Judges 3:7 - 4:21

Wednesday, April 27th, 2016





I remind you of that in Judges we see a cycle of rebellion, retribution, repentance, and restitution repeated over and over again.

We have already seen the –

    I.     Background of the Period of the Judges, 1:1 - 3:6

We move on to the –

  II.     History of the Period of the Judges, 3:7 - 16:31


We see –

            A.  Mesopotamian Oppression and Othniel’s Deliverance, 3:7-11


There was Rebellion.


Judges 3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves [i.e. Asheroth = Representations of the Canaanite goddess Asherah set up beside the idol altars. “Asherah was the goddess of the sea in Ugaritic literature in Syria; she was the consort of El. Asherah should not be confused with Ashtoreth, the consort of Baal, in Judges 2:13 ” (Bible Knowledge Commentary) ].


Rebellion was followed by retribution.


Judges 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot [i.e. was kindled, burned] against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years.


3:8 – (RSB) Cushan-rishathaim means “doubly-wicked Cushan.”


There was repentance followed by restitution.


Judges 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them [i.e. who saved them], even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.


3:9 – Othniel was also Caleb’s son in law.


Judges 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim.


3:10 – (RSB) The Spirit of the LORD came upon many in OT times, as here with Othniel. . . . He was also in some people . . . and filled some for special service. . . . These relationships are characterized by the Lord, as the Spirit, being “with” them, in contrast to His permanent indwelling of all believers from the Day of Pentecost on. . . .


John 14:15-1715 If ye love me, keep my commandments. 16 And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; 17 Even the Spirit of truth; whom the world cannot receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you [i.e. until the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 ], and shall be in you [i.e. beginning with the day of Pentecost in Acts 2 ].


Judges 3:11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.


Next, after Othniel, we see –

            B.  Moabite Oppression and Ehud’s Deliverance, 3:12-30


There was Rebellion.


Judges 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.


Rebellion was followed by retribution.


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 [i.e. Jericho].


3:13 – (RSB) Ammon was East and North of Moab.


Judges 3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.


Repentance was followed by restitution.


Judges 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer [i.e. a savior], Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present [i.e. tribute, tribute money] unto Eglon the king of Moab.


3:15 – (RSB) Being lefthanded Ehud concealed his dagger on his right side, an unexpected place. Many of the tribe of Benjamin were left-handed (20:16) and perhaps ambidextrous (1 Chron. 12:2).


Present. A tribute of agricultural products and perhaps money.


Judges 3:16 But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length [Not the usual Hebrew word for cubit. This dagger was about a foot long.]; and he did gird it under his raiment [i.e. under his cloke, under his clothes] upon his right thigh.


Judges 3:17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.


This event appears to have taken place in Jericho.


Judges 3:18 And when he [i.e. Ehud] had made an end to offer the present [i.e. when he had finished presenting the tribute, when he had finished presenting the tribute money], he sent away the people that bare [i.e. the people who had carried] the present [i.e. the tribute, the tribute money].


Judges 3:19 But he himself turned again from the quarries [i.e. from the stone images, from the idols] that were by Gilgal [Gilgal is located on the west side of the Jordan River at the north end of the Dead Sea. It is where the Israelites encamped after they crossed the Jordan River.], and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.


Judges 3:20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.


3:20 – (RSB) summer parlour. A room on the flat roof with many latticed windows to catch the summer breezes.


Judges 3:21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his [i.e. into Eglon’s] belly:


Judges 3:22 And the haft [i.e. the handle, the hilt] also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt [i.e. excrement] came out.


Ehud apparently was not able to retrieve his dagger.


Judges 3:23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them.


Judges 3:24 When he [i.e. Ehud] was gone out, his [i.e. Eglon’s] servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet [a euphemism meaning “he’s relieving himself”] in his summer chamber.


Judges 3:25 And they tarried [i.e. waited] till they were ashamed [i.e. embarrassed]: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth.


Judges 3:26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried [i.e. while they waited], and passed beyond the quarries [i.e. beyond the stone images, beyond the idols], and escaped unto Seirath [somewhere in Mount Ephraim].


Judges 3:27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them.


Judges 3:28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not [i.e. did not permit, did not allow] a man to pass over.


Judges 3:29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty [i.e. stout], and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.


Judges 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years.


Then, after Ehud, we see Shamgar –

            C.  Shamgar’s Victory over the Philistines, 3:31


Judges 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel.


3:31 – (RSB) An ox goad might have been as long as eight ft . . . with a spoke on one end and a chisel-shaped blade on the other. Normally used for cleaning a plow, it substituted nicely for a spear.


      D.  Canaanite Oppression and Deliverance by Deborah and Barak, 4:1 - 5:31


                  1.   The story, 4:1-24


There was rebellion.


Judges 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead.


Rebellion was followed by retribution.


Judges 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor [Hazor was located in Naphtali four miles southwest of Lake Huleh]; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles [located on the border of Southern Asher and Zebulun between the A in Asher and the Z in Zebulun].


There was repentance.


Judges 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel.


Repentance was followed by restitution.


Judges 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time.


Judges 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim [located in south central Ephraim]: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment.


Judges 4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali [located straight north of Hazor and northwest of Lake Huleh in Naphtali], and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor [located southwest of the Sea of Galilee where Naphtali, Zebulun, and Issachar come together], and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun?


Judges 4:7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon [i.e. the Kishon River which flows through the valley of Jezreel and separates Zebulun and western Manasseh and runs through southern Asher before emptying into the Mediterranean Sea] (I will draw unto thee . . .) Sisera, the captain of Jabin’s army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand.


Judges 4:8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go.


Judges 4:9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh [located north of Hazor and northwest of Lake Huleh].


Judges 4:10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.


Judges 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites [they were located west of the south end of the Dead Sea], and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh [located north of Hazor and northwest of Lake Huleh].


4:11 – (RSB) A parenthetical note introducing the family of Jael (v. 17).


Judges 4:12 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor [located where western Manasseh, Zebulun and Issachar come together].


Judges 4:13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles [located on the border of Southern Asher and Zebulun between the A in Asher and the Z in Zebulun] unto the river of Kishon [the plain of Jezreel (or Esdraelon) where Zebulun and western Manasseh join].


Judges 4:14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.


Judges 4:15 And the LORD discomfited [i.e. routed] Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off [i.e. alighted from, abandoned] his chariot, and fled away on his feet.


4:15 – (RSB) According to 5:21 the Lord sent rain that flooded the stream and valley, neutralizing the chariots.


Judges 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles [located on the border of Southern Asher and Zebulun between the A in Asher and the Z in Zebulun]: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.


Judges 4:17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite.


Judges 4:18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle [i.e. with a blanket or with a rug].


Judges 4:19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him.


4:19 – (RSB) bottle of milk. Yogurt (5:25b) from a skin bottle.


Judges 4:20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No.


Judges 4:21 Then Jael Heber’s wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. [He went to sleep but he never woke up.]


4:21 – (RSB) a nail of the tent = a tent peg. . . . The mallet and tent peg were easily accessible, since pitching a tent was the woman’s job.


Judges 4:22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples.


There was restitution.


Judges 4:23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel.


Judges 4:24 And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan.