Book of Judges Chapter 2:11-22 Antique Commentary Quotes

Cyclopdia of Biblical Literature-John Kitto

Judges
This name is applied to fifteen persons who at intervals presided over the affairs of the Israelites during the 450 years which elapsed from the death of Joshua to the accession of Saul. The station and office of these ‘rulers of the people,’ as the original literally signifies, are involved in great obscurity, partly from the want of clear intimations in the history in which their exploits and government are recorded, and partly from the absence of parallels in the history of other nations, by which our notions might be assisted. They may be briefly described as faithful men, who acted for the most part as agents of the Divine will, regents for the Invisible King of the chosen people; and who, holding their commission directly from Him, or with His sanction, would be more inclined to act as dependent vassals of Jehovah than kings, who, as members of royal dynasties, would come to reign with notions of independent rights and royal privileges, which would draw away their attention from their true place in the theocracy. In this greater dependence of the judges upon the Divine King we see the secret of their institution. The Israelites were disposed to rest upon their separate interests as tribes; and having thus allowed the standing general government to remain inoperative through disuse, they would in cases of emergency have been disposed to forget that Jehovah had taken upon Himself the function of their Supreme Ruler, and ‘to make themselves a king like the nations,’ had their attention not been directed to the appointment of officers whose authority could rest on no tangible right apart from character and services, which, with the temporary nature of their power, rendered their functions more accordant with the principles of the theocracy than those of any other public officers could be. And it is probably in this adaptation to the peculiar circumstances of the Hebrew theocracy that we shall discover the reason of our inability to find any similar office among other nations.

With regard to the nature of the office held by these judges, it is usual to consider them as commencing their career with military exploits to deliver Israel from foreign oppression; but this is by no means invariably the case. Eli and Samuel were not military men; Deborah judged Israel before she planned the war against Jabin; and of Jair, Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, it is at least uncertain whether they ever held any military command. The command of the army can therefore be scarcely considered the distinguishing characteristic of these men/ or military exploits the necessary introduction to the office. In many cases it is true that military achievements were the means by which they elevated themselves to the rank of judges; but in general the appointment may be said to have varied with the exigencies of the times, and with the particular circumstances which in times of trouble would draw the public attention to persons who appeared suited by their gifts or influence to advise in matters of general concernment, to decide in questions arising between tribe and tribe, to administer public affairs, and to appear as their recognized head in their intercourse with their neighbors and oppressors.

In nearly all the instances recorded the appointment seems to have been by the free unsolicited choice of the people. The only cases of direct Divine appointment are those of Gideon and Samson, and the last stood in the peculiar position of having been from before his birth ordained ‘to begin to deliver Israel.’ Deborah was called to deliver Israel, but was already a judge. Samuel was called by the Lord to be a prophet, but not a judge, which ensued from the high gifts which the people recognized as dwelling in him; and as to Eli, the office of judge seems to have devolved naturally, or rather ex-officio, upon him; and his case seems to be the only one in which the high-priest appears in the character which the theocratical institutions designed for him.

The following clear summary of their duties and privileges is given by Jahn:—’The office of judges or regents was held during life, but it was not hereditary, neither could they appoint their successors. Their authority was limited by the law alone; and in doubtful cases they were directed to consult the Divine King through the priest by Urim and Thummim (Num_27:21). They were not obliged in common cases to ask advice of the ordinary rulers; it was sufficient if these did not remonstrate against the measures of the judge. In important emergencies, however, they convoked a general assembly of the rulers, over which they presided and exerted a powerful influence. They could issue orders, but not enact laws; they could neither levy taxes nor appoint officers, except perhaps in the army. Their authority extended only over those tribes by whom they had been elected or acknowledged; for it is clear that several of the judges presided over separate tribes. There was no income attached to their office, nor was there any income appropriated to them, unless it might be a larger share in the spoils, and those presents which were made them as testimonials of respect (Jdg_8:24). They bore no external marks of dignity, and maintained no retinue of courtiers, though some of them were very opulent. They were not only simple in their manners, moderate in their desires, and free from avarice and ambition, but noble and magnanimous men, who felt that whatever they did for their country was above all reward, and could not be recompensed; who desired merely to promote the public good, and who chose rather to deserve well of their country than to be enriched by its wealth. This exalted patriotism, like everything else connected with politics in the theocratical state of the Hebrews, was partly of a religious character, and those regents always conducted themselves as the officers of God; in all their enterprises they relied upon Him, and their only care was, that their countrymen should acknowledge the authority of Jehovah, their invisible king (Jdg_8:22 sq.; comp. Hebrews 11). Still they were not without faults, neither are they so represented by their historians; they relate, on the contrary, with the utmost frankness, the great sins of which some of them were guilty. They were not merely deliverers of the state from a foreign yoke, but destroyers of idolatry, foes of pagan vices, promoters of the knowledge of God, of religion, and of morality; restorers of theocracy in the minds of the Hebrews, and powerful instruments of Divine providence in the promotion of the great design of preserving the Hebrew constitution, and, by that means, of rescuing the true religion from destruction.’

