The Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil and the Wickedness of Mankind
עץ הדאת טוב ורע והרעת בני האדם
The Torah, the Prophets, and Israel
התורה והנבאים וישראל
After the conquest of Canaan that HASHEM had performed through his servant Joshua the son of Nun יהושע בן נון, Israel now dwelt securely in the land.
The land became the land of Israel ארץ ישראל. Israel was now a nation with clearly defined borders. Eleven tribes of the nation also had their own territories that had defined borders. The twelfth tribe, the tribe of Levi, had cities with suburbs instead of a defined territory. These cities were scattered among the territories of the eleven tribes. The Levites also officiated in the service of the Tabernacle המשכן that Moses had built from the instructions given to him by HASHEM at Mount Sinai. The Tabernacle resided at Shiloh which was located in the territory of the tribe of Ephraim. It remained there until the end of the Epoch of the Judges.
The Epoch of the Judges
The Epoch of the Judges lasted approximately 450 years. It was composed of a series of cycles.
The first cycle began with the generation that came after the warrior generation that had conquered the land of Canaan under the leadership of Joshua. HASHEM had fought the wars with this generation, and had enabled them to destroy their Canaanite enemies. These warriors were the sons of the children of Israel who HASEHM had brought out of the land of Egypt. They had seen the miracles, signs, and wonders that HASHEM had performed for the people of Israel. They had experienced the wonders of HASHEM in the wilderness. They also saw the judgments of HASHEM, and they saw their parents die in the wilderness. They walked in the fear of HASHEM.
But their children did not have these experiences. They did not continue to walk in the fear of HASHEM and honor and observe the Torah התורה. They took foreign wives from the nations that had been left in the land. They began to learn the customs, the cultures, and the languages of those nations. They lost the purity that HASHEM had intended for them, and they became defiled as they ate the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil. They forsook HASHEM. They forgot the admonitions of their fathers. They did not fear HASHEM and they backslid from following Him. They began to worship and serve the gods and idols of other nations. They learned their ways and their evil sensual practices.
The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD, that He had wrought for Israel.
Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died when he was a hundred and ten years old.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash.
Also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers; and there arose another generation after them, that knew not the LORD, nor yet the work which He had wrought for Israel.
And the children of Israel did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baalim.
And they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, the gods of the peoples that were round about them, and worshipped them; and they provoked the LORD.
And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth.
וַיַּעַבְדוּ הָעָם אֶת-יְהוָה כֹּל יְמֵי יְהוֹשֻׁעַ; וְכֹל יְמֵי הַזְּקֵנִים אֲשֶׁר הֶאֱרִיכוּ יָמִים אַחֲרֵי יְהוֹשׁוּעַ, אֲשֶׁר רָאוּ אֵת כָּל-מַעֲשֵׂה יְהוָה הַגָּדוֹל אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל
וַיָּמָת יְהוֹשֻׁעַ בִּן-נוּן, עֶבֶד יְהוָה, בֶּן-מֵאָה וָעֶשֶׂר שָׁנִים
וַיִּקְבְּרוּ אוֹתוֹ בִּגְבוּל נַחֲלָתוֹ
בְּתִמְנַת-חֶרֶס בְּהַר אֶפְרָיִם, מִצְּפוֹן לְהַר-גָּעַשׁ
וְגַם כָּל-הַדּוֹר הַהוּא נֶאֶסְפוּ אֶל-אֲבוֹתָיו; וַיָּקָם דּוֹר אַחֵר אַחֲרֵיהֶם אֲשֶׁר לֹא-יָדְעוּ אֶת-יְהוָה, וְגַם אֶת-הַמַּעֲשֶׂה אֲשֶׁר עָשָׂה לְיִשְׂרָאֵל
וַיַּעֲשׂוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת-הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה; וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת-הַבְּעָלִים
וַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת-יְהוָה אֱלֹהֵי אֲבוֹתָם, הַמּוֹצִיא אוֹתָם מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם, וַיֵּלְכוּ אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים מֵאֱלֹהֵי הָעַמִּים אֲשֶׁר סְבִיבוֹתֵיהֶם, וַיִּשְׁתַּחֲווּ לָהֶם; וַיַּכְעִסוּ אֶת-יְהוָה
וַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת-יְהוָה; וַיַּעַבְדוּ לַבַּעַל, וְלָעַשְׁתָּרוֹת
Judges 2:7-13 שפטים ב:ז-יג
Then HASHEM punished and chastised them for their rebellion. He sent foreign nations to oppress them, to dominate them, and to occupy their land.
