And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
No option was left to the Israelites as to the mode in which they were to deal with the Canaanites. Even if they were unable to subdue the Canaanites because of their own weakness, it would not be without fault; for had they not to sustain and direct them? But the sin of Israel was the greater that, when they were able to obey God's direction, they set it aside in favour of a policy of their own. This was direct disobedience, however it might be disguised by the name of prudence or expediency. In the end they had to rue their own folly.
I. PEOPLE IN PROSPEROUS CIRCUMSTANCES ARE FREQUENTLY TEMPTED TO FOLLOW A WORLDLY INSTEAD OF A HEAVENLY LINE OF CONDUCT, AND TO QUALIFY THE DICTATES OF OBVIOUS DUTY BY CONSIDERATIONS THAT ARE PURELY SELFISH AND PRESUMPTUOUS IN THEIR NATURE.
II. WHEN MEN THUS SHIRK OBVIOUS DUTY, THEY DO IT FROM A TWOFOLD MISCONCEPTION -
(1) of their own power and wisdom, and
(2) of the true character of that with which they tamper.
III. IN THE END THEIR FOLLY WILL MANIFEST ITSELF IN DISASTER AND RUIN. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.