Bible commentaries on the Old Testament book of Judges are listed below. The commentaries listed first are those that have received the best reviews. You will also find options for commentaries on Judges that help pastors, teachers, and readers with application of the Bible, commentaries that approach the Scripture verse-by-verse, classic Christian commentaries, and much more. (See more about the scholars, pastors, ministries, and schools whose commentary reviews are being utilized.)
Best Reviewed Bible Commentaries on Judges
Judges, Ruth (New American Commentary) by Daniel I. Block
Reviews and Accolades:
Desiring God: #1 recommended commentary on Judges and Ruth
Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “the best thing available on the book of Judges…particularly strong in literary and theological analysis”
John H. Walton and Andrew E. Hill: “The most helpful of all commentaries on the book.”
Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Judges and Ruth, “by far, the best intermediate-advanced level commentary on the book…highly recommended.”
Purpose: From the publisher: “The New American Commentary is introduced to bridge the twentieth and twenty-first centuries. This new series has been designed primarily to enable pastors, teachers, and students to read the Bible with clarity and proclaim it with power.” See more about the New American Commentary series.
Judges, Ruth (New International Version Application Commentary) by K. Lawson Younger Jr.
Reviews and Accolades:
Tremper Longman: “[Younger] does a good job in particular with the ‘original meaning’ section of the commentary”
Keith Mathison: #3 ranked commentary on Judges, “This format tends to emphasize contemporary application, but Younger’s comments are just as helpful in the Original Meaning section as they are in the other two.”
Purpose: From the General Editor: The primary goal of the NIV Application Commentary Series is to help you with the difficult but vital task of bringing an ancient message into a modern context. The series not only focuses on application as a finished product but also helps you think through the process of moving from the original meaning of a passage to its contemporary significance. These are commentaries, not popular expositions. They are works of reference, not devotional literature.” See more about the NIV Application Commentary series.
The Message of Judges (The Bible Speaks Today) by Michael Wilcock
Reviews and Accolades:
Tremper Longman: “derives moral and behavioral principles from the book”
Keith Mathison: #5 ranked commentary on Judges, “Wilcock’s introductory level commentary on Judges is a helpful and practical exposition of the text. Preachers and teachers will find much of value within.”
Purpose: From the publisher: The “the three distinctives of The Bible Speaks Today series are (1) “BST authors are committed to a serious study of the text in its own integrity,” (2) that “expositors should not be antiquarians, living only in the remote past” but suggest application for living, and (3) “each book is intended to be both readable in style and manageable in size.” See more about the Bible Speaks Today commentary series.
Judges (Word Biblical Commentary) by Trent C. Butler
Reviews and Accolades:
Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “excellent sensitivity to to the theological significance of the book”
Purpose: From the publisher: “WBC series delivers the best in biblical scholarship, from the leading scholars who share a commitment to Scripture as divine revelation. It emphasizes a thorough analysis of textual, linguistic, structural, and theological evidence. The result is judicious and balanced insight into the meanings of the text in the framework of biblical theology.” See more about the Word Biblical Commentary series.
Judges (The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: Revised Edition) by Mark J. Boda
Reviews and Accolades:
Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “extremely helpful in unpacking the message of the book of Judges”
Purpose: From the publisher: “Written primarily by expositors for expositors…its stance is that of a scholarly evangelicalism committed to the divine inspiration, complete trustworthiness, and full authority of the Bible…the chief principle followed in this commentary is the grammatico-historical – namely, that the primary aim of the exegete is to make clear the meaning of the text at the time and in the circumstances of its writing.” See more about the Expositor’s Bible Commentary series.
Judges (Focus on the Bible) by Dale Ralph Davis
Reviews and Accolades:
Keith Mathison: #1 ranked commentary on Judges, “Davis provides what most Christian readers of these books need — a concise and readable explanation of the text that sets each book within the larger context of biblical redemptive history all without ever becoming boring or trite.”
Purpose: From the publisher: “These commentaries are popular level commentaries especially useful for pastors and small group leaders. They are useful for personal devotions and spiritual growth. Many of the authors of the commentaries are leading expositors of God’s Word on their specialty subjects. The series holds to the inerrancy of scripture and the uniqueness of Christ in salvation.” See more about the Focus on the Bible commentary series.
Judges by Arthur E. Cundall (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary)
Reviews and Accolades:
Keith Mathison: #4 ranked commentary on Judges, “Like the other contributions to this series, it is written at an introductory level and is accessible to all readers.”
Purpose: From the publisher: This series is “designed to help readers understand what the Bible actually says and what it means…[each commentary] examines the text section by section, drawing out its main themes. It also comments on individual verses and deals with problems of interpretation. The aim throughout is to get at the true meaning of the Bible and to make its message plain to readers today.” See more about the Tyndale Old Testament Commentary series.
More Bible Commentaries with Application Help for Pastors
Judges (For You) by Timothy Keller
Purpose: From the publisher: “God’s Word For You is a series of expository guides which walk you through books of the Bible verse-by-verse. These flexible resources can be used for reading, for feeding and for leading: read them simply as a book; use them to feed on God’s word as a daily devotional, complete with reflection questions; or use them as you prepare to lead small-group Bible studies or teach in your church.”
Judges and Ruth (Preaching the Word) by Barry G. Webb
Purpose: From the publisher: “For years, Crossway’s Preaching the Word commentary series has helped pastors, preachers, and anyone who teaches God’s Word to better interpret and apply the message of the Bible. Under the careful editorial oversight of experienced pastor and best-selling author R. Kent Hughes, this series is known for its commitment to biblical authority, its pastoral tone and focus, and its overall accessibility.” See more about the Preaching the Word commentary series.
Judges and Ruth (Teach the Text Commentary Series) by Kenneth C. Way
Purpose: From the publisher: The Teach the Text series utilizes “the best of biblical scholarship” and provides “the information a pastor needs to communicate the text effectively. By keeping the discussion of each carefully selected preaching unit to six pages of focused commentary, the volumes in this series allow pastors to quickly grasp the big idea and key themes of each passage of Scripture. The text and its meaning are made clear, and sections dedicated to effectively teaching and illustrating the text help pastors prepare to preach.” See more about the Teach the Text Bible commentary series.
Judges (The Preacher’s Commentary) by David Jackman
Purpose: From the publisher: “The New King James Bible has been chosen for the Preacher’s Commentary because it combines with integrity the beauty of language, underlying Hebrew and Greek textual basis, and thought-flow of the 1611 King James Version…Readers who are more comfortable with another translation can readily find the parallel passage by means of the chapter and verse reference at the end of each passage being exposited. The paragraphs of exposition combine fresh insights to the Scripture, application, rich illustrative material, and innovative ways of utilizing the vibrant truth for his or her own life and for the challenge of communicating it with vigor and vitality.”
Judges (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching and Preaching) by J. Clinton McCann
Purpose: From the publisher: “This series of commentaries offers an interpretation of the books of the Bible. It is designed to meet the need of students, teachers, ministers, and priests for a contemporary expository commentary. These volumes will not replace the historical critical commentary or homiletical aids to preaching. The purpose of this series is rather to provide a third kind of resource, a commentary which presents the integrated result of historical and theological work with the biblical text.” See more about the Interpretation Bible commentary series.
More Verse-by-Verse Commentaries
The Book of Judges (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Barry G. Webb
Purpose: From the publisher: “All of the NICOT volumes combine superior scholarship, an evangelical view of Scripture as the Word of God, and concern for the life of faith today. Each volume features an extensive introduction treating the biblical book’s authorship, date, purpose, structure, and theology. The author’s own translation of the original Hebrew and verse-by-verse commentary follow. The commentary itself carefully balances coverage of technical matters with exposition of the biblical text’s theology and implications.” See more about the New International Commentary on the Old Testament series.
