Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/33

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xxiii
CONTENTS OF THE TRE-DEUTERONOMIC JUDGES

forty years"; precisely the same formula as in Jud. 1631, cf. 127 102, 3 129, 11, 14.[1] 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,[2] 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;[3] and the hand of Yahweh was against the Philistines as long as Samuel lived" (713).[4] Samuel was thus, in this narrative, the judge who delivered Israel from the Philistines.[5] 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.[6] 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.[7] If this be true, Jud. 106–16[8] may originally have been the introduction to the period of Philistine oppression in the same work.[9] 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

  1. Kuenen (HCO2. i. p. 353) and Wildeboer (Letterkunde, p. 274) regard 1 S. 418b as a gloss, on what seem to me insufficient grounds.
  2. On these verses see below, p. 113.
  3. Cf. Jud. 330 828 1133.
  4. Cf. Jud. 218.
  5. Some critics connect this with Jud. 135, where the Angel foretells that Samson shall begin to deliver Israel; see p. 317.
  6. 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).
  7. Graf, Gesch. Bücher, p. 97 f.; so Bu. Kue., Wildeboer, al., think that this was true of the Deuteronomic Judges.
  8. Excluding Deuteronomic additions.
  9. Bu.; see below, p. 276.