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Tuesday, April 23rd, 2024
the Fourth Week after Easter
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Bible Commentaries
Judges 3

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-6


Pattern of judgment and deliverance (2:11-3:6)

When the people of Israel rejected God and began to worship Baal and other gods, God punished them. He allowed them to fall under the power of foreign tribes and nations who seized their property and ruled them cruelly (11-15). When, after many years of suffering, the people finally turned again to God, God gave them deliverers who overthrew the enemy and restored independence to Israel. But as soon as they were living in peace and contentment again, the people forgot God and returned to their idolatrous ways. This pattern was repeated generation after generation (16-19). The enemy whom the Israelites failed to destroy then became a source of trouble to them (20-23).
God used enemies in and around Palestine to test Israel’s loyalty to him and to punish them when they were disobedient. He also used them to give each new generation of Israelites experience in warfare (3:1-4). Some Israelites intermarried with these people and worshipped their gods (5-6).

Verses 7-31

Othniel, Ehud and Shamgar (3:7-31)

The first invader of Israel seems to have come from Aram, which was far to the north of Palestine. The Israelite leader who finally defeated him, Othniel, came from the tribe of Judah, which was in the south of Palestine (see Joshua 15:13-19). It appears, therefore, that the enemy had overrun most of the land. As in other cases recorded in Judges, Israel’s victory came through God’s special power given to the deliverer (7-11; cf. 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6,19; 15:14).

Israel’s next oppressor came from the east. The forces of Moab, assisted by Ammon and Amalek, crossed the Jordan and advanced as far as Jericho, the city of palms. From there they exercised control over the tribal area of Benjamin and possibly the border areas of Ephraim. They ruled for eighteen years (12-14). Israel’s deliverer, Ehud, came from Benjamin. When the time came for him to take Israel’s periodic tribute money to the Moabite king (probably at Jericho), he cunningly gained a private meeting with the king and assassinated him (15-23). Before the Moabites discovered what had happened, Ehud escaped and mobilized his soldiers (24-27). When the Moabites tried to flee back to Moab, they were cut off by the Israelites at the Jordan crossing, and mercilessly slaughtered (28-30).
Another great leader who rescued the Israelites from an enemy was Shamgar. He won his victory over the Philistines, who lived on the Mediterranean coastal plain (31).

Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Judges 3". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/judges-3.html. 2005.
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