New York University Public Law and Legal Theory Working Papers

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This paper continues the analysis of political theory in the Hebrew Bible. This book of Judges evaluates the pros and cons of a confederacy of semi-sovereign tribes, constituted by legal obligations and embodied in three institutions: judges, military leaders, and a tribal assembly. Although the author portrays the leaders of the confederacy as heroes who rescue Israel from distress, his evaluation of the confederacy is negative. He argues that its institutions are not strong enough to reliably deliver the benefits of nationhood – justice, security, prosperity, domestic tranquility, and fidelity to God.

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