A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges/Introduction

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INTRODUCTION.




§ 1. Title. Place of the Book in the Canon.


The title, Judges, or, The Book of Judges, which the book bears in the Jewish and Christian Bibles,[1] is given to it because it relates the exploits of a succession of Israelite leaders and champions who, in the book itself as well as in other parts of the Old Testament, are called Judges.[2] The signification of the Hebrew word is, however, much wider than that of the Greek κριτής, the Latin judex, or the English 'judge.' The verb shåphaţ is not only judicare,[3] but vindicare, both in the sense of 'defend, deliver,' and in that of 'avenge, punish.'[4] The participle shōpheţ is not only judex, but vindex, and is not infrequently synonymous with 'deliverer.'[5] Again, as the administration of justice was, in times of peace, the most important function of the chieftain or king, the noun is sometimes equivalent to 'ruler,'[6] and the verb signifies, 'rule, govern.' In this sense it is most natural to take it in the lists of Minor Judges, where we read, for example of Tola: He judged Israel twenty-three years.... And after him arose Jair, the Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty-two years.[7] It is clear that the writer regarded these judges as a succession of chiefs, who arose in different parts of the land, ruling with an authority which was personal and not hereditary.[8] The same conception is probably to be recognized in 217, the Israelites would not obey their judges. The word 'judge' is not used of Ehud, Barak, or Gideon, and seems not to have been found in the oldest of the author's sources.[9] The title, Book of Judges, was in all probability meant by those who prefixed it to the book to correspond to that of the Book of Kings; the judges were the succession of rulers and defenders of Israel before the hereditary monarchy, as the kings were afterwards.[10]

In the Hebrew Bible the Book of Judges stands in the first division of the Prophets, the Prophetic Histories (Jos., Jud., Sam., Kings),[11] which narrate continuously the history of Israel from the invasion of Canaan to the fall of Jerusalem (586 B.C.). In the Greek Bible, Ruth is appended to it, sometimes under one title (κριταί), sometimes under its own name; and in manuscripts, the Pentateuch, together with Joshua, Judges, and Ruth, frequently forms a codex (Octateuch).[12] In the history of Israel before the exile, Judges covers the time from the close of the period of conquest and occupation with the death of Joshua to the beginning of the struggle with the Philistines in the days of Eli.[13] A better division, from our point of view, would have been the establishment of the kingdom of Saul, and there is some evidence that, in one at least of the older histories which our author had before him, Eli and Samuel were reckoned among the judges;[14] but as Samuel is the central figure in the story of the founding of the kingdom, it was not unnatural to begin a new book with his birth. The character of the two works shows conclusively that Judges was not composed by the author of Samuel; the peculiar religious interpretation of the history which is impressed so strongly on Judges is almost entirely lacking in Samuel.[15]

The Title.—שפטים‎, Baba bathra 14b; Σαφατειμ, Orig.; Sophtim, Jerome. Κριταί, Melito, Orig., titles in GAB al.; ἡ τῶν κριτῶν βίβλος, τῶν κριτῶν, Greek Ff. generally. Philo (de confus. lingg. c. 26, i. p. 424 ed. Mangey), ἡ τῶν κριμάτων ἀναγραφομένη βίβλος; cf. Βασιλειῶν, Regnorum, for Kings. Liber Judicum, Judicum, in the Latin Church. In Syriac, Sephar dayyånē (dabnai Israīl), Book of Judges (SPLOH); another, and perhaps older title is, Pårōqē dabnai Israīl, The Deliverers of the Israelites (SA); cf. Ephrem, i. p. 308. The book was also known by its Hebrew title, Shåphţe or Shåpheţē (SPLH, BO. iii. 1. p. 5, 62, 71, &c), which was early corrupted to Shabhţē, as if from שֵנֶט‎, tribe;[16] so in SA, see Ephrem, l. s. c.—Sufetes, qui summus Poenis est magistratus (Liv., xxviii. 37); quod velut consulare imperium apud eos erat (ib. xxx. 7, of Carthage; cf. xxxiv. 61). In Latin inscriptions from Africa we learn of the sufetes of a number of cities (CIL. viii. No. 7, 765, 10525); sometimes two are named (ib. No. 797, 5306). שפט‎ occurs frequently in inscriptions,[17] but it is in most cases uncertain whether ordinary judges or chief magistrates are meant. In Spain and Sardinia (Cagliari), the governors and petty kings were in the Middle Ages called judices (Ducange, s.v.),[18] in which we may be disposed to see a survival from the times of the Phoenician rule. The sufetes of Carthage and the Punic colonies were a regular magistracy, and belong to a much more highly organized political society than the shōphetīm of the O.T. We might rather compare the δικασταί who held the supreme power at Tyre for brief periods during an interregnum in the 6th cent. B.C. (Fl. Jos., c. Ap. i. 21 § 157).[19]


§ 2. Contents.

The Book of Judges consists of three parts: 11–25, 26–1631, 17–21.[20]

(1) 11–25. A brief account of the conquests and settlements of the Israelite tribes in Canaan.

11–21. The southern tribes; Judah, Caleb, the Kenites, Simeon, Benjamin.

122–29. The central tribes; Joseph (Manasseh, Ephraim).

130–33. The northern tribes; Zebulun, Asher, Naphtali.

134–35. Dan's settlements in the west.

136. The southern border.

21–5. The Angel of Yahweh reproves the Israelites for sparing the inhabitants of the land, and foretells the consequences.


(2) 26–1631. The history of Israel in the days of the Judges.

26–36. Introduction: The religious interpretation and judgement of the whole period as a recurring cycle of defection from Yahweh, subjugation, and deliverance.—The nations which Yahweh left in Palestine.

36–l631. The stories of the Judges and their heroic deeds.

37–11. Othniel delivers Israel from Cushan-rishathaim, King of Aram-naharaim.

312–30. Ehud kills Eglon, King of Moab, and liberates Israel.

331. Shamgar kills six hundred Philistines.

4. Deborah and Barak deliver Israel from the Canaanites; the defeat and death of Sisera.

5. Triumphal ode, celebrating this victory.

6–8. Gideon rids Israel of the Midianites.

9. Abimelech, the son of Gideon, King of Shechem.

101–5. Tola; Jair.

106–18. The moral of the history repeated and enforced; preface to a new period of oppression.

111–127. Jephthah delivers Gilead from the Ammonites; he punishes the Ephraimites.

128–15. Ibzan, Elon, Abdon.

13–16. The adventures of Samson, and the mischief he does the Philistines.


(3) 17–21. Two additional stories of the times of the Judges.

17, 18. Micah's idols; the migration of the Danites, and foundation of the sanctuary at Dan.

19–21. The outrage committed by the inhabitants of Gibeah upon the Levite's concubine. The vengeance of the Israelites, ending in the almost complete extermination of the tribe of Benjamin.


Chapters 26–1631 constitute the body of the work, to which alone the title, Book of Judges, in strictness applies. Ch. 17–21 is an appendix, relating two important events of the period preceding the establishment of the kingdom.[21] As we find in these chapters no trace of the distinctive historical theories, or the strongly marked style, of the author of 26–1631, we may confidently infer that these two stories were not appended to his book by himself, but by some later hand.[22] Ch. 1, as interpreted by 21–5, forms a fitting introduction to the present book, showing how the old inhabitants were left in possession of the chief cities of Canaan. Their religion became a snare to the invaders; and thus the culpable failure to extirpate people and gods together was the prime cause of all the evils that befell Israel in the following generations. But although, in this light, 11–25 is a very good beginning for the book, it cannot have been prefixed by the author of 26–331, whose own extended introduction (26–36) not only takes no notice of 11–25, but by its connexion with Jos. formally excludes it.[23] Like the appendix, 17–21, therefore, 11–25 must have been introduced by a compiler or editor later than the author of 26–1631.


§ 3. The History of the Judges, ii. 6–xvi. 31. Character and age.[24]

In the Introduction (26–36), the author gives a comprehensive survey of the history of the entire period. The generation which had seen all the great work of Yahweh, in Egypt, in the desert, and in the conquest of Canaan (27), remained true to him; but after the death of Joshua and his contemporaries, Israel fell away from Yahweh, the God of their fathers, and worshipped the Baals and Astartes, the gods of the nations about them. Indignant at this unfaithfulness, Yahweh gave them into the power of their enemies, who subjugated and oppressed them. Moved by their distress, Yahweh repeatedly raised up leaders (judges) who delivered them from their foes.[25] But they persisted in the worship of other gods, or relapsed into it when the judge was dead; each generation was worse than those before it. Neither punishment nor deliverance wrought any lasting amendment. The history of each of the judges begins with a few sentences telling us how the Israelites offended Yahweh; how he gave them into the power of this or that hostile people for a number of years; and how he at last raised up a deliverer.[26] The introductions to the stories of Gideon (61–10) and Jephthah (106–16) are longer, and the moral is enforced in the words of a prophet, or of Yahweh himself, upbraiding the Israelites for their disobedience and ingratitude. The history of all these successive oppressions and deliverances thus exemplifies and confirms the representation of the whole period which is given in the introduction.[27] Temporibus … judicum, sicut se habebant et peccata populi et misericordia Dei, alternaverunt prospera et adversa bellorum.[28]

It is clear that in all this the author's purpose is not merely to interpret the history, and explain upon religious principles why such evils befell Israel in the days of the judges, but to impress upon his readers the lesson that unfaithfulness to Yahweh is always punished; that whenever Israel falls away from him, he withdraws his protection and leaves it defenceless before its foes. By historical examples he would warn his contemporaries against a like apostasy. His motive and aim are thus not historical, but religious.[29] In a different, but not less effective way, he inculcates the same truth which all the prophets preached; Yahweh is Israel's God, and the religion of Israel is to keep itself to him alone.[30]

The author's motive, the lesson he enforces, and the way in which he makes the history teach it, are almost the only data at our command to ascertain the age in which he lived. Indefinite as such criteria may seem, they are, when the character of the work is sufficiently marked, among the most conclusive; and in this case they enable us to determine, beyond reasonable doubt, the period and circle in which the book was written.

