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The book of Judges forms an important link in the history of the Israelites. It furnishes us with a lively description of a fluctuating and unsettled nation; a striking picture of the disorders and dangers which prevailed in a republic without magistracy; when “the high-ways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through by-ways” (Judges 5:6), when few prophets were appointed to control the people, and “every one did that which was right in his own eyes” (Judges 17:6). It exhibits the contest of true religion with superstition; and displays the beneficial effects that flow from the former, and the miseries and evil consequences of impiety. It is a most remarkable history of the long-suffering of God towards the Israelites, in which we see the most signal instances of his justice and mercy alternately displayed . t he people sinned, and were punished; they repented, and found mercy. These things are written for our warning . n one should presume, for God is just; none need despair, for God is merciful. Independently of the internal evidence of the authenticity of this sacred book, the transactions it records are not only cited or alluded to by other inspired writers, but are further confirmed by the traditions current among heathen nations.
the Week of Proper 12 / Ordinary 17