Judges 1:20: Caleb’s Faithfulness Remembered

Verse 20:[1] (Num. 14:24; Deut. 1:36; Josh. 14:9, 13; 15:13, 14) And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.

[They gave Hebron to Caleb] This is therefore repeated, because the wars of the Tribe of Judah were now related, of which Caleb was undoubtedly the leader (Martyr).

They gave Hebron unto Caleb, etc.: Above mentioned, Judges 1:10.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּתְּנ֤וּ לְכָלֵב֙ אֶת־חֶבְר֔וֹן כַּֽאֲשֶׁ֖ר דִּבֶּ֣ר מֹשֶׁ֑ה וַיּ֣וֹרֶשׁ מִשָּׁ֔ם אֶת־שְׁלֹשָׁ֖ה בְּנֵ֥י הָעֲנָֽק׃

Revelation 1:6a: The General Office of the Believer

Verse 6:[1] And hath (1 Pet. 2:5, 9; Rev. 5:10; 20:6) made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; (1 Tim. 6:16; Heb. 13:21; 1 Pet. 4:11; 5:11) to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

[And, etc., καὶ ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς βασιλεῖς, etc.] Here again the expression is like ἐσήμανεν, He signified, above,[2] for the copula with the Verb is in the place of a Participle: for the correct expression would have been ποιήσαντι[3] (Grotius). Others: It is an Ellipsis of the relative, καὶ ἐποίησεν, and He hath made, in the place of, ὃς καὶ ἐποίησεν, who also hath made (Pareus, Cotterius, thus Beza). Now, ὁ ποιήσας, the one who made, and ὃς ἐποίησε, who made, mean the same thing. Hence, ὁ ἀγαπήσας, the One who loved, and ὃς ἐποίησε, who made, cohere well (Cotterius). [Thus they translate it:] And who hath made us (namely, by renewal through the Holy Spirit [Piscator]) kings (that is, spiritual and heavely kings [Piscator, Zegers]: Christians are Kings, partly on account of victories over the Flesh, the World [Grotius, similarly Cotterius, Cluverus, Durham], Sin [Cotterius, Brightman], the Devil [Grotius, Piscator] and his servants [Piscator], Death [Brightman]; partly because by the Spirit they reign with God through their heavenly manner of life; partly by title and right, Psalm 149:9, because they will in the future be judges of the world, 1 Corinthians 6:2, and will reign with Christ [Durham]: or, a kingdom [Vulgate], because God rules in us [Pererius]: Two codices have βασιλείαν, a kingdom[4] [Pareus]: But βασιλεία/kingdom [is put] in the place of βασιλεῖς/kings, just as ἱεράτευμα/priesthood is put in the place of ἱερεῖς/priests, in 1 Peter 2:5, 9: Thus also Revelation 5:10[5] [Grotius]: But all other Codices, even that of Montanus, read βασιλεῖς/kings [Pareus]) and priests (spiritual priests [Piscator], because to God they offer themselves [Ribera, thus Piscator, Durham, Cotterius, Cluverus], an undefiled body [Grotius, Durham], Romans 12:1 [Durham]; and spiritual sacrifices [Cluverus], holy Prayers [Grotius, Cluverus, Durham], Praises, the Calves of the Lips [Durham, Cluverus], Hosea 14:2; Hebrews 13:15, oblations of righteousness, and a contrite heart, Psalm 51:14, 16, 17, alms, Philippians 4:18 [Cluverus], works of Piety and Mercy: More rightly, therefore, shall we make use of that saying of the Stoics, The wise man alone is priest; concerning which see Hierocles on that saying of the Golden Verse,[6] Ἀθανάτους μὲν πρῶτα—, the immortals, indeed the chiefs, etc.: Such a man, says Antonius’[7] Meditations 3, is ἱερεύς τις καὶ ὑπουργὸς Θεῶν, etc., a priest and servant of the gods, etc.: Similarly Justin in his Dialogue with Trypho [the words of which see in Grotius]: Also the Chaldean Paraphrast calls him a Priest [Grotius]: This phrase is taken out of Exodus 19:6 [Hammond], where in Hebrew it is, a Kingdom of Priests, or Priestly[8] [Hammond, thus Drusius], in the Septuagint, a Royal priesthood, as in 1 Peter 2:9[9] [Hammond] [on which place see what things are said]: Now, the Chaldean translators have Kings and Priests [Drusius, Hammond]: It signifies that they were a people distinctly separated from others and, as it were, consecrated to the worship of God, etc. [Hammond]) to God (with circumspection he added this, lest we should think that this honor was given to us to disturb civil or ecclesiastical polity [Brightman]; that is to say, We are not Kings with respect to creatures and impious men being made subject to us [Cotterius]; but to God, that is, for honor and obedience to God, not so that we might indulge the flesh, etc. [Cluverus, similarly Ribera]) and His Father (Beza, Piscator), that is, to God who is the Father of Christ (Menochius, thus Piscator). Here the καὶ/and is ἐξηγητικὸν/ exegetical (Grotius, thus Piscator), as in 1 Corinthians 15:24[10] (Piscator); 2 Corinthians 1:3;[11] 11:31;[12] Colossians 1:3;[13] 2:2;[14] 3:17;[15] etc. Concerning the matter itself we spoke on 1 Peter 2:5, 9 (Grotius). The sense of the passage: He who carried us from the uttermost ruin unto the highest honors, even as He Himself is equally King and Priest, so He exalted His body unto the joint possession of the same honor (Cluverus).

