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The book of Judges covers a period of several hundred years following the conquest of Canaan, during which time individual leaders called judges ruled the people. Their task was primarily to expel the enemy from the land. Throughout this period of Israel's history we can observe a tragic cycle: rebellion against God; followed by the judgement of God, usually in the form of foreign invasion; the cry of the children of Israel for God to help; and a "judge" then sent to save them. This cycle is repeated numerous time throughout the book. Tragically, the people never seemed to learn that rebellion against God is a sure road to disaster. The grimm lesson of Judges is that "the wages of sin is death" (Rom. 6:23). Sin takes many forms, from the sophisticated sins of kings to the barbaric events that close the book, but the net result is always the same: When people do their own thing, chaos and destruction are the inevitable outcomes (Judges 21:25). Through it all, however, God in His faithfulness saves the people when they truly repent and turn to Him. Written by Samuel, according to Jewish tradition.