|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
1:21-36 The people of Israel were very careless of their duty and interest. Owing to slothfulness and cowardice, they would not be at the pains to complete their conquests. It was also owing to their covetousness: they were willing to let the Canaanites live among them, that they might make advantage of them. They had not the dread and detestation of idolatry they ought to have had. The same unbelief that kept their fathers forty years out of Canaan, kept them now out of the full possession of it. Distrust of the power and promise of God deprived them of advantages, and brought them into troubles. Thus many a believer who begins well is hindered. His graces languish, his lusts revive, Satan plies him with suitable temptations, the world recovers its hold; he brings guilt into his conscience, anguish into his heart, discredit on his character, and reproach on the gospel. Though he may have sharp rebukes, and be so recovered that he does not perish, yet he will have deeply to lament his folly through his remaining days; and upon his dying bed to mourn over the opportunities of glorifying God and serving the church he has lost. We can have no fellowship with the enemies of God within us or around us, but to our hurt; therefore our only wisdom is to maintain unceasing war against them.
Verse 36. - The going up to Akrabbim. See Joshua 15:3, Maaleh-acrabbim. In Numbers 34:4 "the ascent of Akrabbim." The whole name, put into English, is "the ascent, or going up, of Scorpions," a mountain pass so called from the abundance of scorpions found in the whole region. The exact locality is uncertain, but it is thought to be the pass El-Safeh, immediately to the south of the Dead Sea. The neighbourhood to Mount Hor and Petra is indicated by its connection here with "the rock," in Hebrew has-selah, which is the distinctive name of the rocks or cliffs on which Petra is built, and the name of Petra (the rock) itself. Speaking roughly, a line drawn westward from El-Safeh to the Mediterranean Sea, near the "river of Egypt," formed the southern boundary, of Judah, and of the Amorites whom they displaced. The battle with the Amorites (Deuteronomy 1:44), in which the Israelites were discomfited and pursued, is thought to have been at El-Safeh.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim,.... Of which See Gill on Numbers 34:4 and See Gill on Joshua 15:3,
from the rock, and upwards; even from the city Petra in Idumea, and beyond that; and there was a country near Idumea, called Acrabatane, from this mountain Akrabbim,"Then Judas fought against the children of Esau in Idumea at Arabattine, because they besieged Gael: and he gave them a great overthrow, and abated their courage, and took their spoils.'' (1 Maccabees 5:3)such was the extent of these people, that their coast reached from the places, mentioned to the mountains where the above cities of Dan were; they were the most powerful people among the Canaanites, and lay on both sides of Jordan, and were very troublesome to Israel, yet were at length destroyed, Amos 2:9.
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