And so it was at the beginning of their dwelling there, that
they feared not the Lord
Did not serve him in any manner, but their idols only, which they brought with them; whereas it was usual with Heathens to serve the gods of the country, as they reputed them, where they came, along with their own; but even this those men did not do:
therefore the Lord sent lions among them;
even into their cities, into which lions sometimes came F12, especially when old, out of the thickets of Jordan and other places where they haunted, see ( Jeremiah 49:19 )
which slew some of them;
this the Lord did to assert his sovereignty, authority, and mighty power, and to let them know that he could as easily clear the land of them, as they, by his permission, had cleared the land of the Israelites, Josephus F13 calls this a plague that was sent among them.
F12 Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 44. Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 16.
F13 Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 9. c. 14. sect. 1.)