Christian Churches of God

No. F007




Commentary on Judges:

Introduction and Part 1


(Edition 1.0 20230911-20230911)

Chapters 1-5






Christian Churches of God

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Commentary on Judges: Introduction and Part 1


The Book of Shophetim or Book of Rulers (from the verb to put right and then rule see Bullinger also). It is translated in English as the Book of Judges. It is a record of the sequence of the successive rulers of Israel over the periods of captivity and freedom caused by sin and rejection of God's Laws and the freedom obtained by obedience, and redemption by keeping God's Law (L1).  The purpose of the text is to show that Israel cannot be free and at peace while it disobeys God’s Law and the Testimony. The book, along with the texts of Joshua, and the later Psalms, is to show that the Laws of God are critical to the freedom of Israel and its future as part of the Israel of God, as Elohim (No. 001), as we see in the Psalms.


The argument that the NT does away with the Law of God of the OT is a Satanic Antinomian heresy which will see the proponents of the error destroyed at the Return of the Messiah at the end of this age. They will not enter the Millennium. (see Nos. 210A; 210B; 141D; 141E; 141E_2).


Despite the optimistic ending of Joshua Israel did not subjugate the Nations in Canaan. Chapter 1 says plainly that many parts of the country were never subjugated and, as a result, Israel was forced to battle over many generations to subjugate the land and get rid of its insidious pagan influences. In fact, it is still plagued by this dreadful influence even today and will suffer greatly over the end of the age ahead until the return of the Messiah. Then all false religion and their teachings will be stamped out and the laws of God enforced. See End of False Religion (No. 141F).


The sequence the Rulers, or Judges, is listed at Outline Timetable of the Age (No. 272) as follows:

Slavery in Egypt begins with a new Pharaoh that did not know Joseph.

1535/4 Miriam b.

1531 Aaron b.

1529/8 murdering of the children begins

1528 Moses b.

1524 Jubilee Years


1488 Caleb b.


1448/7 The Exodus. 430 years from Gen. 12.4, and 400 years from Gen. 21.l0

The Tabernacle set up. This year the people should have entered the Land.


1408 Miriam, Aaron, and Moses d.

1408 Entry into the Land.

1403 The “Wars of the Lord” end (Josh. 14.6-15). Caleb 85. Joshua hands over the leadership to Eleazar. (See also Jdgs. 1:1-2:5; and Intro 22:6-3:6.)

1396 Joshua d. (110).  

1396 Othniel attacks Kiriath-sepher

First oppression: Mesopotamia 8 years - 1388


1349 Othniel d. (see 3:7-11)

Second servitude Moab 18 years

1332 Ehud raised up (3:12-30)

Land had rest for 80 years (and Ehud judged them until he died (LXX)).


1253 Third oppression on death of Ehud; Canaan 20 years under Jabin


1243-1234 Deborah and Barak raised under the oppression; (shamgar 3:31) Deborah (Chs. 4-5). Sisera is killed but Jabin continues. They suppress Canaan and provide peace over their rule totalling 40 years.


Ca 1203 Fourth servitude Midian 7 years

Ca 1199 Gideon becomes judge. Midian was removed over seven years and a total period 40 years. (Chs. 6-8).


1160 Abimelech three years concurrent with Tola’s first three years as it was a usurpation. (Ch. 9). Then two minor judges (10:1-5)

1160 Tola 23 years

1157 Jair 22 years over Gilead but 18 of those were part of the vexation of Gilead on the other side of the Jordan and thus his clear judging was only 4 years over Israel (Jdg. 10:8).

1153 Jephthah 6 years (10:6-12:7)

1148 Ibzan 7 years

1142 Elon 10 years

1133 Abdon 8 years (all three from 12:8-15).


1124 Fifth oppression under the Philistines 40 years.

1110 Samson judged 20 years. (Chs. 13-16).

1090 Eli, 40 years. (d. 98). The final texts deal with the migrations of Dan (Chs. 17-18) and the sins of Benjamin (Chs. 19-21)


1051 Saul began to rule.

Samuel, 40 years [over both reigns of Eli and Saul].


1020 The “Reformation” 1Sam. 7.

1012/11 David commenced to Rule.

1005 David enters Jerusalem. The rule of Zion commences.



by E.W. Bullinger

Judges Introduction - Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes (


The Heb. name is Shophetim = rulers; from verb to put right and then rule. Not Judges, as modern English. For origin and description of name, cp. Judges 2:7-19 . In Sept. = kritai; LatinLiber Judicum. The office peculiar to Israel. The book records the history of thirteen Judges (twelve called of God and one usurper), whose names by Gematria make a multiple of eight and thirteen (see Appdx-10); six "evil" doings (see note on Judges 2:11 ); six oppressors and oppressions (see note on Judges 2:14 ); and six deliverances (see note on Judges 2:16 ). 









Judges Introduction - E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes (


Introduction - Judges

The Name. The name is taken from the Judges whose deeds it records.


The Character of the Book. The book is fragmentary and unchronological in its arrangement. The events recorded are largely local and tribal instead of national, but are of great value as showing the condition and character of the people.


The Condition of the Nation. Israel was unorganized and somewhat unsettled. They lacked moral energy and the spirit of obedience to Jehovah and were constantly falling into idolatry and then suffering at the hands of heathen nations. This condition is summed up in the oft repeated words: "The children of Israel again did evil in the eyes of the Lord" and "the Lord sold them into the hand of the oppressor."


The Contents. Judges records the conflict of the nation with the Canaanite people and with itself; the condition of the country, people and times and the faithfulness, righteousness and mercy of God. It gives an account of "Seven apostasies, seven servitudes to the seven heathen nations and seven deliverances." It furnishes an explanation of these "ups and downs" and is not merely a record of historical events but an interpretation of those events.

The Work of the Judges. The Judges were raised up as occasion required and were tribesmen upon whom God laid the burden of apostate and oppressed Israel. They exercised judicial functions and led the armies of Israel against their enemies. They, therefore, asserted the nation's principles and upheld the cause of Jehovah. As deliverers they were all types of Christ.


The Key-word is Confusion and the key-verse is "every man did that which was right in his own eyes" 17:6, which would certainly bring about a state of confusion.



