Judges 1:4
And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
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(4) And Judah went up.—Under the leadership of Caleb (Joshua 14:6).

The Canaanites and the Perizzites.—See Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30. The former seem to have been lowlanders—“by the sea and by the coast of Jordan” (Numbers 13:29), “on the east and on the west” (Joshua 11:3; Joshua 17:16). The Perizzites were the mountain and forest tribes (Joshua 11:3; Joshua 17:15). Their antiquity and importance appear from the allusions to them in Genesis 13:7; Genesis 34:30; 1Kings 9:20; 2 Esdras 1:21. The name itself seems to imply “open villages” (1Samuel 6:18; Deuteronomy 3:5), and may imply that they were agriculturists. The name does not occur in the genealogy of nations in Genesis 10

In Bezek.—The name means lightning.” There seems to be no adequate reason to distinguish this town from the one mentioned in 1Samuel 11:8. Saul numbered the people there before his expedition to deliver Jabesh Gilead. At first sight the mention of this town is surprising, for we have no information of any Bezek except the two villages of that name referred to by Eusebius and Jerome, which were seventeen miles from Shechem, and therefore in the lot of Ephraim. It is, however, needless to conjecture that there was another Bezek in the lot of Judah. We must suppose that the two warlike tribes began their conquest by marching into the centre of Palestine to strike a blow at the main stronghold of Canaanitish power. Ewald conjectures that in this expedition they took Shiloh, and refers Genesis 49:8-12 to this fact, rendering “till he come to Shiloh” (Hist. Isr. i. 284, E. Tr.). If this chapter does not refer retrospectively to events which occurred before the death of Joshua, it might well be considered strange that this powerful king is not mentioned among those attacked by the Israelites in Joshua’s lifetime. It is, however, possible, as Ewald suggests, that a new power may have sprung up.

Jdg 1:4. Judah went up — The people of that tribe were principally concerned in this expedition, and therefore are only mentioned, though those of the tribe of Simeon went up with them. And the Lord delivered, &c. — We meet with no such pious expression (which occurs often here) in any heathen writer. In them every success is attributed to the conduct and valour of the generals, or the strength and courage of the forces; but in the Scriptures every success is attributed to God only. They slew them in Bezek — Not in the city, for that was not yet taken, (Jdg 1:5,) but in the territory of it.1:1-8 The Israelites were convinced that the war against the Canaanites was to be continued; but they were in doubt as to the manner in which it was to be carried on after the death of Joshua. In these respects they inquired of the Lord. God appoints service according to the strength he has given. From those who are most able, most work is expected. Judah was first in dignity, and must be first in duty. Judah's service will not avail unless God give success; but God will not give the success, unless Judah applies to the service. Judah was the most considerable of all the tribes, and Simeon the least; yet Judah begs Simeon's friendship, and prays for aid from him. It becomes Israelites to help one another against Canaanites; and all Christians, even those of different tribes, should strengthen one another. Those who thus help one another in love, have reason to hope that God will graciously help both. Adoni-bezek was taken prisoner. This prince had been a severe tyrant. The Israelites, doubtless under the Divine direction, made him suffer what he had done to others; and his own conscience confessed that he was justly treated as he had treated others. Thus the righteous God sometimes, in his providence, makes the punishment answer the sin.The Canaanites and the Perizzites - See Genesis 12:6, note; Genesis 13:7, note. Bezek may be the name of a district. It has not yet been identified. Jud 1:4-21. Adoni-bezek Justly Requited. Not in the city, for that was not yet taken, Judges 1:5, but in the territory of it, or near to it; as in Hor is taken, Numbers 33:37; and in Jericho, Joshua 5:13. And Judah went up,.... Simeon being along with him, from the southern parts of the land, where they dwelt, and went more northward towards Jerusalem, and which therefore is called a going up:

and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and Perizzites into their hands: into the hands of Judah and Simeon: the Canaanites here is not the common name of the seven nations, but the name of one of those nations, distinguished from the rest, as here from the Perizzites, who otherwise were also Canaanites; and both these, at least many of them, dwelt in those parts, and were subdued by the united forces of Judah and Simeon, whereby the Lord's promise was fulfilled, Judges 1:2,

and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men: that is, in and about Bezek, first and last, in the course of this war, as after related. Jerom says (d) there were two villages of this name in his time near one another, seven miles from Neapolis, as you go to Scythopolis; and our countryman Mr. Sandys (e) says, that when they departed from Bethlehem, bending their course from the mountains of Judea lying west from it, near to which, on the side of the opposite hill, they passed a little village called Bezek, as he took it, two miles from Bethsur, see 1 Samuel 11:8.

