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1 The people bewail the desolation of Benjamin.
8 By the destruction of Jabesh-gilead they provide them four
16 They advise the remainder to surprise the virgins that
danced at Shiloh.
- had sworn.
* Jud 20:1,8,10 Jer 4:2
* :5; 11:30,31 1Sa 14:24,28,29 Ec 5:2 Mr 6:23 Ac 23:12 Ro 10:2
- his daughter.
* Ex 34:12-16 De 7:2,3
- the house.
* :12; 20:18,23,26 Jos 18:1
* Jud 2:4 Ge 27:38 1Sa 30:4
- why is.
* De 29:24 Jos 7:7-9 Ps 74:1; 80:12 Pr 19:3 Isa 63:17 Jer 12:1
- rose early.
* Ps 78:34,35 Ho 5:15
- built there.
* Jud 6:26 Ex 20:24,25 2Sa 24:18,25 1Ki 8:64 Heb 13:10
- a great oath.
* :1,18; 5:23 Le 27:28,29 1Sa 11:7 Jer 48:10
- repented them.
* :15; 11:35; 20:23 2Sa 2:26 Ho 11:8 Lu 19:41,42
* :1,18 1Sa 14:28,29,45
This place, as its name imports, was situated in Gilead, east
of Jordan. Eusebius and Jerome say it was a great town in
their time, standing upon a hill, six miles south from Pella,
in the way to Geresa, now Djerash. The Wady Yabes, mentioned
by Burckhardt, which empties itself into the Jordan, in the
neighborhood of Bisan or Beth-shan (see 1 Sa 11 31:11,) and upon
which Pella was situated, (celebrated by Pliny, 1. v. c. 18,
for its fine waters,) seems to have taken its name from
Jabesh. Near this spot, we must therefore look for its site;
and the place called Kalaat Rabbad seems to correspond, very
nearly, to the spot; though it probably still retains among
the Arabs its ancient name.
* 1Sa 11:1-3; 31:11-13 2Sa 2:5,6
- Go and smite.
As they had sworn to destroy those who would not assist in the
war (ver. 5,) they determined to destroy the men of Jabesh,
and to leave none except the virgins; and to give these to the
600 Benjamites who had escaped to the rock of Rimmon. The
whole account is dreadful. The crime of the men of Gibeah was
of the deepest dye; the punishment involving both the guilty
and innocent, was extended to the most criminal excess, and
their mode of remedying the evil they had occasioned was
* :5; 5:23 De 13:15 Jos 7:24 1Sa 11:7; 15:3
- every male.
* Nu 31:17,18 De 2:34
- hath lain by man. Heb. knoweth the lying with man.
- virgins. Heb. women, virgins. Shiloh.
* Jud 20:18,23 Jos 18:1 Ps 78:60 Jer 7:12
- to speak. Heb. and spake and called. the rock Rimmon.
* Jud 20:47 Jos 15:32
- call peaceably. or, proclaim peace.
* De 20:10 Isa 57:19 Lu 10:5 Eph 2:17
- sufficed them not.
* :12; 20:47 1Co 7:2
- repented. See on ver.
- a breach.
* 1Ch 13:11; 15:13 Isa 30:13; 58:12
- an inheritance.
* Nu 26:55; 36:7
- sworn. See on ver.
* :1; 11:35
- a feast.
* Ex 23:14-16 Le 23:2,4,6,10,34 Nu 10:10; 28:16,26; 29:12
* De 16:1,10,13 Ps 81:3 Joh 5:1; 7:2
- yearly. Heb. from year to year. on the east side. or,
toward the sun rising. of the highway. or, on. Lebonah.
Maundrell supposes, that either Khan Leban, which is situated
on the eastern side of a "delicious vale," four leagues south
from Shechem, and two leagues north from Bethel, or the
village of Leban, which is on the opposite side, occupies the
site of the ancient Lebonah. It is eight hours, or about 24
miles, from Jerusalem, according to Dr. Richardson.
* Jud 11:34 Ex 15:20 1Sa 18:6 2Sa 6:14,21 Ps 149:3; 150:4 Ec 3:4
* Jer 31:13 Mt 10:17 Lu 17:25
- Be favorable unto them. or, Gratify us in them.
* Phm 9 1:9-12
- each man.
* :14 Ge 1:27; 7:13 Mr 10:6-8 1Co 7:2
- give unto.
* :1,7,18 Pr 20:25
- and they went.
It appears that the Benjamites acted in the most honorable
way to the women they had thus violently carried off, and we
may rest assured, that they took them to an inheritance more
than equal to their own. But this transaction, as well as the
indiscriminate massacre of the people of Jabesh-gilead, as Dr.
Gray observes, was certainly stamped with injustice and
cruelty; and must be condemned on those principles which the
Scriptures elsewhere furnish.
* Jud 20:48
* Jud 17:6; 18:1; 19:1
* Jud 18:7 De 12:8 Ps 12:4 Pr 3:5; 14:12 Ec 11:9 Mic 2:1,2
CONCLUDING REMARKS ON THE BOOK OF JUDGES.
The book of Judges forms an important link in the history of the
Israelites. It furnishes us with a lively description of a
fluctuating and unsettled nation; a striking picture of the
disorders and dangers which prevailed in a republic without
magistracy; when "the high-ways were unoccupied, and the
travellers walked through by-ways," (ch. 6 5:6;) when few prophets
were appointed to control the people, and "every one did that
which was right in his own eyes." (ch. 6 17:6.) It exhibits the
contest of true religion with superstition; and displays the
beneficial effects that flow from the former, and the miseries
and evil consequences of impiety. It is a most remarkable
history of the long-suffering of God towards the Israelites, in
which we see the most signal instances of his justice and mercy
alternately displayed: the people sinned, and were punished;
they repented, and found mercy. These things are written for
our warning: none should presume, for God is just; none need
despair, for God is merciful. Independently of the internal
evidence of the authenticity of this sacred book, the
transactions it records are not only cited or alluded to by
other inspired writers, but are further confirmed by the
traditions current among heathen nations.
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