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God left certain nations, a company of stem, implacable enemies, in order to prove Israel. The overruling of God is set forth remarkably in this declaration. The people who had refused to cast out the enemies were now to be taught by long-continued conflict with them the lessons of vital importance to their fulfillment of divine purpose.
In what remains of this chapter, the first two movements of failure, punishment, and deliverance are recorded. The first of these occupies verses seven to eleven. Their sin is stated definitely as being that they forgot God.
The statement suggests a gradual deterioration ending in degeneracy. The punishment for this consisted of eight years of oppression. Under this affliction they cried to God and He heard them, and the first of the judges appeared in the person of Othniel, a relation of Caleb. Of him it is said, "And he judged Israel, and he went out to war." Thus the repentant nation was heard and the divinely appointed deliverer set the nation once again in order. Forty years of rest followed.
Then we have the story of the second declension. At the death of Othniel the people sinned again. This time punishment came through Eglon. An illuminative declaration made here is that Jehovah strengthened Eglon.
The one thing most vividly impressed upon the mind in reading these accounts is the fact of the government of God. After eighteen years they cried to Him again and again He heard. Ehud was the deliverer. Probably Shamgar was associated with him in some way in this work. This deliverance was followed by eighty years of rest.
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Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Judges 3". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 14 / Ordinary 19