JUDGES.

THE STRUCTURE OF THE BOOK AS A WHOLE.
A  C  1:1-2:5. Israel and other people. Aggressors.

D 2:6-8:35. Government.

B 9:1-57. Internal disorders.

A D 10:1-16:31. Government.

C 17:1-18:31. Israel and other peoples. Aggressors.

B 19:1-21:25. Internal disorders.

  THE TITLE, JUDGES - The Hebrew name is Sh˘phertţm = rulers; from the verb to put right and then rule. Not Judges, as modern English. For origin and description of name, cp. 2:7-19. In Septuagint = kritai; Latin, Liber Judicum. The office peculiar to Israel. The book records the history of the 13 Rulers [#13 = rebellion] (12 [#12 = governmental perfection] called of God and 1 an usurper), whose names by Gematria made a multiple of 8 & 13 [#8 = new beginnings]; 6 "evil" doings (see note on 2:11) [#6 = weakness of man - evils of Satan - manifestation of sin] ; 6 oppressors (see note on 2:14); and 6 deliverances (see note on 2:16. We have three 6's 6+6+6 = 18 = bondage).

  The Rulers were temporary and special deliverers, sent by God to deliver the Israelites from their oppressors; not supreme magistrates, succeeding to the authority of Moses and Joshua. Their power only extended over portions of the country, and some of the were contemporaneous. Their first work was that of deliverers and leaders in war; then they administered justice to the People, and their authority supplied the want of a regular government. Even while the administration of Samuel gave something like a settled government to the south, there was scope for irregular exploits of Samson on the borders of the Philistines; and Samuel at least established his authority as ruler and prophet, but still the servant of Yehovah, only to see it so abused by his sons as to exaust the patience of the People, who at length demanded a king, after the pattern of the surrounding natons. The following is a list of the rulers, whose history is given under their respective names: -

First servitude, to Mesoptamia         8 years
   First Ruler: Othniel.              40   "
Second servitude, to Moab             18   "
   Second ruler: Ehud;                80   "
   Third ruler: Shamgar.              --   "
Third servitude, to Jabin and Sisera  20   "
   Fourth ruler: Deborah and Barak.   40   "
Fourth servitude, to Midian            7   "
   Fifth ruler: Gideon.               40   "
   Sixth ruler: Abimelech;             3   "
   Seventh ruler: Tola;               23   "
   Eighth ruler: Jair.                 4   "
Fifth servitude, to Ammon             18   "
   Ninth ruler: Jephthah;              6   "
   Tenth ruler: Ibzan;                 7   "
   Eleventh ruler: Elon;              10   "
   Twelfth ruler: Abdon.               8   "
Sixth servitude, to the Philistines   40   "
   Thirteenth ruler: Samson;          20   "
   Fourteenth ruler: Eli;             40   "
   Fifteenth ruler: Samuel.

More than likely some of these ruled simultaneously.

THE

BOOK OF RULERS.

C  A  1:1-20. By the tribe of Judah.
    B  1:21. Unexpelled inhabitants.
   A  1:21-26. By the house of Joseph.
    B  1:27-2:5. Unexpelled inhabitants.

1:1-20. The Tribe of Judah.

A  a  c  1-4. Judah.
       d  5-8. Conquest. Jerusalem.
        b  e  9. Judah.
            f  10. Conquest. Hebron.
   a  c  11. Judah.
       d  12-16. Conquest. Debir.
        b  e  17. Judah.
             f  18-20. Conquest. Hebron.

1434 B.C.

Judges 1)

1: And (commencing with the same word as the preceding Books; thus connecting them all together. The Book of Joshua = the inheritance possessed; Judges = the inheritance despised. Records the failure of the People, and the faithfulness of Yahaveh. The Epilogue [21:24] gives the key to the whole Book. See 17:6) after the death of Joshua it came to pass (cp. Josh.24:29), that the sons of Israel inquired the Lord (i.e. by the Urim and the Thummim, as in 18:5; 20:18. See Ex.17:14. Num.26:55), saying, "Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them?"
2: And the Lord said, "Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand."
3: And Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into your lot." So Simeon went with him.
4: And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.

