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Bible Commentaries
Judges 3

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-31

Chapter 3

Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel ( Judges 3:1 ),

There were the Philistines, the Canaanites, the Hivites and the Hittites and the Jebusites and the Perizzites and the Amorites that God left, six nations.

And verse six,

The children of Israel took their daughters ( Judges 3:6 )

That is of the Canaanites, the Hitites, the Amorites, the Perizzites, the Hivites and the Jebusites.

They took their daughters to be their wives, and they gave their daughters to their sons, and they served their gods. And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and they forgot Jehovah their God, and they served Baalim and the groves ( Judges 3:6-7 ).

Now the groves were the places of worship and usually extremely licentious type of worship.

Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, they sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim the king of Mesopotamia: and they served him for eight years. And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up and delivered to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother ( Judges 3:8-9 ).

So Othniel was the fellow who married Caleb's daughter. Remember he took the city Kirjath there near Hebron and so Othniel became the first judge over Israel.

And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered this Mesopotamia king into his hand; and his hand prevailed against him. And the land had rest for forty years ( Judges 3:10-11 ).

Now forty years is probably sort of a rounded off kind of a figure. It is used over and over again. It would appear that-well, actually though, forty years you got a generation as long as the guy was alive, that generation. When he died, you get a new generation and back to the old apostasy again. It just didn't carry over into the second generation. And so, here you have the forty years appearing over and over again, which is just about that time of a generation and the failure to go on into the next generation. And so during the years of Othniel they had rest.

And the children of Israel, [verse twelve] did evil again in the sight of the LORD ( Judges 3:12 ):

You know it's-you'd like to take them and just bump their heads together or something. It's just so upsetting.

And the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and they went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of the palm trees. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab for eighteen years. But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man who was left-handed: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. But Ehud made himself a dagger, sharpened both sides, and made it about eighteen inches long, put it under his robe on his left side ( Judges 3:12-16 ).

And he went into the king of Moab. Let's see now we got Ehud and Eglon. Eglon's the king so he came into Eglon with a present and then he said, "I have a secret message for you." And so Eglon the king of Moab sent out all the servants and he said, "I have a message from the Lord for you." And he drew out the dagger. Oh, Eglon was a really fat guy. He put the dagger in and the fat closed around and he couldn't pull it out. So he left it in halved and all. And when he went out of the room, he closed the door and locked it and he told the servants, "the king is taking a nap" and so he took off running.

So that they waited outside and waited outside until they got embarrassed they were waiting there so long they said, "Well, we better go in and check on the king." So they got the key, unlocked the door, when they got in they found the king was dead and had given good time to escape. And so he called together an army and they came against the Moabites and God delivered them out of the hand of Moab. They killed that time about ten thousand men of Moab who tried to escape out of Israel back into the land. And the land had rest for eighty years. So here's twice forty.

And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath ( Judges 3:31 ),

He was the third judge. And we really don't know much about Shamgar except he must have been a tough cookie because he killed six hundred Philistines with an ox goad. Just the stick that they used when they were pawing with an ox, they'd have a goad, a stick that they'd kick and been a flanks with to keep them going. And evidently he was maybe farming and plowing and keeping with his oxen and here came a company of Philistines over the hill and so he goes after them with an ox goad. Six hundred men with an ox goad. So he was the third judge of Israel. That's about all we know of Shamgar. Like to know more about that character. "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Judges 3". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/judges-3.html. 2014.
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