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The judges were military leaders sent by God to aid and to relieve His people in time of external danger. They exercised their activities in the interval of time between the death of Joshua and the institution of the monarchy in Israel. Six of them, namely Othniel, Ehud, Barak, Gideon, Jephthah and Samson are treated in some detail and have accordingly been styled the Major Judges. The other six, of whose activities this book preserves but a summary record, are called the Minor Judges.