5: And they found Adoni-bezek in Bezek (= lord of lightning. Bezek was 17 miles south of Shechem. Cp. 1 Sam. 11:8. Cp. Josh. 15:13-19): and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites.
6: But Adoni-bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. (as he had done to others. See v.7)
7: And Adoni-bezek said, "Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered (i.e. the pieces) of their meat under my table: according as I have done, so God has requited me." And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
8: Now the sons of Judah had fought against Jerusalem (the first occurrence is in Josh.10:1, in connection with Adoni-zedek's fear of its being "utterly destroyed" like Ai. Here in v.8, we have a picture of its future history in miniature. See "Sieges of Jerusalem" below. The Tel-el-Amarna tablets contain a long correspondence with Egypt about 1400 B.C.), and had taken it (the citadel not taken till 2 Sam. 5:69, by David), and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

The Sieges of Jerusalem. [From Appendix 53 of the Companion Bible]

The occurrence of the name "Jerusalem", as a city (the king of Jerusalem had been mentioned in Josh 10:1, &c. but not the city), is in here in Judges 1:8, and confirms the fact that the first occurrence contains an epitome of its subsequent history.

The history of the city has been a record of its sieges. No fewer than 28 go to complete the list.

A cycle of ordinal completeness is marked by the 10th and 20th (2 x 10) sieges. These were the two characterized by the destruction of the Temple by fire, which is in accord with the number 10, being that of ordinal perfection. Both also were foretold: the former by Jeremiah and Ezekiel; the later by our LORD.

Seven is the number of spiritual perfection, and it is worthy of note that the 7th, 14th (2 x 7), and the 21st (3 x 7) sieges were each the subject of Divine prophecy.

While 14 (2 x 7) of the sieges are recorded in Holy Scriptures, 14 are recorded in profane history.

