Judges - The Texture of Failure: Week 3

By Jacob Toman

Up until now, we’ve studied some of the broader themes and concepts in the book of Judges.  These themes include:

1.    “The people of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord”

2.    “The Lord delivered” or “The Lord gave”

3.    “The Land had Peace”

We will now transition for the next few weeks of our study to focusing on the individual lives and deeds of some of the “major” Judges mentioned in the book. Major Judges are those who delivered and then subsequently served Israel for a lengthy period of time; the text often cites a period of peace or war during which the major Judge was at work. Minor Judges, on the other hand, are leaders who are only briefly mentioned. The book of Judges doesn’t ever clearly define a Judge with a succinct phrase, but often times the common themes of deliverer, warchief, or leader are used to describe them.

So who were the Judges? There are six major Judges listed below, and 6 minor Judges. There is also one person who claims the title of king that is mentioned in Judges - but more on him in later weeks.                                  

"Major Judges"

Othniel        Judges 3:9-11

Ehud           Judges 3:11-29

Deborah     Judges 4-5

Gideon        Judges 6-8

Jephthah    Judges 11:1-12:7

Samson      Judges 13-16

“Minor Judges”

Shamgar                        Judges 3:31

Tola and Jair                  Judges 10:1-5

Ibzan, Elon, Abdon       Judges 12:8-15

Map of Israel during the time of the Judges.png

This week we’re focusing on Othniel and Ehud. Read Judges 3:7-11 then respond to the following questions:

1.    Why are the Israelites in the “hands of Cushan-Rishathaim”? (Hint: See verse 7)

2.    Whom does the author attribute to Israel’s deliverance? (Hint: See verse 9 & 10)

3.    What is Othniel’s family lineage? (Hint: See Judges 1:12-14)


Read Judges 3:12-30 then respond to the following questions:

1.    Why are the Israelites under the authority of Moab? (Hint: See verse 12)

2.    The king of Moab’s name “Eglon” means Cow-like. How is he described in the passage? (Hint: See verse 12, 13, 17)

Eglon is ____________ (See 12)

Eglon possesses __________ (See 13)

Eglon is very ____________ (See 17)

3.              When does Ehud decide to follow through with his plan? (Hint: See verse 18 & 19)

Judges triangle.png


Ehud is proactive against the enemies of God’s people. He strategizes a plan, sees an opportunity, and at great personal risk follows through with the plan. What can we learn from Ehud’s strategy and execution of a plan against God’s enemies? Are we ruthless with sin? Do we strategize how we can exterminate sin from our own lives?