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Bible Commentaries

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Judges 2

 

 

Verse 1

2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Ver. 1. And an angel of the Lord.] Or, A messenger, as Haggai 1:13, Ecclesiastes 5:6, Revelation 2:1, 1 Corinthians 11:10. This was Phinehas, say the Rabbis some prophet, say others; or a created angel Diodate will have it to be meant of the Son of God himself, who had before appeared to Joshua, as Captain of the Lord’s hosts, at Gilgal, [Joshua 5:13] from whence also he is here said to have come up: ascenderat, Junius rendereth it, he had come up - viz., in the days of Joshua and the elders that survived him. Compare Joshua 2:6; Joshua 2:11-12.

I will never break my covenant with you,] i.e., Unless you first break with me. If God shall be all-sufficient to us, we must be altogether his. [Song of Solomon 2:16] His is a covenant of mercy, ours of obedience: but the rebellious, though covenanters, shall bear their iniquity, and know God’s breach of promise. [Numbers 14:34]


Verse 1

2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.

Ver. 1. And an angel of the Lord.] Or, A messenger, as Haggai 1:13, Ecclesiastes 5:6, Revelation 2:1, 1 Corinthians 11:10. This was Phinehas, say the Rabbis some prophet, say others; or a created angel Diodate will have it to be meant of the Son of God himself, who had before appeared to Joshua, as Captain of the Lord’s hosts, at Gilgal, [Joshua 5:13] from whence also he is here said to have come up: ascenderat, Junius rendereth it, he had come up - viz., in the days of Joshua and the elders that survived him. Compare Joshua 2:6; Joshua 2:11-12.

I will never break my covenant with you,] i.e., Unless you first break with me. If God shall be all-sufficient to us, we must be altogether his. [Song of Solomon 2:16] His is a covenant of mercy, ours of obedience: but the rebellious, though covenanters, shall bear their iniquity, and know God’s breach of promise. [Numbers 14:34]


Verse 2

2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

Ver. 2. Why have ye done this?] Can you give any good reason? Nothing is more irrational than irreligion: and yet lust will so blear a man’s eyes, as that he shall believe he hath reason to be mad, and that there is some sense in sinning. Never did any yet come to hell, but they had some pretence for coming thither. The flesh never wanteth excuses, even when she is most inexcusable and self-condemned.


Verse 2

2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?

Ver. 2. Why have ye done this?] Can you give any good reason? Nothing is more irrational than irreligion: and yet lust will so blear a man’s eyes, as that he shall believe he hath reason to be mad, and that there is some sense in sinning. Never did any yet come to hell, but they had some pretence for coming thither. The flesh never wanteth excuses, even when she is most inexcusable and self-condemned.


Verse 3

2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

Ver. 3. As thorns in your sides.] See Joshua 23:13.


Verse 3

2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be [as thorns] in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.

Ver. 3. As thorns in your sides.] See Joshua 23:13.


Verse 4

2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

Ver. 4. The people lifted up their voice, and wept.] Thus they were wrought upon by the word preached, even unto tears; as were likewise David, Josiah, Hezekiah, Magdalen, Peter. So these hearers of his "were pricked at heart," [Acts 2:37] and Paul’s at Ephesus wept sore. [Acts 20:37] Few such to be seen in our congregations: some, as they say of witches, cannot weep. The enemy, when he hath stopt the wells and stayed the watercourses of a town, hath good hope to take it. So hath Satan remorseless souls.


Verse 4

2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

Ver. 4. The people lifted up their voice, and wept.] Thus they were wrought upon by the word preached, even unto tears; as were likewise David, Josiah, Hezekiah, Magdalen, Peter. So these hearers of his "were pricked at heart," [Acts 2:37] and Paul’s at Ephesus wept sore. [Acts 20:37] Few such to be seen in our congregations: some, as they say of witches, cannot weep. The enemy, when he hath stopt the wells and stayed the watercourses of a town, hath good hope to take it. So hath Satan remorseless souls.


Verse 5

2:5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.

Ver. 5. And they called the name of that place Bochim,] i.e., Weepers. As they had formerly filled God’s bag with their sins; so now they help as fast to fill God’s bottle with their tears. Their hearts were as so many Hadadrimmons. [Zechariah 12:11]

Sic faciles motus mens generosa capit.