I. From the Conquest to the Judges, 1:1-3:6.


II. The Judges and their Work. 3:7-16 end.

1.       Against Mesopotamia, 3:7-12.

2.       Against Moab, 3:13-30.

3.       Against Philistia, 3:31.

4.       Against the Canaanites, Chs. 4-5.

5.       Against the Midianites, Chs. 6-10.

6.       Against the Amorites, Chs. 11-12.

7.       Against the Philistines, Chs, 13-16.

III. The Idolatry of Micah, Chs. 17-18.

IV. The Crime of Gibea, Chs. 19-21




Chapter 1

1 After the death of Joshua the people of Israel inquired of the LORD, "Who shall go up first for us against the Canaanites, to fight against them?" 2The LORD said, "Judah shall go up; behold, I have given the land into his hand." 3And Judah said to Simeon his brother, "Come up with me into the territory allotted to me, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with you into the territory allotted to you." So Simeon went with him. 4Then Judah went up and the LORD gave the Canaanites and the Per'izzites into their hand; and they defeated ten thousand of them at Bezek. 5They came upon Ado'ni-be'zek at Bezek, and fought against him, and defeated the Canaanites and the Per'izzites. 6Ado'ni-be'zek fled; but they pursued him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. 7And Ado'ni-be'zek said, "Seventy kings with their thumbs and their great toes cut off used to pick up scraps under my table; as I have done, so God has requited me." And they brought him to Jerusalem, and he died there. 8And the men of Judah fought against Jerusalem, and took it, and smote it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire. 9And afterward the men of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites who dwelt in the hill country, in the Negeb, and in the lowland. 10And Judah went against the Canaanites who dwelt in Hebron (now the name of Hebron was formerly Kir'iath-ar'ba); and they defeated She'shai and Ahi'man and Talmai. 11From there they went against the inhabitants of Debir. The name of Debir was formerly Kir'iath-se'pher. 12And Caleb said, "He who attacks Kir'iath-se'pher and takes it, I will give him Achsah my daughter as wife." 13And Oth'ni-el the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it; and he gave him Achsah his daughter as wife. 14When she came to him, she urged him to ask her father for a field; and she alighted from her ass, and Caleb said to her, "What do you wish?" 15She said to him, "Give me a present; since you have set me in the land of the Negeb, give me also springs of water." And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the lower springs. 16And the descendants of the Ken'ite, Moses' father-in-law, went up with the people of Judah from the city of palms into the wilderness of Judah, which lies in the Negeb near Arad; and they went and settled with the people. 17And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they defeated the Canaanites who inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. So the name of the city was called Hormah. 18Judah also took Gaza with its territory, and Ash'kelon with its territory, and Ekron with its territory. 19And the LORD was with Judah, and he took possession of the hill country, but he could not drive out the inhabitants of the plain, because they had chariots of iron. 20And Hebron was given to Caleb, as Moses had said; and he drove out from it the three sons of Anak. 21But the people of Benjamin did not drive out the Jeb'usites who dwelt in Jerusalem; so the Jeb'usites have dwelt with the people of Benjamin in Jerusalem to this day. 22The house of Joseph also went up against Bethel; and the LORD was with them. 23And the house of Joseph sent to spy out Bethel. (Now the name of the city was formerly Luz.) 24And the spies saw a man coming out of the city, and they said to him, "Pray, show us the way into the city, and we will deal kindly with you." 25And he showed them the way into the city; and they smote the city with the edge of the sword, but they let the man and all his family go. 26And the man went to the land of the Hittites and built a city, and called its name Luz; that is its name to this day. 27Manas'seh did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-she'an and its villages, or Ta'a-nach and its villages, or the inhabitants of Dor and its villages, or the inhabitants of Ibleam and its villages, or the inhabitants of Megid'do and its villages; but the Canaanites persisted in dwelling in that land. 28When Israel grew strong, they put the Canaanites to forced labor, but did not utterly drive them out. 29And E'phraim did not drive out the Canaanites who dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. 30Zeb'ulun did not drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, or the inhabitants of Na'halol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became subject to forced labor. 31Asher did not drive out the inhabitants of Acco, or the inhabitants of Sidon, or of Ahlab, or of Achzib, or of Helbah, or of Aphik, or of Rehob; 32but the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; for they did not drive them out. 33Naph'tali did not drive out the inhabitants of Beth-she'mesh, or the inhabitants of Beth-anath, but dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land; nevertheless the inhabitants of Beth-she'mesh and of Beth-anath became subject to forced labor for them. 34The Amorites pressed the Danites back into the hill country, for they did not allow them to come down to the plain; 35the Amorites persisted in dwelling in Har-heres, in Ai'jalon, and in Sha-al'bim, but the hand of the house of Joseph rested heavily upon them, and they became subject to forced labor. 36And the border of the Amorites ran from the ascent of Akrab'bim, from Sela and upward. (RSV)


Intent of Chapter 1

1:1 – 2:5 Conquest of Canaan Some consider this account to be an older account to that of Joshua. See also Ch. 2 n. for reference to Joshua's death.

1:1-21 Conquest of Judah (comp. Josh. Ch. 15).

1:1 They enquired of the Lord By consulting the sacred Lots.

1:3 The tribe of Simeon plays no significant role in the texts of the subjugation, and in later Israel probably being later identified with Judah, after being absorbed within them. They are not included in the Song of Deborah (5:2-31).

1:8 Jerusalem was not taken completely until the time of David in 1005 BCE (2Sam. 5:6-7).

v. 10 Judah went against the Canaanites who dwelt at Hebron (Kir'iath-ar'ba) and which was the most powerful city in Southern Judah. Its capture is also reported in Josh. 10:36-37. According to v. 20 and Josh. 14:13-15 it was given to the Clan of Caleb.

1:11-15. Then they attacked Debir (Kir'iath-se'pher. Caleb awarded his nephew Othniel his daughter Achsah to wife for taking the city. This story is found almost verbatim in Josh. 15:13-19.

v. 11 Debir is probably the modern Tell Beit Mirsim SW of Hebron.

1:16 The Kenites were a nomadic tribe closely allied to the Hebrews, the Kenite being Moses’ father-in-law Hobab as High Priest (Jethro) of Midian. The city of palms may have been Jericho (as in 3:13), or a city of the Negeb.

v. 18 Gaza...Ashkelon...Ekron were three of the five cities of the Philistine confederation (see 14:19 n.). This account from the MT is unhistorical. The LXX says specifically that Judah did not take them. That account preceded this account.  

1:22-29 The house of Joseph was Ephraim and Manasseh. Benjamin was Joseph's younger brother. For the conquests compare Jos Chs. 16-17).

1:30-36 This section deals with the conquests of the Galilee tribes (Josh. Chs. 18-19). What we see from vv. 19, 21, 27-29, and this section is the incompleteness of the result. This was to affect Israel over the period of Judges to Saul and only in David is it consolidated.


