Judges 20:28
And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKJTLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(28) Phinehas.—The fact that the high priest is. still the grandson of Aaron, who had shown such noble zeal in the desert (Numbers 25:8; Psalm 106:30), is. an important note of time, and proves decisively that this narrative, like the last, is anterior to much that has been recorded in the earlier chapters. It is remarkable that the chief personages in these two wild scenes are the grandson of Moses and the grandson of Aaron, and it is a strange illustration of the disorder of the times that while the latter fulfils the supreme functions of the high priest, the former, who has sunk to the condition of a poor wandering Levite, does not go to his powerful cousin, but serves an unknown and schismatic image for a most paltry pittance.

Tomorrow.—Comp. Judges 4:14; Joshua 8:1. This is the first promise of success. The people needed to be taught that even in a religious war they could by no means rely on their own strength. How often has history laughed to scorn the cynical remark of Napoleon that “Providence usually favours the strongest battalion !”

Jdg 20:28. Phinehas the son of Eleazar — This is added to give us light respecting the time of this history, and to show, that this war did not take place in the order in which it is here recorded, after the death of Samson, but long before; probably not long after the death of Joshua. Stood before it — Namely, the ark: that is, ministered as high-priest. Against the children of Benjamin my brother — This is a more humble inquiry than either of the former. At first they only asked what tribe should first go up, presuming that the war ought to be made; and the second time, only whether God would have them renew the fight. But now they ask whether they should proceed in the war or desist altogether. That is, they leave the matter wholly to God’s will and pleasure, desiring to take no further step, if he did not see fit to accompany them with his blessing. Accordingly, as they now sought God after the due order, truly humbled themselves for their sins, and resigned themselves and the whole business up to his direction and disposal, he condescended to give them a gracious answer, assuring them of a speedy victory.

17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.Phinehas, the son of Eleazar ... - A most important chronological statement, which makes it probable that these events occurred within twenty years of the death of Joshua.

To-morrow - The two former answers only bade them go up against Benjamin; now, for the first time, the promise is added, "Tomorrow," etc. (compare Joshua 8:1).

Jud 20:18-28. The Israelites Lose Forty Thousand.

18-28. the children of Israel arose, and went up to the house of God—This consultation at Shiloh was right. But they ought to have done it at the commencement of their proceedings. Instead of this, all their plans were formed, and never doubting, it would seem, that the war was just and inevitable, the only subject of their inquiry related to the precedency of the tribes—a point which it is likely was discussed in the assembly. Had they asked counsel of God sooner, their expedition would have been conducted on a different principle—most probably by reducing the number of fighting men, as in the case of Gideon's army. As it was, the vast number of volunteers formed an excessive and unwieldy force, unfit for strenuous and united action against a small, compact, and well-directed army. A panic ensued, and the confederate tribes, in two successive engagements, sustained great losses. These repeated disasters (notwithstanding their attack on Benjamin had been divinely authorized) overwhelmed them with shame and sorrow. Led to reflection, they became sensible of their guilt in not repressing their national idolatries, as well as in too proudly relying on their superior numbers and the precipitate rashness of this expedition. Having humbled themselves by prayer and fasting, as well as observed the appointed method of expiating their sins, they were assured of acceptance as well as of victory. The presence and services of Phinehas on this occasion help us to ascertain the chronology thus far, that the date of the occurrence must be fixed shortly after the death of Joshua.

Phinehas the son of Eleazar: this is added to give us some light about the time of this history, and to show it was not done in the order in which it is here placed, after Samson’s death, but long before.

Stood, i.e. ministered, as the word stand oft signifies, as Deu 10:8 18:7 Proverbs 22:29 Jeremiah 52:12, compared with 2 Kings 25:8, because standing is the usual posture of servants.

Before it, i.e. before the ark; or, before his, i.e. the Lord’s face, or presence; which shows that he was the high priest, for none else might appear there.

Or shall I cease? which, if thou requirest, we are willing to do, notwithstanding the provocation they have given us, and our own inclination to revenge.

Tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand: now, when they had sought God after the due order, and truly humbled themselves for their sins, he gives them a full and satisfactory answer to their desires.

And Phinehas the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, stood before it in those days,.... Before the ark, ministering before the Lord, which shows that this affair was long before the times of Samson, though placed after them; or otherwise Phinehas must have been more than three hundred years of age, which is not probable (r). Phinehas's standing before the ark was the posture of the priest when he inquired of the Lord for any by Urim and Thummim; the person that inquired stood before him that was inquired of, as Kimchi observes, and he that was inquired of stood before the Shechinah, or the presence of the divine Majesty, of which the ark was a symbol:

saying, shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? in which the question is put in somewhat different manner than before, not only desiring to know whether it was the will of God they should renew the battle or not, since Benjamin was their brother, but whether they should have success or not; intimating, that if the Lord would bless and help them, they were willing to go up, but if not they chose to desist; for they were fully convinced now they were wrong in depending on their numbers, or the justness of their cause; whereas success depended wholly on the will and pleasure of God, to which they desired to submit:

and the Lord said, go up, for tomorrow I will deliver them into thine hand; now they are not only directed to go up to the battle, but are promised victory.

(r) Vid. Rainold. de lib. Apocryph. Praelect. 149, 150. p. 345, 353, 354.

And Phinehas, the son of Eleazar, the son of Aaron, {n} stood before it in those days,) saying, Shall I yet again go out to battle against the children of Benjamin my brother, or shall I cease? And the LORD said, Go up; for to morrow I will deliver them into thine hand.

(n) Or, served in the priest's office in those days: for the Jews write that he lived three hundred years.

Judges 20:28Having made these preparations, they inquired of the Lord whether they should continue the war, and received this reply: "Go up (against Benjamin); for to-morrow I will give it unto thy hand" (ידך, the hand of the congregation carrying on the war). To this the supplementary remark is appended, that the ark of the covenant was at Bethel in those days, and the high priest served before it. The expression "in those days" implies that the ark of the covenant was only temporarily at Bethel, and therefore had been brought thither from the tabernacle at Shiloh during this war.
Judges 20:28 Interlinear
Judges 20:28 Parallel Texts

Judges 20:28 NIV
Judges 20:28 NLT
Judges 20:28 ESV
Judges 20:28 NASB
Judges 20:28 KJV

Judges 20:28 Bible Apps
Judges 20:28 Parallel
Judges 20:28 Biblia Paralela
Judges 20:28 Chinese Bible
Judges 20:28 French Bible
Judges 20:28 German Bible

Bible Hub

Judges 20:27
Top of Page
Top of Page