And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father: kings, to rule over our own appetite, and govern ourselves by the law of his word, to fight and conquer the world, the flesh, and the devil. Kings in a spiritual sense, for our kingdom is like his from whom we derive it, not of this world; therefore he adds, unto God, to the honour and glory of God, for his service, who is the Father of Christ. Priests, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God through the Beloved, 1 Peter 2:5; our bodies as a living sacrifice, Romans 12:1; part of our estates, Philippians 4:18; the sacrifice of praise, the fruit of our lips, Hebrews 13:15. So as all the privileges of the Jews, Exodus 19:6, belong to us, and that in a more eminent manner. Through Christ we also are a royal priesthood, a peculiar people.

[1] Greek: καὶ ἐποίησεν ἡμᾶς βασιλεῖς καὶ ἱερεῖς τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ αὐτοῦ· αὐτῷ ἡ δόξα καὶ τὸ κράτος εἰς τοὺς αἰῶνας τῶν αἰώνων. ἀμήν.

[2] Revelation 1:1:  “The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified (καὶ ἐσήμανεν ἀποστείλας) it by his angel unto his servant John…”

[3] Ποιήσαντι is a Dative participle.  Revelation 1:5b, 6a:  “Unto the One who loved (τῷ ἀγαπήσαντι, Dative participle) us, and washed (καὶ λούσαντι, Dative participle) us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made (καὶ ἐποίησεν, finite verb in the place of the expected Dative participle) us kings and priests unto God and his Father…”

[4] It is difficult to determine what two codices might be in view.  This reading is found in Codices Sinaiticus, Alexandrinus, and Ephræmi Rescriptus, and in a great many Byzantine manuscripts.

[5] Revelation 5:10:  “And hast made us unto our God kings and priests (βασιλεῖς καὶ ἱερεῖς, the reading in the Textus Receptus and the great majority of Byzantine manuscripts; βασιλείαν καὶ ἱερεῖς, a kingdom and priests, in Codex Alexandrinus):  and we shall reign on the earth.”

[6] Hierocles (fifth century AD) was a Platonic philosopher of Alexandria.  He wrote Commentarius in Aurea Pythagoreorum Carmina (Commentaries on the Golden Verses of Pythagoras).

[7] Marcus Aurelius Antoninus Augustus (121-180) was Emperor of Rome from 161 to 180.  He was also an important Stoic philosopher.

[8] Hebrew: מַמְלֶ֥כֶת כֹּהֲנִ֖ים.

[9] Greek: βασίλειον ἱεράτευμα.

[10] 1 Corinthians 15:24a:  “Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the kingdom to God and Father (τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρί)…”

[11] 2 Corinthians 1:3:  “Blessed be God, even the Father (ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ) of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father (ὁ πατὴρ) of mercies, and the God (καὶ Θεὸς) of all comfort…”

[12] 2 Corinthians 11:31:  “The God and Father (ὁ Θεὸς καὶ πατὴρ) of our Lord Jesus Christ, which is blessed for evermore, knoweth that I lie not.”

[13] Colossians 1:3a:  “We give thanks to the God and Father (τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ) of our Lord Jesus Christ…”

[14] Colossians 2:2b:  “…to the acknowledgement of the mystery of the God and Father (τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ πατρὸς), and of Christ…”

[15] Colossians 3:17b:  “…giving thanks to the God and Father (τῷ Θεῷ καὶ πατρὶ) by him.”

Judges 1:19: The Valley Campaign, Part 2

Verse 19:[1] And (Judg. 1:2; 2 Kings 18:7) the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain (or, he possessed the mountain[2]); but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had (Josh. 17:16, 18) chariots of iron.

[The Lord was with Judah] That is, He favored/supported him (Vatablus).

[And he possessed the mountains, וַיֹּ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָהָ֑ר] And he possessed the mountain (Pagnine, Montanus); therefore he drove out the mountainous regions (Vatablus, similarly Junius and Tremellius, Drusius), that is, the Canaanites that were then dwelling in the mountains (Vatablus). הוֹרִישׁ is of those that signify contrary things; to make an heir,[3] and to drive out of the inheritance.[4] Of which sort is בֵּרֵךְ, to bless[5] and to curse;[6] קוֹדֶשׁ, holy and polluted, Haggai 2:12[7] (Drusius).