That the history of Israel is a divine discipline, righteous, wise, and good, is the great idea of the prophets. In old Israel, as among other nations, defeat in battle, foreign invasion and conquest, were indeed ascribed to the anger of the national god, whom his people, or members of it, had in some way offended. But that Yahweh's anger as well as his favour is moral, and that therefore his dealing with his people is to be understood upon moral premises, was first distinctly taught by the prophets of the 8th century. This principle was naturally applied by them in the first place to the present and the immediate future. But the evils of the present have their roots in the past; and Hosea, looking back over the history of Israel from the time of the settlement in Canaan, sees in it one long, dark chapter of defection from Yahweh, of heathenish worship and heathenish wickedness. It is Hosea, also, who represents unfaithfulness to Yahweh as the one great sin from which all others spring, and who, with a figure drawn from his own unhappy home, brands this unfaithfulness with the name 'prostitution,' by which later writers so often characterize it.[31]

The prophets of the end of the 7th and the beginning of the 6th century judge Judah in the same way in which Hosea, in the last years of the Northern Kingdom, had judged Israel. In the long reign of Manasseh, foreign gods and foreign cults were introduced in Judah on a scale never before witnessed; the principle of exclusiveness which was native in the religion of Yahweh, and which the prophets had proclaimed with ever increasing absoluteness, was recklessly trampled under foot. This was, as Jeremiah constantly declared, the unpardonable sin which nothing short of the destruction of the nation could expiate.[32] Ezekiel represents the exile as the punishment of the sins of Israel in its whole past: in Egypt, in the wilderness, in Canaan, it had always been a rebellious people, ever falling away from Yahweh into heathenism and idolatry.[33]

The signal fulfilment of the prophets' predictions in the fall of Judah, the destruction of Jerusalem, and the deportation of its inhabitants, set the seal of God's truth not only on their religious teaching, but upon their judgement of the past of Israel. In the light of this judgement, disciples of the prophets wrote the history of the two kingdoms, using and adapting the old records to illustrate and enforce the great lessons which prophecy had taught. The same ruling ideas, the same practical motives, permeate the Book of Deuteronomy, especially the opening and closing chapters,[34] and are indeed so prominent in it that the historical pragmatism of which we have been speaking is frequently, and not inappropriately, called Deuteronomic, and the writers whose work it characterizes, the Deuteronomic school.

To this school the author of Jud. 26–1631 manifestly belongs. What others had done for the history of the Kingdom, he does for the centuries between the invasion and the days of Samuel.[35] From the very first generation after the settlement in Canaan, Israel had left Yahweh, to run after other gods and prostitute itself to them; and in this course it persisted through the whole period, in spite of all warnings and chastisements. The part of the book which we are now considering can, therefore, hardly have been written before the beginning of the 6th century.[36]

Other considerations might incline us to put it some decades later. It is antecedently probable that the new school of historians applied themselves first to the history of the Kingdom, where the prophets had gone before them, and in which the moral was more impressive because nearer at hand. From that they would naturally go back to the earlier period. The same inference may perhaps be drawn from the fact that the judgement of Israel's past in our book is more severe than in the Kings. In the latter, the sin of the people is in no small part the worship on the high places, a heathenish form of worship, forbidden by the law, but still a worship of Yahweh. In Judges the apostasy is complete; the people abandons Yahweh for the Baals and Astartes.[37]

The conclusions to which an examination of the contents of the book leads are confirmed by the evidence of its vocabulary and style, in which the affinity to the literature of the end of the 7th century is unmistakable. In the commentary these parallels are noted, and they need not be repeated here.[38]


§ 4. The Sources of Judges ii. 6-xvi. 31.

The characteristics which have been discussed in the last section appear chiefly in the introduction (26–36) and at the beginning of the histories of the several judges. The stories themselves, with the exception of that of Othniel (37–11), show few traces of the author's distinctive conceptions or expressions.[39] Some of them—for instance, Samson's adventures among the Philistines—have little or no relation to the purpose of the book; others relate of the judges things which must have been offensive to the author, such as Gideon's setting up the ephōd and the sacrifice of Jephthah's daughter; in all, the religious ideas, the language, and style, are entirely unlike his own.[40] It is plain therefore, that the author of Jud. 26–1631 did not write these stories himself, but took them from older sources.

These sources cannot have been oral tradition, or unwritten popular legends,[41] for, apart from the difficulty of supposing that oral tradition had transmitted to so late a time such lifelike and truthful pictures of a state of society that had passed away centuries before, in reducing oral tradition to writing, the author would inevitably have left the impress of his own style upon the stories far more deeply than is the case; the Deuteronomic peculiarities we have noted above would not be confined to the beginning and end of the tales. The greater or less unevenness of which we are always aware in passing from the introduction to the story which follows, is clearly the joint by which an older written source is united to the Deuteronomic preface.

If the author employed written sources, our next inquiry is, whether he made his choice among single tales or different collections of tales, or whether he took them all from some one older book. This question cannot be answered with entire certainty; it is quite conceivable that the cycle of stories about Samson, for instance, may have existed separately; but it is demonstrable, I think, that the author had before him an older work in which the exploits of a considerable number of the Israelite heroes were narrated;[42] and if this is true, it may very well be that this collection was his only source. It is easier to understand how a story like that of Samson should have been included in the Deuteronomic Book of Judges, if the author found it in the earlier work on which he based his own, than to imagine that he introduced it for himself from some other source.


A more minute examination of the introduction to the book (26–36), and of the setting of the several stories, especially those of Gideon (61–10) and Jephthah (106–16), brings out the fact that these parts of the work are not entirely homogeneous. The numerous repetitions and duplications, and the differences in point of view and phraseology, which, though slight, are unmistakable, show that more than one writer has had a hand in the composition.[43] Of this fact, which is recognized by most recent critics, two explanations may be given. One is, that the author or editor of the present Book of Judges, in incorporating 26–1631 in his own work, dwelt upon and emphasized the moral lessons of the history which his predecessor had enforced; the lack of unity and consistency which the critics have observed would thus be due to interpolation.[44] The alternative hypothesis is, that the author of 26–1631 used as the basis of his work an older collection of tales of the Israelite heroes, in which the varying fortunes of Israel in those troublous times were already made to point the moral that unfaithfulness to Yahweh was the prime cause of all the evils that befell the people,—a pre-Deuteronomic Book of the Histories of the Judges.[45]

The considerations which incline the balance of probability to the second of these hypotheses are the following: (a) The elements which are admitted by all not to belong to the principal Deuteronomic stratum in the book do not seem to be superimposed upon it, but embedded in it; and they are more intimately united with their context than the additions by which later editors often try to heighten the effect of their text are wont to be. (b) If the author or editor of the present Book of Judges made all these additions in 26–1631, we should expect to find his mark upon ch. 17, 18, 19–21 also, which certainly invited a moral comment and application quite as much as some of the stories in the body of the work; but no trace of such an improvement is to be discovered in those chapters. (c) The language of the parts of the book in question is distinguished from that of the Deuteronomic writers and editors generally by a more marked affinity to one of the older sources of the Hexateuch (E).[46] (d) Some of the tales, e.g. that of Gideon (ch. 6–8), are composite; two somewhat different versions of the story have been united by a third hand, which does not appear to be that of the author of the book, but of an earlier redactor. It is not a remote conjecture that this redactor is also the author of the non-Deuteronomic element in the introduction (26–36) and other parts of the book, (e) The Deuteronomic Book of Judges did not include ch. 17, 18, 19–21; the closing formula, 1520, may perhaps be taken as evidence that it did not contain ch. 16;[47] 833–35 is an editorial substitute for ch. 9, which has obviously not passed through the hands of the Deuteronomic author.[48] But ch. 17, 18, and the primary version of the story in ch. 19–21 are akin to the older narratives in 26–1631; ch. 16, the death of Samson, is unquestionably from the same source as ch. 13–15; ch. 9, itself composite, is too closely connected with ch. 6–8 to be of different origin. The simplest hypothesis is, that these chapters were contained in the earlier collection, but were omitted by the Deuteronomic author from his book, as unsuitable to his purpose.[49]

The older book seems to have contained the histories of Ehud, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Jephthah, and Samson;[50] not improbably also the story of Micah's idols and the migration of the Danites, and the original form of that of the Levite and his concubine. In what order these stories stood, we cannot make out. Chapters 17, 18, and 19–21, if included in the book, would have their natural place near its beginning; they certainly cannot have stood where they now do, in the midst of the history of the "days of the Philistines," between Samson and Eli. Chapter 106–16, a formal and extended introduction resembling 26–21, can hardly have been designed to occupy its present position.[51]

It is a question of more importance whether the pre-Deuteronomic Judges (to use this name for brevity)[52] contained other histories not included in the canonical Book of Judges.

The death of Samson (1631) is not the end of a period or a turning point in the history, such as an author would naturally choose for the end of a book; nor is it at all probable that a writer who begins with an introduction of some length, setting forth in advance the moral of the history, would bring his work to so abrupt a conclusion without a word of retrospective comment. It has long been noticed that in 1 Sam. the account of the death of Eli (418) is followed by the words, "Now he had judged Israel forty years"; precisely the same formula as in Jud. 1631, cf. 127 102, 3 129, 11, 14.[53] Of Samuel also we read that "he judged Israel as long as he lived" (1 S. 715); and that the words were not originally meant in a justiciary sense, as might seem from v.16, 17, which describe his judicial circuit,[54] is manifest from the preceding verses, which tell how he delivered Israel from the Philistines by the great victory at Mizpah, concluding in the same way as the accounts of the deliverances wrought by the judges before him: "And the Philistines were subdued, and did not again come into the territory of Israel;[55] and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines as long as Samuel lived" (713).[56] Samuel was thus, in this narrative, the judge who delivered Israel from the Philistines.[57] In 1 S. 12 also, Samuel is represented, not merely as a prophet or as a justice, but as one who for many years had borne rule over Israel. This speech of Samuel, which contains a retrospect of the period of the judges (v.7–11), and solemn words of warning for the future under the newly established kingdom, is precisely the conclusion which we desire for the Book of the Histories of the Judges, corresponding admirably to the parting discourse of Joshua (Jos. 24) at the close of the period of the conquest.[58] There is, therefore, great probability in the opinion of Graf and others that the pre-Deuteronomic Judges included the times of Eli and Samuel, and ended with 1 S. 12.[59] If this be true, Jud. 106–16[60] may originally have been the introduction to the period of Philistine oppression in the same work.[61] These wars were, in fact, and in the historical traditions of Israel, the beginning of a new epoch; and the author may have recognized their importance by a more extended introduction than those which he prefixed to the other "oppressions."

The pragmatism of this work was similar to that of the Deuteronomic Judges; in it also, as may be seen in the non-Deuteronomic parts of 26–36, and 106–16, in 67–10 and in 1 S. 12, the history is interpreted and judged from the prophetic point of view; that the people forsook Yahweh and worshipped the gods of Canaan is here also the fons et origo malorum; in it the conflicts of particular tribes and groups of tribes with their neighbours had already become oppressions and deliverances of all Israel, the heroes of these local struggles, the judges of Israel.[62] But, close as the resemblance is, the distinctive Deuteronomic note is absent; the standpoint is that of Hosea and the prophetic historians who wrote in his spirit, rather than that of Jeremiah and the Deuteronomic school.

The age of this older Book of Judges is fixed within these limits; it may with considerable confidence be ascribed to the 7th century, perhaps to the times of Manasseh.


