What you get in the Judges-Ruth Bible Atlas
- Atlas of 22 high resolution maps about Judges
- 24 PDF pages of resources
Sample map in the Judges-Ruth Bible Atlas
Joshua is dead.
Israel has no leader for the first time since Moses walked the Israelites out of Egypt two generations earlier.
Joshua did, however, leave them with a mission:
—“Tribes still need to conquer all the territory” (Joshua 23:4).
—“Follow all the laws Moses wrote about in the Book of Teaching” (Joshua 23:6).
Israel does neither.
First, they learn to live with Canaanite locals. Some scholars say they were getting assimilated into the Philistine nation that dominated them until Samson came along and made love to their women. That started a chain of events ending with Samson killing their soldiers, burning their fields, and driving a wedge of animosity between Israel and the Philistines.
Second, the Israelites bail on God.
They stop worshiping God and start worshiping local gods. Maybe they do this because the local Canaanites are better farmers, and Israelites figure it’s because local gods are better than their God when it comes to farming. Maybe some do it because the sex rituals are fun (Numbers 25:1-8).
After the first story, all the others feel like reruns. Every story follows a similar pattern:
—Israelites sin, usually by turning their back on God.
—God punishes them, usually by sending raiders or neighboring oppressors who heavily tax them and treat them like lowlifes.
—Israel’s people ask God to forgive them and to rescue them.
—God sends a leader who usually rallies Israel to fight their way to freedom. Samson, an exception, fights them alone.
—The leader dies and the cycle starts over. Sin. Punishment. Regret. Rescue.
Stories end with a civil war. Reading about it feels like watching a movie full of nothing but bad characters doing stupid stuff. All the tribes gang up on the tribe of Benjamin, killing everyone but 600 of their men who escape.
In the end, there’s no leader. There’s anarchy.
The reason for the anarchy and all the bad choices the people made?
“Israel didn’t have a king at the time. So, everyone did whatever they wanted” (Judges 21:25).
In addition to the Judges-Ruth Bible Atlas
Best resource for comparing other Bible translations: Bible Gateway. This isn’t an ad. It’s a recommendation from the Casual English Bible.
To support the work of paraphrasing the Casual English Bible and keeping it free online: