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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Judges 3

Verses 1-31

  1. NATIONS REMAIN (Ch.3:1-6)
    1. People do as they please. God has provided guidance for His people, but the natural tendency is to ignore His ways for our own.
  2. OTHNIEL (Ch.3:7-11) 1st Judge
    1. Cushan’s doubled-barreled name...Rishathaim = twice wicked. [i.e. twice-bad Chushan] cush/Ethiopia
    2. Othniel was from Caleb’s family & grew up under his famous uncle.
      1. He showed faith & courage...but his strength didn’t come from his family nor from his own capabilities...it was the Spirit of the the Lord coming upon him.
      2. Explain, OT saints were not permanently indwelt by the HS. He temporarily came upon them.
    3. Othniel was the only judge to not fight an immediate neighbor. He fought the mighty empire of the East. Also, most judges only activate 1 or a few tribes, Othniel appears to have delivered all Israel. No other judge met this standard.
    4. (9,10) Timing is everything - God is continually preparing His heroes, & when the opportunity is right, He puts them into position in an instant. (Streams in The Desert, pg.174, April 28th.)
      1. He works so fast the world wonders where they came from.
      2. Let the Holy Spirit prepare you, through the discipline of life. And when the finishing touch has been made on the sculpture, it will be easy for God to put you on display in the perfect place.
      3. It’s allowing God to work through our present trials & in the little victories.
        1. Human strength & human greatness Spring not from life’s sunny side, Heroes must be more than driftwood Floating on a waveless tide.
        2. Every highway of life descends into the valley now & then. And everyone must go though the tunnel of tribulation before they can travel on the high road of triumph.
  3. EHUD (Ch.3:12-30) a left-handed assassin from a rt handed tribe
    1. ​​​​​​​The story of Ehud is entertaining & full of intrigue.
      1. The king of Moab came across the Jordan River & took Jericho in the middle of the country. Very strategic in controlling the Israelite religious center (Gilgal) & the crucil highway in & out of the hill country.
      2. Eglon was retracing Joshua’s footsteps in order to take claim of Israel's Promised Land for Moab. [tribe of Benjamin, being most effected]
    2. Our left-handed hero is from the tribe of Benjamin (i.e. son of my right hand).
      1. What an improbable assailant for the Lord to use. Yet, improbable characters are almost the norm in the bible.
      2. God has a wonderful sense of humor about those whom He uses & chooses.
      3. Left-handedness - about 10% of our world pop. Aug13 Int Left-handed Day. Kangaroos & other marsupials are left-hand dominant. Also called sinister.
        1. “If the right side of the brain controls the left side of the body, only lefties are in their right mind.”
        2. So, in many societies, left-handed people have suffered great disadvantages. Until recently in China, forced to write right-handed because of stroke order.
        3. However, for God, Ehud’s handicap was a positive advantage: it gave him the benefit of surprise, like a left-handed tennis player.
    3. Look what God did against Israel vs.8 & 12. Look what God did for Israel vs.9 & 15.
      1. What caused Him to do the first? What caused Him to do the 2nd?
      2. Read God’s principle in dealing with His kids Ps.103:8-14.
    4. (13,14) Sad/ironic - that Jericho, the 1st city conquered by the Israelites was back under Canaanite control.
    5. (22) Irony with Eglon...his name means calf, so the author foreshadows his fate, portraying him as a fattened calf ready for slaughter.
      1. Shouldn’t have rebuilt Jericho, maybe didn’t know about the curse? (Deut.13:12-16, Josh6:26)
  4. SHAMGAR (Ch.3:31) ShamWow
    1. ​​​​​​​Ox goad = a long shaft w/a sharp prod on one end to direct the oxen on a plow.
    2. Well, Ehud & Shamgar willingness to be used by God, provided Israel the means by which to live in peace for 2 generations. But slowly the noose of sin & punishment begin to tighten.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Judges 3". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/judges-3.html. 2017.