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Judges 13:1: Israel's Oppression by the Philistines

[circa 1161] Verse 1:[1] And the children of Israel (Judg. 2:11; 3:7; 4:1; 6:1; 10:6) did evil again (Heb. added to commit evil[2]) in the sight of the LORD; (this seems a partial captivity) and the LORD delivered them (1 Sam. 12:9) into the hand of the Philistines forty years.


Did evil, that is, fell into idolatry, etc., not now after the death of Abdon the last judge, but in the days of the former judges.


[Forty years] From what time are these to be reckoned? Responses: 1. From the death of Abdon (Serarius, Cano in Lapide, Josephus in Bonfrerius). These years of servitude are to be separated from the years of the Judges (Serarius). This is not satisfying to others: The teaching of 1 Kings 6:1 is incompatible. In the next place, in Judges 15:20, Samson is said to have judged Israel for twenty years in the days of the Philistines, that is, with that Philistine servitude enduring (Bonfrerius, Lapide). For, although Samson frequently smote the Philistines, he did not remove their yoke from Israel (Lapide). 2. Twenty years of this servitude are to be referred to the preceding Judges, the latter twenty to the years of Samson [thus read, not of Samuel, as it is had by a manifest error of the Printer in Bonfrerius] (Bonfrerius, Lapide, Torniellus and Salian in Bonfrerius). Moreover, Samson, in his death, killed the Princes of the Philistines, etc.; whereby at that time he clearly broke their strength, and removed their yoke from Israel (Lapide, Bonfrerius). And, on account of this, the Israelites remained free unto the last days of Eli[3] (Montanus). 3. These forty years began from the fourteenth of Jair,[4] and ended at the marriage of Samson, when he first smote the Philistines (Junius). These interpreters appear to be moved to the assertion of this, because in Judges 10:7 the Israelites are said to have been delivered into the hands of the Philistines and Ammonites. But this does not appear to have happened until after the death of Jair (Malvenda). 4. Others attribute twenty years to the principate of Samson, and twenty years to the principate of Eli (thus Lyra and Tostatus and Genebrard and Eusebius in Bonfrerius). These are refuted by the words in Judges 13:5, he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hand of the Philistines. Therefore, this appearance of the Angel, and announcement concerning the birth of Samson, happened after the servitude began (Bonfrerius). And so he was born so that he might cast off this servitude. Add the nineteen years of his life before he became Judge, and the twenty years in which he was Judge, and you will have the forty years of servitude (Lapide).


Forty years, to be computed not from Abdon’s death, but before that time, as is evident both from verse 5, where it is declared that Israel was under the power of the Philistines; and from Judges 15:20, where only twenty of these years are said to have been in Samson’s days. And it is probably conceived, that that great slaughter of the Ephraimites made by Jephthah did greatly encourage the Philistines to rise against Israel, when one of their chief bulwarks was so much weakened; and therefore that the Philistines began to domineer over them not long after Jephthah’s death.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּסִ֙פוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיִּתְּנֵ֧ם יְהוָ֛ה בְּיַד־פְּלִשְׁתִּ֖ים אַרְבָּעִ֥ים שָׁנָֽה׃


[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּסִ֙פוּ֙—לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הָרַ֖ע.


[3] See 1 Samuel 4.


[4] See Judges 10:3-5.

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Dr. Dilday
Dr. Dilday
15 พ.ย. 2561

Matthew Henry: 'The first verse gives us a short account, such as we have too often met with already, of the great distress that Israel was in, which gave occasion for the raising up of a deliverer. They did evil, as they had done, in the sight of the Lord, and then God delivered them, as he had done, into the hands of their enemies. If there had been no sin, there would have needed no Saviour; but sin was suffered to abound, that grace might much more abound. The enemies God now sold them to were the Philistines, their next neighbours, that lay among them, the first and chief of the nations which were devoted to destruction, but whic…

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