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Old and New Testament.
Judges 10:1 Now after Abimelech died,
the son of
Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar, arose to save Israel; and he lived
in Shamir in the hill country of Ephraim.
A.M. 2772, B.C. 1232, An, Ex, Is, 259
arose (KJV): Jdg 2:16 3:9
defend (KJV): or, deliver, Heb. save
Shamir (KJV): Jos 15:48
"scarlet," "purple," a sign of luxury (see
rescue. There is no mention of any external threat while he was in
Judges 10:2 And he judged Israel twenty-three years. Then
he died and was buried in Shamir.
Judges 10:3 And after him,
the Gileadite arose, and
judged Israel twenty-two years.
A.M. 2795, B.C. 1209, An, Ex, Is, 282
a Gileadite (KJV): Ge 31:48 Nu 32:29
Judges 10:4 And he had thirty sons who rode on thirty
donkeys, and they had thirty cities in the land of Gilead that are called
Havvoth-jair to this day.
rode (KJV): Jdg 5:10 12:14
called (KJV): Nu 32:41 Dt 3:14
Havothjair (KJV): or, the villages of Jair
Very large families
(cp 12:9,14) suggests a marriage to several wives, a part of life tolerated
but never ordained or approved in God’s blueprint of one man and one woman
for life (Ge2:24).
Judges 10:5 And Jair died and was buried in Kamon.
Godly men in positions
of responsibility, within our communities, can have a real and positive
influence for good and in restraining evil. It is right that through the
mechanisms of a democratic society godly men and women should seek to
influence popular thinking and legislative decision making to bring our
society more in line with Scripture. But these measures will be only limited
and temporary, unless the hearts of the people are changed by the
gospel of Jesus Christ. Otherwise, once the restraint is removed, as when
the Christians of influence are voted out or die, the old downhill movement
will soon take over again. Nothing short of a work of God’s
Spirit in the hearts and lives of thousands of “ordinary people” can turn
the juggernaut of our increasingly godless Western materialism back from the
slippery slope of collapse and disintegration. While we are right to pray
and work to restrain sin and to enact Christian legislation to prevent the
corruption of our society and the upholding of God’s moral absolutes, we
shall never change the hearts of people that way. Law can restrain, for a
while, but only the gospel can liberate. It is noteworthy that the
great social reforms of the nineteenth century, such as the abolition of
slavery, followed spiritual revivals in the late eighteenth century
catalyzed by George Whitefield and John Wesley, men who God raised up to
proclaim His truth in power. When the hearts of men and women were changed
in large numbers, the laws of the society were also soon follow. Only a
similar movement of God's Spirit in our day will save America from the
deadly decay of moral decline and depravity which ultimately will destroy a
nation founded as "one nation under God"! Pray for revival and anointed
empowered revivalists like Wesley and Whitefield to be raised up by God.
There is simply no other hope. American Christians must cry out, confess and
repent and perhaps God will no longer be able to bear our misery (v16).
Judges 10:6 Then the sons of Israel again did evil in the
sight of the LORD, served the Baals and the Ashtaroth, the gods of Aram, the
gods of Sidon, the gods of Moab, the gods of the sons of Ammon, and the gods
of the Philistines; thus they forsook the LORD and did not serve Him.
A.M. 2817, B.C. 1187, An, Ex, Is, 304
did evil (KJV): Jdg 4:1 6:1 13:1, A.M. 2799, B.C. 1205, An, Ex, Is, 286
Baalim (KJV): Jdg 2:11-14 3:7 2Ch 28:23 Ps 106:36
the gods of Zidon (KJV): 1Ki 11:5,7,33 16:31 2Ki 17:16,29-31 23:13
the gods of the Philistines (KJV): Jdg 16:23 1Sa 5:2 2Ki 1:2,3 Jer 2:13 Eze
THEN THE SONS OF
ISRAEL AGAIN DID EVIL IN THE SIGHT OF THE LORD
After forty-five years of comparative quiet Israel again apostatized,
and in “process of time the children of Ammon made war against Israel”
Did evil in the
sight of the LORD - a repeated phrase in Judges - see notes
The phrase did evil
is common in is also common in 1 & 2 Kings (24 times), increasing in frequency in
second Kings (click
for all 41 uses of the phrase "did evil" in the OT). It is as if the closer they got to judgment, the more evil they
became or the more certain the judgment had to be. Just a thought to ponder. Note it is also interesting that this
phrase did evil is not found in 1 & 2 Samuel. Could it be that the reason
is that the leaders were godly men like Samuel and David? Note also that the
evil began with Baalim (plural) but progressed to the point documented in
Judges 10:6 (note)!