Judges and Ruth (Kregel Exegetical Library) by Robert B. Chisholm Jr.
Purpose: From the publisher: “This definitive commentary sheds exegetical and theological light on the books of Judges and Ruth for contemporary preachers and students of Scripture. Listening closely to the text while interacting with the best of scholarship, Chisholm shows what the text mean for ancient Israel and what it means for us today. In addition to its perceptive comments on the biblical text, it examines a host of themes such as covenants and the sovereignty of God in Judges and providence, redemption, loving-kindness, and Christological typology in Ruth. Chisholm offers astute guidance to preachers and teachers wanting to do a series on Judges or Ruth by providing “homiletical trajectories” after each exegetical unit. These show how historical narrative can be presented in the pulpit and classroom, for rich, responsible sermons and lessons.”
Judges, Ruth (Holman Old Testament Commentary) by W. Gary Phillips
Purpose: From the publisher: “No other reference series gets to the heart of the Old Testament as efficiently as the Holman Old Testament Commentary. When a reader’s time allows, the series offers a detailed interpretation based on the popular New International Version text. When time is short, it delivers an essential understanding of the Old Testament with unsurpassed clarity and convenience.”
Judges by Lawson G. Stone (Cornerstone Biblical Commentary)
Purpose: From the publisher: “The Cornerstone Biblical Commentary series provides students, pastors, and laypeople with up-to-date, accessible evangelical scholarship on the Old and New Testaments. Presenting the message of each passage, as well as an overview of other issues relevant to the text, each volume equips pastors and Christian leaders with exegetical and theological knowledge so they can better understand and apply God’s Word.”
Judges by Laura A. Smit (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible)
Purpose: From the publisher: “Pastors and leaders of the classical church—such as Augustine, Calvin, Luther, and Wesley—interpreted the Bible theologically, believing Scripture as a whole witnessed to the Gospel of Jesus Christ…The Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible enlists leading theologians to read and interpret Scripture for the twenty-first century, just as the church fathers, the Reformers, and other Orthodox Christians did for their times and places. The commentaries are designed to serve the church—through aid in preaching, teaching, study groups, and so forth—and demonstrate the continuing intellectual and practical viability of theological interpretation of the Bible.” See more about the Brazos Theological Commentary series.
Technical and Critical Commentaries
Judges 1-12 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jack M. Sasson
Purpose: From the publisher: “The Anchor Yale Bible Series, previously the Anchor Bible Series, is a renowned publishing program that for more than 50 years has produced books devoted to the latest scholarship on the Bible and biblical topics.” The series “vigorously pursues the goal of bringing to a wide audience the most important new ideas, the latest research findings, and the clearest possible analysis of the Bible.” See more about the Anchor Bible Commentary series.
Judges (The Old Testament Library) by Susan Niditch
Purpose: From the publisher: “The Old Testament Library provides fresh and authoritative treatments of important aspects of Old Testament study through commentaries and general surveys. The contributors are scholars of international standing.” See more about the Old Testament Library commentary series.
Classic Christian Commentaries for Bible Study
Joshua and Judges (Thru the Bible Commentary Series) by J. Vernon McGee
Purpose: From the publisher: “Radio messages from J. Vernon McGee delighted and enthralled listeners for years with simple, straightforward language and clear understanding of the Scripture. Now enjoy his personable, yet scholarly, style in a 60-volume set of commentaries that takes you from Genesis to Revelation with new understanding and insight.”
Judges (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by Andrew R. Fausset
Purpose: From the publisher: “The author’s aim was to explain the text accurately, to clarify the geographical and historical references in Judges and to draw forth from the narrative and the inspired Word the spiritual lessons designed by the Divine Author. He believed that ‘the histories in Holy Scripture are wonderfully framed by their Divine Author to set forth spiritual and everlasting truths for all ages, and especially to typify Him in whom all history, type, and prophecy find their centre Jesus Christ, the same yesterday and today, and for ever’ (Heb. 13:8).”