The times of the judges would certainly not be considered so turbulent and barbarous, much less would they be taken, contrary to the clearest evidence and to the analogy of all history, for a heroic age, if they were viewed without the prejudices of a preconceived hypothesis. It must never be forgotten that the book of Judges is by no means a complete history. This no impartial inquirer can ever deny. It is, in a manner, a mere register of diseases, from which, however, we have no right to conclude that there were no healthy men, much less that there were no healthy seasons; since the book itself, for the most part, mentions only a few tribes in which the epidemic prevailed, and notices long periods during which it had universally ceased. Whatever may be the result of more accurate investigation, it remains undeniable that the condition of the Hebrews during this period perfectly corresponds throughout to the sanctions of the law and they were always prosperous when they complied with the conditions on which prosperity was promised them; it remains undeniable that the government of God was clearly manifested, not only to the Hebrews, but to their heathen neighbors; that the fulfilling of the promises and threatenings of the law were so many sensible proofs of the universal dominion of the Divine King of the Hebrews; and, consequently, that all the various fortunes of that nation were so many means of preserving the knowledge of God on the earth. The Hebrews had no sufficient reason to desire a change in their constitution; all required was, that they should observe the conditions on which national prosperity was promised them.

The chronology of the period in which the judges ruled is beset with great and perhaps insuperable difficulties. There are intervals of time the extent of which is not specified; as, for instance, that from Joshua’s death to the yoke of Chushan-rishathaim (Jdg_2:8); that of the rule of Shamgar (Jdg_3:31); that between Gideon’s death and Abimelech’s accession (Jdg_8:31-32); and that of Israel’s renewal of idolatry previous to their oppression by the Ammonites (Jdg_10:6-7). Sometimes round numbers seem to have been given, as forty years for the rule of Othniel, forty years for that of Gideon, and forty years also for the duration of the oppression by the Philistines. Twenty years are given for the subjection to Jabin, and twenty years for the government of Samson; yet the latter never completely conquered the Philistines, who, on the contrary, succeeded in capturing him. Some judges, who are commonly considered to have been successive, were in all probability contemporaneous, and ruled over different districts. Under these circumstances, it is impossible to fix the date of each particular event in the book of Judges; but attempts have been made to settle its general chronology, of which we must in this place mention the most successful.