THE GODS OF ARAM: Of Hadad which worshiped Baal, Mot,
THE GODS OF SIDON:
THE GODS OF MOAB:
THE GODS OF THE SONS OF AMMON:
Molech, Moloch, etc
AND THE GODS
OF THE PHILISTINES:
Dagon, Baal, etc
This longer list of gods ("seven fold
idolatry") suggests a progressive downward spiral in Israel’s
violations of the covenant. However even in Jdg 2:11 the plural for Baal (Baalim)
suggests they were already "polytheists" at the early stages of apostasy in
Judges. It is interesting to note that these pagan nations form a complete circle
Commentary presents an interesting analysis writing that...
Pagan religion was based on a system
which can best be summarized by the term sympathetic magic. We have to go
back a stage to understand the attraction of idolatry. It is the harnessing
of supernatural power to achieve the ends which the “worshiper” requires. In
spite of mankind’s rebellion against God and rejection of His moral law, it
remains stubbornly true that because we are made in the image of God, men
and women always have been and always will be incurably religious. There
will always be an appetite for the divine, which can ultimately only be
satisfied in the deep personal relationship with God, through the Lord Jesus
Christ, which is the essence of Christianity. But man, in rebellion, is
always looking for substitutes. The root of all sin is to want to be my own
god. It is clear that idolatry will always be attractive to the sinful human
heart. It removes the uncomfortable aspects of the living God, with His
perfect knowledge, total power, and moral demands, summed up by C. S. Lewis
in his memorable description as “the transcendental interferer,” and
replaces the god-need with an idol which I can create and control. The only
problem is that the idol has no power, because it is lifeless. Therefore, I
have to persuade myself that like any human being (after all it is made in
the image of man!) my “god” has to be cajoled, or encouraged, or bribed to
give me what I desire. This need lies at the root of all pagan worship. So,
if the requirement is for fertile soil and rich harvests, as it was with the
Canaanites, the temple worship logically involves ritual prostitution, in
the hope that the demonstration and dedication of human potency and
fertility will persuade the god to act similarly in the natural, physical
realm—to increase the crops or the flocks of animals. Canaanite religion was
largely a fertility cult of the mother goddess. Other gods, such as Molech
(god of Ammon), required human sacrifice, especially of children, in a fire
pit, as did Chemosh (god of Moab). (Jackman, D., & Ogilvie, L. J. Vol. 7:
The Preacher's Commentary Series: Judges, Ruth. Page 162. Nashville,
Tennessee: Thomas Nelson)
FORSOOK THE LORD AND DID NOT SERVE HIM:
A SAD REFRAIN:
Did not - This
is a sad refrain in the book of Judges (and I fear too often in our lives
[including mine!] as believers!
Did not drive out
= Jdg 1:21, 28, 30, 31, 32, 33-note
did not know the LORD = Jdg 2:10-note
did not listen to their judges = Jdg
did not do as their fathers = Jdg
did not abandon their practices or their
stubborn ways = Jdg 2:19-note
did not remember the LORD their God Jdg
did not serve Him = Jdg 10:6-note
commentary on faithless Jerusalem years later is timelessly applicable...