[But he was not able to wipe out the inhabitants of the valley, etc.,כִּ֣י לֹ֤א לְהוֹרִישׁ֙ וגו״] Because not to drive out, etc. (Montanus, Grotius). There is an Ellipsis here of the finite verb, he was able. Thus, in Amos 8:4, ye that swallow up the poor, וְלַשְׁבִּית, and to cut down, that is, and think to cut down, the poor of the land (Glassius’ “Grammar” 681). Thus they supply, but not did he proceed to drive out (Junius and Tremellius). [Thus the difficulty vanishes, which is immediately to be treated. Others otherwise:] They did not destroy (Arabic); they certainly did not lay waste (Syriac); for not was he able to drive out (Pagnine, Tigurinus, Piscator, thus the Septuagint, Jonathan, Castalio, Osiander[8]). He was not able, that is, he did not have the courage (Piscator). Thus לֹ֤א לְהוֹרִישׁ֙, not to drive out, is left so that it might be construed in different ways, either, he was not willing, or, he was not able, or, he did not have the courage, to drive out (Lightfoot). Question: But if God was with the Judahites, why does he not permit the valleys and the mountains equally to Judah? Does God lack the means to overthrown chariots, etc.? Response 1: God did not always equally furnish His help to them, neither did He always equally grant a victory without casualties to them, whether on account of their scandalous acts, or to elicit their prayers, whereby it was happening that they were fearing that God might desert them (Bonfrerius). They were certainly able to drive them out, if God had been present with them: but a foolish fear, conceived on account of the chariots armed with scythes, and despairing of Divine help, was hindering God’s help to them (Menochius). God was unwilling that they should proceed further in the destruction of the Canaanites at this time, 1. Lest they, overly secure and wallowing in luxury, should forget God, and should be lifted up in pride (Bonfrerius). 2. He willed that they should be exercised by those nations, that they might not grow lethargic in leisure (Munster). 3. He willed to make trial of the Jews, how highly they would value their God, etc. 4. So that He might teach them the art of war. 5. So that wild animals might not multiply excessively (Martyr). And so, lest they should proceed further, God permitted them to be shaken by fear of the enemy and of the chariots armed with scythes, and to slip into unbelief (Bonfrerius). In the place of chariots, etc., the Septuagint in the Royal Codex has, because Rechab hindered them; and thus Theodoret[9] reads it, who thus explains: Rechab (Hobab by another name, the son of Jethro) persuaded the Judahites not to make war on the inhabitants of this valley adjacent to the sea, because he feared that the Jews, if they should possess the coastal regions, through naval commerce with the nations would be corrupted by them (Lapide). The fountain of the great evils here begins to be uncovered, their idleness, or mercy contrary to the law of God (Grotius): that they tolerated these nations, being forgetful of the commandments and promises of God, Joshua 13:6; 17:18 (Junius). Response 2: These words are set down by means of mimesis, and from the person of adversaries[10] (of which sort there are many in sacred and other books, as in 1 Corinthians 6, all things are lawful for me); that is to say, Because they were saying, or responding, or excusing, their idleness and unbelief by this pretext. For it was their ready and trite response, if one should ask why they had not driven them out; Because, say they, they abound in chariots armed with scythes (Montanus). [Concerning chariots armed with scythes see the things said on Joshua 17:16.]

But could not drive out, etc.: On account of their unbelief, whereby they doubted and distrusted God’s power to destroy those who had chariots of iron and so gave way to their own fear and sloth, whereby God was provoked to withdraw his helping hand from them, and so they were really made impotent, as they were unwilling. See Joshua 17:16.

[1] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֤י יְהוָה֙ אֶת־יְהוּדָ֔ה וַיֹּ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָהָ֑ר כִּ֣י לֹ֤א לְהוֹרִישׁ֙ אֶת־יֹשְׁבֵ֣י הָעֵ֔מֶק כִּי־רֶ֥כֶב בַּרְזֶ֖ל לָהֶֽם׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֖רֶשׁ אֶת־הָהָ֑ר.

[3] For example, Genesis 15:7:  “And he said unto him, I am the Lord that brought thee out of Ur of the Chaldees, to give thee this land to inherit it (לְרִשְׁתָּהּ).”

[4] For example, Deuteronomy 2:12:  “The Horims also dwelt in Seir beforetime; but the children of Esau succeeded them (יִירָשׁוּם, dispossessed them), when they had destroyed them from before them, and dwelt in their stead; as Israel did unto the land of his possession (יְרֻשָּׁתוֹ), which the Lord gave unto them.”

[5] For example, Genesis 12:2:  “And I will make of thee a great nation, and I will bless thee (וַאֲבָרֶכְךָ), and make thy name great; and thou shalt be a blessing (בְּרָכָה)…”

[6] For example, 1 Kings 21:13:  “And there came in two men, children of Belial, and sat before him:  and the men of Belial witnessed against him, even against Naboth, in the presence of the people, saying, Naboth did blaspheme (בֵּרַךְ, did bless) God and the king.  Then they carried him forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones, that he died.”

[7] Haggai 2:12:  “If one bear holy flesh (בְּשַׂר־קֹדֶשׁ) in the skirt of his garment, and with his skirt do touch bread, or pottage, or wine, or oil, or any meat, shall it be holy (הֲיִקְדָּשׁ)?  And the priests answered and said, No.”

