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Judges 10:6: Renewed Apostasy

[circa 1161 BC] Verse 6:[1] And (Judg. 2:11; 3:7; 4:1; 6:1; 13:1) the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and (Judg. 2:13) served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and (Judg. 2:12) the gods of Syria, and the gods of (1 Kings 11:33; Ps. 106:36) Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him.

[And they served idols] The Israelites were still prone to idolatry. The reasons for which were: 1. Because they were seeing neighboring idolatrous nations flourishing, but themselves pressed by need. 2. The multitude of the idolaters compared with the fewness of themselves. 3. The worship of God was stricter and graver: In it there were not theaters, dances, comedies or trajedies; which all were in the worship of the idols, indeed, often also lustful and filthy (Martyr).

[Baalim] That is, Gods (Bonfrerius).

[Ashtaroth] That is, Goddesses (Bonfrerius).

[And the gods of Syria] Belus[2] and Saturn; or, as it appears to others, Jove and Astarte, who also was called a Syrian Goddess: for the Syrians and Phœnicians were worshipping these with particular zeal (Bonfrerius). That And, in and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, appears to be exegetical; for the gods of Syria were called Baalim, and the gods of Zidon Ashtaroth (Drusius).

[Of Zidon] Astarte. See 1 Kings 11:33 (Menochius out of Serarius).

[And of Moab] Chemosh.[3] See 1 Kings 11:7, 33; Numbers 21:29; Jeremiah 48:7, 13 (Menochius out of Serarius).

[Of the sons of Ammon] That is, Molech,[4] 1 Kings 11:5, 7, 33; Jeremiah 49; Amos 1; and Chemosh, Judges 11:24 (Menochius out of Serarius).

[Of the Philistines] Dagon, Judges 16; 1 Samuel 5:2 (Menochius out of Serarius).

[And they did not worship Him] Not even with the other deities; as formerly the Samaritans were worshipping the true God, and also false gods with Him;[5] and in the time of the Kings the Israelites were serving the Baalim and God at the same time (Drusius).

And the children of Israel did evil again…and forsook the LORD: He shows how they grew worse and worse, and so ripened themselves for the ruin which afterward came upon them. Before they worshipped God and idols together; now they utterly forsake God, and wholly cleave to idols.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּסִ֣פוּ׀ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֗ל לַעֲשׂ֣וֹת הָרַע֮ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָה֒ וַיַּעַבְד֣וּ אֶת־הַבְּעָלִ֣ים וְאֶת־הָעַשְׁתָּר֡וֹת וְאֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֣י אֲרָם֩ וְאֶת־אֱלֹהֵ֙י צִיד֜וֹן וְאֵ֣ת׀ אֱלֹהֵ֣י מוֹאָ֗ב וְאֵת֙ אֱלֹהֵ֣י בְנֵי־עַמּ֔וֹן וְאֵ֖ת אֱלֹהֵ֣י פְלִשְׁתִּ֑ים וַיַּעַזְב֥וּ אֶת־יְהוָ֖ה וְלֹ֥א עֲבָדֽוּהוּ׃

[2] In Babylonian mythology, Bel-Marduk is the the sun-god and head of the pantheon.

[3] Chemosh is roughly equivalent to the Palestinian Baal.

[4] Like the title בעל/Baal/lord, מִלְכֹּם /Milcom and מֹלֶךְ/Molech are related to the language of kingship (מלךְ). Molech is associated with child-sacrifice.

[5] 2 Kings 17:24-41.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
Sep 01, 2018

Matthew Henry: 'While those two judges, Tola and Jair, presided in the affairs of Israel, things went well, but afterwards...

Israel returned to their idolatry, that sin which did most easily beset them (Judges 10:6): They did evil again in the sight of the Lord, from whom they were unaccountably bent to backslide, as a foolish people and unwise. 1. They worshipped many gods; not only their old demons Baalim and Ashtaroth, which the Canaanites had worshipped, but, as if they would proclaim their folly to all their neighbours, they served the gods of Syria, Zidon, Moab, Ammon, and the Philistines. It looks as if the chief trade of Israel had been to import deities from all countries. It is…

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