Then the children of Israel cried out to HASHEM in their distress.
The anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel. He delivered them into the hands of plunderers that harassed them and plundered their goods. He sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.
Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were sore distressed.
בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל, וַיִּתְּנֵם בְּיַד-שֹׁסִים, וַיָּשֹׁסּוּ אוֹתָם; וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד אוֹיְבֵיהֶם מִסָּבִיב, וְלֹא-יָכְלוּ עוֹד לַעֲמֹד לִפְנֵי אוֹיְבֵיהֶם
בְּכֹל אֲשֶׁר יָצְאוּ, יַד-יְהוָה הָיְתָה-בָּם לְרָעָה, כַּאֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר יְהוָה, וְכַאֲשֶׁר נִשְׁבַּע יְהוָה לָהֶם; וַיֵּצֶר לָהֶם מְאֹד
Judges 2:14-15 שפטים ב:יד-טו
Then HASHEM had compassion on His people and sent them a deliverer. The deliverer, through the power and the wisdom of HASHEM, freed the people from their oppressors. Then the deliverer ruled the people as a judge. During the period of his rule until the judge died, there was peace in the land.
The LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who had conquered them and had plundered their possessions.
וַיָּקֶם יְהוָה שֹׁפְטִים; וַיּוֹשִׁיעוּם מִיַּד שֹׁסֵיהֶם
Judges 2:16 שפטים ב:טז
And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. The LORD repented because of their groaning of His people under the oppression of the oppressors that oppressed them and crushed them.
But it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers by following and serving other gods and worshiping them; they left nothing undone of their practices, nor of their stubborn way.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel; and He said: ‘Because this nation has transgressed My covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not listened to My voice.’
וְכִי-הֵקִים יְהוָה לָהֶם שֹׁפְטִים, וְהָיָה יְהוָה עִם-הַשֹּׁפֵט, וְהוֹשִׁיעָם מִיַּד אֹיְבֵיהֶם כֹּל יְמֵי הַשּׁוֹפֵט: כִּי-יִנָּחֵם יְהוָה מִנַּאֲקָתָם, מִפְּנֵי לֹחֲצֵיהֶם וְדֹחֲקֵיהֶם
וְהָיָה בְּמוֹת הַשּׁוֹפֵט, יָשֻׁבוּ וְהִשְׁחִיתוּ מֵאֲבוֹתָם, לָלֶכֶת אַחֲרֵי אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים, לְעָבְדָם וּלְהִשְׁתַּחֲוֺת לָהֶם: לֹא הִפִּילוּ מִמַּעַלְלֵיהֶם, וּמִדַּרְכָּם הַקָּשָׁה
וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיֹּאמֶר, יַעַן אֲשֶׁר עָבְרוּ הַגּוֹי הַזֶּה אֶת בְּרִיתִי אֲשֶׁר צִוִּיתִי אֶת-אֲבוֹתָם, וְלֹא שָׁמְעוּ לְקוֹלִי
Judges 2:18-20 שפטים ב:יח-כ
This cycle continued, repeating itself throughout the Epoch of the Judges.
The first cycle began immediately with the first generation following the generation of Joshua.
“The children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, and the Amorites, and the Perizzites, and the Hivites, and the Jebusites.
