1. Exposition

What is the first word of the book, and why is that important?

Judges 1:1 (ESV)

1 After the death of Joshua, the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, “Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?”

And is the first word of the book, in the original Hebrew. Modern translations leave it untranslated, perhaps because while this is the way that Hebrew sentences often begin, we do not usually speak that way in English. But it is worth noting that not every book in the Old Testament begins with the word and: Genesis does not, Exodus and Leviticus do, Deuteronomy does not, Joshua and Judges do. The ands create a link to what has preceded. So Judges may not be viewed as a stand-alone book. Deuteronomy, by not starting with an and, starts something new; Deuteronomy, Joshua, and Judges go together. So when studying Judges, we need to have Deuteronomy in mind (its many curses appear in Judges) as well as Joshua.