Chapter 2

1Now the angel of the LORD went up from Gilgal to Bochim. And he said, "I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you into the land which I swore to give to your fathers. I said, 'I will never break my covenant with you, 2and you shall make no covenant with the inhabitants of this land; you shall break down their altars.' But you have not obeyed my command. What is this you have done? 3So now I say, I will not drive them out before you; but they shall become adversaries to you, and their gods shall be a snare to you." 4When the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5And they called the name of that place Bochim; and they sacrificed there to the LORD. 6When Joshua dismissed the people, the people of Israel went each to his inheritance to take possession of the land. 7And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders who outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great work which the LORD had done for Israel. 8And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died at the age of one hundred and ten years. 9And they buried him within the bounds of his inheritance in Tim'nath-he'res, in the hill country of E'phraim, north of the mountain of Ga'ash. 10And all that generation also were gathered to their fathers; and there arose another generation after them, who did not know the LORD or the work which he had done for Israel. 11And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD and served the Ba'als; 12and they forsook the LORD, the God of their fathers, who had brought them out of the land of Egypt; they went after other gods, from among the gods of the peoples who were round about them, and bowed down to them; and they provoked the LORD to anger. 13They forsook the LORD, and served the Ba'als and the Ash'taroth. 14So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he gave them over to plunderers, who plundered them; and he sold them into the power of their enemies round about, so that they could no longer withstand their enemies. 15Whenever they marched out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had warned, and as the LORD had sworn to them; and they were in sore straits. 16Then the LORD raised up judges, who saved them out of the power of those who plundered them. 17And yet they did not listen to their judges; for they played the harlot after other gods and bowed down to them; they soon turned aside from the way in which their fathers had walked, who had obeyed the commandments of the LORD, and they did not do so. 18Whenever the LORD raised up judges for them, the LORD was with the judge, and he saved them from the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge; for the LORD was moved to pity by their groaning because of those who afflicted and oppressed them. 19But whenever the judge died, they turned back and behaved worse than their fathers, going after other gods, serving them and bowing down to them; they did not drop any of their practices or their stubborn ways. 20So the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel; and he said, “Because this people have transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not obeyed my voice, 21I will not henceforth drive out before them any of the nations that Joshua left when he died, 22that by them I may test Israel, whether they will take care to walk in the way of the LORD as their fathers did, or not.” 23So the LORD left those nations, not driving them out at once, and he did not give them into the power of Joshua. (RSV)


Intent of Chapter 2

2:1-5 The Moral Reason for Israel's Failure

The Angel of the Lord who brought them out of Egypt went up from Gilgal to Bochim. This was the being of Psalm 45 who was given Israel as his inheritance (Deut. 32:8-9). This was Christ (Heb. 1:8-9; Acts 7:30-53; 1Cor. 10:1-4). He gave them God's Law and the Covenant of God (No. 152), but they did not keep it. As a result, the subordinate elohim of Israel did not drive the pagans and Canaanites out of the Promised Land but left them there to become a snare and a trap to Israel in their disobedience. That was to continue all through the age to the Last Days and will only be stamped out at the return of the Messiah (Nos. 141E; 141E_2; 141F).

As we see:

“The Lord established Israel under Joshua (salvation) the son of Nun (endurance). Israel served the Lord all the days of Joshua and the days of the elders of Israel (the remnant of The Seventy) that outlived Joshua, who died at one hundred and ten (Jdg. 2:7-8; Jos. 24:29-31). All of that generation were gathered unto their fathers, i.e. they died (Jdg. 2:10) (see No. 073). The children of Israel did evil after this and served the Baalim or the other Lords (Jdg. 2:11). This was to become a characteristic of Israel under its own rule. There are six evils recorded in Judges 3:7, 12; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6; 13:1. This serving of other gods, including Baal and Ashtoreth, provoked the Lord to anger and He delivered them into the hands of spoilers and the hands of their enemies so that they could not withstand them (Jdg. 2:12-14). Whenever they went to war the hand of the Lord was against them (Jdg. 2:15). They were sent into captivity and the Lord raised up judges to deliver them (Jdg. 2:16).”

Samson and the Judges (No. 073)

2:13 Baals and the Ashtaroth were the male and female gods of the Canaanites. Today they are known as the Sun god Baal and his consort Easter (see Origin of Christmas and Easter (No. 235)). It was Easter (Ishtar, Ashtaroth or Cybele) that went into the underworld to rescue the god Attis killed on the “Friday” and resurrected, by the goddess on the Sunday. Hence the festival of Easter.

2:16 The judges of the texts are military heroes who were also tribal leaders, loyal to God, who were entrusted with government during their own lifetimes.


Moral Structure of the Book. 2:6-3:6

The history of these times is to be understood in the sequence of National apostasy, enslavement, repentance and deliverance (see vv. 16-20). Under God's Plan of Salvation Israel can only be free when she is loyal and obedient to God and His Laws.


Chapter 3

1Now these are the nations which the LORD left, to test Israel by them, that is, all in Israel who had no experience of any war in Canaan; 2it was only that the generations of the people of Israel might know war, that he might teach war to such at least as had not known it before. 3These are the nations: the five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sido’nians, and the Hivites who dwelt on Mount Lebanon, from Mount Ba’al-her’mon as far as the entrance of Hamath. 4They were for the testing of Israel, to know whether Israel would obey the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by Moses. 5So the people of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, the Hittites, the Amorites, the Per’izzites, the Hivites, and the Jeb’usites; 6and they took their daughters to themselves for wives, and their own daughters they gave to their sons; and they served their gods. 7And the people of Israel did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, forgetting the LORD their God, and serving the Ba’als and the Ashe’roth. 8Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Cu’shan-rishatha’im king of Mesopota’mia; and the people of Israel served Cu’shan-rishatha’im eight years. 9But when the people of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer for the people of Israel, who delivered them, Oth’ni-el the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother. 10The Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel; he went out to war, and the LORD gave Cu’shan-rishatha’im king of Mesopota’mia into his hand; and his hand prevailed over Cu’shan-rishatha’im. 11So the land had rest forty years. Then Oth’ni-el the son of Kenaz died. 12And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done what was evil in the sight of the LORD. 13He gathered to himself the Ammonites and the Amal’ekites, and went and defeated Israel; and they took possession of the city of palms. 14And the people of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 15But when the people of Israel cried to the LORD, the LORD raised up for them a deliverer, Ehud, the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man. The people of Israel sent tribute by him to Eglon the king of Moab. 16And Ehud made for himself a sword with two edges, a cubit in length; and he girded it on his right thigh under his clothes. 17And he presented the tribute to Eglon king of Moab. Now Eglon was a very fat man. 18And when Ehud had finished presenting the tribute, he sent away the people that carried the tribute. 19But he himself turned back at the sculptured stones near Gilgal, and said, "I have a secret message for you, O king." And he commanded, "Silence." And all his attendants went out from his presence. 20And Ehud came to him, as he was sitting alone in his cool roof chamber. And Ehud said, "I have a message from God for you." And he arose from his seat. 21And Ehud reached with his left hand, took the sword from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly; 22and the hilt also went in after the blade, and the fat closed over the blade, for he did not draw the sword out of his belly; and the dirt came out. 23Then Ehud went out into the vestibule, and closed the doors of the roof chamber upon him, and locked them. 24When he had gone, the servants came; and when they saw that the doors of the roof chamber were locked, they thought, "He is only relieving himself in the closet of the cool chamber." 25And they waited till they were utterly at a loss; but when he still did not open the doors of the roof chamber, they took the key and opened them; and there lay their lord dead on the floor. 26Ehud escaped while they delayed, and passed beyond the sculptured stones, and escaped to Se-i'rah. 27When he arrived, he sounded the trumpet in the hill country of E′phraim; and the people of Israel went down with him from the hill country, having him at their head. 28And he said to them, “Follow after me; for the Lord has given your enemies the Moabites into your hand.” So they went down after him, and seized the fords of the Jordan against the Moabites, and allowed not a man to pass over. 29And they killed at that time about ten thousand of the Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped. 30So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest for eighty years. 31After him was Shamgar the son of Anath, who killed six hundred of the Philistines with an oxgoad; and he too delivered Israel.


