|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:1-5 It was the great Angel of the covenant, the Word, the Son of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who throw off communion with God, and have fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, know not what they do now, and will have nothing to say for themselves in the day of account shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with God's enemies. God often makes men's sin their punishment; and thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the word, and not without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, no voice but that of singing had been heard in their congregation; but by their sin and folly they made other work for themselves, and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The worship of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment, cannot atone for sin.
Verse 1. - An angel of the Lord. Rather, the angel of the Lord, i.e. the angel of his presence, whose message consequently is delivered as if the Lord himself were speaking (see Genesis 16:7, 9, 11, etc.). A good example of the difference between a message delivered by a prophet and one delivered by the angel of the Lord may be seen by comparing Judges 6:8 with Judges 6:11-16. Bochim, i.e. weepers (vers. 4, 5). The site is unknown, but it was probably near Shiloh. The phrase "came up" denotes that it was in the hill country.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And an angel of the Lord came up from Gilgal to Bochim,.... The Targum calls him a prophet (y); and the Jewish commentators in general interpret it of Phinehas (z); and that a man is meant is given into by others, because he is said to come from a certain place in Canaan, and not from heaven, and spoke in a public congregation, and is not said to disappear; but neither a man nor a created angel is meant, or otherwise he would have spoken in the name of the Lord, and have said, "thus saith the Lord", and not in his own name; ascribing to himself the bringing of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and swearing to them, and making a covenant with them, and threatening what he would do to them because of their sin; wherefore the uncreated Angel, the Angel of the covenant, is meant, who brought Israel out of Egypt, was with them in the wilderness, and introduced them into the land of Canaan, and appeared to Joshua as the Captain of the Lord's host at or near Gilgal, Joshua 5:13; and because he had not appeared since, therefore he is said to come from thence to a place afterwards called Bochim, from what happened at this time:
and said, I made you to go out of Egypt; that is, obliged Pharaoh king of Egypt to let them go, by inflicting plagues upon him and his people, which made them urgent upon them to depart:
and I have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; into the land of Canaan, now for the most part conquered, and divided among them, and in which they were settled:
and I said, I will never break my covenant with you; if the covenant between them was broken, it should not begin with him, it would be their own fault; all which is mentioned, as so many instances of divine goodness to them, and as so many aggravations of their sins against God.
(y) So Maimonides, Moreh Nevochim, par. 1. c. 15. & par. 2. c. 6. (z) The Rabbins in Maimon. Moreh Nevochim, par. 2. c. 42.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Jud 2:1-10. An Angel Sent to Rebuke the People at Bochim.
1-3. an angel … came from Gilgal to Bochim—We are inclined to think, from the authoritative tone of his language, that he was the Angel of the Covenant (Ex 23:20; Jos 5:14); the same who appeared in human form and announced himself captain of the Lord's host. His coming from Gilgal had a peculiar significance, for there the Israelites made a solemn dedication of themselves to God on their entrance into the promised land [Jos 4:1-9]; and the memory of that religious engagement, which the angel's arrival from Gilgal awakened, gave emphatic force to his rebuke of their apostasy.
Bochim—"the weepers," was a name bestowed evidently in allusion to this incident or the place, which was at or near Shiloh.
I said, I will never break my covenant with you … but ye have not obeyed my voice—The burden of the angel's remonstrance was that God would inviolably keep His promise; but they, by their flagrant and repeated breaches of their covenant with Him, had forfeited all claim to the stipulated benefits. Having disobeyed the will of God by voluntarily courting the society of idolaters and placing themselves in the way of temptation, He left them to suffer the punishment of their misdeeds.
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