The hand of the author of the older Judges, like that of the Deuteronomic writer, is recognized in the introduction and the setting of the tales rather than in the tales themselves. The question from what sources the latter are derived is only pushed back one step by the discovery of a pre-Deuteronomic collection. The existence of composite narratives, like the histories of Gideon (ch. 6–8), and Deborah and Barak (ch. 4), shows that there must have been more than one such source. The more or less strongly marked diversity in language and style between the several stories also points to diversity of origin. That these sources were old and good collections of the national traditions, the character of the stories sufficiently attests. On closer inspection, one of them appears to be more ancient and of greater historical worth than the rest. In some instances, as for example in that of Samson (ch. 13–16), the author seems to have known but one version of the story, which he has given entire from one of his sources; in other cases, as in that of Gideon- Jerubbaal, he united as best he could two somewhat discrepant accounts; in still other cases it is difficult to decide whether the lack of unity and directness in the narrative is to be ascribed to the attempt to combine different versions, or to editorial amplification, or to subsequent interpolations and glosses.

These phenomena are so much like those with which we are familiar in parts of the Hexateuch where the Yahwistic and Elohistic narratives (J and E) have been united by a later writer (Rje) into one composite history, that we can hardly fail to ask the question whether the similarity is not really identity; that is, whether the pre-Deuteronomic Judges was not a part of the great prophetic history which critics designate by the symbol JE, and its sources J and E. That this is the case was affirmed by Schrader, who attempted to separate the two chief sources from each other and from the Deuteronomic elements.[63] More recently Böhme[64] and Stade[65] have demonstrated the affinity of parts of the book to J and E respectively; while Budde has taken up the problem which Schrader first attacked, and with great acuteness has worked out an analysis of the entire book.[66] On the other hand, Kuenen maintains a sceptical attitude toward all attempts to identify the sources of Judges with J and E in the Hexateuch,[67] and Kittel combats the hypothesis, arguing that such resemblances as exist are less decisive than the countervailing differences.[68]

Budde's hypothesis is not intrinsically improbable. There is the best reason to believe that neither J nor E ended with the conquest of Canaan, but that both brought the history down to a much later time, if not to their own day. The parting speech of Joshua, Jos. 24 (substantially E), looks not only backward but forward; it is the end of a book, not of the historical work of which it formed a part; and Jud. 26–10 (Jos. 2428-31), from the same hand, is unmistakably the transition to the subsequent history. Jud. 1, J's account of the conquest and settlement of Canaan, is certainly not the end of his work; 21a, 5b here also lead over to the following period.[69] It is antecedently more probable that these books furnished the author of Judges with his material than that they altogether disappear at the beginning of this period, their place being taken by two unrelated sources having a certain resemblance to J and E respectively.[70] It must be acknowledged that the resemblances are less marked than might be expected, and are accompanied by noticeable differences. But it should be observed, first, that the ultimate sources, the popular traditions from which the tales of the judges are drawn, naturally had a different origin and character from the legends of the patriarchs in Genesis or the narratives of the Mosaic age; and, second, that the symbols J and E represent, not individual authors, but a succession of writers, the historiography of a certain period and school.[71] The differences upon which Kittel and König have laid stress are, it appears to me, critically of less significance than the admitted resemblances. Moreover, the problem of the sources in Judges cannot be separated from the same question in Samuel, and in the latter the indicia point to J and E more clearly, perhaps, than in Judges.[72]

For these reasons I have used the symbols J and E in the commentary, to distinguish the two chief sources from which the narratives appear to be derived, though I am fully aware that the question of their identity is by no means beyond controversy. Those of my readers who are not convinced of this identity may regard the letters J and E as equivalent to X and Y, two otherwise unknown sources, of which X (J) is almost everywhere manifestly the older and historically the more valuable. The author who united them and composed the pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges was probably one of that school of prophetic historians who are commonly represented by the signature Rje.[73] His hand may be most distinctly recognized in 230–36, where the conflicting representations of J and E are worked into one another with free additions by the redactor in a way with which we are familiar in JE in the Hexateuch.

The age of the two chief sources in Judges 26–1631 cannot be very definitely fixed. There are, in this part of the book, no allusions to historical events of later times which might serve us as a clew.[74] Almost the only criterion which we possess is their relation to the religious development. In those parts of the book which are attributed to J, the standpoint of the narrator is that of the old national religion of Israel; there is no trace of prophetic influence, and we can have no hesitation in ascribing this source to a time before the great prophetic movement of the 8th century. Other indications point to a considerably higher antiquity. The stories are manifestly drawn from a living tradition, not from antiquarian lore; they reproduce the state of society and religion in the early days of the settlement in Palestine with a convincing reality which is of nature, not of art, and exhibit a knowledge of the conditions of the time which can hardly have been possessed by an author of the 8th century, after the changes which two centuries of the kingdom and of rapidly advancing civilization had wrought. On such grounds we should be inclined to assign this source to the first half of the 9th century, a date which is entirely compatible with our identification of it with J.

The second main source from which the tales of the Judges are derived (E) appears, wherever direct comparison is possible, as in the histories of Gideon and Abimelech, to be younger than J. It is, however, not all of the same age. The older stratum does not differ very greatly from J, and is also, in all probability, preprophetic; the later stratum is strongly tinged with prophetic ideas, and in its judgement of the religious offences of the people prepares the way for the pragmatism of the Jehovistic (JE) and Deuteronomic History of the Judges. So closely, indeed, does this element (E2) approach the standpoint of the latter authors that it is difficult, if not impossible, to decide whether certain passages or verses should be attributed to the one or the other.[75] Fortunately, the similarity which makes the analysis uncertain makes it also of less importance. The author of the later element in E (E2) may have lived toward the end of the 8th century or in the first half of the 7th.[76]


The Triumphal Ode, ch. 5, is much older than the corresponding prose narrative, or than any other of the stories in the book.[77] Whether it was included in J, or in E, or in both of them, cannot be certainly determined. The closing formula, 531b, may have been added or transposed by an editor. The Ode was in all probability preserved in one of the collections of old Hebrew poetry, such as the Book of Jashar, or the Book of the Wars of Yahweh;[78] but, like other poems from those collections, may early have been incorporated into the prose histories.

The brief notices of the so-called Minor Judges (101–5 128–15) begin and close with formulas which, while they have a certain likeness to those which introduce and conclude the stories of the other judges, have also a distinctive difference.[79] Of each of the five we read that he "judged Israel" so many years, but of the oppressions and deliverances which in the rest of the book alternate with such regularity nothing is said; of their exploits there is no record; indeed, beyond the places where they were buried and perhaps the number of their posterity, nothing whatever is narrated of them. Most, if not all, the names of these "judges " appear to be those of clans rather than individuals; and the years of their rule seem to be independent of the chronological scheme of the book and to disturb its symmetry. It has been conjectured that the names were introduced by an editor to make up the number of twelve judges;[80] and Wellhausen has strengthened this hypothesis by the observation that the sum of the years of the Minor Judges is almost exactly that of the interregna in the general chronology of the period.[81] The mention of these judges should then be compared with similar antiquarian and genealogical notices in Chronicles. On the other hand, Kuenen, remarking that the characteristic formulas of the Minor Judges stand also at the close of the story of Jephthah (127, cf. also 1520 1 S. 418 715), and rejecting, partly on this ground, Wellhausen's combination of the numbers, is of the opinion that these five judges were included not only in the Deuteronomic Judges, but in its predecessor, and are thus ultimately derived from one of the sources of the latter work.[82] A third hypothesis is that the Minor Judges stood in the pre-Deuteronomic book, were omitted by the Deuteronomic author, like the story of Abimelech and perhaps ch. 17–21, and restored by the editor of the present Book of Judges. Beyond such conjectures we can hardly go.


§ 5. The Sources of Judges xvii.–xxi. and of i.–ii. 5.

The two stories with which our Book of Judges ends, that of Micah's idols and the migration of the Danites (ch. 17, 18), and that of the assault on the Levite and his concubine at Gibeah, with its disastrous consequences to the tribe of Benjamin (ch. 19–21), were not included in the Deuteronomic Judges. They relate, not the deliverance of Israel from the foes that oppressed it, by the hand of divinely commissioned champions, but the fortunes of two tribes, one of which was compelled to leave its earliest seats to find a new home in the remote north, while the second was almost exterminated by the righteous indignation of the other Israelites. If the Deuteronomic author had employed these stories, as perhaps he might have done, to illustrate the moral and religious corruption of the times, the natural place for them in his book would have been immediately after the introduction; a place which chronological considerations also indicated. There is no evidence, however, in the introductions to these stories, of any intention to use them in this way. The familiar formulas of D are absent, nor is their place taken by others which might be attributed to the same hand. In the narratives themselves there is no trace of a Deuteronomic redaction.

Whether these stories were contained in the older work which the Deuteronomic author used as the basis of his own, we cannot be so sure. There is certainly no mark of the editor's hand upon them, and it is conceivable that they were preserved independently in one of the sources of that collection. This would account both for the resemblance of the stories to those in 26–1631 and for the absence of all traces either of Rje or of D in them.[83] But in ch. 17, 18, two narratives appear to have been combined in much the same way as in ch. 6–8, and we should be inclined to attribute this fusion to the same redactor (Rje).[84] It is quite possible that, as this author's work was considerably more extensive than the Deuteronomic Judges, he may have found place in it for these chapters.

That the two versions of the story of Micah and the Danites (ch. 17, 18) are derived from J and E is a natural conjecture. Budde has noted several words and phrases in one of them which seem to point to E. The whole impression which this strand of the narrative makes would incline me rather to ascribe it to J; decisive evidence is lacking. However that may be, there can be no doubt that the primary version of the story is among the oldest in the book, as it is in many ways one of the most instructive. The second version is apparently younger, but, if I interpret it correctly, there seems to be no reason why it may not come from E.[85] In 1830–31 are two references to historical events: the depopulation of the land (v.30), and the cessation of the temple at Shiloh (v.31). By the former we are probably to understand the deportation of the inhabitants of northern Galilee in 734; the date of the latter is unknown. The older narrative in ch. 17, 18, to which 1830 seems to belong, can scarcely be brought down to as late a time as the reign of Tiglathpileser; the words may have been added by an editor.[86]

The problem which is presented to criticism by the narrative of the outrage at Gibeah and the sanguinary vengeance which almost annihilated the tribe of Benjamin is of a different kind from any other in the Book of Judges. At first sight, the narrative seems to be not only entirely unhistorical, but without even a legendary ground—one huge theocratic fiction of very late origin.[87] Closer examination, however, shows that this is a mistake. The basis of the narrative, which can be discovered not only in ch. 19 and 2115ff, but in ch. 20, is a very old story, having an obvious affinity to the primary stratum in ch. 17, 18, and in tone and language resembling the most ancient parts of the Hexateuch and the Books of Samuel. This is overlaid, especially in ch. 20, 211–14, by a stratum akin to the latest additions to the priestly history in the Hexateuch and to the Chronicles. This post-exilic rifacimento is clearly dependent upon the former version; the only question is, whether it once existed separately and was united with the old story by a third hand,[88] or whether it was from the beginning merely a kind of midrash upon the original text, in part exaggerating it, in part substituting an account of the events in accordance with the author's theocratic conception of the ancient history.[89] The latter appears to me the more probable hypothesis; but the other is certainly possible.[90] The primitive story is hardly inferior in age to any in the book, and may be derived from J. The secondary version bears, in conception and expression, all the marks of the extreme decadence of Hebrew literature, and is a product of the 4th century b.c. more probably than of the 5th. If it was interpolated by its author in the earlier narrative, as we find it, it may be the work of the editor who appended chapters 17–21 to the Deuteronomic Judges; on the alternative hypothesis, the same editor may have combined the two versions; but other explanations are also conceivable.

