The Period of Judges – about 450 years (Acts 13:20), including the book of Ruth.
As Joshua continued the history of Israel after the death of Moses (Josh 1:1), so Judges continues the history after the death of Joshua (Judges 1:1). This book records the failure of Israel as predicted by Joshua (Josh 23:11-13). Throughout the book, we see the cycle of apostasy, servitude, and deliverance repeated six times (number of man).
I. Apathy (1-2)
A. Early victories (1 :1-26)
B. Defeats (1:27-36)
C. Divine rebuke (2:1-5)
D. Serving other gods (2:6-23)
Il. Apostasy (3-16)
Six times we read, “And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD” (Judges 3:7, 12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1). As a result, we read six times that they became captives (Judges 3:8, 12; 4:2; 6:1; 10:7; 13:1), and we read six times that they were delivered (Judges 3:9, 15; 4:23; 8:28; 11:33; 16:30).
III. Anarchy (17-21)
A. Religious corruption (17-18)
B. Moral corruption (19)
C. Political corruption (20-21)
Thirteen (number of rebellion) judges are listed in this book. Twelve (number of government) judges were chosen by God, but the sixth judge (Abimelech) was a usurper and pictures the Antichrist. The servitudes were in accordance with the Law Covenant and were predicted in Lev 26:14-17 (Lev 26 reveals 5 courses of punishment on Israel). Apostasy can take place in just one generation (Judges 2:6-10).