The whole period, of the judges, from Joshua to Eli, is usually estimated at 299 years, in order to meet the 480 years which (1Ki_6:1) are said to have elapsed from the departure of the Israelites from Egypt to the foundation of the temple by Solomon. But St. Paul says (Act_13:20), ‘God gave unto the people of Israel judges about the space of 450 years until Samuel the prophet.’ Again, if the number of years specified by the author of our book, in stating facts, is summed up, we have 410 years, exclusive of those years not specified for certain intervals of time above mentioned. In order to reduce these 410 years and upwards to 299, events and reigns must, in computing their years of duration, either be entirely passed over, or, in a most arbitrary way, included in other periods preceding or subsequent. This has been done by Archbishop Usher, whose system, here peculiarly faulty, has been adopted in the Authorized Version of the Scriptures. He excludes the repeated intervals during which the Hebrews were in subjection to their enemies, and reckons only the years of peace and rest which were assigned to the successive judges. For example, he passes over the eight years of servitude inflicted upon the Hebrews by Chushan-rishathaim, and, without any interruption, connects the peace obtained by the victories of Othniel with that which had been conferred on the land by the government of Joshua; and although the sacred historian relates in the plainest terms possible that the children of Israel served the king of Mesopotamia eight years, and were afterwards delivered by Othniel, who gave the land rest forty years, the archbishop maintains that the forty years now mentioned began, not after the successes of this judge, but immediately after the demise of Joshua. Nothing certainly can be more obvious than that in this case the years of tranquility and the years of oppression ought to be reckoned separately. Again, we are informed by the sacred writer, that after the death of Ehud the children of Israel were under the oppression of Jabin king of Hazor for twenty years, and that afterwards, when their deliverance was effected by Deborah and Barak, the land had rest forty years. Nothing can be clearer than this; yet Usher’s system leads him to include the twenty years of oppression in the forty of peace, making both but forty years. All this arises from the obligation which Usher unfortunately conceived himself under of following the scheme adopted by the Masoretic Jews, who, as Dr. Hales remarks, have by a curious invention included the four first servitudes in the years of the judges who put an end to them, contrary to the express declarations of Scripture, which represents the administrations of the judges, not as synchronizing with the servitudes, but as succeeding them. The Rabbins were indeed forced to allow the fifth servitude to have been distinct from the administration of Jephthah, because it was too long to be included in that administration; but they deducted a year from the Scripture account of the servitude, making it only six instead of seven years. They sank entirely the sixth servitude of forty years under the Philistines, because it was too long to be contained in Samson’s administration; and, to crown all, they reduced Saul’s reign of forty years to two years only.

The necessity for all these tortuous operations has arisen from a desire to produce a conformity with the date in 1Ki_6:1, which, as already cited, gives a period of only 480 years from the Exode to the foundation of Solomon’s temple. As this date is incompatible with the sum of the different numbers given in the book of Judges, and as it differs from the computation of Josephus and of all the ancient writers on the subject, whether Jewish or Christian, it is not unsatisfactory to find grounds which leave this text open to much doubt and suspicion. We cannot here enter into any lengthened proof; but that the text did not exist in the Hebrew and Greek copies of the Scripture till nearly three centuries after Christ, is evident from the absence of all reference to it in the works of the learned men who composed histories of the Jews from the materials supplied to them in the sacred books. This might be shown by reference to various authors, who, if the number specified in it had existed, could not fail to have adduced it.

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:11-12
Repeated Falling Away of the People from the Lord. – Jdg_2:11-13. The Israelites did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord (what was displeasing to the Lord); they served Baalim. The plural Baalim is a general term employed to denote all false deities, and is synonymous with the expression “other gods” in the clause “other gods of the gods of the nations round about them” (the Israelites). This use of the term Baalim arose from the fact that Baal was the chief male deity of the Canaanites and all the nations of Hither Asia, and was simply worshipped by the different nations with peculiar modifications, and therefore designated by various distinctive epithets. In Jdg_2:12 this apostasy is more minutely described as forsaking Jehovah the God of their fathers, to whom they were indebted for the greatest blessing, viz., their deliverance out of Egypt, and following other gods of the heathen nations that were round about them (taken verbatim from Deu_6:14, and Deu_13:7-8), and worshipping them. In this way they provoked the Lord to anger (cf. Deu_4:25; Deu_9:18, etc.).

Pulpit Commentary
HOMILIES BY W.F. ADENEY Vers. 11-13. Israel”s apostasy.
The repeated apostasy of Israel and the consequences of it furnish the ever-recurring theme of the darker pages of the Book of Judges. It may be well, therefore, to look at the subject generally, apart from special instances.

I THE NATURE OF THE APOSTASY.

1. It consisted in forsaking God. All sin begins here, because while we live near to him it is impossible for us to love and follow evil. If we cannot serve God and mammon, so long as we are faithful to God we shall be safe from the idolatry of worldliness. The guilt of forsaking God is great because it involves

1. disobedience to our Father,

2. ingratitude to our Benefactor,

3. the fall from devotion to the Highest to lower pursuits.

2. This apostasy consisted in the worship of other gods. The shrine of the heart cannot long be empty. Man is a religious being, and he will have some religion; if not the highest and purest, then some lower form of worship. We must have a master, a God.

3. There was nothing inventive in the apostasy of Israel. The people only worshipped the old deities of the native population. They who give up Christianity for supposed novel forms of religion generally find themselves landed in some old-world superstition.

