Top Commentaries on Judges

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


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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.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.


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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.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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


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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.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “excellent sensitivity to to the theological significance of the book”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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


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Reviews and Accolades:

Tremper Longman: 5 out 5 stars, “extremely helpful in unpacking the message of the book of Judges”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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


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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.”

Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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 (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Arthur E. Cundall


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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.”

Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible 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 Expository Commentaries



The Book of Judges (New International Commentary on the Old Testament) by Barry G. Webb


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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 (Brazos Theological Commentary on the Bible) by Stephen E. Fowl


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.



Judges (Tyndale Old Testament Commentary) by Mary J. Evans


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible 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.



Judges (New Beacon Bible Commentary) by Robert Branson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The New Beacon Bible Commentary provides 21st-century scholars, pastors, theological students, and laity an academically competent, readable commentary in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Each volume features: Contemporary Scholarship from notable experts in the Wesleyan theological tradition. Convenient introductory material for each book of the Bible, which includes information on authorship, date, history, audience, sociological/cultural issues, purpose, literary features, theological themes, hermeneutical issues, and more.”



Judges (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) by Cheryl A. Brown


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “Each volume in the Understanding the Bible Commentary Series breaks down the barriers between the ancient and modern worlds so that the power and meaning of the biblical texts become transparent to contemporary readers. They present a careful section-by-section exposition of the biblical books with key terms and phrases highlighted and all Hebrew transliterated. Notes at the close of each chapter provide additional textual and technical comments for those who want to dig deeper.” See more about the Understanding the Bible Commentary series.



Judges (New Cambridge Bible Commentary) by Victor H. Matthews


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The NCBC aims to elucidate the Hebrew and Christian scriptures for a wide range of intellectually curious individuals…[volumes] do not assume the reader has a great deal of specialized theological knowledge or an impressive command of the Hebrew, Aramaic, or biblical Greek… Utilizing recent gains in rhetorical criticism, social scientific study of the scriptures, narrative criticism and other developing disciplines, this series intends to provide a fresh look at biblical texts, taking advantage of the growing edges in Biblical Studies.”



Technical Commentaries



Judges 1-12 (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jack M. Sasson


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Best for: students, pastors, teachers, professors, and scholars with training in Hebrew who can follow a technical commentary

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


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

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.



Judges: A Critical and Rhetorical Commentary by Richard Nelson


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “As a rhetorical commentary, the volume pays attention to the factors in the text that are being marshaled to influence the reader. Attention is paid to what the text does, and how it works when it is read closely. This element of the commentary encompasses lexical and grammatical issues, organizing arrangements and patterns, the intentions of various literary genres, along with narrative plot and structure. As a critical commentary, the volume deals with the history of the text’s formation and transmission. It establishes the earliest recoverable text of Judges as a way of getting as close as possible to the producers of the text and its early audiences. It provides a well-argued description of how Judges was brought together as a coherent document from earlier oral and written sources and how it was later modified and supplemented.”



Judges (The Forms of Old Testament Literature) by Serge Frolov


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The Forms of the Old Testament Literature (FOTL) is a series of volumes that seeks to present, according to a standard outline and methodology, a form-critical analysis of every book or unit of the Old Testament (Hebrew Bible). Fundamentally exegetical, each volume examines the structure, genre, setting, and intention of the biblical literature in question. The series also endeavors to study the history behind the form-critical discussion of the material, to bring consistency to the terminology for the genres and formulas of the biblical literature, and to expose the exegetical procedure in such a way as to enable students and pastors to engage in their own analysis and interpretation.”



Classic Christian Commentaries



Judges (Geneva Series of Commentaries) by Andrew R. Fausset


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Best for: individual study, devotional reading, Bible studies, adult Sunday school classes

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).”



Judges (Ancient Christian Commentary on Scripture) edited by John R. Franke


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Best for: expository preachers, Bible college and seminary students, church elders and teachers, experienced Bible readers

Purpose: From the publisher: “The ACCS is a post-critical revival of the early commentary tradition known as the glossa ordinaria, a text artfully elaborated with ancient and authoritative reflections and insights. The vast array of writings from the church fathers—including much that is available only in the ancient languages—have been combed for their comment on Scripture. From these results, scholars with a deep knowledge of the fathers and a heart for the church have hand selected material for each volume, shaping, annotating, and introducing it to today’s readers. Each portion of commentary has been chosen for its salient insight, its rhetorical power, and its faithful representation of the consensual exegesis of the early church.”



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