Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

fathers ; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you; 2 if you do not break with me by apostacy and idolatry. And ye

shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land ; ye shall throw down their altars : but ye have not obeyed my voice, ye have broken your promise and the divine precept.

He then expostulates with them, saying, Why have ye done 3 this, and disobeyed so express a command ? Wherefore 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 A snare unto you. And it came to pass, when the angel of the

LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept, to think how greatly they had offended God, and to what judgments they were now

liable ; but there were few true penitents among them, as ap5 pears from what follows. And they called the name of that

place Bochim, that is, weepers : and they sacrificed there unto the LORD, to expiate their past sin, to regain his favour, and lay themselves under fresh obligations. As the death of Joshua and the elders made way for their revolt, these circumstances are repeated, v. 6—10.

And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went, every man unto his inheritance to possess the 7 land. ; And the people served the LORD all the days of Josh

ua, and all the days of the elders that 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, 9 [being] an hundred and ten years old. And they buried him

in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.

And also that generation, who had seen his wonders in Canaan, at Jordan and Jericho, and the sun standing still, were gathered together unto their fathers : and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet

the works which he had done for Israel ; who were spoiled by * their plenty and peace, and had no such sensible experience of

the goodness ard power of God as their forefathers had, and so 11 were not wrought upon truly to know and fear him. And the

children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, whose eyes 12 were always upon them, and served Baalim. And they for

sook the Lord God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were] round about them, the idols of the hea

then, and bowed themselves unto them, publicly adored and 13 worshipped them, and provoked the LORD to anger. And they . forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth, the sun and

moon, and all the gods and goddesses of their neighbours. 14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he

delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them,

[ocr errors]

married away their persons and effects, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies ; he gave

them over, as the seller does the things bought to the hand of the 15 buyer. Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD

was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the Lord had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed. God opposed all their undertakings, crossed all their enterprises, brought those mischiefs upon them which were threatened by Moses, and suffered their enemies to tyrannize over them with great cruelty,

Nevertheless, the Lord raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them, some of whim continued in this office all their lives, others were raised up for some particular service, and then became private men again,

God first brought them to repentance by their afflictions, and then 17 raised a deliverer. And yet they would not hearken unto

their judges, who admonished them, and probably punished them for their idolatry ; but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them, broke their covenant engage. ments, and proved false to God : they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the command. ments of the LORD ; [but] they did not so ; and, as soon as

the admonition or terror was gone, relapsed to their old sins, and 18 were as bad as ever. And when the LORD raised them up

judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge : for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them ; when they alter

éd their course and became humble, God altered his methods of 19 dealing with them. 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 unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way, but persisted in this wickedne88, notwithstanding all that had been done to favour or pun

ish them. 20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and

he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearken-,

ed unto my voice, to the repeated qdmonitions sent them by my 21 prophets, I also will not henceforth drive out any from before

them of the nations which Joshua left when he died; what.

ever attempts they may make, I will not assist them, as I have 32 formerly done ; That through them I may prove Israel, try

their faith and obedience, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep [it,] or

23 not. Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving

them out hastily ; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua ; he restrained Joshua from going on in his conquests, and left some of the old inhabitants among them, to see whether they would be proof against temptations to idolatry; otherwise they would be a punishment and torment to Israel, and God would be justified in all the judgments he should bring upon theme

[ocr errors]

REFLECTIONS,

1. W E learn hence, that there may be sorrow for sin, and

VV prayer to God, without reformation. The Israelites wept, and sacrificed unto the Lord, and prayed over it ; but immediately after rebelled, and grew worse than before. This is commonly seen among us ; persons are melted under the word, impressed with a sense of sin, brought to tears of contrition, from the fear of hell or some general sense of having provoked God. They offer many prayers for forgiveness, and yet return to folly ; grow as bad, or worse than before. But this is not that godly sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation. Let us, therefore, not think this sufficient. If the heart be truly broken for sin, it will be attended with a reformation of all that has been amiss. Let none deceive themselves ; he that doeth righteousness is righteous.

2. The folly and presumption of the Israelites in turning to strange gods, after all the miracles, warnings, and admonitions they had received is very affecting. They had some little sense of decency while their judges lived, but no good principles. How strange was their stupidity in forsaking God and following idols : But such is the nature of sin ; it hardens the hearts of men, and then, contrary to the remonstrances of God's word, and the convictions of conscience, they run headlong into ruin. The more we have seen and known of God, the more solemniy we have professed to obey him, the greater will our shame and guilt be if we forsake him.

