Course: Old Testament History Books
Teacher: Rev. Dr. Moses Wong
Semester: 2015 Fall
David Howard points out several special topics in the Book Judges [ An Introduction to the Old Testament Historical Books. David Howard. 129-133 pp.] : (1) The real nature of the organizational structure of Israel community, in his book, Howard takes the research result of Martin North as a clarification. (2) The office of Judge, since the concept of Judge is far different from modern Judge. (3) The position and function of 1:1~2:5. (4) The angel of the LORD, two non-evangelical scholars, Walter Eichrodt and Gerhard von Rad question the real identify of the angel. (5) The owe of Jephthah, It is controversial that what is the meaning of his owe? And whether he fulfill his owe or not.
In his book, David Howard thinks that the important topic of Joshua is concerning the inheritance of the properties of Israel. What is the matter now, however, is the reason that why Israel did not obtain the whole land (144 pp). Then he says, what causes the oppression, disorder and any other wracks, is their rebellion of the covenant (145 pp). What is more, due to the faithfulness and the abundance of the grace of God, nevertheless the repeatedly depravity of Israel community, God has mercy on them and be their salvation (145 pp) , not because his forgiveness or tolerance of their sins, but the promise of the covenant. Otherwise, the positive factors of Israel Monarchy from three aspects (147-150 pp).
As Howard refers in the beginning of the Judges Part, Judges records a series of historical matters through with connecting with a general theme, that is, the disobedience of Israel and the faithfulness of God in a disordered social environment that not only affects the political organization but also does harmful to the spiritual formation of Israel (115 pp).
P. Satterthwaite and G. McConville divide their considered important themes into several minor parts [ Exploring the Old Testament, the Histories. 158-162 pp.] : (1) Israel breaks the covenant. (2) The Canaanization, by which reflects their cease to be faithful. (3) Division, means God’s people no longer gathering before God and receive his words. (4) The crisis of the relationship between Israel and God. (5) God’s grace and mercy. Even as we read the end of Judges we cannot the coming of the ultimate judgement which documented from Chapter 23 to 24. (6) The leader. The Lord is the real ruler of Israel. (7) The spirit of the Lord. The two biblical scholars suggest that the roles and functions of Judges may be different when the spirit of the Lord comes upon them individually.
Howard affirms that the writing purpose of this book is to express the serious consequence of the disobedience of God and point out only if a just and righteous Israel King can lead his people to God (118-119 pp).