4. The guilt of the apostasy was aggravated by the character of the worship into which the people fell. This was

(1) false the worship of supposed gods which possessed no Divine power;

(2) materialistic the worship of idols in place of the unseen spiritual God; and

(3) immoral the worship of impure deities with impure rites.

II THE CAUSES OF THE APOSTASY.

1. Defective education. So long as Joshua and his contemporary elders lived the people remained faithful. Apostasy arose in a new “generation which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.” But if the former generation had trained its children aright they would not have been thus ignorant. The Church should feel the supreme importance of the religious education of the young. Her continued existence depends on this. Children do not inherit their father”s religion by natural succession. They must be trained in it.

2. Circumstances of ease. While the people were surrounded with the perils of the wilderness they displayed a moral heroism which melted beneath the sun of peaceful prosperity. Worldly comfort brings a great inducement to religious negligence.

3. Tolerance of evil. The earlier generation had failed to extirpate the idolatry of Canaan, and now this becomes a snare to the later generation. Indifference and indolence in regard to the wickedness which is around us is certain to open the door of temptation to our children, if not to ourselves.

4. The worldly attractions of the lower life. The service of God involves high spiritual efforts, purity of life, self-sacrifice, and difficult tasks. (Jos_24:19) The service of the world is more agreeable to the pleasures of sense and selfishness. Regarded from the low ground of sense and with the short sight of worldly wisdom, it is easier to worship Baal than to worship the Eternal. A.

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:13
Thus they forsook Jehovah, and served Baal and the Asthartes. In this case the singular Baal is connected with the plural Ashtaroth, because the male deities of all the Canaanitish nations, and those that bordered upon Canaan, were in their nature one and the same deity, viz., Baal, a sun-god, and as such the vehicle and source of physical life, and of the generative and reproductive power of nature, which was regarded as an effluence from its own being (see Movers, Relig. der Phönizier, pp. 184ff., and J. G. Müller in Herzog’s Cyclopaedia). “Ashtaroth, from the singular Ashtoreth, which only occurs again in 1Ki_11:5, 1Ki_11:33, and 2Ki_23:13, in connection with the Sidonian Astharte, was the general name used to denote the leading female deity of the Canaanitish tribes, a moon-goddess, who was worshipped as the feminine principle of nature embodied in the pure moon-light, and its influence upon terrestrial life. It corresponded to the Greek Aphrodite, whose celebrated temple at Askalon is described in Herod. i. 105. In Jdg_3:7, Asheroth is used as equivalent to Ashtaroth, which is used here, Jdg_10:6; 1Sa_7:4; 1Sa_12:10. The name Asheroth (Note: Rendered groves in the English version. – Tr.)  was transferred to the deity itself from the idols of this goddess, which generally consisted of wooden columns, and are called Asherim in Exo_34:13; Deu_7:5; Deu_12:3; Deu_16:21. On the other hand, the word Ashtoreth is without any traceable etymology in the Semitic dialects, and was probably derived from Upper Asia, being connected with a Persian word signifying a star, and synonymous with Ἀστροάρχη, the star-queen of Sabaeism (see Ges. Thes. pp. 1083-4; Movers, p. 606; and Müller, ut sup.).