"Has a nation changed gods, When they
were not gods? But My people have changed their glory For that which does
not profit. "Be appalled, O heavens, at this, And shudder, be very
desolate," declares the LORD. For My people have committed two evils: They
have forsakben Me, The fountain of living waters, To hew for
themselves cisterns, Broken cisterns, That can hold no water. (Jeremiah
Abraham Lincoln wrote
these words as he proclaimed a National Fast Day, as it was his belief that
the Civil War was a chastisement from God for the sins of the nation:
have been the recipients of the choicest blessed bounties of heaven. We have
been preserved these many years in peace and prosperity. We have grown in
numbers, wealth, and power as no other nation has ever grown. But we HAVE
What would he say
today? These next 3 chapters of Judges chronicle the same kind of national
tragedy in Israel. In spite of all that God had repeatedly done for His
people, once again the Israelites FORGOT THEIR GOD.
fickleness of Israel in light of God's treatment of them is difficult to
understand. Israel would soon find out that the sin of idolatry promised a
great deal but delivered little. It promised freedom, pleasure, and
prosperity but delivered bondage, guilt, shame and death. And so it is still
Judges 10:7 And the anger of the LORD burned against
Israel, and He sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the
hands of the sons of Ammon.
was hot (KJV): Jdg 2:14 Dt 29:20-28 31:16-18 32:16-22 Jos 23:15,16 Ps 74:1
he sold (KJV): Jdg 4:2 1Sa 12:9,10 Ps 44:12 Isa 50:1
Literally "His nose became hot"
an expressive metaphor for the anger and
one of the most obvious examples of the anthropomorphisms for God in the OT.
Commentary writes that when an individual or a nation forsakes the
Disaster is inevitable. The idols we
create and choose to worship can never satisfy because ultimately every
man-made cistern is flawed. We can only hew out leaking containers, which
are destined to run dry. We do not have the spiritual technology to create a
fountain of living waters, however much we may fool ourselves. So, God’s
wrath is always kindled when anyone or anything is allowed to take over His
place in our lives. It is not a vindictive, punitive anger, but a jealous
yearning that those whom He has redeemed, at such great cost, should live in
the enjoyment of that exclusive relationship with Himself, for which He
recreated them. “I will be your God and you shall be My people.” Such anger
is the other side of a love that will not let us go, a love that
disciplines, in order to restore. (Jackman, D., & Ogilvie, L. J. Vol. 7: The
Preacher's Commentary Series: Judges, Ruth. Page 163. Nashville, Tennessee:
And so the enemy comes in from the East, Ammonites who were descendants of
Lot, Abraham's nephew.
Once again we see the Lord again punish His covenant breaking, faithless people by
sending foreign oppressors—the
Philistines in the west (in the following story of Samson, Jdg 13-16)
and the Ammonites in the east, who oppressed Israel for 18 years. Ammon was
a Transjordanian kingdom northeast of Moab which was allied with Eglon of
Moab in the time of Ehud (3:13). The Ammonites oppressed Gilead, the
Transjordanian area occupied in the south by the tribe of Gad and in the
north by the half-tribe of Manasseh.
bitter fruit of sin. When we turn from God to sin we always lose for
sin's promises are never fulfilled. Israel's compromise with the pagans from
a human perspective may have seemed sensible. After all it wouldn't hurt to
experience a little of their culture and religion and thus ensure a peaceful
coexistence. The problem was that they turned from God and He turned from
them. When has sin ever produced what was promised? Sin never produces the
alluring fruit for which we have yielded to its temptation in the first
place. Sin cannot, and has not the slightest interest in doing so. We are at
our most foolish when we imagine that sin has our best interests at heart.
Sin's only desire is to trap us, to rule us and to destroy us. Sin always
produces great distress, even though sometimes, by God’s grace, its effects
are delayed. Nevertheless, a broken relationship with God will always result
in broken relationships with others—an isolation and aloneness which are
sin’s dead end.
Judges 10:8 And they afflicted and crushed the sons of
Israel that year; for eighteen years they afflicted all the sons of Israel
who were beyond the Jordan in Gilead in the land of the Amorites.
that year (KJV): Jdg 10:5 Isa 30:13 1Th
oppressed (KJV): Heb. crushed
Reuben, Gad & the half
tribe of Manasseh had settled in the "Trans-Jordan" region & now they
suffered at the hands of the fierce Ammonite armies that repeatedly
devastated their lands.
