Judges 2:1-10 . AN ANGEL SENT TO REBUKE THE PEOPLE AT BOCHIM.
11-19. the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord--This chapter, together with the first eight verses of the next [Judges 2:11-3:8'], contains a brief but comprehensive summary of the principles developed in the following history. An attentive consideration of them, therefore, is of the greatest importance to a right understanding of the strange and varying phases of Israelitish history, from the death of Joshua till the establishment of the monarchy.
served Baalim--The plural is used to include all the gods of the country.
13. Ashtaroth--Also a plural word, denoting all the female divinities, whose rites were celebrated by the most gross and revolting impurities.
14. the anger of the Lord was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them--Adversities in close and rapid succession befell them. But all these calamities were designed only as chastisements--a course of correctional discipline by which God brought His people to see and repent of their errors; for as they returned to faith and allegiance. He "raised up judges" ( Judges 2:16 ).
16. which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them--The judges who governed Israel were strictly God's vicegerents in the government of the people, He being the supreme ruler. Those who were thus elevated retained the dignity as long as they lived; but there was no regular, unbroken succession of judges. Individuals, prompted by the inward, irresistible impulse of God's Spirit when they witnessed the depressed state of their country, were roused to achieve its deliverance. It was usually accompanied by a special call, and the people seeing them endowed with extraordinary courage or strength, accepted them as delegates of Heaven, and submitted to their sway. Frequently they were appointed only for a particular district, and their authority extended no farther than over the people whose interests they were commissioned to protect. They were without pomp, equipage, or emoluments attached to the office. They had no power to make laws; for these were given by God; nor to explain them, for that was the province of the priests--but they were officially upholders of the law, defenders of religion, avengers of all crimes, particularly of idolatry and its attendant vices.