i’m a little bit confused, what is really the exact number of judges in the old testament? Can we consider Eli, Samuel, Joel and Abijah judges of the OT?

Answer:

The Judges, in an official sense, are those leaders noted in the book of Judges: 1. Othniel, the son of Kenaz; 2. Ehud, the son of Gerah; 3. Shamgar, the son of Anath; 4. Deborah (and Barak); 5. Gideon, the son of Joash; 6. Abimelech, the son of Gideon; 7. Tola, the son of Puah; 8. Jair (Yair), from the tribe of Gilead; 9. Jephthah, the son of Gilead from Gilead; 10. Ibzan, from the tribe of Judah; 11. Elon, from the tribe of Zebulun; 12. Abdon, the son of Hillel; 13. Samson, the son of Manoah.

Eli, Samuel, and so on, are prophets, rather than judges.

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