With regard to the nature of the Baal and Astharte worship, into which the Israelites fell not long after the death of Joshua, and in which they continued henceforth to sink deeper and deeper, it is evident form the more precise allusions contained in the history of Gideon, that it did not consist of direct opposition to the worship of Jehovah, or involve any formal rejection of Jehovah, but that it was simply an admixture of the worship of Jehovah with the heathen or Canaanitish nature-worship. Not only was the ephod which Gideon caused to be made in his native town of Ophrah, and after which all Israel went a whoring (Jdg_8:27), an imitation of the high priest’s ephod in the worship of Jehovah; but the worship of Baal-berith at Shechem, after which the Israelites went a whoring again when Gideon was dead (Jdg_8:33), was simply a corruption of the worship of Jehovah, in which Baal was put in the place of Jehovah and worshipped in a similar way, as we may clearly see from Jdg_9:27. The worship of Jehovah could even be outwardly continued in connection with this idolatrous worship. Just as in the case of these nations in the midst of which the Israelites lived, the mutual recognition of their different deities and religions was manifested in the fact that they all called their supreme deity by the same name, Baal, and simply adopted some other epithet by which to define the distinctive peculiarities of each; so the Israelites also imagined that they could worship the Baals of the powerful nations round about them along with Jehovah their covenant God, especially if they worshipped them in the same manner as their covenant God. This will serve to explain the rapid and constantly repeated falling away of the Israelites from Jehovah into Baal-worship, at the very time when the worship of Jehovah was stedfastly continued at the tabernacle in accordance with the commands of the law. The Israelites simply followed the lead and example of their heathen neighbours. Just as the heathen were tolerant with regard to the recognition of the deities of other nations, and did not refuse to extend this recognition even to Jehovah the God of Israel, so the Israelites were also tolerant towards the Baals of the neighbouring nations, whose sensuous nature-worship was more grateful to the corrupt heart of man than the spiritual Jehovah-religion, with its solemn demands for sanctification of life. But this syncretism, which was not only reconcilable with polytheism, but actually rooted in its very nature, was altogether irreconcilable with the nature of true religion. For if Jehovah is the only true God, and there are no other gods besides or beside Him, then the purity and holiness of His nature is not only disturbed, but altogether distorted, by any admixture of His worship with the worship of idols or of the objects of nature, the true God being turned into an idol, and Jehovah degraded into Baal. Looking closely into the matter, therefore, the mixture of the Canaanitish worship of Baal with the worship of Jehovah was actually forsaking Jehovah and serving other gods, as the prophetic author of this book pronounces it. It was just the same with the worship of Baal in the kingdom of the ten tribes, which was condemned by the prophets Hosea and Amos (see Hengstenberg, Christology, i. pp. 168ff., Eng. trans.).

Pulpit Commentary
Baal and Ashtaroth. Ashtaroth is the plural of Ashtoreth, the goddess of the Zidonians, (1Ki_11:5, 1Ki_11:33) just as Baalim (ver. 11) is the plural of Baal. The many images of Baal and Ashtoreth are, in the opinion of some, indicated by the plural; but others think that different modifications or impersonations of the god and goddess are indicated. Thus we read of Baal-berith, the god who presides over covenants; Baalzebul, or Zebub, the god who presides over flies, who could either send or remove a plague of flies, and so on. “Baal (lord or master) was the supreme male divinity of the Phoenician and Canaanitish nations, as Ashtoreth (perhaps the star, the planet Venus) was their supreme female divinity. Baal and Ashtoreth are frequently coupled together. Many Phoenician names Hannibal, Asdrubal, Adherbal, Belus, etc. are derived from Baal.”

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:14-15
On account of this idolatrous worship, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, so that He gave them up into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and sold them into the hands of their enemies. שֹׁסִים from שָׁסָה, alternated with שָׁסַס in יָשֹׁסּוּ, to plunder. This word is not met with in the Pentateuch, whereas מָכַר, to sell, occurs in Deu_32:30, in the sense of giving helplessly up to the foe. “They could no longer stand before their enemies,” as they had done under Joshua, and in fact as long as Israel continued faithful to the Lord; so that now, instead of the promise contained in Lev_26:7-8, being fulfilled, the threat contained in Lev_26:17 was carried into execution. “Whithersoever they went out,” i.e., in every expedition, every attack that they made upon their enemies, “the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as He had said” (Lev_26:17, Lev_26:36; Deu_28:25), and “had sworn unto them.” There is no express oath mentioned either in Lev 26 or Deut 28; it is implied therefore in the nature of the case, or in virtute verborum, as Seb. Schmidt affirms, inasmuch as the threats themselves were words of the true and holy God. מְאֹד לָהֶם וַיֵּצֶר, “and it became to them very narrow,” i.e., they came into great straits.

Albert Barnes
Judges 2:18
It repented the Lord – Rather, “the Lord was moved with compassion,” or “was grieved,” “because of their groanings.” (Compare Jdg_21:15.)

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:20-21
Chastisement of the Rebellious Nation. – Jdg_2:20, Jdg_2:21. On account of this idolatry, which was not only constantly repeated, but continued to grow worse and worse, the anger of the Lord burned so fiercely against Israel, that He determined to destroy no more of the nations which Joshua had left when he died, before the people that had broken His covenant. In order to set forth this divine purpose most distinctly, it is thrown into the form of a sentence uttered by God through the expression וגו וַיֹּאמֶר. The Lord said, “Because this people has transgressed my covenant, … I also will no longer keep my covenant promise (Exo_23:23, Exo_23:27., Exo_34:10.), and will no more drive out any of the remaining Canaanites before them” (see Jos_23:13).

