The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and you cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)The Sidonians.—Judges 3:3; Judges 18:7-28. Nothing very definite is recorded of deliverance from the Sidonians; but (as we have seen) the narrative of the book is typical rather than exhaustive. (Comp. Psalm 106:42-43.)
The Maonites.—As the LXX. here read Madian (and in some MSS. Canaan; Vulg., Chanaan), it seems probable that there has been an early corruption of the text. In the Arabic version we have “Moabites.” There was a town Maon in the desert of Judah (Joshua 15:55; 1Samuel 23:24; 1Samuel 25:2), but this cannot be meant. There is also a Beth Meon in the tribe of Reuben (Numbers 22:38; Baal Meon, Jeremiah 48:23), and a Meon in Arabia Petræa. Mehunims are also mentioned in 2Chronicles 26:7, and Meonim in 1Chronicles 4:41. If this is an allusion to some disaster of which we have no record given we must suppose that Meon was once the capital of some tribe which subsequently dwindled into insignificance.Jdg 10:12. The Zidonians — We do not read of any oppression of Israel, particularly, by the Zidonians. But many things were done which are not recorded. The Maonites — Either, first, those who lived in or near the wilderness of Maon, in the south of Judah, 1 Samuel 23:25; 1 Samuel 25:2; whether Edomites or others. Or, secondly, the Mehunims, a people living near the Arabians, of whom see 2 Chronicles 26:7. For in the Hebrew, the letters of both names are the same, only the one is the singular, the other the plural number.Joshua 11:8.
The Amalekites - In the time of Gideon (marginal reference).
The Maonites - Probably one of the tribes of the "children of the East," who came with the Midianites and Amalekites in the time of Gideon, and may have been conspicuous for their hostility to Israel, and for the greatness of their discomfiture, though the record has not been preserved. The name is "Mehununs" in 2 Chronicles 26:7.The Zidonians also; for though we do not read of any oppression of Israel, particularly, by the Zidonians, yet there might be such a thing; as many things were said and done, both in the Old and New Testament, which are not recorded there; or they might join their forces with the king of Mesopotamia, Judges 3:8, or with some other of their oppressors; for it is certain these were left among others to prove Israel, Judges 3:1-3. Of
the Amalekites, see Judges 3:13 6:3.
Maonites; either, first, Those who lived in or near the wilderness of Maon, in the south of Judah, 1 Samuel 23:25 25:2, whether Edomites or other. Or, secondly, The Mehunims, a people living near the Arabians, of whom 2 Chronicles 26:7. For in the Hebrew the letters of both names are the same, only the one is the singular, the other the plural number. Or, thirdly, The Midianites, whose oppression he would not omit; it being usual for one and the same person or persons to have two names; although the Midianites may be comprehended under the Amalekites, with whom they were joined, Judges 6:3,33. Or, fourthly, Some other people now unknown, and not expressed elsewhere in Scripture.
and the Maonites did oppress you; meaning either the old inhabitants of Maon, a city in the mountains of Judah, near to which was a wilderness of this name, Joshua 15:55 or rather a people of Arabia, called by Strabo (z), and Diodorus Siculus (a), Minaeans, the same with Mehunim, mentioned with the Arabians, 2 Chronicles 26:7 and who perhaps came along with the Midianites, when they oppressed Israel; though some have thought of the old inhabitants of Bethmeon and Baalmeon, Numbers 32:38.
and ye cried unto me, and I delivered you out of their hands; all those mercies and deliverances are mentioned to aggravate their sins, that notwithstanding the Lord hath so often and eminently appeared for them, yet they deserted him and his worship, and fell into idolatry. Jarchi observes, that here are seven salvations or deliverances mentioned in opposition to the seven sorts of false gods or idols they had served, Judges 10:6.The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. The Zidonians … Amalekites … Maonites] The generalizing list of oppressors is continued. The Zidonians, i.e. Phoenicians (Jdg 3:3 n.), do not appear elsewhere in this character; perhaps the name was suggested by Jdg 10:6. The Amalekites are mentioned as allies of Moab in Jdg 3:13, and of Midian in Jdg 6:3 (see note); cf. Exodus 17:8-16 E. The Maonites (Maon is the form here) probably = the Meunim, 1 Chronicles 4:41, 2 Chronicles 20:1 (RVm.), 2 Chronicles 26:7—all late passages; the Meunim, who are referred to as hostile to Israel, were an Arab race inhabiting the Edomite country; their name survives in Ma‘ân, 6 hours S.E. of Petra. Perhaps the post-exilic editor included Maon in this list as being an enemy familiar to later times. On the supposed connexion between the Maonites (Meunim) and the Minaeans see HDB. s.v. The LXX reads Midian here, and many scholars adopt the correction; but it is suspiciously obvious.Verse 12. - The Zidonians also. This allusion is not clear; it may mean the subjects of Jabin king of Canaan, as the northern Canaanites are called Zidonians in ch. 18:7; and this agrees with the order in which the deliverance from the Zidonians is here mentioned, next to that from the Philistines, and would be strengthened by the conjecture that has been made, that Harosheth (Judges 4:2) was the great workshop in which the tributary Israelites wrought in cutting down timber, etc. for the Phoenician ships; or it may allude to some unrecorded oppression. The Amalekites, who were in alliance with the Midianites (Judges 6:3, 33), as previously with the Moabites (Judges 3:13) and with the Canaanites (Judges 4:14), and whose signal defeat seems to have given the name to the mount of the Amalekites (Judges 12:15). The Maonites. It is thought by many that the true reading is that preserved in the Septuagint, viz., the Midianites, which, being the greatest of all the foes of Israel, could scarcely be omitted here (see chs. 6, 7, 8.). If Maonites or Maon is the true reading, they would be the same people as the Mehunim, mentioned 2 Chronicles 26:7 (Maon, sing., and Meunim, plur.).
