Judges 1: 1:1–10:5
Judges 1: 1:1–10:5


in Hermeneia

by Mark S. Smith and Elizabeth M. Bloch-Smith

3.5 Rank Score: 3.66 from 1 reviews, 1 featured collections, and 2 user libraries
Judges 1: 1:1–10:5
Pages 875
Publisher Fortress Press
Published 2021
ISBN-13 9780800660628
Judges 2: 10:6–21:25
Publisher Fortress Press
Status Forthcoming
This groundbreaking volume presents a new translation of the text and detailed interpretation of almost every word or phrase in the book of Judges, drawing from archaeology and iconography, textual versions, biblical parallels, and extrabiblical texts, many never noted before. Archaeology also serves to show how a story of the Iron II period employed visible ruins to narrate supposedly early events from the so-called "period of the Judges." The synchronic analysis for each unit sketches its characters and main themes, as well as other literary dynamics. The diachronic, redactional analysis shows the shifting settings of units as well as their development, commonly due to their inner-textual reception and reinterpretation.


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AndrewKlein46 AndrewKlein46 October 30, 2023
Considering the recent surge of conservative commentaries on Judges that are more theological than anything else, Smith and Bloch-Smith's major critical commentary on Judges 1-10:5 is refreshing in that it engages with a lot of literature that conservative commentaries typically do not (many German and French resources, as well as an abundance of essays and articles). That being said, many of the more conservative commentaries on Judges do a better job contributing to the conversation and saying something new about the text, while more liberal commentaries tend to just be a collection of textual variants and scholarly opinions. Unfortunately this liberal tendency is true of Smith and Bloch-Smith quite often. Do not mistake me, this sort of critical commentary is necessary, and a great tool to have on one's shelf, regardless of its low entertainment value!