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Bible Commentaries
Judges 2

Gann's Commentary on the BibleGann on the Bible

Verse 1

The angel of the Lord (not an angel). - The phrase is used nearly 60 times to designate the Angel of God’s presence. See Genesis 12:7 note. In all cases where “the angel of the Lord” delivers a message, he does it as if God Himself were speaking, without the intervening words “Thus saith the Lord,” which are used in the case of prophets. (Compare Judges 6:8; Joshua 24:2.)

Gilgal (the place of blessing) to Bochim (the place of weeping)

[Bochim -> Bethel; LXX, etc.)

The site is unknown, but it was probably near Shiloh. The phrase “came up” denotes that it was in the hill country.

the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal -- where the mysterious appearance of ‘the captain of the host of the Lord’ had taken place, Joshua 5:13 ff. [Cf. Haggai 1:13]

The Angel who had been with them at Gilgal Exodus 23:20-23; Exodus 33:1-4; Joshua 5:10-15 accompanied them.

the angel of the Lord -- Not a prophet, as the Targ. and Rabbis interpret, and the LXX and Peshitto seem to imply when they insert the prophetic formula ‘thus saith the Lord,’ but the Angel who had led Israel to the Promised Land, Exodus 23:20-23; Exodus 32:34; Exodus 33:2. This Angel was the self-manifestation of Jehovah, sometimes identified with Jehovah as here and Genesis 31:13; Genesis cf.11, Exodus 3:6; Exodus cf.2, and alluded to as God or Jehovah Judges 6:14 cf. Judges 6:12; Judges 13:21 cf. Judges 13:22; at other times distinguished from Jehovah Genesis 16:11; Genesis 19:13, Numbers 22:31; though “the only distinction implied is between Jehovah and Jehovah in manifestation” (A. B. Davidson in HDB.i. 94). - CBSC

An angel of the Lord -- Rather, the angel of the Lord, i.e. the angel of his presence, whose message consequently is delivered as if the Lord himself were speaking (see Genesis 16:7, 9, 11, &c.). A good example of the difference between a message delivered by a prophet and one delivered by the angel of the Lord may be seen by comparing Judges 6:8 with ch. Judges 6:11-16. - PC:J

The terminology “angel of Yahweh” is never used of a human messenger or prophet in the historical books.5 The angel of Yahweh is a theophany, a visible manifestation of Yahweh. This appearance should be dated sometime between the death of the faithful elders who outlived Joshua c. 1380 b.c. and the rise of the first foreign oppressor c. 1367 b.c. -

5 The prophet Haggai is called “messenger (angel) of Yahweh” (Hag 1:13). Malachi calls a priest “the messenger (angel) of Yahweh” (Mal 2:7). - OTSS:BH (James Smith)

angel of the LORD” -- This angel, frequently identified with God himself (Judges 6:22; Judges 13:21-22), was perhaps a preincarnate form of the Second Person of the Trinity. EBC-OT

The mention of Gilgal thus fixes the transaction to the period soon after the removal of the camp from Gilgal, and the events recorded in Judg. 1:1-36 (of which those related in Judg. 1:1-29 took place before, and those in Judges 1:30-36, just after that removal). It also shows that it was the conduct of the Israelites, recorded in Judg. 1 as in Joshua 16:1-10; 17, which provoked this rebuke.

Verse 6

2:6-10 Verses 6-10 review the close of Joshua’s life and the generation that outlived him.

Verse 9

9. in the border of his inheritance] i.e. within the district allotted to him, Joshua 19:49.

Timnath-heres] An early tradition, mentioned by Eusebius (Onom.Sacr. 261, 33) and Jerome, pointed out the tomb of Joshua at Thamna, a fortified place of some importance in Maccabaean and Roman times (1 Maccabees 9:50; Jos., Ant. xiv. 11, 2, War iv. 8, 1), which, from the topographical notices of Josephus ll. cc., may be identified with the modern Tibneh, about 10 m. N.W. of Beth-el, in the Central Highlands. It is not unlikely that this was Timnath-ḥeres; remarkable tombs are still to be seen on the N. slope of the hill to the S.W. of the town. - CBSC

Verse 20

Judges 2:20-22 20–22. These verses are clearly not the sequel of Judges 2:11-19; Judges 2:20 continues Judges 2:13 (see note); the opening words repeat Judges 2:14; the nations in Judges 2:21 are not on the frontiers, round about Israel (Judges 2:14), but those left by Joshua in the midst of Israel; they are spared not only to punish Israel’s sin, but to test its loyalty. The change of view indicates a different hand: - CBSC

This paragraph, along with the next one (which identifies the remaining enemy nations still in the land, Judges 3:1-6), concludes the theological analysis of the period of the Judges. Whereas the pattern identified in Judges 2:11-19 related to surrounding nations that came in and plundered various tribes of Israel, 2:20-3:6 refers to Canaanite peoples already in the land which Israel failed to displace because of lack of faith and obedience. - BKC

transgressed my covenant which I commanded] Joshua 7:11? Rje, Joshua 23:16 D; cf. Joshua 7:15, Deuteronomy 17:2, 1 Kings 11:11, Jeremiah 34:18. The covenant inaugurated at Sinai, renewed at Shechem (Joshua 24:24-25),

Verse 22

2:20-23 Because Israel persisted in disobedience, God decided to allow the nations to remain in the land as chastisement upon His people (vv. 20-23). Punishment for disobedience was not the only reason the Lord did not drive out all the Canaanites. He left them to test Israel (v. 22; Judges 3:4) and to train succeeding generations for war (Judges 3:1-2). We can gain insight from this as to why the Lord allows believers to go through problems and trials. He wants to know if "they will keep the ways of the LORD . . . or not" (v. 22). - BBC

Verse 23

The Lord allowed the Canaanite nations to remain in the land for four reasons:

(1) He chose to punish Israel for her apostasy in turning to idolatry (Judges 2:2, Judges 2:20-21; cf. Joshua 23:1-13). In identifying themselves with the peoples of the land through marriage and subsequent idolatry (cf. Judges 3:6), the Israelites violated the covenant that the Lord gave their forefathers (cf. Joshua 23:16). Therefore, as God had promised (Joshua 23:4, Joshua 23:13), He would no longer drive out before them any of the nations Joshua left when he died.

(2) The Lord left the Canaanites in the land to test Israel’s faithfulness to Himself (Judges 2:22; Judges 3:4). This provided each generation with an opportunity to keep the way of the Lord (cf. “the way of obedience,” Joshua 2:17) or to continue in the rebellion of their immediate ancestors.

(3) The Lord left the Canaanites in the land to give Israel experience in warfare (see comments on Joshua 3:2).

(4) Another reason is stated in Deuteronomy 7:20-24 — to prevent the land from becoming a wilderness before Israel’s population increased sufficiently to occupy the whole land.

Bibliographical Information
Gann, Windell. "Commentary on Judges 2". Gann's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gbc/judges-2.html. 2021.
 
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