The following is a complete list of the sieges:
1). By the tribe of Judah against the Jebusites, about 1443 B.C. This was some 700 years before Rome was founded. It was only partial, for in David's reign we still find Jebusites occupying the citadel (the future Zion). The Solemn words in Judg. 1:8, describing the first siege, vividly portray the after history of the city.
2). By David against the Jebusites (2 Sam. 5:6-10. 1 Chron. 11:4-7), about 960 B.C.
3). By Shishak king of Egypt, against Rehoboam (1 Kings 14:25,26. 2 Chron. 12:2-12), about 875 B.C. To this there were only a feeble resistance; and the Temple was plundered.
4). By the Philistines, Arabians, and Ethiopians, against Jehoram (2 Chron. 21:16,17), about 79 B.C. In this siege the royal palace was sacked, and the Temple again plundered.
5). By Jehoash king of Israel, against Amaziah king of Judah (2 Kings 14:13,14), about 739 B.C. The wall was partially broken down, and the city and Temple pillaged.
6). By Rezin king of Syria, and Pekah king of Israel, against Ahaz (2 Chron. 28), about 630 B.C. The city held out, but Ahaz sought the aid of Tiglah-Pilesar king of Assyria, for whom he stripped the Temple.
7). By Sennacherib king of Assyria, against Hezekiah (2 Kings 24:10-16), about 603 B.C. In this case the siege was raised by a Divine interposition, as foretold by Isaiah the prophet.
8). By Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon, against Jehoiakim (2 Chron. 36:6,7), about 496 B.C., when the Temple was partly pillaged.
9). By Nebuchadnezzar again, against Jehoichin (2 Chron. 36:10), about 489 B.C., when the pillage of the Temple was carried further, and 10,000 people carried away.
10). By Nebuchadnezzar, against Zedekiah (2 Chron. 36:17-20), 478-477 B.C. In this case the Temple was burnt with fire, and the city and the Temple lay desolate for 50 years.
11). By Ptolemy Soter king of Egypt, against the Jews, 320 B.C. More than 100,000 catives were taken to Egypt.
12). By Antiochus the Great, about 203 B.C.
13). By Scopus, a general of Alexander, about 199 B.C., who left a garrison.
14). By Antiochus IV, surnamed Epyphanes, 168 B.C. This was the worse siege since the 10th. The whole city was pillaged; 100,000 captives taken; the walls destroyed; the altar defiled; ancient manuscripts perished; the finest buildings were burned; and the Jews were forbidden to worship there. Foretold - Dan. 11.
15). By Antiochus V, surnamed Eupator, against Judas MacabŠus, about 162 B.C. This time honourable terms were made, and certain priveleges were secured.
16). By Antiochus VII, surnamed Sidetes king of Syria, against John Hyrcanus, about 135 B.C.
17). By Hyrcanus (son of Alex. JannŠus) and the priest Aristobulus. The siege was raised by Scaurus, one of Pompey's lieutenants, about 65 B.C.
18). By Pompey against Arstobulus, about 63 B.C. The machines were moved on the Sabbath, when the Jews made no resistance. Only thus was it reduced; 12,000 Jews were slain. (Antgonus, son of Aristobulus, with a Parthian army, took the city in 40 B.C.; but there was no siege, the city was taken by a sudden surprise).
19). By Herod with a Roman army besieged the city in 39 B.C. for 5 months.
20). By Titus, A.D. 69. The second Temple (Herod's) was burnt, and for 50 years the city disappeared from history, as after the 10th siege (Jer. 20:5).
21). The Romans had again to besiege the city in A.D. 135 against a false Messiah, Bar-Chochebas, who had acquired possession of the ruins. The city was obliterated, and renamed Ălia Capitolina, and a temple was erected to Jupiter. For 200 years the city passed out of history, no Jews being permitted to approach it. This siege was foretold in Luke 19:43,44; 21:20-24.
22). After 400 years of so-called Christian colonization, Chosroes the Persian (about 559 A.D.) swept through the country; thousands were massacred, and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre was destroyed. The Emperor Heraclius afterward defeated him, and restored the city and the church.
23). The Caliph Omar, in A.D. 63607, besieged the city against Heraclius. It was followed by capitulation on favorable terms, and the city passed into the hands of the Turks.
24). Afdal, the Vizier of the Caliph of Egypt, besieged the two rival factions of Moslems, and pillaged the city in 1098.
25). In 1099 it was besieged by the army of the first Crusade.
26). In 1187 it was besieged by Saladin for 7 weeks.
27). The wild Kharezmian Tartar hordes, in 1244, captured and plundered the city, slaughtering the monks and priests.
28). By Israel [However, they did not take the ground of the "Dome of the Rock", which is still under Islamic rule], 6 day war. May 17, 1967 Nasser declared, "Egypt, with all its resources, human, economic, and military, is ready to plunge into a total war that will be the end of Israel". Egyptian artillery was bombarding Jewish villages along the Gaza Strip when general fighting broke out on June 6. Israel tried to limit fighting by sending word to King Hussein that Israel would respect Jordan's boundaries if she reciprocated. Hussein, however, had already pledged loyalty to Egypt and began shelling Israel. The Arab legion was driven out of Jerusalem and from the entire west bank of of the Jordan, making the Jordan River the boundary between King Hussein's territory and that now occupied by Israel. At the end of the short war, Israel occupied territory formerly held by Egypt, including the Gaza Strip and the entire Sinai peninsula, the entire west bank of the Jordan, and the Golan Heights of Syria. As we can see God has his hand with Israel and with Jerusalem. Israel returned to become a nation again in 1948 but would not obtain Jerusalem until June 7,1967 under circumstances Israel could not foresee or plan out. "It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am going to do these things, but for the sake of My holy name, which you have profaned among the nations. The nations will know that I am the Lord, declares the Sovereign Lord, when I show Myself holy through you before their eyes." (Ezekiel 36:22-23).

9: And afterward the sons of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the hill country, and in the south (Heb. Negeb), and in the low-lands.

