Commentaries on Judges
Commentaries on Judges is a great study of the Book of Judges.
Commentaries on Judges
JUDGES CHAPTER 2
IN THIS CHAPTER WE HAVE, I. A particular message which God sent to Israel by an angel, and the impression it made upon them ( Jdg 2:1-5 ). II. A general idea of the state of Israel during the government of the judges, in which observe, 1. Their adherence to God while Joshua and the elders lived ( Jdg 2:6-10 ). 2. Their revolt afterwards to idolatry ( Jdg 2:11-13 ). 3. God's displeasure against them, and his judgments upon them for it ( Jdg 2:14 , Jdg 2:15 ). 4. His pity towards them, shown in raising them up deliverers ( Jdg 2:16-18 ). 5. Their relapse into idolatry after the judgment was over ( Jdg 2:17-19 ). 6. The full stop God in anger put to their successes ( Jdg 2:20-23 ). These are the contents, not only of this chapter, but of the whole book.
It was the privilege of Israel that they had not only a law in general sent them from heaven, once for all, to direct them into and keep them in the way of happiness, but that they had particular messages sent them from heaven, as there was occasion, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, when at any time they turned aside out of that way. Besides the written word which they had before them to read, they often heard a word behind them, saying, This is the way, Isa 30:21 . Here begins that way of God's dealing with them. When they would not hear Moses, let it be tried whether they will hear the prophets. In these verses we have a very awakening sermon that was preached to them when they began to cool in their religion.
I. The preacher was an angel of the Lord ( Jdg 2:1 ), not a prophet, not Phinehas, as the Jews conceit; gospel ministers are indeed called angels of the churches, but the Old Testament prophets are never called angels of the Lord; no doubt this was a messenger we from heaven. Such extraordinary messengers we sometimes find in this book employed in the raising up of the judges that delivered Israel, as Gideon and Samson; and now, to show how various are the good offices they do for God's Israel, here is one sent to preach to them, to prevent their falling into sin and trouble. This extraordinary messenger was sent to command, if possible, the greater regard to the message, and to affect the minds of a people whom nothing seemed to affect but what was sensible. The learned bishop Patrick is clearly of opinion that this was not a created angel, but the Angel of the covenant, the same that appeared to Joshua as captain of the hosts of the Lord, who was God himself. Christ himself, says Dr. Lightfoot; who but God and Christ could say, I made you to go up out of Egypt? Joshua had lately admonished them to take heed of entangling themselves with the Canaanites, but they regarded not the words of a dying man; the same warning therefore is here brought them by the living God himself, the Son of God appearing as an angel. If they slight his servants, surely they will reverence his Son. This angel of the Lord is said to come up from Gilgal, perhaps not walking on the earth, but flying swiftly, as the angel Gabriel did to Daniel, in the open firmament of heaven; but, whether walking or flying, he seemed to come from Gilgal for a particular reason. Gilgal was long their headquarters after they came into Canaan, many signal favours they had there received from God, and there the covenant of circumcision was renewed ( Mic 6:5 ), of all which it was designed they should be reminded by his coming from Gilgal. The remembrance of what we have received and heard will prepare us for a warning to hold fast, Rev 3:2 , Rev 3:3 .
II. The persons to whom this sermon was preached were all the children of Israel, Jdg 2:4 . A great cong