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Prologue as Paradigm: Links Between The Prologue and Central Section of Judges

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Chapter Summary

Although consisting only of 41 verses, the prologue of Judges (1:1-2:5) has generated much debate from a historical-critical perspective. This chapter analyzes the issues of whether the perceived disconnection between the prologue and the central section of Judges is accurate, and whether the progressive deterioration implied in 2:19 in fact traceable through the narratives in the central section of the book. The answer appears to be in the affirmative as this deterioration is discussed in the five areas: (1) deterioration traced through the judges' decreasing faith in YHWH, (2) deterioration traced through the increasing prominence of the judges' self-interest as motivation behind their actions, (3) deterioration traced through decreasing participation of the tribes in successive military campaigns, (4) deterioration traced through the judges' increasing harshness in dealing with internal dissent, and (5) deterioration traced through YHWH's increasing frustration with His people as the cyclical pattern breaks down.

Keywords: central section of Judges; military campaigns; progressive deterioration; prologue of Judges; YHWH

10.1163/9789047409410_005
/content/books/b9789047409410s005
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