Readers of the book of Judges encounter a host of puzzles to be solved—everything from the book’s purpose and place in the biblical narrative to the precise nature of the historical figures involved. In the midst of so many questions to be answered, how can we allow the book to change our view of the God of both the Old and New Testament?
In Deserting the King, David Beldman guides readers through the book of Judges, tracing the acceptance and rejection, the tragedy and heroism of Israel’s relationship with God and the Israelite monarchy. Along the way, he shows readers how this book—though full of bloodshed, intrigue, and conflict—can help us see God at work in our world.
Christians tend to shun the book of Judges when looking for ethical instruction and spiritual uplift. But David Beldman shows, with the aid of modern hermeneutics, that this is to miss some of the most relevant messages of Scripture. Reading these apparently unpromising texts with Beldman, you will be instructed and challenged. In short, this is a most worthwhile study of a valuable part of the Bible.
—Gordon J. Wenham, tutor in Old Testament, Trinity College (Bristol, England); author, Exploring the Old Testament
The "church" in our times is in desperate need of a deep plunge into the book of Judges. I know no one better to guide that plunge than David Beldman. Deserting the King is stunning, formative, and sharpening. I highly encourage all to engage Judges through this book.
—Tyler Johnson, lead pastor, Redemption Church (Arizona)
In this excellent survey, David Beldman does three things. He sets the book of Judges meaningfully within the overarching creational and redemptive narrative of the whole Bible; he clarifies and illuminates the structure of the book and the intrinsic (but easily overlooked) message that structure carries; and he offers penetrating reflections on the relevance of the book to contemporary cultures. To do all this in such a simply-written and easy-to-read short volume, and to do it for one of the more challenging and neglected books in the Bible, is a most commendable achievement. Church and student groups, preachers and teachers, will all find this book opens their eyes and feeds their faith.
—Christopher J.H. Wright, international ministries director, Langham Partnership
God’s Word is transformative. It is this conviction which gives the Transformative Word series its name and its unique character. Series Editor Craig G. Bartholomew has worked alongside authors from around the world to identify a key theme in each book of the Bible, and each volume provides careful Biblical exegesis centered on that gripping theme. The result is an engaging, accessible thematic exploration of a biblical book, poised to offer you new and refreshing insights.
Learn more about the other titles in this series.
David Beldman is an associate professor of religion and theology at Redeemer University College, Ancaster, Ontario, Canada, where he loves opening up the riches of Scripture with undergraduate students. He is also on faculty at the Missional Training Center in Phoenix, Arizona, where he teaches in the area of Old Testament. He has published on various aspects of the Old Testament and biblical theology. He is the author of The Completion of Judges: Strategies of Ending in Judges 17‑21 (Eisenbrauns, 2017) and is currently writing a commentary on Judges (Eerdmans).