Lectionary Calendar
Thursday, May 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Judges 2

Grant's Commentary on the BibleGrant's Commentary

Verses 1-23


(vv. 1-6)

Israel's failure called for strong reproof. The angel of the Lord, who is the Lord Himself, not a messenger from God, but the messenger, came from Gilgal to Bochim (v. 1).Gilgal speaks of the self-judgment of sin in the flesh, but Israel had neglected this after settling in the land. If we too neglect the self-judgment that is necessary for a walk with God, the result will be Bochim, meaning "weeping."

He tells Israel, "I led you up from Egypt and brought you to the land of which I swore to your fathers, and I said, I will never break My covenant with you." Certainly God was true to His Word, but Israel had covenanted to obey God's law, which included the command that they should make no covenant with the inhabitants of Canaan. But they had not obeyed. He asked them why? But they had no answer (v. 2).

Therefore they must suffer the results of this disobedience (v. 4). Since they would not cooperate with God, He would not drive out the inhabitants of the land, but would leave them to cause constant distress and trouble, exposed to the snare of being deceived by the idolatrous worshipers of Canaan.

The power of these words did at least have some effect on Israel, causing the people to weep, the meaning of the name Bochim, and they sacrificed there to the Lord. We might wish that this had more lasting effect, but it seemed only transitory.


(vv. 7-10)

While Joshua and the elders who had observed the great works of the Lord continued to live, Israel continued to serve the Lord in some evident measure. But Joshua died (at age 110--v.8), together with the older generation of Israel, and another generation followed who did not follow the faith of their fathers, not knowing the Lord or the work He had done for Israel (v. 10).This may have been greatly due to Israel's negligence in obeying God's Word to diligently teach their children (Deuteronomy 31:10-13). But just as Israel so soon began their process of disintegration, so the Church very soon after its inception, departed from the truth on which it was established, and most sad disastrous results have followed (Acts 20:29-30, 2 Timothy 2:16-21).


(vv. 11-13)

This section is a summary of what follows in the book of Judges, showing how often Israel departed from God and how God dealt in grace, giving them various deliverers who arrested the general trend for a time, yet after each deliverance Israel sinking lower and lower.

They began their descent by serving the Baals (v. 11). This word means "lords," just as today there are many who will talk about "the Lord" while not at all meaning the Lord Jesus, for "there are so-called gods, whether in heaven or on earth (as there are many gods and many lords"(1 Corinthians 8:5).People commonly prefer a substitute that will not try their consciences.

Thus, Israel "forsook the Lord God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt" (v. 12),being seduced by the idols of the nations among whom they lived. Added to the worship of Baal, however, was that of the Ashtoreths (v. 13), female goddesses, the name meaning "thoughtsearching." This may sound good, but in leaving Christ out of it, it is merely self-occupation that gives the impression of spiritual exercise, something like transcendental meditation does. Every believer should recognize and abhor all such imitations.

Such departure must incur the anger of God, who delivered Israel into the cruel hands of the very nations whose gods they were adopting, and their enemies gained ascendancy over them (v.14). They must learn the governmental results of their own folly, and must learn that God meant what He said when warning them of such calamity on account of their disobedience (v. 15).

Yet God graciously intervened on such occasions to raise up judges whom He used to liberate Israel (v. 16).However, while appreciating their deliverance, they were not prepared to give the judges the honor of their submitting to the Word of God which the judges gave them (v. 17), but turned quickly from the way in which their fathers walked.

After every time of deliverance, when the judge died, Israel reverted to their low state or even lower than before, serving and bowing down to idols (v. 19). Can we wonder that God's anger was hot against Israel? Because of Israel's transgressing God's covenant, He declared He would no longer drive out before them any of the nations that had been left when Joshua died (vv. 20-21). Instead, He would use those nations to test Israel (v. 22). The very fact of these nations' demon worship ought to have stirred Israel's revulsion against such evil rather than to seduce them to follow the same practices. Thus it was a test, but one that proved Israel rebellious.

Bibliographical Information
Grant, L. M. "Commentary on Judges 2". Grant's Commentary on the Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/lmg/judges-2.html. 1897-1910.
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