And they sacrificed there unto the Lord.] In testimony of their faith in Christ’s merits (for they mourned not desperately) and their thankfulness that God had sent them a preacher, and not an executioner, considering their deserts.


Verse 5

2:5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.

Ver. 5. And they called the name of that place Bochim,] i.e., Weepers. As they had formerly filled God’s bag with their sins; so now they help as fast to fill God’s bottle with their tears. Their hearts were as so many Hadadrimmons. [Zechariah 12:11]

Sic faciles motus mens generosa capit.

And they sacrificed there unto the Lord.] In testimony of their faith in Christ’s merits (for they mourned not desperately) and their thankfulness that God had sent them a preacher, and not an executioner, considering their deserts.


Verse 6

2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.

Ver. 6. And when Joshua had let the people go.] See Joshua 2:1; but Vatablus’s note here is, that these things are here spoken by way of recapitulation; that the sum and argument of the whole book may be in this place set down together.


Verse 6

2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.

Ver. 6. And when Joshua had let the people go.] See Joshua 2:1; but Vatablus’s note here is, that these things are here spoken by way of recapitulation; that the sum and argument of the whole book may be in this place set down together.


Verse 7

2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

Ver. 7. And the people served the Lord.] So did the primitive Christians, [Acts 2:41-47; Acts 26:7] with great intention of affection, whilst the apostles and their disciples were yet living. And so at the beginning of the Reformation; but now what a general chillness!

Heu, pietas ubi prisca? profana o tempora!

All the days of Joshua.] Of so great concernment it is that there be good governors; since the many will be of their religion. When George, Duke of Saxony, declared against Luther, his subjects were almost all of them Papists; as when Henry succeeded George, all on the sudden they became Lutherans. So when the Palatinate was lost to the Spaniard, people fell to Popery as fast as leaves in autumn; the most are of King Harry’s religion.


Verse 7

2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

Ver. 7. And the people served the Lord.] So did the primitive Christians, [Acts 2:41-47; Acts 26:7] with great intention of affection, whilst the apostles and their disciples were yet living. And so at the beginning of the Reformation; but now what a general chillness!

Heu, pietas ubi prisca? profana o tempora!

All the days of Joshua.] Of so great concernment it is that there be good governors; since the many will be of their religion. When George, Duke of Saxony, declared against Luther, his subjects were almost all of them Papists; as when Henry succeeded George, all on the sudden they became Lutherans. So when the Palatinate was lost to the Spaniard, people fell to Popery as fast as leaves in autumn; the most are of King Harry’s religion.


Verse 8

2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, [being] an hundred and ten years old.

Ver. 8. Being a hundred and ten years old.] Which was also good Joseph’s age when he died.


Verse 8

2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, [being] an hundred and ten years old.

Ver. 8. Being a hundred and ten years old.] Which was also good Joseph’s age when he died.


Verse 9

2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

Ver. 9. And they buried him.] Burial is a mercy, whatever the Cynics held to the contrary: and places of burial are to be kept decent, in token that we expect a resurrection.

In Timnathheres.] That is, The picture of the sun which was there worshipped. In detestation whereof, it may seem, the name was altered by transposition of letters in Timnathserah.


Verse 9

2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

Ver. 9. And they buried him.] Burial is a mercy, whatever the Cynics held to the contrary: and places of burial are to be kept decent, in token that we expect a resurrection.

In Timnathheres.] That is, The picture of the sun which was there worshipped. In detestation whereof, it may seem, the name was altered by transposition of letters in Timnathserah.


Verse 10

2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

Ver. 10. And there arose another generation.] Things grow worse for most part, every age than other: -

Aeras parentum peior avis tulit

Nos nequiores, mox datura

Progeniem vitiosiorem. ” - Hor. (a)

Which knew not the Lord,] i.e., Knew him not effectually and

experimentally. As our Saviour knew no sin - that is, he did none; so

men know not the Lord to any purpose, that obey him not; Eli’s sons,

for instance.


Verse 10

2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

Ver. 10. And there arose another generation.] Things grow worse for most part, every age than other: -

Aeras parentum peior avis tulit

Nos nequiores, mox datura

Progeniem vitiosiorem. ” - Hor. (a)

Which knew not the Lord,] i.e., Knew him not effectually and

experimentally. As our Saviour knew no sin - that is, he did none; so

men know not the Lord to any purpose, that obey him not; Eli’s sons,

for instance.


