Judges 6:1: Renewed Sin and Oppression (now under Midian)

[circa 1256] Verse 1:[1] (Judg. 2:19) And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand (Hab. 3:7) of Midian seven years.

[They did evil] That is, Idolatry, antonomastically so called[2] (Lapide).

[Midian] These were the posterity of Midian, the son of Abraham, Genesis 25:2. But Midian was twofold: 1. near the Red Sea, where Jethro was, Exodus 2; 2. neighboring the Moabites. I understand this passage of the latter (Lapide, Bonfrerius). 1. The latter were closer to the Israelites: The former were separated from them by desert. 2. The latter were easterners, and western peoples had joined themselves with them, verses 3 and 33. 3. These alone were Transjordanian: Such were these, as it is evident from verse 33, and from Judges 7:24, 25; 8:4. Objection: But all those had been destroyed, Numbers 31:7. Responses: 1. Many of them either were hiding, or escaped by flight (Bonfrerius). At that time, many, fearing this slaughter, had already previously fled unto the neighboring nations, who afterwards returned to Midian (Lapide). But almost two hundred years had now passed since that slaughter: therefore, in that space of time that people was able to be increased again, especially since each man was able to have many wives (Bonfrerius). 2. With the region devastated by the Israelites, it is likely that many of the neighboring peoples fled there, so that they might inhabit it, who all were called Midianites after the name of the region (Bonfrerius out of Lapide). Therefore, these invaded Judea, and were slaughtered by Gideon (Lapide).

Midian: For although the generality of the Midianites had been cut off by Moses about two hundred years ago, yet many of them doubtless fled into the neighbouring countries, whence afterwards they returned into their own land, and in that time might easily grow to be a very great number; especially when God furthered their increase, that they might be a fit scourge for his people Israel when they transgressed.

[1] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲשׂ֧וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיִּתְּנֵ֧ם יְהוָ֛ה בְּיַד־מִדְיָ֖ן שֶׁ֥בַע שָׁנִֽים׃

[2] Antonomasia is a rhetorical device in which an epithet or phrase is used in the place of a proper noun, or a proper noun in the place of a generic idea.

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