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What is a judge in the Book of Judges?

Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hands of these raiders. Judges 2:16

Judges in the book of Judges were not exalted lawyers with powdered wigs, slamming down gavels to get order in the court.

Judges were people God raised up to fight against oppressors living in the land of Israel for around 300 years after Joshua led them into the Promised Land and the tribes divided up around the country. There was no central leadership during that time period so things spiritually fell apart. The judges were leaders or warriors or assassins or commanders of armies, sometimes just regular people called to the position because there was no one else around qualified to do the job.

The judges found in the book of Judges include:

1.Othniel (3:7-11)
2.Ehud (3:12-30)
3.Shamgar (3:31)
4.Deborah (and Barak) (4:1-5:31)
5.Gideon (6:1-8:32)
6.Abimelech (8:33-9:57)
7.Tola (10:1-2)
8.Jair (10:3-5)
9.Jephthah (10:6-12:7)
10. Ibzan (12:8-10)
11. Elon (12:11-12)
12. Abdon (12:13-15)
13. Samson (13:1-16:31)

God used their talents and strengths at the right time, in the right place, against the enemies of Israel.

The lesson from Judges is this – God can use you for his purposes whether you are strong (Samson), left handed (Ehud), a farmer (Gideon), a woman (Deborah), whether you carry a pointed stick (Shamgar) or ride a donkey (Ibzan). God can use any strength or any talent to fulfill his plan. 

He can even use you.