But as a favor, Gideon asked them all to give him one of their gold rings, and he had them melted down and made into an ephod—a garment used in oracle-related rituals. Gideon refused, proclaiming: “The Lord will rule over you” (Judges 8:23). Analyzing Deborah’s word choice and the way she describes Israel (she only mentions 10 of the 12 tribes of Israel, for example), scholars believe it could date back to the ninth or tenth century BC. Defeated Ammonites and sacrificed her daughter. 15 Judges of Israel Go to People in the Bible or Women in the Bible About 3000 years ago, the land of Israel was ruled by a succession of judges, rather than kings. And then Samson ripped out the two pillars that supported the entire temple, and it collapsed, killing everyone including Samson (Judges 16:29–30). As soon as they cut the seven braids of his hair, his strength—and the Lord—left him (Judges 16:19). An oxgoad is essentially an ancient cattle prod, an eight foot wooden rod with a metal spike on the end. We read about Jephthah in Judges 10:6–12:7, and while he delivered Israel from its enemies, his story ends in one of the most unforgettable tragedies in Scripture—a tragedy of his own making. I cannot deliver Midian into their hands, or Israel would boast against me, ‘My own strength has saved me.’” —Judges 7:2, And so God gradually whittled Gideon’s army down from 32,000 men to 300. In Acts 3:20 Samuel is portrayed as the last of the judges and the first of the prophets. He basically blames her for his mistake: “Oh no, my daughter! That’s pretty much all the Bible tells us about Tola. Samson is hands down the strongest person in the Bible, and God basically uses him as an agent of chaos against the Philistines. He challenged his guests to solve it within seven days. The king refused, and the Israelites began driving the Ammonites out of the land. Log in, The Six Benefits of reading (or listening to) the Bible in Chronological order, and probably why you haven’t done it, Truth and History Series: How we got our Bible and why we can trust it. (He was obviously a great guy, too.). Then the Spirit of the Lord came upon Samson again, and he killed 30 men, took their clothes, and gave them to the men who solved the riddle. The Spirit of the Lord came upon Jephthah (Judges 11:29), and Jephthah made a foolish (and completely unnecessary) vow: “If you give the Ammonites into my hands, whatever comes out of the door of my house to meet me when I return in triumph from the Ammonites will be the Lord’s, and I will sacrifice it as a burnt offering.” —Judges 11:30–31. God used these men and women to save the Israelites from their enemies and lead them back to him. He “tore the lion apart with his bare hands as he might have torn a young goat” (Judges 14:6). It was a constant cycle of sin and deliverance. God delivers them. He lies again. This time, when the Israelites cried out for help, God sent a prophet to remind them what he’d done for them, and then the angel of the Lord—a mysterious biblical figure who some believe was Jesus—appeared to Gideon and commanded him to save Israel: “Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of Midian’s hand. There are three other people named Abdon in the Old Testament, and we know even less about them. You can find his story in the book of first … Some Bible translations use the word “leader” instead in a few of these passages. Deborah was both a prophetess and judge. His parents Elkanah and Hannah dedicated Samuel to the Lord, giving him to the priest Eli to be raised in the temple. Samuel—the last Judge • Story of his birth and mother’s dedication • Hannah: no children, mocked • A godly husband, went yearly to offer sacrifices—remember this was an overall very evil time • Prayed for a son and promises she will give him to God