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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Judges 3



1The nations which were left to prove Israel.
5By communion with them they commit idolatry.
8Othniel delivered them from Chushan-rishathaim;
12Ehud from Eglon;
31and Shamgar from the Philistines.

Verse 1
Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan;
A. M. 2561. B.C. 1443. An. Ex. Is. 48. the nations
2:21,22; Deuteronomy 7:22
Deuteronomy 8:2,16; 2 Chronicles 32:31; Job 23:10; Proverbs 17:3; Jeremiah 6:27; 17:9,10; Zechariah 13:9; John 2:24; 1 Peter 1:7; 4:12; Revelation 2:23
as had not

Verse 2
Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof;
might know
Genesis 2:17; 3:5,7; 2 Chronicles 12:8; Matthew 10:34-39; John 16:33; 1 Corinthians 9:26,27; Ephesians 6:11-18; 1 Timothy 6:12; 2 Timothy 2:3; 4:7
to teach
Their fathers fought by a divine power. God taught their hands to war and their fingers to fight, that they might be the instruments of destruction to the wicked nations on whom the curse rested; but now that they had forfeited His favour, they must learn what it is to fight like other men.

Verse 3
Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath.
five lords
10:7; 14:4; Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 4:1,2; 6:18; 13:5,19-23; 29:2
4:2,23,24; Genesis 10:15-19; Numbers 13:29
10:12; 18:7; Genesis 49:13; Joshua 11:8-13; 19:28
in mount
Numbers 34:8; Deuteronomy 1:7; 3:9; Joshua 11:3; 13:5

Verse 4
And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.
to prove
1; 2:22; Exodus 15:25; Deuteronomy 33:8; 1 Corinthians 11:19; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12

Verse 5
And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites:
1:29-32; Psalms 106:34-38
Genesis 10:15-18; 15:19-21; Exodus 3:8,17; Deuteronomy 7:1; Joshua 9:1; Nehemiah 9:8

Verse 6
And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.
Exodus 34:16; Deuteronomy 7:3,4; 1 Kings 11:1-5; Ezra 9:11,12; Nehemiah 13:23-27; Ezekiel 16:3

Verse 7
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves.
did evil
12; 2:11-13
the groves
6:25; Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 16:21; 1 Kings 16:33; 18:19; 2 Kings 23:6,14; 2 Chronicles 15:16; 24:18; 33:3,19; 34:3,7

Verse 8
Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.
A. M. 2591. B.C. 1413. An. Ex. Is. 78. was hot
2:14,20; Exodus 22:24; Deuteronomy 29:20; Psalms 6:1; 85:3
he sold
2:14; 4:9; Deuteronomy 32:30; 1 Samuel 12:9; Isaiah 50:1; Romans 7:14
Habakkuk 3:7
Heb. Aram-naharaim. Aram-naharayim, "Syria of the two rivers," or Mesopotamia, "between the rivers," is a famous province situated between the Tigris and Euphrates. It is called by Arabian geographers, Maverannaher, "the country beyond the river;" and is now called Diarbek.

Verse 9
And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother.
A. M. 2599. B.C. 1405. An. Ex. Is. 86. cried
15; 4:3; 6:7; 10:10; 1 Samuel 12:10; Nehemiah 9:27; Psalms 22:5; 78:34; 106:41-44; Psalms 107:13-19
raised up
Heb. saviour. Othniel.

Verse 10
And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.
the Spirit
6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6,19; Numbers 11:17; 27:18; 1 Samuel 10:6; 11:6; 16:13; 2 Chronicles 15:1; 20:14; Psalms 51:11; 1 Corinthians 12:4-11; Hebrews 6:4
Heb. was. Mesopotamia. Heb. Aram.

