Eminently readable, exegetically thorough, and written in an engaging style that flows from his keen sensitivity to the text, Barry Webb’s The Book of Judges is just what is needed to properly interact with a dynamic, narrative work like the Old Testament book of Judges. It discusses not only unique features of the stories themselves but also such issues as the violent nature of Judges, how women are portrayed, and how it relates to the Christian gospel of the New Testament.
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“The important thing is not how Gideon himself thinks or feels, but what God has declared him to be: a mighty warrior (v. 12). His strength lies in his being chosen by God, and in God’s promise to be with him.” (Page 231)
“What follows, though, can hardly be anything other than negative: literally, ‘their root [was] in Amalek.’ Overall the force of the line seems to be that while volunteers did come from Ephraim, they displayed some ‘Amalekite’ characteristics; that is, they were hostile, quarrelsome. At this stage in the book such a mixed report on the Ephraimites is very puzzling, but the negative aspect of it will be confirmed by the way the Ephraimites behave in both the Gideon and Jephthah episodes, which follow (8:1–3; 12:1).” (Page 211)
“13 But you forsook me and served other gods. Therefore, I will not save you any more.” (Page 300)
“The book of Judges deals with the history of Israel between the death of Joshua and the transition to the monarchy that began with Samuel.” (Page 10)
We have been waiting for Barry Webb’s commentary a long time. It’s here! This volume is the mature fruit of three decades of study and reflection on the book of Judges. Webb combines the best of thorough scholarship with an evangelical passion for readers to grasp the rhetorical agenda and message of the book. Scholars, teachers, and pastors will find this volume to be a worthy addition to the already excellent NICOT series.
—Daniel I. Block, professor of Old Testament, Wheaton College
Barry G. Webb (PhD, Sheffield) is emeritus senior research fellow in Old Testament at Moore Theological College in New South Wales, Australia. He has written The Book of Judges (JSOT Press).