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The Book Of Judges – Dating And Meaning

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Chapter Summary

Dating any biblical book is a complex task, involving assumptions by now axiomatic in research or at least enjoying widespread recognition. The widespread acceptance of Martin Noth's revolutionary theory in the second half of the 20th century resulted in identification of The book of Judges as Deuteronomistic, part of more comprehensive, longer Deuteronomistic composition. The structure of the book, which includes analysis of the leadership styles of the judges and of the nature of kingship, recognition of the advantages of continuity, and the book's conclusion about the necessity of kingship - all reflect the need for kingship and at the same time limited expectations of it, because any solution has its constraints. The book of Judges, therefore, is an extra-establishment work, which could have been written at a time when texts were also accessible to people outside the establishment.

Keywords: deuteronomy; kingship; Martin Noth's revolutionary theory; The Book of Judges

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