[8] Lucas Osiander (1534-1604) was a Lutheran theologian.  He produced an edition of the Vulgate with supplemental annotations and corrections, inserting Luther’s translation in the places in which the Vulgate departs from the Hebrew.  He was also an accomplished composer of music.

[9] Theodoret (393-457) was bishop of Cyrus, and a significant participant in the Christological controversies of his age.  He was an advocate of Antiochian dyophysitism, or moderate Nestorianism, although he condemned the Nestorian affirmation of two Sons in Christ, and the Nestorian denial that Mary was Theotokos, that is, the Mother of God.  His orthodoxy was cleared at the Council of Chalcedon (451).  He wrote a commentary on the Octoteuch.

[10] In Rhetoric, Mimesis is the imitation or reproduction of the words of another.

Judges 1:18: The Valley Campaign, Part 1

Verse 18:[1] Also Judah took (Josh. 11:22) Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof.

[And he took Gaza, etc.] He had concluded the war in the eastern tract, and now he proceeds to the western (Bonfrerius). Question: How are these cities said to be captured, since the five satrapies of the Philistines are among the nations left for the proving of Israel, Judges 3? Responses: 1. The Greek version in the Roman Codex[2] adds the negative particle, and reads, he did not possess Gaza. Thus Josephus, Antiquities 5:2 (Bonfrerius). 2. They did not take the cities, but their borders, fields, and farms (Lyra in Tostatus). But this is contrary to the letter (Tostatus). 3. They did indeed take these cities, but the Philistines soon recovered them (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Martyr, similarly Junius, Estius, Menochius), because of the sins of Israel (Martyr). The Israelites do not appear to have ever possessed or inhabited them (Bonfrerius, Estius), but only to have made them tributaries (Estius). Objection: But it appears that they were not even now in the hand of the Israelites, because in Judges 3 it is said, He left the five satrapies of the Philistines, etc. Response: That was said before the capture, although it is set down later. It signifies that these were taken neither when Joshua was living, nor when the Angel was speaking (Tostatus). This passage confirms that matters conducted after the death of Joshua are here narrated, because among the cities that, with Joshua dying, were remaining to be conquered are enumerated Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron, Joshua 13 (Martyr). Question: How did Judah take Ekron, which belonged to the Danites, Joshua 19? Response: Notwithstanding he did this, so that he might weaken the strength of the enemies, who he knew were soon going to make war to recover the ruined cities (Bonfrerius).

Judah took Gaza, etc.: The principal cities of the Philistines. Question. How could this be, when among the people left to try Israel, are the five lords of the Philistines, Judges 3:3. Answer. It is only said that they took the cities, and probably contented themselves with making them tributary; but it is not said that they slew the people, as they ought to have done, and as it is said of the other cities here, Judges 1:5, 8, 17, 25. And the people being thus spared, did by God’s just judgment recover their strength, and expel the Jews out of their cities, as we find afterwards. It is further observable, that Ekron here taken was one of Dan’s cities, Joshua 19:43, and it was attempted and taken here by Judah and Simeon, partly out of love to their brother Dan, and partly to secure their new conquests, and other adjoining territories, from such potent neighbours.

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּלְכֹּ֤ד יְהוּדָה֙ אֶת־עַזָּ֣ה וְאֶת־גְּבוּלָ֔הּ וְאֶֽת־אַשְׁקְל֖וֹן וְאֶת־גְּבוּלָ֑הּ וְאֶת־עֶקְר֖וֹן וְאֶת־גְּבוּלָֽהּ׃

[2] The Roman or Sixtine Septuagint was published in 1587, under the direction of Cardinal Antonio Carafa and by authority of Pope Sixtus V.  It uses Codex Vaticanus as a base text.

Judges 1:16, 17: The Southern Campaign

[circa 1425 BC] Verse 16:[1] (Judg. 4:11, 17; 1 Sam. 15:6; 1 Chron. 2:55; Jer. 35:2) And the children of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city (Deut. 34:3) of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of (Num. 21:1) Arad; (Num. 10:32) and they went and dwelt among the people.

[Now, the children of the Kenite] That is, the descendants of the Kain, that is, Jethro the Kenite (Vatablus). It appears to be a cognomen of Jethro (Drusius). Thus he was named after his people, Numbers 24:21 (Junius)

Children of the Kenite, that is, of Jethro, so called from the people from whom he descended, Numbers 24:21, 22. And whatsoever he did, it is evident that his posterity came into Canaan with the Israelites, and were there seated with them. See Judges 4:11, 17; 5:24; 1 Samuel 15:6; 1 Chronicles 2:55.

[Kinsman of Moses] That is, by affinity[2] (Bonfrerius). Mention is made of these in this place among the affairs of Othniel, because they ever lived in the closest relationship with his family (Martyr). He treats of those Kenites that had attended Jethro, Judges 4:11. For otherwise this nation was among those condemned (Grotius).

[They went up] That is, they had joined themselves in that expedition of Judah (Junius).

