Week 12: Judges 3-21 From Othniel to Benjamite Brides
Read the Bible at home and discuss the following questions in a group. In Judges 3 why did God want Israel to learn war? What were the Baals and Asherahs? How long was Israel under occupation by a northern Mesopotamian king? Describe Othniel’s character. How long were they subject to Moab? Describe Ehud. What did Shamgar do? In Judges 4 how long did Jabin oppress Israel? Describe Deborah’s character. How did she win Barak’s support? How did Jael kill Jabin’s general Sisera? In Judges 5 how many years did Israel have peace?
In Judges 6 how long did Midian oppress Israel? Describe Gideon’s character. How did God encourage him? In Judges 7 why and how did God thin out the ranks in Israel’s army? How did they win? In Judges 8 what did the officials of Succoth and Peniel refuse? How long was there peace under Gideon? What happened when he died?
In Judges 9 what did Abimelech do? Compare Abimelech and his brother Jotham. What parable did Jotham say? How did justice come? In Judges 10 how long was Israel oppressed by the Philistines and Ammonites? In Judges 11 what foolish and perverse vow did Jephthah make? Describe Jephthah’s character.
In Judges 12 what caused civil war with Ephraim? What word gave Ephraimites away? How is this word used today? In Judges 13 how long was Israel oppressed by the Philistines? What is a Nazirite (see Numbers 6)? How did the childless woman named by tradition as Hazelelponi (1 Chronicles 4:3) and her husband Manoah have a child? Was it ancient custom for the wife to name the child? What did she call him? In Judges 14 what was Samson’s riddle and what does “plowed with my heifer” mean? Describe Samson’s character.
In Judges 15 what made Samson so angry? What did he do with a donkey’s jawbone? In Judges 16 what was the story with Delilah? How did God finally grant victory over the Philistines, despite Samson’s rebellious attitude? Might things have been different if Samson was more obedient? In Judges 17 what is the story of Micah’s idols and his Levite? Describe Micah’s character.
In Judges 18 what did the Danites do with Micah’s idols and his Levite? In Judges 19 what is the dreadful story of a Levite and his concubine in Gibeah? In Judges 20 what did Israel do to Gibeah?
In Judges 21 how did Israel provide wives for the remaining Benjamites? What was life like for Israel without a king? Was there a uniform national morality? Have we noticed any patterns in the continual rounds of national punishment so far? Does the character of the judges seem to be getting worse each generation? Does Israel’s morality seem to be getting worse and worse? Is a cycle of sin, foreign domination, repentance, salvation and peace a helpful summary of the stories? What other words would you use?