Intent of Chapter 3

Samson and the Judges (No. 073)

vv. 1-4 “Israel was left among the nations that remained after the occupation so that Israel might be tested through those nations.


Every time the judge appointed by the Lord died, the people returned to evil and idolatry. These judges possessed the Holy Spirit, termed the Spirit of the Lord. The example of how that works is demonstrated from the story of Samson, which will be examined below.

3:7-8 The people sinned again serving the Baals and the As(h)taroths, and he sent them into the hands of Cu'shan-Risha-thai'm the king of Mesopotamia. Israel served him eight years.

vv. 9-13 Then the Lord raised up Othniel (meaning the force of God) who was the son of Kenaz, bother of Caleb (see 1:12-13). At that time the land had rest for forty years. After Othniel died they again sinned (see also 11:29).


vv. 14-16 The people served Eglon 18 years. They cried to the Lord again and he raised up Ehud to deliver them. The present that they sent to Eglon, king of Moab, was in the form of a dagger strapped to Ehud, son of Gera, the Benjamite’s right thigh.


The Benjamites were left-handed, which is allegedly the weakest hand. The symbolism is that God affects deliverance through the weakest things. Through weakness He produces strength. This is affected seven times in Judges illustrating 1Corinthians 1:27; 2Corinthians 12:9. These are:

·      the left hand (Jdg. 3:21);

·      the ox-goad (Jdg. 3:31);

·      a woman (Jdg. 4:4);

·      a nail (Jdg. 4:21);

·      a piece of a millstone (Jdg. 9:53);

·      pitchers and trumpets (Jdg. 7:20); and

·      the jawbone of an ass (Jdg. 15:16).


Bullinger (see Companion Bible, n. to Jdg. 3:21) holds that this sequence was continued in later times with the activities of Luther (a miner’s son), Calvin (a cooper’s son), Zwingle (a shepherd’s son), Melancthon (an armourer’s son) and John Knox (a plain burger’s son). Thus the five were seen as complementing the seven. The conclusions are perhaps more far reaching than those seen by Bullinger.


vv. 27-30 Ehud escaped after he killed Eglon and summoned Israel from the mountain of Ephraim.

They killed about ten thousand Moabites, all strong, able-bodied men; not a man escaped.

v. 31 Thus, two generations passed. After Ehud was Shamgar, son of Anath, who slew six hundred Philistines with an ox-goad.”


Chapter 4

1And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, after Ehud died. 2And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, who reigned in Hazor; the commander of his army was Sis'era, who dwelt in Haro'sheth-ha-goiim. 3Then the people of Israel cried to the LORD for help; for he had nine hundred chariots of iron, and oppressed the people of Israel cruelly for twenty years. 4Now Deb'orah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapp'idoth, was judging Israel at that time. 5She used to sit under the palm of Deb'orah between Ramah and Bethel in the hill country of E'phraim; and the people of Israel came up to her for judgment. 6She sent and summoned Barak the son of Abin'o-am from Kedesh in Naph'tali, and said to him, "The LORD, the God of Israel, commands you, 'Go, gather your men at Mount Tabor, taking ten thousand from the tribe of Naph'tali and the tribe of Zeb'ulun. 7And I will draw out Sis'era, the general of Jabin's army, to meet you by the river Kishon with his chariots and his troops; and I will give him into your hand.'" 8Barak said to her, "If you will go with me, I will go; but if you will not go with me, I will not go." 9And she said, "I will surely go with you; nevertheless, the road on which you are going will not lead to your glory, for the LORD will sell Sis'era into the hand of a woman." Then Deb'orah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. 10And Barak summoned Zeb'ulun and Naph'tali to Kedesh; and ten thousand men went up at his heels; and Deb'orah went up with him. 11Now Heber the Ken'ite had separated from the Ken'ites, the descendants of Hobab the father-in-law of Moses, and had pitched his tent as far away as the oak in Za-anan'nim, which is near Kedesh. 12When Sis'era was told that Barak the son of Abin'o-am had gone up to Mount Tabor, 13Sis'era called out all his chariots, nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the men who were with him, from Haro'sheth-ha-goiim to the river Kishon. 14And Deb'orah said to Barak, "Up! For this is the day in which the LORD has given Sis'era into your hand. Does not the LORD go out before you?" So Barak went down from Mount Tabor with ten thousand men following him. 15And the LORD routed Sis'era and all his chariots and all his army before Barak at the edge of the sword; and Sis'era alighted from his chariot and fled away on foot. 16And Barak pursued the chariots and the army to Haro'sheth-ha-goiim, and all the army of Sis'era fell by the edge of the sword; not a man was left. 17But Sis'era fled away on foot to the tent of Ja'el, the wife of Heber the Ken'ite; for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Ken'ite. 18And Ja'el came out to meet Sis'era, and said to him, "Turn aside, my lord, turn aside to me; have no fear." So he turned aside to her into the tent, and she covered him with a rug. 19And he said to her, "Pray, give me a little water to drink; for I am thirsty." So she opened a skin of milk and gave him a drink and covered him. 20And he said to her, "Stand at the door of the tent, and if any man comes and asks you, 'Is any one here?' say, No." 21But Ja'el the wife of Heber took a tent peg, and took a hammer in her hand, and went softly to him and drove the peg into his temple, till it went down into the ground, as he was lying fast asleep from weariness. So he died. 22And behold, as Barak pursued Sis'era, Ja'el went out to meet him, and said to him, "Come, and I will show you the man whom you are seeking." So he went in to her tent; and there lay Sis'era dead, with the tent peg in his temple. 23So on that day God subdued Jabin the king of Canaan before the people of Israel. 24And the hand of the people of Israel bore harder and harder on Jabin the king of Canaan, until they destroyed Jabin king of Canaan. (RSV)


