And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves to them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Forsook the Lord God of their fathers.—(Deuteronomy 31:16-17.) It seems, however, that the sin of the Israelites was a breach rather of the second than of the first commandment. It was not so much a worshipping of other gods as a worshipping of Jehovah under false symbols adopted from the surrounding nations by a spurious syncretism. Similarly, the calf-worship of the northern tribes was originally intended to be an adoration of Jehovah, under the form of cherubic symbols, but naturally lapsed with dangerous facility into actual Baal-worship (Exodus 32:5; 1Kings 22:6).
11-19. the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord—This chapter, together with the first eight verses of the next [Jud 2:11-3:8], contains a brief but comprehensive summary of the principles developed in the following history. An attentive consideration of them, therefore, is of the greatest importance to a right understanding of the strange and varying phases of Israelitish history, from the death of Joshua till the establishment of the monarchy.
served Baalim—The plural is used to include all the gods of the country.
which brought them out of the land of Egypt; out of wretched misery and bondage there, with an high hand, and outstretched arm; and led them through the wilderness, and provided for them there, and brought them into the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey; but all these mercies were forgotten by them:
and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them: the gods of the Canaanites and Phoenicians, of the Egyptians, and of the Moabites, Amorites, and Edomites, that were round about them, on the borders of them; instead of one God they worshipped many, even all in or about the land of Canaan; so much given were they to idolatry:
and bowed themselves unto them; giving them all religious worship and honour they were capable of:And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)12. Each phrase of this verse is characteristic of the Deuteronomic school; thus they forsook the Lord Jdg 10:6; Jdg 10:10; Jdg 10:13, Deuteronomy 28:20, frequently in the Dtc. parts of Kings and in Jeremiah, see also the next verse; the God of their fathers Deuteronomy 1:11; Deuteronomy 1:21; Deuteronomy 4:1; Deuteronomy 6:3; Deuteronomy 12:1 etc.; followed other gods Jdg 2:19, Deuteronomy 8:19; Deuteronomy 11:28; Deuteronomy 13:2 etc., Jeremiah 7:6; Jeremiah 11:10 etc.; the peoples round about them i.e. not the Canaanites remaining in the midst of Israel, but the nations outside its frontiers, Deuteronomy 6:14; Deuteronomy 13:8; provoked the Lord to anger Deuteronomy 4:25; Deuteronomy 9:18 etc., and often in Dtc. passages in Kings, and in Jerem.
which brought them out of the land of Egypt] Both in the Law (Exodus 20:2; Deuteronomy 5:6) and in the Prophets (Amos 2:10; Hosea 12:13; Hosea 13:4; Micah 6:4), the appeal is to the Exodus, as the birth-day of Israel’s religious life, a signal manifestation of Jehovah’s special providence, which carried with it His claim on Israel’s allegiance.Verse 12. - They forsook the Lord, etc. Here again there is a manifest allusion to Joshua 24:16, 17. Joshua 24:28-31) in Judges 2:6-10, with a few unimportant differences, not only to form a link between Josha and Judges 2:11, and to resume the thread of the history which was broken off by the summary just given of the results of the wars between the Israelites and Canaanites (Bertheau), but rather to bring out sharply and clearly the contrast between the age that was past and the period of the Israelitish history that was just about to commence. The vav consec. attached to וישׁלּח expresses the order of thought and not of time. The apostasy of the new generation from the Lord (Judges 2:10.) was a necessary consequence of the attitude of Israel to the Canaanites who were left in the land, as described in Judges 1:1-2:5. This thought is indicated by the vav consec. in וישׁלּח; so that the meaning of Judges 2:6. as expressed in our ordinary phraseology would be as follows: Now when Joshua had dismissed the people, and the children of Israel had gone every one to his own inheritance to take possession of the land, the people served the Lord as long as Joshua and the elders who survived him were alive; but when Joshua was dead, and that generation (which was contemporaneous with him) had been gathered to its fathers, there rose up another generation after them which knew not the Lord, and also (knew not) the work which He had done to Israel. On the death and burial of Joshua, see at Joshua 24:29-30. "Gathered unto their fathers" corresponds to "gathered to his people" in the Pentateuch (Genesis 25:8, Genesis 25:17; Genesis 35:29; Genesis 49:29, Genesis 49:33, etc.: see at Genesis 25:8). They "knew not the Lord," sc., from seeing or experiencing His wonderful deeds, which the contemporaries of Joshua and Moses had seen and experienced.
In the general survey of the times of the judges, commencing at Judges 2:11, the falling away of the Israelites from the Lord is mentioned first of all, and at the same time it is distinctly shown how neither the chastisements inflicted upon them by God at the hands of hostile nations, nor the sending of judges to set them free from the hostile oppression, availed to turn them from their idolatry (Judges 2:11-19). This is followed by the determination of God to tempt and chastise the sinful nation by not driving away the remaining Canaanites (Judges 2:20-23); and lastly, the account concludes with an enumeration of the tribes that still remained, and the attitude of Israel towards them (Judges 3:1-6).
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