(d) De loc. Heb. fol. 89. H. (e) Travels, p. 142. Ed. 5th.

And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.
4. This verse is made up of general phrases borrowed from Jdg 1:5-7, with the addition of the 10,000—a common round number, Jdg 3:29, Jdg 4:6, Jdg 7:3. The story of Adoni-bezek which follows has evidently been abridged; the editor has substituted a verse of his own for the omitted clauses. Note that the verb went up is singular; Judah alone is mentioned, as in the other editorial Jdg 1:8-10; Jdg 1:18.Joshua's labours had not remained without effect. During his own lifetime, and that of the elders who outlived him, and who had seen all that the Lord did for Israel, all Israel served the Lord. "The elders" are the rulers and leaders of the nation. The account of the burial of Joseph's bones, which the Israelites had brought with them from Egypt to Canaan (Exodus 13:19), is placed after the account of Joshua's death, because it could not have been introduced before without interrupting the connected account of the labours of Joshua; and it would not do to pass it over without notice altogether, not only because the fact of their bringing the bones with them had been mentioned in the book of Exodus, but also because the Israelites thereby fulfilled the promise given by their fathers to Joseph when he died. The burial of Joseph in the piece of field which Jacob had purchased at Shechem (vid., Genesis 33:19) had no doubt taken place immediately after the division of the land, when Joseph's descendants received Shechem and the field there for an inheritance. This piece of field, however, they chose for a burial-place for Joseph's bones, not only because Jacob had purchased it, but in all probability chiefly because Jacob had sanctified it for his descendants by building an altar there (Genesis 33:20). The death and burial of Eleazar, who stood by Joshua's side in the guidance of the nation, are mentioned last of all (Joshua 24:33). When Eleazar died, whether shortly before or shortly after Joshua, cannot be determined. He was buried at Gibeah of Phinehas, the place which was given to him upon the mountains of Ephraim, i.e., as his inheritance. Gibeath Phinehas, i.e., hill of Phinehas, is apparently a proper name, like Gibeah of Saul (1 Samuel 15:34, etc.). The situation, however, is uncertain. According to Eusebius (Onom. s. v. Γαβαάς), it was upon the mountains of Ephraim, in the tribe of Benjamin, and was at that time a place named Gabatha, the name also given to it by Josephus (Ant. v. 1, 29), about twelve Roman miles from Eleutheropolis. This statement is certainly founded upon an error, at least so far as the number twelve is concerned. It is a much more probable supposition, that it is the Levitical town Geba of Benjamin, on the north-east of Ramah (Joshua 18:24), and the name Gibeah of Phinehas might be explained on the ground that this place had become the hereditary property of Phinehas, which would be perfectly reconcilable with its selection as one of the priests' cities. As the priests, for example, were not the sole possessors of the towns ceded to them in the possessions of the different tribes, the Israelites might have presented Phinehas with that portion of the city which was not occupied by the priests, and also with the field, as a reward for the services he had rendered to the congregation (Numbers 25:7.), just as Caleb and Joshua had been specially considered; in which case Phinehas might dwell in his own hereditary possessions in a priests' city. The situation, "upon the mountains of Ephraim," is not at variance with this view, as these mountains extended, according to Judges 4:5, etc., far into the territory of Benjamin (see at Joshua 11:21). The majority of commentators, down to Knobel, have thought the place intended to be a Gibeah in the tribe of Ephraim, namely the present Jeeb or Jibia, by the Wady Jib, on the north of Guphna, towards Neapolis (Sichem: see Rob. Pal. iii. p. 80), though there is nothing whatever to favour this except the name.

With the death of Eleazar the high priest, the contemporary of Joshua, the times of Joshua came to a close, so that the account of Eleazar's death formed a very fitting termination to the book. In some MSS and editions of the Septuagint, there is an additional clause relating to the high priest Phinehas and the apostasy of the Israelites after Joshua's death; but this is merely taken from Judges 2:6, Judges 2:11. and Joshua 3:7, Joshua 3:12., and arbitrarily appended to the book of Joshua.

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