The Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary is my go-to Bible dictionary (I have 4-5). When studying an ancient book like Judges having a handy reference for terms, cultural practices, and geography is essential.
Devotional/Easy Read Commentaries
If you could only buy one set of commentaries for the entire Bible, the Tyndale series would be a good choice. There’s nothing flashy here, but they are workhorse entry level commentaries. Straightforward and accessible writing makes these commentaries one of my favorite to recommend to new Bible students.
Dale Ralph Davis writes commentaries the way I wish everyone wrote commentaries. Every time I read him I’m amazed at how well he reads the text. This is my highest rated Judges commentary recommendation.
Daniel Block’s offering of Judges in the New American Commentary series is my favorite of the more academic commentaries. I see it as a bridge between the more accessible paperback and the heavier hitters.
The New International Commentary on the Old Testament series represents a fine academic commentary. This volume has fantastic material on the background and critical issues surrounding the text of Judges. It’s also one of the most recent commentaries written on Judges so scholarship is current. My favorite aspect about this series is the notes section. If you’re a seminary student you’d be remiss to not follow the notes.
The most accessible of the more academic commentaries, I love the NIV series. In my reading they tend to emphasize pieces of the text that most other commentaries miss so I always read them before I prepare a sermon or Bible study.