1. Structure and outline

The function of Judges 2:6–3:6 in relation to what follows

Judges 2:6–3:6 (ESV)

6 When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land.

What is recorded here coincides in time with the events narrated in the body of the book. This second part of the introduction “is a narrative abstract, an outline of the plot. It reduces suspense (after reading it we already 'know' the story), but it does not hinder our ability to appreciate the detailed presentation of character, situation, and theme in the fully presented narrative that follows. Indeed, it enhances it, as when one is given a summary of the plot of a complex drama before it is presented on the stage…. But clearly Judges 2:6–3:6 is more than an outline of what follows. It contains one crucial element, the judgment speech of Judges 2:20–22, which is not paralleled in the rest of the book."1