They took their daughters to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and served their gods.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and they forgot the Lord their God, and served the Baalim and the Asheroth.
And the anger of the Lord was kindled against Israel, and He gave them over into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Aram-naharaim; and the children of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years.
And the children of Israel cried to the Lord, and the Lord raised up a savior to the children of Israel who saved them; Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother
And the Spirit of the Lord came upon him, and he judged Israel; and he went out to war, and the Lord delivered into his hands Cushan-rishathaim the king of Aram; and his hand prevailed upon Cushan-rishathaim.
And the land had rest forty years; then Othniel the son of Kenaz died.”
וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יָשְׁב֖וּ בְּקֶ֣רֶב הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֑י הַחִתִּ֚י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י וְהַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי
וַיִּקְח֨וּ אֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶ֚ם לָהֶם֙ לְנָשִׁ֔ים וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶ֖ם נָתְנ֣וּ לִבְנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם
וַיַּעֲשֹ֨וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֚ל אֶת־הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהֹוָ֔ה וַֽיִּשְׁכְּח֖וּ אֶת־יְהֹוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּעַבְד֥וּ אֶת־הַבְּעָלִ֖ים וְאֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרֽוֹת
וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֚ף יְהֹוָה֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַֽיִּמְכְּרֵ֗ם בְּיַד֙ כּוּשַׁ֣ן רִשְׁעָתַ֔יִם מֶ֖לֶךְ אֲרַ֣ם נַהֲרָ֑יִם וַיַּעַבְד֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתַ֖יִם שְׁמֹנֶ֥ה שָׁנִֽים
וַיִּזְעֲק֚וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶל־יְהֹוָ֔ה וַיָּ֨קֶם יְהֹוָ֥ה מוֹשִׁ֛יעַ לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וַיּֽוֹשִׁיעֵ֑ם אֵ֚ת עָתְנִיאֵ֣ל בֶּן־קְנַ֔ז אֲחִ֥י כָלֵ֖ב הַקָּטֹ֥ן מִמֶּֽנּוּ
וַתְּהִ֨י עָלָ֥יו רֽוּחַ־יְהֹוָה֘ וַיִּשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיֵּצֵא֙ לַמִּלְחָמָ֔ה וַיִּתֵּ֚ן יְהֹוָה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ אֶת־כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתַ֖יִם מֶ֣לֶךְ אֲרָ֑ם וַתָּ֣עָז יָד֔וֹ עַ֖ל כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתָֽיִם
וַתִּשְׁקֹ֥ט הָאָ֖רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּ֖מָת עָתְנִיאֵ֥ל בֶּן־קְנַֽז
Judges 3:5-11 שפטים ג:ה-יא
The second judge was Ehud אהוד from the tribe of Benjamin. HASHEM used him to deliver Israel from the oppressive hand of Eglon the king of the Moabites Then the land had rest for 80 years.
The third judge was Shamgar שמגר who smote 600 Philistines at one time with an ox goad.
The fourth judge was Deborah דבורה the wife of Lapidot from the tribe of Ephraim. She was a prophetess of HASHEM. HASHEM used her, and her general Barak ברק, to destroy Jabin the king of the Canaanites. HASHEM delivered Israel from Sisera, Jabin’s general, who had 800 chariots of iron, and who greatly oppressed the children of Israel. In the great battle at Megiddo, HASHEM fought for Israel, and Israel totally destroyed Sisera, his armies, and his chariots. After that victory the land had rest for 40 years.
The fifth judge was Gideon גדעון from the tribe of Manasseh. HASHEM used him to deliver Israel from the Midianites. Then the land had rest for 40 years.
The sixth judge was Tola תולע from the tribe of Issachar. He judged Israel 23 years.
