Page:A Critical and Exegetical Commentary on Judges.djvu/39

From Wikisource
Jump to: navigation, search
This page has been proofread, but needs to be validated.
xxix
SONG OF DEBORAH. MINOR JUDGES

Minor Judges is almost exactly that of the interregna in the general chronology of the period.[1] 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.[2] 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

  1. 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.
  2. 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.