Judges Prolegomena

This book contains the various events of the Israelite republic through the space of two hundred and ninety-nine years under thirteen Judges, of which the first was Othniel, and the last was Samson (Lapide,[1] Bonfrerius[2]); to whom Eli and Samuel succeeded; who, nevertheless, are not treated in this book (Lapide). Question 1: Who then is the writer of this book? Response: It is entirely uncertain (Lapide, Bonfrerius). Initially it was not a single book, but several histories and registers were composed (Tostatus[3]). It is likely that Ezra, or rather Samuel, gathered these things from the old journals and annals that one or the other Judge wrote in his time, and by writing reduced them into this book (Lapide, similarly Tostatus, Bonfrerius). The Hebrews say that Samuel wrote this book[4] (Vatablus[5]). Question 2: What then was the office of the Judges? Responses: 1. They were generals in war. 2. Not only that, but they were also put in charge of the administration of justice, and composing the lawsuits of their fellow citizens (Bonfrerius, Lapide). For some Judges are not found to have conducted any wars, such as Tola,