Judges 2

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Judges 2:1–23

Israel’s General Apostasy Under the Judges


Outline of Chapter 2:

 

         vv.     1–5           The Angel of Jehovah Warns Israel

         vv.     6–9           Joshua’s Death

         vv.    10–23         Israel’s Apostasy and Instability Under the Judges: a Summary


Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines:

 

         Introduction         An Alternative Outline for Judges 2

         Introduction         Matthew Henry Summarizes and Organizes Judges 2

         v.       1              The Angel of Jehovah—A Brief Summary

         v.       1              The Appearances of the Angel of Jehovah

         v.       1              Commentators Discuss the Nature of the Angel of the Lord Here in Judges 2:1

         v.       1              What Form is the Angel of Jehovah in Judges 2:1?

         v.       1              To Whom Does the Angel of Jehovah Speak?

         v.       1              The Movement of the Ark of God and the Tent of Meeting

         v.       1              A Conditional Covenant Versus an Unconditional Covenant

         v.       1              A Summary of Judges 2:1

         v.       2              God’s Commands/Israel’s Disobedience; Past, Present and Future

         v.       2              The Paraphrases Obliterate Judges 2:2d

         v.       4              What is the Manner of the Angel of Jehovah?

         v.       5              The Location of the Tent of God

         v.       6              Exegetes Explain Why this Narrative Suddenly Returns to Joshua

         v.       7              The Parallel Passages of Joshua and Judges

         v.       9              Why Is Joshua’s Death Mentioned Again?

         v.      11              A Listing of Some of the Baalim in Scripture

         v.      11              Israel and the Baalim in Scripture

         v.      11              Israel’s 7 Apostasies in the Book of the Judges

         v.      12              The Anger of Jehovah

         v.      13              A Summary of the Doctrine of Ashtoreth

         v.      15              God Has Clearly Warned Israel

         v.      18              Matthew Henry’s 4 Conclusions and Applications to our Age

         v.      19              Matthew Henry Summarizes Judges 2:17–19

         v.      20              The Structure of Judges 2: the Parenthetical Nature of vv. 13–19

         v.      22              Why God Tests Us

         v.      23              The Parallels of Judges 2: Idolatry

         v.      23              The Parallels of Judges 2:the Covenants

         v.      23              The Parallels of Judges 2: Driving out the Heathen

         v.      23              The Parallels of Judges 2: the Anger of Jehovah

         v.      23              Clarke Explains Why God did not Quickly Remove the Idolaters from the Land

         v.      23              The Linear View

         v.      23              Jewish Logic and the Order of Judges 1–2

         v.      23              Barnes’ Theory of the Flow of Judges 2

         v.      23              A Complete Translation of Judges 2


Doctrines Covered

Doctrines Alluded To

The Goddess Ashtoreth

 

The Angel of Jehovah

 


Like many chapters in the Bible, this chapter does not really break down into easy sections; there are actually two sets of parenthetical sections in this chapter.

An Alternative Outline for Judges 2

Israel’s Failure as a Client Nation

I.       The Angel of Jehovah Rebukes the People of Israel (vv. 1–5)

II.      How Israel Went Bad and God’s Judgment of Israel (vv. 6–23)

         A.      How Israel went bad: Joshua’s death (vv. 6–9)

         B.      How Israel went bad: the generation of negative volition who come up after Joshua (vv. 10–12)

Insert: the final editor gives us the pattern of the book of Judges (vv. 13–19):

                                   Israel chases after other gods (v. 13);

                                   God lets Israel become dominated by the people of these gods (vv. 14–17);

                                   Israel cries out for help (v. 18);

                                   God delivers Israel through a judge (v. 18);

                                   the people soon turn away from God again (v. 19).

         C.     God’s judgment against that generation of negative volition (which judgment is perpetuated against succeeding generations as well) (vv. 20–23)

To be quite frank with you, I don’t know exactly how one would outline this chapter, or what sort of a format would be proper; therefore, what you see above is my best shot at the organization of this chapter

In any case, I believe that this is a much better organized outline than anything else that I have seen.

Creating this outline is the result of studying this chapter four times verse by verse, and then going back and spending over a half hour on the outline itself. You may wonder—why spend so much time on an outline? However, when it comes to understanding or interpreting a verse or a phrase, it is best that we know the context; and, in this case, the context tells us if we are speaking of a general pattern which a later historian/editor observes hundreds of years later; or whether we are speaking specifically of that generation of negative volition which arose after Joshua and the Generation of Promise die out.

Sometimes, this material seems to be randomly thrown together. The final editor (and I do not mean this in the sense of the JPED theory) seems to quote from this document and then that, adds in a few of his own comments, and then quotes from some other document. However, this chapter is not so random, although it may appear that way at first. The author tells us about how God judges Israel and that Israel breaks down and cries—and we are momentarily confused—didn’t Israel just conquer the land of promise? So what is the problem? The editor-author understands out confusion, and explains what happened. He goes back to the beginning (Joshua’s death and the death of the Generation of Promise), and begins to work forward through the incidents which occurred. However, this generation which went bad set a pattern, which several generations which followed, followed. So the author the inserts a parenthetical section describing Israel during the period of the judges. The author closes out this chapter with the judgment of God, which is both against the generation of negative volition, as well against the succeeding generations who also turn away from Him.

If you work backwards, it is apparent that, in order to have vv. 20–23, you must talk about the generation of negative volition and about Israel’s negative volition in general, as those verses apply to both.

Although the first five verses of this chapter more or less follow, or are coterminous with Judges 1, God’s condemnation of Israel has to be explained, which the author does in vv. 6–23. This material does not really fit in, topic-wise, with Judges 1, so it does not belong with chapter 1. So, it seems as if we are jumping backward and forward into time; looking at very specific historical events, interspersed with historical trends; but, in truth, this is a very carefully organized chapter. Once we understand the thinking of the author-editor, then it all falls into place.


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I ntroduction: The organization of the book of Judges is rather disconcerting. I am expecting that there is a particular author, and that does not appear to be the case. Or, if there is one author of Judges, he does not appear to be necessarily a contemporary of the events which take place. The reason that I say this is, there is some overlap of historical events of chapters 1 and 2. Joshua’s death is mentioned in Judges 1:1 to set the historical time frame; but then, it is mentioned again, and in much greater detail in Judges 2:6–9. Furthermore, the actions of Israel in Judges 1 and 2 seem to almost be contradictory. In Judges 1, the tribes of Judah and Simeon appear to fulfill God’s mandate for their first few years in their inheritance; however, in Judges 2, there seems to be no obedience whatsoever to God’s mandates. Not to worry—all of this will be sorted out and explained. In fact, the two mentions of Joshua’s death, along with the very different actions of Judges 1 and 2 are tied together. The short explanation is, only Joshua’s death is mentioned in Judges 1:1; those who took the land under Joshua continued (at least, those in Judah and Simeon). However, in Judges 2:6–10, not only do we see the death of Joshua, but we also see the deaths of those who served under Joshua—the generation of promise. When they die off, then the events of Judges 2 take place.


The short, abbreviated view of Judges 2 is simple: this book gives us a pattern for what would take place in Israel over the next 300 or so years; and a pattern which will be followed in Judges 3–16. Actually, we get two specific historical events: the Angel speaking to Israel in Bochim; and the death of Joshua and the generation of promise. Beginning in v. 11, we have the historical trends which define the actions of Israel for the next several hundred years.


In Judges 2, we have quite the interesting appearance of the Angel of the Lord, Jesus Christ, Who makes some stern observations of Israel, which helps to explain the lack of progress and success that we observed in the previous chapter. Then we have the dismissal of Joshua to Israel to their inheritance, the death and burial of Joshua, and, most importantly, the death of the generation of promise. Two generations of Israelites left Egypt under Moses: Gen X (20 and older) and the generation of promise (their children and those who would be born to them in the desert). The failures of Gen X were spectacular—so much so that God killed them all in the desert (except for Moses, Aaron, Caleb); but allowed their sons to live and to take the Land of Promise. The generation of promise is seen in Judges 1; the generation of promise have all passed on in Judges 2.


In the latter half of this book, Israel’s idolatry is examined in a general way and their relationship to the judges of Israel is examined in a general way. Chapter 1 gives us an overview of what the troops did after being given their inheritance and chapter 2 gives us a rundown of Israel’s history from their inheritance through the period of the judges. It is almost as though the author of this chapter was the author of the entirety of the book of Judges, who gives us an overview here, knowing what would happen in the subsequent chapters.


The first portion of this chapter is rather surreal and seems to exist without any reference to time. The Angel of Jehovah, Who is Jehovah, travels from Gilgal to Bochim and then speaks, but it is unclear who He speaks to—I should rephrase that—He speaks to all of Israel, but the method is unclear. That is, we do not know whether He spoke through a prophet, through a judge; whether He spoke audibly and exactly who was able to hear Him. We do not even know His relationship to time in the book of Judges (however, we can make some reasonable guesses about all of these things).


In the second portion of this chapter, we deal with the death of Joshua and the his faithfulness and the faithfulness of the elders who died soon after him. The latter portion of this chapter deals with a summary of the book of Judges.

 

McGee comments: This is the beginning of Israel’s "hoop of history." They repeated the weary round of forsaking God, sinning, being reduced to servitude by the enemy , returning to God in repentance, being delivered by God-appointed judges, back to obedience to God Footnote .


What we need to deal with is setting up a time frame for these events. Most of us think in a linear fashion, so we want to think that the incident at Bochim occurred first, then Joshua’s death and then the contents of the book of Judges occurred afterwards. This is not how it works. Bochim gives us a general idea of what is coming in the book of Judges and why. Then we backtrack to explain why. We go back to Joshua’s death, his faithfulness; and the faithfulness of the elders under him. However, after their deaths, we have another generation (this begins the third portion of this book). The third portion of this book acts as a summary of the book of Judges, the second portion gives us the background and foundation for that period of time. The first portion tells us of the judgment which God laid upon Israel. We will go into more details, as well as some justification for this at the end of this book.


Judges is such an unusual book because, so far, we have no clue as to who the author is. The end of Joshua seemed to be undoubtedly written by Phinehas. Despite all of weird opinions that you have read, I would give that a 95% likelihood. And, prior to the study of the book of Judges, I would have given an equal likelihood to Phinehas beginning (but, of course, not completing) the book of Judges. Now, throughout the book of Genesis, we have various writers almost seamlessly picking up the thread of the story from the previous author; and in the books of Moses, without any fanfare, it appears as though Joshua picks up the thread, writing the last couple chapters of Deuteronomy and then launches into his own book. And it is clear that Phinehas picks up the pen and covers the last couple chapters of the book of Joshua as well; however, the writing style of Judges 1 is so simplistic as to seemingly preclude the authorship of Phinehas. In this second chapter, we no longer have the simplistic vocabulary of the first chapter, but we appear to have the writing of a person who is looking back upon this time period—possibly from several hundred years after the events of chapter 3 (I say that because in the latter portion of this chapter, the author gives us an overview of Israel and the judges). The vocabulary of Judges 2 is often very repetitive; but the sentence structure is rather complex; very different from the end of the book of Joshua.


The next problem with authorship is that Joshua’s death is mentioned twice—in Judges 1:1 and in Judges 2:6–9. There are reasons why his death is mentioned twice; however, this by itself suggests different authors for these two chapters. Furthermore, Judges 1 could have been easily written by someone who observed the events of that chapter—that is, he could have been a member of the generation of promise, as all of the events of this chapter reasonably take place immediately after Joshua’s death. However, in Judges 2, we move from some very specific incidents to a generalization over what would happen to Israel over the next several hundred years. Now, of course, a prophet could have written this from the generation after the generation of promise, and prophesied here what would happen in the future. However, it is just as likely that an editor from hundreds of years later gathered the historical documents that he could, and put together a history of the Judges, beginning here with an introductory chapter (Judges 2 better introduces the entire book of Judges than does Judges 1). What further seems to suggest that we have a later author who organizes and includes a variety of historical documents, are the final chapters of this book, which seem to be added on as an addendum, but which cover incidents which took place early on during the period of the Judges.


If I was to take a seat of the pants guess at this time, I would say that Samuel composed the book of Judges from several historical documents which he had at his disposal. Phinehas may have written the first chapter of Judges and possibly the first few verses of Judges 2; however, the summarization that we find in the second half of this chapter seems to have been written by someone who is looking back on the history of Israel for this time period, rather than an author who experienced a short period of time during the Judges. The chapters which follow are separated in time by as much as 300 years; it is reasonable that Samuel had access to the historical documents which covered what happened under each judge and the events leading up to God choosing a man to lead Isarel. Finally, at the very end of this book, we have a few chapters which seem to be tacked on. They don’t fit in with any of the Judges in particular; they describe a period of time where Israel is rejecting God’s authority; and they seem to be placed at the end of the book of Judges under the section heading of, Oh, yeah; I almost forgot—these things also took place during the time of the Judges.


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I always like to include an outline and/or summary provided by another commentator.

Matthew Henry Summarizes and Organizes Judges 2

I.       A particular message which God sent to Israel by an angel, and the impression it made upon them (Judges 2:1–5).

II.      A general idea of the state of Israel during the government of the judges, in which observe,

1. Their adherence to God while Joshua and the elders lived (Judges 2:6–10).

2. Their revolt afterwards to idolatry (Judges 2:11–13).

3. God's displeasure against them, and his judgments upon them for it (Judges 2:14–15).

4. His pity towards them, shown in raising them up deliverers (Judges 2:16–18).

5. Their relapse into idolatry after the judgment was over (Judges 2:17–19).

6. The full stop God in anger put to their successes (Judges 2:20–23).

These are the contents, not only of this chapter, but of the whole book.

This was taken from Matthew Henry, Commentary on the Whole Bible; from e-Sword, Judges 2 introduction.


One of the fascinating things about Judges 2 is how many theological topics we will study in this chapter and how many practical applications that we will have, based upon the narrative that we find here.


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The Angle of the Lord Warns Israel


Slavishly literal:

 

Moderately literal:

And so goes up an Angel of Yehowah from the Gilgal unto the Bochim. And so He says, “I bring you up from Egypt and so I will bring you up unto the land which I swore to your fathers. And so I say, ‘I will not break My covenant with you to [the] age.’

Judges

2:1

And so the Angel of Jehovah went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And then He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and I brought you up into the land which I swore to your fathers. And so I said, ‘I will not break My covenant with you forever.’

Then the Angel of Jehovah had gone up from Gilgal to Bochim with Israel. When in Bochim, He said to them, “I brought you up from Egypt into this land which I swore to your fathers. Therefore, I promised, ‘I will not ever break My covenant with you.’


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so goes up an Angel of Yehowah from the Gilgal unto the Bochim. And so He says, “I bring you up from Egypt and so I will bring you up unto the land which I swore to your fathers. And so I say, ‘I will not break My covenant with you to [the] age.’

Septuagint                              And an angel [or, messenger] 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 swore unto your fathers; and I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you.’

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD's angel went from Gilgal to Bochim and gave the Israelites this message from the LORD: I promised your ancestors that I would give this land to their families, and I brought your people here from Egypt. We made an agreement that I promised never to break,...

The Message                         GOD's angel went up from Gilgal to Bokim and said, "I brought you out of Egypt; I led you to the land that I promised to your fathers; and I said, I'll never break my covenant with you—never!

NJB                                        The Angel of Yahweh [an expression for Yahweh himself in visible form] went up from Gilgal to Bethel and said, ‘I have brought you out of Egypt and led you into this country, which I promised on oath to your ancestors. I said, “I shall never break my covenant with you.

NLT                                        The angel of the Lord went up from Gilgal to Bokim with a message for the Israelites. He told them, “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.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The Messenger of the LORD went from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, "I brought you out of Egypt into the land that I swore to give to your ancestors. I said, 'I will never break my promise to you.

HCSB                                     The Angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim and said, "I brought you out of Egypt and led you into the land I had promised to your fathers. I also said: I will never break My covenant with you.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. 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, 'I will never break my covenant with you,...

Young’s Updated LT             And a messenger of Jehovah goes up from Gilgal unto Bochim, and says, “I cause you to come up out of Egypt, and bring you in unto the land which I have sworn to your fathers, and say, I do not break My covenant with you to the age.


What is the gist of this verse? An Angel of Jehovah goes from Gilgal to Bochum and speaks (we don’t know exactly to whom), and he says, “I have caused you to come out from Egypt and I brought you into the land which I had sworn to your fathers; furthermore, I promised that I would never break my covenant with you.”


Judges 2:1a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to go up, to ascend, to come up, to rise, to climb

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

maleâke (ָא׃לַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWKe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) and priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Gilegâl (לָ ׃ל̣) [pronounced gile-GAWL]

sacred circle of stones and is transliterated Gilgal

proper noun, location with the definite article

Strong’s #1537 BDB #166

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

Bôkîym (םי  ̣כֹ) [pronounced boh-KEEM]

weeping, crying; weepers; transliterated Bochum

proper masculine noun with the definite article; the active plural participle of to weep, to cry

Strong’s #1066 BDB #114


Translation: And so the Angel of Jehovah went up from Gilgal to Bochim. We will discuss Bochim later on in this chapter. Gilgal is where the Israelites first came to when they crossed over the Jordan River into the Land of Promise (Joshua 4:19).


I and other commentators will make a lot out of the Angel of Jehovah traveling from Gilgal to Bochim; however, it could be simply that, His last manifestation had been to Joshua in Gilgal; and now He appears to the Israelites in Bochim. Therefore, this portion of the verse is not concentrating so much upon His mode of travel, but simply that the Angel of Jehovah appeared first to Joshua in Gilgal, and now to Israel in Bochim. That is, the emphasis is upon His successive appearances, rather than to any sort of mode of travel or to the route of travel.

 

Keil and Delitzsch, come to roughly the same conclusion: Just as on that occasion, when Israel had just entered into the true covenant relation to the Lord by circumcision, and was preparing for the conquest of Canaan, the angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua as the prince of the army of Jehovah, to ensure him of the taking of Jericho; so here after the entrance of the tribes of Israel into their inheritances, when they were beginning to make peace with the remaining Canaanites, and instead of rooting them out were content to make them tributary, the angel of the Lord appeared to the people, to make known to all the children of Israel that by such intercourse with the Canaanites they had broken the covenant of the Lord, and to foretell the punishment which would follow this transgression of the covenant. By the fact, therefore, that he came up from Gilgal, it is distinctly shown that the same angel who gave the whole of Canaan into the hands of the Israelites when Jericho fell, had appeared to them again at Bochim, to make known to them the purposes of God in consequence of their disobedience to the commands of the Lord. How very far it was from being the author's intention to give simply a geographical notice, is also evident from the fact that he merely describes the place where this appearance occurred by the name which was given to it in consequence of the event, viz., Bochim, i.e., weepers. Footnote


There is a lot which we do not know. We do not know exactly how God spoke to Israel. That is, we do not know if He spoke to them on sort of a loudspeaker from the tent of the God; or whether in a dream to all of Israel, or through the reading of the Word of God. My original leaning would be toward an audible voice heard by all of Israel; however, you may recall that a previous generation of Israel asked that God speak through Moses, and not directly to them. So, another option is, a prophet of God stood up, and spoke as God personified (i.e., he spoke in the 1st person). Determining how God spoke to Israel here is a matter of speculation.


Furthermore, we do not know when this was said. My thinking is this occurred soon after the death of Joshua; or, at least, soon after the death of the elders who were in positions of authority under Joshua. Barnes places this during the time of Joshua, and I don’t have any concrete evidence to dispute his position, nor do I accept his evidence as undeniable and sufficient. Footnote The NIV Study Bible places this early in the period of the Judges, also acknowledging that the time is difficult to pinpoint. Footnote


The Angel of Jehovah is Jehovah—generally the second person of the trinity, the revealed person of the trinity, Jesus Christ. Obviously as He speaks, He is speaking for God. The first thing this Angel says is, "I brought you out of Egypt." No mere angel can say that; only God can say that.


We have already studied the Angel of Jehovah back in Gen. 16:7. However, for a brief run down:

The Angel of Jehovah—A Brief Summary

(1)     The angel of Jehovah is Jehovah, as He speaks in the first person for Jehovah (Gen. 16:10 22:15–17 Judges 2:1). He does not say, “Thus speaks Jehovah,” as a prophet would (Judges 6:8).

(2)     He speaks of Himself in the first person as God (Gen. 31:11–13 Ex. 3:2–6).

(3)     The Angel of Jehovah is distinguished from Jehovah (Isa. 63:7–10 Daniel 3:19–28 Zech. 1:12–13).

(4)     The Angel of Jehovah and Jehovah are sometimes so closely intertwined in a passage, that it is difficult to determine Who is Who (Zech. 1:14–21).

(5)     After the incarnation of Jesus Christ, there is no longer the need for the appearance of the Angel of the Lord as the Angel of the Lord. This is because the Angel of the Lord is Jesus Christ (John 1:18 6:46 1Tim. 6:13–16 Heb. 1:4).

(6)    Finally, no prophet is ever called an angel of God; they are called prophets or men of God, but never angels (which also means messenger in the Hebrew).

This, by no means, covers this doctrine properly; this short doctrine merely gives us a brief run-down and nothing more. The complete Doctrine of the Angel of Jehovah was covered back in Gen. 16:7.

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It may help to take a look at the appearances of the Angel of the Lord:

The Appearances of the Angel of Jehovah

Scripture

The Angel Appeared to...

Incident

Gen. 16:7–10

Hagar

The Angel of the Lord told Hagar to return to Sarah and promised her that should would bear many descendants.

Gen. 22:11–13

Abraham

He appeared to Abraham and stopped him from sacrificing his son.

Gen. 32:24–30

Jacob

He wrestled with Jacob through the night and blessed him at daybreak.

Ex. 3:1–8

Moses

The Angel of Jehovah spoke to Moses from the burning bush, promising to deliver the Israelites out of slavery to the Egyptians.

Ex. 14:19–20

Israelites

He protected the sons of Israel from the pursuing Egyptian army.

Ex. 23:2–23

Israelites

He prepared the children of Israel to enter into the Land of Promise.

Num. 22:22–35

Balaam

He stood in front of Balaam, not allowing him to move forward; and then sent him to deliver a message to Balak.

Joshua 5:13–15

Joshua

The Angel of Jehovah reassured Joshua in his role as commander of the army of Jehovah. This takes place in Gilgal, and the Angel of the Lord is in the form of a man, and Joshua literally sees Him.

Judges 2:1–3

Israelites

He announces judgment against the Israelites for their sinful alliances with the Canaanites.

Judges 6:11–24

Gideon

The Angel of the Lord commissions Gideon to fight against the Midianites.

1Chron. 21:16–22

David

The Angel of the Lord appears to David on the threshing floor of Araunah, where David built an altar to Jehovah.

1Kings 19:4–8

Elijah

He provides food for Elijah in the wilderness.

Isa. 37:36

Residents of Jerusalem

He delivers the residents of Jerusalem from the Assyrian army.

Daniel 3:25

Three Hebrew Men

The Angel of Jehovah protects these three young Israelites from Nebuchadnezzar’s fiery furnace in Babylon.

I must say, that God spoke first to Hagar as the Angel of the Lord is fascinating.

This was taken and slightly edited from The NIV Study Bible; ©1995 by The Zondervan Corporation; p. 325.


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Some might be concerned that we have the Angel of Jehovah traveling from Gilgal to Bochim. If He is God, why the heck does he land in Gilgal and then go up to Bochim? Why not just land in Bochim in the first place? This question has a fairly simple answer. What we do not have is, “People of Israel, I have just blown into town by way of Gilgal.” What we have is that God was with the people at Gilgal and has traveled with the people up until this point in Bochim. “Observe, I am going to send an angel before you to guard you along the way, and to bring you into the place which I have prepared.” (Ex. 23:20). Gilgal was the place where Israel first became established in the land. The Angel of God moved before the people and He moved with the people. This is the same Angel Who delivered Jericho into the hands of the Israelites and guided them in their attack upon the Land of Canaan. The emphasis here is not upon the Angel’s traveling, but upon the fact that this is the Angel which God sent to Israel.


I am going to spend a lot more time trying to figure out just exactly Who the Angel of the Lord is here; and how He was perceived; and who He actually spoke to. You may think I am belaboring the issue, but many commentators struggled with these issues.

