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PRE FACE.

THE Bible holds a unique position in relation to the Sacred

- Books of the world, in the fact that it alone connects

its spiritual and moral teachings with a framework of history

and chronology capable of being tested. The explorations of

modern discoverers in Palestine, Moab, Egypt, Assyria, Baby-

lonia, Asia Minor, Greece, and Rome, have been continually

bringing to light fresh confirmations of the trustworthiness of

our Sacred Records. At the same time, the histories in Holy

Scripture are so wonderfully framed by their Divine Author

as to set forth spiritual and everlasting truths for all ages,

and especially to typify Him in whom all history, type, and

prophecy find their centre—“Jesus Christ, the same yesterday,

and to-day, and for ever.” For “the testimony of Jesus is the

spirit of prophecy” (Rev. xix. 10).

My aim in this Commentary on the Book of Judges has

been— First, to examine critically the original Hebrew, and to
give to the English reader the results of reverent modern
scholarship, so that he may know accurately the meaning of
the sacred text: Secondly, to give the fruits of modern
research in relation to the topographical, historical, and
chronological references in the book : Thirdly, to endeavour, in
dependence on the Holy Spirit, to draw forth from the narrative
and the inspired Word the spiritual lessons designed by the
Divine Author. The Synopsis of Contents will afford to the

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I. The Title and Subject: The Special Office of the Judges, .

II. Design of the Book, ,

Causes of Israel's apostasy, .

Imperfection of the Judges, .

The deliverances partial,

Jehovah's threats and their fulfilment,

God's epiphanies and Israel's apostasies and servitudes,

Peaceful times under the Judges, .

Israel's degeneracy entailed an earthly monarchy, ..

III. Historical Truthfulness,

IV. Date of Authorship, .

V. Divisions-

1. Introduction,

(1) Israel's relations to Canaan,

(2) Israel's relations to Jehovah,

II. The body of the work, .

III. Appendix-

(i) Micah's idolatry on Mount Ephraim, and the Danites' adop-

tion of it on their way to Laish,

(2) Gibeah's awful wickedness, and Benjamin's defence of it,

and consequent punishment almost to extermination by

the rest of united Israel, .

Connection of this book with the preceding and the suc-

ceeding books of the Canon, . . . : 10

CHAPTER 1.

Concert of Judah and Simeon against the Canaanites and Perizzites :

consultation of Jehovah, .

Adonibezek the captor caught, and paid in kind, : : : 13, 16

God still known by His judgments, .

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The cases wherein God requites not now, necessitate His future judg.

ment, a

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The Reward of whole-heartedness, and punishment of indecision, : 18,34

CHAPTER II.

I. Reward of whole-heartedness,

1. Caleb's faith and reward, contrasted with the spies’ faint-

heartedness, and its issue,

2. The believer's' trial and triumph, the scene of triumph the ap.

pointed scene of reward, .
3. Achsah's large request, and the power of prayer, .

(1) Our needs, temporal and eternal, :
(2) They should drive us to tell them to Him who alone can

supply them, .
(3) The upper and nether springs we neeil, . .

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CHAPTER III.

God's epiphanies and man's apostasies : mercy rejoiceth against judg.

ment, . .

Israel's apostasy, punishment, and deliverance in answer to prayer,

illustrating God's righteousness, faithfulness, and grace, . .

Israel's adherence to the covenant under Joshua and the elders

who had seen Jehovah's mighty acts, .

Israel's relapse into idolatry : successive steps in their fall :

cause of the evil, .

The same among ourselves, .

God's righteous indignation, and retributive punishment of Israel's

apostasy, .

Jehovah's compassion on Israel's distress, and interposition,

Israel's relapse to corruption after the death of each judge, .

Jehovah's resolution to stay Israel's victories, and leave Canaanites

to prove Israel,

The Lord still left them, to try Israel(1) Whether they would

profit by chastisement; also (2) that Israel might know

the true art of war, . . . .

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The Israelites, when thus proved, failed,

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Chronology of the Judges (Ammon's oppression of Israel 18 years

was synchronous with the Philistine oppression), ..

Occasion of raising up the first judge-(1) Israel's sin brought

God's judgment: (2) Distress drove them to prayer: (3) Their

cry brought Jehovah to their relief : (4) Othniel raised up to

save them : (5) His preparation for the work by God : (6) His

procedure : (7) The issue, .

Eglon and Ehud, Shamgar and the Philistines,

1. Israel's apostasy, chastisement by Eglon, and penitent cry:

Jehovah's deliverance of Israel by Ehud,

(1) Israel's relapse into sin, . .

(2) Their consequent punishment, .

(3) Israel's cry in distress, and the Lord's interposition,

(4) Manner of deliverance, ..

(5) God's special message to Eglon, .

(6) Message of deliverance to Israel, ..

2. Application of the spiritual lesson to ourselves-

(1) Consequences of backsliding,

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