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by Robert Hawker
IT is not very certain who was the immediate Penman of this book. Some writers have supposed that it was Samuel. However this cannot be depended upon. The subject itself contained in it is much more interesting for us to regard. And the object intended from the records here presented to the church, seems to be directed to those two grand purposes; namely, to show how unsuitably God's people conducted themselves to the privileges they enjoyed; and yet, in the midst of their unworthiness, how gracious the Lord manifested himself towards them.
The book of the Judges comprises in point of time a period of about 300 years; commencing from about 1400 years before the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ to about 1100 years; and recording the annals of 14 Judges, from Othniel to Eli included.
There is much of gospel shadows and types, both as to persons, and things, in the several parts of the Book of the Judges. The Holy Ghost was graciously pleased to cause many striking allusions to the great events of salvation, to be represented during the period of the church, which this book refers to. And several of the persons, whose history forms a part in this scripture, were eminent types and servants of the Lord Jesus. The Apostle to the He brews makes special mention of several of them, and with the most honourable testimony, as very illustrious patterns of faith; such as Gideon, and Barak, and Samson, and Jephthah. Hebrews 11:32 .
I shall not detain the Reader with any further preliminary observations on the Book of Judges. But I must request him before he enters upon the perusal of it, that he will bend the knee of prayer, and join my spirit in a fervent supplication to the mercy-seat of our God in Christ, that the minds of both Writer and Reader may be under the teachings of God the Holy Ghost, to behold in every period and age of the church, how the Lord hath been carrying on the great purposes and counsels of his own will, and gradually preparing the minds of the faithful for that glorious era, when his people should not be under the commonwealth of Judges, but a King should reign in righteousness, and execute judgment, and justice in the earth: in whose days Judah should be saved, and Israel dwell safely. And this is the name whereby he should be called, the Lord our Righteousness.
Reader! may our souls rejoice together, that our God in mercy hath caused us to see this day. We may truly take up the language of the Prophet, and make application of his sweet words to our own circumstances, and say, as he did, The Lord is our Judge; the Lord is our lawgiver; the Lord is our King. Isaiah 33:22 .
the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25