Judges 21:25, A Period of Evil

In those days there was no king in Israel; everyone did what was right in his own eyes.

//With this understatement, repeated roughly four times in the book of Judges, the Bible describes a period of unruly behavior in Israel known as the time of the judges. Six times a vicious cycle repeats itself before, finally, Israel decides to appoint a king. The rebellious cycle runs like this:

  • The Israelites “do evil in the sight of the Lord.” See verses 3:7, 3:12, 4:1, 6:1, 10:6, 13:1.
  • God sends an army to slaughter them.
  • They cry to God for mercy.
  • God sends a “judge,” which pretty much means a military leader, to rescue them.

Here are the six rescuers. You may recognize some of them.

  1. Othniel son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother
  2. Ehud, a left-handed man, the son of Gera the Benjamite
  3. Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lappidoth
  4. Gideon, son of Joash the Abiezrite
  5. Jephthah the Gileadite, who was known as a mighty warrior
  6. Samson, who probably needs no introduction
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