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The Main Events in the Book of Judges

Updated on December 15, 2009

The Main Events in the Book of Judges

Judges 1

After Joshua's death, the Israelites ask the Lord who should go up first to fight the Canaanites. Judah was the first tribe selected. The tribe of Simeon helps the tribe of Judah drive enemies off the land. Ephraim and Manasseh attempt to clear their land as well but do not wipe out all the former inhabitants. The other tribes are unable to drive all the Canaanites off their alloted inheritance.

Judges 2

The Lord confronts the Israelites about not destroying the former inhabitants including their false idols. The Lord declares that he will no longer help the Israelites in their quest to take all of the Promised Land. The Lord hands the Israelites over to raiders and sends judges to defend the people against the raiders.

Judges 3

A list of nations that remained because the Israelites refused to drive them out. The Lord delivers the Israelites over to Aram Naharaim which rules over Israel for eight years. The Lord chooses Caleb's brother Othniel as first judge to deliver the Israelites from the outside raiders.   The Israelites do evil again and God subjects them to Eglon the Moabite king. Ehud from the tribe of Benjamin is chosen to lead the Israelites out of bondage to Moab. Shamgar replaces Ehud as judge over Israel.

Judges 4

After Ehud died, the Israelites did evil again. The Lord gives them over to jabin, king of Canaan. God raises up Deborah and Barak to lead the Israelites out of the hand of Jabin. A woman named Jael kills the Sisera the Canaanite army commander.

Judges 5

The Song of Deborah

Judges 6

The people of Israel do evil again and the Lord gives them over to a band of Midianites. Gideon is chosen to lead the people out of bondage to the Midianites. Gideon pulls down an asherah pole and builds an altar to the Lord.

Judges 7

Gideon defeats the Midianites with only 300 men.

Judges 8

Gideon is criticized by the Ephramites for not calling them to help fight the Midianites. The men of Succoth refuse to give food to Gideon and his fighting men. Gideon captures two Midianite leaders and executes them. Gideon makes an ephod for himself. Gideon dies.

Judges 9

Abimelech son of one of Gideon's concubines kills his other brothers and governs over Israel for three years. Abimelech has a problem with the people of Shechem who choose a man named Gaal to lead them. Zebul the governor of Shechem sides with Abimelech. Abimelech defeats Gaal and the people of Shechem. A woman drops a millstone of Abimelech's head and he dies.

Judges 10

Tola replaces Abimelech as judge of Israel; Jair replaces Tola; Israelites do evil again by serving the gods of other peoples; god becomes angry with the Israelites and gives them over to the Ammonites and Philistines. The Israelites cry out to God and confess their sins of idol worship. The Israelites get rid of their idols and prepare to fight the Ammonites.

Judges 11

Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty warrior. Jephthah was rejected by his brothers and sent away. The Gileadites call Jepthah back to rescue them from the Ammonites. Jephthah sends a letter to the king of the Ammonites concerning Israel's right to possess the land east of the Jordan. Jephthah makes a hasty vow to secure the Lord's favor in battle. The Lord gives the Ammonites over to Jephthah and his army. In accordance of his hasty vow. Jephthah is forced to sacrifice his only daughter to the Lord

Judges 12

The men of Ephraim fight against Jephthah and the Gileadites for not calling on them to help with the battle against the Ammonites. Ibzan, Elon, and Abden follow Jephthah as judge over Israel.

Judges 13

An angel appears to a Danite woman and tells her she will have a special child who is to be a Nazirite. The angel appears again to her husband Manoah and gives them instructions about how to rear the boy. The woman gives birth to the special son and names him Samson.

Judges 14

Samson demands that his parents get him Timnah a young Philistine to be his bride. Samson rescues his parents from a lion which he tore apart with his bare hands. Samson eats honey he found inside the carcass of the lion. Samson is given 30 companions to whom he attempts to trick with a riddle. Samson promises them he will give each one a new set of clothes for solving the riddle. Timnah nags Samson for seven days until he tells her the riddle. Samson kills 30 men and gives their clothes to his 30 companions. Burning with anger, Samson left his new wife with her father and her father gives her to Samson's friend.

Judges 15

Samson goes to Timnah's home to retrieve her, but her father blocks him from seeing her. Samson uses foxes to burn the Philistines crops. The Philistines burn Timnah, her father, and his house for Samson's offense. Samson attacked the Philistines and slaughtered them. Samson led Israel 20 years.

Judges 16

Samson takes another Philistine woman Delilah as his wife. Delilah nags Samson into revealing the secret to his strength. Samson is captured by the Philistines. The Lord helps Samson defeat the Philistines one last time by giving him strength to destroy the Philistine temple.

Judges 17

A man named Micah living in the hill country of Ephraim makes a carved idol out of silver as well as a shrine and an ephod. Micah hires a Levite from Benjamin to be priest in his shrine.

Judges 18

The Tribe of Danites search for a place to settle down and send five warriors to spy out the land and explore it; The five Danites recognize the young Levite working for Micah and ask him to inquire of the Lord for them. The five warriors discover Laish and send for the Danite clan. On the way to Laish, the five warriors steal the carved image, the ephod and take the young Levite with them. The Danites conquer Laish and set up idols for their gods.

Judges 19

A Levite from the Ephraim hill country took a concubine from Bethlehem; the concubine runs away to her father's home and the Levite retrieved her. On their way back home, the Levite and his concubine stop in Gibeah in the land of Benjamin where they stayed with an old man. Wicked men came to the old man's house and demanded to have sex with the Levite. The Levite gave them his concubine and they raped her all night until she died. The Levite took her to his home in the hill country of Ephraim, cut her body up with a knife, and sent the body parts in all areas of Israel as a witness against what the Benjamites had done.

Judges 20

The Israelites attack and slaughter the Benjamite men for their wickedness and evil deeds.

Judges 21

Wives of the Benjamites get new husbands. In those days, every one did what was right in their own eyes.


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    • Skyora profile image

      Tamika Joy Johnson 

      2 years ago from Alabama

      I like that you are giving a summary of what actually happens in each chapter instead of an exposition.

    • profile image


      7 years ago

      less words please...but still Thank you!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      thanks! u're so cool!

    • ecoggins profile imageAUTHOR


      9 years ago from Corona, California

      Bless, I am so glad that you found this article was useful to you and that it helped you with your term paper. Thank you for sharing with me.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      You are a blessing to me,you know why?coz i have my research in the book of judges and i found your writings,it's great my term paper;s problem was solve!God bless uou....

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I just read Judges,

      good job on the overview,

      it still amazes me that a whole nation of Israel will go to civil war over the rape of a woman in Judges 19-20 and in the US today hundred of rapist overflow our jails and we fight a foreign war against Islamic terrorist

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Really cool, really cool. I found this website while I was doing research for my Bible Literature class, I'm loving it. Thanks again

    • RevLady profile image


      10 years ago from Lantana, Florida

      I must mimic matt6v33. You are a truly gifted writer. Your organizational skills are remarkable. Your synopsis of each chapter is phenomenal, easy to read and comprehend.

      Glad I found you.

    • matt6v33 profile image


      10 years ago from Bangkok, Thailand

      wow... u have been truly blessed, u r sooooooooooo skilled, love how u choose to outlay His Word.. Nice.. like your style!



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