According to Jewish tradition, who wrote Sefer Shoftim / Book of Judges?

I'd also be curious to know what secular scholars would answer to this question. However I am mainly concerned with what Jewish tradition believes. Was it one of the prophets? It must have been someone who was there all along. (Unless there were multiple authors - were there?)


2 Answers 2


The Babylonian Talmud (BB 14b) writes that the prophet Samuel wrote his eponymous book, the Book of Judges, and the Book of Ruth. For a likely Tiberian perspective, the Masorah in the back of the Leningrad Codex (here) concurs.

  • wow how did you find that in the Leningrad Codex? May 15, 2017 at 21:20
  • 1
    I read it. [15]
    – Double AA
    May 15, 2017 at 21:21
  • what is a likely tiberian perspective?
    – Menachem
    May 15, 2017 at 22:13
  • @Menachem a perspective which likely is tiberian (tiberian = of tiberias)
    – Double AA
    May 15, 2017 at 22:14
  • @Menachem - What Double AA means is that the masorah of the Tiberian scribes agrees with the notion that the prophet Samuel authored the book.
    – ezra
    May 15, 2017 at 23:42

For a text as old as Shoftim, 'secular scholars' do not, in general, maintain theories that some particular, named, individual wrote a text.

The books I have read point to ways in which there are coherent groups of stories which might have common origins, some dialectic evidence for northern versus southern origin, and some ideas about later edits.

These books are currently in boxes, so I cannot oblige requests for references.

  • This does not provide an answer to the question. To critique or request clarification from an author, leave a comment below their post. - From Review May 16, 2017 at 8:22
  • 3
    Someone expressed specific curiosity about the views of secular scholars. Look, I usually don't write answers here, because of the general tendency to stick to traditional source and viewpoints. May 16, 2017 at 14:48
  • 3
    @DannySchoemann et al: judaism.meta.stackexchange.com/q/4332
    – msh210
    May 16, 2017 at 15:58

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