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Judges 2

Listen to Judges 2

Israel's Disobedience

1 Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to 1Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up from Egypt and brought you into the land that I swore to give to your fathers. I said, 2'I will never break my covenant with you,
2 3and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; 4you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?
3 So now I say, 5I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become 6thorns in your sides,[a] and their gods shall be a snare to you."
4 As soon as the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept.
5 And they called the name of that place Bochim.[b] And they sacrificed there to the LORD.

The Death of Joshua

6 When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land.
7 7And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work that the LORD had done for Israel.
8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years.
9 And they buried him within the boundaries of 8his inheritance in Timnath-heres, 9in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.
10 And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know the LORD or the work that he had done for Israel.

Israel's Unfaithfulness

11 10And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals.
12 11And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. 12They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and 13bowed down to them. 14And they provoked the LORD to anger.
13 They abandoned the LORD 15and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.
14 16So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he 17gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them. 18And he sold them into the hand of their surrounding enemies, 19so that they could no longer withstand their enemies.
15 Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for harm, as the LORD had warned, 20and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were in terrible distress.

The Lord Raises Up Judges

16 21Then the LORD raised up judges, 22who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them.
17 Yet they did not listen to their judges, for 23they whored after other gods and bowed down to them. 24They soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so.
18 Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, 25the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge. 26For the LORD was moved to pity by 27their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them.
19 But 28whenever the judge died, they turned back and were more corrupt than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them. They did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways.
20 29So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he said, "Because this people 30has transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice,
21 31I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died,
22 in order 32to test Israel by them, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not."
23 So the LORD left those nations, not driving them out quickly, and he did not give them into the hand 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.

Cross References 32

  • 1. ver. 5
  • 2. Genesis 17:7; Exodus 6:4; Deuteronomy 31:16
  • 3. Deuteronomy 7:2
  • 4. Deuteronomy 12:3
  • 5. ver. 21
  • 6. Numbers 33:55; Joshua 23:13
  • 7. For ver. 7-9, see Joshua 24:29-31
  • 8. Joshua 19:50
  • 9. Joshua 24:33
  • 10. Judges 3:7; Judges 4:1; Judges 6:1; Judges 10:6; Judges 13:1
  • 11. Deuteronomy 31:16
  • 12. [Deuteronomy 6:14]
  • 13. ver. 17, 19; [Exodus 20:5]
  • 14. Deuteronomy 31:29
  • 15. Judges 3:7; Judges 10:6; Psalms 106:36; [1 Samuel 7:4]
  • 16. ver. 20
  • 17. 2 Kings 17:20
  • 18. Judges 3:8; Judges 4:2; [Deuteronomy 32:30; 1 Samuel 12:9]
  • 19. Leviticus 26:37; Joshua 7:12, 13
  • 20. See Leviticus 26:14-46; Deuteronomy 28:15-68
  • 21. Judges 3:9, 15; 1 Samuel 12:11; Acts 13:20
  • 22. Judges 3:31; Judges 10:1, 12, 13; Judges 12:2, 3; Judges 13:5; [Judges 3:9; Nehemiah 9:27]
  • 23. Judges 8:33; Exodus 34:15
  • 24. Deuteronomy 9:12
  • 25. [Joshua 1:5]
  • 26. Genesis 6:6; Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalms 106:45; Jeremiah 18:8; Jeremiah 26:3; [Numbers 23:19]
  • 27. Exodus 2:24; Exodus 6:5
  • 28. [Judges 3:12; Judges 4:1; Judges 6:1; Judges 8:33]
  • 29. ver. 14
  • 30. Deuteronomy 17:2; Joshua 23:16
  • 31. ver. 3; Joshua 23:13
  • 32. Judges 3:1, 4; Exodus 15:25; [Deuteronomy 8:2, 16; Deuteronomy 13:3]

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Vulgate, Old Latin (compare Septuagint); Hebrew sides
  • [b]. Bochim means weepers

Chapter Summary


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

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.