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is the Lord alone that drives out the sin and corruption in our nature; "for he must reign till all his encmies become his footstool."
In this chapter, we have, 1. A particular message, which God sent to Israel
by an angel, and the impression it made upon thein, ver. 1-5. 2. A general idea of the state of Israel, during the government of the judges. In which observe, (1.) Their adherence to God, while Joshna and the elders lived, ver. 6--10. (2.) Their revolt afterwards to idolatry, ver. 11–13. (3.) God's displeasure against them, and his judgments npon them for it. (4.) His pity towards them, shewed in raising them op deliverers, ver. 16-18. (5.) Their relapse into idolatry after the judgment was over, ver. 17-19. (6.) The full stop, God in anger pnt to their successes, ver. 20–33. These are the contents, not only of this chapter, but of the whole book.
VER. 1, 2. “But ye have not obcyed my voice: why have ye done this?”]-This angel appears not to be a created angel, but the “ angel of the covenant," and the “ angel of ihe Lord's presence," which denotes one in whom the presence, glory, and majesty, of the Godhead shone, called frequently by the Jews the God angel: and that this angel was Jehovah, namely, our Lord Jesus, is evident from his delivering the people out of Egypt, leading them through the wilderness, and bringing them into the land of Canaan; it is manifest therefore that this angel was the Lord God of Israel, as it is written, 2 Sam. vii. 29. " Whom God went to redeem," called Dcut. i. 33. " the Lord God,” that is, Jehovah Elohim, which went before them ; and which shows that this angel was the same that appeared to Moses in the bush, and to Jacob at Padan-aram, as the angel of the Lord, and the “ God of Bethel.” This proyes the proper Deity of the Lord Jesus, and his coequality with the Father, as he bears the same names, appel. lations, and characters, and shines in the same sell-existent glories as JEHOVAH the Father : and it is remarkable, that the Arians will allow that it was the Lord Jesus that ap. peared so frequently under the character of an angel, which is a good argument to prove his proper Deity: for it is as evident as the sun at noon-day, that the angel who appeared to Abraham, to Jacob, to Moses, to Manoals, and who led Israel through the wilderness, was the "miglity God of Jacob:" see Gen. xxii. 16. compared with Heb.
vi. 13. Exod. iii. 6. Deut. i. 31, 32, 33. compared with Exod. xxiii. 20. Note, this angel of the Lord charges Israel with the breach of the covenant which be bad made with them: they were to break down the idols and images, and high places, which they were commanded to do, Deut. vii. 2. the Lord had told them they should be as thorns in their sides and snares before them. The indulgence of any sin is a great snare and a thorn in our side, and will surely deprive us of the Lord's presence and comfort in our souls.
- Ver. 4. The loss of the Lord's blessing and presence is matter of mourning and lamentation.
Ver. 7. "And the people served the Lord all the days of Joshua,” &c.]-Which shews the great blessing of having a religious guide, governor, and ruler over a people, where example, authority, and love unite to keep up the glory of God's ways, and the appointments of his house.
Ver. 10–21. “ W bich knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he done for Israel.”]-This generation revolted from the Lord, and became froward, stubborn, and wicked ; they cleared to the idols of the nations around them, which broaght them into sore distress, calamity, and sorrow, but mercy interposeth ; for the Lord raised up judges and deliverers for his people, yet they revolted again, and ceased not “ from their own doings, nor from their stubborn ways;" which may be figurative of the vanity of our nature, and the idols of our affections which we cleave to, and of the stubbornness of our wills; for though we know that departing from the Lord will bring sorrow and distress upon our minds, yet how prone are we to it, like the "sparks that fly upward.”
Ver. 22, 23. “That through them I may prove Israel.” -Israel had broke the command of God in not driving out the Canaanites and destroying their images and idols, Deut. vii. 2. and for mercenary ends had made leagucs with them ; 80 the Lord as a punishment for the breach of his command, would not drive ihem out, but they should remain to prove then whether they would keep his ways : though the Lord knew what they would do, yet he would make it evident to theinselves and others. In which respect it was figurative of the Lord's leaving the Canaanites, the corruptions of our nature, to prove his spiritual Israel; that is, to try the exercise of their faith, patience, and hope ; whether under all the conflicts of mind, and the sore trials of their corrupt nature, they will trust the faithfulness of God to support them under all these trials, and honour hinn still in his ways. by walking according to his word. Or, these corruptions may be left, that the christian may see bis continual need of omnipotent grace to support him, almighty power to keep him, and that the promises and love of God may be the more precious to his soul continnally.
In this chapter, 1. A general account of Israel's enemies is premised, and of
the mischief they did them, ver. 1-7. 2. A particular account of the brave exploits done by the three first of the judges. 1. Othniel, whom God raised up to fight Israel's battles, and plead their cause against the king of Mesopotamia, ver. 8-11. 3. Ehud, who was employed in rescuing Israel ont of the hands of the Moabites, and did it by stabbing the king of Moab, ver. 12--30. 3. hamgar wlio signalized him. self in a rencounter with the philistines, ver. 31.
