This commentary brings to life the world portrayed in the stories in Judges and Ruth. The intention is to prepare the reader to understand social norms and customs, such as hospitality codes, marriage customs, inheritance laws, or agricultural practices when they appear in the stories. Having established a cultural and literary context for Judges and Ruth, the commentary then treats each episode separately and as a whole. It is written to be accessible for a wide audience - including clergy, scholars, teachers, seminarians, and interested lay people. A suggested reading list - a feature of all volumes in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary - serves as a point of entry for the new serious students of Judges and Ruth, and the entire NRSV translation is provided throughout the text as a convenience to the reader.