Verse 11
And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.
the land
30; 5:31; 8:28; Joshua 11:23; Esther 9:22
9; Joshua 15:17; 1 Chronicles 4:13

Verse 12
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.
A. M. 2662. B.C. 1342. An. Ex. Is. 148. did evil
2:19; Hosea 6:4
and the Lord
Exodus 9:16; 2 Kings 5:1; Isaiah 10:15; 37:26; 45:1-4; Ezekiel 38:16; Daniel 4:22; Daniel 5:18; John 19:11
the king
1 Samuel 12:9

Verse 13
And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
5:14; Psalms 83:6
the city
1:16; Deuteronomy 34:3; Psalms 83:7

Verse 14
So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.
Leviticus 26:23-25; Deuteronomy 28:40,47,48

Verse 15
But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.
A. M. 2679. B.C. 1325. An. Ex. Is. 166. cried unto
9; Psalms 50:15; 78:34; 90:15; Jeremiah 29:12,13; 33:3
a Benjamite
or, the son of Jemini. left-handed. Heb. shut of his right hand. This Hebrew phrase intimates that, either through disease or disuse, he made little or no use of the right hand, but of his left only, and so was the less fit for war, because he would most likely wield a dagger awkwardly: yet God chose this left-handed man to be the minister of his retributive justice. It was God's right hand that gained Israel the victory, Ps 44:3; not the right hand of the instruments he employed.
20:16; 1 Chronicles 12:2
sent a present
1 Samuel 10:27; Proverbs 18:16; 19:6; 21:14; Isaiah 36:16

Verse 16
But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.
two edges
Psalms 149:6; Hebrews 4:12; Revelation 1:16; 2:12
21; Psalms 45:3; Song of Solomon 3:8

Verse 17
And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.
a very fat
29; *marg:; 1 Samuel 2:29; Job 15:27; Psalms 73:7,19; Jeremiah 5:28; 50:11; Ezekiel 34:20

Verse 19
But he himself turned again from the quarries that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.
or graven images.
Joshua 4:20
a secret
20; 2 Kings 9:5,6; Acts 23:18,19
And all that
Genesis 45:1

Verse 20
And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.
a summer parlour
Heb. a parlour of cooling. The âleeyah, or upper chamber, seems to have been of the same description as the olëah of the Arabs, but properly ventilated, described by Dr. Shaw, who says, that to most of their houses there is a smaller one annexed, which sometimes rises one story higher than the house; at other times, it consists of one or two rooms only, and a terrace; while others that are built, as they frequently are, over the porch or gateway, have, if we except the ground floor, which they want, all the conveniences that belong to the house itself. There is a door of communication from them into the gallery of the house; besides another, which opens immediately from a private staircase, down into the porch or street, without giving the least disturbance to the house. In these back houses strangers are usually lodged and entertained; and to them likewise the men are wont to retire from the noise and hurry of their families, to be more at leisure for mediation or diversions.
Amos 3:15
I have
19; 2 Samuel 12:1-15; 24:12; Micah 6:9
he arose
Psalms 29:1; Jeremiah 10:7

Verse 21
And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly:
thrust it
Numbers 25:7,8; 1 Samuel 15:33; Job 20:25; Zechariah 13:3; 2 Corinthians 5:16

Verse 22
And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out.
the dirt came out
or, it came out at the fundament.

Verse 24
When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber.
covereth, etc
or, doeth his easement.
1 Samuel 24:3

Verse 26
And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath.
the quarries

Verse 27
And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.
he blew
5:14; 6:34; 1 Samuel 13:3; 2 Samuel 20:22; 2 Kings 9:13
7:24; 17:1; 19:1; Joshua 17:15,18

Verse 28
And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.
4:10; 7:17
the Lord
7:9,15; 1 Samuel 17:47
the fords
12:5; Joshua 2:7

Verse 29
And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.
Heb. fat.
17; Deuteronomy 32:15; Job 15:27; Psalms 17:10

Verse 30
So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.
And the land
11; 5:31

Verse 31
And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.
an ox goad
This implement, Mr. Maundrell informs us, in Palestine and Syria is of an extraordinary size. He measured several, and "found them about eight feet long; and at the bigger end about six inches in circumference. They were armed at the lesser end with a sharp prickle for driving the oxen; and at the other end with a small paddle of iron, strong and massive, for cleansing the plough from the clay. In the hand of a powerful man such an instrument must be more dangerous and fatal than a sword."
15:15; 1 Samuel 13:19-22; 17:47,50; 1 Corinthians 1:17
"So part is called Israel."
4:1,3-24; 10:7,17; 11:4-33; 1 Samuel 4:1; "It seems to concern only the country next to the Philistines."


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Judges 3:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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