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Judges of Israel, The Biblical
(546 words)

[German Version]

In order to understand the title שֹׁפֵט/šopeṭ, fundamental to the office of judge, reference should be made to the institution of the šāpiṭu in Mari in the 18th century bce and to the office of the Suffetes among the Phoenicians and in Carthage from the 6th century bce onward. It is a non-royal office of leadership in various realms. The list-like enumeration in Judg 10:1–5; 12:7–15 suggests that a pre-deuteronomistic tradition, which cannot be dated more precisely, knew of an office of leadership over the tribes of Israel in …

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Niehr, Herbert, “Judges of Israel, The Biblical”, in: Religion Past and Present. Consulted online on 24 July 2024 <>
First published online: 2011
First print edition: ISBN: 9789004146662, 2006-2013

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