Matthew Poole's Commentary
And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you.An angel reproveth Israel at Bochim; they bewail their sins, Judges 2:1-5. The wickedness of the new generation after Joshua; their frequent idolatry, Judges 2:6-13; for which they are often punished of God by the enemy; and being delivered by the judges grow worse, Judges 2:14-19; wherefore God will leave the Canaanite to prove and vex them, Judges 2:20-23.
An angel of the Lord: either, first, A created angel. Or, secondly, A prophet or man of God, for such are sometimes called angels, which signifies only messengers of God; and then the following words are spoken by him in the name of God, as may easily be understood. Or, thirdly, Christ, the Angel of the covenant, who is oft called the Angel of the Lord, as we have formerly seen, to whom the conduct of Israel out of Egypt, and through the wilderness, and into Canaan, here spoken of, is frequently ascribed, as Exodus 14:19 23:20 33:14 Joshua 5:13,14 Jud 6:12 13:3; who alone of all the angels could speak the following words in his own name and person; whereas created angels and prophets do universally usher in their Divine messages with, Thus saith the Lord, or some equivalent expression. And this angel having assumed the outward shape of a man, it is not strange that he imitates the local motion of a man, and comes as it were from Gilgal to the place where now they were; by which motion he signified that he was the person that brought them to Gilgal, the first place where they rested in Canaan, and there renewed covenant with them, and protected them there so long, and from thence went out with them to battle, and gave them success.
Bochim; a place so called here by anticipation, for the reason expressed here, Judges 2:5. And it seems to be no other than Shiloh, where it seems probable that the people were met together upon some solemn festival. And this was the proper and usual place of sacrificing, Judges 2:5. And I said, i.e. I promised, upon condition of your keeping covenant with me.
And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?i.e. Disobeyed these express commands of mine?
Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.I also said with myself; I have now taken up this peremptory resolution.
Thorns in your sides: See Poole "Numbers 33:55"; See Poole "Joshua 23:13".
And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept.Some of them from a true sense of their sins; but most of them from a just apprehension of their danger and approaching misery from the Canaanites’ growing power, and God’s forsaking of them; as the following history makes most probable.
And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.For the expiation of their sins, by which they had provoked God to this resolution; and for the regaining of God’s favour.
And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.When Joshua had let the people go; when he had distributed their inheritances, and dismissed them severally to take possession of them. This was done before this time, whilst Joshua lived; but is now repeated in order to the discovery of the time, and cause, or occasion of the people’s defection from God, and of God’s desertion of them.
And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.No text from Poole on this verse.
And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old.No text from Poole on this verse.
And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.Timnath-heres, called Timnath-serah, Joshua 19:50 Joshua 24:30.
And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel.Which knew not the Lord; which had no experimental nor serious and affectionate knowledge of God, nor of his works.
And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim:In the sight of the Lord; which notes the heinousness and the impudence of their sins above other people’s sins; because God’s presence was with them, and his eye upon them, in a peculiar manner, and he did narrowly observe all their actions, which also they were not ignorant of, and therefore were guilty of more contempt of God than other people.
Baalim, i.e. false gods. He useth the plural number, because the gods of the Canaanites and adjoining nations, which Israel worshipped, were divers, and most of them called by the name of Baal.
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.No text from Poole on this verse.
And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth.i.e. The sun and the moon, whom many heathens worshipped, though under divers names; and so they ran into that error which God had so expressly warned them against, Deu 4:19.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies.Sold them, i.e. delivered them up, as the seller doth, his commodities unto the buyer. This the same phrase is used Judges 3:8 4:9, compared with Judges 2:14 Psalm 44:12.
Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.Whithersoever they went out, i.e. whatsoever expedition or business they undertook; which is usually signified by going out and coming in.
Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them.The Lord raised them up, by inward inspiration and excitation of their minds and hearts, and by outward designation, testified by some heroical and extraordinary action.
Judges; supreme magistrates, whose office it was, under God, and by his particular direction, to govern the commonwealth of Israel by God’s laws, and to protect and save them from their enemies; to preserve and purge religion; to maintain the liberties of the people against all oppressors. See Judges 3:9,10,15,4:4 6:25,26 8:23.
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 way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.Their judges admonished them of their sin and folly, and of the danger and misery which would certainly befall them.
And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.It repented the Lord, i.e. the Lord changed his course and dealings with them, as penitent men use to do; removed his judgments, and returned to them in mercy, Genesis 6:6.
And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.They returned to their former, and usual, and natural, though interrupted course.
More than their fathers, in Egypt or in the wilderness.
From their own doings, i.e. from their evil practices, which he calls their own partly because they were agreeable to their own natures, which in all mankind are deeply and universally corrupted, Genesis 6:5 8:21; and partly because they were familiar and customary to them. Compare Isaiah 58:13 66:3 Ezekiel 36:32 Acts 14:16 Judges 1:16.
Their stubborn way, Heb. hard way; so he calls their way of wickedness, either because it proceeded from a hard heart, and was managed with a hard and stiff neck; or to signify, that although it seemed at first very soft, and easy, and pleasant, yet they would certainly, and did constantly, find that it was hard, and difficult, and troublesome to them, as a hard way is to the traveller.
And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice;No text from Poole on this verse.
I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:No text from Poole on this verse.
That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.That I may prove Israel; either, first, That I may try, and see whether Israel will be true and faithful to me, or whether they will suffer themselves to be corrupted by the evil counsels and examples of their bad neighbours, whom I will leave among them for their trial and exercise. Or, secondly, That by them I may afflict and punish Israel; for afflictions are commonly and justly called trials. But the former sense suits better with the following words.
Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua.Hastily, or speedily; when the Israelites desired it and needed it.