Judges 2

1 Now the angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, *** I took you out of Egypt, guiding you into the land which I gave by an oath to your fathers; and I said, My agreement with you will never be broken by me:
2 And you are to make no agreement with the people of this land; you are to see that their altars are broken down: but you have not given ear to my voice: what have you done?
3 And so I have said, I will not send them out from before you; but they will be a danger to you, and their gods will be a cause of falling to you.
4 Now on hearing these words which the angel of the Lord said to all the children of Israel, the people gave themselves up to loud crying and weeping.
5 And they gave that place the name of Bochim, and made offerings there to the Lord.
6 And Joshua let the people go away, and the children of Israel went, every man to his heritage, to take the land for themselves.
7 And the people were true to the Lord all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the responsible men who were still living after the death of Joshua, and had seen all the great work of the Lord which he had done for Israel.
8 And death came to Joshua, the son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, he being a hundred and ten years old.
9 And they put his body in the earth in the land of his heritage in Timnath-heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim to the north of Mount Gaash.
10 And in time death overtook all that generation; and another generation came after them, having no knowledge of the Lord or of the things which he had done for Israel.
11 And the children of Israel did evil in the eyes of the Lord and became servants to the Baals;
12 And they gave up the Lord, the God of their fathers, who had taken them out of the land of Egypt, and went after other gods, the gods of the peoples round about them, worshipping them and moving the Lord to wrath.
13 And they gave up the Lord, and became the servants of Baal and the Astartes.
14 And the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and he gave them up into the hands of those who violently took their property, and into the hands of their haters all round them, so that they were forced to give way before them.
15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the Lord was against them for evil, as the Lord had taken his oath it would be; and things became very hard for them.
16 Then the Lord gave them judges, as their saviours from the hands of those who were cruel to them.
17 But still they would not give ear to their judges, but went after other gods and gave them worship; quickly turning from the way in which their fathers had gone, keeping the orders of the Lord; but they did not do so.
18 And whenever the Lord gave them judges, then the Lord was with the judge, and was their saviour from the hands of their haters all the days of the judge; for the Lord was moved by their cries of grief because of those who were cruel to them.
19 But whenever the judge was dead, they went back and did more evil than their fathers, going after other gods, to be their servants and their worshippers; giving up nothing of their sins and their hard-hearted ways.
20 And the wrath of the Lord was burning against Israel, and he said, Because this nation has not been true to my agreement which I made with their fathers, and has not given ear to my voice;
21 From now on I will not go on driving out from before them any of the nations which at the death of Joshua were still living in this land;
22 In order to put Israel to the test, and see if they will keep the way of the Lord, walking in it as their fathers did, or not.
23 So the Lord let those nations go on living in the land, not driving them out quickly, and did not give them up into the hands of Joshua.

Judges 2 Commentary

Chapter 2

The angel of the Lord rebukes the people. (1-5) The wickedness of the new generation after Joshua. (6-23)

Verses 1-5 It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Son of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who throw off communion with God, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, and will have nothing to say for themselves in the day of account shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with God's enemies. God often makes men's sin their punishment; and thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and not without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, no voice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation; but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves, and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worship of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment, cannot atone for sin.

Verses 6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel, during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as mean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have been great and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Their punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God made them serve the princes of the nations round about them, even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises, may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He might in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity do it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, and so they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of the church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so mad were they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent to backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God, which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most daring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened. Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and so they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to believe it, until by making bold with temptation we find it true by sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow after holiness all our days.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JUDGES 2

This chapter gives an account of an angel of the Lord appearing and rebuking the children of Israel for their present misconduct, Jud 2:1-5; of their good behaviour under Joshua, and the elders that outlived him, Jud 2:6-10; and of their idolatries they fell into afterwards, which greatly provoked the Lord to anger, Jud 2:11-15; and of the goodness of God to them nevertheless, in raising up judges to deliver them out of the hands of their enemies, of which there are many instances in the following chapter, Jud 2:16-18; and yet that how, upon the demise of such persons, they relapsed into idolatry which caused the anger of God to be hot against them, and to determine not to drive out the Canaanites utterly from them, but to leave them among them to try them, Jud 2:19-23.

Judges 2 Commentaries