Verse 11

2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:

Ver. 11. And served Baalim,] i.e., Lords. Hence Hannibal, Asdrubal, &c., of old; as now among the Turks, Beglerbeg, Scanderbeg, that is, Lord Alexander. Their idols they called their lords or protectors; and so the devil became their good lord, as they say: for he is ειδωλοχαρης, the author of idolatry, that evil as it is here called κατ αντονομασιαν.


Verse 11

2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:

Ver. 11. And served Baalim,] i.e., Lords. Hence Hannibal, Asdrubal, &c., of old; as now among the Turks, Beglerbeg, Scanderbeg, that is, Lord Alexander. Their idols they called their lords or protectors; and so the devil became their good lord, as they say: for he is ειδωλοχαρης, the author of idolatry, that evil as it is here called κατ αντονομασιαν.


Verse 12

2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

Ver. 12. And they forsook.] By a detestable apostasy: such as heaven and earth had cause to he ashamed of. [Jeremiah 2:12-13] There is a commendable apostasy, sc., when men fall off from a false religion to that which is true. Thus the Papists called Luther, as they do all of us, an apostate. Confitur se esse apostatam sed beatum et sanctum, qui fidem diabolo datam non servavit; he confessed himself an apostate, but a holy and blessed apostate; one that had fallen off from the devil; and should therefore have been sainted rather than stigmatised.


Verse 12

2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that [were] round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.

Ver. 12. And they forsook.] By a detestable apostasy: such as heaven and earth had cause to he ashamed of. [Jeremiah 2:12-13] There is a commendable apostasy, sc., when men fall off from a false religion to that which is true. Thus the Papists called Luther, as they do all of us, an apostate. Confitur se esse apostatam sed beatum et sanctum, qui fidem diabolo datam non servavit; he confessed himself an apostate, but a holy and blessed apostate; one that had fallen off from the devil; and should therefore have been sainted rather than stigmatised.


Verse 13

2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Ver. 13. And served Baal and Ashtaroth,] i.e., He-gods and she-gods of all sorts, closing up their orisons with, Diique, deaque, omnes, as Servius telleth us. (a) From this word Ashtaroth seemeth to come the Greek word αστηρ, and the Latin astrum, a star: as Saturn, Jupiter, Luna, Pallas, &c., came from the Hebrew.


Verse 13

2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Ver. 13. And served Baal and Ashtaroth,] i.e., He-gods and she-gods of all sorts, closing up their orisons with, Diique, deaque, omnes, as Servius telleth us. (a) From this word Ashtaroth seemeth to come the Greek word αστηρ, and the Latin astrum, a star: as Saturn, Jupiter, Luna, Pallas, &c., came from the Hebrew.


Verse 14

2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

Ver. 14. And he delivered them.] The next effect of wrath is revenge, both improperly attributed to God. "Fury is not in me." [Isaiah 27:4]

He sold them into the hands.] (a) He renounced his right in them, as it were, casting off all further care of them, and then they must needs do full ill.


Verse 14

2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.

Ver. 14. And he delivered them.] The next effect of wrath is revenge, both improperly attributed to God. "Fury is not in me." [Isaiah 27:4]

He sold them into the hands.] (a) He renounced his right in them, as it were, casting off all further care of them, and then they must needs do full ill.


Verse 15

2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

Ver. 15. As the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn.] But they would never believe till they felt, as holding all to be spoken in terrorem only to frighten silly people, or putting off all with a "God forbid," as those in Luke 20:16; but execution followeth commination, unless repentance interpose and take up the quarrel.

And they were greatly distressed.] See Zephaniah 3:5. {See Trapp on "Zephaniah 3:5"}


Verse 15

2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.

Ver. 15. As the Lord had said, and as the Lord had sworn.] But they would never believe till they felt, as holding all to be spoken in terrorem only to frighten silly people, or putting off all with a "God forbid," as those in Luke 20:16; but execution followeth commination, unless repentance interpose and take up the quarrel.

And they were greatly distressed.] See Zephaniah 3:5. {See Trapp on "Zephaniah 3:5"}


Verse 16

2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Ver. 16. Nevertheless the Lord.] Here we have an epitome of the whole book, showing the circle that God goeth in with his. See Psalms 30:5; Psalms 30:7, &c., {See Trapp on "Psalms 30:5"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 30:7"}

Raised up judges.] Ordinary men, but extraordinarily qualified. God gifteth those whom he sendeth.