Intent of Chapter 4

Samson and the Judges (No. 073)

vv. 1-3 “When Ehud was dead, after Shamgar, the people again did evil in the sight of the Lord and He delivered them into the hands of the Canaanites under Jabin of Hazor, whose captain was Sisera and [with nine hundred chariots] they oppressed Israel mightily (cruelly) for twenty years (see the similar role in Jos. 11:1).

vv. 4-10 “Deborah, [wife of Lappidoth] the prophetess of Ephraim, who lived between Ramah and Beth-el judged [i.e. ruled] Israel at this time. Under direction of God, she summoned Barak ordering ten thousand of Napthali and Zebulun to liberate Israel. [Two tribes from Galilee (1:30, 33).]  Kenites (see 1:16 n.).

vv. 11-12 The Israelites were initially betrayed in the enterprise by Heber (meaning society or community or company and also a spell or enchantment), the Kenite, of the children of Hobab, the father-in-law of Moses. He had severed himself from the Kenites and was encamped in the plain of Zaanaim (meaning removals) near Kedesh (Napthali).

v. 17 There was peace between the people of Heber, the Kenite, and Jabin, king of Hazor.

vv. 21-22 Sisera fled to the tents of Heber. Heber’s wife Jael went out to meet Sisera and, after offering him sustenance, killed him by fastening a nail through his temples into the ground.

vv. 23-24 So God subdued the Canaanites, and Israel prospered. The song of Deborah notes that the heavenly Host were involved in the battles (Jdg. 5:20). The battles [fought] in this sequence are not material battles but involve the powers of the Host.

Deborah 4:1-5-5:31

This victory in Ch. 4 is told in prose.  The other version in Ch. 5 is in poetry.

Hazor was one of the most important of the Canaanite cities of Galilee (see Jos. 11:1 n.).

Chariots of iron gave the Canaanites an advantage over the Israelites who were not familiar with working in iron (Jos. 17:16; 1Sam. 13:19-22).

v. 6 Mt Tabor is in Galilee, north of the plain of Esdraelon. Kishon is a small stream which flows through the plain of Esdraelon (v. 7).


Chapter 5

Song of Deborah

1Then sang Deb'orah and Barak the son of Abin'o-am on that day: 2"That the leaders took the lead in Israel, that the people offered themselves willingly, bless the LORD! 3"Hear, O kings; give ear, O princes; to the LORD I will sing, I will make melody to the LORD, the God of Israel. 4"LORD, when thou didst go forth from Se'ir, when thou didst march from the region of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, yea, the clouds dropped water. 5The mountains quaked before the LORD, yon Sinai before the LORD, the God of Israel. 6"In the days of Shamgar, son of Anath, in the days of Ja'el, caravans ceased and travelers kept to the byways. 7The peasantry ceased in Israel, they ceased until you arose, Deb'orah, arose as a mother in Israel. 8When new gods were chosen, then war was in the gates. Was shield or spear to be seen among forty thousand in Israel? 9My heart goes out to the commanders of Israel who offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless the LORD. 10"Tell of it, you who ride on tawny asses, you who sit on rich carpets and you who walk by the way. 11To the sound of musicians at the watering places, there they repeat the triumphs of the LORD, the triumphs of his peasantry in Israel. "Then down to the gates marched the people of the LORD. 12"Awake, awake, Deb'orah! Awake, awake, utter a song! Arise, Barak, lead away your captives, O son of Abin'o-am. 13Then down marched the remnant of the noble; the people of the LORD marched down for him against the mighty. 14From E'phraim they set out thither into the valley, following you, Benjamin, with your kinsmen; from Machir marched down the commanders, and from Zeb'ulun those who bear the marshal's staff; 15the princes of Is'sachar came with Deb'orah, and Is'sachar faithful to Barak; into the valley they rushed forth at his heels. Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. 16Why did you tarry among the sheepfolds, to hear the piping for the flocks? Among the clans of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. 17Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan; and Dan, why did he abide with the ships? Asher sat still at the coast of the sea, settling down by his landings. 18Zeb'ulun is a people that jeoparded their lives to the death; Naph'tali too, on the heights of the field. 19"The kings came, they fought; then fought the kings of Canaan, at Ta'anach, by the waters of Megid'do; they got no spoils of silver. 20From heaven fought the stars, from their courses they fought against Sis'era. 21The torrent Kishon swept them away, the onrushing torrent, the torrent Kishon. March on, my soul, with might! 22"Then loud beat the horses' hoofs with the galloping, galloping of his steeds. 23"Curse Meroz, says the angel of the LORD, curse bitterly its inhabitants, because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty. 24"Most blessed of women be Ja'el, the wife of Heber the Ken'ite, of tent-dwelling women most blessed. 25He asked water and she gave him milk, she brought him curds in a lordly bowl. 26She put her hand to the tent peg and her right hand to the workmen's mallet; she struck Sis'era a blow, she crushed his head, she shattered and pierced his temple. 27He sank, he fell, he lay still at her feet; at her feet he sank, he fell; where he sank, there he fell dead. 28"Out of the window she peered, the mother of Sis'era gazed through the lattice: 'Why is his chariot so long in coming? Why tarry the hoofbeats of his chariots?' 29Her wisest ladies make answer, nay, she gives answer to herself, 30'Are they not finding and dividing the spoil? --A maiden or two for every man; spoil of dyed stuffs for Sis'era, spoil of dyed stuffs embroidered, two pieces of dyed work embroidered for my neck as spoil?' 31"So perish all thine enemies, O LORD! But thy friends be like the sun as he rises in his might." And the land had rest for forty years. (RSV)


Intent of Chapter 5

The Song of Deborah is the oldest surviving considerable fragment of Hebrew literature. The Song is about Deborah, not composed by her (v. 7). The Hebrew text is so corrupt as to be almost unintelligible (see OARSV n.).

5:4 From Seir...edom The Lord is described as coming from the SE of the Salt Sea to help his people.

5:6 Shows the near anarchy of the times.

5:15-17 These texts concern the more distant tribes. Reuben remained with the flocks, Gilead stayed beyond the Jordan and Dan remained with the ships, its maritime affairs and Asher stayed by its coastal concerns and Zebulun taking no part in the battle and Judah, Simeon and Levi are not even mentioned.

v. 19 Taanach... Megiddo are two important fortresses guarding the northern approaches to the passes through Mt. Carmel.

v. 21 The flooding waters of the Kishon bogged down the Canaanite chariots.

v. 23 Meroz was a nearby village that refused to take part and was ordered destroyed by the Elohim of Israel of Psalm  45.

