three hundred years

Judges 11:26

11:26 three hundred years. The chronology of the period of the judges is difficult to decipher, but this statement of Jephthah’s, inserted more or less incidentally in his polemic against the king of Ammon, provides an important constraint on such estimates. The children of Israel conquered Heshbon, Aroer and Arnon, and “dwelt in all the cities of the Amorites” (Numbers 21:24-26) shortly before they crossed the Jordan into Canaan. Thus, the time from the beginning of the conquest under Joshua until the judgeship of Jephthah was about three hundred years. Judges of this period included Othniel (forty years), Ehud (eighty years), Deborah (forty years), Gideon (forty years), Abimelech (three years), Tola (twenty-three years), and Jair (twenty-two years; see Judges 3:11,30; 5:31; 8:28; 9:22; 10:2,3). In addition, a total of fifty-three years of “oppression” are listed (Judges 3:8, 14; 4:3; 6:1), plus eighteen years just before Jephthah.

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