|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
2:6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel, during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as mean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have been great and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Their punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God made them serve the princes of the nations round about them, even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises, may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He might in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity do it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, and so they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of the church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so mad were they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent to backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God, which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most daring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened. Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and so they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to believe it, until by making bold with temptation we find it true by sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow after holiness all our days.
Verse 6. - And when Joshua, etc. The same words as Joshua 22:6, marking the identity of time.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And when Joshua had let the people go,.... This is not to be connected with what goes before, as if that was done in Joshua's lifetime; for during that, as is after testified, the people of Israel served the Lord; whereas the angel, in the speech to them before related, charges them with disobeying the voice of the Lord, making leagues with the inhabitants of the land, and not demolishing their altars, all which was after the death of Joshua; but this refers to a meeting of them with him before his death, and his dismission of them, which was either when he had divided the land by lot unto them, or when he had given them his last charge before his death, see Joshua 24:28; and this, and what follows, are repeated and introduced here, to connect the history of Israel, and to show them how they fell into idolatry, and so under the divine displeasure, which brought them into distress, from which they were delivered at various times by judges of his own raising up, which is the subject matter of this book:
the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land; as it was divided to the several tribes and their families; which seems to confirm the first sense given, that this refers to the dismission of the people upon the division of the land among them.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
6-10. And when Joshua had let the people go—This passage is a repetition of Jos 24:29-31. It was inserted here to give the reader the reasons which called forth so strong and severe a rebuke from the angel of the Lord. During the lifetime of the first occupiers, who retained a vivid recollection of all the miracles and judgments which they had witnessed in Egypt and the desert, the national character stood high for faith and piety. But, in course of time, a new race arose who were strangers to all the hallowed and solemnizing experience of their fathers, and too readily yielded to the corrupting influences of the idolatry that surrounded them.
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