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History And Prophecy In The Book Of Judges

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Chapter Summary

In introductory courses to the Old Testament modern teachers usually find it helpful to confront the student with the old Jewish tradition which reckons the book of Judges together with Joshua, Samuel and Kings to the part of the canon called the Former Prophets. Allen gives three reasons why the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings are called prophetic: '(1) There is a focus on prophetic messengers, especially Samuel, Nathan, Elijah, and Elisha and their role in history. (2) There is an anti-establishment perspective, like that of the preexilic prophets in the Latter Prophets. Failure and shortcomings in the leadership of Israelite society are continually exposed. (3) Events are analyzed in the light of the prophetic truth that yhwh is sovereign in history, both foretelling and fulfilling his prophetic word. This chapter evaluates the arguments for this commonly accepted characterization of the book of Judges.

Keywords: book of Judges; Joshua; Old Testament; prophetic messengers; Samuel



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