After eighty years of peace under the judges Ehud and Shamgar, the people again sunk into idolatry. God then raised Deborah, a prophetess and judge, because He could not find a suitable man to lead the people.
Israel’s first three judges are listed and shown to be capable instruments in God’s hands to deliver God’s people. Othniel; “went out to war,” Ehud, “made himself a dagger;” “Shamgar killed six hundred men.”
So critical and severe was the failing of the fledgling nation that Yahweh Himself appeared to the people to curb their sin. The historian reminds them of holier days under Joshua, then records their failure to resist sin.
This is the story of the first 325 years after the death of Joshua. A story of repeated failure, and deliverance. This chapter records the initial attempts of God’s people to purge the land. They failed but God did not quit.