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These major figures appear to have been of only regional importance and may have overlapped chronologically; the neat chronological structure of the book based on their succession is certainly late and artificial. Judges is part of the Deuteronomistic History, the name given by scholars to the books of Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, 1 and 2 Samuel, and 1 and 2 Kings, all of which appear to share the same complex history of composition. Many early oral and written sources, including the premonarchical song of Deborah, were incorporated into the general editorial framework provided by the final editor of the history in the time of Josiah (c. 640 - 609 BC).
J J M Roberts
M Bal, Death and Dissymetry (1988); J Gray, Joshua, Judges, and Ruth (1967).
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