[From the city of palms] Question 1: What then is this? Responses: 1. En-gedi, which was famous for its palm-groves, and thence had the name Hazezon-tamar, Genesis 14:7[3] (certain interpreters in Malvenda). 2. Jericho (Munster, Drusius, Grotius, Junius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Montanus’ Commentary, Martyr). See Deuteronomy 34:3. That entire place was planted with palm-groves, as is witnessed by Pliny in his Natural History[4] 5:15, Josephus in his Jewish Wars 5:4, and Strabo[5] in his Geography 16:763 (Drusius). Moses had promised to the Kenites journeying with him whatever was best, Numbers 10:29. Thence this place either was given to them by the Judahites; or was chosen by them, as the most pleasant and fertile, as Josphus testifies in his Antiquities 5:3, and as most secure from molestation by the Canaanites (since in it had been the camp of the Israelites at Gilgal for many years) (Bonfrerius). Question 2: How did they dwell in Jericho, which was now destroyed? Response: Perhaps it had been repaired, and was called the city of palms (Drusius). The city of palms was situated in the land of Jericho (Vatablus). Jericho is here set down in the place of the territory of that city (Menochius, similarly Bonfrerius, Grotius). Question 3: What is the reason why they might migrate from there into the desert, etc.? Responses: They assign a variety of causes here. 1. Because they were averse to this luxury and softer way of life, and were seeking seclusion, and quiet for contemplation (Bonfrerius). That is, From that time they were beginning the solitary and monastic life (Serarius, Tirinus). 2. So that they migh learn the Law from the tribe of Judah and Othniel (Rabbis in Lapide). But this was rather to be learned from the High Priest and Levites[6] (Lapide). 3. So that they might flee from fellowship with the Canaanites (certain interpreters in Munster), among whom they appear to have dwelt there (Drusius). 4. Because they were moved by the glory and happiness of the Tribe of Judah (Vatablus). 5. It was more pleasing to them to cohabit with the Tribe of Judah (Tostatus). The Tribe of the Judahites, liberal in character and habit, and more forward to foster friendships, where it settled for itself enough and more, provided for the Kenites the spaces without cites and suitable for flocks; thus consulting the interests of their friends and their own security (Montanus’ Commentary). 6. Because in the distribution of the land concerning the tribe of Judah they obtain by lot an inheritance, to which, with Hebron and Debir conquered, they went (Martyr out of Jonathan). Now, as to why they might lived hitherto around Jericho, since the Scripture does not relate the reason, I am content to remain ignorant (Martyr).

Out of the city of palm trees, that is, from Jericho, so called Deuteronomy 34:3; not the city, which was utterly destroyed; but the territory belonging to it, where it seems they were seated as in a most pleasant, and fruitful, and safe place, according to the promise made by Moses to their father, Numbers 10:31, 32, and whence they might remove, either to avoid the society or molestation of the neighbouring Canaanites; or out of love to the children of Judah, whom they went to; or to avoid temptations to luxury, and exercise themselves in self-denial and contempt of the present evil world, and the lusts thereof; as may be thought from Jeremiah 35:6, etc.; or for some other cause unknown to us at this distance.

[To the south of Arad] The sense is that the southern part of this desert was sloping toward Arad, and not that it was the southern desert with respect to Arad; for then it would follow that the land of Arad was within the land of Canaan: which is false, because Israelites that had not yet entered, but also those that were never going to enter, the land of Canaan, according to Numbers 14, nevertheless entered the domain of the King of Arad, Numbers 21. But that land of Arad was in the land of the Amalekites. And this harmonizes sufficiently: for the Kenites dwelt near the Amalekites, 1 Samuel 15 (Tostatus). Arad was a city, or a small region, near the Idumæans and Amalekites; in such a way that this desert was plainly on the extremities of Canaan (Bonfrerius). Arad was a city situated in the extreme limits of the South (Drusius). Nevertheless, they did not remain there perpetually, or at least not all, as it is evident from Judges 4, where they dwell near Kadesh, which was in the tribe of Naphtali, the most Northern of all (Bonfrerius).

In the south of Arad; in the southern part of the land of Canaan, where Arad was, Numbers 21:1.

[And they dwelt with him, וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב אֶת־הָעָֽם׃] And he went, and dwelt with the people (Montanus) [similarly the Septuagint and Jonathan, but in the plural, they dwelt, etc.]. In Hebrew the plural is changed into the singular (Bonfrerius). Departing, they dwelt with the people (Munster, Tigurinus). He proceeded, etc. (Pagnine). That is, the Prince of the Kenites (Vatablus). For he (that is, the Kenite [Drusius, Piscator]) had departed so that he might dwell with the people (Junius and Tremellius); see Numbers 10:29 (Junius). Question: With what people? Responses: 1. With the children of Judah (Vatablus, Tostatus, Bonfrerius). 2. With the people, that is, the Israelites (Grotius, Dutch). Thus we see that at that time a lot was given to proselytes, no less than to citizens (Grotius). Some thus translate it, For he (that is, the Kenite) was with them, and he had remained, or had dwelt, with the people, namely, Israel. See Numbers 10:29; 24:21, 22; 1 Samuel 15:6 (Dutch).

They went, that is, some of them, for others of them dwelt in the contrary quarter, in the most northern part of the land. Among the people; Hebrew, that people,[7] to wit, those children of Judah that lived there.


