Judges 2:21
I also will not from now on drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
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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.This verse is connected with Judges 2:13. The intermediate verses refer to much later times; they have the appearance of being the reflections of the compiler interspersed with the original narrative. But Judges 2:20 catches up the thread only to let it fall immediately. All that follows, down to the end of Judges 3:7, seems to be another digression, closing with words like those of Judges 2:13.

It does not appear how this message was given to Israel, whether by Angel, or prophet, or Urim, nor indeed is it certain whether any message was given. The words may be understood as merely explaining what passed through the divine mind, and expressing the thoughts which regulated the divine proceeding.

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. No text from Poole on this verse. I also henceforth will not drive out and from before them,.... At least not as yet, not very soon nor hastily, as in Judges 2:23,

of the nations which Joshua left when he died; that is, unsubdued; which was owing either to the infirmities of old age coming upon him, which made him incapable of engaging further in war with the Canaanites; or to the sloth and indolence of the people, being weary of war, and not caring to prosecute it; or to want of men to cultivate any more land, and people other cities, than what they were possessed of; and chiefly this was owing to the providence of God, who had an end to answer hereby, as follows.

I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the {l} nations which Joshua left when he died:

(l) As the Hivites, Jebusites, Amorites, etc.

21. I also will not … drive out] By worshipping other gods Israel had broken the terms of the covenant, Exodus 23:24 f., Exodus 23:32 f., Exodus 34:12-16; therefore Jehovah would not fulfil His promise to drive out the nations of Canaan, Exodus 23:27 f., Exodus 23:31; Exodus 34:11; Exodus 34:24.

which Joshua left when he died] Josh, Joshua 23:12 f.; when he died is not a translation, but a tacit correction of the original and died; LXX and he (i.e. Jehovah) left, as in Jdg 2:23.On account of this idolatrous worship, the anger of the Lord burned against Israel, so that He gave them up into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and sold them into the hands of their enemies. שׁסים from שׁסה, alternated with שׁסס in ישׁסּוּ, to plunder. This word is not met with in the Pentateuch, whereas מכר, to sell, occurs in Deuteronomy 32:30, in the sense of giving helplessly up to the foe. "They could no longer stand before their enemies," as they had done under Joshua, and in fact as long as Israel continued faithful to the Lord; so that now, instead of the promise contained in Leviticus 26:7-8, being fulfilled, the threat contained in Leviticus 26:17 was carried into execution. "Whithersoever they went out," i.e., in every expedition, every attack that they made upon their enemies, "the hand of Jehovah was against them for evil, as He had said" (Leviticus 26:17, Leviticus 26:36; Deuteronomy 28:25), and "had sworn unto them." There is no express oath mentioned either in Leviticus 26 or Deuteronomy 28; it is implied therefore in the nature of the case, or in virtute verborum, as Seb. Schmidt affirms, inasmuch as the threats themselves were words of the true and holy God. מאד להם ויּצר, "and it became to them very narrow," i.e., they came into great straits.
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