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And it came to pass, when Samuel was old, that he made his sons judges over Israel.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

8:1 his sons judges. Since Samuel was a judge in Israel as long as he lived (I Samuel 7:15), here is a specific case when there were contemporaneous judges in Israel; Samuel had a circuit, but his main “court” was in Ramah (I Samuel 7:17). His two sons served as judges in Beersheba, about fifty miles south of Ramah. This fact gives a clue as to why the chronology of the Judges period is so difficult to work out (over seventy-five different chronologies have been published). It is possible that at least some of the periods of rest and oppression listed in the book refer to simultaneous periods in different regions.

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