Judges 3:13
And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(13) The children of Ammon.—They were closely allied with the Moabites by affinities of race and character. (Genesis 19:37-38.) We find them united with Moab against Jehoshaphat in 2Chronicles 20:1. (See Judges 11:24.) It has been supposed that Chepharhaammonai (Joshua 18:24), or “the village of the Ammonites,” is a memorial of this conquest (Stanley, Jewish Church, ii. 316).

Amalek.—The wild desert clans, which are united under this name, had been from the first the bitterest enemies of Israel. They had attacked the sick and feeble of their rearguard in the wilderness, and, after the battle of Rephidim, had called down on themselves the internecine anger of Israel (Exodus 17:8-16; Deuteronomy 25:17), which finally found expression in the reign of Saul (1Samuel 15:2-8). They are first mentioned in Genesis 14:7, and it is probable that there was a tribe of Amalekites older than those descended from Eliphaz.

The city of palm trees.—No doubt Jericho. (See Judges 1:16.) The verb “possessed” by no means implies that the whole city was necessarily re-built, still less that it was fortified. The “palace” of king Eglon was probably a wooden structure.

Jdg 3:13-14. City of palm-trees — That is, Jericho. Not the city which was demolished, but the territory belonging to it. Here he fixed his camp, for the fertility of that soil, and because of its nearness to the passage over Jordan, which was most commodious both for the conjunction of his own forces, which lay on both sides of Jordan, to prevent the conjunction of the Israelites in Canaan with their brethren beyond Jordan, and to secure his retreat into his own country. Eighteen years — The former servitude lasted but eight years; this eighteen; for if smaller troubles do not the work, God will send greater.

3:12-30 When Israel sins again, God raises up a new oppressor. The Israelites did ill, and the Moabites did worse; yet because God punishes the sins of his own people in this world, Israel is weakened, and Moab strengthened against them. If lesser troubles do not do the work, God will send greater. When Israel prays again, God raises up Ehud. As a judge, or minister of Divine justice, Ehud put to death Eglon, the king of Moab, and thus executed the judgments of God upon him as an enemy to God and Israel. But the law of being subject to principalities and powers in all things lawful, is the rule of our conduct. No such commissions are now given; to pretend to them is to blaspheme God. Notice Ehud's address to Eglon. What message from God but a message of vengeance can a proud rebel expect? Such a message is contained in the word of God; his ministers are boldly to declare it, without fearing the frown, or respecting the persons of sinners. But, blessed be God, they have to deliver a message of mercy and of free salvation; the message of vengeance belongs only to those who neglect the offers of grace. The consequence of this victory was, that the land had rest eighty years. It was a great while for the land to rest; yet what is that to the saints' everlasting rest in the heavenly Canaan.The children of Ammon (Bent-Ammon), almost always so spoken of from their ancestor Ben-ammi Genesis 19:38, seem to be under the leadership of the king of Moab, as do also the Amlekites: this is perhaps the strengthening spoken of in Judges 3:12. In Judges 6 the combination is Midianites, Amalekites, and children of the East, or Arab tribes. In the narrative of Jephthah's judgeship, the Ammonites alone are mentioned; but with a reference to the Moabites, and as if they were one people Judges 11:24. The Amalekites appear as the constant and bitter foes of the Israelites (Exodus 17:8 notes and references); and the naming a mountain in Ephraim, "the mount of the Amalekites" Judges 12:15 is probably a memorial of this joint invasion of Moabites and Amalekites, and marks the scene either of their occupation, or of some signal victory over them.

The city of palm trees: i. e. Jericho Judges 1:16, having been utterly destroyed by Joshua, and not rebuilt until the time of Ahab Joshua 6:24-26; 1 Kings 16:34, can only have existed at this time as an unwalled village, - like Jerusalem after its destruction by Nebuzaradan, until Nehemiah rebuilt its waits - and like its modern representative er-Riha, a village with a fortress for the Turkish garrison. This occupation of Jericho should be compared with the invasion in Judges 10:9, where two out of the three tribes named, Benjamin and Ephraim, are the same as those here concerned, and where Judges 10:7 the Philistines are coupled with the Ammonites, just as here Judges 3:31 the Philistines are mentioned in near connection with the Moabites. See Introduction.

Jud 3:12-30. Ehud Slays Eglon.

12-14. the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the Lord—The Israelites, deprived of the moral and political influences of Othniel, were not long in following their native bias to idolatry.

the Lord strengthened Eglon the king of Moab—The reigning monarch's ambition was to recover that extensive portion of his ancient territory possessed by the Israelites. In conjunction with his neighbors, the Ammonites and the Amalekites, sworn enemies of Israel, he first subjected the eastern tribes; then crossing the Jordan, he made a sudden incursion on western Canaan, and in virtue of his conquests, erected fortifications in the territory adjoining Jericho [Josephus], to secure the frontier, and fixed his residence there. This oppressor was permitted, in the providence of God, to triumph for eighteen years.

i.e. Jericho, as may be gathered from Deu 24:3 Judges 1:16 2 Chronicles 28:15. Not the city, which was demolished, but the territory belonging to it. Here he fixed his camp, partly for the admirable fertility of that soil; and partly because of its nearness to the passage over Jordan, which was most commodious, both for the conjunction of his own forces, which lay on both sides of Jordan; and to prevent the conjunction of the Israelites in Canaan with their brethren beyond Jordan; and to secure his retreat into his own country, which therefore the Israelites prevented, Judges 3:28.