Commentators Discuss the Nature of the Angel of the Lord Here in Judges 2:1

Commentator

Opinion

Clark

The angel of the Lord, mentioned here, is variously interpreted; some think it was Phinehas, the high priest, which is possible; others, that it was a prophet, sent to the place where they were now assembled, with an extraordinary commission from God, to reprove them for their sins, and to show them the reason why God had not rooted out their enemies from the land; this is the opinion of the Chaldee paraphrast, consequently of the ancient Jews; others think that an angel, properly such, is intended; and several are of opinion that it was the Angel of the Covenant, the Captain of the Lord’s host, which had appeared unto Joshua, Jdg_5:14, and no less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. I think it more probable that some extraordinary human messenger is meant, as such messengers, and indeed prophets, apostles, etc., are frequently termed angels, that is, messengers of the Lord. The person here mentioned appears to have been a resident at Gilgal, and to have come to Bochim on this express errand. Footnote

Gill

The Targum calls him a prophet1; and the Jewish commentators in general interpret it of Phinehas2; and that a man is meant is given into by others, because he is said to come from a certain place in Canaan, and not from heaven, and spoke in a public congregation, and is not said to disappear; but neither a man nor a created angel is meant, or otherwise he would have spoken in the name of the Lord, and have said, "thus saith the Lord", and not in his own name; ascribing to himself the bringing of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and swearing to them, and making a covenant with them, and threatening what he would do to them because of their sin; wherefore the uncreated Angel, the Angel of the covenant, is meant, who brought Israel out of Egypt, was with them in the wilderness, and introduced them into the land of Canaan, and appeared to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord's host at or near Gilgal (Joshua 5:13); and because he had not appeared since, therefore he is said to come from thence to a place afterwards called Bochim, from what happened at this time Footnote . Maybe it is just me, but Gill sounds unfocused and rambling here.

Henry

The preacher was an angel of the Lord (Judges 2:1), not a prophet, not Phinehas, as the Jews conceit; gospel ministers are indeed called angels of the churches, but the Old Testament prophets are never called angels of the Lord; no doubt this was a messenger we from heaven. Such extraordinary messengers we sometimes find in this book employed in the raising up of the judges that delivered Israel, as Gideon and Samson; and now, to show how various are the good offices they do for God's Israel, here is one sent to preach to them, to prevent their falling into sin and trouble. This extraordinary messenger was sent to command, if possible, the greater regard to the message, and to affect the minds of a people whom nothing seemed to affect but what was sensible. The learned bishop Patrick is clearly of opinion that this was not a created angel, but the Angel of the covenant, the same that appeared to Joshua as captain of the hosts of the Lord, who was God himself. Christ himself, says Dr. Lightfoot; who but God and Christ could say, I made you to go up out of Egypt? Joshua had lately admonished them to take heed of entangling themselves with the Canaanites, but they regarded not the words of a dying man; the same warning therefore is here brought them by the living God himself, the Son of God appearing as an angel. Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

The “angel of Jehovah” is not a prophet, or some other earthly messenger of Jehovah, either Phinehas or Joshua, as the Targums, the Rabbins, Bertheau, and others assume, but the angel of the Lord who is of one essence with God. In the simple historical narrative a prophet is never called Maleach Jehovah. The prophets are always called either נביא or נביא אישÑ, as in Judges 6:8, or else “man of God,” as in 1Kings 12:22; 1Kings 13:1, etc.; and Hag. 1:13 and Mal. 3:1 cannot be adduced as proofs to the contrary, because in both these passages the purely appellative meaning of the word Maleach is established beyond all question by the context itself. Moreover, no prophet ever identifies himself so entirely with God as the angel of Jehovah does here. The prophets always distinguish between themselves and Jehovah, by introducing their words with the declaration “thus saith Jehovah,” as the prophet mentioned in Judges 6:8 is said to have done. On the other hand, it is affirmed that no angel mentioned in the historical books is ever said to have addressed the whole nation, or to have passed from one place to another. But even if it had been a prophet who was speaking, we could not possibly understand his speaking to the whole nation, or “to all the children of Israel,” as signifying that he spoke directly to the 600,000 men of Israel, but simply as an address delivered to the whole nation in the persons of its heads or representatives. Thus Joshua spoke to “all the people” (Joshua 24:2), though only the elders of Israel and its heads were assembled round him (Joshua 24:1). And so an angel, or “the angel of the Lord,” might also speak to the heads of the nation, when his message had reference to all the people. And there was nothing in the fact of his coming up from Gilgal to Bochim that was at all at variance with the nature of the angel. When the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, it is stated in Judges 6:11 that he came and sat under the terebinth at Ophra; and in the same way the appearance of the angel of the Lord at Bochim might just as naturally be described as coming up to Bochim. The only thing that strikes us as peculiar is his coming up “from Gilgal.” This statement must be intimately connected with the mission of the angel, and therefore must contain something more than a simply literal notice concerning his travelling from one place to another. We are not to conclude, however, that the angel of the Lord came from Gilgal, because this town was the gathering–place of the congregation in Joshua's time. Apart altogether from the question discussed in Joshua 8:34 as to the situation of Gilgal in the different passages of the book of Joshua, such a view as this is overthrown by the circumstance that after the erection of the tabernacle at Shiloh, and during the division of the land, it was not Gilgal but Shiloh which formed the gathering–place of the congregation when the casting of the lots was finished (Joshua 18:1, Joshua 18:10). Footnote

Wesley

Christ the angel of the covenant, often called the angel of the Lord, to whom the conduct of Israel out of Egypt into Canaan, is frequently ascribed. He alone could speak the following words in his own name and person; whereas created angels and prophets universally usher in their message with, Thus saith the Lord, or some equivalent expression. And this angel having assumed the shape of a man, it is not strange that he imitates the motion of a man, and comes as it were from Gilgal to the place where now they were: by which motion he signified, that he was the person that brought them to Gilgal, the first place where they rested in Canaan, and there protected them so long, and from thence went with them to battle, and gave them success. Footnote

What I wrote in most of this chapter occurred before I looked at the commentaries; however, I am relieved to see that the exact nature of the Angel of the Lord in this passage concerned them as much as it did me.

1 Maimonides, Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 15. & par. 2. c. 6.

2 The Rabbins in Maimonides. Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 42.


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What is difficult is, how did Israel perceive this Angel from Jehovah? In the desert, this primarily appears to be cloud by day and the pillar of fire by night. The only voice that is audible to Israel is that from God in giving the Ten Commandments (which Israel asks to receive through a mediator—Ex. 20:19). Here, I must admit to being stumped. Does this Angel appear to Phinehas (for instance) in the Tent of God, and then does Phinehas relay the message to Israel? Does this Angel make some sort of an appearance before Israel as a whole—perhaps at one of the festive gatherings? Let’s look at a few options below:


There are times when the actual appearance of the Angel of Jehovah is fairly easy to determine. When Jacob wrestles with the Angel of Jehovah in Gen. 32, it appears reasonable that the Angel took on the form of a man, or even possibly, a physical manifestation of an Angel. In Ex. 3, the Angel of God is a burning bush. However, here, I must admit to being conflicted.

What Form is the Angel of Jehovah in Judges 2:1?

Theory

Commentary

The Angel of the Lord takes on the appearance of a man and speaks to Israel.

This seems to be reasonable; however, there are problems. Israel does not appear to be in a good place spiritually; so why would Israel gather at the sacrificial festivals (a reasonable place for the Angel to speak to them). Could Phinehas or someone have gathered several elders from throughout Israel and have the Angel speak to them?

The Angel of the Lord continues to appear as a cloud or a pillar of fire, and speaks to Israel in this way.

A more supernatural manifestation might give us a reasonable understanding of how God spoke to Israel; however, we have two problems: we are told in this chapter that this generation did not know the great works of God (Judges 2:10); and such an appearance would no doubt constitute a great work. Furthermore, Gen X did not want God to speak to them directly; when God began to give the Ten Commandments to Gen X, they pleaded with God to speak directly to Moses, and to let Moses act as an intermediary (Ex. 20:19).

The Angel of Jehovah appears as a man to Phinehas and gives Phinehas the straight dope first; and Phinehas then passes this along to Israel.

This approach appears to make a lot of sense. I am using Phinehas as an example; although it could be anyone with spiritual discernment at the time of the Judges. The problem with this explanation is, it is simply not presented in this way by the text of Judges 2 (whereas, for instance, when Moses spoke for God, it was clear that is what he did).

The Angel of the Lord speaks to Israel through some manifestation during the time of Joshua.

This seems to fit well with the text of Judges 2:1–5, and Judges 2:6 (the death of Joshua) follows chronologically. Israel, at this time, would be receptive to teaching from God. Even though Gen X did not want to hear God’s voice directly; perhaps God spoke directly to His people here, as they are, after all, the generation of promise.

The Angel of the Lord speaks to Israel with the appearance of a man; but so that all Israel knows Who He is.

Given vv. 4–5 (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. So they named that place Bochim and there they sacrificed to the Lord), this makes the most sense, although it may seem surprising that God would speak directly to Israel. However, bear in mind, that God is speaking through a Mediator, the Angel of Jehovah, Who is Jesus Christ pre-incarnate.


This also fits in well with His previous appearance to Joshua in Gilgal: While the people of Israel were encamped at Gilgal, they kept the Passover on the fourteenth day of the month in the evening on the plains of Jericho. When Joshua was by Jericho, he lifted up his eyes and looked, and behold, a man was standing before him with his drawn sword in his hand. And Joshua went to him and said to him, "Are you for us, or for our adversaries?" And he said, "No; but I am the commander of the army of the LORD. Now I have come." And Joshua fell on his face to the earth and worshiped and said to him, "What does my lord say to his servant?" And the commander of the LORD's army said to Joshua, "Take off your sandals from your feet, for the place where you are standing is holy." And Joshua did so (Joshua 5:10, 13–15). Although He does not identify Himself as the Angel of the Lord; I think we may reasonably draw this conclusion.

I would love to simply present these options above, and say, “Given this and that fact, this is what happened.” However, without a great deal of dogmatism, I believe that the final option makes the most sense, given the remainder of this passage.

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The next question is, naturally, to whom does the Angel of Jehovah speak? I will present these groups in chronological order.

To Whom Does the Angel of Jehovah Speak?

Possible Recipients

Comments

To Joshua and the generation of promise.

It appears as though Joshua dies soon after the conquering of the land. For God to speak these things to him and the generation who have taken the land seems quite cruel, given that they had just taken the Land of Promise by faith. Furthermore, it does not appear as though it is this generation who transgresses their covenant with God. Furthermore, given that the Angel of the Lord speaks to Joshua only in Joshua 5:10–15, we may expect Him to speak directly to Joshua, rather than to Joshua and the generation of promise.

To some individual, who then speaks to the people of Israel (e.g., Phinehas).

Judges 2:4 makes it sound as if the Angel of Jehovah is speaking directly to the people of Israel (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). Although this is a distinct possibility, the text really does not indicate that God worked this way, this time. Postulating this would require us to take great liberties with the text which we find here.

To the generation of promise, after the death of Joshua.

This would have then taken place after Israel had conquered the land; and also after it was clear that Israel was not moving forward with cleaning house. The next generation had not yet taken the reigns of control, and were not present. Again, this seems cruel, given that these great men had just conquered Israel, being strong in faith. There is also no real indication that this generation went awry (see Judges 2:10–12).

To the generation of promise and their children.

Not only is it clear that Israel is not conquering the land God has given them, after settling in it; but some alliances (marriage, business, religious) between the next generation and the heathen of the land are taking place. This seems to make a lot of sense; and seems to mark the end of God speaking to His people as a whole (an exception being the Angel of the Lord speaking to the people of Jerusalem when the Assyrian army is about to attack—Isa. 37:36). The generation of promise would observe their children in heathen alliances, and hearing this confirmed their fears; and we would expect them to weep.


Since the Angel of the Lord appeared to Joshua as a man in Joshua 5 in Gilgal; and since the Angel of the Lord is said to have come from Gilgal to Bochim, this appears to be the best explanation.

To the generation which follows the generation of promise.

I am assuming that this is not the generation spoke of in v. 10 of this chapter (those who did not know God or any of His works). That is, there is at least one intervening generation between those in v. 10 and the generation of promise). This generation received the benefits of the land, knew of the history of their fathers taking the land; but had not acted on faith to remove the heathen worship out of their own cities. They would have had enough doctrine to be upset, yet not enough faith to completely act on God’s requirements.

To the generation of disappointment (the generation who does not know God or witness any of the great acts of Jehovah).

The implication seems to be that this generation, for the most part, are unbelievers; and therefore, would not have any contact with God. Also, a generation which does not witness any of the great works of God would likely not listen to the Angel of the Lord. Furthermore, it does not make sense that they would lift up their voices and weep, but still not change any of their behavior). Furthermore, their negative volition and their not knowing God would seem to preclude such an emotional reaction.

The 3rd or 4th or 5th recipients make the most sense to me. In fact, the 4th or 5th options seem to be the most likely. The generation of promise has become too old to go into battle and take the cities controlled by heathen; some of them did nothing about it in the first place (Judges 1:19–36).

It is possible that the failures of Israel (Judges 1:19–36) were coterminous with this message. That is, some of the people of Israel just settled into a few of their cities, thinking, let’s wait a few years before trying to take the other cities. Some, after hearing this message, may have tried to take some cities, and failed (remember that Gen X first refused to take the land, then were upbraided by God, and then they unsuccessfully staged an attack—Num. 14). Some, after hearing this message, became too discouraged to act. In any case, it is clear that Israel had not removed the gods of the surrounding heathen and that there were some covenants established between Israel and some of the heathen in the land (I [Jesus Christ, the Angel of the Lord] said, “I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.”—Judges 2:2b–3a). Given that Israel weeps, it makes sense that this includes members of the generation of promise and/or the generation which immediately follows them. After taking the land under Joshua, and expecting that those coming up after them would continue in this tradition, this would hit them particularly hard.


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Application: I live in a generation which has seriously gone awry; we grew up preaching free love, when this was really a mantra to justify the unbridled function of our own lusts. We protested the war because we did not have enough nerve to fight; and, at least during our own generation, did not see any imminent fear of invasion—so protesting all war simply kept us from serving our own country. The generation which preceded us—those who fought World War II, were great men, whose courage and willingness to fight evil is humbling. Some in my generation believe in Jesus Christ and recognize the incredible courage of the generation which preceded us. We also see the incredibly hedonistic practices of the current generation of youth (which hedonism has been predominant throughout several generations) and we have seen how they are easily influenced by lies (for instance, the lie that our constitution requires that there be no connection whatsoever between any government institution and religion Footnote ). In a parallel situation, it would make sense for God to speak to us, and for many of us to cry (for instance, at the idea that we will be attacked by Muslim extremists in the future, because of our faithlessness); and for others of us to remain unmoved and to continue along the same path.


Now, so you don’t misunderstand me: the Angel of Jehovah is not going to suddenly appear and speak to us in the United States. We live in the Church Age, which is marked by historical precedents and historical patterns that we can easily observe and learn from. Whereas, Israel was a theocracy—a nation ruled by God; we are not, and no nation since Israel has ever been a theocracy. However, we can observe historical trends and determine where our generation is heading. We need Bible doctrine to determine what our future will be; we do not require the Angel of God to come down and tell us what to expect.


If you campaign tirelessly for a candidate that you perceive as a great Christian; and neglect the spiritual growth of yourself and your family, you are a fool!

Application: Now, from time to time, I tend to make statements which may be interpreted as political statements (e.g., the footnote about George W. Bush). I do not want you to be misled here. We are never told in Scripture that politics is our salvation. We are never told that, if we campaign hard enough for the correct political party, or the correct political candidate, that everything is going to be alright. Now, some believers will be called upon to serve God in political campaigns and as political candidates; however, this is not our primary thrust as believers, and should never be our primary thrust as believers. We are to grow in grace and knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ—that is our mandate from God. We are to apply the doctrine which we know to whatever situation we find ourselves in, whether it is a time of relative peace or a time of great unrest. We are to determine our spiritual gift or gifts and we are to function in these gifts, guided by God the Holy Spirit and by spiritual maturity. Since we live in a democracy, sure, we should vote. However, do not think that our vote will deliver us. The doctrine in your soul will deliver you; the doctrine in the souls of your children will deliver you. If you campaign tirelessly for a candidate that you perceive as a great Christian; and neglect the spiritual growth of yourself and your family, you are a fool! You and your society are 100X better served by you growing spiritually and by your taking responsibility for the spiritual growth of your family. If there are some politics involved in your life; that is not necessarily a sin. Just put politics in its proper perspective—it is a detail of life, and its importance is dwarfed by your own spiritual growth and by the spiritual growth of your family (for which the husband and wife are responsible).


Application: Let me give you another application here, which is along the same lines. God has set up the family unit as the 3rd divine institution. If you allow your family unit to crumble, and yet campaign tirelessly for this or that candidate or party, you are a fool! You have ignored one of your greatest responsibilities and have concentrated on a minor detail of life. A Christian husband or a Christian wife should campaign tirelessly to maintain a good, healthy family unit; and if you find enough time to go out and cast your ballot in this or that election, that is fine—but your family is your first priority after Bible doctrine.


I need to point out that there is a big problem between the Hebrew text and the Greek text when it comes to the city of Bethel. So, you are wondering, where’s Bethel? In the Alexaxandrian Septuagint (I assume Footnote ), this verse reads: And an angel of the Lord went up from Galgal to [the place of] weeping, and to Bæthel, and to the house of Israel, and said... Now, this makes perfect sense. The Tent of God and the Ark of the Covenant were originally placed in Gilgal when Israel crossed over the Jordan to conquer the Land of Promise (Joshua 4–5). The Ark was carried into battle against Jericho (Joshua 6). Once Joshua gained a clear foothold in the Land of Promise, he tended to spiritual matters, which involved the Ark and taking it to Shechem at Mount Gerizim (Joshua 8:30–35). Once Israel had conquered the land, the Ark and the Tent of Meeting were moved to Shiloh (Joshua 18:1 22:12 Judges 18:31). Eventually, the Ark was moved to Bethel (Judges 20:18, 26–28)—after it was conquered of course (Judges 1:22–26). It was possible that it was disassembled and moved to Bethel as a part of the military action against Benjamin (Judges 19–21). The weeping mentioned here could be an area right outside of Bethel or an area adjacent to the Tent of God where Israel went periodically to cry (compare to Judges 2:15, 18 21:2–4). Now, interestingly enough, the Ark and the Tent of Meeting are not mentioned at all in Judges 21, which could indicate that Phinehas was disgusted with the whole scene and that he moved it. It did end up back in Shiloh (1Sam. 1:3, 9). It may be easier to see this in a chart:


The Movement of the Ark of God and the Tent of Meeting

City

Approximate Date

Scripture

East of the Jordan

1406 b.c.

Num. 33:29

Gilgal

1406 b.c.

Joshua 4–5

Into battle against Jericho (this is just the Ark, of course)

1406 b.c.

Joshua 6

Shechem for the cursings and the blessings delivered from Mount Gerizim and Mount Ebal

1405 b.c.

Joshua 8:30–35

Shiloh, as a more permanent home

1400 b.c.

Joshua 18:1 22:12 Judges 18:31

Bethel, probably as a response to Benjamin’s degeneracy

1380 b.c.

Judges 20:18, 26–28

Returned to Shiloh, where it remained for most of the time period of the judges (which includes a portion of the ministries of Eli and Samuel)

1380 b.c.

1Sam. 1:3, 9

Although it is possible that the Ark and the Tabernacle of God moved around more than this; these are the passages which establish where it definitely has been and will be.

The dates which I offer up are not etched in stone; the idea is to simply give you some rough numbers to hang your hat on.

We will cover this same topic in great detail in 1Sam. 10:3. In 1Sam. 4, the Ark will be taken out of the Tabernacle and into battle. Apparently, the two will never be reunited again.


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Judges 2:1b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, off, out from, out of, away from, on account of, since, than, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

Mitzerayim (ם̣י-רצ̣מ) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation: And then He said, “I brought you up from Egypt... Notice the way God identifies Himself to the prophet or to the people with the phrase: “I am Yehowah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt and out of the house of bondage.” (Ex. 20:1; see Judges 6:8–9 as well). This clearly indicates that the Angel of Jehovah is Jehovah.


That God had promised the land to Israel has been covered in great detail in the past (see Gen. 12 Deut. 1:7 29:intro). Although God’s covenant to Israel goes back further, we have a good, quick representation of it in Gen. 17:7–8: “And I will establish My covenant between Me and you and your descendants after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your descendants after you. And I will give to you and to your descendants after you, the land of your temporary stays, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession—and I will be their God.”


One of the popular viewpoints of theology is that Israel is some kind of church and has spiritualized into today’s church; and that all of the promises that God made to Abraham and to those who came after him are now applicable to the church and possibly spiritualized in some ways (this is known as Covenant Theology). In fact, quite frankly, a lot of people hold to that. However, God made a promise to Abraham and to Abraham’s children—that is, his children of promise, the heirs to the promise. Those promises were not made to you or to me, but they were made specifically to Abraham and to his progeny. God will keep those promises. Thus proclaims Jehovah, Who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night; Who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar—Jehovah of hosts is His name. “If this fixed order departs from before Me,” declares Jehovah, “Then the descendants of Israel will also cease from being a nation before Me forever.” Thus said Jehovah, “If the heavens above can be measured, and the foundations of the earth searched out below, then I will also cast off all the descendants of Israel for all that they have done,” declares Jehovah (Jer. 31:35–37). God’s faithfulness to Israel is as strong as the laws which govern the universe.


One of the things which is theologically humorous to me is, many of those who hold to covenant theology also make some big to-do of the nation Israel and the Jews being in the Land of Promise today. If the church is simply spiritualized Israel, then why worry about the Jews or Israel at all? Israel and the Jews should be meaningless to the covenant theologian; if not, then they are choosing to interpret one handful of promises and prophecies literally and another handful not so literally. That is a very dangerous position to hold. What you should consider is, there are times in Scripture where the language is hyperbole or obviously not literal (the book by Bullinger, Figures of Speech Used in the Bible is excellent when listing what literary phrases and idioms are found in Scripture. Furthermore, many of them are quite obvious. Jesus Christ is called a Lamb over and over again; this does not mean that He is a literal lamb which came from the womb of Mr. and Mrs. Lamb; He is identified with the lambs which had been slaughtered for hundreds of years—literally millions of lambs without spot and without blemish—which foretold of His coming. This should be obvious to those who have even a precursory knowledge of theology. Even those who don’t rarely interpret Lamb, when applied to Jesus Christ, as being literal. The Bible is filled with similar, non-literal expressions; and, a majority of the time, one can figure out when to take the Bible literally and when not to. However, if we are going to take the (false) theological position that the church is spiritualized Israel, then we do not get to point at the nation Israel or at the Jews scattered throughout the world today and say, “This fulfills prophecy!” It does not necessarily fulfill prophecy if Covenant Theology is true. It puts us in the precarious position of taking something which is symbolic on occasion (Israel; the Jews) and making it literal when we feel like making it literal. If you don’t get my point, let me try to spell it out for you: you don’t get to have it both ways; you don’t get to spiritualize Israel and the Jew in one verse, and take them literally in the next. That is theologically (and intellectually) dishonest.


The easiest approach is, we interpret most of Scripture as literal unless there is overwhelming evidence that it is not (e.g., the example of Jesus Christ being called the Lamb of God).


What does God say about Israel in the New Testament? Rom. 11:1–6, 11, 25: I ask, then, has God rejected his people? By no means! For I myself am an Israelite, a descendant of Abraham, a member of the tribe of Benjamin. God has not rejected his people whom he foreknew. Do you not know what the Scripture says of Elijah, how he appeals to God against Israel? "Lord, they have killed your prophets, they have demolished your altars, and I alone am left, and they seek my life." But what is God's reply to him? "I have kept for myself seven thousand men who have not bowed the knee to Baal." So too at the present time there is a remnant, chosen by grace. But if it is by grace, it is no longer on the basis of works; otherwise grace would no longer be grace...So I ask, did they stumble in order that they might fall? By no means! Rather through their trespass salvation has come to the Gentiles, so as to make Israel jealous...So that you are not wise in your own conceits, I want you to understand this mystery [Church Age doctrine], brothers: a partial hardening has come upon Israel, until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in. The fullness of the Gentiles will be the completion of the Church Age; and Israel will be partially hardened until then. Heb. 8:8–10: For he finds fault with them when he says: "Behold, the days are coming, declares the Lord, when I will establish a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah, not like the covenant that I made with their fathers on the day when I took them by the hand to bring them out of the land of Egypt. For they did not continue in my covenant, and so I showed no concern for them, declares the Lord. For this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the Lord: I will put my laws into their minds, and write them on their hearts, and I will be their God, and they shall be my people.” Does this sound like God has simply cast the nation Israel aside, and now the Church is spiritualized Israel? Of course not! Rev. 7:4 (and vv. 5–8 summarized: And I heard the number of the sealed, 144,000, sealed from every tribe of the sons of Israel: 12,000 from each of the 12 tribes. Revelation is about the end times; who is God speaking about here? The Church? After Jesus Christ speaks to the churches in Rev. 2–3, we no longer hear anything about the church in the book of Revelation, which speaks of the end times. Where is the church? We have been raptured; we are face to face with Jesus Christ. We do not appear in the Great Tribulation, which is the bulk of what the book of Revelation is about. You will notice: all I have to do is just read these passages the way they stand; I don’t have to put some kind of a spin on them; I don’t have to say, well, this is not literal Israel here, but spiritual Israel, the church, which Paul is writing about. And there is no specific language which indicates that indicates that any of what we have here is figurative or spiritual.


