Judges 2

1 The LORD’s angel came up from Gilgal to Bochim. He said, “I brought you out of Egypt, and have brought you to the land which I swore to give your fathers. I said, ‘I will never break my covenant with you. 2 You shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land. You shall break down their altars.’ But you have not listened to my voice. Why have you done this? 3 Therefore I also said, ‘I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be in your sides, and their gods will be a snare to you.’” 4 When the LORD’s angel spoke these words to all the children of Israel, the people lifted up their voice, and wept. 5 They called the name of that place Bochim, and they sacrificed there to the LORD. 6 Now when Joshua had sent the people away, the children of Israel each went to his inheritance to possess the land. 7 The people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work of the LORD that he had worked for Israel. 8 Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 9 They buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath Heres, in the hill country of Ephraim, on the north of the mountain of Gaash. 10 After all that generation were gathered to their fathers, another generation arose after them, who didn’t know the LORD, nor the work which he had done for Israel. 11 The children of Israel did that which was evil in the LORD’s sight, and served the Baals. 12 They abandoned the LORD, the God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the peoples who were around them, and bowed themselves down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13 They abandoned the LORD, and served Baal and the Ashtaroth. 14 The LORD’s anger burnt against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of raiders who plundered them. He sold them into the hands of their enemies all around, so that they could no longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the LORD’s hand was against them for evil, as the LORD had spoken, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were very distressed. 16 The LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 Yet they didn’t listen to their judges; for they prostituted themselves to other gods, and bowed themselves down to them. They turned aside quickly out of the way in which their fathers walked, obeying the LORD’s commandments. They didn’t do so. 18 When the LORD raised up judges for them, then the LORD was with the judge, and saved them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for it grieved the LORD because of their groaning by reason of those who oppressed them and troubled them. 19 But when the judge was dead, they turned back, and dealt more corruptly than their fathers in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down to them. They didn’t cease what they were doing, or give up their stubborn ways. 20 The LORD’s anger burnt against Israel; and he said, “Because this nation transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and has not listened to my voice, 21 I also will no longer drive out any of the nations that Joshua left when he died from before them; 22 that by them I may test Israel, to see if they will keep the the LORD’s way to walk therein, as their fathers kept it, or not.” 23 So the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily. He didn’t deliver them into Joshua’s hand.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1–5

It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Son of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who throw off communion with God, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, and will have nothing to say for themselves in the day of account shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with God’s enemies. God often makes men’s sin their punishment; and thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and not without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, no voice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation; but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves, and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worship of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment, cannot atone for sin.

Verses 6–23

We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel, during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as mean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have been great and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Their punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God made them serve the princes of the nations round about them, even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises, may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He might in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity do it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, and so they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of the church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so mad were they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent to backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God, which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most daring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened. Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and so they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to believe it, until by making bold with temptation we find it true by sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow after holiness all our days.

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