The Book of Ruth relates things which happened "in the days when the judges ruled"; in the Greek Bible it immediately follows Judges, and in many early enumerations and catalogues is counted as a part of Judges.[91] Some recent scholars have thought that this was the original place of the book: it was, like ch. 17, 18, and 19–21, an appendix to the Book of Judges proper, ch. 1–16.[92] Ruth is, however, in subject, language, and style, unlike any of the stories in Jud. 1–16, or in 17–21; it is a product of a much later age, and belongs to a wholly different species of literature. As the events narrated in it are supposed to have taken place some half century before the establishment of the kingdom, its natural place in the series of historical books was between Judges and Samuel; or, as falling in the days of the judges, it might be appended to the former book; but this connexion was probably never universal, and may, indeed, have been peculiar to the Greek Bible.


Chapter 11–25 contains an account of the invasion of Western Palestine by the Israelite tribes, and their settlements, particularly enumerating the cities that they did not succeed in conquering, most of which long remained in the possession of the native Canaanite population.[93] This account, which in historical value far surpasses any other source that we possess for this period, is manifestly extracted from an older work, and Schrader, Meyer, and others rightly recognize in it J.'s history of the conquest.[94] The narrative has been considerably abridged by the editor who prefixed it to the pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges,[95] for the purpose, as we see from his own words in 21b–5a, of showing how Israel sinned in making terms with the people of the land and leaving them to be a constant snare and peril; it has also suffered to some extent from derangement and interpolation, whether by the editor's own hand or that of scribes. Fortunately, the motive of the recension gives us confidence that he left intact those features of his original which are of chief interest and importance for us, proving that in the invasion the tribes acted singly, or as they were allied by older ties or common interest; and that Israelite supremacy in Canaan was not achieved by one irresistible wave of conquest, but only after an obstinate struggle lasting for generations. Fragments of the same source, some of which are a welcome supplement to the narrative in Judges 1, are preserved in the Book of Joshua.[96]

On the Minor Judges, see above, p. xxviii f.


§ 6. The Composition of the Book of Judges.

If the results of the critical analysis outlined in § 4 and 5 are substantially correct, the genesis of the book may be conceived in some such way as the following:[97]

Early in the 9th century, the traditions of the invasion and settlement of Western Palestine, of the subsequent conflicts in various parts of the land with the native population or with new invaders, and of the heroic deeds of Israel's leaders and champions in these struggles, were collected and fixed in writing, probably as part of a historical work which included the patriarchal age, the migration from Egypt, and the history of Israel under the kingdom down to the author's own time (J).

Perhaps a century later, another book of similar character and scope was written, containing in part the same stories, but in a form adhering less closely to historical reality (E). A second recension of this work (E2) bears very distinctly the impress of the prophetic movement of the 8th century, and specifically of Hosea's teaching, and may be assigned to the end of the 8th or the beginning of the 7th century. The author's religious interpretation and judgement of the history in the spirit of prophecy is the beginning of the treatment so generally adopted by later writers; history with a moral soon becoming history for the moral.

As in the Hexateuch and in Samuel, J and E (E2) were the chief sources of the great prophetic historical work, JE. Where the author of this work found in his sources variants of the same story, he combined them, sometimes interweaving them so closely as to make the strands almost inextricable, sometimes doing little more than transcribe paragraphs of J and E alternately; adapting his method to the material before him. In many cases he found it necessary, in order to bring his sources into harmony or to preserve the connexion, to insert something of his own; in some places he added with a freer hand. The Book of Judges in JE[98] seems to have begun with the death of Joshua, and to have closed with the great discourse of Samuel, 1 S. 12, a division which certainly existed in E. It probably contained all the stories in our Judges except that of Othniel; and in view of the character of the succeeding redactions, Rje may, with greater justice than D, be regarded as the true author of the book. JE is a work of the 7th century, but antedates the reforms of Josiah (621 b.c.) and the dominant influence of Jeremiah and the Deuteronomy.

Early in the 6th century, an author belonging to the Deuteronomic school took this work as the basis of his own. As the traces of his hand do not extend to 1 S. 1-12[99] nor to Jud. 11–25 17–21, we infer that D's book included only Jud. 26–1631 (or perhaps 1520). Eli and Samuel not unnaturally presented themselves to his mind in the character of priest and prophet rather than of judges; and, if historical considerations weighed with him, he may very well have thought that the life of Samuel, from which that of Eli is inseparable, belonged to the history of the founding of the kingdom, rather than to the preceding period. Besides Jud. 17–21, it is certain that D excluded the story of Abimelech, which did not readily lend itself to his moral purpose; 833–35 is his brief substitute for the omitted narrative. He may also have omitted the Minor Judges,[100] possibly also ch. 16, the tragic end of Samson; this would account for the premature closing formula, 1520.[101] On the other hand, he added the deliverance of Israel from Cushan-rishathaim by Othniel (37–11), as a typical exemplification of the theory set forth in the introduction (26–36), and perhaps with the additional motive of giving a judge to Judah, which in the older book was almost the only tribe that furnished none. The system of chronology is Deuteronomic, as appears from its relation to the system of the Books of Kings, but whether in its present form it is the work of D is less certain; see § 7.

Upon the general introduction, 26–36, as well as upon the introductions to the stories of the several judges, D impressed the unmistakable Deuteronomic stamp. In his judgement of the history he had been anticipated by E2 and JE, but his more rigorous pragmatism and his distinctive style can in most cases be distinguished with sufficient certainty from the work of his predecessors. In 26–36, especially in 26–19, the Deuteronomic element is very closely combined with the older text. Budde, whose opinion I have followed in the commentary,[102] thinks that D did not, in this somewhat awkward way, intrude his own point of view into the introduction of JE, but substituted a new introduction for JE's; the two were united, to their mutual detriment, by the final, post-exilic redactor. The other hypothesis has, however, the advantage of simplicity, and the considerations which weigh against it are perhaps overestimated.[103]

The Deuteronomic Judges did not supplant the older work upon which it was founded; JE's history was in, existence long after the exile. In the 5th or 4th century b.c., an editor united the two books, and produced the present Book of Judges. In doing so, he naturally included those parts of JE which D had omitted, Jud. 11–25 9 17 18 19–21; possibly also the Minor Judges, 101–5 128–15.[104] The secondary version of the war with Benjamin in ch. 19–21 is perhaps his work; and in other parts of the book traces of his hand may be discerned in minor glosses; some of these may, however, be of still later date.

On the critical problems discussed in §§ 3–6, see in general Studer, Richter, 1835. p. 425 ff.; Schrader in DeWette, Einleitung8, 1869, p. 327–333; Wellhausen in Bleek, Einl.4, 1878, p. 181–203 = Composition d. Hexateuchs, u. s. v., 1889, p. 213–238, cf. 353–357; v. Doorninck, Bijdrage tot de tekstkritiek van Richteren i.–xvi., 1879, p. 123–128; Bertheau, Richter und Ruth2, 1883; Kuenen, Historisch-critisch Onderzoek, i. p. 338–367 (1887); Budde, Richter und Samuel, 1890, p. 1–166; Driver, Literature of the Old Testament, 1891, p. 151–162; Kittel, "Die pentateuchischen Urkunden in den Büchern Richter und Samuel," Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 44 ff.; Gesch. der Hebräer, i. 2. 1892, p. 1–22; Kalkoff, Zur Quellenkritik des Richterbuchs, 1893 (Gymnas. Progr.)°.

The theory of the origin of the Book of Judges set forth in the preceding paragraphs is in all essential features that of Budde, whose thorough investigation of the critical problems of the book has been of the greatest value to me throughout. The reader of the commentary will, I trust, discover that I have not accepted Budde's results without a careful re-examination of the whole question; and in many particulars I have been led to form a different opinion. Of other hypotheses concerning the composition of the book, it will be sufficient to mention those of Kuenen and Kittel. The former thinks that Jud. 26–1631 is a part of a Deuteronomic Book of Judges the end of which is contained in 1 S. 7–12. This book contained all the stories that are now found in the chapters named,[105] with the solitary exception of 331 (Shamgar). The introduction, 26-36, is, as a whole, the work of the Deuteronomic writer,[106] who is the author of the religious pragmatism of the book. He used as the basis of his work a pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges, in which Othniel as well as Shamgar was not included, while Abimelech was reckoned as one of the twelve judges, whose number was completed by Samuel, or, more probably, by some name which we cannot now recover. This older book was quite different in character from the Deuteronomic work; it knew nothing of a regular alternation of apostasy, punishment, and deliverance; it was a series of portraits of the leaders and heroes of Israel in the period before the establishment of the kingdom; but the unity of Israel was already erroneously antedated, and its deliverance frotn the hand of its foes represented as Yahweh's answer to its prayer. The author drew a large part of his material from older writings, some of them of Ephraimite origin, which were among the earliest products of Israelite historiography; but the book itself can hardly have been compiled before the first half of the 7th century. Jud. 11–25 preserves fragments of a very ancient account of the conquest of Canaan by the Israelite tribes; ch. 17, 18, is also a very old story, which has been considerably interpolated; in ch. 19–21 the old narrative has been thoroughly worked over in the spirit of post-exilic Judaism. These chapters were united with 26–1631 by the last redactor.[107] Kittel differs from almost all recent critics in denying the existence of a pre-Deuteronomic Book of Judges. The author of the Deuteronomic Judges ("Ri") collected the stories in 26–1631, combined parallel narratives (as in ch. 6–8), and embraced them all in his rigorous pragmatism and his schematic chronology. The traces of a different conception and style, which have been taken as evidence that this author worked upon the basis of an older book, are rather to be ascribed to the redactor of the present Book of Judges (R), who introduced a considerable number of glosses and some longer additions to the text of "Ri."[108] This last redactor, who also joined 11–25 17–21 to 26–1631, himself belonged to the Deuteronomic school; but his style, formed on older models, is a degree nearer to that of E in the Hexateuch than that of "Ri." Kittel's theory thus gives us, instead of JE and D, a double Deuteronomic redaction which we might represent by D and Rd. The sources of the tales are not J and E, but unknown ancient collections.


