1 Samuel 12:10
And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(10) And they cried unto the Lord.—As soon as they were convinced of their sin and rebellion, and accused themselves, and returned to their old allegiance, their invisible King, ever full of pity and tender compassion, forgave them, and sent them quick deliverance.

And have served Baalim and Ashtaroth.—Baal and Ashtaroth were the well-known leading Phœnician deities; the worship, with most of its details, was imported probably from Carthage, the great Phœnician centre. The temple of Baal-shemesh, the Sun god, at Carthage, was renowned in that luxurious and splendid city. (For a detailed and picturesque account of the worship and ritual of Baal at Carthage, see M. Gustave Flaubert’s romance of Salômbo.) Baal and Ashtaroth, the Greek Astarté, were probably originally worshipped simply as the sun and moon. The plural form refers to the various personifications and different titles of the god and goddess.

12:6-15 The work of ministers is to reason with people; not only to exhort and direct, but to persuade, to convince men's judgments, and so to gain their wills and affections. Samuel reasons of the righteous acts of the Lord. Those who follow God faithfully, he will enable to continue following him. Disobedience would certainly be the ruin of Israel. We mistake if we think that we can escape God's justice, by trying to shake off his dominion. If we resolve that God shall not rule us, yet he will judge us.According to the present arrangement of the Book of Judges, and the common chronology, the oppression of Sisera must have occurred about 200 years after the entrance into Canaan. But Samuel here places it as the first great servitude, before that under Eglon king of Moab, or that from which Shamgar delivered them. And this is in accordance with the internal evidence of the Book of Judges itself. It is also the order of Judges 10:11, except that there the Ammonites Judges 3:13 are placed before the Philistines. 7-16. Now therefore stand still, that I may reason with you—The burden of this faithful and uncompromising address was to show them, that though they had obtained the change of government they had so importunely desired, their conduct was highly displeasing to their heavenly King; nevertheless, if they remained faithful to Him and to the principles of the theocracy, they might be delivered from many of the evils to which the new state of things would expose them. And in confirmation of those statements, no less than in evidence of the divine displeasure, a remarkable phenomenon, on the invocation of the prophet, and of which he gave due premonition, took place. No text from Poole on this verse.

And they cried unto the Lord,.... When in the hands of their enemies, and in bondage to them, and cruelly oppressed by them:

and said, we have sinned; the word for "said" is in the Cetib, or written text, singular, and in the Keri, or marginal reading, plural; and may signify, that everyone of them had a sense of their sin, and made acknowledgment of it; their confession was universal, as their sin was:

because we have forsaken the Lord; the Word of the Lord, as the Targum:

and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth; See Gill on Judges 2:11; see Gill on Judges 2:13.

but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee; they did not ask for a king to go before them, and fight their battles, as they did now, but applied to the Lord for deliverance, promising to serve him as their King and their God.

And they cried unto the LORD, and said, We have sinned, because we have forsaken the LORD, and have served Baalim and Ashtaroth: but now deliver us out of the hand of our enemies, and we will serve thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. And they cried unto the Lord] The resemblance of the language to Jdg 10:10 is so close as to lead us to suppose that the compiler of Samuel had the book of Judges before him, or at any rate that the words are derived from a common source. Cp. also Jdg 2:18; Jdg 3:15; Jdg 4:3; Jdg 6:7.

Baalim and Ashtaroth] See note on 1 Samuel 7:3.

Verse 10. - We have served [the] Baalim and [the] Ashtaroth. I.e. the numerous Baals and Astartes, which were worshipped under various titles by the heathen. For though representing the same power, each people had their own epithets for their own particular personification of the god (see on 1 Samuel 7:4). 1 Samuel 12:10The first proof of this was furnished by the deliverance of the children of Israel out of Egypt, and their safe guidance into Canaan ("this place" is the land of Canaan). The second was to be found in the deliverance of the people out of the power of their foes, to whom the Lord had been obliged to give them up on account of their apostasy from Him, through the judges whom He had raised up for them, as often as they turned to Him with penitence and cried to Him for help. Of the hostile oppressions which overtook the Israelites during this period of the judges, the following are singled out in 1 Samuel 12:9 : (1) that by Sisera, the commander-in-chief of Hazor, i.e., that of the Canaanitish king Jabin of Hazor (Judges 4:2.); (2) that of the Philistines, by which we are to understand not so much the hostilities of that nation described in Judges 3:31, as the forty years' oppression mentioned in Judges 10:2 and Judges 13:1; and (3) the Moabitish oppression under Eglon (Judges 3:12.). The first half of Judges 13:10 agrees almost word for word with Judges 10:10, except that, according to Judges 10:6, the Ashtaroth are added to the Baalim (see at 1 Samuel 7:4 and Judges 2:13). Of the judges whom God sent to the people as deliverers, the following are named, viz., Jerubbaal (see at Judges 6:32), i.e., Gideon (Judges 6), and Bedan, and Jephthah (see Judges 11), and Samuel. There is no judge named Bedan mentioned either in the book of Judges or anywhere else. The name Bedan only occurs again in 1 Chronicles 7:17, among the descendants of Machir the Manassite: consequently some of the commentators suppose Jair of Gilead to be the judge intended. But such a supposition is perfectly arbitrary, as it is not rendered probable by any identity in the two names, and Jair is not described as having delivered Israel from any hostile oppression. Moreover, it is extremely improbable that Samuel should have mentioned a judge here, who had been passed over in the book of Judges on account of his comparative insignificance. There is also just as little ground for rendering Bedan as an appellative, e.g., the Danite (ben-Dan), as Kimchi suggests, or corpulentus as Bttcher maintains, and so connecting the name with Samson. There is no other course left, therefore, than to regard Bedan as an old copyist's error for Barak (Judges 4), as the lxx, Syriac, and Arabic have done, - a conclusion which is favoured by the circumstance that Barak was one of the most celebrated of the judges, and is placed by the side of Gideon and Jephthah in Hebrews 11:32. The Syriac, Arabic, and one Greek MS (see Kennicott in the Addenda to his Dissert. Gener.), have the name of Samson instead of Samuel. But as the lxx, Chald., and Vulg. all agree with the Hebrew text, there is no critical ground for rejecting Samuel, the more especially as the objection raised to it, viz., that Samuel would not have mentioned himself, is far too trivial to overthrow the reading supported by the most ancient versions; and the assertion made by Thenius, that Samuel does not come down to his own times until the following verse, is altogether unfounded. Samuel could very well class himself with the deliverers of Israel, for the simple reason that it was by him that the people were delivered from the forty years' tyranny of the Philistines, whilst Samson merely commenced their deliverance and did not bring it to completion. Samuel appears to have deliberately mentioned his own name along with those of the other judges who were sent by God, that he might show the people in the most striking manner (1 Samuel 12:12) that they had no reason whatever for saying to him, "Nay, but a king shall reign over us," as soon as the Ammonites invaded Gilead. "As Jehovah your God is your king," i.e., has ever proved himself to be your King by sending judges to deliver you.
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