Israel's Renewed Apostasy and Consequent Punishment - Judges 10:6-18
As the Israelites forsook the Lord their God again, and served the gods of the surrounding nations, the Lord gave them up to the power of the Philistines and Ammonites, and left them to groan for eighteen years under the severe oppression of the Ammonites, till they cried to Him in their distress, and He sent them deliverance through Jephthah, though not till He had first of all charged them with their sins, and they had put away the strange gods. This section forms the introduction, not only to the history of Jephthah (Judges 11:1-12:7) and the judges who followed him, viz., Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon (Judges 12:8-15), but also to the history of Samson, who began to deliver Israel out of the power of the Philistines (Judges 13-16). After the fact has been mentioned in the introduction (in Judges 10:7), that Israel was given up into the hands of the Philistines and the Ammonites at the same time, the Ammonitish oppression, which lasted eighteen years, is more particularly described in Judges 10:8, Judges 10:9. This is followed by the reproof of the idolatrous Israelites on the part of God (Judges 10:10-16); and lastly, the history of Jephthah is introduced in Judges 10:17, Judges 10:18, the fuller account being given in Judges 11. Jephthah, who judged Israel for six years after the conquest and humiliation of the Ammonites (Judges 12:7), was followed by the judges Ibzan, Elon, and Abdon, who judged Israel for seven, ten, and eight years respectively, that is to say, for twenty-five years in all; so that Abdon died forty-nine years (18 + 6 + 25) after the commencement of the Ammonitish oppression, i.e., nine years after the termination of the forty years' rule of the Philistines over Israel, which is described more particularly in Judges 13:1, for the purpose of introducing the history of Samson, who judged Israel twenty years under that rule (Judges 15:20; Judges 16:31), without bringing it to a close, or even surviving it. It was only terminated by the victory which Israel achieved under Samuel at Ebenezer, as described in 1 Samuel 7.
In the account of the renewed apostasy of the Israelites from the Lord contained in Judges 10:6, seven heathen deities are mentioned as being served by the Israelites: viz., in addition to the Canaanitish Baals and Astartes (see at Judges 2:11, Judges 2:13), the gods of Aram, i.e., Syria, who are never mentioned by name; of Sidon, i.e., according to 1 Kings 11:5, principally the Sidonian or Phoenician Astarte; of the Moabites, i.e., Chemosh (1 Kings 11:33), the principal deity of that people, which was related to Moloch (see at Numbers 21:29); of the Ammonites, i.e., Milcom (1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:33) (see at Judges 16:23). If we compare the list of these seven deities with Judges 10:11 and Judges 10:12, where we find seven nations mentioned out of whose hands Jehovah had delivered Israel, the correspondence between the number seven in these two cases and the significant use of the number are unmistakeable. Israel had balanced the number of divine deliverances by a similar number of idols which it served, so that the measure of the nation's iniquity was filled up in the same proportion as the measure of the delivering grace of God. The number seven is employed in the Scriptures as the stamp of the works of God, or of the perfection created, or to be created, by God on the one hand, and of the actions of men in their relation to God on the other. The foundation for this was the creation of the world in seven days. - On Judges 10:7, see Judges 2:13-14. The Ammonites are mentioned after the Philistines, not because they did not oppress the Israelites till afterwards, but for purely formal reasons, viz., because the historian was about to describe the oppression of the Ammonites first. In Judges 10:8, the subject is the "children of Ammon," as we may see very clearly from Judges 10:9. "They (the Ammonites) ground and crushed the Israelites in the same year," i.e., the year in which God sold the Israelites into their hands, or in which they invaded the land of Israel. רעץ and רצץ are synonymous, and are simply joined together for the sake of emphasis, whilst the latter calls to mind Deuteronomy 28:33. The duration of this oppression is then added: "Eighteen years (they crushed) all the Israelites, who dwelt on the other side of the Jordan in the land of the Amorites," i.e., of the two Amoritish kings Sihon and Og, who (dwelt) in Gilead. Gilead, being a more precise epithet for the land of the Amorites, is used here in a wider sense to denote the whole of the country on the east of the Jordan, so far as it had been taken from the Amorites and occupied by the Israelites (as in Numbers 32:29; Deuteronomy 34:1 : see at Joshua 22:9).
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