Now, I will fully agree that there are some passages, even those dealing with narrative, which are difficult to understand or difficult to unravel. Even in this chapter, we will spend a lot of time talking through this and that theory. However, these passages quoted above are fairly easy to understand. God has not cast Israel aside; there is a remnant within Israel right now (when Paul wrote Romans; in the Church Age) as there was during the time of Elijah (during the Age of Israel). And Israel has a definite future with God, which includes a New Covenant and a real function from specific tribes during the Tribulation. To interpret these passages any differently requires one to put a spin on this or that; to make a weird interpretation of this or that verse; and to completely bollocks up what is clearly written here.


I fully understand that some theologian might come along and think, hmmm, how can we interpret Israel and the church? Let’s try this theory of Covenant Theology. And, it should be clear that, some things seem to make sense using this particular theory; and some things do not. When I exegete passages—even this verse that we are in, I approach it from a couple different angles, and try this or that theory out on it; but, when all is said and done, I apply the theory which makes the most sense and causes the least amount of damage to the text. What I am saying is, it is fine that a theologian came along, proposed the theory of Covenant Theology as one explanation; however, it should be just as clear that, this theory just does not wash; it does not work; it requires us to make grand, sweeping changes to passages which are otherwise fairly easy to understand.


Judges 2:1c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âlâh (ה ָל ָע) [pronounced ģaw-LAWH]

to cause to go up, to lead up, to take up, to bring up

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong's #5927 BDB #748

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, ground, soil

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

shâbva׳ (עַבָש) [pronounced shawb-VAHĢ]

to swear, to imprecate, to curse, to swear an oath, to take a solemn oath, to swear allegiance

1st person singular, Niphal perfect

Strong's #7650 BDB #989

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

âb (ב ָא) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe

masculine plural noun with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: ...and I brought you up into the land which I swore to your fathers. God had taken Abraham to a mountain, after he and Lot had split up; and God pointed out all of the land which was going to belong to Abraham and to his children. God renewed this promise on several occasions.

 

Gill: ...and I have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers: into the land of Canaan, now for the most part conquered, and divided among them, and in which they were settled. Footnote


And again, not to harp on this, but God made literal promises to Israel which He fulfilled literally (although He has not yet given Israel all of the land which He promised them).


Judges 2:1d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

1st person singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

pârar (רַרָ) [pronounced paw-RAHR]

to break, to make [or, declare] void, to make of no effect, to bring to nothing, to make ineffectual; to take away, to violate (a covenant), to frustrate

1st person singular, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #6565 BDB #830

berîyth (תי .ר) [pronounced bereeth]

pact, alliance, treaty, alliance, covenant

feminine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #1285 BDB #136

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ôwlâm (םָלע) [pronounced ģo-LAWM]

long duration, forever, perpetuity, antiquity, futurity

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #5769 BDB #761

׳ôwlâm together with the lâmed preposition mean forever


Translation: And so I said, ‘I will not break My covenant with you forever. It was never a surprise when Israel went out of fellowship and became apostate. Even before going into the land, God had predicted that this would happen. “If they confess their iniquity and the iniquity of their forefathers in their unfaithfulness which they committed against Me, and also in their acting with hostility against Me—I was also acting with hostility against them, to bring them into the land of their enemies—or if their uncircumcised heart become humbled so that they then make amends for their iniquity, then I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember also My covenant with Abraham as well, and I will remember the land.” (Lev. 26:40–42). And most importantly, God’s covenant is for all time: “Yet in spite of this, when they are in the land of their enemies, I will not reject them, nor will I so abhor them as to destroy them, breaking My covenant with them; for I am Jehovah their God. But I will remember for them the covenant with their ancestors whom I brought out of the land of Egypt in the sight of the nations that I might be their God—I am Jehovah.” (Lev. 26:44–45). “Know therefore that Jehovah your God, He is god, the faithful God, Who keeps His covenant and His grace to a thousand generations with those who love Him and keep His commandments.” (Deut. 7:9). “My covenant I will not violate, nor will I alter the utterance of My lips. Once I have sworn by My holiness, I will not lie to David.” (Psalm 89:34–35).

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The burden of the angel's remonstrance was that God would inviolably keep His promise; but they [Israel], by their flagrant and repeated breaches of their covenant with Him, had forfeited all claim to the stipulated benefits. Having disobeyed the will of God by voluntarily courting the society of idolaters and placing themselves in the way of temptation, He left them to suffer the punishment of their misdeeds. Footnote


Let me get to some specifics: this reads And so I said, “I will not break My covenant with you forever.” When and where did Jesus Christ, the Angel of Jehovah, Jehovah, say this, and to whom? We actually do not have a specific passage that we could point to. Therefore, we have two options: (1) God did say this; those hearing Him were aware of this (for the most part); and it was never recorded in the Word of God. (2) God never did say these exact words, but they can be inferred from the following passages: Gen. 17:7–8 (“And I will establish my covenant between me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God." ); Lev. 26:42 (“Then [after Israel has suffered maximum discipline] I will remember my covenant with Jacob, and I will remember my covenant with Isaac and my covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land”).


In the future, God will make similar promises to David and to Israel: Psalm 89:34–36 (“I will not violate my covenant or alter the word that went forth from my lips. Once for all I have sworn by my holiness; I will not lie to David. His offspring shall endure forever, his throne as long as the sun before me.”); Jer. 33:20–22 ("Thus says the LORD: If you can break my covenant with the day and my covenant with the night, so that day and night will not come at their appointed time, then also my covenant with David my servant may be broken, so that he shall not have a son to reign on his throne, and my covenant with the Levitical priests my ministers. As the host of heaven cannot be numbered and the sands of the sea cannot be measured, so I will multiply the offspring of David my servant, and the Levitical priests who minister to me."—You may find this a little confusing, but God is telling them that He will not break His covenant with David).


That God fulfill His covenant delivered to Israel is closely tied to His character: “We [this is Israel speaking to God] acknowledge our wickedness, O LORD, and the iniquity of our fathers, for we have sinned against you. Do not spurn us, for your name's sake; do not dishonor your glorious throne; remember and do not break your covenant with us.” (Jer. 14:20–21).


In case you still hold to Covenant Theology, I want you to read and reread this portion of v. 1: “I will not break My covenant with you forever.” God made specific promises to a specific people concerning an eternal relationship with specific benefits (which included the Land of Promise). God’s covenant is based upon His character, and not upon the failures of Israel. God can rescind His covenant (if we assume that He would act against His Own Word), but Israel cannot withdraw from this covenant, either by request or by disobedience. It might help if you understand the difference between a conditional and an unconditional covenant.

A Conditional Covenant Versus an Unconditional Covenant

Topic

Explanation

Introduction

First off, a covenant is a contract of sorts between two people. However, I don’t want you to become confused at this point—our general concept of a contract is equivalent to a conditional covenant.

Conditional Covenant

Both parties stipulate to specific acts which they must perform in order for specific conditions to come to pass. Each party must fulfill the conditions laid upon them for the contract to be fulfilled.

A Secular Example of a Conditional Covenant

In the secular world, when a Charley Brown buys a house, he buys it from an owner. They sign a contract where the owner promises to sell the house to Charley Brown. The owner must perform certain deeds (e.g., provide a clear, unencumbered title to the buyer), and the buyer must perform certain deeds (e.g., secure financing to pay for the property). If either person fails to honor their side of the contract, or covenant, the contract is null and void.

Non-secular Examples of Conditional Covenants

"But if you will not listen to me and will not do all these commandments, if you spurn my statutes, and if your soul abhors my rules, so that you will not do all my commandments, but break my covenant, then I will do this to you: I will visit you with panic, with wasting disease and fever that consume the eyes and make the heart ache. And you shall sow your seed in vain, for your enemies shall eat it. I will set my face against you, and you shall be struck down before your enemies. Those who hate you shall rule over you, and you shall flee when none pursues you.” (Lev. 26:14–17). In Lev. 26, we have the 5 cycles of discipline, where God makes specific promises to Israel related to various stages of disobedience.


There was a contract between Adam and God; God provided for Adam and gave him life in the Garden of Eden, and Adam only had to fulfill one-negative requirement: he was not to eat from the Tree of Knowledge of Good and Evil (Gen. 2:16–17).

Unconditional Covenant

This is a one-sided contract. Only the person who establishes the contract is bound to fulfill it. The recipient, or the other side of this contract, receives the benefits of the contract, no matter what they do.

Examples of Unconditional Covenants

A good example of an unconditional covenant is a will (which explains an unconditional covenant if we use the example of a person who is about to die executes one and only one will, which he does not change). Let’s say, in this will, a trust fund is set up for a young person, who will receive this trust fund when they become age 25, for instance. If there are no conditions on this will or on the trust, the person who will receive the trust fund may act in a number of ways, even to the point where it is clear that they are unsuited and undeserving of the trust fund. However, in the example of an unconditional covenant, they will receive this trust fund no matter how good or bad they are. The writer of Hebrews uses a will to illustrate God’s promises to us (Heb. 9:15–17).


Another example is Jer 31:33: “But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, declares the LORD: I will put my law within them, and I will write it on their hearts. And I will be their God, and they shall be my people.”

A Nonsecular Example of an Unconditional Covenant

God promised Noah that He would never again destroy the earth and all of its inhabitants with a flood (Gen. 9:15). There are no expectations issued by God to man in order for Him to make good on this promise.

God’s covenants with Israel are both conditional and unconditional. It is important that you recognize just how important the unconditional covenant is; without the unconditional covenant of salvation, you and I would be lost. I don’t know about you, but no matter how good I become in my day-to-day life, I will never be able to stand before God apart from Jesus Christ—I am clearly not good enough.


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At this point in time, as a reader of millenniums later, we do not know where Bochim is. For this reason, some have gone along with the one reading of the Alexandrian Septuagint, that this is Bethel. However, it is reasonable to suppose that wherever Israel heard the Word of God (which, again, suggests that Israel was gathered when they heard this), that they wept, as we will find out later, and that this particular place, not necessarily a city, but a place where they gathered, was then named Bochim, or weepers.


In this short verse, we have given over 15 pages to commentary. The verse reads: And so the Angel of Jehovah went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And then He said, “I brought you up from Egypt and I brought you up into the land which I swore to your fathers. And so I said, ‘I will not break My covenant with you forever.’ ” We should summarize what we have here.

A Summary of Judges 2:1

1.      The Angel of Jehovah is Jehovah, as He says, “I brought you up from Egypt...” No one can say that except for God. For this Angel to quote Himself and say, “I will not break My covenant with you forever” is also a clear indication that this is spoken by God.

2.      That this Angel is clearly tied to Joshua 5, where a man speaks to Joshua, we may reasonably conclude that the man in Joshua 5 is the Angel of Jehovah, even though that title is not specifically used.

3.      The Angel in Joshua 5 has the appearance of a man; therefore, the Angel of this passage probably has the appearance of a man.

4.      The movement from Gilgal to Bochim suggests successive appearances; the mode of travel or the route of travel is not really the issue here.

5.      The Angel of Jehovah has begun to fulfill His promises to Israel, one of them being that He would bring them up to the Land of Promise. Bear in mind that God wiped out Gen X in the desert and kept alive the generation of promise.

6.      Given that the people will weep once the Angel finishes speaking, suggests that there were some of the generation of promise still alive to hear this message; the harshness of this message indicates that some of the people of Israel (probably the sons and grandsons of that generation of promise) had begun to make covenants and improper alliances (including marriages and idolatry) with the heathen within their land.

I must admit that, when I first covered this verse, 7 years ago, I was able to compress all of my thoughts on this verse to less than 1 page of commentary.


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And you—you [all] will not cut a covenant to those inhabiting the land the this; their altars, you will break down. And you have not hearkened in My voice. What [is] this you [all] have done?

Judges

2:2

And [to] you [I said], ‘You will not make a covenant with those inhabiting this land; you will break down their altars.’ But you have not listened to [lit, in] My voice. What is this you have done?

As for you, you were not to make any covenants with those who inhabit this land. Furthermore, you will break down their altars. But you have not listened to my voice; why have you done this?


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And you—you [all] will not cut a covenant to those inhabiting the land the this; their altars, you will break down. And you have not hearkened in My voice. What [is] this you [all] have done?

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

 

Significant differences:           The difference of the second verb could simply be one of interpretation. The difference in the interrogatives is also one of interpretation.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and you promised not to make any peace treaties with the other nations that live in the land. Besides that, you agreed to tear down the altars where they sacrifice to their idols. But you didn't keep your promise.

The Message                         And you're never to make a covenant with the people who live in this land. Tear down their altars! But you haven't obeyed me! What's this that you're doing?

NJB                                        You for your part must make no covenant with the inhabitants of this country; you will destroy their altars.” But you have not listened to my voice. What is the reason for this?

NLT                                        For your part you were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars. Why, then, have you disobeyed my command?


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         You must never make a treaty with the people who live in this land. You must tear down their altars.' But you didn't obey me. What do you think you're doing?

HCSB                                     You are not to make a covenant with the people who are living in this land, and you are to tear down their altars. But you have not obeyed Me. What is this you have done?


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       ...and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?

Young’s Updated LT             And you—you make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land—their altars you break down; and you have not listened to My voice—what is this you have done?


What is the gist of this verse? The angel of God reminds them of what they were supposed to do; there were to be no covenants between themselves and the inhabitants of the land; and they were to tear down all of their altars. However, Israel had not obeyed God, and he plaintively asks, “Why haven’t you done this?”


Judges 2:2a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

attem (ם∵-א) [pronounced aht-TEM]

you all, you guys, you (often, the verb to be is implied)

2nd person masculine plural, personal pronoun

Strong’s #859 BDB #61

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

kârath (תַרָ) [pronounced kaw-RAHTH]

to cut off, to cut down; to kill, to destroy; to make a covenant

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #3772 BDB #503

berîyth (תי .ר) [pronounced bereeth]

pact, alliance, treaty, alliance, covenant

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #1285 BDB #136

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yâshab (בַשָי) [pronounced yaw-SHAHBV]

those inhabiting, those staying, those dwelling in, the inhabitants of, the ones dwelling in, dwellers of, those sitting [here], the ones sitting

masculine plural construct, Qal active participle

Strong's #3427 BDB #442

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, ground, soil

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #776 BDB #75

zôth (תאֹז) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, thus

feminine singular of zeh; with the definite article

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260


Translation: And [to] you [I said], ‘You will not make a covenant with those inhabiting this land;... The Angel of Jehovah, Who is Jehovah (manifestation of Jehovah), is speaking to the people of Israel, and He continues to quote Himself. That is, He first says, “This is what I said to you before.” and then He quotes Himself.


From the very beginning, God made it clear that Israel was not to make a covenant with any of the people in the land. “You will make no covenant with them or with their gods. They will not live in your land, so that they will not cause you to sin against Me; for you will serve their gods and it [their living in the land] will be a snare to you.” (Ex. 23:32–33). “And when Jehovah your God delivers them before you, then you will strike them down, and you will completely destroy them. You will make no covenant with them and you will show them no grace.” (Deut. 7:2; see also Ex. 23:24 34:12–13).


Judges 2:2b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mizebêach (ַח ֵ׃ז ̣מ) [pronounced miz-BAY-ahkh]

altar; possibly monument

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #4196 BDB #258

nâthats (ץ -תָנ) [pronounced naw-THAHTS]

to pull down, to tear down, to break down, to destroy; to break out

2nd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5422 BDB #683


Translation: ...you will break down their altars.’ This completes God quoting Himself. In the past, God also told them: “And you will completely destroy all the places where the nations whom you will dispossess serve their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You will tear down their altars and you will smash their pillars and you will burn their Asherim with fire, and you will cut down the engraved images or their gods, and you will obliterate their name from that place.” (Deut. 12:3–4; see also Deut. 7:5).


Application: You must recall that Israel was a client nation to God and a theocracy; this means that God ruled this nation. Therefore, God could call for the destruction of a people, and Israel would have to comply. God is not the ruler over any nation. The US is certain a client nation to God (i.e., we participate in preserving and teaching the Word of God; and we are heavily involved in missionary activity); and other nations participate to a more limited degree in these activities. However, at this time in world history, Israel alone had the truth, and the nations which surrounded Israel did not. For this reason, God is not speaking to any president telling him to go out and destroy this or that nation.


Judges 2:2c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

shâma׳ (ע ַמ ָש) [pronounced shaw-MAHĢ]

to listen [intently], to hear, to listen and obey, [or, and act upon, give heed to, take note of], to hearken to, to be attentive to, to listen and be cognizant of

2nd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #8085 BDB #1033

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular noun with the 1st person singular suffix

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876


Translation: But you have not listened to [lit, in] My voice. The verb here means to listen and to obey. God gave Israel clear commands; and Israel was not obeying these commands.

 

Gill: [You have not obeyed] the command of God, but on the contrary had made leagues and covenants with several inhabitants of the land, allowing them to dwell among them on paying a certain tax or tribute to them; and had suffered their altars to continue, and them to sacrifice upon them to their idols, according to their former customs. Footnote


And just in case I left any of these passages out, above or below, God made it extremely clear to the Israelites that they were to destroy the heathen who remained in the land of promise, and that they were not to ally themselves with them, or especially, they were not to worship their gods: Ex. 23:32–33 34:12–16 Num. 33:52–53 Deut. 7:2–4, 16, 25–26 12:2–3 20:16–18 2Cor. 6:14–17 (many of these passages will be quoted below). The point of listing all these passages here is to indicate that, this was not some small, minor, hidden commandment which some inhabitants of Israel may have missed.


Separating vv. 1–2 where they did was a mistake. V. 2a continues the Angel of Jehovah quoting Himself. He said, “I brought you from Egypt to the land which I swore to give to your fathers, and I said...” I think that a chart might help to explain this:

God’s Commands/Israel’s Disobedience; Past, Present and Future

God’s Original Commands

The Angel of Jehovah Repeats these Commands

Israel Disobeys God

“And I will establish my covenant between Me and you and your offspring after you throughout their generations for an everlasting covenant, to be God to you and to your offspring after you. And I will give to you and to your offspring after you the land of your sojournings, all the land of Canaan, for an everlasting possession, and I will be their God” (Gen. 17:7–8). “I will remember My covenant with Jacob, and I will remember My covenant with Isaac and My covenant with Abraham, and I will remember the land” (Lev. 26:42; interestingly enough, God says this in a passage dealing with Israel’s severe future discipline).

I will not break My covenant with you forever.

As discussed before, portions of God’s promises to Israel are unconditional; that is, He will fulfill these promises to Israel no matter what (however, God clearly knows the end from the beginning; so He also knows that Israel will return to Him).


Insofar as God’s conditional covenants, we read: So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he said, "Because this people have transgressed my covenant that I commanded their fathers and have not obeyed my voice, I will no longer drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, in order to test Israel by them” (Ex. 2:20–22a).

“You shall make no covenant with them and their gods.” (Ex. 23:32). “[You will tear down their altars and religious artifacts] so that you will not make a covenant with the inhabitants of the land, and when they whore after their gods and sacrifice to their gods and you are invited, you eat of his sacrifice, and you take of their daughters for your sons, and their daughters whore after their gods and make your sons whore after their gods” (Ex. 34:15–16).


“And when the LORD your God gives them [the indigenous population of the land] over to you, and you defeat them, then you must devote them to complete destruction. You shall make no covenant with them and show no mercy to them. You shall not intermarry with them, giving your daughters to their sons or taking their daughters for your sons, for they would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods” (Deut. 7:2–4a).

And you—you will not make a covenant with those inhabiting this land;...

So the people of Israel lived among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites, and the Jebusites. And their daughters they took to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons, and they served their gods. And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth (Judges 3:5–7). Note that the alliances (marriage) that Israel made led to idolatry. At this point, what Israel did was shortened to doing evil in the sight of the Lord (Judges 4:1 6:1).


They did not destroy the peoples as Jehovah commanded them, but they mingled with the nations... (Psalm 106:34–35). This would be making business contracts and intermarrying with the heathen.

“You shall not bow down to their gods [the gods of the Amorites, Canaanites, etc.] nor serve them, nor do as they do, but you shall utterly overthrow them and break their pillars in pieces.” (Ex. 23:24). “When you pass over the Jordan into the land of Canaan, then you shall drive out all the inhabitants of the land from before you and destroy all their figured stones and destroy all their metal images and demolish all their high places” (Ex. 33:51b–52). “You shall tear down their altars and break their pillars and cut down their Asherim” (Ex. 34:13).


“You shall surely destroy all the places where the nations whom you shall dispossess served their gods, on the high mountains and on the hills and under every green tree. You shall tear down their altars and dash in pieces their pillars and burn their Asherim with fire. You shall chop down the carved images of their gods and destroy their name out of that place” (Deut. 12:2–3; see also Deut. 7:5, 25–26). Even though this is Moses speaking; he realized that he was speaking the Word of God at this point.

...you will break down their altars” (Judges 2:1b–2a).

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals. And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger. They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth (Judges 12:11–13; see also vv. 17, 19). This is one passage of many describing what Israel will do during the time of the judges.


...and they learned their practices and they served their idols, who became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons and they shed innocent blood—the blood of their sons and their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with the blood (Psalm 106:36–39).

The first column are the words of God given previously; the second column is what the Angel of Jehovah said to the people before Him (He quoted Himself); and the final column lists where Israel disobeyed God.


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The principle here is carried into the New Testament (a principle which has been widely misapplied): Do not be unequally yoked with unbelievers. For what partnership has righteousness with lawlessness? Or what fellowship has light with darkness? (2Cor. 6:14). The way the Old Testament passages have been misapplied is to forbid marriage between different races; now, you may not want to marry someone from this race or that, and that is fine and reasonable; that is your choice. However, there is nothing inherently wrong or evil about an Eskimo marrying an Afrikaner (or whatever other combination you want to come up with). If one is a believer in Jesus Christ and the other worships Allah of the Muslim faith, that is the problem. Inevitably, in the Old Testament, when intermarriage between Jews and non-Jews was spoken of in a negative light, the end result was, the one tied to Jehovah of the Old Testament would go negative toward the God of his fathers and worship some heathen god—that is the true problem. Their skin colors, the differences between their noses or eyes are not in view and never spoken of in Scripture.


One of the great ironies of our history is, the Ku Klux Klan, which did originally have some ties to Christianity, would have strongly objected to one of their members marrying an African-American, even if the latter was a mature believer. Their emphasis was all wrong. It is not the racial difference which should be a factor with regards to marriage, but the spiritual differences. Believers should marry believers; and mature believers should marry other mature believers.


Application: Let me give you a simple example: if you are the whitest person on this planet, and you are enamored of a Thai, there is no problem of marrying and having children—unless the Thai goes to a Buddhist temple and worships Buddha. You may have come across the loveliest person from the Philippines, but if they are steeped in Catholicism, then marriage is out of the question. If they believe in Jesus Christ, are not associated with the Catholic church, and are growing in grace and knowledge of Jesus Christ, then if you marry, you have not sinned. When Paul speaks of marriage, he clearly forbids the believer to marry the unbeliever (2Cor. 6:14; see also Deut. 7:3); but also forbids the casual separation of a mixed marriage (1Cor. 7:12–16).


Application: A misapplication of 2Cor. 6:14 (Do not be unequally yoked) is, some believers try to deal with other believers exclusively. First of all, let me make it clear that some of the biggest liars, crooks and cheats that I have ever dealt with are Bible-believing Christians (for whatever reason, most of my experience here is with charismatics). And let me quickly add that I have had some great business relationships with some believers (and unbelievers). I can think of 4 people right off the top of my head, a Catholic; a charismatic; someone who has possibly believed, but I am not sure; and someone I think is a believer, but I don’t know what kind; and these 4 people, I would trust them implicitly. To any one of these people, I would trust them with the keys to my house, even if I had a bucket of $100 bills sitting in the middle of the living room. I’ve gone off topic here; but my point is, you do not withdraw yourself from all relationships (personal, business, profession) with unbelievers. I wrote to you in my letter not to associate with sexually immoral people— not at all meaning the sexually immoral of this world, or the greedy and swindlers, or idolaters, since then you would need to go out of the world. But now I am writing to you not to associate with anyone who bears the name of brother if he is guilty of sexual immorality or greed, or is an idolater, reviler, drunkard, or swindler—not even to eat with such a one (1Cor. 5:9–11). You cannot completely disassociate yourself from those in this world who are corrupt, otherwise you would have to go out of the world. In fact, it is important that we have personal contact with these unbelievers, as we are a witness to them (1Cor. 4:9 2Cor. 5:19 Philip. 2:15 1John 2:2 4:14, 17). Most of the separation spoken of in Scripture is between believers.


Application: If you are a believer in Jesus Christ and you lie, cheat and./or steal as a part of your personal and business practices, then do not ever spout out that you are a believer. Keep this a secret. When you give your personal testimony and then cheat someone out of their money, you are not letting your light shine as a lamp in a dark place; you are proving yourself to be an embarrassment to Jesus Christ, and your testimony does nothing but confirm to others that Christians are hypocrites and cheats and liars.


