The Book of Judges

Chapter 2

An angel rebukes the people at Bochim, 1-5. The wickedness of the new generation after Joshua, 6-13. God's anger and pity toward them, 14-19. The Canaanites left to prove Israel, 20-23.

1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, "I made you to depart from Egypt and have brought you to the land which I swore to your fathers, and I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you. 2 And you shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land. You shall throw down their altars.' But you have not obeyed 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 as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you.'" 4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice and wept. 5 And they called the name of that place Bochim. And they sacrificed there to the LORD.

6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel each went to his inheritance to possess the land. 7 And 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 works of the LORD that he did for Israel. 8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being one hundred and ten years old. 9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnath-heres, on the mountain of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill of Gaash. 10 And also all that generation were gathered to their fathers. And there arose another generation after them, which did not know the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.

11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD and served Baalim. 12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, who brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people who were around them, and bowed themselves to them and provoked the LORD to anger. 13 And they forsook the LORD and served Baal and Ashtaroth. 14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel. And he delivered them into the hands of plunderers who plundered them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies around, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 15 Wherever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn to them. And they were greatly distressed.

16 Nevertheless, the LORD raised up judges who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them. 17 And yet they would not listen to their judges, but they went astray after other gods and bowed themselves to them. They turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD, but they did not do so. 18 And when the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge (for the LORD repented because of their groanings by reason of those who oppressed them and burdened them). 19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned and corrupted themselves more than their fathers in following other gods to serve them and to bow down to them. They did not cease from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way. 20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he said, "Because this people has transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers and has not listened to my voice, 21 I also will not from now on drive out from before them any of the nations which Joshua left when he died, 22 So that through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk in it, as their fathers kept it, or not." 23 Therefore, the LORD left those nations, without driving them out speedily, neither did he deliver them into the hand of Joshua.


Matthew Henry Commentary - Judges, Chapter 2[➚]


[v.1] - "I will never break my covenant with you" - This is, perhaps, a condensing of what God said to Abraham when He changed his name from Abram to Abraham. At that time, God made an "everlasting covenant" with Abraham; therefore, it is understood that God would never break the covenant, given that it is everlasting. Reference, Genesis 17:1-8.

[v.2] - Reference, Exodus 34:12-13.

[v.3] - Reference, Numbers 33:55.

[v.6] - Reference, Joshua 24:28.

[v.7] - Reference, Joshua 24:31.

[v.8-9] - Reference, Joshua 24:29-30.

[v.16] - "judges" - Hebrew: שפטים (shaw-fa'-tim). This is where we get the title of this book of the Bible. Now, when you see the term, "judges," used in this book, understand that this is most likely referring to a deliverer, rather than someone to govern or pass judgment. A clue to this is found within this same verse where it says, "who delivered them out of the hand of those who plundered them." That is the role of these judges, or deliverers. Another clue is seen in the verse where God raised up the first judge, Othniel. In Judges 3:9, it says, "the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz."