Judges 10:11-13: God's Covenant Faithfulness; Israel's Treachery

Verse 11:[1] And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you (Ex. 14:30) from the Egyptians, and (Num. 21:21, 24, 25) from the Amorites, (Judg. 3:12, 13) from the children of Ammon, (Judg. 3:31) and from the Philistines?


[To whom the Lord said, etc.] Understand, through a Prophet (Munster, Vatablus). An Aposiopesis,[2] to express the force of the Divine anger (Vatablus).


The Lord said; either by himself, the Son of God appearing in a visible shape, which then was usual; or by some prophet whom he raised and sent to this purpose; or by the high priest, who was consulted in the case.


[Did not the Egyptians and Amorites and sons of Ammon, etc.?הָלֺ֤א מִמִּצְרַ֨יִם֨ וגו״ וְצִידוֹנִ֤ים וַֽעֲמָלֵק֙ וּמָע֔וֹן לָחֲצ֖וּ אֶתְכֶ֑ם וַתִּצְעֲק֣וּ אֵלַ֔י וָאוֹשִׁ֥יעָה אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִיָּדָֽם׃] [The construction is difficult, which they have expounded in various ways.] Verse 11: Not from the Egyptians and the Amorite and the sons of Ammon and the Philistines? Verse 12: In addition, the Zidonians and Maonites oppressed you (Pagnine, similarly Montanus). This translation contains obscurity (Dieu). Others thus: Verse 11: Did not those of the Egyptians, etc. Verse 12: and of the Zidonians and of the Amalekites, and the man Maon, afflict you, etc.? (Jonathan). Others thus: Verse 11: Were there not from Egypt, and from the Amorite, etc. Verse 12: and the Zidonians and Amalek and Midian [therefore, Castalio is mistaken, who in the place of Maon says that the Greek has Canaan], those that troubled you? And ye cried, etc. (Septuagint). Others thus: Was it not so that by the Egyptians, understanding, ye were afflicted? (Munster), etc. Verse 12: …Amalek and the men of Maon afflicted you (Munster). Or, Verse 11, Was it not so that from the Egyptians, etc., understanding, I delivered you? (Vatablus, English). Verse 12: And the Zidonians…and the Maonites oppressed you (English). Others thus: Verse 11: Is it not so that from the Egyptians, etc. Verse 12: the Zidonians also and the Amalekites and the natives oppressing you, when ye cried unto me, then I saved you from their hand? (Junius and Tremellius). לָחֲצוּ, they oppressed, they translate by a participle, oppressing, as if it were אֲשֶׁר לָחֲצוּ (who were oppressing) (Piscator). Then מִמִּצְרַיִם, from the Egyptians, in verse 11, they place in construction with וָאוֹשִׁיעָה, and I delivered you, at the end of verse 12. Which construction those things that come between render exceedingly harsh (Dieu). [Others translate by the nominative.] Verse 11: Did not the Egyptians… Verse 12: …afflict, or oppress, you? (thus Tigurinus, Syriac, Arabic, Dieu, the Vulgate and Septuagint according to Dieu [how rightly, he himself may see; for the Septuagint does not render it by the nominative, as it will be evident to one inspecting]). Nothing is more common among the Arabs, than that מִן/from forms the nominative. But also among the Hebrews the same is found to be elsewhere, as in Pirke Aboth[3] 4, אֵין בְיָדֵינוּ מִשַׁלְוַת רְשָׁעִים וְאַף לֺא מִיִסוּרֵי הַצַּדִּיקִים, that is, in our hands is neither the prosperity of the wicked, nor the punishments of the righteous: that is, We are able to carp at nothing here, and so neither does it belong to us to carp at anything here. Nevertheless, if anyone should wish מִן to mean from, he might more closely translate it; Verse 11: Did not they of the Egyptians… Verse 12: and the Zidoniansand the Maonites oppress you, etc.? מִן/from among the Hebrews is often a partitive particle: as when the Hebrews say,מֵהֶם עֲשִׁירִין וּמֵהֶם רָשִׁים, of them the rich, and of them the poor; that is, some of them are rich, some poor. Which expression is also common in the New Testament, as in Matthew 23:34, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν μαστιγώσετε, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῶν ἀποκτενεῖτε, and of them shall ye scourge, and of them ye shall kill: where both the Syriac and Arabic have, of them, that is, certain of them: for this is an exceedingly common expression in all eastern tongues. And so, those of the Egyptians and of the Amorites, are in this place the armies of the Egyptians and Amorites (Dieu). God here recalls diverse benefits by way of reproach. He names here seven nations, from whose oppressions He delivered them (Bonfrerius).


[The Egyptians] In Exodus 12, and elsewhere (Serarius).


[And the Amorites] In Judges 1:34 (Serarius). But this affliction was only of the one Tribe of Dan; and they were not delivered from it, but were forced to seek other settlements, Judges 18. I would prefer to refer it to the victories reported over Sihon and Og, Numbers 21, and that other one in Joshua 10 (Bonfrerius).


The Amorites; both Sihon and Og, and their people, Numbers 21, and other kings of the Amorites within Jordan, Joshua 10:5.


[And the children of Ammon] In Judges 3:13 (Serarius). The Ammonites had joined themselves to Eglon, King of Moab, as allies. Under the Ammonites it is likely that the Moabites are to be comprehended, inasmuch as consanguinity was nearly always joining them together in their expeditions (Bonfrerius).


The children of Ammon were confederate with the Moabites, Judges 3:13, 14.


[And the Philistines] Judges 3:31 (Serarius, Bonfrerius).


The Philistines. See Judges 3:31.


Verse 12:[4] (Judg. 5:19) The Zidonians also, (Judg. 6:3) and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, (Ps. 106:42, 43) did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand.


