Judges 2:17
And yet they would not listen to their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves to them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
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(17) Went a whoring.—Idolatry throughout the Bible is regarded as a spiritual adultery. (Exodus 34:15; Isaiah 54:5; Jeremiah 3:8; Ezekiel 23:37; Hosea 2:7; 2Corinthians 11:2, &c.)

The way which their fathers walked in.—As described in Judges 2:7.

2:6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel, during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as mean and miserable by forsaking God, as they would have been great and happy if they had continued faithful to him. Their punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God made them serve the princes of the nations round about them, even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises, may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He might in justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity do it. The Lord was with the judges when he raised them up, and so they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of the church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; so mad were they upon their idols, and so obstinately bent to backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God, which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most daring and desperate in sin, and have their hearts hardened. Their punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and so they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to believe it, until by making bold with temptation we find it true by sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted and grounded in love, and that Christ may dwell in our hearts by faith. Let us declare war against every sin, and follow after holiness all our days.Nevertheless - (rather "and") the Lord raised up judges This is the first introduction of the term judge, which gives its name to the book. (See the introduction to the Book of Judges.) 16. which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them—The judges who governed Israel were strictly God's vicegerents in the government of the people, He being the supreme ruler. Those who were thus elevated retained the dignity as long as they lived; but there was no regular, unbroken succession of judges. Individuals, prompted by the inward, irresistible impulse of God's Spirit when they witnessed the depressed state of their country, were roused to achieve its deliverance. It was usually accompanied by a special call, and the people seeing them endowed with extraordinary courage or strength, accepted them as delegates of Heaven, and submitted to their sway. Frequently they were appointed only for a particular district, and their authority extended no farther than over the people whose interests they were commissioned to protect. They were without pomp, equipage, or emoluments attached to the office. They had no power to make laws; for these were given by God; nor to explain them, for that was the province of the priests—but they were officially upholders of the law, defenders of religion, avengers of all crimes, particularly of idolatry and its attendant vices. Their judges admonished them of their sin and folly, and of the danger and misery which would certainly befall them. And yet they would not hearken unto their judges,.... Afterwards, or not always; but when they admonished them of their sins, and advised them to walk in the good ways of God, and serve him only; they turned a deaf ear to them, and went on in their own ways, which is a sad aggravation of their iniquities:

but they went a whoring after their gods, and bowed themselves unto them; committing spiritual adultery, for such idolatry is, and is often so represented in Scripture; for by it they broke the covenant God made with them, which had the nature of a matrimonial contract, and in which God was an husband to them; and therefore serving other gods was rejecting him as such, and committing whoredom with others; than which nothing was more provoking to God, jealous of his honour and glory:

they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in; as soon as ever Joshua and the elders were dead, they departed from the God of their fathers, and the way in which they worshipped him; and so likewise quickly after they had been delivered by the judges, or however as soon as they were dead:

obeying the commandments of the Lord; serving him at his tabernacle, according to the laws, commands, and ordinances he gave to Moses, which is to be understood of their fathers:

but they did not so; did not walk in the same way, nor serve the Lord, and obey his commands, as their fathers did; but all the reverse.

And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the {i} way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.

(i) Meaning, from the true religion.

17. they went a whoring after other gods] As notoriously after the death of Gideon Jdg 8:33 (cf. Jdg 8:27). This figurative expression occurs in the Pent., and especially in the prophets Hos. and Ezek., to denote forcibly Israel’s unfaithfulness to Jehovah. As prostitution was a common feature of Semitic cults, the words may have been used originally in a literal sense, and afterwards metaphorically.

their fathers] i.e. Joshua and his contemporaries, Jdg 2:7.

This verse interrupts the connexion between Jdg 2:16; Jdg 2:18, and the phraseology and thought are not so distinctly Deuteronomic as the rest of the passage. The verse “seems to be the exclamation of a reader rather than the reflexion of a compiler” (Lagrange).Repeated Falling Away of the People from the Lord. - Judges 2:11-13. The Israelites did what was evil in the eyes of the Lord (what was displeasing to the Lord); they served Baalim. The plural Baalim is a general term employed to denote all false deities, and is synonymous with the expression "other gods" in the clause "other gods of the gods of the nations round about them" (the Israelites). This use of the term Baalim arose from the fact that Baal was the chief male deity of the Canaanites and all the nations of Hither Asia, and was simply worshipped by the different nations with peculiar modifications, and therefore designated by various distinctive epithets. In Judges 2:12 this apostasy is more minutely described as forsaking Jehovah the God of their fathers, to whom they were indebted for the greatest blessing, viz., their deliverance out of Egypt, and following other gods of the heathen nations that were round about them (taken verbatim from Deuteronomy 6:14, and Deuteronomy 13:7-8), and worshipping them. In this way they provoked the Lord to anger (cf. Deuteronomy 4:25; Deuteronomy 9:18, etc.).
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