5:24-27 In 4:17-22 Sisera is killed by Jael while he sleeps; here he appears to fall when struck. 5:28-31 A poetic glimpse of Sisera's anxious mother awaiting his return.


Bullinger’s notes on Judges Chs. 1-5 (for KJV)

Chapter 1

Verse 1

Now = And. Commencing with the same word as the preceding books; thus connecting them all together. The book of Joshua = the inheritance possessed: Judges = the inheritance despised. Records the failure of the People, and the faithfulness of Jehovah. The Epilogue (Judges 21:25 ) gives the key to the whole book. See note on Judges 17:6 .

Joshua. Compare Joshua 24:29 .

children = sons.

asked = enquired: i.e. by Urim and Thummim, as in Judges 18:5 ; Judges 20:18 . See note on Exodus 28:30 . Numbers 26:55 .

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

Who . . . ? All had been commanded. Deuteronomy 20:17 . Joshua 10:40 .


Verse 2

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos ( App-6 ). Some codices. with three early printed editions, read "and behold".


Verse 5

Adoni-bezek = Lord of Bezek. Bezek was seventeen miles south of Shechem. Compare 1 Samuel 11:8 . Compare Joshua 15:13-19 .


Verse 6

Cut off. As he had done to others. See Judges 1:7 .


Verse 7

gathered. i.e. [the pieces].

as = according as.

God Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .


Verse 8

Jerusalem. The first occurrence is in Joshua 10:1 , in connection with Adoni-zedek's fear of its being "utterly destroyed" like Ai. Here, in Judges 1:8 , we have a picture of its future history in miniature. See App-63 . The Tel-el- Amarna tablets contain a long correspondence with Egypt about 1400 B.C.

taken it. The citadel not taken till 2 Samuel 5:6-9 , by David.


Verse 9

mountain = hill country.

south. Hebrew. Negeb.

valley = lowlands


Verse 10

now. Note the Figure of speech Parenthesis ( App-6 ), and compare with Judges 1:17 .

Hebron. Compare Numbers 13:22 .Joshua 14:13 .

Kirjath-arba. Compare Genesis 23:2 .Joshua 14:15 ; Joshua 20:7 .

Sheshai. These are sons of Anak. Compare Judges 1:20 .


Verse 11

Debir . . . Kirjath-sepher. See note on Joshua 11:21 and Jdg 15:49 .


Verse 13

Othniel Mentioned only here; and Judges 3:9-11 .Joshua 15:17 ; and 1 Chronicles 4:13 .


Verse 14

to him. Supply Fig, Ellipsis with "home".

a = the.

What Wilt thou? or, What aileth thee? Joshua 15:18 , Joshua 15:19 .


Verse 16

Kenite. A non-Israelite race (Genesis 15:19 . Numbers 24:21 , &c. 1 Samuel 27:10 ; 1 Samuel 30:29 ). See Saul's correspondence with them (1 Samuel 15:6 ). One branch in the north (Judges 4:11 ).

palm trees: i.e. Jeremiah 3:13 .Deuteronomy 34:3 .

the People: i.e. Israel.


Verse 17

destroyed = devoted.

Hormah = utter destruction.


Verse 18

took Gaza, &c. These were wholly or partially retaken by the enemy, Compare Judges 14:19 ; Jdg 16:1 . 1 Samuel 5:10 . Perhaps this accounts for the Septuagint reading, "Judah too did not inherit".

coast = border.


Verse 19

he drave out = he possessed. (Omit italics.)

mountain = hill country.

valley = lowlands.

chariots of iron. Compare Judges 4:3 .


Verse 20

as = accordingas. Compare Numbers 14:24 .Joshua 14:13 ; Joshua 15:13 .

three sons of Anak. See their names in Judges 1:10 and App-23 and App-25 .


Verse 21

did not drive out. Compare Joshua 15:63 ; Jos 18:28 . 2 Samuel 5:6-10 .


Verse 23

Luz. Compare Genesis 28:19 , and see Joshua 16:1 , Joshua 16:2 . Luz and Beth-el not two cities. 34

spies = sentries.


Verse 26

Hittites. A nation north of Syria, mentioned on Egyptian inscriptions from 1500 B.C.


Verse 27

Neither . . . nor. Note the Figure of speech Paradiastole ( App-6 ) in verses: Judges 1:29-33 . Emphasizing the unfaithfulness and disobedience, the cause of all subsequent trouble.

drive out = possess.


Verse 29

dwelt: i.e. in friendly relations. Psalms 133:1 . 2 Kings 4:13 . See note on 1 Kings 9:16 , 1 Kings 9:17 .


Verse 32

dwelt among = dwelt in the inside, as in the heart or bowels of the Canaanites; verses: Judges 1:27-30 are very different.


Verse 35

hand. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause), App-6 , by which the hand is put for the power exerted by it,


Verse 36

coast = border or boundary. Judges 2:0 gives a summary of events from Judges 3:1 , Judges 3:16 , Judges 3:31 . The period it covers is therefore 1434-1100, i.e. 334 years.


Chapter 2

Verse 1

an Angel = the Angel or Captain of Jehovah's host, Who had appeared to Joshua in Gilgal. Joshua 5:13-15

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

Bochim = weepers.

I said. Compare Genesis 17:7 .


Verse 2

ye shall make no league. Compare Exodus 23:32 .Deuteronomy 7:2 , Deuteronomy 7:5 , &c.

ye shall throw down. Compare Exodus 34:12 , Exodus 34:13 .Deuteronomy 12:3 .

why. ? Figure of speech Erotesis ( App-6 ). Or, "what [is] this [that] ye have done? "


Verse 3

be as thorns in your sides. Some codices read "be adversaries to you". Compare Numbers 33:55 .Joshua 23:13 .


Verse 4

children = sons.


Verse 6

let the People go. Compare Joshua 24:28-31 .


Verse 7

who. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Syriac, and Vulgate, read "and who".

works = work.


Verse 9

Timnath-heres. Some codices, with Syriac and Vulg, read "Timnathserah". Compare Joshua 19:50 ; Joshua 24:30 .

mount = hill country.


Verse 10

knew not. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Cause). App-6 . Put for obeyed not or cared not for.


Verse 11

evil = the evil. Hebrew. ra ' a '. See App-44 . Six "evil" doings recorded in this book ( App-10 ): Judges 3:7 , Judges 3:12 ; Judges 4:1 ; Judges 6:1 ; Judges 10:6 ; Judges 13:1 .


Verse 12

forsook. Religion is not a gradual evolution to what is higher, but a declension to what is lower. See note on Joshua 24:14 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

people = peoples.


