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Articles Bible Study Facts Judges



Slings (20:16) were weapons made of two long straps, usually either leather or cloth. These were attached to a wider pocket in the middle, where the thrower would place a rock or some other object. The sling was then swung… Read More »Slings


Jebus (19:11) was the name of Jerusalem during this time because it was still under the control of the Jebusites. It would stay in the hands of the Jebusites until David conquered it and claimed it for Israel (2 Sam.… Read More »Jebus


Laish was about 25 miles (40 km) north of the Sea of Galilee. The Danites would have traveled about a hundred miles (161 km) to reach the city (18:7). After they invaded and destroyed Laish, the city was renamed Dan… Read More »Laish

City gates

City gates in Bible times were often very elaborate. Many of them were two stories high or even higher. The actual opening would be narrow, with guardrooms on each side. The gateposts were anchored deep in the ground to support… Read More »City gates


Riddles were as popular in ancient Near Eastern cultures as they are around the world today. Samson’s riddle about the lion and the honey (14:5–18) is the best example of a riddle in Scripture.

Foolish vows

Foolish vows. When Jephthah realized that his foolish vow could result in the death of his daughter (11:29–40), he could have broken the vow. For whatever reason, however, he chose not to break the vow.

Mount Gerizim

Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal make up the sides of the east-west pass into the Valley of Shechem. When Joshua conquered central Israel, he used these mountains as symbols, pronouncing blessings from Mount Gerizim and punishments from Mount Ebal (Josh.… Read More »Mount Gerizim


Crescents. Midianite kings often decorated their camels with gold or silver pendants in the shape of a crescent moon (8:21). They may have believed the crescents were magic, since many of Israel’s neighbors worshiped the moon. Crescents are mentioned in… Read More »Crescents

The night watch

The night watch. Watchmen were an important part of life in Bible times. They provided night-time protection both for soldiers in their tents and for ordinary people in their homes.

Camels at war?

Camels at war? The Midianites were among the first to use camels in warfare (6:5). Their camels were most likely the single-humped dromedary, which could travel more than 150 miles (240 km) in one day. The two-humped Bactrian camel was… Read More »Camels at war?


Donkeys played many roles in the ancient Near East. They provided much of the heavy labor in agriculture and provided personal transportation. The number of donkeys a man possessed often determined his wealth. White donkeys were highly prized (5:10) because… Read More »Donkeys

Chariots of iron

Chariots of iron. Iron chariots were the equivalent of tanks in the ancient Near East. They were greatly feared by enemy foot soldiers. Charioteers could run over them, and archers riding in the chariots could hit them from a distance.… Read More »Chariots of iron

Cool breezes

Cool breezes were rare in the arid climate of ancient Israel. Usually the best place to feel a nice breeze was on the roof of the house. Roofs served many purposes. They provided a place to dry grain and fruit… Read More »Cool breezes


Ashtoreth was the goddess of fertility, love, and war in Canaanite culture. Canaanite legends portray her as Baal’s wife or sister. She is also known by her Greek name, Astarte, and in Mesopotamian texts as Ishtar.

Toes and Thumbs

Toes and Thumbs. Victors in ancient battles would often cut off the thumbs and toes of their foes (1:6–7). This would allow their enemies to live but would prevent them from ever participating in another battle.