|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:1-8 The Israelites were convinced that the war against the Canaanites was to be continued; but they were in doubt as to the manner in which it was to be carried on after the death of Joshua. In these respects they inquired of the Lord. God appoints service according to the strength he has given. From those who are most able, most work is expected. Judah was first in dignity, and must be first in duty. Judah's service will not avail unless God give success; but God will not give the success, unless Judah applies to the service. Judah was the most considerable of all the tribes, and Simeon the least; yet Judah begs Simeon's friendship, and prays for aid from him. It becomes Israelites to help one another against Canaanites; and all Christians, even those of different tribes, should strengthen one another. Those who thus help one another in love, have reason to hope that God will graciously help both. Adoni-bezek was taken prisoner. This prince had been a severe tyrant. The Israelites, doubtless under the Divine direction, made him suffer what he had done to others; and his own conscience confessed that he was justly treated as he had treated others. Thus the righteous God sometimes, in his providence, makes the punishment answer the sin.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the Lord said,.... By an articulate voice, which it is probable was the usual way of answering by Urim and Thummim:
Judah shall go up; not Judah in person, who was long ago dead, but the tribe of Judah; it was the will of the Lord that that tribe should engage first with the Canaanites, being the principal one, and the most numerous, powerful, and valiant, and perhaps had the greatest number of Canaanites among them; and who succeeding, would inspire the other tribes with courage, and fill their enemies with a panic:
behold, I have delivered the land into his hands; that part of it which belonged to that tribe as yet unsubdued, the conquest of which they are assured of for their encouragement.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. the Lord said, Judah shall go up—The predicted pre-eminence (Ge 49:8) was thus conferred upon Judah by divine direction, and its appointment to take the lead in the ensuing hostilities was of great importance, as the measure of success by which its arms were crowned, would animate the other tribes to make similar attempts against the Canaanites within their respective territories.
I have delivered the land into his hand—not the whole country, but the district assigned for his inheritance.
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