Verse 13

Ashtaroth. The special evil of Canaanite nations. Name derived from the Asherah (see App-42 ). The Asherah was idolatry of the most revolting form of immorality under the guise of religion. All virtue surrendered. The "going a whoring" is more than a figure of speech. See Exodus 34:13 .Deuteronomy 7:5 ; Deuteronomy 12:3 ; Deuteronomy 16:21 . Note all the occurrences of 'Ashtaroth : Deuteronomy 1:4 .Joshua 9:10 ; Joshua 12:4 ; Joshua 13:12 , Joshua 13:31 .Joshua 2:13 ; Jos 10:6 . 1 Samuel 7:3 , 1Sa 7:4; 1 Samuel 12:10 ; 1 Samuel 31:10 .


Verse 14

spoilers . . . enemies. Six oppressors and servitudes named: Judges 3:8 , Judges 3:12 ; Judges 4:2 ; Judges 6:1 ; Judges 10:7 ; Judges 13:1 .


Verse 15

evil. Hebrew. ra'a' . App-44 .

as = according as. Compare Leviticus 26:0 . Deuteronomy 28:0 .


Verse 16

judges. This word gives the name to the book = one who put right what was wrong; hence, a ruler.

delivered = saved. Six deliverances: Judges 3:9 , Judges 3:15 ; Judges 4:23 ; Judges 8:28 ; Judges 11:33 ; Judges 16:30 .


Verse 18

all the days, &c. This raises the question as to Deborah's call. See note on Judges 4:4 .


Verse 19

when. Compare Judges 3:12 .


Verse 20

people = nation.

transgressed. Hebrew. 'abar. App-44 .


Verse 22

therein. A special various reading called Sevir ( App-34 ), with some codices, Septuagint, and Vulgate, read "in it": i.e. in Jehovah's way.


Verse 23

driving them out = dispossessing.


Chapter 3

Verse 1

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .


Verse 2

children = sons.


Verse 3

five lords. See note on Joshua 13:2-6 .

entering in = pass.


Verse 5

dwelt among. Not the Canaanites dwelling in Israel, but Israel dwelling among the Canaanites, who were to be exterminated. Exodus 3:8 , Exodus 3:17 ; Exodus 23:23-28 . Deuteronomy 7:1-5 .


Verse 6

took their daughters , contrary to Jehovah's express command. Exodus 34:16 . Deuteronomy 7:3 .


Verse 7

evil. Hebrew "the evil"; i.e. the special evil (idolatry) which had been forbidden as such. See App-44 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

the groves = Asherim. App-42 . See note on Exodus 34:13 .


Verse 8

sold. Compare Judges 2:14 . Jdg 2:14490 years since Abraham left Mesopotamia.


Verse 9

deliverer = saviour.

delivered = saved. Compare Luke 1:68-70 .

Othniel. Compare Joshua 15:16 , Joshua 15:17 .


Verse 10

the Spirit of the LORD. Of Jehovah, App-4 . not Elohim. The spirit (Hebrew. ruach, App-9 ) of Jehovah bestowing gifts rather than power or might (Genesis 1:2 ). Compare Isaiah 11:2 ; Isaiah 61:1 .


Verse 11

had rest. Repeated four times: Judges 3:11 , Judges 3:30 ; Judges 5:31 ; Judges 8:20 , to prevent the periods of rest and servitude being "telescoped". See App-50 . Introduction.


Verse 13

Amalek. See note on Exodus 17:16 .

palm trees. Compare Deuteronomy 34:3 .


Verse 16

cubit. Occurs only here = a cut. Septuagint spithame, a dirk, about 9 inches long.


Verse 17

present = admittance-offering. Hebrew. korban. App-43 .


Verse 18

offer = bring near. Heb karab. App-43 .


Verse 19

quarries = graven images. So Septuagint, Vulgate, and Targum, here and Judges 3:26 . Hebrew. pesilim. Deuteronomy 7:5 , Deuteronomy 7:25 ; Deu 12:3 . 2 Kings 17:41 .Psalms 78:53 , &c.

that were by Gilgal. Hebrew the same [as] at Gilgah.

errand. Hebrew word. See note on "message", Judges 3:20 .


Verse 20

summer parlour. Cooling room. Occurs only here and Judges 3:24 .

message = word; put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject) for what is meant by it: here it is the "errand" of Judges 3:19 .

God = Elohim. App-4 . The Creator to the creature; not Jehovah (the Covenant God) to His servant.

seat = throne.


Verse 21

his left hand. Note the seven weak things in this book, illustrating 1 Corinthians 1:27 . 2 Corinthians 12:9 , left hand (Judges 3:21 ); ox goad (Judges 3:31 ); a woman (Judges 4:4 ); a nail (Judges 4:21 ); piece of a millstone (9, 53); pitcher and trumpet (Judges 7:20 ); jawbone of an ass (Judges 15:16 ). So in later times. Luther (a miner's son), Calvin (a cooper's son), Zwingle (a shepherd's son), Melancthon (an armourer's son), John Knox (a plain burgess's son).


Verse 22

haft = handle. Hebrew. nizzab, occurs only here.


Verse 24

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 . covereth his feet. Figure of speech Euphemism for act performed while stooping, and causing feet to be covered.


Verse 25

a key = the key.


Verse 26

passed = he passed.

beyond = by.

quarries = the graven images of Ehud. Compare Judges 3:19 .


Verse 27

the mount = the hill country.


Verse 30

years. The Septuagint adds "until he died".


Verse 31

Shamgar. Compare Judges 5:6-8 .

an ox goad. See note on Judges 3:21 . No weapons. Compare Jdg 5:8 . 1 Samuel 13:19-22 .


Chapter 4

Verse 1

children = sons.

evil = the evil: i.e. idolatry. See App-44 .

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .


Verse 2

Jabin. Another king. Compare Joshua 11:1-10 .

which = and he.


Verse 3

twenty years. A long time to wait for deliverance.


Verse 4

a prophetess. Not therefore a "judge "in the strict sense of the title. Like Miriam, Exodus 15:20 ; Huldah, 2 Kings 22:14 . Compare her prophecy in verses: Judges 4:7 , Judges 4:9 .

she. Some codices, with two early printed editions, read "and she". Note the two women connected with Barak, Deborah and Jael, verses: Judges 4:17-21 . See note on Judges 4:17 , and Compare Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:11 , Judges 5:24 , Judges 5:30 .

at that time. Yet Israel was "mightily oppressed", contrary to Judges 2:18 . The words "she judged" state a fact: but do they imply a Divine appointment to the office? She was "a prophetess", but was she "a judge" in the proper sense of the word?


