Studying the Historical Books


After completing our 3 1/2-year cycle of readings in the Torah, we’ve decided to continue with the historical books that follow, beginning with Joshua. We’ll read first about the conquest of the Canaanite tribes, then examine the disappointing time of the Judges – punctuated by the exploits of Gideon and Samson – and the turmoil that led up to the anointing of Saul as King.

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February 21, 2021 – Judges 8:1-35 – Gideon pacifies Ephraim, punishes the men of Succoth and Penuel

Gideon uses diplomacy in pacifying the tribe of Ephraim, chastisement for others hindering his “mopping up” operation against the Midianites.

Notes on Judges 8:1-35

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February 14, 2021 – Judges 6:36-7:25 – Gideon’s Fleece and Victory over the Midianites

Gideon’s faith is boosted by the sign of the fleece; God reduces his army to only 300 men; and the victory is obtained by blowing the shofar, breaking pitchers to reveal flaming torches and shouting “The sword of the Lord and of Gideon.”

Notes on Judges 6:36-7:25

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February 7, 2021 – Judges 6:1-35 – Gideon topples the altar of Baal

The Angel of the Lord declares Gideon a “mighty man of valor” despite his lowly position. Gideon then topples the groves and the altar of Baal as a first step toward delivering his people.

Notes on Judges 6:1-35

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January 31, 2021 – Judges 5 – The Song of Deborah

The Song of Deborah and Barak links the battle of Mount Tabor with God’s cosmic victory in Revelation 16.

Notes on Judges 5:1-31

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January 24, 2021 – Judges 4 – Deborah, Barak and Jael

God uses Deborah and her general Barak to rescue Israel from under the thumb of the Canaanite King of Hazor. Jael uses her stealth to kill the fleeing enemy general Sisera.

Notes on Judges 4:1-24

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