[The Zidonians also] But we read of no defeated inflicted by these. Responses: 1. Even from this very passage it is able to be established with sufficient probability that not all the afflictions of the people, nor all the victories won over enemies, are commemorated by Scripture (Bonfrerius). 2. The oppression of the King of Mesopotamia is not able to be regarded here, Judges 3 (Tostatus, Bonfrerius, Serarius), who, as a Syrian, and the King of the Syrians, would have carried along other Syrians, and especially the Syro- phœnicians and Zidonians, with him to war (Bonfrerius). The Zidonians are called by the more general name of Syrians, Judges 3 (Serarius). Add that the Zidonians are reckoned among those peoples that God left so that He might punish Israel, Judges 3:3 (Bonfrerius, Tostatus).


The Zidonians also; for though we do not read of any oppression of Israel, particularly, by the Zidonians, yet there might be such a thing; as many things were said and done, both in the Old and New Testament, which are not recorded there; or they might join their forces with the king of Mesopotamia, Judges 3:8, or with some other of their oppressors; for it is certain these were left among others to prove Israel, Judges 3:1-3.


[And Amalek] Judges 3:13; 6:3 (Serarius); Exodus 17 (Bonfrerius).


Of the Amalekites, see Judges 3:13; 6:3.


[And Canaan] Numbers 21; Joshua 11; Judges 4 (Bonfrerius). But in the Hebrew it is וּמָעוֹן, and Maon [which they render variously]. And Maon (Tigurinus, Montanus). The man Maon (Jonathan in Bonfrerius), so that it might be the proper name of a man (Bonfrerius). The men of Maon (Munster, Jonathan in Drusius), that is, the citizens and inhabitants (Drusius). The Maonites (Pagnine, English). It is the proper name of a certain people (Cajetan, Clario, Mercerus, Montanus’ Commentary, the Spanish translation in Malvenda). Some maintain that they are those who in 1 Chronicles 4:41[5] and 2 Chronicles 26:7 are called Mehunim (certain interpreters in Drusius); מְעוּנִים/Mehunim, which Jerome by metathesis took in the place of עַמּוֹנִים/Ammonim (Bonfrerius). In both places the Greeks rendered it Minæans. The Minæans were peoples of Arabia, known from Strabo’s Geography 16, and Diodorus Siculus’ Historical Library 3:123, who expressly affirm that they had trade with the Jews. Others understand the inhabitants of the city and region of Baal-meon beyond Jordan, Numbers 32:38 (Malvenda). Others understand the Midianites (thus the Septuagint, Montanus’ Commentary, Serarius). For among these enemies the Midianites do not at all appear to have been omitted (Serarius). But the Midianites were able to be understood under the Amalekites, from Judges 6:3 (Malvenda). [In the place of Maon the Syriac has Ammon; the Arabic Version omits it.] Others: and the natives; Hebrew, men of the habitation; that is, the nations of that land which ye inhabit, the rest of the Canaanites (Junius). Maon sounds like habitation[6] (Drusius).


Maonites; either, first, Those who lived in or near the wilderness of Maon, in the south of Judah, 1 Samuel 23:25; 25:2, whether Edomites or other. Or, secondly, The Mehunims, a people living near the Arabians, of whom 2 Chronicles 26:7. For in the Hebrew the letters of both names are the same, only the one is the singular, the other the plural number. Or, thirdly, The Midianites, whose oppression he would not omit; it being usual for one and the same person or persons to have two names; although the Midianites may be comprehended under the Amalekites, with whom they were joined, Judges 6:3, 33. Or, fourthly, Some other people now unknown, and not expressed elsewhere in Scripture.


Verse 13:[7] (Deut. 32:15; Jer. 2:13) Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more.


[I will deliver you no more] Understand this under a condition, unless you completely repent (Bonfrerius). According to the state and condition in which they were at that time, He says that He is not going to deliver them. The penitence of the people had not yet come to the point that He was desiring. God does not change His, but He will them to be changed more and more (Martyr).


I will deliver you no more: To wit, except you repent in another manner than you yet have done; which when they performed, God suspends the execution of this threatening. Compare Jeremiah 18:7.

[1] Hebrew: וַ֥יֹּאמֶר יְהוָ֖ה אֶל־בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל הֲלֹ֤א מִמִּצְרַ֙יִם֙ וּמִן־הָ֣אֱמֹרִ֔י וּמִן־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וּמִן־פְּלִשְׁתִּֽים׃


[2] That is, a sudden breaking off of speech.


[3] Pirke Aboth is a Mishnaic tractate, which treats of the ethical teachings and sayings of the Rabbis.


[4] Hebrew: וְצִידוֹנִ֤ים וַֽעֲמָלֵק֙ וּמָע֔וֹן לָחֲצ֖וּ אֶתְכֶ֑ם וַתִּצְעֲק֣וּ אֵלַ֔י וָאוֹשִׁ֥יעָה אֶתְכֶ֖ם מִיָּדָֽם׃


[5] 1 Chronicles 4:41a: “And these written by name came in the days of Hezekiah king of Judah, and smote their tents, and the habitations (הַמְּעִינִים [Kethib], הַמְּעוּנִים [Qere]) that were found there, and destroyed them utterly unto this day, and dwelt in their rooms…”


[6] מָעוֹן/Maon can signify habitation.


[7] Hebrew: וְאַתֶּם֙ עֲזַבְתֶּ֣ם אוֹתִ֔י וַתַּעַבְד֖וּ אֱלֹהִ֣ים אֲחֵרִ֑ים לָכֵ֥ן לֹֽא־אוֹסִ֖יף לְהוֹשִׁ֥יעַ אֶתְכֶֽם׃

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Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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