The Reign of Judges – Part 1

Judges were God`s representatives. They were chosen by God and they used to deliver God`s message to the people and people’s response back to God.

They were chosen by God to act on his behalf in organizing the people of Israel when they had just entered the Promised Land.

The office of judgeship was not supposed to be hereditary but to depend on God`s choice. They were national heroes, most of whom were military leaders rather than judges in the legal sense of the word.

For example Samson, Gideon, Deborah, Eli, Samuel, the last of the great judges…

Role of Judges in Israel

They ensured that people practiced monotheism. They led the Israelites into national repentance. The led people into prayers

They acted as seers and predicted the future

They counseled and guided the Israelites in case they had problems.

They acted as king makers. King Saul was anointed by Samuel and when he was rejected, Samuel anointed David.

They were instruments of harmony and cooperation among the Israelites. They moved from place to place to settle disputes.

They offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the Israelites.

They acted as military commanders and led the Israelites into war and ensured that they gained victory in wars.

They promoted unity in Israel and ensured that all people lived as one people since they belonged to one God.

The Family of Priest Eli

Priest Eli was one of priests and judges appointed by God when the Israelites had reached in the Promised Land.

When Eli grew old, he appointed his sons to act as judges. Therefore he made judgeship hereditary yet the judges were supposed to be appointed by God.

On top of that, the sons of Eli were wicked and therefore failed to follow their father’s example. Because of being wicked the family was rejected.