Judges 2:2d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

mâh (ה ָמ) [pronounced maw]

what, how, why; what [thing]; anything, something, whatever

interrogative; exclamatory particle; indefinite pronoun; relative pronoun

Strong’s #4100 BDB #552

zôth (תאֹז) [pronounced zoth]

here, this, thus

feminine singular of zeh

Strong’s #2063 (& 2088, 2090) BDB #260

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

2nd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793


Translation: What is this you have done? According to Rotherham, this last sentence maybe alternately translated “What now have ye done?” Footnote What has happened is that Israel has not gone in and eradicated the people of the land of Palestine, even though God had commanded them to do so. Although, there were several times when the Israelites could have destroyed their enemies, they chose not to, and placed them into slavery instead (Judges 1:28, 30, 33). Apparently, when placing them into slavery, the Israelites did not remove their altars and their vestiges of heathenism, although such things were abhorrent to God. The psalmist testifies to this: They did not destroy the peoples as Jehovah commanded them, but they mingled with the nations and they learned their practices and they served their idols, who became a snare to them. They even sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons and they shed innocent blood—the blood of their sons and their daughters whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan. And the land was polluted with the blood (Psalm 106:34–39).


Another reasonable understanding of this question is, “Why have you done this?” After all that God has done for Israel; after all of His blessing and His protection, and Israel completely blows off God’s commandments. I would like to scream and shout at Israel at this time; but there are many times when I have done the same thing. I know what is right; I know what God expects; and I come far, far short of His clear expectations.


The literal rendering of the end of this verse is, “What is this you have done?” As you may have noticed in the translation section, the less literal translations took great liberties with this final portion of v. 2; however, I don’t think their interpretations give us a great insight than what we have already studied.

The Paraphrases Obliterate Judges 2:2d

CEV                                       But you didn't keep your promise. This final phrase is not really translated in the CEV. The phrase given is, more or less, a combination of “But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?”

The Message                         What's this that you're doing? The Message was the only one of this group of translations to actually translate the Hebrew.

NAB                                       What did you mean by this?

NJB                                        What is the reason for this?

NLT                                        Ignored.

REB                                       ...and look what you have done! The REB simply adds the words and look; and ignores the word this.

TEV                                        But you have not done what I have told you. You have done just the opposite! The TEV also combines the final two phrases of this verse, as did the CEV.

By the way, just in case you are not able to pick this up from the Hebrew exegesis, the Hebrew here is quite simple.

Okay, the paraphrases are, as a rule, not very literal from time to time. Why did I bother to include this chart? You may choose the CEV or the NLT as your reading Bible, and that is fine—don’t let me discourage you from that. However, don’t ever read a passage in one of the above translations and say, “Hmm, I didn’t know that! I just learned something new” without reading the same passage in a more literal translation, so that you know what is really there.


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Keil and Delitzsch: The words “and you have not listened to [and obeyed] my voice” recall to mind Ex. 19:5 (Now therefore, if you will indeed obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my treasured possession among all peoples, for all the earth is mine). “What have ye done” (literally “what is this that ye have done”), in sparing the Canaanites and tolerating their altars?  Footnote


Now, let’s put all of this together: “I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you, and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done?” (Judges 2:1b–2). “You are not supposed to intermarry; you are not suppose to go to the heathen churches, and you are to tear down their heathen altars; and yet, you have completely disobeyed My voice. Do you see what you have done?” This is the gist of what the Angel of Jehovah is saying to the people, and He is pointing out to them that they have failed and have not followed His word. The final phrase indicates that there are those in his audience who have disobeyed Him; they should look at their behavior, their lives, and it is clear that they have rejected His Word, and not only taken heathen wives to themselves, but embraced the godless worship as well. This final phrase emphatically tells us that there were listeners that day who were now clearly aware of their evil practices.


And furthermore I have said, ‘I will not drive them out from your faces and they have been to you for [thorns in your] sides and their gods are to you for a snare.’ ”

Judges

2:3

Moreover, I promise [lit., say], I will not drive them out from your faces and they will be to you for [thorns] in [your] sides and their gods will be to you for a snare.”

Furthermore, let me say to you that I will not drive your enemies out from before you; they will be thorns in your sides and their gods will be a trap to you.”


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Latin Vulgate                          Wherefore I would not destroy them from before your face; that you may have enemies, and their gods may be your ruin.

Masoretic Text                       And furthermore I have said, ‘I will not drive them out from your faces and they have been to you for [thorns in your] sides and their gods are to you for a snare.’ ”

Peshitta                                  Wherefore I also said, ‘:I will not destroy them from before you; but they will become vanity, and their gods will be a stumbling block to you.”

Septuagint                              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.

 

Significant differences:           The LXX appears to be identical to the MT. The Latin tells us that God did not remove these people, so that there would be enemies for Jews in the land; and the Syriac tells us that their enemies would be a vacuum to them (vanity) and that their gods would cause them to stumble. Given that the Greek and Hebrew are identical, then we might reasonably assume that the Syriac and Latin clearly do not reflect the Hebrew, but, probably interpret what they read.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       And so, I'll stop helping you defeat your enemies. Instead, they will be there to trap you into worshiping their idols.

The Message                         "So now I'm telling you that I won't drive them out before you. They'll trip you up and their gods will become a trap."

NLT                                        Since you have done this, 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.’


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

HCSB                                     Therefore, I now say: I will not drive out these people before you. They will be thorns in your sides, and their gods will be a trap to you."


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And I also said, I will not drive them out from before you, but they shall be thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.

Young's Literal Translation     And I also have said, I do not cast them out from your presence, and they have been to you for adversaries, and their gods are to you for a snare.'


What is the gist of this verse? God chose not to cast Israel’s enemies out of the land; but that they would remain there as (1) enemies or as (2) thorns in the sides of the Jews; and that their gods would become a trap for them.


Judges 2:3a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

Together, the wâw conjunction and the gam particle might mean together with, along with, joined with, and, furthermore, and furthermore.

âmar (ר ַמ ָא) [pronounced aw-MAHR]

to say, to speak, to utter; to say [to oneself], to think

1st person singular, Qal perfect

Strong’s #559 BDB #55

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

gârash (שַרָ) [pronounced gaw-RASH]

to cast out, to throw out, to drive out

1st person singular, Piel imperfect

Strong's #1644 BDB #176

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

with, at, near, by, among, directly from

preposition (which is identical to the sign of the direct object); with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #854 BDB #85

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

pânîym (םי̣נָ) [pronounced paw-NEEM]

face, faces, countenance; presence

masculine plural construct (plural acts like English singular)

Strong’s #6440 BDB #815

Together, mipânîym mean from before your face, out from before your face, from one’s presence. However, together, they can also be a reference to the cause, whether near or remote, and can therefore be rendered because of, because that.


Translation: Moreover, I promise [lit., say], I will not drive them out from your faces... There is obviously a choice that God could make—God could have driven out each and every one of the itinerant groups of people who also occupied the Land of Promise; or He could have left them all there. God gave Israel the land, but Israel was supposed to continue to take the land. Israel could offers terms of unconditional peace, which would have included their enemies believing in the God of Israel. However, only the Gibeonites appear to have done that (and they did so dishonestly). This option which the Jews were to offer to a city which they invaded is given in Deut. 20:10–11 (however, you will need the exegesis of this verse to fully understand this passage).


Judges 2:3b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

tsad (דַצ) [pronounced tzahd]

sides; adversaries

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #6654 BDB #841

The phrase to [for] sides is rather unclear here. Some interpret this as they will be to you [as thorns] in your sides. Others loosely render this they will be to you [those] for adversaries.

 

Translation: ...and they will be to you for [thorns] in [your] sides... What they will be to Israel is the masculine plural of tsad (ד ַצ) [pronounced tzahd ], which means sides. I don’t know if we have the implication that they would be thorns in their sides, or whether that word was dropped out, either due to a copyist’s error or a messtup manuscript. Young and Rotherham render this adversaries, the KJV, the NASB and the NIV render this as thorns in your sides. The LXX has distresses to you and the vulgate has enemies [or, adversaries] to you. I used this passage when comparing the various English translations. As was mentioned several times in the previous chapter, the Israelites did not do just as God had instructed them, but they allowed their enemies to continue to live side-by-side, and allowed their enemies apparently to continue in their heathen worship. Because of this, their enemies would be thorns in their sides and their gods would be traps for the Israelites, as the remainder of this book will bear out.


You may or may not recognize this quote, but God is paraphrasing Himself. “But if you drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you, then it will come to pass that those whom you allow to remain will be thorns in your eyes and thorns in your sides, and they will trouble you in the law in which you live.” (Num. 33:55). Maybe what we read in Judges 2:3 is an abbreviated version of Num. 33:55, or a passage where a word or 3 was dropped out due to ancient manuscript problems. I do want you to notice that the LXX version (which would have been translated from Hebrew manuscripts from the 3rd through 5th centuries b.c.) is almost identical to the Masoretic text; so it this was a manuscript problem, then it goes way, way back.


The word found here is the masculine plural noun for sides; and we do not find it used any differently in Scripture. This means that, either there is another meaning for tsad which has been lost to us (e.g., adversaries, enemies); or there is a missing word or two; or the missing words were understood to the Jews. Context seems to indicate that these heathen left in the land will be thorns in the sides of the Jews.


Judges 2:3c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun

Strong's #430 BDB #43

Context inevitably tells us whether this is the God, the Creator of the Universe, or foreign gods, which are the result of fertile imagination at best and representative of demons at worst. They are distinguished in a variety of ways (1) there will be the word other associated with the Hebrew word (Ex. 20:3 23:13 Joshua 24:2); (2) there will be a modifying word to indicate that gods is different from the God (Ex. 18:11); (3) the word gods is specifically differentiated from Yehowah in the immediate context (Ex. 22:19); (4) God would be associated with a singular verb (Deut. 4:34) and gods with plural verbs (Ex. 32:1, 23); (5) or gods will be modified by foreign or of the Gentiles (Gen. 35:2, 4 Deut. 31:16 2Kings 18:33).

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

preposition with the 2nd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

môwqêsh (ש ֵקמ) [pronounced moh-KAYSH]

properly the bait or lure for a trap; figuratively trap, snare

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #4170 BDB #430


Translation: ...and their gods will be to you for a snare.” Joshua also warned: “Know with certainty that Jehovah your god will not continue to drive these nations out from before you; but they will be a snare and a trap to you, and a whip on your sides and thorns in your eyes, until you perish from off this good land which Jehovah your God has given you.” (Joshua 23:13). The book of Judges is essentially about how Israel did fall prey to the people of the land and their women and their gods. For the next several hundred years, Israel will be on a downhill slide. The reason for this is, they will intermarry with the heathen of the land, and they will embrace the religions and gods of the godless heathen who live among them.


I want you to notice that there is a careful interaction here. Had Israel continued to take the cities in their possession, as Judah and Simeon began to do (Judges 1:1–20), then God would have allowed them to do so; and, probably within a generation or two, all of their land would be cleared of heathen. However, Israel did not move forward as a whole. There were heathen who, for all intents and purposes, lived right next door to them in their cities, and they made arrangements with these heathen, they married their daughters, and they even were very liberal and worshiped in their churches. For this reason, they were taken further and further away from the God of their fathers; and drawn into worship of the demons who were represented by statues and idols in their worship. It is the freewill choice of the people of Israel to embrace their enemies, and to desert the God Who brought them into the Land of Promise. As they further disregarded God’s mandates, the lure of the indigenous heathen pulled them further and further into idolatry.

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The burden of the angel's remonstrance was that God would inviolably keep His promise; but they, by their flagrant and repeated breaches of their covenant with Him, had forfeited all claim to the stipulated benefits. Having disobeyed the will of God by voluntarily courting the society of idolaters and placing themselves in the way of temptation, He left them to suffer the punishment of their misdeeds. Footnote


The psalmist takes up this particular historical period, writing: They did not destroy the peoples, as the LORD commanded them, but they mixed with the nations and learned to do as they did. They served their idols, which became a snare to them. They sacrificed their sons and their daughters to the demons; they poured out innocent blood, the blood of their sons and daughters, whom they sacrificed to the idols of Canaan, and the land was polluted with blood. Thus they became unclean by their acts, and played the whore in their deeds. Then the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he abhorred his heritage; he gave them into the hand of the nations, so that those who hated them ruled over them (Psalm 106:34–41).


We have seen many false applications of passages like this. One false application which I mentioned earlier is a social stigma against racially mixed marriages. Another false application is, any believer who thinks that the United States, as a Christian nation, needs to wipe out the heathen nations around us. This is a false application, because, first of all, there is no Christian nation, per se; and secondly, God no longer speaks audibly to the leaders of a nation, as He did to Israel, and tell them to wipe out this or that group of people. God did do this with ancient Israel—particularly when Israel took the Land of Promise. However, these are requirements given at a very specific point in time, to a very specific nation, under very specific circumstances.


Application: Now, I must admit that I like some of the things done by the nation Israel today. At the time that I am writing this, the Palestinians kidnaped an Israeli soldier, so Israel went into Palestine territory and took captive many of the high-ranking, Palestinian officials. I must admit, I’d love to see the United States function more like this, rather than the continual prosecution of our own soldiers for following rules of engagement. Footnote On the other hand, neither we nor Israel are called upon to pick this or that Muslim nation, despite its religious depravity, and to bomb it out of existence. We live in a different era, and there is no indication whatsoever that we should act in a similar fashion to the way Israel was supposed to act 3400 years ago. That is, we have no mandate to gather up the heathen in our land and wipe them out; and we have no mandate to find the most godless nation on earth, and bomb them out of existence.


Application: We need to properly divide the Word of Truth. This is one reason you need to be under a pastor teacher. It is too easy for you to get your mind all wrapped around this passage or that, and misinterpret it. I recall listening to a liberal Baptist Sunday School teacher (yes, these do exist), who got very emphatic when teaching, “You will not kill” and said, “And there are no exceptions to this. It says, ‘You will not kill’ period.” All this man had to do was to flip one or two pages forward or backward from Ex. 20, and he would have found a myriad of passages where killing was not only justified, but required of Israel (including many of the passages I have already quoted). However, this particular man was a product of his culture (he lived in Berkeley, California), and simply applied one verse out of the Bible in such a way as to justify his own point of view, which was the result of his cultural influences, and not a result of the inculcation of God’s Word. You get under a pastor who teaches verse by verse, line by line; who has a thorough knowledge of the Greek, Hebrew, history and culture, as well as a good theological background, and you are not going to hear a couple dozen passages touted over every other passage of Scripture.


Application: One of the biggest problems with any denomination or cult is, their Bibles are about 20 pages long. It would be very simple for them to take 20 pages out of the Bible, and to base all of their doctrines upon these 20 pages. They don’t need the rest of the Bible. All they need are their proof texts (which, in many cases, are even far less than 20 pages).


For me, it would be incredible if I lived long enough to exegete the entire Old Testament; this would be like a dream come true. However, I realize that, there are only so many hours a day that I can work before I become stale; and that I have only so many hours left in my life. However, in any case, I feel blessed by God to be able to do what I have done so far.


And so he is as to speak an angel of Yehowah the words the these unto all sons of Israel; and so lift up the people their voices and so they wept.

Judges

2:4

And it came to pass as the angel of Yehowah spoke these words to all the sons of Israel that the people lifted up their voices and wept.

And when the angel of Jehovah spoke these words to all of the sons of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and cried.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so he is as to speak an angel of Yehowah the words the these unto all sons of Israel; and so lift up the people their voices and so they wept.

Septuagint                              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.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The Israelites started crying loudly,...

The Message                         When GOD's angel had spoken these words to all the People of Israel, they cried out--oh! how they wept!


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         While the Messenger of the LORD was saying this to all the people of Israel, they began to cry loudly.

HCSB                                     When the Angel of the LORD had spoken these words to all the Israelites, the people wept loudly.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       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.

WEB                                      It happened, when the angel of Yahweh spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.

Young's Updated LT              And it came to pass, when the messenger of Jehovah spoke these words unto all the sons of Israel, that the people lift up their voice and weep.


What is the gist of this verse? While the Angel of Jehovah speaks these words, then many of the people listening began to cry.


Judges 2:4a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâyâh (ה ָי ָה) [pronounced haw-YAW]

to be, is, was, are; to become, to come into being; to come to pass

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #1961 BDB #224

kaph or ke ( ׃) [pronounced ke]

like, as, according to; about, approximately

preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #453

dâbar (רַבָד) [pronounced dawb-VAHR]

to speak, to talk [and back with action], to give an opinion, to expound, to make a formal speech, to speak out, to promise, to propose, to speak kindly of, to declare, to proclaim, to announce

Piel infinitive construct

Strong’s #1696 BDB #180

maleâke (ָא׃לַמ) [pronounced mahle-AWKe]

messenger or angel; this word has been used for a prophet (Isa. 42:19) and priest (Mal. 2:7)

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #4397 BDB #521

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

dâbâr (רָבָ) [pronounced dawb-VAWR]

words, sayings, doctrines, commands; things, matters, reports

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1697 BDB #182

êlleh (ה  ֵא) [pronounced ALE-leh]

these, these things

demonstrative plural adjective with the definite article

Strong's #428 BDB #41

The phrase the words the these can either refer to what will immediately follow this phrase (see Gen. 2:4 6:9 11:10), or it refers back to what has come before (see Gen. 9:19 10:20, 29, 31). Obviously, since a quotation does not follow, then this refers back to what precedes this. Given the addition of the kaph preposition, Goliath is making the same announcement as he has made before (from 1Sam. 17:23).

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

bânîym (םי.נָ) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: And it came to pass as the angel of Yehowah spoke these words to all the sons of Israel... Again, the mechanics are unclear. This is more than can be determined through Urim and Thummim; obviously God did speak in some way to the people. Whether it was through a prophet or a priest or audibly to all of the people, this is not recorded. This passage sounds as though this was spoken audibly to all of the people, and that the One speaking to them was in the form of a man (all of this was covered carefully in v. 1).


Recall that on Mount Sinai, the people begged God not to speak to them directly but to speak through Moses. God agreed; but Moses has died, Joshua has retired, neither is followed by a particular leader (except possibly Phinehas). Furthermore, this is a different generation altogether; and therefore, it would not be out of character for God to in some way speak to all of Israel. And, as we have already studied, there are a few instances where it appears as though the Angel of Jehovah speaks to Israel as a whole.


At Mount Sinai, Israel reasonably asked God to speak through a mediator, and it is not unreasonable to assume that this was done from thereon out. Functioning through a mediator would also stress the importance of the Mediator Jesus Christ. However, as previously noted, under the Appearances of the Angel of Jehovah, the Angel of Jehovah apparently appeared to the Israelites in the desert and spoke to them on two occasions, and in the time of Isaiah, will speak to those in Jerusalem. Even though it is possible that the Angel of Jehovah spoke to someone, who then spoke to Israel; there is no clear clue or hint that happened. Furthermore, Moses was very keen on distinguishing when God spoke to him and when he spoke to Israel.


It was my original opinion, what we have here is an acknowledged spiritual leader, albeit unnamed—perhaps Phinehas, and perhaps a prophet of God whose name will not be known to us until we die. Another option is, this is Jesus Christ, in a theophany, speaking to all Israel. However, for the reasons given above, this could be argued against. When Jesus Christ appears throughout the Old Testament as a theophany, He tends to do so to individuals with a great spiritual mission before them (furthermore, one might even argue that God is speaking through a man whose prophetic abilities are simply accepted by the listener).

What is the Manner of the Angel of Jehovah?

The Views

The Pros

The Cons

He is the Angel of Jehovah, in the form of a man, speaking to the people of Israel.

God agreeing to give the Law through Moses than directly to the people does not mean that He would always function in that way.


Even though there are instances of the Angel of Jehovah speaking to those who would lead Israel in a spiritual crisis, that is not the only modus operandi that the Angel of Jehovah uses. Furthermore, there is no great spiritual leader who is going to lead them out of this general condemnation.


The Angel of Jehovah has the form of a man in Gilgal, and is said in our passage to have gone from Gilgal to Bochim.


The text here is in complete agreement with this point of view.

When Gen X asked God to speak to them through Moses, He agreed to do so.


The Angel of Jehovah seems to come to specific individuals and speak directly to them prior to a great spiritual mission.

He is the Angel of Jehovah who speaks to an unnamed spiritual leader, like Phinehas, who then speaks to the people of Israel.

Gen X asked God to speak through Moses, a mediator.


In the past, God often spoke to a spiritual giant, who then spoke to the people.

That Mediator could be seen as the Angel of Jehovah.


This does not mean that God must function in exactly the same way time after time.


There is nothing in the text to suggest this theory.

God enters the dreams of the people of Israel, and speaks to them as the Angel of Jehovah.

 

Although God does speak to various people in dreams, the Bible records this fact.


There is nothing in the language here to even suggest this viewpoint.

God speaks as a voice from heaven, as He gave the Ten Commandments to Israel.

 

Although there is precedence for this viewpoint, then we could also apply the precedence of the people saying, “Don’t speak directly to us; speak through Moses.”


The biggest problem is, there is nothing in the text which indicates this is what happened.

I realize that we have covered this ground before, but I did not break down the pros and cons before; plus, at this point, you have gone through the first few verses of this chapter. In this case, no matter how God is speaking to the people, they clearly know that these words are from God and they take them very seriously.


Return to Chapter Outline

Return to Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


Gill suggests that the reason for the gathering of Israel is one of the 3 solemn feasts where the men of Israel are to gather at the Tabernacle of God. Footnote Henry suggests that they could be gathered to go to war, Footnote but we have already been told that only Judah and Simeon had moved forward with that. Like Gill, he also thinks that this may be one of the 3 feasts given at Shiloh. The name Bochim could be applied specifically to where the congregation of Israelites gathered this one time and is not necessarily some established city.


The Bible does indicate a relationship between the appearances of the Angel of Jehovah and the offering up of sacrifices to Him: Judges 6:20, 26, 28 13:16 2Sam. 24:25 Deut. 12:5–14.


Judges 2:4b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

nâsâ (אָָנ) [pronounced naw-SAW]

to lift up, to bear, to carry

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5375 (and #4984) BDB #669

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

Note that it is proper here to have this masculine singular collective noun with a masculine plural verb.

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

qôwl (לק) [pronounced kohl]

sound, voice, noise; loud noise, thundering

masculine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #6963 BDB #876

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

bâkâh (הָכָ) [pronounced baw-KAW]

to weep, to cry, to bewail

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1058 BDB #113


Translation: ...that the people lifted up their voices and wept. Whoever this was who speaks to the people—and, again, I believe that this is the Angel of Jehovah in the form of a man whose spiritual authority is accepted—it is clear that the people there believe him. They clearly believe that these are the words of God being spoken to them, and they react very demonstrably.


As we have noted, the Israelites are a very demonstrative people. Whereas, I have a hard time picturing myself at a public weep-in, this was apparently not an unusual event for Israel. God had given Israel certain responsibilities and He had promised to support them if they carried out their responsibilities. The problem was not that Israel was trying to remove the Canaanites from the land, but that they did not make any sort of real effort to do so and therefore God would not longer support their armies. Therefore, they went from being king of the hill to one who barely ruled over the hill. Some of the tribes had an even less exalted position than that. The remainder of the history of Israel will be God trying to speak to Israel through His prophets. Yet Jehovah warned Israel and Judah, through all of His prophets and through all His seers, saying, “Turn from your evil ways and keep My commandments. My statutes according to all the law which I commanded your fathers, and which I sent to you through My servants the prophets.” However, they did not listen, but they stiffened their neck, like their fathers, who did not believe in Jehovah their God (2Kings 17:13–14).


Now, I have spent a great deal of time—perhaps too much—discussing the form of this theophany; and, even though I have expressed a strong opinion on this matter, I would not be completely thrown for a loop spiritually if it turns out that the Angel of Jehovah spoke to Phinehas, for example, who then spoke to the people. Why would it not bother me? The reason is simple: it is not the man, but the message. These are the words of God. The people recognized them as such. We can wonder and even argue as to the immediate source of these words; but, what God had to say to the Jews is what is important to us.

 

Gill: that the people lift up their voice, and wept: being affected with what the angel said, and convicted in their consciences of their sins, and so fearing the bad consequences thereof, they wept because of the sins they had been guilty of, and because of the evils that were like to befall them on account of them. Footnote

 

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown: The angel's expostulation made a deep and painful impression. But the reformation was but temporary, and the gratifying promise of a revival which this scene of emotion held out, was, ere long, blasted by speedy and deeper relapses into the guilt of defection and idolatry. Footnote What Jamieson, Fausset and Brown don’t take into account is, (1) weeping and great sorrow does not indicate that any sort of lasting change will take place; and (2) it is not all the people who are said to weep here; so it is reasonable that the generation of promise and some of their children wept; while the next generation did not.


There is definitely a relationship between contact with the Lord or missing the mark and realizing it: 1Sam. 7:6 Ezra 10:1 Prov. 17:10 Jer. 31:9 Zech. 12:10 Luke 6:21 7:38 2Cor. 7:10 James 4:9. We may go into the details of these passages in the future sometime.


