We're into the first of two weeks in Judges, with its downwards-spiraling narrative and mixed bag of characters. Jerub-baal (aka Gideon) is up this week, and we watch him swing from hesitance to not-a-king-but-actually-kind-of-kingly. In the prophets we're bridging the contexts of First and Second Isaiah, and in the New Testament we're back in James 5 with sociological and ecclesiological challenges.

Our epic tromp through Isaiah gets really interesting this week, as we look from the exile back to Isaiah ben Amoz in the 8th century. The fall of Babylon is the template for the fall of Edom, and some themes from Second Isaiah are introduced. And finally, the James passage works as a useful intro to this week's bonus episode. (You can expect that on Thursday: an intro to 1 Peter.)

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Block, Daniel I. (2009). Judges, Zondervan Illustrated Bible Backgrounds Commentary (Old Testament), Volume 2. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan.
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Ross, Alexander (1954). The Epistles of James and John, New International Commentary. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.

Schneider, Tammi J. (2000). Judges, Berit Olam: Studies in Hebrew Narrative & Poetry series. Collegeville, MN: Liturgical Press.
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Sweeney, Marvin A. (1996). Isaiah 1-39 with an Introduction To Prophetic Literature, The Forms Of The Old Testament Literature. Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co.
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Wright, Tom (2011). Early Christian Letters for Everyone: James, Peter, John, and Judah, New Testament for Everyone series. London: SPCK.
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Judges 6, Judges 7, Judges 8, Isaiah 34, Isaiah 13, Isaiah 63, Isaiah 66, James 5, ZIBBCOT02, BOJUDG, FRMOTLIT23IS, NICNT80JAM2, EVRY80JAM