Judges 10:9 And the sons of Ammon crossed the Jordan to
fight also against Judah, Benjamin, and the house of Ephraim, so that Israel
was greatly distressed.
passed (KJV): Jdg 3:12,13 6:3-5 2Ch 14:9 20:1,2
distressed (KJV): Dt 28:65 1Sa 28:15 2Ch 15:5
Hebrew word pictures being in a narrow, confining space
Judges 10:10 Then the sons of Israel cried out to the
LORD, saying, "We have sinned against Thee, for indeed, we have forsaken our
God and served the Baals."
cried (KJV): Jdg 3:9 1Sa 12:10 Ps
"Cried out" As
in the previous times of distress when Israel
called on the Lord there was no evidence of repentance for her sin. She was
like the passengers on an airplane that suddenly lost engine power and began
to cry out to God for help. It is interesting that despite the plethora of
so-called gods, Israel in "crunch time" cried out to the One God Jehovah.
This implies that deep inside they knew their so-called gods were not really
God and had no power to save. It also shows how if men will not serve the
One God, they are still so constituted that they must worship and will
resort to gods of their own imagination to satisfy this deep inner need.
It's true of all of us - we have been created with a "God shaped vacuum" and
if we will not worship the One True God, we will worship the god of self, of
money, of power, etc. These latter gods make no moral demands per se on us
and thus we can do as we please, doing whatever seems right in our own eyes.
And so we conclude that much of the modern world like ancient Israel is in
effect "polytheistic", the only difference being that the modern gods have
WE HAVE SINNED AGAINST THEE: first they confessed their sins
and then, then the Lord rebuked them (v13,14), but they remained steadfast in
their confession of sin (v15) and took action to get rid of the foreign gods
and serve the Lord. (v16). Indeed, this scenario does suggest that in this
"cycle" there may have been more than just remorse. There may have been
genuine repentance. Ultimately God alone knows whether this was genuine or
is the only recorded instance in Judges where the people confess
Remember if we
are tempted to condemn Israel for their stupidity & the fact that they never
seemed to learn, they are a picture of our fallen flesh nature. When we look at them we
are looking at ourselves (in our Adamic nature, our old man, our "flesh").
In so many ways our lives are simply a modern day reflection of their
ancient rebellion. And why is this? simple -- we have no King at the moment
of rebellion & we are doing what is right in our own eyes, just like Israel
Henry comments on (V10-18):
"God is able to multiply men's punishments according to the numbers of their
sins and idols. (cp v6) But there is hope when sinners cry to the Lord for
help, and lament their ungodliness as well as their more open
transgressions. It is necessary, in true repentance, that there be a full
conviction that those things cannot help us which we have set in competition
with God. They acknowledged what they deserved, yet prayed to God not to
deal with them according to their deserts. We must submit to God's justice,
with a hope in his mercy. True repentance is not only for sin, but from sin.
As the disobedience
and misery of a child are a grief to a tender father, so the provocations of
God's people are a grief to Him. From Him mercy never can be sought in vain.
Let then the trembling sinner, and the almost despairing backslider, cease
from debating about God's secret purposes, or from expecting to find hope
from former experiences. Let them cast themselves on the mercy of God our
Saviour, humble themselves under His hand, seek deliverance from the powers
of darkness, separate themselves from sin, and from occasions of it, use the
means of grace diligently, and wait the Lord's time, and so they shall
certainly rejoice in His mercy."
Judges 10:11 And the LORD said to the sons of Israel,
"Did I not deliver you from the Egyptians, the Amorites, the sons of Ammon,
and the Philistines?
I (KJV): Jdg 2:1-3
Egyptians (KJV): Ex 14:30 1Sa 12:8 Ne 9:9-11 Ps 78:51-53 106:8-11 Heb 11:29
Amorites (KJV): Nu 21:21-25,35 Ps 135:10,11
children (KJV): Jdg 3:11-15
Philistines (KJV): Jdg 3:31
The Lord contrasted
Israel's disobedience with his own faithfulness in delivering them from at
least seven oppressors. As so often in Old Testament
instruction, God counsels His people to look back and learn lessons in the
present from their past. Their very existence as a nation, created through
the Exodus from Egypt, was totally dependent on the divine initiative.
