Notes: An Overview of the Chronology of Judges

The book of Judges is NOT in exact chronological order.

The outline goes something like this:

  • Chapter 1 talks of the land that the people possessed, or didn’t, as the case may be, after the death of Joshua.
  • The first half of Chapter 2, gives another brief account of Joshua’s death that ends with verse 10 – “When that generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them who did not know the LORD nor the work which He had done for Israel” -in order to lead into the repeated story of their falling into idolatry, delivered into the hands of their enemies and then being rescued by a judge.
  • Starting from the second half of chapter 2 till the end of chapter 16 the book IS in chronological order.
  • Chapters 17-21 are two separate stories that are placed during the times of the judges. But there are hints that show that they are very early in the timeline.
    • The first story in chapters 17-18 is placed back when the children of Israel were still conquering the land, and seeking their inheritance.
    • Judges 18:1 “In those days there was no king in Israel. And in those days the tribe of the Danites was seeking an inheritance for itself to dwell in, for until that day their inheritance among the tribes of Israel had not fallen to them.”
  • The second story in chapters 19-21, is also placed really early, around the same time as the previous two chapters.
    • In 19:11-12 the man, his concubine and his servant, will not enter Jerusalem, for it does not yet belong to the Jews.
    • In 20:27-28, the priest (or High-Priest) Phinehas is mentioned. He was around at the time when the children of Israel where entering the Land.