Judges 2

Listen to Judges 2
1 The angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said to the Israelites, “I brought you out of Egypt into this land that I swore to give your ancestors, and I said I would never break my covenant with you.
2 For your part, you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. But you disobeyed my command. Why did you do this?
3 So now I declare that I will no longer drive out the people living in your land. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a constant temptation to you.”
4 When the angel of the LORD finished speaking to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly.
5 So they called the place Bokim (which means “weeping”), and they offered sacrifices there to the LORD .
6 After Joshua sent the people away, each of the tribes left to take possession of the land allotted to them.
7 And the Israelites served the LORD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the leaders who outlived him—those who had seen all the great things the LORD had done for Israel.
8 Joshua son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110.
9 They buried him in the land he had been allocated, at Timnath-serah in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.
10 After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the LORD or remember the mighty things he had done for Israel.
11 The Israelites did evil in the LORD ’s sight and served the images of Baal.
12 They abandoned the LORD, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the LORD .
13 They abandoned the LORD to serve Baal and the images of Ashtoreth.
14 This made the LORD burn with anger against Israel, so he handed them over to raiders who stole their possessions. He turned them over to their enemies all around, and they were no longer able to resist them.
15 Every time Israel went out to battle, the LORD fought against them, causing them to be defeated, just as he had warned. And the people were in great distress.
16 Then the LORD raised up judges to rescue the Israelites from their attackers.
17 Yet Israel did not listen to the judges but prostituted themselves by worshiping other gods. How quickly they turned away from the path of their ancestors, who had walked in obedience to the LORD ’s commands.
18 Whenever the LORD raised up a judge over Israel, he was with that judge and rescued the people from their enemies throughout the judge’s lifetime. For the LORD took pity on his people, who were burdened by oppression and suffering.
19 But when the judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways, behaving worse than those who had lived before them. They went after other gods, serving and worshiping them. And they refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways.
20 So the LORD burned with anger against Israel. He said, “Because these people have violated my covenant, which I made with their ancestors, and have ignored my commands,
21 I will no longer drive out the nations that Joshua left unconquered when he died.
22 I did this to test Israel—to see whether or not they would follow the ways of the LORD as their ancestors did.”
23 That is why the LORD left those nations in place. He did not quickly drive them out or allow Joshua to conquer them all.

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.

Footnotes 2

  • [a]. Hebrew They will be in your sides; compare Num 33:55 .
  • [b]. As in parallel text at Josh 24:30 ; Hebrew reads Timnath-heres, a variant spelling of Timnath-serah.

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