Judges 10:6
And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.
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(6) Did evil again.—Literally, added to do evil: “joining new sins to their old ones,” as the Vulg. paraphrases it (Judges 2:11; Judges 3:7, &c).

Served Baalim, and Ashtaroth.Judges 2:19. Seven kinds of idols are mentioned, in obvious symmetry with the seven retributive oppressions in Judges 10:11-12.

The gods of Syria.—Heb. Aram. (See Genesis 35:2; Genesis 35:4.) Manasseh seems to have had an Aramean concubine (1Chronicles 7:14), who was mother of Machir. Of Syrian idolatry we hear nothing definite till the days of Ahaz (2Kings 16:10; 2Kings 16:12):—

“Thammuz came next behind,

Whose annual wound in Lebanon allured

The Syrian damsels to lament his fate

In amorous ditties all a summer’s day.”—Par. Lost, 1

The gods of Zidon.1Kings 11:5. As Milton borrowed his details from the learned Syntagma de Diis Syris of Selden, we cannot find better illustration of these allusions than in his stately verse:—

“Ashtoreth, whom the Phoenicians cali

Astarte, queen of heaven, with crescent horns,

To whose bright image nightly by the hour

Sidonian virgins paid their vows and songs, “—Id.

The gods of Moab.1Kings 11:7.

“ Chemosh, the obscene dread of Moab’s sons.

From Areer to Nebo, and the wild

Of southmost Abarim . . .

Peor his other name.”—Id.

The gods of the children of AmmonLeviticus 18:21; 1Kings 11:7.

“First Moloch, horrid king. . . . Him the Ammonite

Worshipped in Rabba and his watery plain,

In Argob and in Basan, to the stream

Of utmost Arnon.”—Id.

The gods of the Philistines.1Samuel 5:2; 1Samuel 16:23.


“Who mourned in earnest when the captive ark

Maimed his brute image; head and hands lopt off

In his own temple on the grunsel edge,

Where he fell flat and shamed his worshippers.

Dagon his name—sea-monster—upwards man

And downwards fish.”—Id.

Jdg 10:6. Israel served the gods of Syria — They added to their former idolatries the worship of new gods, particularly those of Syria, which were Bel, or Baal, Astarte, Dagon, Moloch, Thammuz. And the gods of Zidon — The supreme gods of the Sidonians were Baal and Ashtaroth: but it is likely they had more, such as Asaroth, Asarim, Asarah. And the gods of Moab — The principal of which was Chemosh, 1 Kings 11:7. And the gods of the children of Ammon — The chief of which was Milcom, (1 Kings 11:5,) where Ashtaroth is mentioned as the goddess of the Sidonians. And the gods of the Philistines — They had more, it seems, besides Dagon, but their names are not mentioned in Scripture. And forsook the Lord — They grew worse and worse, and ripened themselves for ruin. Before, they worshipped God and idols together: now they forsake God, and wholly cleave to idols.

10:6-9 Now the threatening was fulfilled, that the Israelites should have no power to stand before their enemies, Le 26:17,37. By their evil ways and their evil doings they procured this to themselves.The gods of Syria - Or "Aram." In the times of the Judges the various tribes of Aramites, or Syrians, were not compacted into one state, nor were they until after the time of Solomon. The national gods of these various Aramean tribes were probably the same; and their worship would be likely to be introduced into the trans-Jordanic tribes. It has been remarked that the Hebrew words for "to divine," "to practice magic," "idolatrous priests," and other like words, are of Syrian origin. The Syriac ritual proved very attractive to king Ahaz 2 Kings 16:10-12. For the national gods of the Zidonians, Moabites, Ammonites, and Philistines, see 1 Kings 11:5, 1 Kings 11:7,1 Kings 11:33; 1 Samuel 5:2-5. Jud 10:6-9. Israel Oppressed by the Philistines and Ammonites.

6. the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord—This apostasy seems to have exceeded every former one in the grossness and universality of the idolatry practised.

He shows how they grew worse and worse, and so ripened themselves for the ruin which afterward came upon them. Before they worshipped God and idols together; now they utterly forsake God, and wholly cleave to idols.

