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date: 18 January 2020

Abstract and Keywords

Like the literature that precedes and follows in the Hebrew Bible, the book of Judges is clearly the product of a complicated literary history involving the early formation and deformation of Israel in the land of Canaan. It is a book whose coherence is in many ways found in its dissymmetry. In recent decades, such tensions between surface structure and deep chaos, and predictable repetition and disturbing interruption, have made the book of Judges a significant focus of study for new literary approaches in biblical studies. The book of Judges may be divided into three main parts: 1: 1–3: 6, accounts of tribal conquest and failure in Canaan; 3: 7–16: 31, the cycles of thirteen judges who delivered Israelites from oppression by other peoples; and 17: 1–21: 25, narratives of atrocity, civil war, and collapse among the tribes of Israel.

Keywords: Hebrew Bible, book of Judges, Canaan, theological chaos, tribal conquest, Israelites

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