Verse 17:[8] (Judg. 1:3) And Judah went with Simeon his brother, and they slew the Canaanites that inhabited Zephath, and utterly destroyed it. And the name of the city was called (Num. 21:3; Josh. 19:4) Hormah.

Judah went with Simeon his brother, according to his promise, Judges 1:3, and the laws of justice and gratitude.

[And they smote the Canaanite in Zephath…and the name of the city was called Hormah] I think that the vow, made in Numbers 21 concerning the destruction of the cities of the King of Arad, is here fulfilled. This is shown, 1. by the ancient name of Arad being used here; 2. by the name Hormah: 3. it does not appear why they might compose this new anathema. Objection: But this place is called Zephath, not Arad. Responses: 1. It could have had two names. 2. There is able to be one name, namely, Zephath, of the city, and the other, that is, Arad, of the region, in which there are many cities, whence in Numbers 21 it is said, I will utterly destroy its cities, etc. 3. The name of Hormah was imposed upon the entire place; but he makes mention of Zephath, because it was the principal city, or the first conquered (Bonfrerius). Perhaps they anathematized this city, because they fought against Zephath, and were not able to prevail, but were defeated, etc. (Tostatus).

Hormah; either, 1. The same place so destroyed and called, Numbers 21:3, and so what was there vowed is here executed; or, 2. Some other place called by the same name upon the like occasion, which was frequent among the Hebrews. This seems more probable, 1. Because this was but one city, that divers cities, Numbers 21:2, 3. 2. Because that seems to have been done in Moses’s time, though interpreters generally think otherwise; of which see my notes there.

[1] Hebrew: וּבְנֵ֣י קֵינִי֩ חֹתֵ֙ן מֹשֶׁ֜ה עָל֙וּ מֵעִ֤יר הַתְּמָרִים֙ אֶת־בְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה מִדְבַּ֣ר יְהוּדָ֔ה אֲשֶׁ֖ר בְּנֶ֣גֶב עֲרָ֑ד וַיֵּ֖לֶךְ וַיֵּ֥שֶׁב אֶת־הָעָֽם׃

[2] That is, by marriage.

[3] Hazezon-tamar is here identified with En-gedi, which was on the western shore of the Dead Sea. חַצֲצֺן/Hazezon may be related to חָצַץ, to divide into swarms; תָּמָר/tamar, signifies palm-tree.

[4] Gaius Plinius Secundus, or Pliny the Elder (23-79), distinguished himself as a learned author, a celebrated Roman Procurator, and a courageous soldier.  In his Natural History, Pliny in encyclopedic fashion attempts to cover the entire field of human knowledge as it stood in his day.  It remains an invaluable resource in the fields of history, geography, literature, and Biblical studies.

[5] Strabo (c. 63 BC-c. 24 AD) was a Greek geographer and historian.

[6] See, for example, Leviticus 10:11; Deuteronomy 33:10; Malachi 2:7.

[7] Hebrew: הָעָם.

[8] Hebrew: וַיֵּ֤לֶךְ יְהוּדָה֙ אֶת־שִׁמְע֣וֹן אָחִ֔יו וַיַּכּ֕וּ אֶת־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֖י יוֹשֵׁ֣ב צְפַ֑ת וַיַּחֲרִ֣ימוּ אוֹתָ֔הּ וַיִּקְרָ֥א אֶת־שֵׁם־הָעִ֖יר חָרְמָֽה׃

Judges 1:11-15: The Romance of Othniel and Achsah

Verse 11:[1] (Josh. 15:15) And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjath-sepher…

[He went to Debir] Concerning this and the following verses see Joshua 15:15, 16, etc. For in this time after the death of Joshua this whole history happened (Malvenda, similarly Tostatus). It is set down in Joshua 15 by way of anticipation (Montanus). But Peter Martyr denies this. The contrary will be evident to the one diligently perusing Joshua 10 and 15; for then it would not have said, Joshua came at that time[2] (Martyr).


[1444 BC] Verse 12:[3] (Josh. 15:16, 17) And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjath-sepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.


Verse 13:[4] And Othniel the son of Kenaz, (Judg. 3:9) Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.

[Othniel the son of Kenaz] That is, of the posterity of Kenaz, after whom Caleb was called the Kenezite (Malvenda out of Junius).

[The younger brother of Caleb] Hebrew: the relative of Caleb, the least from him,[5] that is, from Kenaz. That is, of all those begotten of Kenaz that were surviving, the least in age, authority, and wealth: which is said in commendation of Caleb’s faith and Othniel’s strenuous activity (Malvenda out of Junius). The brother of Caleb, less than him, that is, his junior (Vatablus). Othniel was Caleb’s uncle (yet younger than he); for Othniel and Jephunneh, Caleb’s father, were brothers, and both were sons of Kenaz. See Numbers 32:12; 1 Chronicles 4:13-15 (Lightfoot).


Verse 14:[6] (Josh. 15:18, 19) And it came to pass, when she came to him, that she moved him to ask of her father a field: and she lighted from off her ass; and Caleb said unto her, What wilt thou?

[Whom proceeding, etc.] See this and the following verse explained on Joshua 15:18, etc. (Vatablus). [For there Bonfrerius’ copious observations are found.]


Verse 15:[7] And she said unto him, (Gen. 33:11) Give me a blessing: for thou hast given me a south land; give me also springs of water. And Caleb gave her the upper springs and the nether springs.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ מִשָּׁ֔ם אֶל־יוֹשְׁבֵ֖י דְּבִ֑יר וְשֵׁם־דְּבִ֥יר לְפָנִ֖ים קִרְיַת־סֵֽפֶר׃

[2] See Joshua 11:10, 21.

[3] Hebrew: וַיֹּ֣אמֶר כָּלֵ֔ב אֲשֶׁר־יַכֶּ֥ה אֶת־קִרְיַת־סֵ֖פֶר וּלְכָדָ֑הּ וְנָתַ֥תִּי ל֛וֹ אֶת־עַכְסָ֥ה בִתִּ֖י לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

[4] Hebrew: וַֽיִּלְכְּדָהּ֙ עָתְנִיאֵ֣ל בֶּן־קְנַ֔ז אֲחִ֥י כָלֵ֖ב הַקָּטֹ֣ן מִמֶּ֑נּוּ וַיִּתֶּן־ל֛וֹ אֶת־עַכְסָ֥ה בִתּ֖וֹ לְאִשָּֽׁה׃

[5] Hebrew: אֲחִ֥י כָלֵ֖ב הַקָּטֹ֣ן מִמֶּ֑נּוּ.

[6] Hebrew: וַיְהִ֣י בְּבוֹאָ֗הּ וַתְּסִיתֵ֙הוּ֙ לִשְׁא֤וֹל מֵֽאֵת־אָבִ֙יהָ֙ הַשָּׂדֶ֔ה וַתִּצְנַ֖ח מֵעַ֣ל הַחֲמ֑וֹר וַיֹּֽאמֶר־לָ֥הּ כָּלֵ֖ב מַה־לָּֽךְ׃

[7] Hebrew: וַתֹּ֙אמֶר ל֜וֹ הָֽבָה־לִּ֣י בְרָכָ֗ה כִּ֣י אֶ֤רֶץ הַנֶּ֙גֶב֙ נְתַתָּ֔נִי וְנָתַתָּ֥ה לִ֖י גֻּלֹּ֣ת מָ֑יִם וַיִּתֶּן־לָ֣הּ כָּלֵ֗ב אֵ֚ת גֻּלֹּ֣ת עִלִּ֔ית וְאֵ֖ת גֻּלֹּ֥ת תַּחְתִּֽית׃

Judges 1:10: The Mountain Campaign

Verse 10:[1] And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was [Josh. 14:15; 15:13, 14] Kirjath-arba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.

[And proceeding, etc., וַיֵּלֶךְ וגו״] And he went, etc. (Montanus, similarly Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Syriac). These things were narrated and exhibited in Joshua 15:14, etc.; for it is the same war, and the same expedition (Menochius, Cajetan in Bonfrerius, similarly Montanus’ Commentary). Now, they are repeated here, so that we might understand that it was not needful for the city of Hebron to be besieged by Judah, since that city was occupied while Joshua was yet living (Martyr). Therefore, they translate it, he had proceeded, etc. (Junius and Tremellius), he had smitten, etc. (Grotius, Junius and Tremellius), under the leadership of Caleb, while Joshua was living, Joshua 15:14. Thus immediately, he departed (Grotius). It is the sense of this passage that it ought to appear strange to no one, if Judah with Simeon so swiftly and easily conquered Bezek, Jerusalem, and other cities, since he previously did the like with the help of Caleb and Othniel (Montanus’ Commentary). Others otherwise: I think that these were diverse expeditions, and are thus to be referred, the former to Joshua, Joshua 10; 11, and the latter to Caleb, Joshua 15, although there by way of anticipation: the former is ascribed to Joshua and all Israel, the latter to Caleb and the Tribe of Judah. It is added that the order of the matters conducted requires this (Bonfrerius). I think that Hebron was first taken by Joshua, Joshua 10:36, 37, and that the giants were driven from there, Joshua 11:21, 22; that then it was delivered into the possession of Caleb, Joshua 14:13; 15:13, which nevertheless he himself never conquered; but under the leadership and auspices of His Tribe he drove out the giants from it again, whither they had found refuge again, having been driven out at the first by Joshua: and that this expedition is here described (Malvenda). Joshua had taken Hebron and Debir in the first or second year of the wars, Joshua 10:36, etc. Afterwards, about the seventh year of the wars, he drives out from the places the Canaanites that had in the meantime gathered there, Joshua 11:21. And, when he begins to distribute the land, he allots Hebron to Caleb, as in Joshua 14. Ten or twelve years have now elapsed after that allotting; with Caleb in the meantime either occupied with public business, concerning the division of the land, and the placement of each Tribe in its own possession; or (if he be left to his own strength) being unequal to such adversaries, until the entire Tribe of Judah under his auspices should make war, and conquer those cities (Lightfoot). Others otherwise: These matters were conducted after the death of Joshua, as it is evident from verse 1; but they are set down in Joshua 15 (likewise Joshua 10 and 11) by way of anticipation; since the cities of Judah are treated in Joshua 15, and the eminent cities in Joshua 10 and 11. And these things are imputed to Joshua, because they were done as if under his leadership, that is, just a little after him (Tostatus).