Verse 16

2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.

Ver. 16. Nevertheless the Lord.] Here we have an epitome of the whole book, showing the circle that God goeth in with his. See Psalms 30:5; Psalms 30:7, &c., {See Trapp on "Psalms 30:5"} {See Trapp on "Psalms 30:7"}

Raised up judges.] Ordinary men, but extraordinarily qualified. God gifteth those whom he sendeth.


Verse 17

2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD [but] they did not so.

Ver. 17. But they went a whoring.] Carried on by a spirit of fornication, a strong inclination, a vehement impetus to whoredom; so that they care not how they waste all upon it, and will not be reclaimed: so idolaters.

They turned quickly out of the way.] See Galatians 1:6, with the note.

Which their fathers walked in.] Grace is not hereditary. Good progenitors may have a degenerate and unregenerate offspring.


Verse 17

2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD [but] they did not so.

Ver. 17. But they went a whoring.] Carried on by a spirit of fornication, a strong inclination, a vehement impetus to whoredom; so that they care not how they waste all upon it, and will not be reclaimed: so idolaters.

They turned quickly out of the way.] See Galatians 1:6, with the note.

Which their fathers walked in.] Grace is not hereditary. Good progenitors may have a degenerate and unregenerate offspring.


Verse 18

2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Ver. 18. For it repented the Lord.] This was Mutatio rei, non Dei; effectus, non affectus; facti, non consilii.


Verse 18

2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.

Ver. 18. For it repented the Lord.] This was Mutatio rei, non Dei; effectus, non affectus; facti, non consilii.


Verse 19

2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

Ver. 19. More than their fathers.] See on 2:10, and observe the danger of relapse in religion. See Matthew 12:43.

Nor from their stubborn way.] Heb., Hard, rough way; such are all the ways of wickedness: whereas God’s ways are plain and pleasant. [Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 3:23] Christ’s yoke is easy, and his burden light. [Matthew 11:29]


Verse 19

2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, [that] they returned, and corrupted [themselves] more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.

Ver. 19. More than their fathers.] See on 2:10, and observe the danger of relapse in religion. See Matthew 12:43.

Nor from their stubborn way.] Heb., Hard, rough way; such are all the ways of wickedness: whereas God’s ways are plain and pleasant. [Proverbs 3:17; Proverbs 3:23] Christ’s yoke is easy, and his burden light. [Matthew 11:29]


Verse 20

2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;

Ver. 20. And the anger of the Lord was hot.] He is not made all of mercy, as some dream, but can be angry: and "who knoweth the power of his wrath?" [Psalms 90:11] It is such as men can neither avoid nor abide.


Verse 20

2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;

Ver. 20. And the anger of the Lord was hot.] He is not made all of mercy, as some dream, but can be angry: and "who knoweth the power of his wrath?" [Psalms 90:11] It is such as men can neither avoid nor abide.


Verse 21

2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Ver. 21. I also will not,] sc., Unless they repent: for, Ideo minatur Deus ut non puniat; Repentance disarmeth God’s indignation. Let him but see that rainbow appearing in our hearts, and he will take up immediately.


Verse 21

2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:

Ver. 21. I also will not,] sc., Unless they repent: for, Ideo minatur Deus ut non puniat; Repentance disarmeth God’s indignation. Let him but see that rainbow appearing in our hearts, and he will take up immediately.


Verse 22

2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not.

Ver. 22. That through them I may prove Israel.] But whenas upon trial he found them to be no better than "reprobate silver," [Jeremiah 6:30] those nations served no longer for trials, but for scourges, and instruments of revenge.


Verse 22

2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it], or not.

Ver. 22. That through them I may prove Israel.] But whenas upon trial he found them to be no better than "reprobate silver," [Jeremiah 6:30] those nations served no longer for trials, but for scourges, and instruments of revenge.


Verse 23

2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

Ver. 23. Therefore the Lord left those nations.] Those mentioned in the beginning of the next chapter.


Verse 23

2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.

Ver. 23. Therefore the Lord left those nations.] Those mentioned in the beginning of the next chapter.

 


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Bibliography Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Judges 2:4". John Trapp Complete Commentary. http://odl.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/judges-2.html. 1865-1868.

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