The seventh judge was Jair יאיר who was a Gileadite from the half tribe of Manasseh. He had 30 sons who rode on 30 ass colts and who controlled 30 cities. He judged Israel 22 years. (riding on ass colts was a signet of authority and the title and power of the right to rule).
After Jair died, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of HASHEM. They turned to foreign gods and began eating from the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD, and served the Baalim, and the Ashtaroth, and the gods of Aram, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; and they forsook the LORD, and served Him not.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and He gave them over into the hand of the Philistines, and into the hand of the children of Ammon.
They oppressed and crushed the children of Israel for that year; for eighteen years they continued to oppress all the children of Israel that were beyond the Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
And the children of Ammon passed over the Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim, so that Israel was greatly distressed
Then the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying: ‘We have sinned against You, because we have forsaken our God, and have served the Baalim.’
And the LORD said to the children of Israel: ‘Did not I save you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines?
The Zidonians, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and you cried to Me, and I saved you out of their hand.
Yet you have forsaken Me, and served other gods; therefore I will save you no more.
Go and cry to the gods which you have chosen; let them save you in the time of your distress.’
And the children of Israel said to the LORD: ‘We have sinned; do to us whatsoever seems good to you; only deliver us, we pray You, this day.’
And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD; and His soul was grieved for the misery of Israel.
וַיֹּסִיפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת-הַבְּעָלִים וְאֶת-הָעַשְׁתָּרוֹת וְאֶת-אֱלֹהֵי אֲרָם וְאֶת-אֱלֹהֵי צִידוֹן וְאֵת אֱלֹהֵי מוֹאָב וְאֵת אֱלֹהֵי בְנֵי-עַמּוֹן, וְאֵת אֱלֹהֵי פְלִשְׁתִּים; וַיַּעַזְבוּ אֶת-יְהוָה, וְלֹא עֲבָדוּהוּ
וַיִּחַר-אַף יְהוָה בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיִּמְכְּרֵם בְּיַד-פְּלִשְׁתִּים, וּבְיַד בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן
וַיִּרְעֲצוּ וַיְרֹצְצוּ אֶת-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל בַּשָּׁנָה הַהִיא: שְׁמֹנֶה עֶשְׂרֵה שָׁנָה אֶת-כָּל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲשֶׁר בְּעֵבֶר הַיַּרְדֵּן–בְּאֶרֶץ הָאֱמֹרִי, אֲשֶׁר בַּגִּלְעָד
וַיַּעַבְרוּ בְנֵי-עַמּוֹן אֶת-הַיַּרְדֵּן, לְהִלָּחֵם גַּם-בִּיהוּדָה וּבְבִנְיָמִין וּבְבֵית אֶפְרָיִם; וַתֵּצֶר לְיִשְׂרָאֵל מְאֹד
וַיִּזְעֲקוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-יְהוָה לֵאמֹר: חָטָאנוּ לָךְ–וְכִי עָזַבְנוּ אֶת אֱלֹהֵינוּ, וַנַּעֲבֹד אֶת-הַבְּעָלִים
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל: הֲלֹא מִמִּצְרַיִם וּמִן-הָאֱמֹרִי, וּמִן-בְּנֵי עַמּוֹן וּמִן-פְּלִשְׁתִּים
וְצִידוֹנִים וַעֲמָלֵק וּמָעוֹן, לָחֲצוּ אֶתְכֶם; וַתִּצְעֲקוּ אֵלַי, וָאוֹשִׁיעָה אֶתְכֶם מִיָּדָם
וְאַתֶּם עֲזַבְתֶּם אוֹתִי, וַתַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים; לָכֵן לֹא-אוֹסִיף לְהוֹשִׁיעַ אֶתְכֶם
לְכוּ, וְזַעֲקוּ אֶל-הָאֱלֹהִים אֲשֶׁר בְּחַרְתֶּם בָּם: הֵמָּה יוֹשִׁיעוּ לָכֶם בְּעֵת צָרַתְכֶם
וַיֹּאמְרוּ בְנֵי-יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל-יְהוָה, חָטָאנוּ–עֲשֵׂה-אַתָּה לָנוּ כְּכָל-הַטּוֹב בְּעֵינֶיךָ: אַךְ הַצִּילֵנוּ נָא, הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה
וַיָּסִירוּ אֶת-אֱלֹהֵי הַנֵּכָר מִקִּרְבָּם, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֶת-יְהוָה
וַתִּקְצַר נַפְשׁוֹ, בַּעֲמַל יִשְׂרָאֵל
Judges 10:6-16 שפטים י:ו-טז
So HASHEM turned again and raised up more judges to deliver Israel.
