with him; and Abimelech took an ax in his hand and cut down a bundle of brush, picked it up, and laid it on his shoulder. And he said to the men with him, What you have seen me do, make haste to do also. So each of the men cut down his bundle and following Abimelech put it against the stronghold and set [the stronghold] on fire over the people in it, so that all the people of the Tower of Shechem also died, about 1,000 men and women. Then Abimelech went to Thebez and encamped against Thebez and took it. But there was a strong tower in the city, and all the people of the city -- "men and women -- "fled to it, shut themselves in, and went to the roof of the tower. And Abimelech came to the tower and fought against it and drew near the door of the tower to burn it with fire. But a certain woman cast an upper millstone [down] upon Abimelech's head and broke his skull. Then he called hastily to the young man, his armor-bearer, and said to him, Draw your sword and slay me, so that men may not say of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died.


But when the Israelites cried to the Lord, the Lord raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel to deliver them, Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel. He went out to war, and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand and his hand prevailed over Chushan-rishathaim. And the land had rest forty years. Then Othniel son of Kenaz died.


After him arose Jair the Gileadite, and he judged Israel twenty-two years. And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty donkey colts, and they had thirty towns called Havvoth-jair [towns of Jair] which to this day are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died and was buried in Kamon.


After Abimelech there arose to rescue Israel, Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; then he died and was buried in Shamir.


And when he mentioned the ark of God, Eli fell off the seat backward by the side of the gate. His neck was broken and he died, for he was an old man and heavy. He had judged Israel forty years.


You, Ezra, after the wisdom of your God, which is [in His instructions] in your hand, set magistrates and judges who may judge all the people [west] of the River; choose those who know the instructions of your God, and teach him who does not know them.


And he went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and was judge for Israel in all those places.



After [Ehud] was Shamgar son of Anath, who slew 600 Philistine men with an oxgoad. He also delivered Israel.


Now Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth, judged Israel at that time.


Far be it from You to do such a thing -- "to slay the righteous with the wicked, so that the righteous fare as do the wicked! Far be it from You! Shall not the Judge of all the earth execute judgment and do righteously?


After [Ehud] was Shamgar son of Anath, who slew 600 Philistine men with an oxgoad. He also delivered Israel.


Then his kinsmen and all the tribal family of his father came down, took his body, and brought it up; and they buried him between Zorah and Eshtaol in the burial place of Manoah his father. He had judged Israel [that is, had defended the Israelites] twenty years.


And Samuel judged Israel all his days. And he went from year to year on a circuit to Bethel, Gilgal, and Mizpah, and was judge for Israel in all those places. Then he would return to Ramah, for his home was there; there he judged Israel, and there he built an altar to the Lord.


Our God comes and does not keep silence; a fire devours before Him, and round about Him a mighty tempest rages. He calls to the heavens above and to the earth, that He may judge His people:


After [Ehud] was Shamgar son of Anath, who slew 600 Philistine men with an oxgoad. He also delivered Israel.

After the days of Shamgar son of Anath, after the days of Jael [meaning here Ehud] the caravans ceased, travelers walked through byways.


After Abimelech there arose to rescue Israel, Tola son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he lived at Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim. He judged Israel twenty-three years; then he died and was buried in Shamir.