Book Of Judges, one of the historical books of the Old Testament, narrating the deeds of the thirteen judges of Israel from Othniel to Samson. It is a fragmentary rather than a complete and connected history, the fullest accounts being given of Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Jephthah, and Samson. It begins with showing that the calamities suffered by the Hebrews after the death of Joshua were due to their apostasy from Jehovah. It is supposed by many that the first 16 and the remaining 5 chapters are by different authors. The first portion, believed by some to have been written before the time of David, is ascribed to Samuel. Most German critics, however, believe the book to have been compiled on the basis of ancient documents at a late period. According to Bertheau (Schenkel's Bibellexicon, art. Richter, Leipsic, 1873), the compiler was Ezra. The same writer also regards it as probable that the book of Ruth originally formed a portion of the book of Judges. Among the most important commentators on the book are Le Clerc, Rosenmuller, Maurer, Studer, Bush, Bertheau, Keil (1863), and Bachmann (1868).