The author of the book is not known. God is the Author of the book. It is inspired of Him. In 2 Timothy 3:16 we read: “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness . The book Judges in the Bible comes after the book Joshua. The people, who were with Joshua, that generation, were courageous and faithful but that generation was gone. There was now a new generation of people in Israel. The promised land of God was given to His people Israel. It was the land Canaan. Under Joshua Israel conquered and occupied it for the most part. The 12 tribes of Israel dwelled in this land Canaan. The book of Judges is a book of history. The message or what we can learn from this book is that Israel had failed because they had left the Lord and they did evil in the eyes of the Lord. In Judges 2:11-15 we read the following verses: “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim; And they forsook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the Lord to anger. And they forsook the Lord and served Baal and Ashtaroth. And the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. Whithersoever they went out; the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. Nevertheless the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.” Because of failure of Israel God gave them Judges, the Judges acted for Jehovah, the invisible King. It was not only because of worshipping other gods but also that they didn’t occupy the whole land and delivered themselves from the other people like the Canaanites.
Who were Baal and Astharoth? They were gods of the people around Israel. Baal was a god and it means master or lord, he was in the minds of the people who lived around Israel, the god of the Canaanites. Baal, what means master, owner or husband, was worshipped as male god. He was the son of the god EL. The worshipping of Baal was most of the time coupled with the goddess Ashtaroth, the female counterpart. Baal was the rain god. Baal was associated with the sun and storms, Ashtaroth with sex and fertility. Nature gods energized by demonic spirits! Originally these 2 gods came from Nimrod at the first Babylon and this spread throughout the ancient world with the dispersion. The worship of Baal went not always with sensual practices and fertility cults, but also practices to sacrifice children for this god. De worshippers of Baal eat also the sacrifices that were brought to the dead and cut themselves with swords and spears. Horrible practices took place under such worshipping for these false gods.
The book Judges comes from the persons who God selected for leadership under His people during this period when there was no leader like Joshua or a king to reign over them. In Judges 2:16 we read: “Nevertheless the Lord rose up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. And in verse 18: “And when the Lord raised them up judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the Lord because of their groaning's by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them ”. God chose 12 judges to deliver them from their enemies. The twelve Judges we have are:1 Othniel: he delivered Israel from the Mesopotamians. We read this in Chapter 3:7-11. 2 Ehud: Under Ehud the people of Israel were delivered from the Moabites Chapter 3:12-30. The third Judge is Shamgar and he delivered Israel from the Philistines. After this there are 2 persons Deborah and Barak who delivered the people of Israel from the Canaanites Chapter 4-5. This is one of the famous chapters of the book. After Deborah and Barak God called Gideon and he with God delivered the people of Israel from the Medianites Chapter 6-8. Also a famous figure and Judge. In Chapter 6:6 we read: “And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the Lord. An angel of the Lord, a messenger of God was send to Gideon and said in Judges 6:16: “And the Lord said unto him Gideon, Surely I will be with thee and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. Gideon asked the Lord for a sign that the Lord be with him (verses 17-24). Later in the battle against the Midianites only 300 men, soldiers, were left to fight against the Midianites and Israel won that war! Gideon was the sixth Judge over Israel! After him Tola and Jair were Judges over Israel. We can read this in the Judges 10:1-5. Jephthah was another Judge and delivered Israel from the Ammonites Chapter 10:6-12:7. Then 3 Judges came after him: Ibzan, Elon and Abdon. We can find those names in Chapter 12 of the book of Judges. Finally another famous Judge came as last of the Judges God send under His people. His name was and is Samson. He delivered Israel from the Philistines; the folk who lived in the Gaza stroke near the Mediterranean Sea were now at this moment the Palestine's live. This last summer there was war between Israel and the Palestine's like Hamas. Over Samson we can read in the Chapters 13-16. We read in in Judges 16: 30 on the end of Samson’s life: “And Samson said, Let me die with the Philistines. And he bowed himself with all his might; and the house fell upon the lords, and upon all the people that were therein. So the dead which he slew at his death were more than they which he slew in his life” Samson judged Israel 20 years. After this there was no ruler over Israel, no king and we read in Judges 21:25 the last verse of this book: “In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes” There was no government so anarchy played a big role in Israel at that time. That was not a good situation.
What we can learn from this is the following: Israel was under the Law of Moses; they departed from God and from the Law which God had given them, His Word and went after other gods and every man did that which was right in his own eyes. So God gave them 12 rulers, judges to deliver them from their enemies and that they went back to God. This sounds familiar to us. In the time when we knew not God in our lives, we were the servants of sin. In Romans 6: 20-21 we read: “For when ye were the servants of sin, ye were free from righteousness. What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death.” We walked in that time as the other Gentiles walk in the vanity of their mind Ephesians 4:17. And in verse 18 of the same Chapter we read: “Having the understanding darkened being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them, because of the blindness of their heart ”. We were like the other Gentiles who are in this world without God. The difference between Israel and us as members of the body of Christ is that we are saved through grace alone, by faith alone, in Christ alone, without the Law. He carried our sins on Calvary Ephesians 1:7, Colossians 1:14. He died our death on Calvary. Our sins are forgiven! Sin has not dominion over us because we are not under the law but under grace! Christ is the end of the Law! Israel was what we have seen and read under the law of God, the Law of Moses. We have a much better position than Israel had in the past. We are in Christ. God sees us in His Son the Lord Jesus Christ. We are secure in Him forever!! Our citizenship is in heaven! What we have to do is this: “If ye then be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth on the right hand of God. Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth. For ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God.” Christ is our Head, the Head of the Heavenly Church, the body of Christ and we belong to it, we are the members of that Church! 2 Timothy 2:13 tells us: “If we believe not, yet He abideth faithful; He cannot deny Himself” Because we sin in our lives every day (we know that our sins are forgiven) and leave the Lord many times like Israel did in the past He is faithful and He never leave us. We are in Him because we are hid with Christ in God!