We have discussed the audience previously, but let me speak to it again. It seems unlikely that God is speaking strictly to the Generation of Promise, who took the land, simply because they have done nothing particularly wrong. Furthermore, there is nothing in the message here where they are denigrated by God for not, for instance, teaching the next generation. There is a generation which would arise after them, who did not see any of the great works of God, but knew second hand of the struggle of Israel, and how God led them out of Israel into the Land of Promise, and how God further let them take the Land of Promise. However, the generation below them just found themselves being born in the land, to parents who were either born in the land or who came into the land, but were shielded from the warfare which took place. My opinion is, this is the audience of the Angel of Jehovah—these three generations. We would expect the generation of promise to weep and some of their children as well. However, there is every indication that there were Jews in the land who had intermarried, who had tolerated their heathen neighbors, who made contracts with their heathen neighbors, and who even went to their religious ceremonies. I suspect this is mostly true of this third generation, and that they listened, but were probably not as moved as the previous two generations.


Application: God has grabbed the attention of us in the United States, both with the Great Depression and then with the incarnate evil of World War II. However, many generations have come into this world since then, and there are a number of people out there who have no spiritual understanding, no relationship to God, and that they somehow think that they deserve all the wonderful material blessings which they have. God again, in 2001, called out to us with the destruction of the World Trade Center on September 11th. Some of us recognized, in that event, the horrendous evil which pervades the world, and will continue to act. There are a lot of appropriate responses; but the most appropriate response is turning toward God, turning away from our own lusts and evil, and growing in the grace and knowledge of the Lord Jesus Christ. The spiritual changes which our nation goes through this next decade will determine how many more similar incidents that we will face. In my final few years of teaching, I must say that I witnessed little if any spiritual impact of the students that I dealt with. I have also observed a great willingness by many to believe historical and current lies. To me, this does not bode well for our country.


Application: On the other hand, where I was once aware of one very doctrinal church; now I am aware of a half dozen doctrinal churches which are spread throughout the US. Unfortunately, in my church, the missionaries seem to be older—my age; and I don’t see any coming up to replace them. I hope that things are better in these other churches. We need to have a significant number of believers who are growing and maturing. From this group, we need to have those who teach and we need to have those who evangelize and those who are missionaries. This will be the key to our continuation as a client nation to God. We need in this nation a pivot, as Bob Thieme Jr. has said—this is a significant percentage of believers who are growing and their spiritual gift or gifts are functioning. This is the hope—and the only hope—of our nation.


And so they call a name of the place the that, Bochim; and so they slaughter [animal sacrifices] there to Yehowah.

Judges

2:5

And so they called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there to Yehowah.

Therefore, they called the name of that place Bochim, and there they sacrificed to Jehovah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they call a name of the place the that, Bochim; and so they slaughter [animal sacrifices] there to Yehowah.

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

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       ...and they offered sacrifices to the LORD. From then on, they called that place "Crying."

The Message                         They named the place Bokim (Weepers). And there they sacrificed to GOD.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         So they called that place Bochim [Those Who Cry]. They offered sacrifices there to the LORD.

HCSB                                     So they named that place Bochim and offered sacrifices there to the LORD.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

MKJV                                     And they called the name of that place The Place of Weeping. And they sacrificed there to Jehovah.

Young's Literal Translation     And they call the name of that place Bochim, and sacrifice there to Jehovah.


What is the gist of this verse? The Israelites name the place where they have cried before God Bochiim, which means weepers; and they offer up sacrifices to God there.


Judges 2:5a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qârâ (א ָר ָק) [pronounced kaw-RAW]

to call, to proclaim, to read, to call to, to call out to, to assemble, to summon; to call, to name [when followed by a lâmed]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #7121 BDB #894

shêm (ם ֵש) [pronounced shame]

name, reputation, character

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #8034 BDB #1027

mâqôwm (םקָמ) [pronounced maw-KOHM]

place, situated; for a soldier, it may mean where he is stationed; for people in general, it would be their place of abode (which could be their house or their town)

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #4725 BDB #879

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that; this

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with the definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

Bôkîym (םי  ̣כֹ) [pronounced boh-KEEM]

weeping, crying; weepers; transliterated Bochum

proper masculine noun with the definite article; the active plural participle of to weep, to cry

Strong’s #1066 BDB #114

 

Translation: And so they called the name of that place Bochim,... In the Hebrew, Bochim is Bôkîym (םי  ̣כֹ) [pronounced boh-KEEM], and this proper noun is only found in Judges 1:1, 5. It comes from the verb bâkâh (ה ָכ ָ) [pronounced baw-KAW], which means to weep, to cry, to bewail. The im in Hebrew is the plural ending, so this means weepers or crybabies. Bâkâh was the last word in the previous verse (it was in the Qal imperfect). There are several ideas as to where Bochim is. ZPEB suggests that it is close to Gilgal (because of v. 1—as though, if it were a long distance, God might not have made the trip). They also suggest that there is a tree of weeping near Bethel (Gen. 35:8), but that assumes that there was nowhere else in the Land of Promise which was associated with weeping. However, in Gen. 35:8, this is associated with the death of Rebekah’s nurse. So, even though the words are similar, this is incorrect.


As we have covered most recently, the Ark was definitely in Shiloh, then Bethel, and then back in Shiloh during the early time of the judges (see the Movement of the Ark of God and the Tent of Meeting). The designation Bochum may have simply referred to where the Angel of Jehovah met and spoke with them. It would be more of a large open area, and designated Bochim; and not necessarily the name of some newly established city.


Apparently, the Alexandrian Septuagint has Bethel here instead, so that Bochim is often associated with Bethel. Since this is not the general reading, it could be that a scholar involved in translating the Hebrew into Greek, knew of the movement of the Ark, and concluded that the place we are speaking of is Bethel. Although it is possible and even reasonable that those who translated the Septuagint were believers (or became believers as a result); but this does not mean that some may have taken some unwarranted liberties with the text (again, we do not find Bethel in the Hebrew, the beta LXX, the Latin or in the Syriac—strong evidence to indicate that the Alexandrian Septuagint reading is incorrect.


Judges 2:5b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

zâbach (חַבָז) [pronounced zawb-VAHKH]

to slaughter [usually an animal for sacrifice]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #2076 BDB #256

shâm (ם ָש) [pronounced shawm]

there; at that time, then; therein, in that thing

adverb

Strong’s #8033 BDB #1027

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and they sacrificed there to Yehowah. My first guess is, we are now at Shiloh; God would go up with Israel from Gilgal to Shiloh (which was their progression—Joshua 14:6 18:1). At that point, the tabernacle seems to be in Shiloh, although this is not something that we can state with absolute certainty. Furthermore, we cannot state with absolute certainty that the sacrificing of animals means that this is done at the altar outside the Tent of God. We have times during which animals were sacrificed apart from Tent worship (Judges 6:20, 26, 28 13:16–20 2Sam. 24:25). The fact that anyone in the book of Judges offered a sacrifice apart from the Tent of Meeting does not prove that this was acceptable, although it would make sense that where the Angel of God appears, that an animal sacrifice would be in order, regardless of where the Tent of Meeting was.


However, the problem with that interpretation is, the adverb there, which seems to clearly indicate that we are in Bochim, when the Angel of the Lord spoke to them, and where they wept. This would not be a matter of the Israelites to just start sacrificing anywhere (despite Joshua 22). You see, still we have God speaking to the people, and that would imply that He spoke to them from the tabernacle or in the vicinity of the tabernacle. God would not just appear in some miscellaneous spot in His dealings with Israel—particularly since the laws concerning sacrifice are so stringent.


When it came to offering sacrifices, God was very specific. That is, there were not to be tabernacles scattered all over the land of Israel where sacrifices were offered. In fact, for 3 of the sacrificial holidays, the men of Israel had to go to where the Tabernacle was located in order to celebrate their relationship to Jesus Christ.

Therefore, we have a bit of a problem—is Bochim equivalent to Shiloh (where the Tabernacle is); was the Tabernacle moved to Bochim?

The Location of the Tent of God

Evidence which favors Shiloh as Bochim

Evidence against Shiloh being Bochim

1.      God spoke to Israel at Bochim (Judges 2:1–5).

2.      The tabernacle was at Shiloh (Joshua 18:1 19:51 Judges 18:31 1Sam. 1:24 4:3).

3.      Animal sacrificing occurred in Bochim (Judges 2:5) and animal sacrifice should only occur at the tabernacle (Joshua 22:10–27, 29).

4.      Animal sacrifices occurred first at Gilgal (Joshua 5:10) and then, presumably, at Shiloh, where the tabernacle was relocated (Joshua 18:1 1Sam. 1:3).

5.      Shiloh seemed to be a natural gathering place for Israel (Joshua 22:12 Judges 21:19).

6.      The Angel of God going up from Gilgal to Shiloh would be following the recorded movements of Israel (Joshua 4:19 14:6 18:1 Judges 2:1).

7.      It was clearly there prior to the time of the Book of Judges (Joshua 18:1) and immediately after (1Sam. 4:3), although, for awhile, the ark was at Bethel (Judges 20:27).

1.      It is possible that the Ark was moved about during the time of the book of the Judges as it was moved after that time period (1Sam. 4:3–5) and, at least once during that time period (Judges 20:27).

2.      The tabernacle therefore may have been at Shiloh and then maybe it wasn’t. It was clearly in Bethel for a time (Judges 20:27).

3.      Although it is likely that God spoke to Israel from the tabernacle, (1) the tabernacle was not necessarily in Shiloh, and (2) it is not stated in this passage that God did speak to Israel from the tabernacle.

4.      Not all animal sacrifices are offered from the tabernacle; there are a few rare instances where these were offered because of God’s presence (Judges 6:20, 26, 28 13:16–20 2Sam. 24:25).

5.      If Israel moved the tabernacle, then the fact that the Angel of Jehovah went from Gilgal to Bochim does not signify anything.

6.      We find Bethel named in the Greek Septuagint.

Other places suggested:

Evidence in favor:

Shechem

Shechem, Bethel and Shiloh are all pretty close together (Judges 21:19).

Bethel

This is what is found in the Alexandrian Septuagint (I apparently read that somewhere, as I do not have a copy of it myself). Bethel is also associated with weeping and with the location of the ark during the time of the Book of the Judges (Judges 20:26–27). In fact, some theologians suggest that the event recorded here is equivalent to recorded in Judges 20:26–27, which is not unreasonable.

Allon-bacuth

This place is associated with weeping (Gen. 35:8). This is Bethel, by the way (read the reference passage).

One of the things that we should bear in mind here is, the text seems to unequivocally indicate that the Jews wept when the Angel of the Lord spoke to them; that they called this place a place of weeping; and that they offered sacrifices there. Furthermore, there is no evidence that Bochim = Shiloh; that is, nowhere in our text, do we have the statement Shiloh was known as Bochim at that time. For this reason, I would think that these are separate cities; although it is possible and reasonable that the Tabernacle had been relocated for a time in Bochim.


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Again, there is no reason to suppose that the name Bochim refers to the name of a city, but simply to the meeting place where these Israelites encountered Jesus Christ. Given that the Tabernacle would have been far too small for such a meeting would indicate that God spoke to them in an adjacent large clearing or valley.


One of the possibilities that we should explore is whether this incident is equivalent to what occurs in Judges 20. We read in Judges 20:24–28, which deals, in part, with a small civil war. Then the sons of Israel came against the sons of Benjamin the second day and Benjamin went out against them from Gibeah the second day and destroyed to the ground again 18,000 men of the sons of Israel, all whom drew the sword. Then all the sons of Israel and all the people went up and came to Bethel and wept; thus they remained there before Jehovah and fasted that day until evening. And they offered burnt offerings and peace offerings before Jehovah. And the sons of Israel inquired of Jehovah (for the ark of the covenant of God was there in those days, and Phinehas ben Eleazar, Aaron’s son, stood before it to minister in those days), saying, “Should I still again go out to battle against the sons of my brother Benjamin or should I cease?” And Jehovah said, “Go up, for tomorrow, I will deliver them into your hand.” It is clear that this is a different situation, but there are certainly parallels. Furthermore, the incident recorded in this first portion of Judges 2 does not have to be in any sort of order. The vocabulary and sentence structure of Judges 1 and 2 and completely different (and it is more than just a difference in subject matter), indicating that we have different authors. The death of Joshua mentioned in the beginning of Judges 1 and in the middle of Judges 2 means that we are not dealing with linear thinkers here. Finally, this chapter 2 of the Book of Judges seems to provide us with an overview of what is to come, meaning that this incident could have occurred anytime during the time of the judges (however, I have given compelling reasons why the Angel of Jehovah probably spoke to the generation of promise and to the 2 generations which followed them).


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Joshua’s Death


It may seem weird that we are suddenly mentioning Joshua’s death, given that it is mentioned at the end of the book of Joshua and at the beginning of this book; however, just bear with me on this, and I will explain what is going on, and, for most of you, it will make perfect sense. Also, this is continued in the next section about Israel’s apostasy. That is, there is a hard break between this and the previous section; but not between this section and the next.


And so dismisses Joshua the people and so go sons of Israel a man to his inheritance to possess the land.

Judges

2:6

And so Joshua dismissed the people and the sons of Israel each went to his inheritance to possess the land.

And Joshua had dismissed the people and every one of the sons of Israel went to his own inheritance to possess the land.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so dismisses Joshua the people and so go sons of Israel a man to his inheritance to possess the land.

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

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Joshua had been faithful to the LORD. And after Joshua sent the Israelites to take the land they had been promised, they remained faithful to the LORD until Joshua died at the age of one hundred ten. He was buried on his land in Timnath-Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Even though Joshua was gone, the Israelites were faithful to the LORD during the lifetime of those men who had been leaders with Joshua and who had seen the wonderful things the LORD had done for Israel. [This is vv. 6–9).

The Message                         After Joshua had dismissed them, the People of Israel went off to claim their allotted territories and take possession of the land.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         Now, Joshua sent the people of Israel home. So each family went to take possession of the territory they had inherited.

HCSB                                     Joshua sent the people away, and the Israelites went to take possession of the land, each to his own inheritance.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land.

MKJV                                     And when Joshua had let the people go, the sons of Israel left, each man to his inheritance, to possess the land.

Young's Updated LT              And Joshua sent the people away, and the sons of Israel go, each to his inheritance, to possess the land.


What is the gist of this verse? After distributing the land to the sons of Israel, Joshua sends the people to their inheritance and they go to take it.


Judges 2:6a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâlach (ח ַל ָש) [pronounced shaw-LAKH]

to send, to send off, to send away, to dismiss, to give over, to cast out, to let go, to set free, to shoot forth [branches], to shoot [an arrow]

3rd person masculine singular, Piel imperfect

Strong’s #7971 BDB #1018

Yehôwshûa׳ ( ַע ֻשה  ׃י) [pronounced yehoh-SHOO-ahģ]

whose salvation is Yehowah or Yehowah is salvation; transliterated Joshua or Yeshuah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3091 BDB #221

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766


Translation: And so Joshua dismissed the people... Now, even the most obstinate of the exegetes does not claim that this is in chronological order. Obviously, we do not have the following sequence of events: Joshua dies in Judges 1:1, then several things happened, and then Joshua dies again in this passage. This verse either concludes the section which we just read or it precludes the next section. The previous section seems to be out of wack with Joshua 24:31, which reads: And Israel served Jehovah all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who survived Joshua, and had known all the deeds of Jehovah, which He had done for Israel. It is obvious that, given the old sin nature, that every believer was not in fellowship during the entirety of Joshua’s remaining life and that after his death, everyone went out of fellowship. We are dealing with generalities here. It is clear by that verse in Joshua that, in general, the people obeyed God. Much of this is recorded in the previous chapter. Joshua was still alive, yet in semi-retirement. That is, now and again, he spoke to the people of Israel; but he apparently no longer led them in war (recall, he and Caleb are the last of a generation which has already died out in the desert). The people moved into their land and some of the tribes began to take the portions allotted to them by God. However, not all of their campaigns were successful, and the previous passage explains why. Given the end of Joshua and the first chapter and a half here, we can conclude that the successful campaigns generally occurred during Joshua’s lifetime and for several years afterward, but that they became less and less successful as time progressed. Vv. 1–5 explains this.


A time line at this point is rather difficult. As gentiles, we tend to think chronologically. We expect that the incident with the Angel of the Lord occurs first, and then Joshua sends the people away to possess the land which he had distributed to them. The problem with this understanding is, the Angel of Jehovah said, “You were not to make any covenants with the people living in this land; instead, you were to destroy their altars; why have you disobeyed my command?” (Judges 2:2). Under Joshua, after taking the Land of Promise, it does not appear as though there were any unwillingness to destroy the altars of their enemies; and there are no covenants made (except with the Gibeonites). Of course, their faith waivered now and again; and was imperfect; but, for the most part, the taking of the land was successful. Distribution of the land seems to have occurred without incident; and if the people are being dismissed to the land, it would logically make more sense for the individual tribes to fail after going to the cities given to them by God. My point in this is, taking v. 6 to occur chronologically after vv. 1–5 just does not agree with the text; and, in the Hebrew mind, it is not necessary for v. 6 to chronologically follow vv. 1–5. For this reason, near the end of this chapter, I will set up a linear time line to cover the incidents of this and previous chapters.


Maybe I can explain the reasoning like this: at the end of the book of Joshua, we are on a high. Israel has taken the land, Joshua is retired, but speaking great things near the end of his life, and God gives Israel rest from the enemies at every side (Joshua 23:1). Well, in Judges 1, only Judah and Simeon continue with the process of taking the land given them by God; the other tribes do not move forward with this mandate. Furthermore, in vv. 1–5, God speaks to Israel so harshly, that they break down and cry. How did we come to this point in Israel’s history, from great victory to what appears to be a sudden low point? The author of the book of Judges stops to explain—and this is Judges 2:6–23. He explains how Israel moved from great victory to God chewing them out; and why God did not remove all of the heathen from the land—not initially in Joshua’s taking of the land; and not after Israel had moved into her cities. In fact, after we cover this material, I will go into great detail explaining the Jewish logic in the presentation of this material. Footnote


This table will be somewhat repetitive; almost every exegete that I read see this chapter the same way.

Exegetes Explain Why this Narrative Suddenly Returns to Joshua

Commentator

Commentary

Clarke

The author of this book is giving here a history of the people, from the division of the land by Joshua to the time in which the angel speaks. Joshua divided the land to them by lot; recommended obedience to God, which they solemnly promised: and they continued faithful during his life, and during the lives of those who had been his contemporaries, but who had survived him. When all that generation who had seen the wondrous works of God in their behalf had died, then the succeeding generation [or, their sons Footnote ], who knew not the Lord - who had not seen his wondrous works - forsook his worship, and worshipped Baalim and Ashtaroth, the gods of the nations among whom they lived, and thus the Lord was provoked to anger; and this was the reason why they were delivered into the hands of their enemies. This is the sum of their history to the time in which the angel delivers his message. Footnote

Gill

What follows connects the history of Israel, and to show them how they fell into idolatry, and [why they are] so under the divine displeasure, which brought them into distress, from which they were delivered at various times by judges of his own raising up, which is the subject matter of this book. Footnote

Henry

The beginning of this paragraph is only a repetition of what account we had before of the people's good character during the government of Joshua, and of his death and burial (Joshua 24:29–30), which comes in here again only to make way for the following account, which this chapter gives, of their degeneracy and apostasy. The angel had foretold that the Canaanites and their idols would be a snare to Israel; now the historian undertakes to show that they were so, and, that this may appear the more clear, he looks back a little, and takes notice. Footnote

Jamieson, Fausset and Brown

Judges  2:6-10 is a repetition of Joshua.  It was inserted here to give the reader the reasons which called forth so strong and severe a rebuke from the angel of the Lord. During the lifetime of the first occupiers, who retained a vivid recollection of all the miracles and judgments which they had witnessed in Egypt and the desert, the national character stood high for faith and piety. But, in course of time, a new race arose who were strangers to all the hallowed and solemnizing experience of their fathers, and too readily yielded to the corrupting influences of the idolatry that surrounded them. Footnote

Keil and Delitzsch

The account of this development of the covenant nation, which commenced after the death of Joshua and his contemporaries, is attached to the book of Joshua by a simple repetition of the closing verses of that book (Joshua 24:28–31) in Judges 2:6–10, with a few unimportant differences, not only to form a link between Joshua and Judges 2:11, and to resume the thread of the history which was broken off by the summary just given of the results of the wars between the Israelites and Canaanites (Bertheau), but rather to bring out sharply and clearly the contrast between the age that was past and the period of the Israelitish history that was just about to commence. Footnote

It is always nice to find some of my exposition solidly supported by commentators from the past. Footnote I include these repetitive explanations so that your gentile sensibilities in the realm of chronology can be soothed over.


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Judges 2:6b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

bânîym (םי.נָ) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

îysh (שי ̣א) [pronounced eesh]

a man, a husband; anyone; a certain one; each, each one, everyone

masculine singular noun

Strong's #376 BDB #35

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

nachălâh (ה ָל ֲחַנ) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635


Translation: ...and the sons of Israel each went to his inheritance... The proper chronological order is, Joshua and the people of Israel conquered the land; however, they did not destroy each and every heathen outpost and city in the Land of Promise. Then Joshua parceled out the land (this was done, apparently, in two stages). Then Joshua dismissed the sons of Israel to go to the land which they had been given in the land distribution.


What we have here would be an amazing time for the generation of promise (the generation which followed Joshua’s generation). They were mostly raised in the desert—not necessarily wandering, but stalled in one place for 38½ years (you may recall, God led them by the pillar of fire and the cloud; so if the pillar of fire and the cloud came to a stop, then Israel stopped). The faithless parents of this generation, Gen X, all died out; and then Moses led the people up to the Land of Promise; and Joshua led them into the Land of Promise. What followed was probably less than a decade of war which secured many of the larger cities. And now, after receiving their land distribution, all of these tired soldiers can lead their wives and children into the land which they had just conquered, to find houses which they did not build, and wells which they had not dug; and lead almost a normal life. For someone raised in a tent, and then going into battle day after day, this was going to be an amazing thing. It is much like those in the United States who returned from World War II: they had grown up in the Great Depression; then they went to war; and now they could return home, marry, have children, and enjoy their lives. They went through a dark period of time, but that has all changed.


Judges 2:6c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

yârash (שַרָי) [pronounced yaw-RASH]

to possess, to take possession of, to occupy a geographical area [by driving out the previous occupants], to take possession of anyone [or their goods]; to inherit, to possess; to expel, to drive out

Qal infinitive construct

Strong’s #3423 BDB #439

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, ground, soil

feminine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #Ø76 BDB #75


Translation: ...to possess the land. The Israelites fan out to take the land which was distributed to them. They were supposed to conquer their particular area and to drive out the heathen that were there. However, they did not, which is what we are told in the previous chapter.


What is important here is to see how this is relevant. That is, why do we suddenly have the death of Joshua here? It carefully leads us from his generation to the generation which followed soon thereafter. I described my world as a child to my students and there were some stark contrasts. I told them that in the 50’s, people didn’t lock the doors of their house; and they left their keys in the ignition of their car, so that they would know where to find them. That is what this author is doing. He is telling about how things used to be during the days of Joshua and the time immediately following his death; and then how degenerate the later generations became.

 

Keil and Delitzsch write: The death of Joshua...brings out sharply and clearly the contrast between the age that was past and the period of the Israelitish history that was just about to commence. Footnote


Now, what is reasonably possible is, the history of these times is pieced together from several historical documents which were available to the editor—who may have been Samuel, the last judge of this age. However, this does not mean that the final document is just going to be a mishmash of events; recall that God the Holy Spirit moved men as they wrote Scripture, and that Scripture is God-breathed. Therefore, even if Samuel here does not have the big picture, God the Holy Spirit does.


And so serve the people Yehowah all days of Joshua and all days of the elders who prolonged days after Joshua, who saw all work of Yehowah the great which He had done for Israel.

Judges

2:7

And so the people had served Yehowah all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who lived [lit., prolonged days] after Joshua, who saw all the great works of Yehowah which He had done for Israel.

Essentially, the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua—the ones who actually observed all the great work which Jehovah had done on behalf of Israel.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so serve the people Yehowah all days of Joshua and all days of the elders who prolonged days after Joshua, who saw all work of Yehowah the great which He had done for Israel.

Septuagint                              And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived [Hebrew: prolonged days after] Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         The people worshiped GOD throughout the lifetime of Joshua and the time of the leaders who survived him, leaders who had been in on all of GOD's great work that he had done for Israel.

NLT                                        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.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The people served the LORD throughout Joshua's lifetime and throughout the lifetimes of the leaders who had outlived him and who had seen all the spectacular works the LORD had done for Israel.

HCSB                                     The people worshiped the LORD throughout Joshua's lifetime and during the lifetimes of the elders who outlived Joshua. They had seen all the LORD's great works He had done for Israel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And 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.

MKJV                                     And the people served Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of Jehovah that He did for Israel.

Young's Updated LT              And the people serve Jehovah all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who prolonged days after Joshua, who saw all the great work of Jehovah which He did to Israel.


