Judges 2

1 The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you up from Egypt and led you to the land I promised to give your ancestors. I said, 'I will never break my agreement with you.
2 But you must not make an agreement with the people who live in this land. You must destroy their altars.' But you did not obey me. How could you do this?
3 Now I tell you, 'I will not force out the people in this land. They will be your enemies, and their gods will be a trap for you.'"
4 After the angel gave Israel this message from the Lord, they cried loudly.
5 So they named the place Bokim. There they offered sacrifices to the Lord.
6 Then Joshua sent the people back to their land.
7 The people served the Lord during the lifetime of Joshua and during the lifetimes of the older leaders who lived after Joshua and who had seen what great things the Lord had done for Israel.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the Lord, died at the age of one hundred ten.
9 They buried him in his own land at Timnath Serah in the mountains of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10 After those people had died, their children grew up and did not know the Lord or what he had done for Israel.
11 So they did what the Lord said was wrong, and they worshiped the Baal idols.
12 They quit following the Lord, the God of their ancestors who had brought them out of Egypt. They began to worship the gods of the people who lived around them, and that made the Lord angry.
13 The Israelites quit following the Lord and worshiped Baal and Ashtoreth.
14 The Lord was angry with the people of Israel, so he handed them over to robbers who took their possessions. He let their enemies who lived around them defeat them; they could not protect themselves.
15 When the Israelites went out to fight, they always lost, because the Lord was not with them. The Lord had sworn to them this would happen. So the Israelites suffered very much.
16 Then the Lord chose leaders called judges,nwho saved the Israelites from the robbers.
17 But the Israelites did not listen to their judges. They were not faithful to God but worshiped other gods instead. Their ancestors had obeyed the Lord's commands, but they quickly turned away and did not obey.
18 When their enemies hurt them, the Israelites cried for help. So the Lord felt sorry for them and sent judges to save them from their enemies. The Lord was with those judges all their lives.
19 But when the judges died, the Israelites again sinned and worshiped other gods. They became worse than their ancestors. The Israelites were very stubborn and refused to change their evil ways.
20 So the Lord became angry with the Israelites. He said, "These people have broken the agreement I made with their ancestors. They have not listened to me.
21 I will no longer defeat the nations who were left when Joshua died.
22 I will use them to test Israel, to see if Israel will keep the Lord's commands as their ancestors did."
23 In the past the Lord had permitted those nations to stay in the land. He did not quickly force them out or help Joshua's army defeat them.

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