Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/23

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xiii
TITLE AND PLACE IN THE CANON

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.[1]

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;[2] 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,[3] 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.),[4] 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).[5]


§ 2. Contents.

The Book of Judges consists of three parts: 11–25, 26–1631, 17–21.[6]

  1. On the cognate pragmatism of parts of 1 S. 1–12, see below, p. xxxiv n.
  2. The same confusion of שפט, שכט‎, occurs in various places in the O.T., e.g. 2 S. 77 H. Dt. 115 G.
  3. See Bloch, Phoenicisches Glossar, s.v.
  4. Cf. also judex = praeses provinciae, CIL. viii. No. 949.
  5. On the Assyrian shipţu shapiţu, see Jensen, ZA. v. 278–280.
  6. 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.