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By Richard D. Nelson

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By Richard D. Nelson

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He intervened here, and not somewhere else in the history of the judges, because only here in the Gideon narratives did he find a concrete example of fearing the gods of the Amorites (Judg. 6:10) upon which he could comment: Judg. 6:25-32. Linguistic Similarities If we examine closely the linguistic usage of these two passages in Judges, related as they are in structure, content, and theology, we find some expressions which are common throughout the Old Testament and some which are Deuteronomistic in a general way.

2:1-5 is dependent upon Judg. 1 and that chapter's view of the conquest, but Judg. 1 does not really point forward to 2:1-5. Judg. 1 does not suggest that the incompleteness of the conquest was the result of sin, nor does it prepare us for a gathering of all the people /10/. On the other hand, the rest of Judges never refers to this incident, yet the punishment of Judg. 2:3 points forward to the events of the following book. Therefore, Judg. 2:1-5 is not organically one with either Judg. 1 or the following book of Judges but is, in fact, dependent on the content of both.

Yet is is distinctly different from all of them, just as they are all different from each other. The natural assumption is that the verdict upon Josiah is from the same author as the earlier verdicts on the Judean kings. However, turning to the judgments upon the last four kings, the careful reader is struck by a change. Snaith, in his commentary on Kings, sensed this difference. He casually suggested that "the basis of criticism changes somewhat," now focusing upon the kings' "fathers" or upon Jehoiakim as the bad examples these kings followed /34/.

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