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Judges and Ruth

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In this lesson the extent of the conquest is discussed to frame the book of Judges. The orienting data for the book of Judges helps explain how the book recounts the decline of the people of Israel. Finally, the Dueteronomic cycle which recurs in the book is explained and helps frame Israel’s history up to the time of the exile.

The book of Ruth is a triumphant story when compared with Judges. Even while the majority of Israel is spiraling downward God is at work to care not only for the people of Israel but also for a Moabite widow. The story of Ruth ends in a genealogy showing that in this unlikely story the throne of David came to be established.


The Promised Land:  Judges


I.  Extent of the Conquest


II.  Orienting Data for Judges

A.  Content

B.  Historical Coverage:  Death of Joshua (1360 BC) to Samuel (1060 BC)

C.  Emphases

1.  Decline on four planes

a.  Military Decline

b.  Spiritual Decline

c.  Religious Decline

d.  Moral Decline

2.  Tenuous conquest

3.  Fading of revival

4.  Preservation of values

5.  How low people can sink

6.  God rescuing

7.  Charismatic leadership

8.  The need for a good king

9.  The attractions of idolatry

10.  Disintegration of tribal unity


III.  Outline of Judges

A.  Military decline (1:1-2:9)

B.  Spiritual decline (2:9-3:6)

C.  Judges (3:7-16:31)

D.  Religious disorder (17-18)

E.  Moral disorder (19-21)


IV.  The Deuteronomic Cycle (Judges 2:7-19)

A.  Faithful, free (vv. 7-9)

B.  Apostasy (vv. 10-12)

C.  Anger of Yahweh (vv. 12-15)

D.  Enemy oppression (vv. 14-15)

E.  Cry for help (v. 18)

F.  Rescue via judge (vv. 16, 18)

G.  Faithful, free (vv. 16, 18)

H.  Apostasy, etc. (vv. 17, 19)


V.  Overview of the Final Chapters


The Promised Land: Ruth


I. Emphases

A. God's control of history

B. God allows miseries to righteous people

C. Obedience to God is faithfulness in actions to others

D. We can be exceptions

E. Messiah's lineage is common and noble


II. Overview of Ruth

A. Story Background

B. Conversion Statement

C. Gleaning

D. Ruth Proposes to Boaz

E. Women make key initial decisions

F. Issues of Inheritance

G. Genealogy

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