What is the gist of this verse? We are told that it is not the generation of promise whose behavior goes awry after entering the land; they are said to serve Jehovah and are identified as the ones who observed the great works of God which He accomplished in Israel.


Judges 2:7a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbad (ד ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

3rd person masculine plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

׳am (ם ַע) [pronounced ģahm]

people; race, tribe; family, relatives; citizens, common people; companions, servants; entire human race; herd [of animals]

masculine singular collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

yâmîym (םי.מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

Yehôwshûa׳ ( ַע ֻשה  ׃י) [pronounced yehoh-SHOO-ahģ]

whose salvation is Yehowah or Yehowah is salvation; transliterated Joshua or Yeshuah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3091 BDB #221


Translation: And so the people had served Yehowah all the days of Joshua... You may notice that this is almost identical to Joshua 24:31. The author is explaining something to us. We might be reading along and think to ourselves, wasn’t Israel faithful to God after being taken through the desert into the Land of Promise? For the most part, they were. Once Israel entered the land, they began to quickly take on the various heathen who lived within the land. This verse will indicate that Israel was relatively faithful, while Joshua was alive, and while the elders who observed the great works during his life were alive.


There is a disconnect of sorts. At some point, Israel began to intermarry with the heathen still in the land, agree to contracts with them, attend their heathen worship ceremonies; and Israel clearly did not take the remaining cities, which God would have given them. This requires some explanation. The generation of promise came into the land. Joshua and Caleb, by this time, were very old men. They moved to their cities and settled in. The generation of promise also moved to their cities and settled in. Their respect for and worship of Jehovah was maintained. They had the Law of Moses, and it is apparent that they observed the Law while in the land (obviously, all men have old sin natures, so we are not talking perfect obedience here, but general overall obedience). When they entered into the land, they had their children, who began to grow up. The generation of promise is to pass the torch of spiritual obedience to their sons and daughters, who, in turn, pass it along to the next generation. This would include not just observance of the Law but organizing to take the remaining cities in their inheritance. Only Judah and Simeon took this responsibility. Whether the generation of promise moved forward with taking the remaining cities, or whether this was their sons, we do not know. But, at some point, in one of the two following generations, God’s spiritual authority broke down. The author makes it clear to us that the generation of promise remained faithful.


Judges 2:7b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

with a plural noun, it is rendered all of, all; any of

masculine singular construct with a masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

yâmîym (םי.מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

zâkên (ן ֵקָז) [pronounced zaw-KANE]

elders

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong’s #2205 BDB #278

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

ârake (-רָא) [pronounced aw-RAHK]

to make long, to extend, to lengthen; to prolong [one’s life]; to be long, to be long-lived; to retard, to delay, to defer

3rd person plural, Hiphil perfect

Strong’s #748 BDB #73

yâmîym (םי.מָי) [pronounced yaw-MEEM]

days, a set of days; time of life, lifetime; a specific time period, a year

masculine plural noun

Strong’s #3117 BDB #398

achărêy (י̤רֲח ַא) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

hinder parts; behind, after; following; after that, afterwards

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

Yehôwshûa׳ ( ַע ֻשה  ׃י) [pronounced yehoh-SHOO-ahģ]

whose salvation is Yehowah or Yehowah is salvation; transliterated Joshua or Yeshuah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3091 BDB #221


Translation: ...and all the days of the elders who lived [lit., prolonged days] after Joshua,... When Joshua died, you may recall that he encouraged those around him to be faithful to God and to trust Jehovah God. These men observed some of what God did on behalf of Israel in the desert; they observed what God did to displace the Canaanites in the land on behalf of Israel. In about 50 years, Israel went from being a people under slavery to a people ruling over the Land of Promise. Here, we are speaking of the elders who observed this happen; those who lived past Joshua (Joshua was from the previous generation; all of his generation had died out before entering the land, except for Caleb). .


Judges 2:7c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

rââh (ה ָאָר) [pronounced raw-AWH]

to see, to look, to look at, to view, to behold; to perceive, to understand, to learn, to know

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong's #7200 BDB #906

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

every, each, all of, all; any of, any

masculine singular construct not followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

ma׳ăseh (הֲעַמ) [pronounced mah-ğa-SEH

deed, act, action, work, production, that which is produced [property, goods, crops]; that which anyone makes or does; a course of action; a business

masculine singular construct

Strong's #4639 BDB #795

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

gâdôwl (לד ָ) [pronounced gaw-DOHL]

large, great or mighty [in power, nobility, wealth; in number, or magnitude and extent], loud, older, important, distinguished; vast, unyielding, immutable, significant, astonishing

masculine singular adjective with a definite article

Strong’s #1419 BDB #152

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

 

Translation: ...who saw all the great works of Yehowah which He had done for Israel. Since we exegeted most of this back in Joshua 24:31, we don’t need to again. However, we do have an adjective here which was not there: the masculine singular of gâdôwl (לד ָ) [pronounced gaw-DOHL], which means great (in magnitude, extent and number).


These elders saw for themselves the great works which God did on behalf of Israel.


Now, hopefully you have noticed that this appears to be word-for-word from the end of the book of Joshua. There are slight differences, however, although both passages mean essentially the same thing. I will place these side-by-side and give a very literal rendition of the verses:


The Parallel Passages of Joshua and Judges

And so dismissed Joshua the people and so went sons of Israel a man to his inheritance to possess the land.

Judges

2:6

Joshua

24:28

And so dismissed Joshua the people a man to his inheritance.

And so served the people Yehowah all [the] days of Joshua and all [the] days of the elders who prolonged days beyond Joshua, who saw all work of Yehowah the great which He had done for Israel.

Judges

2:7

Joshua

24:31

And so served Israel Yehowah all of [the] days of Joshua and all of [the] days of the elders who prolonged days beyond Joshua and who knew all of [the] work of Yehowah which He did for Israel.

And so died Joshua son of Nun, a servant of Yehowah, a son of a hundred and ten years. And so they buried him in [the] border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres in [the] hill country of Ephraim from north of to a mountain of Gaash.

Judges

2:8–9

Joshua

24:29–30

And so he was after the words the these and so died Joshua ben Nun, a servant of Yehowah, a son of a hundred and ten years. And so they buried him in a border of his inheritance, Timnath-serah, which [is] in a hill country of Ephraim from north to mountains of Gaash.

As you can see, these verses are more than coincidently close in verbiage. It is clear that the same person wrote them or one copied from the other. What is the most likely scenario is that there would be a pocket of men—a pivot, as Thieme would call them—who were faithful to God. They read the Scriptures and they studied what Moses and Joshua both wrote. They were familiar with these things and brought them in by way of explanation and coherence. They did not necessarily copy word-for-word, but they either knew the Scriptures well enough to quote them by memory, or they copied them from the existing manuscripts, making an occasional change now and again (I take the same liberties with the NASB; I generally translate Lord as Jehovah; shall as will, etc.). No major changes, just minor ones which suit my own vocabulary and which, to my way of thinking, better convey the thought of Scripture.

In my opinion, Phinehas probably tacked on the final couple chapters of Joshua; and that Samuel (or another author) incorporated what Phinehas wrote into his book, in which he chronicled the time of the judges.


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Charts, Maps and Short Doctrines


What is important in this verse is the testimony that the people of Israel were faithful to God during the time of Joshua and for awhile thereafter. This means that we do not have widespread idolatry, intermarriage, or anything like that—not done by those of the generation of promise. We have the beginnings of the tribe of Judah getting down to business and expelling their enemies from the land. For a short while, for the space of a few decades, Israel does what Israel is supposed to do.

 

Barnes estimates this time period to be roughly fifty years, which is a reasonable estimate. He explains: If Joshua was about 80 at the entrance into Canaan, 30 years would bring us to the close of his life. The “elders” would be all that were old enough to take part in the wars of Canaan Judges 3:1–2; and therefore, reckoning from the age of 20 to 70, a period of about 50 years may be assigned from the entrance into Canaan to the death of the elders, or 20 years after the death of Joshua. Footnote


And so dies Joshua ben Nun, a servant of Yehowah, a son of one hundred and ten years.

Judges

2:8

And Joshua ben Nun, a servant of Yehowah, died; [at] the age of [lit., a son of] one hundred and ten years, died.

And Joshua, the servant of Jehovah, the son of Nun, died at the age of 110.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so dies Joshua ben Nun, a servant of Yehowah, a son of one hundred and ten years.

Septuagint                              And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         Then Joshua son of Nun, the servant of GOD, died. He was 110 years old.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The LORD'S servant Joshua, son of Nun, died at the age of 110.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of 110 years.

Young's Updated LT              And Joshua son of Nun, servant of Jehovah, died, a son of a hundred and ten years.


What is the gist of this verse? Joshua’s death is chronicled here; he dies at the age of 110.


Judges 2:8a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

mûwth (תמ) [pronounced mooth]

to die; to perish, to be destroyed

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong's #4191 BDB #559

Yehôwshûa׳ ( ַע ֻשה  ׃י) [pronounced yehoh-SHOO-ahģ]

whose salvation is Yehowah or Yehowah is salvation; transliterated Joshua or Yeshuah

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3091 BDB #221

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Nûwn (ןנ) [pronounced noon]

to propagate, to increase; posterity; fish; transliterated Nun

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #5126 BDB #630

׳ebed (ד ב ע) [pronounced ĢEB-ved]

slave, servant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #5650 BDB #713

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: And Joshua ben Nun, a servant of Yehowah, died;... What we are being set up for is Israel’s behavior, which follows Joshua’s death, and the death of the elders who supported him.


We covered the servant of Jehovah briefly in the introduction to Joshua under the heading Joshua. It is an honored, exalted position. Moses is given this title throughout Scripture: Deut. 34:5 Joshua 1:1, 13, 15 8:31, 33 12:6 13:8 14:7 18:7 22:2, 4–5 2Kings 18:12 2Chron. 24:6. Moses is called the servant of God in 1Chron. 6:49 2Chron. 24:9 Neh. 10:29 Daniel 9:11 Rev. 15:3. Interestingly enough, Joshua is called the servant of the Lord only twice: Joshua 24:29 Judges 2:8; and David but once (Psalm 18:1). Footnote When it comes to the New Testament, a civil ruler is called a servant of God (Rom. 13:4); Paul calls himself this in Titus 1:1; and James refers to himself this way in James 1:1.


Application: We find servant of the Lord but once in the New Testament, in 2Tim. 2:24; and here, it may be applied to all believers (not just to those who are pastor-teachers). This should be quite an important passage. You see, in the Old Testament, only 3 believers are called servants of Jehovah and, I don’t know about you, but I don’t feel as if I could compare myself to these men in any way. I look at the life of Moses, how faithful he was; and how his failings were so few; and I look at my life and think, what a loser! But we are all given God the Holy Spirit; we are all capable of producing divine good. We are all capable of having an impact for Jesus Christ. We are all capable of doing things whose results will last forever. I don’t mean just as a pastor-teacher or as a missionary, whose very lives are given completely over to the service of God, but every believer has this potential; you are a servant of God and you have the ability to produce perfect, divine good. We live during the intensified stage of the angelic conflict; we all are indwelt by God the Holy Spirit. We all have instant access to the filling of the Holy Spirit. Once we are filled with the Spirit, we are producing divine good. When we have some spiritual maturity, then we are producing even greater divine good. An analogous situation is a person who is learning a craft: a cabinet maker, for instance. At the beginning of his career, he can produce a cabinet, albeit slowly and he will be limited as to what he is able to do. However, after he has grown in his profession, he can produce cabinets much faster and a much greater variety of cabinets. For us, it is the same way. Our spiritual production as babies is limited—for instance, early on, we may not even have a full understanding of the gospel; however, as we grow, we get to a point where we understand the gospel completely and have several ways of presenting it (which should not require you to memorize a speech). Obviously, as grown-up believers—believers who know the gospel of Jesus Christ well—we are much better at witnessing. This is only one example; as witnessing is not the only divine good that we produce. Simply living your life with integrity is divine good. Living up to your financial responsibilities; not giving in to lust; being honest, working hard—these are day in and day out activities that we all are involved in.


Application: I know a number of people who have told me immediately that they are believers in Jesus Christ. Well, they tell me they are Christians. And, most often, these are the people who will cheat me, who will lie to me. If I was an unbeliever, these people would have reinforced again and again how hypocritical Christians are. If you are going to lie to your boss; if you are going to cheat your landlord; if you are going to not pay a bill you promise to pay; then don’t tell anyone that you are a Christian. Keep that a secret! If you are unable to live up to what you promise to do; if you cannot be trusted or believed, then giving your testimony or witnessing is not a good thing. If you simultaneously lie to someone, and then self-righteously say, “The Lord will see to my needs;” you are not being a witness for Jesus Christ; you are being an embarrassment to Him.


Application: Now, so you don’t get concerned—you may be the biggest loser anyone has ever met; and the biggest liar and cheat—but if you have believed in Jesus Christ, then you are saved and saved forever. You may be under divine discipline for all of your life; you may be the biggest embarrassment to Jesus Christ in the history of man; you may not produce even a thimble-full of divine good; and God may keep you alive to do nothing but ambush other believers; but if you have trusted in Jesus Christ, then you have been saved forever. Just don’t tell anyone who knows you too well.


Judges 2:8b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

bên (ן ֵ) [pronounced bane]

son, descendant

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

mêâh (ה ָא ֵמ) [pronounced may-AW]

one hundred, a hundred, hundred

feminine singular numeral

Strong’s #3967 BDB #547

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

׳eser (ר∵∵ע) [pronounced ĢEH-ser]

ten

masculine numeral

Strong’s #6235 BDB #796

shânâh (הָנָש) [pronounced shaw-NAW]

year

feminine plural noun

Strong’s #8141 BDB #1040


Translation:...[at] the age of [lit., a son of] one hundred and ten years, died. We discussed Joshua’s age back in Joshua 24:29. My thinking was that he was as old as Caleb and perhaps older by a decade or so. Between the time that Israel conquered Canaan and his death, at the most, twenty-five years passed (and possibly as little as fifteen); the elders, which, recall, will be twenty years his junior (their parents—Joshua’s contemporaries—were killed by God in the desert). So, after the taking of Canaan, Israel spent about forty years in the land until the older generation died out—the generation of promise. During that time period, many of the events of Judges 1 take place. There may have been some overlap—that is, it is possible that some tribes, after hearing that the Angel of Jehovah had cursed them, decided to try to take some of their cities, and were unsuccessful (this is a theory; and it assumes that the Israelites did the same thing their fathers did in the desert in Num. 13–14).


And so they bury him in a border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres in a hill country of Ephraim from north of to a mountain of Gaash.

Judges

2:9

They buried him within the border of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres (in the hill country of Ephraim) north of the mountain of Gaash.

They buried him within the border of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres, which is in the hill country of Ephraim north of the mountain of Gaash.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they bury him in a border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres in a hill country of Ephraim from north of to a mountain of Gaash.

 

eptuagint                                And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       Joshua had been faithful to the LORD. And after Joshua sent the Israelites to take the land they had been promised, they remained faithful to the LORD until Joshua died at the age of one hundred ten. He was buried on his land in Timnath-Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash. Even though Joshua was gone, the Israelites were faithful to the LORD during the lifetime of those men who had been leaders with Joshua and who had seen the wonderful things the LORD had done for Israel. [vv. 6–9].

The Message                         They buried him in his allotted inheritance at Timnath Heres in the hills of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         He was buried at Timnath Heres within the territory he had inherited. This was in the mountains of Ephraim north of Mount Gaash.

HCSB                                     They buried him in the territory of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of Mount Gaash.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And they buried him within the boundaries of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, north of the mountain of Gaash.

Young's Updated LT              And they bury him in the border of his inheritance, in Timnath-Heres, in the hill-country of Ephraim, on the north of mount Gaash.


What is the gist of this verse? Joshua is buried within the borders of his inheritance in Timnath-Heres, which is in the hill country of Ephraim and north of Mount Gaash.


Judges 2:9a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

It is typical for each sentence—in fact, each thought—to begin with a wâw consecutive in the Hebrew. However, it is not necessary in an English translation to include a connective at every such juncture, as our language does not necessarily require that for successive thoughts or actions.

qâbar (רַבָק) [pronounced kaw-BAHR]

to bury, to heap up a mound

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6912 BDB #868

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

gebûl (לב׃) [pronounced geb-VOOL]

border, boundary, territory

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #1366 BDB #147

nachălâh (ה ָל ֲחַנ) [pronounced nah-khuh-LAW]

inheritance, possession, property, heritage

feminine singular noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #5159 BDB #635

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

Timenath (ת-נ מ  ̣) [pronounced tim-NAHTH]

portion of, territory of

proper singular noun; location; construct form

Strong’s #8553 BDB #584

Cheres (ס∵ר ∵ח) [pronounced KHEH-res]

sun; transliterated Heres

masculine singular proper noun

Strong’s #2775 & #2776 BDB #357

Together, these two words are transliterated Timnath-Heres and assigned Strong’s #8556.


Translation: They buried him within the border of his inheritance, in Timnath-heres... We covered Timnath-serah (or, Timnath-heres) back in Joshua 19:50.


This is taken directly from Joshua 19:50: It is interesting that Timnath-serah has not be mentioned until now. It means precinct remaining; and was perhaps given that name by Joshua tongue-in-cheek. This was the last bit of land to be parceled out and he set it aside for himself. Here is pretty much the sum total of what we know about this city, apart from what is in v. 49: And they buried him [Joshua] in the territory of his inheritance in Timnah-serah, which is in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of Mount Gaash (Joshua 24:30). Apparently the letters were transposed here or in Judges 2:10, where the name is given as Timnath-heres, which means portion of the sun. You will recall the oft-time repeated phrase in the book of Solomon (Ecclesiastes)—the man under the sun, and this appears to be Joshua’s portion given to him in the world. Whether the transposition of the letters was an accident or a play on the words, we do not know. ZPEB suggests the modern sites of Khirbet-tibneh, which is twelve miles northwest of Ramallah; or Kafr-haris, which is located twelve miles southwest of Nablus and seven miles from Shechem. ZPEB seemed to place a lot less credence in the latter location. Some traditions have this as being the place where Joshua asked the sun to stand still in the sky (Joshua 10:13). There is no strong reason to support either identification. Footnote McGee places it eleven miles from Shiloh and calls it barren and one of the worst spots that Joshua could have chosen. NIV places it in the southwest corner of Ephraim, facing the sea, which sounds better than the previous ideas, primarily because I like the ocean and the seas, but this identification is given without substantiation. Footnote

 

Gill: [Where Joshua is buried is named] Timnathserah, the letters of "serah" being here inverted, make "heres", which sometimes is used for the sun, Job 9:7; and therefore some observe, that the whole name signifies the figure of the sun, which the Jews say was put on his monument, in commemoration of the miracle of the sun standing still at his request, and had this inscription on it,"this is he that caused the sun to stand still;''but this is not very probable, since it might have had a tendency to idolatry, the sun being what was the first object of idolatrous worship among the Heathens, and had the greatest show of reason for it. Footnote


Some manuscripts have Timnath-serah here rather than Timnath-heres (two early printed editions as well as the Septuagint and the Vulgate). It is suggested that all that happened was a scribe simply reversed the consonants in the Hebrew.


Judges 2:9b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, upon, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

Strong’s #none BDB #88

har (ר ַה) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2042 (and #2022) BDB #249

Epherayim (ם̣י -רפ ∵א) [pronounced ef-RAH-yim]

to bear fruit, to be fruitful; transliterated Ephraim

masculine proper noun; pausal form

Strong’s #669 BDB #68

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

tsâphôwn (ןפ ָצ) [pronounced tsaw-FOHN]

north

feminine singular noun

Strong’s #6828 BDB #860

When preceded by min and followed by a lâmed, it means northward, north of any place.

lâmed (ל) [pronounced le]

to, for, towards, in regards to

directional/relational preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

har (ר ַה) [pronounced har]

hill; mountain, mount; hill-country

masculine singular construct

Strong’s #2042 (and #2022) BDB #249

Ga׳ash (ש-ע-) [pronounced GAH-ģahsh]

shaking, quivering; earthquake; transliterated Gaash

proper singular noun; location; pausal form

Strong’s #1608 BDB #172


Translation:...(in the hill country of Ephraim) north of the mountain of Gaash. Gaash is used to name both a mountain (Joshua 19:50 Judges 2:9) and a wadi (2Sam. 23:30 1Chron. 11:32). The wadi is guessed to be twenty miles southwest of Shechem. Footnote For Israel, the death of a great man simultaneously ends an era and begins a new age. Footnote


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Joshua’s death and burial is covered in Joshua 24:29–32; Judges 1:1 alludes back to his death. A reasonable question to ask is...

Why Is Joshua’s Death Mentioned Again?

1.      One possible explanation is, Judges 1 and Judges 2 are from two different historical documents, both of which mention Joshua’s death.

2.      When Joshua’s death is first mentioned, we examine what happens to Israel immediately after his death. This chapter answers the question, do the various tribes of Israel continue moving in the direction which God had planned for them?

3.      The second time that Joshua’s death is mentioned in the book of the Judges, it is in relationship to what God warns and then what God carried out.

4.      The second time Joshua’s death is mentioned, it is in relationship to the death of those who followed Joshua into the Land of Promise; it is in relationship to the thousands of brave soldiers who fought to take the land of Israel which God had given them.

5.      Joshua’s death puts a time frame on the narrative which follows, and shows us what went so wrong in Israel.

I think the best explanation is, what follows is going to tell us where Israel went wrong; and Joshua’s death simply puts the proper time frame around it.


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Israel’s Apostasy and Instability under the Judges: A Summary


And also all the generation the that were gathered unto their [lit., his] fathers and so arises a generation another after them who did not know Yehowah and also the work which He had done for Israel.

Judges

2:10

Moreover, all that generation were gathered to their fathers and then another generation arose after them who did not know Yehowah or the work which He had done for Israel.

Similarly, all of that generation passed away and after them another generation arose—a generation that did not know Jehovah or the work that He had done on behalf of Israel.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And also all the generation the that were gathered unto their [lit., his] fathers and so arises a generation another after them who did not know Yehowah and also the work which He had done for Israel.

Septuagint                              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.

 

Significant differences:           No significant differences.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       After a while the people of Joshua's generation died, and the next generation did not know the LORD or any of the things he had done for Israel.

The Message                         Eventually that entire generation died and was buried. Then another generation grew up that didn't know anything of GOD or the work he had done for Israel.

NLT                                        After that generation died, another generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord or remember the mighty things that he had done for Israel.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         That whole generation had joined their ancestors in death. So another generation grew up after them. They had no personal experience with the LORD or with what he had done for Israel.

HCSB                                     That whole generation was also gathered to their ancestors. After them another generation rose up who did not know the LORD or the works He had done for Israel.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       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.

MKJV                                     And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them who did not know Jehovah, nor even the works which He had done for Israel.

Young’s Updated LT             And also all that generation have been gathered unto their fathers, and another generation rises after them who have not known Jehovah, and even the work which He has done to Israel.


What is the gist of this verse? There was this generation which came up, essentially after Joshua and this generation died out after Joshua. Their sons and daughters are the next generation, and this next generation is made up of unbelievers who do not know what God has done for Israel.


Judges 2:10a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

Together, the wâw conjunction and the gam particle might mean together with, along with, joined with, and, furthermore, and furthermore.

kôl (לֹ) [pronounced kohl]

the whole, all of, the entirety of, all; can also be rendered any of

masculine singular construct followed by a definite article

Strong’s #3605 BDB #481

dôwr (ר) [pronounced dohr]

generation, age, period, time period [of a generation], a time slice

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #1755 BDB #189

hûw (אה) [pronounced hoo]

that; this

masculine singular, demonstrative pronoun with the definite article

Strong’s #1931 BDB #214

âçaph (ף ַס ָא) [pronounced aw-SAHF]

to be assembled, to be gathered, to assemble, to gather

3rd person plural, Niphal perfect

Strong’s #622 BDB #62

el (לא) [pronounced el]

unto; into, among, in; toward, to; against; concerning, regarding; besides, together with; as to

directional preposition (respect or deference may be implied)

Strong's #413 BDB #39

âb (ב ָא) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine singular suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3

 

Translation: Moreover, all that generation were gathered to their fathers... At the beginning of this verse, right after the wâw conjunction, we have the adverb gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm] which means also, in addition to, moreover, furthermore. Here, it is probably used as an emphatic. With the 3rd person plural pronoun, Young translates this even they, Rotherham as they also; Owen as also they; NIV simply renders the two words as also; and the NASB gives it possibly the most up-to-date rendering likewise, when placed at the beginning of the sentence (similarly would also be a good way to render this).


This general phrasing of one dying and then be gathered to his father is found throughout the Bible: Gen. 15:15 25:8, 17 49:33 Num. 27:13 Deut. 31:16 2Sam. 7:12 Acts 13:36.