10: And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: {now the name of Hebron (cp. Num. 13:22. Josh. 14:13) before was Kirjath-arba (cp. Gen. 23:2. Josh. 14:15; 20:7):} and they slew Sheshai (these are sons of Anak. Cp. v.20), and Ahiman, and Talmai.

11: And from that place he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher (see Josh. 11:21 and 15:49):

12: And Caleb said, "He that smites Kirjath-sepher, and takes it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife."
13: And Othniel (mentioned only here; and 3:9-11; and 1 Chron. 4:13) the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

1434 to 1431 B.C.

14: And it came to pass, when she came home to him, that she moved him to ask of her father the field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said to her, "What ails you?" (Josh. 15:18,19)
15: And she said to him, "Give me a blessing: for you have given me a south land; give me also springs of water." And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs.
16: And the sons of the Kenite (This is a reference to a geographical location, not blood-line. Jethro was a Medianite priest. A descendant of Abraham, by Keturah. He was NOT a Kenite.), Moses' father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees (i.e. Jericho, 3:13. Deut. 34:3) with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the People (i.e. Israel).

17: And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it (= devoted). {And the name of the city was called Hormah} (= utter destruction).
18: Also Judah took Gaza with the border thereof, and Askelon with the border thereof, and Ekron with the border thereof. (These were wholly or partially retaken by the enemy, cp. 14:19; 16:1. 1 Sam.5:10. Perhaps this accounts for the Sept. reading, "Judah too did not inherit")
19: And the Lord was with Judah; and he possessed the inhabitants of the hill country; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the low-lands, because they had chariots of iron (cp. 4:3).
20: And they gave Hebron to Caleb, according as Moses said (cp. Num. 14:24. Josh. 14:13; 15:13): and he expelled from that place the three sons of Anak (see their names in v.10, and see Gen.6:2,4).

21: And the sons of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem (cp. Josh. 15:63; 18:28. 2 Sam. 5:6-10); but the Jebusites dwell with the sons of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day.

22-26. By the House of Joseph.

A  g  i  22,23-. Beth-el besieged.
       k  -23. Name explained.
        h  24-. Spies. Mission.
        h  -24. Spies. Action.
   g  i  25. Beth-el taken.
       k  26. Name explained.

22: And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the Lord was with them.
23: And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel.

{Now the name of the city before was Luz (cp. Gen. 28:19, and see Josh. 16:1,2. Luz and Beth-el are not two cities).}

24: And the sentries saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said to him,

"Shew us, we pray you, the entrance into the city, and we will shew you mercy."

25: And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family.

26: And the man went into the land of the Hittites (a nation north of Syria, mentioned on Egyptian inscriptions from 1500 B.C.), and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof to this day.

1:27-2:5. Unexpelled Inhabitants.

B  C1  1:27-36. Non-expulsion. The sin.
   C2  2:1-5. Non-expulsion. the punishment.

27-36. Non-expulsion. Sin.

C1  l  n  27. Manasseh.
        o  28. Made the tributaries.
         m  p  29,30-. Ephraim and Zebulun.
             q  -30. Made them tributaries.
         m  p  31-33-. Asher and Naphtali.
             q  -33. Made them tributaries.
    l  n  34,35-. Dan.
        o  -35,36. Made the tributaries.

27: Neither did Manasseh possess the inhabitants of Beth-shean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. (Emphasizing the unfaithfulness and disobedience, the cause of all subsequent trouble)

28: And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.

29: Neither did Ephraim possess the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer (i.e. in friendly relations. Ps. 133:1. 2 Kings 4:13. See 1 Kings 9:16,17); but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
30: Neither did Zebulun possess the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol;

but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.

31: Neither did Asher possess the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob:
32: But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites (= dwelt in the inside, as in the heart [mind] or bowels of the Canaanites; vv.27-30 very different), the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
33: Neither did Naphtali possess the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh, nor the inhabitants of Beth-anath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land:

nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-shemesh and of Beth-anath became tributaries unto them.

34: And the Amorites forced the sons of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley:
35: But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim:

yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed (Fig., by which the hand is put for the power exerted by it), so that they became tributaries.
36: And the border of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.

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