Judges 10:12 "Also when the Sidonians, the Amalekites
and the Maonites oppressed you, you cried out to Me, and I delivered you
from their hands.
(KJV): Jdg 5:19-31
Amalekites (KJV): Jdg 6:3
the Maonites (KJV): The LXX. have "the Midianites," which Dr. Wall thinks
the true reading. But the Maonites might be a tribe of Arabs, inhabitants of
Maon. (Jos 15:55. 1Sa 23:24, 25; 25:2,) which assisted Moab. 2Ch 26:6,7 Ps
“I delivered you”
is the constant refrain in all these incidents. Again and again God had
stepped in to rescue them when all seemed lost. How many times He had called
them back to Himself!
The LXX reads
Midianites for Maonites
Judges 10:13 "Yet you have forsaken Me and served other
gods; therefore I will deliver you no more.
Jdg 2:12 Dt 32:15 1Ch 28:9 Jer 2:13 Jon
"I will deliver you
no more" are some of the most frightening words in all of Scripture. If
you are not frightened by them, then you need to ask why not. The
simple, clear indictment bring home in a sickening way, to the pit of our
stomachs, the awful emptiness and hopelessness of being irrefutably under
God’s rebuke. And yet God is not to be blamed for He is only being true to
His holy Word. As the Preacher's Commentary observes...
Thank God that He still loves His lost
world of rebellious human beings enough, sometimes, to rebuke us by leaving
us to our own devices until we realize what a desperate dead end sin is. We
need to expose our contemporary God-substitutes to the penetrating light of
the Old Testament’s exposure of idolatry, for what it really is and where it
really leads. (Jackman, D., & Ogilvie, L. J. Vol. 7: The Preacher's
Commentary Series: Judges, Ruth. Page 166. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas
Judges 10:14 "Go and cry out to the gods which you have
chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your distress."
Dt 32:26-28,37,38 1Ki 18:27,28 2Ki 3:13
Pr 1:25-27 Isa 10:3 Jer 2:28
CHOSEN = Means
to take a keen look at,
and involves careful, well thought-out choice: Israel did not deserve God's saving intervention.
DELIVER: rescue, save, help, preserve
DISTRESS: tribulation, tightness, Septuagint =: thlipsis ~ crushing
"The gods they served provided opportunities for isn, but there
was no salvation from their hands. It is the same in our day. Many people
are seeking and following the gods of lust and pleasure and materialism.
They too provide many opportunities for excitement and blatant sinfulness,
but they cannot save a precious soul."
Judges 10:15 And the sons of Israel said to the LORD,
"We have sinned, do to us whatever seems good to Thee; only please deliver
us this day."
sinned (KJV): 2Sa 12:13 24:10 Job 33:27 Pr 28:13 1Jn 1:8-10
do thou (KJV): Jos 9:25 1Sa 3:18 2Sa 10:12 15:26 Jon 2:4 3:9
seemeth (KJV): etc. Heb. is good in thine eyes
deliver (KJV): 2Sa 24:14 Job 34:31,32
They accepted whatever punishment God
would give (as justly deserved). This may be an example of genuine
"Genuine repentance acknowledges God’s right to chasten, so
His punishment is seen as just and He is thereby glorified. It also seeks
the remediation that chastening brings, because genuine contrition pursues
DELIVER: draw us out, pull us out of this mess
Preacher's Commentary has an
excellent summary of this section writing that...
The Greek word metanoia, which we
translate “repentance,” means a change of mind. It is in our thought
processes that the transformation which issues in a change of action has to
begin. Repentance is more than a mere admission of sin, though that
confession “we have sinned” (v. 15) is the first step. What the people had
once regarded as a legitimate expression of their own self-determination is
now recognized for what it always was—an offense against God. But admission,
on its own, can mean little more than remorse. The small boy caught pulling
his sister’s hair may howl in apparent contrition at the punishment he
receives, but he may simply be peeved that his misdeed has been discovered.
