The Completion of Judges
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The last five chapters of the book of Judges (chs. 17-21) contain some shocking and bizarre stories, and precisely how these stories relate to the rest of the book is a major question in scholarship on the book. Leveraging work from literary studies and hermeneutics, Beldman reexamines Judges 17-21 with the aim of discerning the "strategies of ending" that are at work in these chapters. The author identifies and describes a number of strategies of ending in Judges 17-21, including the strategy of completion, the strategy of circularity, and the strategy of entrapment. The temporal configuration of Judges and especially the nonlinear chronology that chapters 17-21 expose also receive due attention. All of this offers fresh insights into the place and function of Judges 17-21 in the context of the whole book.