3. It is just in God to make those our torment and vexation, whom, by the neglect of our duty, we make our friends and associates. God commanded Israel to root out the Canaanites, and to avoid their society ; but they would not hear ; therefore God left them to scourge and tyrannize over them. Thus, if men, instead of mortifying their lusts and subduing their corrupt pas sions, will indulge them, allow them to live, and to govern them, God will give them up to their own heart's lusts, and they will suffer the dreadful consequences of their own neglect. He consults our ease and happiness in all his commands, and we must not expect either if we neglect his commandments. In like manner, if those who have been warned and admonished will be the compana

Bons of fools, the associates of wicked, worthless, idle men, they will certainly suffer by it ; for they will become thorns in their eyes, wound them very sensibly and very deeply, and prove a dangerous snare to their souls. Enter not therefore into the path of the wicked; he that walketh with wise men shall be wise, but a companion of fools shall be destroyed. . 4. The pity and kindness of God in raising up judges for Israel, is very remarkable and affecting. He raised them up sey. eral judges, one after another, and did not suffer them to be quite overcome by their enemies. Those judges (though Israel grew weary of their government) were great blessings to their nation, Let us acknowledge God's goodness to us, a sinful people, in giv, ing us wise and good princes and judges, to whom we owe it that our land is not overrun with idolatry and all manner of wicked, ness. Let us all show, by the sobriety, justice, and usefulness of our lives, that we fear God as well as honour the king ; and that we are subject, not for wrath, or for fear of punishment, but for conscience sake.

CHAP, III.

In this chapter we have an account of the enemies which God left te prove Israel, and the mischief they occasioned ; the deliverance of Israel from Chushanrishathaim by Othniel, the first judge ; and from the Moabites by Ehud ; and the success of Shamgar against the Philistines. i N O W these [are] the nations which the LORD left to

IV prove Israel by them, [even) as many [of Israel] as had not known all the wars of Canaan ; that were born since

the wars, and had not seen God's wonderful works in the con. 2 quest of Canaan. Only that the generations of the children

of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; that they might not be sluggist

and inactive, but keep up a martial spirit, to secure their eon, 3 guests, and drive out the rest of the Canaanites ; [Namely,]

five lords of the Philistines ;* and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses ; that their virtue might appear in not imitating that people.

Three of these lords had been conquered by Joshua, (Fashna xiii. 3.) but had recov. ered their country through the sloth of the Israzlires.

5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites,

Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites ; they became familiar with, and friendly to them: And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods ; they formed altiances with them, contrary to the command of Moses, Exodus xxxiv. 16. Deut. vii. 5. and the consequence was, as Moses foretold, that they served their gods : And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. They first fora got God, then left his worship, and, at length, served the gods of their neighbours in groves consecrated to them, which were a kind of family temples.

Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim, king of Mesopotamia, a part of Syria which lay between the Tygris and Euphrates, and was Laban's country : and the children of Israel, served Chushanrishathaim eight years, and paid tribute to him. They then began to be weary of their yoke : And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, [even] Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger

brother, of whom we read in Joshua xv. 9. 80 that it could not be 10 long after Joshua's death before they corrupted themselves. And

the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, an impulse from God, to take upon him the government of the people, and lead them to battle, with extraordinary courage to vindicate their liberty, and eloquence to persuade the people to return to God ; and he judged Israel, and went out to war : and the LORD delivered

Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotomia into his hand ; and ti his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. And the land

had rest forty years, or, to the fortieth year ; that is, forty years after the first rest obtained for them by Joshua, the greatest

part of which time was peaceableAnd Othniel the son of . Kenaz died.

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, which was greatly aggravated by its being 80 soon re: peated : and the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab

against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the

LORD. 'He who stirred up judges, stirred up enemies, for the 13 hearts of all men are in his hand. And he gathered unto him

the children of Ammon, and Amalek, his neighbours ; Amalek was Israel's old enemy, and they went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees, a rich, fruitful vale, where Jericho once stood : here they set a garrison to cut off the communication between the Israelites and the two tribes and an half,

to keep them in awe, and secure a retreat over the fords of Jor, 44 dan. So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab

« FöregåendeFortsätt »