The eighth judge that HASHEM raised up because He had compassion for Israel was Jepthah יפתח the son of Gilead גלעד. HASHEM used him to deliver Israel from the oppression of the Ammonites. Jepthah judged Israel for 6 years.
The ninth judge was Ibzan אבזן from the city of Bethlehem in the tribe of Judah. He had 30 sons and 30 daughters. He judged Israel for 7 years.
The tenth judge was Elon אילון from the tribe of Zebulon. He judged Israel 10 years.
The eleventh judge was Abdon the son of Hillel עבדון בן הלל. He was a Pirathonite פרעתוני from the tribe of Ephraim. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who rode on 70 ass colts עירם. He judged Israel 8 years.
After the death of Abdon, the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of HASHEM, and HASHEM delivered them into the hand of the Philistines for 40 years.
And the children of Israel again did that which was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.
וַיֹּסִיפוּ בְּנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לַעֲשׂוֹת הָרַע בְּעֵינֵי יְהוָה; וַיִּתְּנֵם יְהוָה בְּיַד פְּלִשְׁתִּים, אַרְבָּעִים שָׁנָה
Judges 13:1 שפטים יג:א
The twelfth judge was Samson the son of Manoah שמשון בן מנוח from the tribe of Dan. Samson was a Nazarite to the HASHEM from his birth. HASHEM gave him extreme strength to conquer the Philistines and to deliver Israel. He judged Israel for 20 years.
During the Epoch of the Judges, the tribe of Dan had been pushed by the occupying forces of the Philistines to the extreme western corner of the territory of their inheritance that they had received from HASHEM under Joshua. They were pushed to Mount Zorah הר צרעה that bordered on Eshtaol אשתאול that was on the border of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah. After the death of Samson שמשון, part of the tribe of Dan moved from Zorah to establish a new territory for their tribe. They settled in the north, and established boundaries for their tribe in the region around Mount Hermon הר חרמון. After all, their tribe had always encamped on the north side of the Tabernacle המשכן for forty years in the wilderness. These new borders gave the tribe of Dan two territories in the land of Israel ארץ ישראל.
The last judge that HASHEM raised up to deliver Israel was Samuel שמואל. Samuel was the son of Elkanah אלקנה from the tribe of Ephraim. Elkanah regularly visited the Tabernacle of HASHEM which was in Shiloh שִׁלֹה. Elkanah had two wives, one of whom was Hannah חנה. Hannah was barren, but when she interceded, HASHEM healed her and gave her the strength to bear a child. She dedicated her firstborn son to HASHEM to be a Nazarite. After Samuel was weaned, he grew up under the supervision of Eli the High Priest עלי הכוהן הגדול in the Tabernacle of HASHEM המשכן at Shiloh.
HASHEM made Samuel His prophet.
Samuel judged Israel 40 years. During this time Samuel established a circuit that he would travel. He traveled between Mizpah, Bethel, Gilgal, and Ramah.
And Samuel judged Israel all the days of his life.
And he went from year to year in circuit to Beth-el, and Gilgal, and Mizpah; and he judged Israel in all those places.
And his return was to Ramah, for there was his house; and there he judged Israel; and he built there an altar unto the LORD.