Do the tears signify repentance, or merely remorse? Everything depends on
what happens when the adult leaves the room. True repentance is being sorry
enough to quit! Just as Israel had chosen to turn away from the Lord, so now
they must choose to turn away from idols. The reality of their repentance is
demonstrated, in verse 15, in the request, “Do to us whatever seems best to
You.” That reveals a heart change. While recognizing the justice of what God
has said, they would still rather cast themselves upon His mercy than be
left in the misery of their sin, without Him. They realize that they have no
grounds on which to appeal for mercy, but they determine nevertheless to
commit their cause to their gracious covenant Lord. There are no extenuating
circumstances. There can be no logical appeal-grounds for clemency. Still,
it is better to fall into the hands of the Lord than to be left, isolated in
one’s sins, a prey to the nations around them. At the same time, they
demonstrate the reality of their words by removing the foreign gods and
restoring their right and proper worship of Yahweh (v. 16). They turn to
Him, not in words only, but in deeds and therefore in truth. There was a
public break with sin which signified a true change of heart, and this was
acceptable to God. (Jackman, D., & Ogilvie, L. J. Vol. 7: The Preacher's
Commentary Series: Judges, Ruth. Page 167. Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas
Judges 10:16 So they put away the foreign gods from
among them, and served the LORD; and He could bear the misery of Israel no
they put (KJV): 2Ch
7:14 15:8 33:15 Jer 18:7,8 Eze 18:30-32 Ho 14:1-3,8
strange gods (KJV): Heb. gods of strangers
his soul (KJV): Ge 6:6 Ps 106:44,45 Isa 63:9 Jer 31:20 Ho 11:8 Lu 15:20
19:41 Joh 11:34 Eph 4:32 Heb 3:10 4:15
grieved (KJV): Heb. shortened, Not that there is any grief in God; he has
infinite joy and happiness in himself, which cannot be broken in upon by
either the sins or the miseries of his creatures. Not that there is any
change in God; for he is of one mind, and who can turn him? But his goodness
is his glory; by it he proclaims his name, and magnifies it; and as he is
pleased to put himself into the relation of a father to his people, so he is
pleased to represent his goodness to them by the compassion of a father to
his children; for as he is the Father of lights, so is he the Father of
THEY PUT AWAY:
turned aside or departed from their so called gods, a critical step which
would support that this time their
confession was not simply remorse but was also accompanied by a renunciation
of the false gods.
THE LORD AND HE COULD BEAR THE MISERY OF ISRAEL NO LONGER:
Due largely to the
influence of Greek philosophers like Plato and Aristotle, many people in the
ancient world, including most of the early church fathers, believed that God
was incapable of feeling a wide range of common emotions. Similarly, the
contaminating effects of the Enlightenment lead many today to envision God
primarily as a rational and intellectual being, void of genuine feeling.
This verse radically does away with such a gross misconception! And this
realization that we humans actually do cause God pain, can lead us to soften
our hardened hearts and encourage us to love the Lord with ever-deepening
devotion. Do we really understand the depth of the truth in this section. O
Lord, open our eyes to see what even our seemingly "little" sins do to Your
tender heart! Amen.
More literally the Hebrew has one of the
most incredibly tender descriptions of Jehovah in all of Scripture:
"His soul could no longer endure"
"Bear no longer" (qatsar) means cut short or have a briefer
duration of time go by than is normal. Figuratively qatsar means to be
impatient, grow tired, no longer bear. It means to have a feeling or
attitude of a lack of forbearance in reference to an object or event
"God's soul reached the limit of its endurance with the trouble of Israel".
Literally, His soul became “short” or “impatient.” God could bear it no
longer. The same word is used in Numbers 21:4...
Then they set out from Mount Hor by the
way of the Red Sea, to go around the land of Edom; and the people became
impatient because of the journey.