Verse 5

dwelt = sat [as judge]: near where her namesake, Rebekah's nurse, died. Genesis 35:8 .


Verse 6

Hath not. ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .

river Kishon. Compare Psalms 83:9 , Psalms 83:10 .

hand. Some codices, with two early printed editions, Septuagint, and Syriac, read "hands".


Verse 10

called: i.e. by proclamation.


Verse 11

Hobab. Compare Numbers 10:29 .

unto the plain. Or, at the oak. Joshua 19:33 .


Verse 13

gathered: i.e. by proclamation. Compare Judges 4:10 .


Verse 14

is not . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis. App-6 .


Verse 15

the LORD discomfited = Jehovah discomfited. Compare Psalms 83:9 . The word implies supernatural phenomena. Compare Judges 5:20-22 .Exodus 14:24 . Jos 10:10 . 2 Samuel 22:15 .Psalms 18:15 .


Verse 16

upon = by.

not a man. Hebrew not so much as one.


Verse 17

the tent of Jael. Note, not of Heber: the woman's tent, which itself brought Sisera under the death penalty. But there is nothing to apologize for here. The Author and Giver of life came on Jael as on Ehud, and enabled her to save the daughters of Israel from a fate worse than death. Compare Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:11 , Judges 5:24 , Judges 5:30 .

Kenite. Compare Judges 4:11 .


Verse 18

mantle = rug. Hebrew. semikah. occurs only here.


Verse 19

bottle = skin.

milk. Rendered "butter" in Judges 5:25 ; probably = buttermilk, much used in the East.


Verse 20

door = entrance.

No = there is not.


Verse 21

nail of the tent = a tent peg. Constantly tents are taken down and put up by the women to the present day.

So he died. The first often recorded deaths at the hands of women: Sisera (Judges 4:21 ); Abimelech (Judges 9:53 . 2 Samuel 11:21 ); Sheba (2 Samuel 20:22 ); the harlot's child (1 Kings 3:19 ); prophets (1 Kings 18:4 ); Naboth (1 Kings 21:9 , 1 Kings 21:10 ); a son by his mother (2 Kings 6:29 ); seed royal (2 Kings 11:1 . 2 Chronicles 22:10 ); Haman's sons (Esther 9:13-14 ); John Baptist (Matthew 14:8 ).


Verse 22

behold. Figure of speech Asterismos. App-6 .


Verse 24

prospered. Figure of speech Polyptoton Hebrew going on went on. Revised Version = prevailed more and more.


Chapter 5

Verse 1

Then sang. No singing till after victory. Compare Exodus 15:1 . Only weeping before. Compare Judges 2:4 with Exodus 2:23 , Exodus 2:24 . See note on Exodus 15:1 for the ten songs.


Verse 2

the LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .


Verse 3

I, even I. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6 .

God. Hebrew. Elohim. App-4 .


Verse 4

when. Compare Exodus 19:18 .

dropped = dripped.


Verse 5

The mountains melted = from the mountains flowed down streams.


Verse 6

Shamgar. Compare Judges 3:31 .

the highways, &c. = the highways were closed.


Verse 7

The inhabitants. Why not supply the Figure of speech Ellipsis ( App-6 ) by the words "the women", considering the objects of Jabin's oppression? see notes on Judges 4:4 , Judges 4:17 ; Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:11 , Judges 5:24 , Judges 5:30 .

ceased = ceased [to be]. Same word as "unoccupied" in Judges 5:6 .

I arose. Figure of speech Epizeuxis.


Verse 8

new gods. Compare Deuteronomy 32:16 .

Was there . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.


Verse 9

is toward. Supply "saith to", instead of "is". The next clause gives the words spoken.


Verse 11

the places of drawing water: i.e. where the women were to be found. See notes on Judges 4:4 , Judges 4:17 ; Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:30 . Compare Genesis 24:11 .Exodus 2:15-19 .


Verse 12

Awake, awake. Figure of speech Epizeuxis. App-6 .

lead thy captivity captive = lead thy captives captive; "captivity" put by Figure of speech Metonymy (of Subject) for the persons made captive = lead captive thy captive train.


Verse 13

Some codices and Septuagint divide the two lines thus: Then came down a remnant of the nobles, And the People of Jehovah [came down] with me against the mighty ones.


Verse 14

was there. Supply Figure of speech Ellipsis thus: "came down", from Judges 5:13 and Judges 5:15 .

a root, &c. = whose root was in Amalek. Compare Judges 12:15 . Or, according to Septuagint, "they who rooted them out in Amalek. "

handle = draw, in the sense of numbering, enrolling, or mustering, as in Judges 4:6 .

pen = rod (used in numbering). Leviticus 27:32 .Ezekiel 20:37 . Nowhere else rendered pen.

writer = numberer. Hebrew. saphar, translated scribe. Compare 2 Kings 25:19 . 2 Chronicles 26:11 .


Verse 15

And = But.

Even = Yea.

He was sent, &c. = into the valley they rushed at his feet.

For = among.


Verse 16

Why . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.


Verse 17

breaches = creeks or bays.


Verse 18

lives = souls. Hebrew. nephesh. See App-18 .


Verse 19

gain = plunder.


Verse 20

fought. Figure of speech Prosopopoeia. App-6 . Compare Joshua 10:11 .


Verse 21

rive r = torrent.

Kishon. Rising in Mount Tabor and running into the Mediterranean near Mount Carmel.

swept. Swollen by the heavy rains (Judges 5:4 ).

soul. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .


Verse 22

the pransings. Figure of speech Epizeuxis.


Verse 24

Blessed above women. Compare Luke 1:28 "among". See notes on Judges 4:4 , Judges 4:17 ; Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:11 , Judges 5:30 .


Verse 25

butter. See note on Judges 4:19 .


Verse 27

At her feet. Note the Figure of speech Asyndeton. App-6 .

he bowed, he fell. Figure of speech Epibole.

dead = destroyed.


Verse 28

The mother. A woman active on each side, with other women involved (Judges 5:30 ).

a = the.


Verse 30

Have . . . ? Figure of speech Erotesis.

sped = found; i.e. the damsels they were fighting for: and while doing so they were defeated by a woman.

To every man = to every head of a man; "head" put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part), for the whole person.

man. Hebrew. geber ( App-14 . IV) = a strong man.

damsel. Hebrew womb. Put by Figure of speech Synecdoche (of the Part) for the whole person, to emphasize the motive underneath. This was the one object of Jabin's oppression. See notes on Judges 4:4 , Judges 4:17 ; Judges 5:7 , Judges 5:11 , Judges 5:24 .

spoil. Figure of speech Aposiopesis. App-6 .


Verse 31

So. Figure of speech Epiphonema.

had rest. See note on Judges 3:11 .