The Completion of Judges
Strategies of Ending in Judges 17-21
By (author) David J. H. Beldman
Publication date:08 May 2017
Length of book:176 pages
The last five chapters of the book of Judges (chs. 17-21) contain some shocking and bizarre stories, and precisely how these stories relate to the rest of the book is a major question in scholarship on the book. Leveraging work from literary studies and hermeneutics, Beldman reexamines Judges 17-21 with the aim of discerning the "strategies of ending" that are at work in these chapters. The author identifies and describes a number of strategies of ending in Judges 17-21, including the strategy of completion, the strategy of circularity, and the strategy of entrapment. The temporal configuration of Judges and especially the nonlinear chronology that chapters 17-21 expose also receive due attention. All of this offers fresh insights into the place and function of Judges 17-21 in the context of the whole book.
“A useful contribution to the literary examination of the book of Judges. It deserves attention, and its conclusions need to be discussed in future works on this material. Beldman is quite correct to say that biblical scholars need to expand their horizons to include literary theory as another interpretative tool.”
—Victor H. Matthews, Review of Biblical Literature