|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
10:10-18 God is able to multiply men's punishments according to the numbers of their sins and idols. But there is hope when sinners cry to the Lord for help, and lament their ungodliness as well as their more open transgressions. It is necessary, in true repentance, that there be a full conviction that those things cannot help us which we have set in competition with God. They acknowledged what they deserved, yet prayed to God not to deal with them according to their deserts. We must submit to God's justice, with a hope in his mercy. True repentance is not only for sin, but from sin. As the disobedience and misery of a child are a grief to a tender father, so the provocations of God's people are a grief to him. From him mercy never can be sought in vain. Let then the trembling sinner, and the almost despairing backslider, cease from debating about God's secret purposes, or from expecting to find hope from former experiences. Let them cast themselves on the mercy of God our Saviour, humble themselves under his hand, seek deliverance from the powers of darkness, separate themselves from sin, and from occasions of it, use the means of grace diligently, and wait the Lord's time, and so they shall certainly rejoice in his mercy.
Verse 16. - And they put away the strange gods. Here at length were "the fruits meet for repentance," and "the returning to the Lord their God;" the intended result of the severe but loving correction (see Homiletics, Judges 6:25-32). Cf. Genesis 35:2; 1 Samuel 7:3, in which passages, as here, the phrase the strange gods is the correct rendering; not, as in the margin, gods of strangers. The Hebrew phrase here rendered his soul was grieved occurs Numbers 21:4; Judges 16:16; Zechariah 11:2; it means was impatient - literally, was shortened, i.e. he could bear it no longer. A somewhat similar description of the Divine relenting is contained in the beautiful passage Hosea 11:7-9.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they put away the strange gods from among them,.... Which was an evidence of the truth of their repentance, and showed their confessions and humiliations to be genuine:
and served the Lord; and him only, both in private and public; in the observance of duties, both moral and ceremonial; in an attendance on the service of the sanctuary, and by offering sacrifices to God there, according to his will:
and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel; which is to be understood after the manner of men; for grief properly does not belong to God, there being no passion in him; but it denotes a carriage or behaviour of his, which shows what looks like sympathy in men; a love and affection for Israel, notwithstanding their ill behaviour to him, and a change of his dispensations Providence towards them, according to his unchangeable will; so Maimonides (b) understands it of the good will and pleasure of God, to cease from afflicting the people of Israel; but Abarbinel is of opinion that this refers to the soul of Israel, which was shortened and contracted, as the word signifies, because of the labour of servitude, the affliction and distress they were in.
(b) Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 41.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jud 10:16-18. They Repent; God Pities Them.
16. they put away the strange gods … and served the Lord; and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel—On their abandonment of idolatry and return to purity of worship, God graciously abridged the term of national affliction and restored times of peace.
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