We continue our discussion on the book of judges. 2:11-23 is like a standard template that can be applied to the rest of the book. it shows the vicious cycle the people were caught in. Firstly, the people forgot God - Apostasy. Because of their unfaithfulness, God allowed them to fall into the hands of their enemies - Oppression. so the people suffered under the weight of the oppression and they begin to cry to the Lord for help - Cry. The Lord heard them just as He did in the days of the exodus and sent a deliverer, a 'judge' - Deliverance. The judge would lead the people of God to victory over their enemies and the land had rest for 40 or 80 years - Rest. However, one would have thought that the Israelites would have learnt their lesson the first time round but they do not. the cycle continues another round and in all, 12 times.
We have the first judge Othniel (2:7-11), almost 'perfect'. There is nothing wrong to be found in him. The second judge, Ehud (2:12-30), is given a longer story, perhaps to illustrate the fact that there was a little 'weakness' in his character - he had to resort to some sort of deceit to 'get the job done'. The third judge, Shamgar, is one of the 'minor' judges - just a single verse (2:31). The fourth is Deborah, the only female judge. In all, she gets 2 chapters (chaps. 4-5)!Barak, the Israelite commander does not get the 'credit for the kill' of the enemy, Jabin, but a woman Jael. Aha, but this is no ordinary woman, for a woman who can kill with a tent peg and hammer is worthy of a c.s.i. investigation (I love the twists and turns in hebrew literature). see the attached picture.