Today's first reading tells what happened in the aftermath of Joshua's death. Without a strong central leader, the Hebrews became more tribal, with occasional strong leaders called judges taking charge. Also, without a central leader, the people begin to stray in their faith, causing God to test them.
[links to Bible Gateway open in a new window]Reading the Bible in Its Entirety
The second selection tells of the prophet Deborah, one of these tribal judges, who dictated how the Hebrews would defeat the Canaanite army, with its king meeting a gruesome death at the hand of another woman, Jael.
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If you are planning to read the Bible in its entirety, you should read Judges 1-4 today.