In Numbers qatsar describes the
people becoming very discouraged on their wilderness journey round the
borders of Edom, just before they grumbled against God and against Moses and
suffered the plague of fiery serpents. This use in Judges is clearly in a
positive context, indicating that Jehovah can no longer look down at the
miseries His people are suffering. His heart response toward them does not
reflect a grudging duty, but is a deep-rooted response of covenant love. But
don't miss the important truth that the same covenant love that withdrew His
protection in order to bring His sinful people to recognize the consequences
of their sin is the covenant love that now demonstrates itself in great
compassion for his punishment has achieved the goal of turning them back
from their rebellion, to love and serve the Lord. Punishments and benefits
flow from the love of God, and have for their object the happiness and
well-being of men. As Israel turned to the Lord, so He also turned to their
were God's people undergoing the discipline which they so richly deserved.
God could have written them off. but God's heart was i turmoil over what
Israel was suffering and finally He said "That is enough. I cannot take it
Davis comments that...
Many Christians, especially those
who have a lively sense of God’s severity but little of his kindness, should
meditate on this text. You must see Yahweh’s heart. And don’t forget where
he showed it to you: in the Old Testament, the book of the grace of God.
(Ralph Davis, D. Focus on the Bible: Judges)
Paul in describing the
regenerated Thessalonian believers wrote that even other people
"report about us (Paul, Silas, Timothy)
what kind of a reception we had with you, and how you turned to God from
idols to serve a living and true God, and to wait for His Son from
heaven, whom He raised from the dead, that is Jesus, who delivers us from
the wrath to come. (1 Thes 1:9-10)
Adam Clarke writes:
"What a proof of the philanthropy of God! Here His compassion moved on a
small scale, but it was the same principle that led Him to give His Son
Jesus Christ to be a sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. God grieves
for the miseries to which His creatures are reduced by their own sins."
F B Meyer
Our Daily Homily
His soul was grieved for the misery of
This is a very strong
way of stating the pitifulness of God. It is applying to Him terms borrowed
from our own experiences as men; and in no other way could we realize the
tender love and compassion of our Heavenly Father. Israel’s miseries were
due to the sins with which their history was marked; but God’s love brooded
over them, longing to deliver.
This is the
explanation of God’s first words to Adam. — One of the versions substitutes
for “Where art thou?” the words “Alas for thee!” as though God were treading
the glades of Eden with a broken heart, grieved for the misery of his
This was the lament of
God’s Spirit throughout the Old Testament. — “How shall I give thee up,
Ephraim? Mine heart is turned within me; my compassions are kindled
together.” “O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself!”
This led to the
Incarnation and Passion of our Lord. — He looked, and there was no man; He
wondered that there was none to help, therefore his own arm brought
This characterized our
Lord’s earthly life. — When He beheld the city, and foresaw all the evil
that would accrue to it, He could not hold back his tears. “His soul was
grieved.” In all likelihood, you, my reader, may be suffering keenly the
result of your own mistakes and sins in earlier life. The troubles that hem
you in are the direct outcome of your having forsaken God. He could, and
would, have saved you; but you made it impossible, because you withdrew
yourself from his care. And now He grieves over you. If only you would
forsake your sins and turn to Him, He would assuredly raise up a Jephthah
for your help.
G Campbell Morgan
His soul was grieved
for the misery of Israel. Judges 10.16.
These are wonderful words about God, especially when considered in the light
of the circumstances concerning which they were written. The people of God
seem for a period to have given themselves up with an appalling abandonment
to almost every form of idolatry which presented itself to them. Notice the
list: the Baalim, the Ashtaroth, the gods of Syria, the gods of Zidon, the
gods of Moab, the gods of the children of Ammon, the gods of the
Philistines. The anger of Jehovah against them proceeded in judgment through
the Philistines and the men of Ammon, and it continued for eighteen years.
Then, in their sore distress, they cried to God, and for the first time it
is recorded that He refused to save them, reminding them of how repeatedly
He had delivered them, and yet they had turned back to their evil courses.
