Judges 10:8
And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.
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(8) That year.—The narrative is evidently imperfect, as no year is specified.

Vexed and oppressed.—This again is a paronomasia, or assonance, like “broke to yoke” in English,

The land of the Amorites.—The kingdoms of Og and Sihon.

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.That year - Perhaps the closing year of the oppression, when the Ammonites passed over the Jordan. For it was this crowning oppression which brought the Israelites to repentance Judges 10:10, Judges 10:15-16, and so prepared the way for the deliverance. Possibly in the original narrative from which this portion of the Book of Judges is compiled, "that year" was defined.

The land of the Amorites - Namely, of Sihon king of the Amorites, Numbers 21:21; Deuteronomy 1:4; Joshua 13:10; Psalm 135:11.

7. Philistines, and … the children of Ammon—The predatory incursions of these two hostile neighbors were made naturally on the parts of the land respectively contiguous to them. But the Ammonites, animated with the spirit of conquest, carried their arms across the Jordan; so that the central and southern provinces of Canaan were extensively desolated. Or, that year they had vexed and oppressed the children of Israel eighteen years. Or, they vexed them in that year, that was the eighteenth year, to wit, of that vexation. This was the eighteenth year from the beginning of that oppression. And these eighteen years are not to be reckoned from Jair’s death, because that would enlarge the time of the judges beyond the just bounds, as may appear from 1 Kings 6:1; nor from Jephthah’s beginning to reign, because he reigned but six years, and in the beginning thereof put an end to this persecution; but from the fourth year of Jair’s reign; so that the greatest part of Jair’s reign was contemporary with this affliction. And although this oppression of the Ammonites and Philistines, and the cause of it, the idolatry of the Israelites, be not mentioned till after Jair’s death, because the sacred penman would deliver the whole history of this calamity entirely and together; yet they both happened before it; and Jair’s death is mentioned before that only by a prolepsis or anticipation than which nothing is more frequent in Scripture. The case of Jair and Samson seem to be much alike. For as it is said of Samson, that he judged Israel in the days of the tyranny of the Philistines twenty years, Judges 15:20, by which it is evident that his judicature and their dominion were contemporary; the like is to be conceived of Jair, that he began to judge Israel, and endeavoured to reform religion and purge out all abuses; but being unable to effect this, through the backwardness and baseness of the people, God would not enable him to deliver the people, but gave them up to this sad oppression; so that Jair could only perform one half of his office, which was to determine differences amongst the Israelites, but could not deliver them from their enemies.

And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel,.... The Philistines on one side, and the children of Ammon on the other; meaning either that year in which Jair died, as Jarchi; or the first year they began to bring them into bondage, as R. Isaiah: "and from that year", as Kimchi and Ben Melech, that they vexed and distressed them, they continued to vex and distress them

eighteen years; or, as Abarbinel interprets it, "with that year", they vexed and oppressed them eighteen years, that is, so many more, or reckoning that into the number of them; and these eighteen years of their oppression are not to be reckoned into the years of Jair's government, and as commencing from the fourth of it, as Bishop Usher, Lightfoot, and others; for it does not appear that there was any oppression in his days, but from the time of his death to the raising up of Jephthah a new judge: and the people oppressed by the children of Ammon during that time

were all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan, in the land of the Ammonites, which is in Gilead; even the tribes of Reuben and Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh.

And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, {b} all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead.

(b) As the Reubenites, Gadites, and half the tribe of Manasseh.

8. they vexed] The subject is ‘the children of Ammon’ (see on Jdg 10:17).

that year: eighteen years] cannot be right; either that year (marking the beginning of the oppression, Jdg 11:4) has slipped in from some other place, or eighteen years belonged originally to the end of Jdg 10:7, cf. Jdg 3:14. The extension of the oppression to all the children of I. on both sides of the Jordan is probably due to the latest editor.

Verse 8. - That year. It does not appear clearly what particular year is meant. Jarchi explains it as the year in which air died. It may mean the very year in which the idolatries spoken of in ver. 6 were set up, so as to mark how closely God's chastisement followed the apostasy from him. They, i.e. the children of Ammon. Eighteen years. The same length as that of the Moabite servitude (Judges 3:18). The land of the Amorites, i.e. the territory of Sihon king of the Amorites, and Og the king of Bashan (Numbers 32:33). In Gilead - in its widest acceptation, including, as in Deuteronomy 34:1; Joshua 22:9, 13, 15; Judges 20:1, the whole country held by the Amorites on the east of Jordan, and given to Reuben, Gad, and the half-tribe of Manasseh. But in its narrower and stricter sense Gilead was bounded on the north by Bashan proper, and on the south by the Mishor, or plain of Medeba, which lay between the valley of Heshbon and the river Arnon, thus excluding that part of the territory of Reuben from Gilead (see Joshua 13:9-11). Originally, as we learn from Judges 11:13-22, the territory bounded by the Arnon on the south, by the Jabbok on the north, by the wilderness on the east, and by the Jordan on the west, had belonged to Moab, but the Amorites had taken it from them before the conquest of Sihon by the Israelites. Judges 10:8The 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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