One of Gideon’s sons was Abimelech. It is arguable if Abimelech should be counted as a judge. If so, he would be classified as a failure, for he violently seized power, did not fight for or liberate his people from foreign powers, but instead fought internally, with much loss of life as a result—including his own.
Abimelech was the son of a concubine (or slave). Interestingly, another judge, Jephthah, was a son of the prostitute. Jephthah, however, unlike Abimelech, was a successful judge, who liberated his people, whereas Abimelech killed—or caused the death—of his people.
Both Abimelech and Jephthah had a less than ideal start in life, but what they did with it was opposite from each other. Jephthah became a hero; Abimelech, a tyrant.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.