Background to Kingship in Israel
- Refers to the manner in which a community’s way of life is ruled or controlled.
- When the Israelites settled in Canaan for the first 200 years they were ruled by judges.
- The first judge was Joshua who took over after Moses died in the wilderness.
- The period after Joshua’s death was characterized by political and social disorganization and was between the Israelites and their neighbouring nations.
- To restore order, God raised judges to rule over the people of Israel e.g.
Eliud - Judges 3:15.
Shamgar - Judges 3:31.
Deborah - Judges 4:4.
Gideon - Judges 6:11 – 24, 7:1 – 2.
The Roles of the Judges /Characteristics of judges
- They were charismatic.
- Temporary leaders who led the Israelites battles.
- Upheld covenant faith.
- Acted as God’s spokesmen/women and.
- Settled disputes.
- They ruled Israel on behalf of God.
- Some judges acted as God’s prophets.
- They acted as religious leaders and led the Israelites during religious functions.
- Acted as the conscience of the nation/kings.
- Condemned idolatry and preached the worship of Yahweh.