§ 7. Chronology of the Book of Judges.

The chronology of the Book of Judges presents a very difficult problem, on which a great deal of learning and ingenuity has been expended, without, as yet, leading to any generally accepted solution. The data contained in the book itself are these:

YEARS
1. 38. The Israelites subject to Cushan-rishathaim 8
2. 311. Peace under Othniel [109] 40
3. 314. Subject to Eglon, King of Moab 18
4. 330. Peace after the death of Eglon (Ehud) 80
5. 43. Oppressed by the Canaanite king, Jabin 20
6. 531. Peace after the victory of Barak 40
7. 61. Ravaged by the Midianites and their allies 7
8. 828. Peace in the days of Gideon 40
9. 922. Dominion of Abimelech 3
10. 102. Rule of Tola [110] 23
11. 103. Rule of Jair 22
12. 108. The Israelites in Gilead oppressed by the Ammonites 18
13. 127. Rule of Jephthah [111] 6
14. 129. Rule of Ibzan [112] 7
15. 1211. Rule of Elon 10
16. 1214. Rule of Abdon [113]8
17. 131. Domination of the Philistines 40
18. 1520 (1631). Rule of Samson 20

The first thing that will be noticed in this table is the frequency with which the numbers forty (No. 2. 6. 8. 17), eighty (No. 4), and twenty (No. 5. 18) recur in it.[114] Each of the greater judges, except Jephthah, secures his country from the attacks of its foes for forty, or twice forty, or half of forty, years. This phenomenon becomes still more striking when we observe that it is not confined to the Book of Judges, but runs through the chronology of the whole period: The wandering in the wilderness lasted forty years; Eli judged Israel forty years (1 S. 418);[115] David reigned forty years (1 K. 211); Solomon forty (1 K. 1142). In 1 K. 61, finally, we read, that from the exodus until Solomon began to build the temple, in the fourth year of his reign, was four hundred and eighty years.[116] It is obvious that we have here to do with a systematic chronology, in which a generation is reckoned at forty years, and the period made to consist of twelve generations.[117]

When we compare the numbers given in Judges with the total in 1 K. 61, however, a large discrepancy appears. The sum of the years of the oppressions and of the judges is four hundred and ten years. To this must be added the forty years in the wilderness; the days of Joshua, from the invasion of Canaan until he and all his generation passed away (Jud. 27–10), for which no numbers are given (x); the forty (or twenty) years of Eli (1 S. 418); the years in which Samuel judged Israel (1 S. 715,) (y), and the reign of Saul (1 S. 131,) (z), for neither of which have we any data; the forty years of David (1 K. 211); and four years of Solomon[118] before the building of the temple was begun: that is, 40 + x + 410 + 40 + y + z + 40 + 4 = 534 + x + y + z. In this sum x + y + z (Joshua, Samuel, Saul) must represent a considerable number of years;[119] but even neglecting them, the total greatly exceeds the 480 of Kings. Various hypotheses have been proposed to bring them into harmony. One way by which this can be accomplished is to suppose that the oppressions and deliverances related in the Book of Judges were not successive, but in part synchronous. They were, in fact, without exception, local struggles; and it is not only conceivable, but highly probable, that while one part of the land was enjoying security under its judge, other tribes were groaning under the foreign yoke.[120] Thus Herzfeld supposes that for one hundred and seventeen years, from the victory of Othniel over the Aramaeans to the beginning of the Midianite forays, the history runs parallel; the subjection of the southern tribes by the Moabites, their deliverance by Ehud, and the long peace which followed, falling in the same period with the oppression of the north by the Canaanites, the war of liberation under Deborah and Barak, and the forty years' security which their victory gained.[121] This synchronism, which is not suggested by a syllable in the text of Judges, is only made out by a series of arbitrary assumptions, such as that nineteen years elapsed between the victory of Othniel and the Moabite invasion. With much greater show of probability, others suppose that the subjugation of the Israelites in Gilead by the Ammonites coincided with the oppression of their brethren in Canaan by the Philistines. Such an hypothesis not only offers no intrinsic difficulty, but seems to be commended by Jud. 106–8, where we read that, as a punishment for their fresh defection, Yahweh sold the Israelites into the power of the Philistines and the Ammonites. In the following chapters, the author narrates, first, the Ammonite oppression, the deliverance of Gilead by Jephthah, and the rule of his successors, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon (ch. 11. 12); and then (131) takes up the story of the long struggle with the Philistines which is so inseparably connected with the beginnings of the kingdom in Israel. The forty years of Philistine oppression, with which the forty years of Eli coincide, thus cover also the eighteen years of Ammonite rule east of the Jordan, the six of Jephthah, seven of Ibzan, ten of Elon (41), while the eight years of Abdon would fall in the time of Samuel. In this form the hypothesis was proposed by Sebastian Schmid;[122] and, often in combination with other synchronisms, has been accepted by many commentators and chronologists.[123] In this way the length of the period is greatly reduced, but the exact equation with the four hundred and eighty years of 1 K. 61 is obtained only by attributing to the unknown quantities, x, y, and z, in the other member entirely arbitrary values. The most serious objection to the synchronistic hypothesis in any form is, that the chronology of the book is, on the face of it, continuous; if the author had intended us to understand that the Ammonite and the Philistine oppressions were contemporaneous, he would have given a much more distinct intimation of his meaning than 106 ff., and have given it in its proper place in 131.[124]

Nöldeke has tried to solve the problem in another way.[125] He observes that the sum of the rule of the Minor Judges, including Jephthah, is seventy-six years, to which if we add the four years of Solomon before the building of the temple, we obtain another eighty; a coincidence which can hardly be accidental, and which, if designed, shows that the Minor Judges were included in the chronological system of the book. The total of the years ascribed to the judges and kings in the Books of Judges and Samuel, down to the fourth year of Solomon, is three hundred and eighty.[126] To this must be added the forty years of Moses, the years of Joshua (x), Samuel (y), and Saul (z). For Samuel he reckons (from 1 S. 72) twenty years. We have thus: 40 + 380 + 20 = 440 + x + z. In this system of forties we should naturally give to the unknown quantities (Joshua, Saul) twenty years each, or unequal numbers together making forty, obtaining thus exactly the four hundred and eighty of 1 K. 6. The years of foreign domination and of usurpers are, as usual in Oriental chronologies, not counted;[127] the beginning of each judge's rule being reckoned, not from the victory which brought him into power, but from the death of his predecessor.[128]

In principle, this appears to me the most probable hypothesis. I should be inclined, however, to divide the numbers somewhat differently. For Eli, instead of the forty years of H I should adopt the reading of G, twenty. The forty years of Philistine rule coincide with the time of Samson (20) and Eli (20); Samuel liberated Israel from their yoke (1 S. 7). Abimelech is not counted in the succession of rulers, as Nöldeke and most recent chronologists rightly assume;[129] but it does not appear to have been noted that the same is true of Saul. For the Judaean author of this chronology his rule was illegitimate; David was the immediate successor of Samuel.[130] This inference is confirmed by 1 S. 131, where a later hand has attempted to supply the lack of a statement about the length of Saul's reign with the usual formula borrowed from the Books of Kings,[131] but seems to have left the numbers blank.

We have, then, the following scheme: Moses 40 years, Joshua x, Othniel 40, Ehud 80, Barak 40, Gideon 40, the Minor Judges with Jephthah 76, Samson 20, Eli 20, Samuel y, David 40, Solomon 4 = 400 + x + y = 480. We may then suppose that the author gave Joshua and Samuel forty years each, an hypothesis which in each case has some slight external support. Joshua lived, like his ancestor Joseph, to the age of 110 years, which, as in Joseph's life,[132] may most naturally be divided into 30 + 40 + 40. To Samuel, of whose life and work he had such a full account, the deliverer and judge, the maker and unmaker of kings, it is antecedently improbable that the author reckoned only half a generation; especially as Samuel was an old man when he died.

If 1 K. 61 is the summation of the numbers in Judges and Samuel, and from the same hand, it would follow that the systematic chronology in Judges was not introduced by the Deuteronomic author, but by a later editor, who may have substituted his own cyclic numbers for older ones.[133] But the author of Judges may, himself, conceivably have constructed his chronology on a basis of forty years to the generation. In either case, the length of the oppressions, and of the rule of the Minor Judges (with Jephthah), which are at least not primarily cyclic, probably represent an earlier stage in the history of tradition; the latter may be derived from E.

On the Chronology of Judges see S. Schmid, Comm. in Jud., 1684, p. 1569–1603; Des Vignoles, Chronologie de l'histoire sainte, 1738;° Herzfeld, Chronologia judicum et primorum regum Hebraeorum, 1836; Rösch, "Das Datum des Tempelbaus," Stud. u. Krit, 1863, p. 712–742; Nöldeke, Untersuchungen zur Kritik des Alten Testaments, 1869, p. 173–198; Wellhausen in Bleek, Einleitung4, p. 184 f. = Composition des Hexateuchs, p. 216 f. (cf. p. 356); Prolegomena3, p. 237 f.; Reuss, Gesch. des Alten Testaments, § 277; Budde, Richter u. Samuel, p. 135 ff.; Köhler, Biblische Geschichte, ii. 1. p. 35–51; Kittel, Gesch. der Hebräer, i. 2. p. 9–14; of the commentaries, especially Bachmann (p. 53–74), and Bertheau (p. xi.–xvii.).—Wellhausen notes that the years of the Minor Judges (70) almost exactly correspond to the duration of the interregna (71), and infers that the Minor Judges were introduced by an editor who did not reckon the interregna separately, but included them, contrary to the intention of the author of the chronology, in the rule of the following judges; cf. Prol3 ., p. 237 f.; Budde; Cornill, Einl2. p. 98 f.; and against Wellhn., Kuenen, HCO2. i. p. 342, Kittel, GdH. i. 2. p. 11–13; Wellhn. himself (Comp., p. 356) confesses that he has no longer much faith in such attempts to solve the enigma.


§ 8. Hebrew Text and Ancient Versions.

