|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
13:14-31 When we come together to worship God, we must do it, not only by prayer and praise, but by the reading and hearing of the word of God. The bare reading of the Scriptures in public assemblies is not enough; they should be expounded, and the people exhorted out of them. This is helping people in doing that which is necessary to make the word profitable, to apply it to themselves. Every thing is touched upon in this sermon, which might best prevail with Jews to receive and embrace Christ as the promised Messiah. And every view, however short or faint, of the Lord's dealings with his church, reminds us of his mercy and long-suffering, and of man's ingratitude and perverseness. Paul passes from David to the Son of David, and shows that this Jesus is his promised Seed; a Saviour to do that for them, which the judges of old could not do, to save them from their sins, their worst enemies. When the apostles preached Christ as the Saviour, they were so far from concealing his death, that they always preached Christ crucified. Our complete separation from sin, is represented by our being buried with Christ. But he rose again from the dead, and saw no corruption: this was the great truth to be preached.
Verses 19, 20. - Canaan for Chanaan, A.V.; he gave them their land for an inheritance, for about four hundred and fifty years: and after these things he gave them judges, etc., for he divided their land unto them by lot: and after that he gave unto them judges about the space of four hundred and fifty years, etc., A.V. and T.R. It is difficult to say what is the meaning of the R.T. in regard to the four hundred and fifty years, what is the terminus a quo or ad quem intended by it. The usual explanations of the reading of the R.T. (adopted by Lachman, Bishop Wordsworth, and others) is that the years are dated from the birth of Isaac, and that the meaning is that the promise to give the land to the seed of Abraham was actually performed within four hundred and fifty years (ὡς ἔτεσι) (after the analogy of Galatians 3:17), which gives a good sense and is not at all improbable (see Bishop Wordsworth's note). The reading of the T.R. has grave objections on the score of chronology as well as grammar. Duration of time is expressed by the accusative case, as vers. 18 and 21; the measure of time in which a thing is done by the dative. So that the natural rendering of the T.R. would be that he gave them judges four hundred and fifty years after the entrance into Canaan; which of course cannot be the meaning. The other objection is that, if the times of the judges from the final conquest of the land to the judgeship of Samuel was four hundred and fifty years, the whole time from the Exodus to the building of the temple must have been about six hundred and forty years (37 from death of Moses to Othuiel + 450, + 30 for judgeship of Samuel, + 40 of Saul's reign, + 40 for David's reign, +3 years of Solomon, + and the 40 years in the wilderness), whereas 1 Kings 6:1 gives the time as four hundred and eighty years; while the genealogies suppose a much shorter time - about two hundred and eighty years. It is an immense gain, therefore, to get rid of this four hundred and fifty years for the time of the judges, and by the well-supported reading of the R.T. to get a calculation in agreement with Galatians 3:17 and with the chronology of the times. Gave them... for an inheritance. The T.R. has κατεκληροδότησεν, the R.T. has κατεκληρονόμησεν, which words are not infrequently interchanged in different codices of the LXX. (see Joshua 19:51; Deuteronomy 1:38; Deuteronomy 21:16, etc.). They have nearly identical meanings, "to give as an inheritance by lot." Neither word occurs elsewhere in the New Testament.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when he had destroyed seven nations in the land of Canaan,.... The Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites, Jebusites, and Girgashites; and the name of seven nations is what they are usually called by in Jewish writings; and though they were not utterly destroyed, or everyone of them put to death, or driven out, for some remained to be thorns in the sides of the Israelites; yet they were so wasted and conquered, that they could never recover any more: he divided their land to them; every tribe had its portion of it assigned, by lot; see Joshua 14:1.
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