In the Hebrew canon, the second book of the Earlier Prophets, placed between Joshua and Samuel.§ I. Synopsis of Contents: Before discussing the several parts and their origin, it may be well to note the peculiar composition of the book. According to one, the Ephraimite Micah made an ephod and teraphim, and hired a Levite to be to him "a father and priest"; 600 Danites then persuaded the Levite to go with them and become their priest, whereupon they conquered Laish and set up there for their tribal sanctuary the image that Micah had made.
Name: The book derives its name from the fact that it deals with the "Judges," a term which, according to the statements found in the book (comp. 11-19 and the constantly recurring formulas in iii. The introduction and additions may clearly be separated from the main text, giving the following three divisions: (1) introduction; (2) Book of Judges proper; and (3) appendixes. The main text of Judges, including the above-named stories, constituted, with the exception of later additions, the earlier book, which began therefore with ii. According to the other account, Micah made a "pesel" (graven image) and "massekah" (molten image), and engaged a young Levite as priest, whom he held as a son; but the Danites, who stole the pesel and massekah, made Jonathan, Moses' grandson, their tribal priest instead of the Levite, and through the descendants of Jonathan the priesthood was transmitted in the tribe of Dan.
For many of the books of the Bible we are only able to give approximate dates.
At the same time we see God repeatedly offering the people a fresh start.
This tension between God's justice and God's mercy will continue throughout the Deuteronomistic History and the rest of the Old Testament. Jewish tradition identifies Samuel as the author of Judges, but there is no evidence to support this claim.
As a result, the "early date" conflicts with these other biblical chronological data. It is consistent with no biblical chronological data.
Thus, the biblical stipulation of 480 years from the Exodus to Solomon given in 1 Kings 6:1 conflicts with the greater than 600 year total for this same time period which one can calculate from chronological data given elsewhere in the Bible.