In the message of His
anger there was clearly evident a purpose of love. He would recall them to a
recognition of His power by bidding them seek deliverance from the gods whom
they had worshipped. The method produced the result. They put away the
strange gods and returned to Jehovah. Then, these words admit us to the deep
fact underlying all the Divine activity: "His soul was grieved for the
misery of Israel." The Hebrew word literally means "impatient." It suggests
God's restlessness in the presence of suffering. It is the restlessness of
His love, and that is the cause of His anger, and the governing principle in
all its activities. (Morgan, G. C. Life Applications from Every Chapter of
Judges 10:17 Then the sons of Ammon were summoned, and
they camped in Gilead. And the sons of Israel gathered together, and camped
(KJV): Heb. cried together
Mizpeh (KJV): Jdg 11:11,29 Ge 31:49
SUMMONED in the passive voice speaks of outside force bringing about the summoning
of Ammon. Once again we see the sovereign hand of God moving the chess pieces into
position to prepare for Israel's deliverance. Unmerited favor if their ever
was an example of such! What a merciful God we serve.
GATHERED is again in the passive voice indicating that an outside force
about the "gathering"
Judges 10:18 And the people, the leaders of Gilead, said
to one another, "Who is the man who will begin to fight against the sons of
Ammon? He shall become head over all the inhabitants of Gilead."
What man (KJV): Jdg 1:1 11:5-8 Isa 3:1-8
he shall be (KJV): Jdg 11:11 12:7 1Sa 17:25
is the term used of General Sisera (4:2), the
"princes" of Issachar (5:15), and the governor of a city (9:30)
and in the present context appears to
include military and political leaders.
They had LEADERS but they needed a LEADER to lead into
It was natural that the Gileadites were the most vocal since it was their
territory which was most immediately threatened.
There was no effective
leader, and hence as we read in the next section, they approached Jephthah, whom they had formerly
rejected (Judges 11:7). As an incentive they offered to make any commander
who proved successful against the Ammonites the ruler of their entire
territory (v18; cf. 11:9)
Jephthah was wary. Why should he trust those who had
treated him so badly in the past? This led to some hard-nosed negotiating in
which Jephthah was offered, and accepted, the twin role of tribal leader and
military commander. The bargain thus struck was formally ratified
in a ceremony held at Mizpah, the place at which the initial gathering had
been (cf. 11:11 w 10:17). So the episode ended where it began, but with
Jephthah now installed as leader.
F B Meyer...
Rebellious and Brought Low
Judges 10:1-5 Times
of quietness. -- God will not be always threshing. After storms have
disturbed the atmosphere, there come times of clear shining and peace. Such
parentheses of rest came to Israel under Tola and Jair, of whom there is
little notable to record. How often it happens that we make much of the days
of strife and sorrow, while we permit the days of uneventful calm and
prosperity to pass almost without remark.
Judges 10:6-9 Times
of sin and suffering. -- Very woeful is this incessant story of
backsliding. The whole land must have been infected with multiplied
idolatries. As an inspired commentary on these verses, we should read Psalm
106:36-46. The sentences there are very pathetic, and well in accord with
the sad record before us. "Many times did He deliver them, but they were
rebellious in their counsel, and were brought low for their iniquity:'
Times of repentance. -- Truly pathetic is this scene! The cry of agony
(Judges 10:10). There is hope when sinners cry to God with genuine
contrition, and to such cries there is an immediate response. The answer of
God may have come by Him, or by angels, but it was very just. This apparent
refusal of help was only intended to bring them more utterly to their knees
in self-abhorrence, humiliation, and prayer. It is at such times that we not
only pray, but we put away the strange gods, and cast ourselves utterly and
hopelessly at His feet. "We have sinned, do Thou unto us whatsoever seemeth
good unto Thee" (Judges 10:15). We should read also Hosea 14, appropriating
the prayer with which it begins; and then we shall hear the reply coming
from those gracious lips, "I will heal their backslidings, I will love them
freely, mine anger is turned away:' How touching the thought that our
miseries can grieve God (Judges 10:16), even when they are the result of
sin. "His compassions fail not:' (F. B. Meyer. CHOICE NOTES ON JOSHUA
THROUGH 2 KINGS