An overview of the period of the judges


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An overview of the period of the judges
Bible Study Week

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An overview of the period of the judges

  2. 2. OUTLINE 1.Historical History 2.Biblical History 3.WIIFU
  3. 3. BRONZE TO IRON AGE BRONZE • Copper + tin => most applications, functional and decorative • Copper + silver => higher shine, mirrors • Small settlements, “city” states IRON • Wrought iron (hand forged) in Early Iron Age • Easier to produce larger quantities • Not as hard or workable as good bronze • Use triggered by disruption of tin supplies • Larger settlements, wider governing
  4. 4. EGYPT’S DOMINANCE Eighteenth Dynasty (Thutmose III, Amenhotep II) 1500 – 1400 Nineteenth Dynasty (Seti I, Ramses II) 1300 - 1200
  5. 5. A TIME FOR MIGRATION Amos 9:7
  6. 6. AN EXAMPLE: UGARIT “The history of the city may now be traced from its earliest beginnings in the pre-pottery Neolithic period (about 6500 b.c.), through the Chalcolithic, early Bronze, and middle Bronze periods, to its complete and final destruction in the late Bronze period soon after 1200 by the Sea Peoples. We have no evidence that the site of Ugarit was ever occupied again.”The most significant discoveries at Ugarit for the study of both history and religion are the discoveries of the epigraphic materials. The Ugaritic texts have provided a welcome resource for clarifying the meanings and nuances of unknown and obscure words and phrases in the OT. …The closest primary evidence available for reconstructing the Canaanite religion Israel faced…foremost is the Baal- Anath cycle that has survived in a number of large tablets and smaller fragments… The myth was closely related to the cycle of the year and described the ongoing struggles between life and death… in actual practice the Canaanites employed sacred prostitution and other imitative practices to restore
  8. 8. Absence of pig bones: “Unique to Israelite culture, and the complete opposite of Canaanite culture, in which pigs were common. A number of scholars who are otherwise skeptical about determining ethnic identity from material culture remains in this case acknowledge the obvious: that here we seem to have at least one ethnic trait of later, biblical Israel that can safely be projected back to its earliest days” (p108) Destruction of religious artifacts: “The temples and their elaborate paraphernalia that are so typical of Late Bronze Age Canaanite society simply disappear by the end of the 13th century' (p126), … at Hazor there were 'six or seven Egyptian statues that must have been deliberately mutilated. Heads and arms were chopped off, the chisel marks still visible on the torsos.…the Israelites were responsible…there are currently no better candidates' (p67)” BEGINNING OF THE PERIOD
  9. 9. END OF THE PERIOD Khirbet Qeiyafa • Site in use only for a short period of ~50 years • Dated to late 11th century (Saul / David) • Evidence of centrally organised state of Israel • No pig bones (Philistines ate pigs and dogs) • Rooms for worship attached to houses (no temples and no figurines or idols) • Ostracon with 5 lines of text: “The men and the chiefs/officers have established a king”. Is this announcing the ascent of Saul to the
  10. 10. THE DATES PROBLEM  Historical data seems to fit the Exodus & entry to land about 1250 BC/1210 BC  BUT… 1 Kings 6:1 – 480 years from Exodus to Temple (967 BC)  This would put Exodus at 1447BC  Chronology in the text <> 590 years  Acts 13:20 (ESV, NET, RSV, Roth)  ???
  11. 11. OUTLINE 1.Historical History 2.Biblical History 3.WIIFU
  12. 12. BIBLICAL HISTORY Often selective and stylised Classic example: Melchizedek (Heb 7) Designed for spiritual lessons, to educate and make political comment Dating issues – 40 years a generation
  15. 15. JOSHUA V JUDGES  God’s command: Deut 20:16-17  Joshua’s campaign: Josh 10:40, 11:15  Judges 1: failure to conquer… Contradiction?
  16. 16. The type of rhetoric in question was a regular feature of military reports in the second and first millennia, as others have made very clear. Merneptah: “Israel is wasted, his seed is not” Tuthmosis III “the numerous army of Mitanni, was overthrown within the hour, annihilated totally, like those now non- existent” Mesha: “Israel has utterly perished for always” Ramses II: “His majesty slew the entire force of the wretched foe from Hatti, together with his great chiefs and all his brothers, as well as all the chiefs of all the countries that had come with him, their infantry and their chariotry falling on their faces one upon the other.” It is in this frame of reference that the Joshua rhetoric must also be “The rhetoric of total conquest, complete annihilation and destruction of the enemy, killing everyone, leaving no survivors, etc, is a common hyperbolic way of describing a victory in ancient near eastern histories of the same period” “I will utterly consume everything from the face of the land”, says the Lord; “I will consume man and beast; I will consume the birds of the heavens, the fish of the sea, and the stumbling blocks along with the wicked. I will cut off man from the face of the land,” says the Lord.” (Zeph 1:2- 3) “I will make the cities of Judah a desolation without inhabitant.” (Jer 34:22) “the king of Babylon will certainly come and destroy this land, and cause man and beast to cease from here” (Jer
  17. 17. Othniel Ehud Shamgar Deborah (Barak) Gideon Abimelech Tola Jair Jephthah Ibzan Elon Abdon Samson
  18. 18. DEBORAH Canaanites JEPHTHAH Ammonites GIDEON Midianites SAMSON Philistines Ibzan, Elon, Abdon Jair Othniel, Ehud, Tola Shamgar Barak’s doubt Women, tent peg Son of prostitute Ill advised vow Reassurance, barley cake, 300 men, ephod Women, jawbone prisoner
  19. 19. CYCLES IN HISTORY Israel turn from God God delivers them to an enemy Israel turn to God God raises up a deliverer Israel rescued and enjoy peace Assyria Isaiah 10 Babylon Jer 30/31 Joel Future Zech 13/14 Assyria Micah 3-5
  20. 20. THE TYPES OF ISSUES The Solution: God’s use of imperfect people who trust him
  21. 21. OUTLINE 1.Historical History 2.Biblical History 3.WIIFU
  22. 22. 1. Moses 2. Joshua 3. Judges A GENERATIONAL PATTERN 1. Jesus 2. Apostles 3. Post- Apostles Judges 2:7-10
  23. 23. Judges 1. Idolatry 2. Immorality 3. Civil war THE SAME ISSUES 1st Century 1. Idolatry & Jesus’ nature 2. Immorality 3. Schism Christadelphia n 1. Atonement 2. Divorce 3. Internal strife
  24. 24. Example: Timothy - 1 Tim 4:12- 16 Influence of imperfect, uncertain, vulnerable people “the day of small things” “a grain of mustard seed … the smallest of all seeds” “the base things… hath God chosen” People like us THE SAME SOLUTIONS