Albert Barnes
Judges 2:20
This verse is connected with Jdg_2:13. The intermediate verses refer to much later times; they have the appearance of being the reflections of the compiler interspersed with the original narrative. But Jdg_2:20 catches up the thread only to let it fall immediately. All that follows, down to the end of Jdg_3:7, seems to be another digression, closing with words like those of Jdg_2:13.

It does not appear how this message was given to Israel, whether by Angel, or prophet, or Urim, nor indeed is it certain whether any message was given. The words may be understood as merely explaining what passed through the divine mind, and expressing the thoughts which regulated the divine proceeding.

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:20-21
Chastisement of the Rebellious Nation. – Jdg_2:20, Jdg_2:21. On account of this idolatry, which was not only constantly repeated, but continued to grow worse and worse, the anger of the Lord burned so fiercely against Israel, that He determined to destroy no more of the nations which Joshua had left when he died, before the people that had broken His covenant. In order to set forth this divine purpose most distinctly, it is thrown into the form of a sentence uttered by God through the expression וגו וַיֹּאמֶר. The Lord said, “Because this people has transgressed my covenant, … I also will no longer keep my covenant promise (Exo_23:23, Exo_23:27., Exo_34:10.), and will no more drive out any of the remaining Canaanites before them” (see Jos_23:13).

Keil and Delitzsch
Judges 2:22
The purpose of God in this resolution was “to prove Israel through them (the tribes that were not exterminated), whether they (the Israelites) would keep the way of the Lord to walk therein (cf. Deu_8:2), as their fathers did keep it, or not.” נַסֹּות לְמַעַן is not dependent upon the verb עָזַב, as Studer supposes, which yields no fitting sense; nor can the clause be separated from the preceding one, as Bertheau suggests, and connected as a protasis with Jdg_2:23 (this would be a thoroughly unnatural construction, for which Isa_45:4 does not furnish any true parallel); but the clause is attached in the simplest possible manner to the main thought in Jdg_2:20, Jdg_2:21, that is to say, to the words “and He said” in Jdg_2:20 : Jehovah said, i.e., resolved, that He would not exterminate the remaining nations any further, to tempt Israel through them. The plural בָּם, in the place of the singular בָּהּ, which the foregoing דֶּרֶךְ requires, is to be regarded as a constructio ad sensum, i.e., to be attributed to the fact, that keeping the way of God really consists in observing the commandments of God, and that this was the thought which floated before the writer’s mind. The thought expressed in this verse, that Jehovah would not exterminate the Canaanites before Israel any more, to try them whether they would keep His commandments, just as He had previously caused the people whom He brought out of Egypt to wander in the wilderness for forty years with the very same intention (Deu_8:2), is not at variance with the design of God, expressed in Exo_23:29-30, and Deu_7:22, not to exterminate the Canaanites all at once, lest the land should become waste, and the wild beasts multiply therein, nor yet with the motive assigned in Jdg_3:1-2. For the determination not to exterminate the Canaanite sin one single year, was a different thing from the purpose of God to suspend their gradual extermination altogether. The former purpose had immediate regard to the well-being of Israel; the latter, on the contrary, was primarily intended as a chastisement for its transgression of the covenants, although even this chastisement was intended to lead the rebellious nation to repentance, and promote its prosperity by a true conversion to the Lord. And the motive assigned in Jdg_2:22 is in perfect harmony with this intention, as our explanation of this passage will clearly show.

Pulpit Commentary
To walk therein. The Hebrew has in them. Probably for way we should read ways, as Deu_8:6 Deu_10:12, etc. This verse does not seem to be part of what the Lord said, but to be the comment of the writer. The A.V that through them I may prove inserts an I which is not in the original. Ver. 22 depends upon ver. 23. The literal rendering is, For the sake of proving Israel, etc… the Lord left those nations. The writer, after rehearsing the Lord”s reason for not completing the extirpation of the nations after the death of Joshua, adds the further information why they had not been delivered into Joshua”s hand in his lifetime. (cf. Jos_3:1, Jos_3:4) In Exo_23:29, 30 Deu_7:22, an additional reason is given for the gradual extirpation of the Canaaniteslest the beasts of the field increase upon thee. “

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