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Who wrote the book of Judges? Who was the author of Judges?

author of Judges

The author of the book of Judges does not identify himself. The book covers a period in Israel’s history when the nation was led by judges, valiant leaders and warriors God chose to liberate Israel from various oppressors. The book records several times when the Israelites rebel against God, and, as a consequence, they fall into the hands of their enemies. At their repentance, God raises a judge to fight for Israel. The repetitive cycle of breaking the covenant and being restored characterizes the book of Judges. By the book’s conclusion, anarchy reigns, and the effect is horrendous. The book of Judges provides crucial insights into Israel’s early years in the Promised Land.

According to the Babylonian Talmud, the prophet Samuel wrote the book of Judges. Samuel would indeed be a likely candidate. The recurring phrase “in those days there was no king in Israel” suggests that the author lived during the monarchy, in contrast to the time of the judges (Samuel lived during both eras). Furthermore, comparing the book of Judges and other biblical texts suggest that the book was written between the time of Saul and David (see Judges 1:21 vis-à-vis 2 Samuel 5:6–7; and Judges 1:29 vis-à-vis 1 Kings 9:16). Again, that time period falls within Samuel’s life. Thus, the Jewish tradition that considers Samuel as the author of Judges is likely correct. The same tradition also says that Samuel wrote Ruth and the book of Samuel.

We cannot conclusively assert that Samuel was the author of Judges. While it is likely that he did write Judges, other parts of Scripture provide minimal evidence to support his authorship. In the end, even though we cannot conclude with certainty that Samuel wrote Judges, there is no reason to doubt the Jewish tradition that identifies him as the author.

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Who wrote the book of Judges? Who was the author of Judges?
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This page last updated: February 28, 2024