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Bible Commentaries

Expositor's Dictionary of Texts

Judges 12

Verses 1-15

Judges 12:6

I can and do, in retrospect, sympathize heartily, tenderly, and reverentially with the Simeonite or Evangelical reaction. Not a stone would I dare to throw at the names of any of the good men who took part in it. But, at the same time, I know perfectly well that there is a type of character which never did, never will, perhaps, understand Evangelicism, but which is capable of religious faith acceptable to God, though innocent of Shibboleths; and a type which could have found no shelter during (which I dare to call) the Sturm und Drang season of the Simeonite reaction, except in the bosom of the English Church.

W. B. Rands in Henry Holbeach , II. pp. 44, 45.

As it is the ear of fruit which distinguishes the wheat from the tares, so this is the true Shibboleth that He, who stands as Judge at the passages of Jordan, makes use of to distinguish those that shall pass over Jordan into the true Canaan from those that should be slain at the passage. For the Hebrew word Shibboleth signifies an ear of corn. And perhaps the more full pronunciation of Jephthah's friends, Shibboleth, may represent a full ear with fruit in it, typifying the fruits of the friends of Christ, the antitype of Jephthah; and the more lean pronunciation of the Ephramites, his enemies, may represent their empty ears, typifying the show of religion in hypocrites without substance and fruit.

Jonathan Edwards in The Religious Affections.

Reference. XII. 6. G. Brooks, Outlines of Sermons, p. 269.

Judges 12:8 ; Judges 12:11 ; Judges 12:13

As one old statesman leaves the scene, a younger one comes forward, in the vigour of hope and power, to fill his place. When one great orator dies, another commonly succeeds him. The opportunity of the new aspirant is the departure of his predecessor; on every vacancy some new claimant many claimants probably strive with eager emulation to win it and to retain it. Every loss is, in a brief period, easily and fully repaired. Even, too, in the hereditary part of our constitution, most calamities are soon forgotten. One monarch dies, and another succeeds him. A new court, a new family, new hopes and new interests, spring up and supersede those which have passed away.

Bagehot in The Economist for December, 1801.

Judges 12:3

A deep teaching lies in the Hebrew idea, recurrent in so many forms, and haunting the world of fairyland and of legend, that the most precious gift of heaven must be long waited for. The late-born child is always the best beloved, the wondrously gifted, the miracle of strength, or the seer, who is to decide the fate of a nation. More or less, we see that the late-born is the precursor of the virgin-born.

Julia Wedgwood, Message of Israel, p. 142.

References. XIII. 16. W. Ewen, Christian World Pulpit, 1891, p. 328. XIII. 18-22. J. Vaughan, Fifty Sermons (1874), p. 249.

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Bibliographical Information
Nicoll, William Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Judges 12". Expositor's Dictionary of Text. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/edt/judges-12.html. 1910.