Joshua and Caleb were two men from a generation that had already been wiped out by God. The adult generation of slaves would not trust God, and God let them die in the desert for 40 years, before He allowed Moses to bring the children of Israel up to the land. Then Joshua led this next generation of Israelites—the generation of promise—into the land, which they conquered, believing God for the most part. However, like all mankind, this generation dies out. Joshua, from Gen X, the previous generation, died, and then the men whom he led died out as well.


Judges 2:10b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

qûwm (םק) [pronounced koom]

to stand, to rise up, to get up; to establish, to establish a vow, to cause a vow to stand, to confirm or to fulfill a vow

3rd person masculine singular, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #6965 BDB #877

dôwr (ר) [pronounced dohr]

generation, age, period, time period [of a generation], a time slice

masculine singular noun

Strong’s #1755 BDB #189

achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29

achar (ר ַח ַא) [pronounced ah-KHAHR]

after, following, behind

preposition; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #310 BDB #29


Translation: ...and then another generation arose after them... What we have is the generation of people who did not participate in the war on Canaan—they were too young. They were born in the desert or they were born in the land within the bounds of their inheritance. The wording here makes it appear as though this is the next generation which follows the men who conquered and then settled the Land of Promise. However, this could be 1 or 2 (or even more) generations removed from the generation of promise.


Application: Each generation stands on its own two feet. No matter how great or how lame the previous generation has been, the new generation are their own people. Of course, there is a relationship between the two generations; however, these generations can be as different as night and day. I think to my generation of hippies and dropouts and drug users, as compared to the generation of my father—many of whom gave their lives in World War II, and many of whom worked hard to establish families after the war. My father’s generation were brave and selfless and honorable; I came from a generation of hedonists, beatniks and hippies, who used their intelligence to justify their rebellion and hedonism. What is even more amazing is, the generation of kids that are around now are worse than I could ever imagine (I am writing in the year 2006 after teaching for nearly 30 years). They make my generation look like prudes and pilgrims.


Application: A lot of things affect generations which come up. One of the greatest things which can define a generation is the teaching of Bible doctrine. However, if that is not done, then sometimes a generation must sometimes face the great evil of the world to turn them around. We saw the destruction of the Twin Towers, which was only a taste of how evil man can be; and was only a minimal taste of the angelic conflict. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there who absolutely hate the United States and all that it stands for; and their great desire is to see us as a nation go down. And what we have are two great forces, the people of the United States and the radical Muslim community, all engaged in a conflict which we/they do not really understand. The true conflict is the angelic conflict; and what we see with the destruction of the World Trade Center or with the unbelievable vicious torture of our soldiers, is barely the tip of the iceberg of the hatred and violence which seethes beneath.


Judges 2:10c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

lô (אֹל or אל) [pronounced low]

not, no

negates the word or action that follows; the absolute negation

Strong’s #3808 BDB #518

yâda׳ (עַדָי) [pronounced yaw-DAHĢ]

to know, to perceive, to acquire knowledge, to become acquainted with, to know by experience, to have a knowledge of something; to see

3rd person plural, Qal perfect

Strong’s #3045 BDB #393

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...who did not know Yehowah... Not knowing God simply means that this generation of men are primarily unbelievers (Ex. 5:2 1Sam. 2:12 Job. 21:14 Psalm 92:5–6 Isa. 5:12 Jer. 9:3 22:16 31:34 Gal. 4:8–9 2Th. 1:8 Tit. 1:16).


God had performed a great number of incredible works at the hand of Moses, and several by the hand of Joshua. However, these people saw none of these great acts of God. When I read passages like this, I always recall 1Cor. 1:22: For indeed, Jews ask for signs and Greeks search for wisdom. These Jews had not seen any signs, any evidence of the faith that their fathers had (apart from living right smack dab in the middle of the land which Jehovah had given them), so they chose not to trust in God. It is this generation and their children that we will study.


This does not mean that a person must have signs in order to believe. The pharaoh at the time of Moses saw all sorts of signs, and yet did not believe. When Moses first went to him and told him that Jehovah wanted the Israelites to be freed, the pharaoh replied, “Who is Jehovah that I should obey His voice to let Israel go? I do not know Jehovah.” (Ex. 5:2). And yet, even after all of the signs pharaoh say, he still did not know Jehovah—he was afraid of Jehovah, but not even that completely (recall that, even after allowing Israel to go, he then pursued Israel with his army—Ex. 14). For all believers, there is a period of time in their lives, prior to salvation, when they do not know God. However, at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which are not, by nature, gods (Gal. 4:8). On the other hand, of course, you have those who claim to know God, but do not: They profess to know God, but, by deed, they deny Him, being detestable and disobedient and worthless for any good deed (Titus 1:16).


With this new generation which came up, we don’t know if their fathers were remiss or not in their teachings concerning Jehovah, the God of Israel. They had been commanded clearly on this point by Moses: “And these words, which I command you today, will be on your heart, and you will teach them diligently to your sons and you will talk of them when you sit in your house and when you walk by the way and when you lie down and when you rise up. And you will bind them as a sign on your hand and they will be as frontals on your forehead. And you will write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates. Then it will come to pass when Jehovah your God brings you into the land which He swore to your fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, to give to you, great and splendid cities which you did not build, and houses full of all good things which you did not fill, and hewn cisterns which you did not dig, vineyards and olive trees which you did not plant, and you will eat and be satisfied. At that time, watch yourself, so that you do not forget Jehovah Who brought you from the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery. You will fear Jehovah your God and you will worship Him and you will swear by His name. You will not follow other gods, any of the gods of the peoples who are around you...And when your sons asks you in time to come, saying, ‘What are the testimonies and the statutes and the judgments which Jehovah commanded you?’ And you will then say to your son, ‘We were slaves to pharaoh in Egypt, then Jehovah brought us from Egypt with a mighty hand. Furthermore, Jehovah showed great and distressing signs and wonders before our eyes against Egypt, pharaoh and all of his household. And God brought us out from there in order to bring us in, to give us the land, which He had sworn to our fathers. Therefore, Jehovah commanded us to observe all these statutes, to revere Jehovah our God for our Good always, and for our survival.’ ” (Deut. 6:6–14, 20–24a). God required that divine truth be inculcated into each generation of Jews.


My guess would be, despite the mandates of God, the generation who conquered Israel did not pass along their spiritual heritage to their children. Perhaps they were too busy with conquering and then settling the land. There always seemed to be things which were pressing; and so they allowed their spiritual heritage to fall by the wayside.


Application: There is nothing more important than the spiritual heritage of a country or of a generation. We have all but forgotten the great spiritual heritage of this country. We have forgotten that the great ivy league schools were all founded by believers to teach Bible doctrine. We have forgotten that about 97% of those who settled this country could be classified as Protestants (no idea how many colonists were believers, but I would not be surprised if that number was between 80 and 90%. However, it is clear that the adult generation and the children who follow them in the time which I live have no idea about their spiritual heritage. In fact, they are doing everything possible to minimize the spiritual heritage of the United States.


Judges 2:10d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

gam (ם ַ) [pronounced gahm]

also, furthermore, in addition to, even, moreover

adverb

Strong’s #1571 BDB #168

Together, the wâw conjunction and the gam particle might mean together with, along with, joined with, and, furthermore, and furthermore.

ma׳ăseh (הֲעַמ) [pronounced mah-ğa-SEH

deed, act, action, work, production, that which is produced [property, goods, crops]; that which anyone makes or does; a course of action; a business

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong's #4639 BDB #795

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine singular, Qal perfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional preposition

No Strong’s # BDB #510

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975


Translation: ...or the work which He had done for Israel. With this generation which arose after the death of Joshua, Israel is a whole new place. In some ways, when you look at our youth, it is very frightening. The fabric of a nation can be changed dramatically with one generation and this is what happened to Israel. With one generation, these people fell into great apostasy, and this apostasy was perpetuated for the next 350 years.

 

Matthew Henry: All that generation in a few years wore off, their good instructions and examples died and were buried with them, and there arose another generation of Israelites who had so little sense of religion, and were in so little care about it, that, notwithstanding all the advantages of their education, one might truly say that they knew not the Lord, knew him not aright, knew him not as he had revealed himself, else they would not have forsaken him. They were so entirely devoted to the world, so intent upon the business of it or so indulgent of the flesh in ease and luxury, that they never minded the true God and his holy religion, and so were easily drawn aside to false gods and their abominable superstitions. Footnote


Application: The key here is, this generation was not aware of the work which God had done on behalf of Israel. So, the problem is not that they did not witness what God did for Israel; but they were unaware—they had not been taught what God did on behalf of Israel. They are just born into this beautiful land flowing with milk and honey.


This is one of the unfortunate aspects of man and our sin nature: when we are born into a relatively good life, we tend to take our life for granted; even to the point of thinking that we deserve it. We often have a limited interest in God and in spiritual things. Many believers, if they won the lottery, would drop their church and their spiritual lives like a hot rock. Well, they might give $1000 to their church or some piddly thing like that, and then fade away. For some of us, the only way we maintain any sort of a spiritual life is for God to clobber us once and awhile. We are going to see a generation here who did not have to fight for what they have; they are born into a land flowing will milk and honey; and they have the freedom to enjoy this, for the most part. However, in this, they neglect the God who ultimately brought them to this land.


And so do sons of Israel the evil in eyes of Yehowah and so they serve the Baalim.

Judges

2:11

And so the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Yehowah when they served the Baals.

And so the sons of Israel committed evil in the sight of Jehovah when they served the Baals (the gods of the Canaanites).


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so do sons of Israel the evil in eyes of Yehowah and so they serve the Baalim. SeptuagintAnd the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim.

 

Significant differences:           None.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

CEV                                       The LORD had brought their ancestors out of Egypt, and they had worshiped him. But now the Israelites stopped worshiping the LORD and worshiped the idols of Baal and Astarte, as well as the idols of other gods from nearby nations. The LORD was so angry... [vv. 11–13].

The Message                         The People of Israel did evil in GOD's sight: they served Baal-gods;... [For some reason, half of this is listed as v. 12 in The Message].

NLT                                        Then the Israelites did what was evil in the Lord’s sight and worshiped the images of Baal.



Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The people of Israel did what the LORD considered evil. They began to serve other gods-the Baals.

HCSB                                     The Israelites did what was evil in the LORD's sight. They worshiped the Baals...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

LTHB                                     And the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baals.

Young's Updated LT              And the sons of Israel do the evil thing in the eyes of Jehovah, and serve the Baalim,...


What is the gist of this verse? Israel began doing evil in the sight of God, serving the gods of those around them.


Judges 2:11a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âsâh (הָָע) [pronounced ģaw-SAWH]

to do, to make, to construct, to fashion, to form, to prepare

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #6213 BDB #793

bânîym (םי.נָ) [pronounced baw-NEEM]

sons, descendants; sometimes rendered men

masculine plural construct

Strong’s #1121 BDB #119

Yiserâêl (לֵאָר ׃̣י) [pronounced yis-raw-ALE]

transliterated Israel

masculine proper noun

Strong’s #3478 BDB #975

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ra׳ (ע ַר) [pronounced rahģ]

evil, bad, wicked; evil in appearance, deformed; misery, distress, injury; that which is displeasing [disagreeable, unhappy, unfortunate, sad]

masculine singular noun with the definite article

Strong’s #7451 BDB #948

be (׃) [pronounced beh]

in, into, at, by, near, on, with, before, against, by means of, among, within

a preposition of proximity

No Strong’s # BDB #88

׳êynayim (ם̣יַני̤ע) [pronounced ģay-nah-YIM]

eyes, two eyes, literal eye(s), spiritual eyes; face, appearance, form; surface

feminine plural construct

Strong’s #5869 (and #5871) BDB #744

Together, the bêyth preposition and ׳ayin literally mean in the eyes of; it can be understood to mean in the opinion of, in the thinking of, in the estimation of; as ____ sees things to be.

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: And so the sons of Israel did evil in the sight of Yehowah... The evil which Israel will do in the sight of God will be horrendous. In one or two generations, they will turn away from Jesus Christ and turn toward the heathen gods of the people all around them.


Judges 2:11b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbad (ד ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

ba׳al (ל ַע ַ) [pronounced BAH-ģahl]

owner, lord, husband; transliterated Baal when referencing the heathen god

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1167 BDB #127


Translation: ...when [lit., and] they served the Baals. We have the term Baalim or Baals, which is simply the plural of Baal. We have studied Baal back in Num. 22:41. Although he is a particular god, Baalim simply refers to the pantheon of gods worshipped by the Canaanites and other peoples of the land or to the individual chief god of this or that people. Individual races might have a different head god; the term Baalim would take in the various chief [or, head] gods in their various religions.

 

Keil and Delitzsch wrote: This use of the term “Baalim” arose from the fact that Baal was the chief male deity of the Canaanites and all the nations of Hither Asia, and was simply worshipped by the different nations with peculiar modifications, and therefore designated by various distinctive epithets Footnote .


The following are some of the Baalim which were worshiped in and around the Land of Promise. These are the names given in Scripture, although it is possible that these gods were known by different names to the people who worshiped them. Footnote

A Listing of Some of the Baalim in Scripture

Scripture

Incident

Baal-zephon

Worshiped by the Moabites. Baal of the north, an Egyptian town on the shores of the Gulf of Suez (Ex. 14:2 Num. 33:7), over against which the children of Israel encamped before they crossed the Red Sea. It is probably to be identified with the modern Jebel Deraj or Kulalah, on the western shore of the Gulf of Suez. Baal–capuna of the Egyptians was a place of worship. Footnote

Baal-peor

Worshiped by the Moabites. Lord of the opening, a god of the Moabites (Num. 25:3 Joshua 22:17), worshipped by obscene rites. So called from Mount Peor, where this worship was celebrated, the Baal of Peor. The Israelites fell into the worship of this idol (Num. 25:3, 5, 18 Deut. 4:3 Psalm 106:28 Hos. 9:10). Footnote

Baal-zebub

Worshiped by the Ekronites. Fly–lord, the god of the Philistines at Ekron (2Kings 1:2–3, 16. This name was given to the god because he was supposed to be able to avert the plague of flies which in that region was to be feared. He was consulted by Ahaziah as to his recovery. Footnote My recollection is, this is the Lord of Dung.

Baal-shamayim

Worshiped by the Phœnicians, Syrians, Chaldeans and others. Although Clarke mentions this god, I do not find him elsewhere.

Baal-berith

Worshiped in Shechem. Covenant lord, the name of the god worshipped in Shechem after the death of Gideon (Judges 8:33 9:4) In Judges 9:46 he is called simply “the god Berith.” The name denotes the god of the covenant into which the Israelites entered with the Canaanites, contrary to the command of Jehovah (Ex. 34:12), when they began to fall away to the worship of idols. Footnote

Some (if not all) of these peoples would have worshiped a pantheon of gods; this is certainly just a short list of some of their primary ones.

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That Israel would have a long history of chasing after the wrong gods is chronicled in Scripture.

Israel and the Baalim in Scripture

Scripture

Text

Judges 3:7

And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD. They forgot the LORD their God and served the Baals and the Asheroth.

Judges 8:33

As soon as Gideon died, the people of Israel turned again and chased after the Baals and made Baal-berith their god.

Judges 10:6

The people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the Ammonites, and the gods of the Philistines. And they forsook the LORD and did not serve him.

Judges 10:10

And the people of Israel cried out to the LORD, saying, "We have sinned against you, because we have forsaken our God and have served the Baals."

1Sam. 7:4

So the people of Israel put away the Baals and the Ashtaroth, and they served the LORD only.

1Sam. 12:10

And they cried out to the LORD and said, 'We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD and have served the Baals and the Ashtaroth. But now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, that we may serve you.'

1Kings 18:18

And he answered, "I have not troubled Israel, but you have, and your father's house, because you have abandoned the commandments of the LORD and followed the Baals.

2Chron. 17:3–4

The LORD was with Jehoshaphat, because he walked in the earlier ways of his father David. He did not seek the Baals, but sought the God of his father and walked in his commandments, and not according to the practices of Israel.

2Chron. 24:7

For the sons of Athaliah, that wicked woman, had broken into the house of God, and had also used all the dedicated things of the house of the LORD for the Baals.

2Chron. 28:2–4

But he walked in the ways of the kings of Israel. He even made metal images for the Baals, and he made offerings in the Valley of the Son of Hinnom and burned his sons as an offering, according to the abominations of the nations whom the LORD drove out before the people of Israel. And he sacrificed and made offerings on the high places and on the hills and under every green tree.

2Chron. 33:3–4

For he rebuilt the high places that his father Hezekiah had broken down, and he erected altars to the Baals, and made Asherahs, and worshiped all the host of heaven and served them. And they chopped down the altars of the Baals in his presence, and he cut down the incense altars that stood above them. And he broke in pieces the Asherim and the carved and the metal images, and he made dust of them and scattered it over the graves of those who had sacrificed to them.

Jer. 2:23–24a

How can you say, 'I am not unclean, I have not gone after the Baals'? Look at your way in the valley; know what you have done—a restless young camel running here and there, a wild donkey used to the wilderness, in her heat sniffing the wind! Who can restrain her lust?

Jer. 9:13–14

And the LORD says: "Because they have forsaken my law that I set before them, and have not obeyed my voice or walked in accord with it, but have stubbornly followed their own hearts and have gone after the Baals, as their fathers taught them.

Hosea 2:13-17

And I will punish her for the feast days of the Baals when she burned offerings to them and adorned herself with her ring and jewelry, and went after her lovers and forgot me, declares the LORD. "Therefore, behold, I will allure her, and bring her into the wilderness, and speak tenderly to her. And there I will give to her, her vineyards and make the Valley of Achor a door of hope. And there she shall answer as in the days of her youth, as at the time when she came out of the land of Egypt. "And in that day, declares the LORD, you will call me 'My Husband,' and no longer will you call me 'My Baal.' For I will remove the names of the Baals from her mouth, and they shall be remembered by name no more.

Hosea 11:2

The more they were called, the more they went away; they kept sacrificing to the Baals and burning offerings to idols.

It is interesting that even modern Jews who know Scripture, who see these continual references to their fathers chasing after false gods, do not realize that they are doing the same thing today.


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We can guess what happened here: some of the older generation told their children about what God had done on their behalf, about the miracles and the great works; but this generation did not personally observe any of it, and they apparently were unmoved and even unconvinced of what their fathers or grandfathers witnessed. Some of them even lived side-by-side the Canaanites in the land and they figured it was just old people talking or old people with their imaginations running wild. The religion of Baal provided them an opportunity for illicit sex or the opportunity to check out the women of the Canaanites (which, obviously, some of them married). That child sacrifice was a part of the picture was just one of those things that they had to live with. In some cases, no doubt, the generation of promise or their sons did not share their faith with their children, and, therefore, those children would grow up without a knowledge of God.


Often, when a lie is repeated often enough, it becomes a fundamental belief for those who hear it. There are hundreds of thousands of Muslim children who are raised with anti-Semitism, and they accept it as a reasonable maxim for their lives. I have observed in the past half dozen years dozens of lies repeated about the current president George Bush. These are lies which are seen over and over again in the news, in newspapers, in blogs, in forwarded emails; and these lies have come to be accepted as truth. It is a little frightening that history—including such recent history—can be rewritten and so easily accepted. This is likely the scenario faced by the Jews in Israel. Even if their heritage was passed along, how many of these young people spoke among one another saying, “Well, this is pretty much a load of crap which our fathers invented; maybe they were seeing things. They did hang out in the desert for 40 years; no wonder they came back with such crazy stories.” And when this is repeated again and again, even those who have heard the Word of God doubt it, and question their entire heritage. All it takes is one negative generation.


In this chapter, we are given the principle: Israel turns from God toward idols; however, specific occurrences make up the chapters in the book of Judges which follow.

Barnes says that there are 7 apostasies and 7 servitudes; and, when I originally covered this material, I gave 5 quotations of idolatry which Israel went through. Let’s see if I can match them up.

Israel’s 7 Apostasies in the Book of the Judges

Oppressor

Deliverer

Scripture Documenting Apostasy

(1) Chushan-Rishathaim

Othniel

And the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and they forgot Jehovah their God, and they served the Baals and the Ashteroth. Then the anger of Jehovah burned against Israel, so that He sold them into the hands of Cushan-rishathaim, king of Mesopotamia; and the sons of Israel served Cushan-rishathaim eight years (Judges 3:7–8).

(2) Eglon

Ehud

Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of Jehovah, so Jehovah strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of Jehovah. And he gathered to himself the sons of Ammon and Amalek, and he went and defeated Israel, and they possessed the city of the palm trees. And the sons of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years (Judges 3:12–14).

(3) Jabin

Deborah and Barak

Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of Jehovah, after Ehud died. Therefore, Jehovah sold them into the hand of Jabin, king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; and the commanded of his army was Sisera, who lived in Harosheth-hagoyim. And the sons of Israel cried to Jehovah, for he had 900 iron chariots and he oppressed the sons of Israel severely for 20 years (Judges 4:1–3).

(4) Midian

Gideon

Then the sons of Israel did what was evil in the sight of Jehovah, and Jehovah gave them into the hands of Midian for seven years. And the power of Midian prevailed against Israel. Because of Midian, the sons of Israel made for themselves the dens which were in the mountains and the caves and the strongholds (Judges 6:1–2).

(5) the tyranny of Abimelech

The woman who dropped a millstone on his head

And Gideon made an ephod of it and put it in his city, in Ophrah. And all Israel whored after it there, and it became a snare to Gideon and to his family (Judges 8:27). Abimelech is Gideon’s son (one of them) who ruled over Israel after Gideon (who refused to be anointed as king). There is almost as much about Abimelech in the book of Judges as about Gideon.

(6) the Ammonites

Jephthah

And the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of Jehovah, and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines; thus they forsook Jehovah and did not serve Him. And the anger of Jehovah burned against Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the sons of Ammon. And they afflicted and crushed the sons of Israel that year; for eighteen years, the afflicted all the sons of Israel who were beyond the Jordan in Gilead in the land of the Amorites (Judges 10:6–7). This verse applies to both groups, whose attacks against Israel may have been simultaneous.

(7) the Philistines

Samson

Listing Israel’s idolatries here also gives us an outline for the middle portion of the book of Judges.


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Application: The application is simple; idolatry can be anything that we place before God and His truth—in some cases, it can be heathen religion (e.g., Buddhism, Islam); and, in some cases, it can be the details of life which are judged to be more important (e.g., possessions, family, love, sex, vacations, money). Idolatry can simply supplant Bible doctrine with legitimate concerns of life: family, children, providing for one’s family, etc. When it comes to legitimate concerns, one must have priorities. Of course, we are mandated by Scripture to love our wives (or obey our husbands) and to provide for our own families—these things take time; but, time must be set aside for the intake of Bible doctrine, and the study of God’s Word cannot be neglected. Your spiritual growth and the spiritual growth of your family is just as important as putting food on the table. God will make certain there is time to do both, as we are mandated to do both.


And so they forsake Yehowah, God of their fathers, the One bringing them out from a land of Egypt and so they go after gods other; from gods of the peoples who [were] around them and so they bowed to them and so they provoked Yehowah.

Judges

2:12

And so they forsook Yehowah, the God of their fathers, the One who brought them out from the land of Egypt and they went after other gods. On account of the gods of the peoples who [were] around them, they bowed down to them and they provoked Yehowah.

They therefore left Jehovah, the God of their fathers, the One Who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and they pursued other gods—the gods of the peoples who were around them. They bowed down to these gods and thereby provoked Jehovah.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they forsake Yehowah, God of their fathers, the One bringing them out from a land of Egypt and so they go after gods other from gods of the peoples who [were] around them and so they bowed to them and so they provoked Yehowah.

Septuagint                              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].

 

Significant differences:           The preposition from in the Hebrew is a bit confusing; it is possible that the Greek translators were not sure what to do with it, and simply rendered it of.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         ...they served Baal-gods; they deserted GOD, the God of their parents who had led them out of Egypt; they took up with other gods, gods of the peoples around them. They actually worshiped them! And oh, how they angered GOD...

NLT                                        They abandoned the Lord, the God of their ancestors, who had brought them out of Egypt. They chassed after other gods, worshiping the gods of the people around them. And they angered the Lord.


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         The Israelites abandoned the LORD God of their ancestors, the God who brought them out of Egypt. They followed the other gods of the people around them. They worshiped these gods, and that made the LORD angry.

HCSB                                     ...and abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of Egypt. They went after other gods from the surrounding peoples and bowed down to them. They infuriated the LORD,...


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       And they abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt. They went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed down to them. And they provoked the LORD to anger.

Young’s Updated LT             ...and forsake Jehovah, God of their fathers, who brings them out from the land of Egypt, and go after other gods (of the gods of the peoples who are round about them), and bow themselves to them, and provoke Jehovah.


What is the gist of this verse? This younger generation forsakes the God who brought their fathers out of Egypt and they serve the gods of the heathen who live around them, provoking Jehovah God to anger.


