Lectionary Calendar
Sunday, July 14th, 2024
the Week of Proper 10 / Ordinary 15
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Bible Commentaries
Judges 10

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-18

Chapter 10

Now in chapter ten we go through a series of judges quite rapidly.

After Abimelech there rose to defend Israel Tola, a man of Issachar; [from the tribe of Issachar] he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. He judged Israel for twenty-three years, he was buried in Shamir. And after him there arose Jair, a Gileadite, and he judged Israel for twenty-two years. Now he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havothjair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead. And Jair died, and was buried in Camon. And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and they served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Zidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the children of Ammon, the gods of the Philistines, and they forsook the LORD, and did not serve him ( Judges 10:1-6 ).

So, here we go again. Another apostasy where the children of Israel turn against God and they begin to worship every god that is around.

Now, here was the hardest thing to comprehend. God, at the time of Jeremiah when the people again were in an apostasy, God said to Jeremiah, "Has it ever been in any nation, in any land, where people have forsaken their god? And yet Israel has forsaken me, the true and the living God and they worshiped these other gods. They have forsaken me, the fountain of living water and have hewn out for themselves cisterns, cisterns that can hold no water." God was appalled by the thing, "Hey this doesn't happen. People don't forsake their gods even that are not gods." And yet the children of Israel, it seems, were perennially forsaking God and turning to idolatry. Unthinkable and yet they did. So this is just another one of the apostasies. Actually, it is the sixth time that it has been recorded that they forsook God and began to worship and serve these other gods.

And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, he sold them this time into the hands of the Philistines, and the hands of the children of Ammon. And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: for eighteen years, and all the children of Israel that were on the other side of Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed ( Judges 10:7-9 ).

Now Rueben, Gad, and half the tribe of Manasseh that was on the other side of Jordan, they were now being oppressed by the Amorites that were over on that area that actually were in the territory before they had come. But then the children of Ammon pass on over Jordan and began to fight in the land of Judah and Benjamin and all, Ephraim.

And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also because we have served Baalim ( Judges 10:10 ).

Double sins; forsaking God, one. Serving Baalim, two.

And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, from the Philistines? From the Zidonians, and from the Amalekites, and the Maonites, who did oppress you; and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hands. Yet you have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Go and cry unto the gods which you have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation ( Judges 10:11-14 ).

So Israel at this point had come to a very sad point in their history for God said, "Hey, I delivered you from the Egyptians, from the Amorites, from all of these people; the Philistines and now you've forsaken me. I'm not gonna deliver you anymore. You go and call upon the gods that you have chosen to serve. Let them deliver you." It is possible for a person to sin against the grace of God to the point where God turns that person over to a reprobate mind. God is through with us; that's it.

God said to Jeremiah concerning Ephraim he said, "Hey, Jeremiah don't pray anymore for Ephraim, for her good. For if you do I'm not gonna even listen to your prayers." To, what was it? Hosea, he said, "Ephraim has given over to her idols, let her alone." I'm through. I'm not gonna deal with them anymore. I've had it. Tragic, when God says of a person, "Hey that's it. I'm not gonna deliver you anymore. You've chosen to serve these other gods, you made your choice. All right, call on them. Let them deliver you from your tribulation."

People oftentimes say it really doesn't make any difference which god you serve, you know, all roads lead to heaven. False. It makes a big difference the god that you serve, but it really makes the big difference when you're in trouble. That's when the difference really shows up, when you're really needing help. And God says, "Cry unto the gods that you have chosen to serve." But they can't help me.

So, the children of Israel said unto the LORD, we have sinned: [they began confessing] do thou unto us whatsoever seems good to you; deliver us only, we pray thee, today. And thy put away the strange gods from among them, they served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel ( Judges 10:15-16 ).

So God has a soft touch I guess and the people did the right thing and God went ahead to deliver them once more. And the person that God chose at this time was Jephthah the Gileadite, chapter eleven. He became the ninth judge. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Judges 10". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/judges-10.html. 2014.
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