וַיִּשְׁפֹּט שְׁמוּאֵל אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל כֹּל יְמֵי חַיָּיו
וְהָלַךְ מִדֵּי שָׁנָה בְּשָׁנָה, וְסָבַב בֵּית-אֵל, וְהַגִּלְגָּל וְהַמִּצְפָּה; וְשָׁפַט אֶת יִשְׂרָאֵל–אֵת כָּל-הַמְּקוֹמוֹת הָאֵלֶּה
וּתְשֻׁבָתוֹ הָרָמָתָה כִּי-שָׁם בֵּיתוֹ, וְשָׁם שָׁפָט אֶת-יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיִּבֶן-שָׁם מִזְבֵּחַ לַיהוָה
I Samuel 7:15-17 שמואל א ז:טו-יז
During the 40 years that Samuel judged Israel; he also founded and established a school or a yeshiva of prophets. Samuel presided over this school, and it grew in power. The Spirit of HASHEM was upon the prophets. This school of prophets lasted until the end of the Epoch of the Kings. It was first based in Ramah, but later after Samuel’s death and during the Epoch of the Kings, the school moved its base to Gilgal. The Scripture shows the power of the school when later Saul sent messengers to take David.
And Saul sent messengers to take David; and when they saw the company of the prophets prophesying, and Samuel standing as head over them, the Spirit of God came upon the messengers of Saul, and they also prophesied.
וַיִּשְׁלַח שָׁאוּל מַלְאָכִים לָקַחַת אֶת-דָּוִד, וַיַּרְא אֶת-לַהֲקַת הַנְּבִיאִים נִבְּאִים, וּשְׁמוּאֵל עֹמֵד נִצָּב עֲלֵיהֶם; וַתְּהִי עַל-מַלְאֲכֵי שָׁאוּל רוּחַ אֱלֹהִים, וַיִּתְנַבְּאוּ גַּם-הֵמָּה
I Samuel 19:20 שמואל א יט:כ
HASHEM used Samuel to end the Epoch of the Judges, and to usher in the Epoch of the Kings. He used Samuel שמואל to anoint the first two kings of Israel.
Samuel was grieved when Israel came to him desiring a king to rule over them. He felt that the people had rejected HASHEM as their king. Nevertheless it was the will of HASHEM.
Then all the elders of Israel gathered themselves together, and came to Samuel unto Ramah
And they said to him: ‘Behold, you are old, and your sons walk not in your ways; now make us a king to judge us like all the nations.’
But the thing displeased Samuel, when they said: ‘Give us a king to judge us.’ And Samuel prayed to the LORD.
And the LORD said to Samuel: ‘Hear the voice of the people in all that they say to you; for they have not rejected you, but they have rejected Me, that I should not be king over them.
According to all the works which they have done since the day that I brought them up out of Egypt even to this day, in that they have forsaken Me, and served other gods, so do they also to you.
Now therefore listen to their voice; howbeit you shall earnestly forewarn them, and shalt declare to them the manner of the king that shall reign over them.’
וַיִּתְקַבְּצוּ כֹּל זִקְנֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל; וַיָּבֹאוּ אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל, הָרָמָתָה
וַיֹּאמְרוּ אֵלָיו, הִנֵּה אַתָּה זָקַנְתָּ, וּבָנֶיךָ לֹא הָלְכוּ בִּדְרָכֶיךָ; עַתָּה שִׂימָה-לָּנוּ מֶלֶךְ לְשָׁפְטֵנוּ–כְּכָל-הַגּוֹיִם
וַיֵּרַע הַדָּבָר בְּעֵינֵי שְׁמוּאֵל, כַּאֲשֶׁר אָמְרוּ, תְּנָה-לָּנוּ מֶלֶךְ לְשָׁפְטֵנוּ וַיִּתְפַּלֵּל שְׁמוּאֵל אֶל-יְהוָה
וַיֹּאמֶר יְהוָה אֶל-שְׁמוּאֵל, שְׁמַע בְּקוֹל הָעָם, לְכֹל אֲשֶׁר-יֹאמְרוּ אֵלֶיךָ: כִּי לֹא אֹתְךָ מָאָסוּ, כִּי-אֹתִי מָאֲסוּ מִמְּלֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם
כְּכָל-הַמַּעֲשִׂים אֲשֶׁר-עָשׂוּ, מִיּוֹם הַעֲלֹתִי אוֹתָם מִמִּצְרַיִם וְעַד-הַיּוֹם הַזֶּה, וַיַּעַזְבֻנִי, וַיַּעַבְדוּ אֱלֹהִים אֲחֵרִים–כֵּן הֵמָּה עֹשִׂים גַּם-לָךְ
וְעַתָּה, שְׁמַע בְּקוֹלָם: אַךְ כִּי-הָעֵד תָּעִיד בָּהֶם, וְהִגַּדְתָּ לָהֶם מִשְׁפַּט הַמֶּלֶךְ אֲשֶׁר יִמְלֹךְ עֲלֵיהֶם
I Samuel 8:4-9 שמואל א ח:ד-ט
The hallmark of the Epoch of the Judges is given to us in the last verse of the Book of Judges in the Tanach תנך:
In those days there was no king in Israel; every man did that which was right in his own eyes.
בַּיָּמִים הָהֵם, אֵין מֶלֶךְ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל: אִישׁ הַיָּשָׁר בְּעֵינָיו, יַעֲשֶׂה
Judges 21:25 שפטים כא:כה
When a person walks according to what is right in his own eyes, instead of what is right in the eyes of HASHEM, he inevitably begins to eat the fruit of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil.
The children of Israel did not listen to the voice of HASHEM קול הי. They did not listen to the admonition of HASHEM:
Hear, O My people, and I will testify to you: O Israel, if you will listen to Me!
There shall no strange god be in you; neither shalt you worship any foreign god.
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt;
open your mouth wide, and I will fill it.
But My people would not listen to My voice; and Israel would have none of Me.
So I sent them after the stubbornness (muscles) of their own hearts, and they walked in their own counsels.
Oh that My people would have listened to Me, that Israel would have walked in My ways!
I would soon have subdued their enemies, and turned My hand against their adversaries.
The haters of the LORD will submit to Him; and their time will be forever.
And I will feed him with the fat of wheat;
and with honey out of the rock I will satisfy you.’
שְׁמַע עַמִּי, וְאָעִידָה בָּךְ; יִשְׂרָאֵל, אִם-תִּשְׁמַע-לִי
לֹא-יִהְיֶה בְךָ אֵל זָר; וְלֹא תִשְׁתַּחֲוֶה לְאֵל נֵכָר
אָנֹכִי יְהוָה אֱלֹהֶיךָ– הַמַּעַלְךָ מֵאֶרֶץ מִצְרָיִם;
וְלֹא-שָׁמַע עַמִּי לְקוֹלִי; וְיִשְׂרָאֵל לֹא-אָבָה לִי
וָאֲשַׁלְּחֵהוּ בִּשְׁרִירוּת לִבָּם; יֵלְכוּ בְּמוֹעֲצוֹתֵיהֶם
לוּ–עַמִּי שֹׁמֵעַ לִי; יִשְׂרָאֵל בִּדְרָכַי יְהַלֵּכוּ
כִּמְעַט אוֹיְבֵיהֶם אַכְנִיעַ; וְעַל צָרֵיהֶם אָשִׁיב יָדִי
מְשַׂנְאֵי יְהוָה יְכַחֲשׁוּ-לוֹ; וִיהִי עִתָּם לְעוֹלָם
וַיַּאֲכִילֵהוּ מֵחֵלֶב חִטָּה
וּמִצּוּר דְּבַשׁ אַשְׂבִּיעֶךָ
Psalms 81:9-17 תהלים פא:ט-יז