The bible book of Judges was written by Samuel, in the land of Israel and it was written in the years c.1100 B.C.E. But the total covered time before it completion is from c 1450 – c 1120 B.C.E. Here is a page of Israel history that is packed full of action, alternating between disastrous entanglements with demon religion and Jehovah’s merciful deliverance of his repentant people by divinely appointed Judges. Faith -inspiring deeds are of Othniel. Ehud,Shamgar, and the other Judges followed .
As the writer of Hebrews said: ” The Time will fail me if i go on to relate about Gideon, Barak,Samson,Jephthah…… who through faith defeated kingdoms in conflict,effected righteousness,…..from a week state were made powerful, became valiant in war,routed the armies of foreigners.”( Heb. 11:32-24) To round out the number of 12 faithful judges of this period, there are also Tola,Jair,Ibzan, and Abdon. (Samuel is not usually counted among the Judges) Jehovah fought the judges battle for them, and spirit enveloped them as they performed their deeds of prowess. They gave all the credits and glory to their God.
In the Septuagints the Bible book of Judges is called Kristai’, and the Hebrews Bible, it is called Shophetim’, which is translated “Judges.”Shophetim’ is derived from the verb sha.phat; meaning to “vindicate,judges,punish,govern,”which well expresses the office of these theocratic appointees of ” God the Judge of all.” (Heb 12:23) They were men raised up by Jehovah on specific occasions to deliver his people from foreign bondage.
When was Judges written? with these two expression we are sure to find the answer. The first is this: ” But Jebusites keep dwelling…In Jerusalem down to this day.”(Judg. 1:21) Since King David captures ” the stronghold of Zion ” from the Jebusites in the eighth year of his reign, or in 1070 B.C.E . The book of Judges must be written before this date . (2 Sam . 5:4-7) The second expression occurs four times: ” In those days there was no king in Israel.” (Judg. 17;6; 18:1; 19:1; 21:25)
Hence, the record was written down at a time when there was a “king in Israel,” that is, after Saul became the first king in 1117 B.C.E. It must therefore be dated between 1117 and 1070 B.C.E.How long a period does Judges cover? This can calculated from 1 Kings 6:1, which shows that Solomon began to build the house of Jehovah in the fourth year of his reign, which was also Four hundreds and eightieth year after the Israel came out from the land of Egypt.”( Four hundreds and eightieth being an ordinal number, it represent 479 full years.)
The known time period includes 479 years are 40 years with Moses in the Wilderness.( Deut. 8:2) 40 years of Saul’s reign (Acts 13:21), and the first 3 years of Solomon’s reign.
Subtracting this total of 123 years from the 479 years of 1 kings 6:1, there remain 356 years for the period between the entry of Israel into Canaan and the start of Saul’s reign.” The recorded events in the book of Judges,extending largely from the death of Joshua down to the time Samuel ,cover 330 years of this 356 year period.