The text of Judges has been transmitted to us in a much purer state than that of the Books of Samuel; indeed, it is better preserved than any other of the historical books; but it is not entirely free from the errors which are incident to transcription. The variants of Hebrew manuscripts seldom enable us to correct these errors. Setting aside the great mass of purely heterographic variations, there are few that materially affect the sense; and of these, very few which are intrinsically superior to the Massoretic text. The critic cannot entirely disregard them, however; especially when the support of the Targum or other of the versions shows that the reading is old.[134] Much more important aid in the restoration of the text is given by the ancient versions. First among these in critical value as well as in age are the Greek versions. I say versions; for Lagarde has demonstrated in the most conclusive way, by printing them face to face through five chapters, that we have two Greek translations of Judges.[135] It would probably be going too far to affirm that they are independent; the author of the younger of them may have known and used the older; but it is certain that his work is not a recension or revision of his predecessor's, but a new translation. One of these versions is represented by the great majority of manuscripts, including the uncials, Sarravianus (S),[136] Alexandrinus (A),[137] Coislinianus (P),[138] Basiliano-Vaticanus (V),[139] and many cursives. The latter form several well-defined groups, some of which may properly be designated as recensions. One of these (L) is represented in Judges by codd. 19, 108, 118 (Holmes and Parsons),[140] the Complutensian Polyglot, and Lagarde's Librorum V. T. canonicorum pars prior, 1883; and is thought by many scholars to exhibit the recension of Lucian. The second (M) is a group whose most constant members are codd. 54,

59, 75, 82, which are frequently joined by others. A Leipzig palimpsest (uncial) published by Teschendorf also belongs to this group.[141] This hitherto inedited recension exhibits the text of Theodoret.[142] A third group (<sup<O) consists of the Venice manuscripts 120 and 121, with the Aldine edition, which is derived from them.[143] Most of the translations made from the Greek follow this version; so the Old Latin (l),[144] the Hexaplar Syriac of Paul of Telia (s),[145] the Ethiopic (e),[146] and the Armenian.[147]

The Hexaplar codices (SP al.) and the Hexaplar Syriac show that this version was the basis of Origen's critical labours. It is, therefore, presumptively the oldest Greek translation of Judges; and in so far as "Septuagint" is equivalent to "the oldest Greek version," the text of A and its congeners might justly lay claim to that designation.[148] It seems to me desirable, however, in the interests of clearness that the name, with all its misleading associations, should be banished from critical use.

The other version is found in the Vatican Codex (B), Cod. Musei Britannici Add. 20002 (G),[149] and a considerable group of cursives in Holmes and Parsons (N); viz. 16, 30, 52, 53, 58, 63, 77, 85 (text), 131, 144, 209, 236, 237; the text printed in the Catena Nicephori represents this family. Grabe, in 1705, proved that this version was of Egyptian origin;[150] a conclusion which is brilliantly confirmed by the fact, that of all the secondary versions only the Sahidic (k) is based upon it.[151] As the quotations in the Alexandrian Fathers from the 2d to the 4th century (Clement, Origen, Didymus)[152] follow the version represented by GA and its congeners, while Cyrill uses the text which we find in GBGNk,[153] the conjecture is not remote that the latter translation of Judges was made in the 4th century; but much remains to be done before any positive conclusion can be reached.

In this state of the case, I have thought it proper to adduce the evidence of the Greek versions with more fulness than would ordinarily be necessary in a commentary. If the Greek version is to be used at all for the emendation of the Hebrew text, it must be used critically; and to operate, as older commentators did, with "A" and "B," or as some more modern scholars do, with Tischendorf's reprint of the Roman edition and Lagarde's "Lucian," taking the one or the other for "Septuagint" upon the intrinsic probability of readings, is not a critical procedure.[154]

The Latin version of Jerome is one of the best specimens of his skill as a translator; and is exegetically of the greatest value, because it gives not merely Jerome's own interpretation, but that of his Jewish teachers and helpers. It is of less assistance to the textual critic, because the Hebrew text from which it was made was substantially the Jewish standard text which, having been authoritatively fixed in the 2d century, a.d., has been transmitted to us with great fidelity. For the Latin text itself we have an excellent apparatus in Vercellone, Variae lectiones vulgatae latinae Bibliorum editionis, ii. 1864.

The Syrian Vulgate (Peshiţto) also represents in the main the Hebrew Standard text, and is of more importance to the interpreter than to the critic. For the Peshiţto, which exhibits a constancy second only to that of the Hebrew, I have compared, in places where its variations seemed to be significant, the editio princeps of Gabriel Sionita in the Paris Polyglot (SP), from which that in the London Polyglot (SL) is derived immediately, and that of Lee at one remove; the photolithographic reproduction of the Ambrosian codex (SA); the Nestorian text as edited by Justin Perkins at Ooroomiah in 1852 (SO); and an old and excellent manuscript of the Historical Books and the Wisdom of the O.T., of Nestorian origin, belonging to the Harvard Semitic Museum, Cambridge, Mass. (SH).

The Targum is seldom of much critical value, but often serves us well as a commentary upon the punctuation, and fills an important place in the history of Jewish exegesis. Its text exhibits considerable variation. I have compared, in critical places, the edition by Felix Pratensis in the first of Bomberg's Great Bibles, 1518 (Tven.1), that by Jacob ben Chayim in the second of those Bibles, 1525 (Tven.2);[155] Buxtorfs rifacimento of the latter in his Great Bible, 1618–20,[156] reproduced in the London Polyglot; the Antwerp Polyglot; and Lagarde's edition of the Targum from the great Codex Reuchlinianus at Carlsruhe, Prophetae chaldaice, 1872 (Treuch.) I also collated, in 1888, Codex. Brit. Mus. Orient., 2210, a manuscript from Southern Arabia with supralinear punctuation, dated a.d. 1469 (Tm).[157]

The only systematic attempt to employ the versions for the emendation of the Hebrew text of Judges is made by A. v. Doorninck, Bijdrage tot de tekstkritiek van Richteren i.–xvi., 1879.


§ 9. Interpreters of the Book of Judges.

Of the Fathers, the nine homilies of Origen on this book, which are preserved in Rufinus's Latin translation (Orig., Opp. ed. Delarue, ii. p. 458–478) have very little exegetical merit. Theodoret in his Quaestiones (Opp. ed. Schulze, i. p. 321–345) discusses with some fulness a number of the more obscure or difficult passages in Judges with candour and skill. His extensive quotations are of importance for the history of the Greek text. The commentary of Procopius of Gaza (Migne, Patrologia graeca, lxxxvii. 1041–1080), though fragmentary and largely allegorical, is not devoid of worth. The Catena Nicephori (Leipzig, 1773) draws chiefly from Josephus, Theodoret, and Procopius, but quotes also a considerable number of anonymous Greek expositions. Augustine wrote Quaestiones on Judges, as on the other books of the Heptateuch (Migne, Patrologia latina, xxxiv. 791–824); so did Isidore of Seville (ib. lxxxiii. 379–390). We have also a commentary on Judges by Ephrem Syrus (Opp. i. p. 308–330).

The patristic exegesis had only the versions to work upon; the history of the interpretation of the Hebrew text begins with the Jewish commentators of the Middle Ages.[158] Of these, R. Solomon Isaaki, commonly called "Rashi" (1040–1105 a.d.),in many ways deserves the foremost place which the judgement of Jewish scholars generally accords him. He has two of the greatest and rarest gifts of the commentator, the instinct to discern precisely the point at which explanation is necessary, and the art of giving or indicating the needed help in the fewest words. He had an almost unequalled knowledge not only of the Bible, but of the whole vast body of Jewish tradition. His interpretation adheres more closely to the exegetical tradition than that of his successors, and very often agrees with Jerome's, that is, Jerome's Jewish teachers. R. David Kimchi (ca. 1160–1235) gave much more prominence to the grammatical and lexical side of the commentator's task, in which he excelled; he is a judicious interpreter and a lucid expositor. Of much less note is R. Levi ben Gerson ("Ralbag," died ca. 1370), whose commentary is printed with Rashi and Kimchi in the Rabbinical Bibles of Venice and Basel. Besides these are to be named, Abarbanel (1437–1508), whose very diffuse commentary is in Judges largely dependent on Levi ben Gerson;[159] and Solomon ben Melech, Michlol Yophi ( Amsterdam, 1684), a convenient exegetical hand-book, chiefly abridged from Kimchi.

Through the Postillae perpetuae of Nicolaus a Lyra (ca. 1270–1340) the Jewish exegesis, and what was even more important, a sounder exegetical method, passed,. over into the Church. Later Catholic commentators of note are Arias Montanus, De varia Republica, 1592; Serarius, 1609; Jac. Bonfrerius, 1631; Cornelius a Lapide, 1642; Th. Malvenda, 1650.[160]

Among the early Protestant commentators, Sebastian Miinster (1489–1552) follows the Jewish interpreters, particularly Kimchi, very closely. Drusius's (1550–1616) learning had a wider range; besides the rabbinical commentaries he made good use of the ancient Greek versions and the Fathers, and deserves the praise which R. Simon gives him as the most learned and judicious of the interpreters whose works are collected in the Critici Sacri. The fragmentary annotations of Grotius often contain interesting illustrations and parallels from Greek and Roman writers. Of all the older commentaries by far the best, and one of the most valuable commentaries on Judges, is that of Sebastian Schmid (1684). The author brings together into his 1642 solid quarto pages all that had been done before him for the interpretation of the book. His own exegetical judgement is clear and sound. In excursus at the end of each chapter (Quaestiones), the difficulties of every kind are discussed with great thoroughness. The commentary of Clericus (1708), a work of a more modern type, is also deservedly held in high esteem. The marginal annotations in J. H. Michaelis's edition of the Hebrew Bible (1720) are excellent; nor must the notes to J. D. Michaelis's German translation (1774) be passed over. Rosenmüller's Scholia on Judges (1835) contain very little that is new.

The modern period of interpretation begins with G. L. Studer's admirable commentary,[161] in which the problems that the book presents to criticism and critical exegesis were first clearly recognized, and a long step taken toward their solution. Bertheau's commentary in the "Kurzgefasstes exegetisches Handbuch" (1845) is a work of less originality, but, especially in the second edition (1883), fills a useful place. Reuss has given, in French (1877) and German (1892), brilliant translations of Judges, with introductions, and brief but excellent notes. Keil (1863;[162] 2 ed. 1874) has the stamp of the manufactured article; Cassel (in Lange, 1865;[163] 2 ed. 1887) is full of curious learning and ingeniously perverse exegesis. By far the fullest recent commentary on Judges is that of J. Bachmann (1868), which was unfortunately never carried beyond the fifth chapter. The author's standpoint is that of Hengstenberg, and he is a stanch opponent of modern criticism of every shade and school; but in range and accuracy of scholarship, and exhaustive thoroughness of treatment, his volume stands without a rival. Other modern commentaries which require no special note are those of Hervey in the "Speaker's Commentary" (1872) and in the "Pulpit Commentary" (1881); and Jamieson, in Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown's "Critical and Experimental Commentary." A. R. Fausset's Critical and Expository Commentary on Judges (1885) is "expository" in the homiletic sense, and "critical" in no sense at all. The German translation of Judges in Kautzsch's Das Alte Testament, 1894 (by Kittel), embodies in a sober and conservative spirit the results of modern critical scholarship.