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord,.... After the death of the above judges they fell into idolatry again, as the following instances show:

and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth; as they had before; see Gill on Judges 2:11, Judges 2:13 and, besides these:

also the gods of Syria; their gods and goddesses, Belus and Saturn, Astarte and the Dea Syria, Lucian writes of:

and the gods of Zidon; the goddess of the Zidonians was Ashtaroth, 1 Kings 11:5 and it seems they had other deities:

and the gods of Moab; the chief of which were Baalpeor and Chemosh, Numbers 25:3.

and the gods of the children of Ammon, as Milcom or Molech, 1 Kings 11:5.

and the gods of the Philistines; as Dagon the god of Ashdod, Beelzebub the god of Ekron, Marnas the god of Gaza, and Derceto the goddess of Ashkalon:

and forsook the Lord, and served not him; not even in conjunction with the above deities, as Jarchi and others observe; at other times, when they worshipped other gods, they pretended to worship the Lord also, they served the creature besides the Creator; but now they were so dreadfully sunk into idolatry, that they had wholly forsaken the Lord and his worship at the tabernacle, and made no pretensions to it, but entirely neglected it.

And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.
6. again did that which was evil etc.] Cf. Jdg 2:11; Jdg 2:13, Jdg 3:7, Jdg 4:1, Jdg 6:1, Jdg 13:1; phrases of the Dtc. editor.

the gods of Syria … Philistines] i.e. of all the surrounding nations; cf. Jdg 2:12 Strictly speaking, the mention of ‘the gods of the Ammonites’ alone is appropriate to the narrative Jdg 10:17 to Jdg 11:33. The sentence appears to be a generalizing expansion from the hand of the latest editor, like the list of oppressors in Jdg 10:11.

6–8. Introduction to the story of Jephthah

Apostasy followed by oppression, the cry for help by deliverance: such is the religious interpretation of the succeeding period given by the Dtc. editor in his accustomed manner. His phrases appear in Jdg 10:6-7, cf. Jdg 2:11; Jdg 2:13, Jdg 3:7 etc. This summary is much longer than usual, and resembles Jdg 2:6 to Jdg 3:6 in its general character and scope (see Introd. § 2 b). The Dtc. editor seems to have expanded an earlier and shorter preface which is probably contained in Jdg 10:10-16, and shews signs of relationship with the source E. Jdg 10:6 b, Jdg 10:8 (in part), the end of Jdg 10:11 and the beginning of Jdg 10:12, appear to be still later expansions. It is surprising to find such a long introduction in the middle of the book; perhaps it was expanded, first by the Dtc. editor and then by a later hand, in order to cover not only the Ammonite, but the Philistine oppression, in fact all the remaining portion of the history. The last two verses (17 and 18) appear to be simply derived from the following chapter (as Jdg 8:33-35 from ch. 9), and intended to connect the passing reference to the Ammonite invasion in Jdg 10:7-8 with the more detailed narrative which follows.

Verse 6. - Did evil again. We may conclude that Tola and Jair had used their influence to maintain the worship of Jehovah; but at their death idolatry broke out with more virulence than ever. Not only were the many altars of Baal and Ashtoreth honoured, as in former times, but new forms of idol-worship, according to the rites of all the neighbouring nations, were introduced among them. The gods of Syria, i.e. Aram, who are not usually named, but whose worship is spoken of (2 Chronicles 28:23), and whose altar attracted the attention of Ahaz (2 Kings 16:10), and one of whom was Rimmon (2 Kings 5:18); the gods of the Zidonians, Baal and Ashtoreth, probably with rites somewhat differing from those of Canaan; Chemosh, the god of the Moabites; Milcom or Moloch, the god of the children of Ammon; and Dagon, the god of the Philis-tines - all were worshipped, while the service of Jehovah was thrust aside (see 1 Kings 11:5-7). Judges 10:6The third stage in the period of the judges, which extended from the death of Jair to the rise of Samuel as a prophet, was a time of deep humiliation for Israel, since the Lord gave up His people into the hands of two hostile nations at the same time, on account of their repeated return to idolatry; so that the Ammonites invaded the land from the east, and oppressed the Israelites severely for eighteen years, especially the tribes to the east of the Jordan; whilst the Philistines came from the west, and extended their dominion over the tribes on this side, and brought them more and more firmly under their yoke. It is true that Jephthah delivered his people from the oppression of the Ammonites, in the power of the Spirit of Jehovah, having first of all secured the help of God through a vow, and not only smote the Ammonites, but completely subdued them before the Israelites. But the Philistine oppression lasted forty years; for although Samson inflicted heavy blows upon the Philistines again and again, and made them feel the superior power of the God of Israel, he was nevertheless not in condition to destroy their power and rule over Israel. This was left for Samuel to accomplish, after he had converted the people to the Lord their God.

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.

Judges 10:6-8

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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