And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek,.... Either the Lord gathered them to Eglon, inclined them to enter into a confederacy with him, to assist in the war against Israel; or the king of Moab got them to join with him in it, they being his neighbours, and enemies to Israel, and especially Amalek:

and went and smote Israel; first the two tribes and a half, which lay on that side Jordan Moab did, whom it is reasonable to suppose he would attack first; and having defeated them, he came over Jordan:

and possessed the city of the palm trees; Jericho, as the Targum, which was set with palm trees; see Deuteronomy 34:3; not the city itself, for that was destroyed by Joshua, and not rebuilt until the time of Ahab; but the country, about it, or, as Abarbinel thinks, a city that was near it; here Josephus says (t) he had his royal palace; it is probable he built a fort or garrison here, to secure the fords of Jordan, and his own retreat; as well as to keep up a communication with his own people, and prevent the tribes of the other side giving any assistance to their brethren, if able and disposed to do it.

(t) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 4. sect. 1.

And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees.
13. Ammon and Amalek] Moab and Ammon appear in alliance against Israel in 2 Chronicles 20:1; Psalm 83:6 f. includes Amalek also. The Amalekites were Bedouin of the deserts S. of Palestine, in the N. of the Sinaitic peninsula, cf. Numbers 13:29 and ch. Jdg 1:16 n., Jdg 6:3. The Dtc. editor generalizes the invasion (‘and smote Israel’); perhaps he also enlarges the forces of the enemy.

the city of palm trees] i.e. Jericho, see Jdg 1:16. The district was once famous for its palms, balsam woods, and gardens (cf. the glowing description of Josephus, War iv. 8, 3); now ‘a dozen isolated palms represent the splendid groves of the past,’ Bliss in DB. ii. 581. At this period the possession of Jericho enabled Eglon to pursue his conquests W. of the Jordan; the city evidently commanded the district; later on it belonged to the kingdom of David, 2 Samuel 10:5. But according to Joshua 6:24-26 JE Jericho was burnt to the ground and laid under a curse by Joshua, while 1 Kings 16:34 records the rebuilding of the city and the fulfilment of the curse in the time of Ahab. We must reconcile as best we can these conflicting statements.

Verse 13. - The children of Ammon. The technical name of the Ammonite people (see Genesis 19:38; Deuteronomy 2:19, 37; Judges 10:6, 11, 17, etc.). Sometimes, however, they are called Ammon, or Ammonites (see Deuteronomy 23:3; 1 Samuel 11:11, etc.). Amalek, or the Amalekites, were the hereditary enemies of Israel (see Exodus 17:8-16; Judges 5:14; Judges 6:3, 33; Judges 7:12; 1 Samuel 15:2, etc.). The Amalekites appear, from Genesis 36:12, to have been a branch of the Edomites, and the latest mention of them in the Bible finds a remnant of them in the neighbourhood of Mount Seir in the days of Hezekiah (1 Chronicles 4:41-43). The city of palm trees, i.e. Jericho, as Deuteronomy 34:3; Judges 1:16. Jericho was the first city in Canaan which any one crossing the fords of the Jordan would come to (see Joshua 2:1; Joshua 6:1, etc.). Though no longer a fenced city, it was important from the fertility of the plain, and from its commanding the fords. Judges 3:13In vv. 12-30 the subjugation of the Israelites by Eglon, the king of the Moabites, and their deliverance from this bondage, are circumstantially described. First of all, in Judges 3:12-14, the subjugation. When the Israelites forsook the Lord again (in the place of וגו את־הרע ... ויּעשׂוּ, Judges 3:7, we have here the appropriate expression ... הרע הרע לעשׂות, they added to do, i.e., did again, evil, etc., as in Judges 4:1; Judges 10:6; Judges 13:1), the Lord made Eglon the king of the Moabites strong over Israel. על חזּק, to give a person strength to overcome or oppress another. כּי על, as in Deuteronomy 31:17, instead of the more usual אשׁר על (cf. Jeremiah 4:28; Malachi 2:14; Psalm 139:14). Eglon allied himself with the Ammonites and Amalekites, those arch-foes of Israel, invaded the land, took the palm-city, i.e., Jericho (see at Judges 1:16), and made the Israelites tributary for eighteen years. Sixty years had passed since Jericho had been burnt by Joshua. During that time the Israelites had rebuilt the ruined city, but they had not fortified it, on account of the curse pronounced by Joshua upon any one who should restore it as a fortress; so that the Moabites could easily conquer it, and using it as a base, reduce the Israelites to servitude.
Judges 3:13 Interlinear
Judges 3:13 Parallel Texts

Judges 3:13 NIV
Judges 3:13 NLT
Judges 3:13 ESV
Judges 3:13 NASB
Judges 3:13 KJV

Judges 3:13 Bible Apps
Judges 3:13 Parallel
Judges 3:13 Biblia Paralela
Judges 3:13 Chinese Bible
Judges 3:13 French Bible
Judges 3:13 German Bible

Bible Hub

Judges 3:12
Top of Page
Top of Page