  1. See note at the end of this §.
  2. Jud. 216, 17, 18, 2 S. 77 (corrected by 1 Chr. 176) 711 (= 1 Chr. 1710) 2 K. 2322 Ruth 11 Ecclus. 4611; cf. Fl. Jos., antt. vi. 5, 4 § 85.
  3. The only place in Jud. where it has this sense is 44, 5; but this is perhaps not the original meaning of v.4.
  4. See below, p. 88, 89, and in addition to the authors cited there, Köhler, Biblische Geschichte, ii. 1. p. 24.
  5. Jud. 216 39,10 101,2 Neh. 927 Is. 1920; Bachmann, Richter, p. 31 n.
  6. Am. 28 (cf. 115) Hos. 77 Mi. 51 Ps. 210 &c. So also in Phoenician; see note at the end of this §.
  7. Jud. 102,3 cf. l27,8,11,14 1520 1 S. 418 715 cf. 820.
  8. Others of them besides Jephthah (118–11) and Gideon may have obtained this power by successful leadership in war.
  9. Cf. 315 614 &c. (deliver).
  10. Whether this title was first given to the canonical Judges, or to one of its predecessors, is not certain.—In the sense indicated above the word Judge is understood by Fl. Jos. (στρατηγοί, ἄρχοντες, μόναρχοι, αὐτοκράτορες ἡγεμόνες,—Ba.), Stud., Reuss (Heldenbuch), al. Book of the Deliverers of Israel, Ephr. Syr., Bachmann, Köhler, al. Of judges in the common sense, it is taken by Ew. (GVI. ii. p. 509), Hitz., Cass., al.
  11. נביאים ראשונים‎.
  12. This fact is not without importance in the history of the text.
  13. Jud. 11–25, which describes the invasion and settlement, overlaps the Book of Joshua; see below, p. 7–10.
  14. See 1 S. 418 715, and below, §4, p. xxiif.
  15. On the cognate pragmatism of parts of 1 S. 1–12, see below, p. xxxiv n.
  16. The same confusion of שפט, שכט‎, occurs in various places in the O.T., e.g. 2 S. 77 H. Dt. 115 G.
  17. See Bloch, Phoenicisches Glossar, s.v.
  18. Cf. also judex = praeses provinciae, CIL. viii. No. 949.
  19. On the Assyrian shipţu shapiţu, see Jensen, ZA. v. 278–280.
  20. So most recent scholars; Kue., Schrad., We., Sta., Be., Reuss, Bu., Dr., Co., Kö., Kitt., al. For other opinions, especially about the division of 11–36, see Ba., p. 77–80.
  21. The references to the grandsons of Moses (1836) and of Aaron (2028) show that, in the view of the writer at least, these events took place at the beginning of this period, within a generation after the invasion, not at its end.
  22. See below, § 5, 6.
  23. See below, § 5, 6, and p. 3 ff.
  24. For the titles of the principal works on the subject of this and the following sections, see note at the end of § 6.
  25. Cf. 39, 15 43f. 57 1010ff; of the repentance of the people we read only in 1015f.
  26. See 312–15 37–11 41ff. 131; cf. p. 62f.
  27. For the evidence that the introductions to the stories of the judges are by the same author as 26–36, see esp. Kuenen, HCO2. i. p. 340f.
  28. Aug., de civ. Dei, xvi. 43; cf. xviii. 13.
  29. It is inaccurate to speak of his "philosophy of history"; nothing is further from his mind than a philosophical analysis of the causes of events.
  30. See Reuss, GAT. §275; Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 6f.
  31. Jud. 217 827, 33; see below, p. 72.—With the following cf. Stade, GVI. ii. p. 15ff.
  32. See e.g. Jer. 15; cf. also 2 K. 2215–20.
  33. See esp. Ez. 16 20 23.
  34. Ch. 1–11 27–33; see e.g. 415–40 28 2910–28.
  35. There is no sufficient ground for identifying him with any one of the Deuteronomic writers in Dt. or Jos., or with the Deut. author of Kings.
  36. Schrader, We., Kue., Sta., Bu., Dr., Co., Kitt., al.
  37. See Stade, GVI. ii. p. 21. It is to be observed, however, that in the theory of the Deuteronomic writers, the local cults on the high places were not prohibited till after the building of the temple.
  38. See especially on 26–36 37–11 and the introductions to the several storias; cf. also Kue., HCO2. i. p. 339; Bu., 'Richt. u. Sam., p. 91f., 128; Kö., Einl., p. 254.
  39. Kitt. thinks it very probable that the author of 37–11 also wrote 625–32 72–8 822f.; but these passages appear to me to be derived from one of the chief sources of the book.
  40. Compare the story of Ehud (312–30) with that of Othniel (37–11). The latter shows us, better than anything else, what these histories would be like if the author had written them himself. We may also compare the chapters of ancient history with which the author of Chronicles supplements Kings,—all, of course, in his own peculiar manner.
  41. Stähelin, al.
  42. See next §.
  43. See the commentary on the passages indicated, and esp. p. 63f., 175 f., 181f. 275f.
  44. So Kittel, Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 44 ff; GdH. i. 2. p. 7–9. To this later hand he ascribes: 11a, 4a, 8f. 21b–5a, 13, 17, 20–22 34–6, 31 67–10 109–16 (except perhaps v.10a).
  45. We., Sta., Bu., Dr., Co.
  46. Kitt. accounts for this by supposing that R (the editor of our Judges) formed his style on older models.
  47. Bu., Co.; against this view see Kitt., GdH. i. 2. p. 12.
  48. Bu.; see below, p. 234, 238.
  49. For a different hypothesis see below, p. xxxvi f.
  50. There is, at least, no apparent reason to ascribe any of these stories to an independent source.
  51. See further, below, p. xxiii f. For conjectures about its original position, see p. 276.
  52. Meaning by it the collection which preceded the Deuteronomic Book of Judges, 26–1631.
  53. Kuenen (HCO2. i. p. 353) and Wildeboer (Letterkunde, p. 274) regard 1 S. 418b as a gloss, on what seem to me insufficient grounds.
  54. On these verses see below, p. 113.
  55. Cf. Jud. 330 828 1133.
  56. Cf. Jud. 218.
  57. Some critics connect this with Jud. 135, where the Angel foretells that Samson shall begin to deliver Israel; see p. 317.
  58. Cf. also 2 K. 177–23 (Schrad., Kue.); Wildeboer is, however, certainly mistaken in supposing that Jud. 26–36 is dependent upon 2 K. 17 (Letterkunde, p. 273).
  59. Graf, Gesch. Bücher, p. 97 f.; so Bu. Kue., Wildeboer, al., think that this was true of the Deuteronomic Judges.
  60. Excluding Deuteronomic additions.
  61. Bu.; see below, p. 276.
  62. The chronology of this book was different from that of its successor; see §7. The use of shōpheţ, and some other words and phrases of common occurrence such as נכנע,הכניע‎ 'subdue, be subdued,' probably also come from it.
  63. De Wette, Einl8., p. 327–332. For earlier critics who have entertained this opinion, see Wildeboer, Letterkunde, p. 168f.
  64. ZATW. v. 1885, p. 251–274.
  65. ZATW. i. p. 339–343.
  66. Richt. u. Sam., 1890. Bu.'s results are accepted by Co., Einl., § 16.
  67. HCO2. i. p. 355f.
  68. Stud. u. Krit., 1892, p. 44 ff .; GdH. i. 2. p. 15–18. So also Kö., Einl., p. 252–254, Wildeboer, al.
  69. Cf. also J's part in 223–36.
  70. It is methodologically an unreasonable demand that it should first be proved that J and E included the history of the times of the judges, before we endeavour to identify them in the Book of Judges. What other proof can we have than that we can trace them in its narratives?
  71. In E, for example, there is a well-defined secondary stratum (E2).
  72. We have seen reason to believe that a considerable part of 1 Sam. was contained in the pre-Deuteronomic Judges.
  73. This symbol is, however, not very satisfactory, since the method of these writers was much more that of the historian who largely excepts his sources, than of the redactor who merely combines and harmonizes them.
  74. On 1830–31 see below, § 5, p. xxx f.
  75. It is not impossible, for example, that in the introduction (26–36) a part of what, with Budde, I have ascribed to E, is in reality the work of Rje.
  76. It is worthy of notice that the "commandments of Yahweh" are mentioned only in 217 34; "the covenant of Yahweh," only in 21, 20 (Kö., Einl., p. 257).
  77. See p. 127–132.
  78. Compare 51 with Ex. 151.
  79. See p. 270 f.
  80. Nöldeke and many recent scholars.
  81. See below, § 7. This theory is adopted by Budde, who thinks that the shorter formulas in which the names of the Minor Judges are set are patterned after those of the Deuteronomic author (Richt. u. Sam., p. 93 f.); cf. also Cornill, Einl2., p. 97 ff.
  82. HCO2, i. p. 351f.; cf. p. 342, 354. A similar view is maintained by Kittel, GdH. i. 2. p. 10 ff., except that, in conformity with his general theory, which recognizes no pre-Deuteronomic editor, he supposes that the smaller Book of Judges (ri.) was one of the immediate sources of D.
  83. That J, at least, survived separately till a late date is probably to be inferred from the preservation of ch. 1.
  84. Many critics, however, think that the appearance of duplication is due to interpolations, rather than to the union of two sources; see p. 366–369. Ch. 19 is also perhaps composite.
  85. See p. 370.
  86. See p. 399–401.
  87. We.
  88. Bu., Co.
  89. Kue., Kitt., Wildeboer.
  90. See p. 405, 407 f.
  91. So probably by Fl. Jos., contra Apion., c. 8; and expressly by many Christian Fathers.
  92. So Stähelin, Auberlen, al.; see esp. Bertheau, p. 290ff.; cf. also Schrader in De Wette, Einl8, p. 395f.
  93. See p. 3 ff.
  94. See below, p. 6 f.
  95. It is more probable that 21b–5a is by an editor of the school of Rje than that it is from the hand of the post-exilic redactor.
  96. See p. 5 f.
  97. It must be borne in mind that any hypothesis we may frame is much simpler than the literary history of which it attempts to give account. J, E, JE, D, R, &c. represent, not individual authors whose share in the work can be exactly assigned by the analysis, but stages of the process, in which more than one—perhaps many—successive hands participated, every transcription being to some extent a recension.
  98. It is not of course implied that its author gave it this title.
  99. The Deuteronomic elements in 1 S. 1–12 have not the distinctive signature of D in Judges.
  100. This depends in part upon the decision of the difficult questions of the chronology; see § 7.
  101. Budde.
  102. P. 63f.