Judges 2:12a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âzab (בַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZABV]

to loosen ones bands; to let go [one from being in bonds]; to leave [forsake, desert]; to leave off, to cease from [anything]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5800 BDB #736

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217

Ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

âb (ב ָא) [pronounced awbv]

father, both as the head of a household, clan or tribe

masculine plural noun with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #1 BDB #3


Translation: And so they forsook Yehowah, the God of their fathers,... The first verb is the Qal imperfect of to leave, to forsake. This next generation of Israelites did not really know Jehovah God. They had not seen His great works in leaving Egypt or in conquering the Land of Promise; they just found themselves in the Land of Promise, and they did not feel grateful to the God Who had placed them there. For this reason, they forsook Jehovah God. This means, they were not concerned with the Law of Moses; they were not concerned with the animal sacrifices; but they were interested in the gods of the peoples around them.


Some people have a difficult time with this concept. They think, if only I had witnessed the miracles of Jesus; that would be enough to convince me. I will grant you that this viewpoint seems reasonable, but it is not. There are a lot of things which seem reasonable, but are not. Logically, for instance, it seems that, if you live with a woman first, and then marry her (assuming that you do), that your marriage will have a better chance of making it, because you have carefully checked her out first. However, the divorce rate is higher among couples who live together first. And witnessing a miracle means little or nothing. Gen X witnessed a number of miracles in Egypt and after exiting Egypt, and they should have reasonably been the strongest generation of faith in the history of Israel (until the time of our Lord). However, just the opposite is true; in fact, God has said, “I loathed that generation.” Even more surprising than this is, thousands of people witnessed the miracles done by Jesus, and still did not believe. The religious types, as we know, hated our Lord; but, quite frankly, the Jews in general were not converted as a whole. In all the contemporary writings of that time, no one questions the miracles of Jesus; however, relatively few people believed in Him as well. It was not just the religious hierarchy who called for our Lord’s crucifixion; there were hundreds of Jews there as well who, as a mob, demanded His crucifixion.


Judges 2:12b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

yâtsâ (אָצָי) [pronounced yaw-TZAWH]

to cause to go out, to lead out, to bring out, to carry out, to draw out, to take out; [of money:] to put forth, to lay out, to exact; to promulgate; to produce

Hiphil participle with the definite article

Strong's #3318 BDB #422

The Qal active participle is often used as a noun, describing a person by what he does or has done. When preceded by a definite article, it refers to a particular person involved in the activity of the verb. Without the definite article, this can be any person involved in the activity of the verb or a reference to simply the activity of the verb alone. The Qal active participle is used in several different ways in the Hebrew: When preceded by a definite article, it acts as a noun whose function is described by the verb, e.g., the occupation of a person;  It acts as a relative pronoun and verbal description, describing actions which can be attributed to the preceding noun (e.g., in the presence of the witnesses who were subscribing the book of the purchase in Jer. 32:12);  It behaves as an adjective describing a noun in context (e.g., sinful nation in Isa. 1:4); and,  it acts as a descriptive verbal phrase. I need to go back to Zech. 12 and finish this up properly.

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

untranslated mark of a direct object; occasionally to, toward

affixed to a 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong's #853 BDB #84

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

erets (ץ ר א) [pronounced EH-rets]

earth (all or a portion thereof), land, ground, soil

feminine singular construct

Strong's #776 BDB #75

Mitzerayim (ם̣י-רצ̣מ) [pronounced mits-RAH-yim]

Egypt, Egyptians

proper noun

Strong’s #4714 BDB #595


Translation: ...the One who brought them out from the land of Egypt... God brought them out of their wretched misery and bondage there, with an high hand, and outstretched arm; and He led them through the desert-wilderness, and provided for them there, and brought them into the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey; but all these mercies were forgotten by this generation. Footnote


God actually got a lot of mileage from bringing Israel out of Egypt; just not with every generation. Other nations were aware that God had done this; other nations realized just how powerful Jehovah God was. When other nations opposed Israel, some of them realized that they were at war with the God of Israel as well. However, this generation of Israelites felt no obligation toward their God; and what was past, was past. Even though we are speaking of history which is less than 100 years old, those events could have take place a million years ago, for all they cared. This generation of Jews was very negative.


V. 12 indicates that they did not know Jehovah God. We have speculated that perhaps the previous generation did not tell them of the God Who led them out of Egypt and Who gave them this great land; however, it is just as possible that they heard of the God of their fathers and, for all intents and purposes, ignored what they heard. When it says they did not know Jehovah, this refers to salvation. This verse also tells us that they did not know...the work which Jehovah had done for Israel. This could mean either they did not know of God’s works because they did not witness them; they did not know of God’s works because they were not interested (their parents did try to tell them); or they did not know because their parents did not inculcate them with divine truth. Very likely, it is a combination of these things; and, for the most part, we have a generation of unbelievers who have no interest in the God of their fathers.


Judges 2:12c

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

hâlake ( ַל ָה) [pronounced haw-LAHKe]

to go, to come, to depart, to walk; to advance

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #1980 (and #3212) BDB #229

achărêy (י̤רֲח ַא) [pronounced ah-kuh-RAY]

hinder parts; behind, after; following; after that, afterwards

preposition; plural form

Strong’s #310 BDB #29

ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural noun

Strong's #430 BDB #43

achêr (ר̤ח-א) [pronounced ah-KHEHR]

another, following, other as well as foreign, alien, strange

adjective/substantive

Strong’s #312 BDB #29


Translation: ...and they went after other gods. Just because someone is not interested in Jehovah God, does not mean that they are not religious. In the generation that I grew up in, there were a lot of people trying transcendental medication; there were many who were enamored of the eastern religions; and there were a significant number of African Americans who turned to Islam. At the same time, our Christian heritage was being suppressed in every way possible; often under the guise of separation of church and state. It is not abnormal to reject Jesus Christ as Savior, but then to turn toward some heathen god instead. This is what this particular generation of Israelites did.


Judges 2:12d

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

min (ן ̣מ) [pronounced min]

from, away from, out from, out of from, off, on account of, since, above, than, so that not, above, beyond, more than

preposition of separation

Strong's #4480 BDB #577

ělôhîym (מי̣הֹלֱא) [pronounced el-o-HEEM]

gods, foreign gods, god; God; rulers, judges; superhuman ones, angels; transliterated Elohim

masculine plural construct

Strong's #430 BDB #43

׳ammîym (םי .ַע) [pronounced ģahm-MEEM]

peoples, nations; tribes [of Israel]; relatives of anyone

masculine plural collective noun with the definite article

Strong’s #5971 BDB #766

The plural is used here because there were many groups of heathen who lived in the Land of Promise as well as just outside the Land of Promise.

ăsher (ר ש ֲא) [pronounced ash-ER]

that, which, when, who, whom

relative pronoun

Strong's #834 BDB #81

çâbîyb (בי̣בָס) [pronounced sawb-VEEBV]

around, surrounding, circuit, round about, encircle

adverb/preposition; with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

Strong’s #5439 BDB #686


Translation: On account of the gods of the peoples who [were] around them,... Israel was surrounded by heathen who did not know God. However, these heathen had their own gods. We are speaking of the peoples who were still in the land of promise; and of those who are on the outskirts of the land. In any case, these were the people who surrounded the people of Israel.


One of the misinterpreted passages of the Mosaic Law deals with a command not to intermarry (Deut. 7:2–5). This has nothing to do with racial purity; this has to do with religious purity. When you marry a person who was raised Muslim or Hindu or Buddhist, then you set yourself up to be unduly influenced by that person. During the time of Israel, the truth was entrusted to Israel, and not to other countries or peoples. Therefore, marriage with those from the outside necessarily involved a union with other gods. In the New Testament, marriage mandates have changed in verbiage, but not in intent. We are told not to be unequally yoked (2Cor. 6:14). This does not prevent us from marrying someone outside our race, culture, or country; this is designed to prevent us from marrying an unbeliever; or from marrying a Christian with no interest in the Word of God.


Judges 2:12e

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

shâchah (הָחָש) [pronounced shaw-KHAW]

to bow down, to prostrate oneself, to do obeisance to; to honor [with prayers]; to do homage to, to submit to

3rd person masculine plural, Hithpael imperfect

Strong’s #7812 BDB #1005

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510


Translation: ...they bowed down to them... Some Israelites married the beautiful heathen women who were around them; and also worshiped their gods. Others became interested in the culture and religion of those they lived with, and engaged in heathen worship practices.


What Satan does is subtle; on your first visit to a heathen temple, you are not called upon to sacrifice your own child; and you probably do not even observe any child sacrifice; however, the sacrifice of children was a part of heathen worship in and around Israel during this time. The Israelites are lured in a little at a time.


I am reminded of a generation of Blacks who were lured into Islam. In the United States, the Black man came from a rich heritage of truth and devotion to Jesus Christ, their Savior; but, when I was growing up, many men turned to heathen Islam. Some of what was taught was reasonable—personal responsibility, a shunning of loose sex and recreational drugs—and many men improved their lot in life by obeying a few simple mandates. However, little did they know that they were being sucked into a religion which looks to dominate the world through any means necessary (obviously, this is not the belief of every Muslim; however, there are a significant number of Muslims who are raised this way). What many Black Muslims did get a taste of was racial purity, which led to racial intolerance and anti-Semitism. And, most importantly, this led them away from the God of their fathers, Jesus Christ; just as the religions of the ancient land of Israel lured many Jews away from the God Who bought them.


God knew way in advance that Israel would raise up a generation of people who did not know Him; who would forsake Him for other gods; and God said this to Moses. “Listen, you are about to lie down with your fathers; and this people will arise and play the harlot with the strange gods of the land, into the midst of which they are going, and they will forsake Me and they will break My covenant which I have made with them. Then My anger will burn against them in that day, and I will forsake them and I will hide My face from them, and they will be consumed and many evils and troubles will come upon them; so that they will say in that day, ‘Is it not because our God is not among us that these evils have come upon us?’ But I will certainly hide My face in that day, because of all the evil which they will do, for they will turn to other gods.” (Deut. 31:16b–18). Therefore, the anger of Jehovah burned against His people and He abhorred His inheritance. Then He gave them into the hand of the Gentiles and those who hated them ruled over them. Their enemies also oppressed them and they were subdued under their power (Psalm 106:40–41).


Judges 2:12f

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

kâ׳aç (ס-עָ) [pronounced kaw-ĢAHS]

to vex, to grieve; to irritate, to provoke

3rd person masculine plural, Hiphil imperfect

Strong’s #3707 BDB #494

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: ...and they provoked Yehowah. This is an expression that we find frequently, used in connection with idolatry, especially in Deuteronomy, the Book of Kings, and Jeremiah. Footnote


Altogether, I came up with about 8 pages of verses where we see God expressing His anger, but I will try to reduce that number.

The Anger of Jehovah

For faithlessness:

While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD struck down the people with a very great plague (Num. 11:33).


And the LORD's anger was kindled on that day, and he swore, saying, “Surely none of the men who came up out of Egypt, from twenty years old and upward, shall see the land that I swore to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob, because they have not wholly followed me, none except Caleb the son of Jephunneh the Kenizzite and Joshua the son of Nun, for they have wholly followed the LORD.' And the LORD's anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation that had done evil in the sight of the LORD was gone. And behold, you have risen in your fathers' place, a brood of sinful men, to increase still more the fierce anger of the LORD against Israel!” (Num. 32:10–14).

For idolatry:

"When you father children and children's children, and have grown old in the land, if you act corruptly by making a carved image in the form of anything, and by doing what is evil in the sight of the LORD your God, so as to provoke him to anger.” (Deut. 4:25).


The LORD your God in your midst is a jealous God, lest the anger of the LORD your God be kindled against you, and he destroy you from off the face of the earth (Deut. 6:15).


They would turn away your sons from following me, to serve other gods. Then the anger of the LORD would be kindled against you, and he would destroy you quickly (Deut. 7:4).


“If you transgress the covenant of the LORD your God, which he commanded you, and go and serve other gods and bow down to them. Then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and you shall perish quickly from off the good land that he has given to you." (Joshua 23:16).


He served Baal and worshiped him and provoked the LORD, the God of Israel, to anger in every way that his father had done (1Kings 22:53).


And they burned their sons and their daughters as offerings and used divination and omens and sold themselves to do evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger (2Kings 17:17).


And he burned his son as an offering and used fortune-telling and omens and dealt with mediums and with wizards. He did much evil in the sight of the LORD, provoking him to anger (2Kings 21:6).


And Josiah removed all the shrines also of the high places that were in the cities of Samaria, which kings of Israel had made, provoking the LORD to anger. He did to them according to all that he had done at Bethel (2Kings 23:19).


Behold, the cry of the daughter of my people from the length and breadth of the land: "Is the LORD not in Zion? Is her King not in her?" "Why have they provoked me to anger with their carved images and with their foreign idols?" (Jer. 8:19).

Against the unbeliever:

The LORD will not be willing to forgive him, but rather the anger of the LORD and his jealousy will smoke against that man, and the curses written in this book will settle upon him, and the LORD will blot out his name from under heaven (Deut. 29:20).


The whole land burned out with brimstone and salt, nothing sown and nothing growing, where no plant can sprout, an overthrow like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, Admah, and Zeboiim, which the LORD overthrew in his anger and wrath (Deut. 29:23).


And I will lay my vengeance upon Edom by the hand of my people Israel, and they shall do in Edom according to my anger and according to my wrath, and they shall know my vengeance, declares the Lord GOD (Ezek. 25:14).

Anger expressed in disciplining the believer:

A Psalm of David, for the memorial offering. O LORD, rebuke me not in your anger, nor discipline me in your wrath! (Psalm 38:1).


Therefore, when the LORD heard, he was full of wrath; a fire was kindled against Jacob; his anger rose against Israel (Psalm 78:21).


You will say in that day: "I will give thanks to you, O LORD, for though you were angry with me, your anger turned away, that you might comfort me (Isa. 12:1).

Anger against His own people:

Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and struck them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger has not turned away, and his hand is stretched out still (Isa. 5:25).


I looked, and behold, the fruitful land was a desert, and all its cities were laid in ruins before the LORD, before his fierce anger (Jer. 4:26).


For the children of Israel and the children of Judah have done nothing but evil in my sight from their youth. The children of Israel have done nothing but provoke me to anger by the work of their hands, declares the LORD (Jer. 32:30)


"For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: As my anger and my wrath were poured out on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, so my wrath will be poured out on you when you go to Egypt. You shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. You shall see this place no more (Jer. 42:18).

God’s anger in the Tribulation:

Behold, the day of the LORD comes, cruel, with wrath and fierce anger, to make the land a desolation and to destroy its sinners from it. I will punish the world for its evil, and the wicked for their iniquity; I will put an end to the pomp of the arrogant, and lay low the pompous pride of the ruthless. Therefore I will make the heavens tremble, and the earth will be shaken out of its place, at the wrath of the LORD of hosts in the day of his fierce anger (Isa. 13:9, 11, 13).


The anger of the LORD will not turn back until he has executed and accomplished the intents of his heart. In the latter days you will understand it clearly (Jer. 23:20).


"Therefore wait for me," declares the LORD, "for the day when I rise up to seize the prey. For my decision is to gather nations, to assemble kingdoms, to pour out upon them my indignation, all my burning anger; for in the fire of my jealousy all the earth shall be consumed (Zeph. 3:8).

God restrains His anger:

The LORD is gracious and merciful, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love (Psalm 145:8).


Go, and proclaim these words toward the north, and say, "'Return, faithless Israel, declares the LORD. I will not look on you in anger, for I am merciful, declares the LORD; I will not be angry forever (Jer. 3:12).


"O Lord, according to all your righteous acts, let your anger and your wrath turn away from your city Jerusalem, your holy hill, because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and your people have become a byword among all who are around us (Daniel 9:16).

This is actually just a fraction of the passages which deal with the anger of Jehovah, a phrase not found nearly so often in the New Testament.

There is obviously some overlap in many of these categories.

Bear in mind that anger is an anthropopathism, where God’s actions are explained to the finite mind by means of human emotions. An analogous situation is a parent disciplining his child; to the child, this may seem like the parent is angry, but the parent is simply doing what is best for the child.


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Every generation is just one generation away from apostasy. The children and the grandchildren of the generation of promise have absolutely no respect and no understanding of what went before them. We can see this ourselves in the generation of the 60’s—many of them had no respect or understanding of the sacrifices made by the generation which preceded them—the generation which fought and won World War II. Many men died in battle to preserve the freedom of the United States and to secure the freedom for many peoples in Europe. However, many of the children from the 50's and 60's grew up with little of the same willingness to sacrifice; and succeeding generations have become even worse.


And so they forsake Yehowah and they serve to the Baal and to the Ashtaroth.

Judges

2:13

So they forsook Yehowah and they served Baal and Ashtaroth.

Therefore, they left the worship of Jehovah and served Baal and Ashtaroth instead.


Here is how others have translated this verse:


Ancient texts:

 

Masoretic Text                       And so they forsake Yehowah and they serve to the Baal and to the Ashtaroth.

Septuagint                              And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.

 

Significant differences:           The primary difference is the use of the lâmed prepositions in the Hebrew, which can simply be used more or less like direct object markers. Apart from this, these versions are identical.


Thought-for-thought translations; paraphrases:

 

The Message                         ...as they worshiped god Baal and goddess Astarte!


Mostly literal renderings (with some occasional paraphrasing):

 

God’s Word                         They abandoned the LORD to serve the god Baal and the goddess Astarte.

HCSB                                     ...for they abandoned Him and worshiped Baal and the Ashtoreths.


Literal, almost word-for-word, renderings:

 

ESV                                       They abandoned the LORD and served the Baals and the Ashtaroth.

 

Young's Updated LT              Yea, they forsake Jehovah, and do service to Baal and to Ashtaroth.


What is the gist of this verse? This corrupt generation rejected the God Who bought them and served the heathen gods of the people within and without the land.


Judges 2:13a

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âzab (בַזָע) [pronounced ģaw-ZABV]

to loosen ones bands; to let go [one from being in bonds]; to leave [forsake, desert]; to leave off, to cease from [anything]

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong’s #5800 BDB #736

êth (ת ֵא) [pronounced ayth]

generally untranslated; occasionally to, toward

indicates that the following substantive is a direct object

Strong's #853 BDB #84

YHWH (הוהי) [pronunciation is possibly yhoh-WAH]

transliterated variously as Jehovah, Yahweh, Yehowah

proper noun

Strong’s #3068 BDB #217


Translation: So they forsook Yehowah... If we read just Judges 1:1–10, it sounds as if Israel is doing just the opposite of forsaking Jehovah; Judah and Simeon immediately begin taking the land; yet here, we are told the Israel forsakes Jehovah. What is the deal? Can’t the historian of the book of Judges keep his facts straight for two chapters in a row? If you read these chapters carefully, there is no problem whatsoever between the two accounts. Immediately after Joshua’s death, Judah and Simeon began to do what they were supposed to do—begin conquering the indigenous peoples of their inheritance. Joshua had conquered the land well enough for Israel to move into their inheritance; however, there were still quite a number of heathen living in the land side-by-side Israel. A huge number of cities were conquered in the book of Joshua; however, it is clear by the distribution of cities that what Joshua conquered was only a small portion of the total number of cities in the land.


So, Joshua dies, and immediately, the same soldiers from Judah and Simeon who marched into the Land of Promise under Joshua began to clean house, so to speak. However, Judges 2 is a whole other story. At this point, not only do we have the death of Joshua (which orients us to time), but we have the deaths of those who marched with him into the Land of Promise. Joshua’s generation had already died out in the desert (save Caleb); but the generation which followed him in years also followed him into the land. However, at some point, these men had to die out, and that is what takes place in Judges 2:10. In Judges 1, we get a small percentage of believers who continue taking the territory God had given them; in Judges 2:10, these men who continued to take the land (and those who did not), died out, and their children have taken their place. Their children make up a despicable generation of Jews.


Application: You’ve got one shot at life; your generation has one shot for its time period. You will die; your generation will die off. What is going to be your legacy? What will be your eternal reward? Will you just leave money and possessions behind for your children to squander in their hedonistic fits?


Judges 2:13b

Hebrew/Pronunciation

Common English Meanings

Notes/Morphology

BDB and Strong’s Numbers

wa (or va) (ַו) [pronounced wah]

and so, and then, then, and; so, that, yet, therefore

wâw consecutive

No Strong’s # BDB #253

׳âbad (ד ַב ָע) [pronounced ģawb-VAHD]

to work, to serve, to labor; to be a slave to

3rd person masculine plural, Qal imperfect

Strong's #5647 BDB #712

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

ba׳al (ל ַע ַ) [pronounced BAH-ģahl]

owner, lord, husband; transliterated Baal when referencing the heathen god

masculine plural noun with the definite article

Strong's #1167 BDB #127

we (or ve) (ו) [pronounced weh]

and, even, then; namely; when; since, that, so that; though

simple wâw conjunction

No Strong’s # BDB #251

lâmed (ל) (pronounced le)

to, for, towards, in regards to, with reference to, as to, with regards to, belonging to

directional/relational preposition with the 3rd person masculine plural suffix

No Strong’s # BDB #510

׳ashetârôwth (תרָ ׃שָע) [pronounced ģahsh-taw-ROHTH]

transliterated Ashtaroth, Ashtartes, Ashtaroths

Feminine proper noun; plural form

Strong’s #6252 BDB #800


Translation: ...and they served Baal and Ashtaroth. You may not have noticed, but the vocabulary in chapter 2 is quite different from the previous chapter. It is still fairly simple Hebrew, but it has been taken up a notch. There were four primary Canaanite deities mentioned in Scripture: Baal, Ashtaroth, Asherah (Judges 3:7) and Dagon (Judges 16:23). This deities will be thorns in the side of Israel until the Babylonian captivity. They never fully expel idolatry from their nation.

 

The NIV Study Bible on Baal: Baal means “lord.” Baal, the god worshiped by the Canaanites and Phœnicians, was variously known to them as the son of Dagon and the son of El. In Arm (Syria) he was called Hadad and in Babylonia Adad. Believed to give fertility to the womb and life-giving rain to the soil, he is pictured as standing on a bull, a popular symbol of fertility and strength (see 1Kings 12:28). The storm cloud was his chariot, thunder his voice, and lightning his spear and arrows. The worship of Baal involved sacred prostitution and sometimes even child sacrifice (see Jer. 19:5). The stories of Elijah and Elisha (1Kings 172Kings 13), as well as many other OT passages, directly or indirectly protest Baalism (e.g., Psalm 29:3–9 68:1–4, 32–34 93:1–5 97:1–5 Jer. 10:12–16 14:22 Hosea 2:8, 16–17 Amos 5:8). Footnote

 

Zodhiates provides us with a good overview of the Canaanite idolatry: Recent archeological studies have helped to clarify the facts about the religion of Canaan in the days of the judges. Baal and Ashtaroth are the names of two individual gods in a much larger and complicated system of polytheism. Moreover, they were also community gods whose names differed from region to region. For instance, Baal was called Baal-Peor, Baal-Berith, and Baal-zebub (Num. 25:3; Judg. 8:33; 2 Kgs. 1:2). It is for this reason that Scripture describes Israel s serving “Baal” or “Baalim” (“im” is the Hebrew plural ending). Overall, the religion of the Canaanites was extremely corrupt. It was characterized by the practices of human sacrifice, ritual prostitution and homosexuality and self-mutilation. These religions taught that these practices were prevalent among their gods as well, so it is not surprising that the people became equally debased. The many gods were particularly connected with agriculture (the seasons, weather, and grain) and many of God’s judgments against these people would ultimately discredit the supposed abilities of these Canaanite “gods” (1Kings 18:20–40 Hos. 2:8–13 Amos 4:4–11). Footnote


We studied Baal in more detail back in Num. 22:41, but we have not studied the Ashtaroth; so now would be a good time to examine the Doctrine of the Goddess Ashtoreth.


In the complete doctrine, I did not do a very good job when it comes to editing; so let me sum up the most pertinent information:

A Summary of the Doctrine of Ashtoreth

1.      Both Ashtoreth and Ashtaroth refer to a goddess in the ancient world. Ashtaroth is the plural of Ashtoreth; however, this does not mean that Ashtaroth necessarily refers to figurines or idols (it doesn’t); but it may refer to a goddess pantheon.

2.      Ashtoreth is variously thought of as a goddess of fertility, love, and/or war. She might be thought of as the moon goddess or possibly as the goddess of Venus. These different attributes were predominant in different cultures; that is, Ashtoreth could be very sexual in one culture; and very warlike in another.

3.      A reasonable assumption is, these various goddesses of the different cultures actually had different names and different characteristics; however, the Bible gives them all the name Ashtoreth (Ashtaroth).

4.      The designation the virgin mother or the holy virgin was originally applied to this goddess (or, to some of the goddesses referred to in Scripture as Ashtoreth).

5.      This goddess is also presented as being bi-sexual or dual-sexual (an hermaphrodite).

6.      Similarly, Baalim is the plural of Baal. Baal is a well-known male god of the ancient world.

7.      The heathen worship, which the Israelites often adopted, involved horribly degenerate practices:

         a.      Sexual union with temple prostitutes (Deut. 23:17 1Kings 14:24 15:12 2Kings 23:7 Is