IN this chapter we have an account of the deep dis. tresses the children of Israel were under for their idolatry and rebellion against the Lord, and of the mercy of the Lord in delivering them by the hands of judges whom be raised up for them. Israel in this case was a figure of the church of God in her militant fighting state, of the many backslidings she meets with, and the many distresses she is brought into, and that she has no deliverance till the Lord appear for her; for as the children of Israel dwelt amoug the Hivites, Canaanites, and Perizzites, so the church dwells among her enemies, and is often in sore distress by them: but as Israel was not to be destroyed, but only tried ; so the cburcb is not to be destroyed amidst all ber conflicts with sin, Satan, and the world, for the Lord will appear as their deli. verer and saviour.
The method in the history of Deborali and Balak, the heroes in this chapter, Deborah enconrageth bim, ver. 14. and God gives him a complete victory. The army routed, ver. 15, 16. The general forced to flee, ver. 17. And there where he expected shelter had his life stulen from him by Jael while he was asleep, ver. 18-21. which completes Barak's triampli, ver. 22. and Israel's deliverance, ver. 23, 24.
is the same with that before. Here is, 1. lsrael revolted from God, ver. 1. 2. Israel oppressed by Jabin, ver. 2, 3. S. Israel judged by Deborah, ver. 4,5. 4. Israel rescued out of the bands of Jabin. (i.) Their deliverance is concerted between Deborah and Barak, ver, .-9. (2.) It is accomplished by their joint agency. Barak takes the field, ver. 10. Sisera, Jabin's general, meets bim, ver. 12, 13.
THIS chapter affords us a view of the wonders of divine mercy, appearing for the Lord's distressed people, by the hands of Deborah and Barak. Deborah signifies a bee; to which name she answered in her labour, industry, and sagacity, in the agreeableness of advice to Israel, and in her sharpness or sting to her enemies. Barak signifies lightning; to which be answered in his going forth against the enemies of Israel, was swift like lightning, and destruca tive like a flame : for the time of Israel's redemption being come, the Lord was at no loss to raise up instruments to bring about his glory and his people's deliverance : thus " the Lord chooseth the weak things of the world to con. found the mighty."
This chapter is the triumphant song which was composed, and sung upon
occasion of that glorions victory which Israel obtained over the forces of Jabin, king of Cauaan, and the happy conseqaences of that victory. Probably it was asual then to publish poems upon such occasions, as now, but this only is preserved of all the poems of that age of the judges, because dictated by Deborah, a prophetess, designed for a psalm of praise then, and a pattern of praise to after-ages, and it gives a great deal of light to the history of those times. (1.) It begins with praise to God, ver. 2, 3. (2.) The substance of this song transmits the memory of this great atchievement. 1. Comparing God's appearances for them on this occasion, with his appearances to them on mount Sinai, ver. 4, 5. 2. Maguifying their deliverance from the consideration of the calamitous condition they had been in, ver. 6, 7, 8. 3. Calling those to join in praise that shared in the benefits of the success, ver. 9-13. 4. Reflecting honour upon those tribes that were forward and active in that war and disgrace on those that declined the service, ver. 14—19, 23. 5. Taking notice how God himself fought for them, ver. 90–92. 6. Celebrating particularly the honour of Jael, that slew Sisera, on which head the song is very large, ver. 24–30. (3.) It concludes with a prayer to God, ver. 31.
VER. 31. “ So let all thine enemies perish, O Lord !"] That is, as the enemies of Israel did; for this chapter contains a triumphant poetical song of praise and thanksgiving to God for the victory and deliverance which be had
wrougbt for Israel; and this song is full of a spirit of praise, elegance, and life, which is warmly and fervently expressed in praise to the Lord for his power: in which respect it may be emblematical of the song of redeeming love, the wonder and glory of which sball tune every heart and engage every tongue, and make every child of God to sing with the highest accents of love and gratitude the praises of redeening grace for ever and ever.
" But let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might.”]-That is, that love the Lord in his names, divine glories, and infinite perfections, in his blessings, presence, and proinises, be like the sun wbich goeth forth in his might.
Nothing that occurred in the quiet and peaceable times of Israel is recorded ;
the forty years rest after the conquests of Jabiu is passed over in
VER. 6. " And the children of Israel cried unto the Lord.”]-In the preceding verses we have an account of Israel's being in great distress by the Midianites, and that this distress was for their rebellion against the Lord : the Lord was pleased to remind his people of his former lovingkindness by the mouth of his propliet, and to appear as the angel of the covenant for their relief by raising up a deli. verer for them: which is figurative of the church's being often in deep distress by her enemies, and of the Lord's comforting Zion by his servants, the prophets, and his appearing for her deliverance.
Ver. 12, " And the angel of the Lord appeared unto him."]—Who this angel was, sce the note, chap. ii. l. Note, the presence of the Lord filletb the soul with holy fortitude and courage.- Ver. 13. The christian is so apt to