  103. See Kuenen, HCO2. i. p. 339 f.
  104. See above.
  105. Including the Minor Judges.
  106. It has suffered somewhat from interpolations; and in 31–8 the author has incorporated an older fragment which is not altogether in harmony with his own view.
  107. Kuenen's view is substantially maintained by Wildeboer, Letterkunde, p. 165 ff., 269 ff.
  108. Jud. 11a. 4a. 8f. 21b–5a. 13. 17. 20–22 34–6. 31. 67–10 109–16.
  109. GALM c 50.
  110. A few Greek cursives, 22. Fl. Jos., antt. v. 7, 5, omits Tola altogether.
  111. GBPV and several cursives, 60.
  112. See Euseb., Chron. ed. Schoene, ii. p. 52, 53; Jerome, ed. Vallarsi, viii. 288.
  113. Fl. Jos., antt. v. 7, 15, names Abdon, but does not give the years of his rule.
  114. Compare also No. 15 (ten), and observe how No. 3. 10. 11. 12 balance on either side of twenty.
  115. G 20: 'ΑΣΘ, Fl. Jos. 40.
  116. G 440 (GL ἈΣ 480), for some reason reckoning eleven generations instead of twelve. See Preuss, Die Zeitrechnung der Septuaginta, 1859, p. 74 ff.
  117. So Hecataeus of Miletus attempted to construct a chronology of Greek antiquity on the basis of the genealogies, reckoning forty years to a generation; see E. Meyer, Forschungen, i. p. 169 ff.; GdA. ii. p. 8 f. The second great period of Hebrew history, from Solomon to the return from Babylon, is also four hundred and eighty years; see Wellhausen, Prol3., p. 283 ff.; Stade, GVI. i. p. 89 ff. In conformity with this theory, 1 Chr. 63 ff. gives in the first period the names of twelve high priests; in the second, according to the corrected text (see G), from the first high priest who officiated in the new temple to Jehozadak, who was carried away to Babylon, eleven. The four hundred and ninety years which Daniel computes for the last period, to the coming of the kingdom of the saints, is of almost exactly the same length, though calculated on a different basis (seventy weeks of seven years). On the frequency of 40 in chronologies &c, see Bredow's Dissertatio de Georgii Syncelli Chronographia, prefixed to the Bonn ed. of Syncellus, ii. p. 53 ff.
  118. According to the Hebrew way of reckoning.
  119. Josephus gives Joshua 25; Samuel 12; Samuel and Saul contemporaneously 18; Saul after the death of Samuel 22. The Christian chronologists do not differ very widely; Eusebius gives Joshua 27; Samuel and Saul jointly 40. We should hardly say that these estimates are excessive. For the whole period Josephus reckons 592 years (antt. viii. 3. 1 § 61; x. 8, 5 § 147) or 612 (antt. xx. 10, 1 § 230; c. Ap. ii. 2 § 19), or in still different ways; see P. Brinch, Examen chronologiae Flav. Josephi, c. 4; Herzfeld, Chronologia judicum, p. 12 f.
  120. On the considerations which may be urged in favour of the hypothesis of synchronisms, see Walther, in Zusätze zur Allg. Welthist., 1747, ii. p. 400 ff.° (cited by Bachmann).
  121. That the twenty years of Canaanite oppression and the forty years of peace which followed fell in the eighty years of peace which the south enjoyed after the death of Eglon, is a hypothesis propounded by older chronologists (Beza, Marsham). Others think that the forty years' peace under Gideon in Central Palestine coincided with the forty years of Barak in the North; &c. On these and other theories see Ba., p. 64 f.
  122. Appendix chronologica ad librum Judicum, 1684.
  123. Vitringa, Carpzov, Marsham, Walther; Ke., Ew., Hgstbg., al.; most recently, with different modifications and more or less artificial subsidiary hypotheses, Bachmann and Köhler.
  124. Compare the formal synchronisms in the Books of Kings.
  125. "Die Chronologie der Richterzeit," Untersuchungen zur Kritik d. A. T.'s, p. 173 ff.
  126. Othniel 40, Ehud 80, Barak 40, Gideon 40, Minor Judges 76 + 4 of Solomon = 80, Samson 20, Eli 40, David 40 = 380.
  127. Nöldeke makes the sum of these years 94; viz. Cushan 8, Eglon 18, Jabin 20, Midianites 7, Abimelech 3, Ammonites 18, Philistines 20 (deducting the twenty in the days of Samson, Jud. 1520).
  128. This is the method of Jewish and early Christian chronologers; see Euseb., Chron. ed. Schoene, ii. p. 35: post mortem Jesu subjectos tenuerunt Hebraeos aliengenae annis 8, qui junguntur Gothonielis temporibus, secundum Judaeorum traditiones; and so in every following case. So also Seder Olam, c. 12, and the Jewish commentators; see Meyer, Seder Olam, p. 383 ff.
  129. Probably Jud. 9 was not contained in the Deuteronomic Judges; but in any case he was regarded as a usurper.
  130. Observe that Samuel ruled Israel as long as he lived, 1 S. 715.
  131. Not the formula of Judges or Samuel.
  132. Gen. 4146; cf. Gutschmid in Nöldeke, p. 192 f.
  133. The 76 years of the Minor Judges plus the 4 of Solomon would be the most conclusive evidence of this.
  134. For the Massoretic text (M) I have generally followed Baer, Libri Josuae et Judicum, 1891. The admirable edition of the Bible by J. H. Michaelis (1720) has also been constantly before me, and I have derived much help from Norzi's critical commentary, Minchath Shai, in the Mantua Bible of 1742. For the readings of Hebrew manuscripts and early editions I have relied on J. B. De Rossi, Variae lectiones Veteris Testamenti, vol. ii., 1785, which embodies all that is useful in Kennicott's collations. For the Massora, besides Jacob ben Chayim's edition in the Venice Rabbinical Bible, I have chiefly consulted Frensdorff's edition of the Ochlawc-Ochla, 1864, and his Massoretisches Worterbuch, 1876: Ginsburg's huge work will be of little use until the volume of apparatus appears.
  135. Septuaginta Studien, 1892, p. 1–72. I had reached the same conclusion in a paper read at the meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature in May, 1890, before I learned, through a letter from Prof. Lagarde, that he was preparing this edition.
  136. In Holmes and Parsons' apparatus, IV and V. Hexaplar manuscript of the 4th or 5th century (Tischendorf) in Leyden, St. Petersburg, and Paris. Published by Tischendorf, Monumenta sacra inedita, iii.; the Paris leaves by Lagarde, Semitica, ii. Of Judges it contains: 948–106 153–1816 1925–2112.
  137. Holmes and Parsons, III. Of the 5th century, in London. Edited by Grabe and successors, 1707–1720, 4 vols. Type facsimile by Baber, 1812–1828, 3 vols. Photographic reproduction published by the Trustees of the British Museum, 1881–1883.
  138. Holmes and Parsons, X. Hexaplar; of the 7th century (Holmes). The collation in H.P. is to be controlled by that of Griesbach, in Eichhorn's Repertorium, ii. p. 194 ff.
  139. Holmes and Parsons, XI. Of the 9th century (Holmes), in Rome. In Judges it lacks 1417–181. For this MS., H.P. has been my sole dependence. No significance is to be attached, therefore, to the absence of V from an array in which it might be expected.
  140. Of these, 108 (Vaticanus 330) only is complete in Judges; the others have more or less extensive lacunæ. For this group I have cited Lagarde's edition.
  141. Monumenta sacra, i. p. 171–176. It contains of Jud. 1124–34 182–20.
  142. I have projected an edition of it, of which an announcement will be made in due time.
  143. I have not compared the Aldina for myself, but have relied on Holmes and Parsons, compared with the collation in the London Polyglot, vol. vi.
  144. The scanty fragments of the Old Latin were collected by Sabatier, and reprinted, with a few gleanings, by Fritzsche, Liber Judicum secundum LXX interpretes, 1867. More considerable additions are gathered by Vercellone in his apparatus to the Vulgate (ii., 1864).
  145. This version was made in the year 616–617 a.d., in Egypt, from a Hexaplar codex; see Gwynne, in Smith's Dict. of Christ. Biography, iv. p. 266 ff. Judges was published from a MS. in the British Museum, with a reconstruction of the Greek text, by T. Skat Rördam (Libri Judicum et Ruth, 1861); and by Lagarde (Bibliotheca syriaca, 1892).
  146. Dillmann, Octateuchus aethiopicus, 1853. Contains a collation with the Roman text of G.
  147. I am unable to use the Armenian version: see Lagarde, Genesis graece, p. 18; Septuaginta Studien, p. 8 f.
  148. Grabe, Epistola ad Millium, 1705.
  149. Known to me only from Lagarde's collation of Jud. 1–5. On the surmise that a codex in St. Petersburg, which is probably part of the same manuscript, contains the text of Theodotion, see Lagarde, Septuaginta Studien, p. 11.
  150. In the letter to Mill, cited above. Grabe embarrassed this result by the assumption that the version, or revision, was the work of Hesychius.
  151. Ciasca, Sacrorum Bibliorum fragmenta copto-sahidica, i. 1885. Contains of Judges, 110–21 127–218.
  152. Didymus died 394 or 399.
  153. Cyrill became Bp. of Alexandria in 412 a.d.
  154. On the Greek text of Judges, see Grabe, Epistola ad Millium, 1705; Ziegler, Theologische Abhandlungen, i. 1791, p. 276 ff.; O. F. Fritzsche, Liber Judicum secundum LXX interpretes, 1867 (distinguishing three types of text); Schulte, De restitutione atque indole genuinae versionis graecae in libro Judicum, 1889; Lagarde, Septuaginta Studien, 1892, p. 1–72. For the fragments of Aquila, Symmachus, and Theodotion, Field, Origenis hexaplorum quae supersunt, 1875; cf. J. G. Scharfenberg, Animadversiones quibus fragmenta versionum graecarum V.T. ... illustrantur emendantur, ii. 1781, p. 40–85.
  155. Known to me only in the edition of 1547.
  156. The punctuation and orthography are Buxtorfs; nor did he refrain from more serious emendations.
  157. See Merx, Chrestomathia Targumica, Proleg. p. xvi.
  158. Of course, the ancient versions themselves embodied an interpretation of the original text.
  159. I have used the ed. of Leipzig, 1686.
  160. Of these I have read only a Lyra and a Lapide. Serarius I know through Schmid.
  161. Das Buch der Richter, 1835; second (title) edition, 1842.
  162. English translation, Edinburgh, 1868.
  163. English translation, New York, 1872.