[And he smote Sheshai, etc.] Concerning these three see Joshua 15:14 (Malvenda), and Numbers 13:23 (Junius). See what things we have on Joshua 14:12 (Bonfrerius).

Judah went, under the conduct of Caleb, as it is recorded, Joshua 15:14, etc.; for that relation, and this here following, are doubtless one and the same expedition and war, as appears by all the circumstances; and it is mentioned either there by anticipation, or here by repetition. Of this and the following verses, see the notes there.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֵּ֣לֶךְ יְהוּדָ֗ה אֶל־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ הַיּוֹשֵׁ֣ב בְּחֶבְר֔וֹן וְשֵׁם־חֶבְר֥וֹן לְפָנִ֖ים קִרְיַ֣ת אַרְבַּ֑ע וַיַּכּ֛וּ אֶת־שֵׁשַׁ֥י וְאֶת־אֲחִימַ֖ן וְאֶת־תַּלְמָֽי׃

Judges 1:9: Judah’s Three Campaigns

Verse 9:[1] (Josh. 10:36; 11:21; 15:13) And afterward the children of Judah went down to fight against the Canaanites, that dwelt in the mountain, and in the south, and in the valley (or, low country[2]).

[Going down] Thus it is said, either, because Jerusalem was in an elevated position (Vatablus); or, because they were going Southward (Drusius); or, to go down (just as also to go up) signifies only to go (Bonfrerius).

[In the mountains] Where Hebron was, verse 10 (Junius).

[And to the south] Where Debir was, verse 11, and the Kenite, and Hormah, verses 16, 17 (Junius).

[And in the plains] Which they did not go on to occupy, as in verse 19. For this whole verse is proleptic (Junius).

[1] Hebrew: וְאַחַ֗ר יָֽרְדוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֔ה לְהִלָּחֵ֖ם בַּֽכְּנַעֲנִ֑י יוֹשֵׁ֣ב הָהָ֔ר וְהַנֶּ֖גֶב וְהַשְּׁפֵלָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וְהַשְּׁפֵלָה.

Judges 1:8: The (Re-?)Taking of Jerusalem

Verse 8:[1] Now (see Josh. 15:63) the children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem, and had taken it, and smitten it with the edge of the sword, and set the city on fire.

[Therefore, the children of Judah fighting against Jerusalem] Question 1: When was this done? Response 1: In the time of Joshua (Munster, Junius, Piscator, Vatablus, Martyr); whence the words are to be rendered in the pluperfect, they had stormed, etc. (Vatablus, Piscator, Malvenda out of Junius, Glassius,[2] Martyr). See Joshua 10; 15:63 (Munster). It is said that its king fell, and it is not likely that it, being without a King, was not attacked. Moreover, the children of Judah dwelt in Jerusalem, Joshua 15:63 (Bonfrerius). Now, these things are here commemorated, 1. αἰτιολογικῶς/ætiologically, so that it might appear on what occasion God preferred Judah to the other tribes; namely, because it was was more prudent than the rest, and more diligent in executing the Divine commandment: For in the Scriptures the sequence, not so much of times as of causes, is often observed (Junius). 2. So that he might show that they were easily able to lead Adoni-bezek captive there (Martyr). Response 2: Others think that Jerusalem was captured now, not previously (Malvenda, thus Lightfoot[3]). For, 1. these matters are narrated as having been conducted after the death of Joshua, verse 1. 2. The children of Judah are designated as the authors of this expedition, not Joshua, and not all Israel. 3. Because in the Book of Joshua nothing is indicated concerning the capture of Jerusalem (Bonfrerius). Moreover, mention was made of this assault, Joshua 15:63, proleptically, because the name of Jerusalem had fallen among the cities of the lot of Judah (Malvenda). Response 3: Others maintain that it was captured twice, previously by Joshua, now by the children of Judah (Serarius, Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius). It is likely that, while the Israelites held camp in Gilgal, and were occupied with the Northern campaign, but they were not yet holding any cities, Canaanites not a few, that had escaped, occupied certain cities, which afterwards had to be stormed again. It appears that this is to be said concerning Hebron and Debir, Joshua 10 (Bonfrerius). Question 2: Why was not Jerusalem stormed rather by the Benjamites, or those as allies in the war, since almost the entire lower city, which was Northward, Psalm 48, belonged to Benjamin? Responses: 1. This was done with the assent of the Benjamites (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius), even if the Scripture (which studies brevity) does not make mention of it (Bonfrerius). For these, distrusting their own strength, delivered the city to the Judahites to be stormed, as I said on Joshua 10 (Lapide), the terror of whom had already seized the Canaanites (Bonfrerius). 2. The city was twofold besides the citadel (whence also its name is dual in form), one of which was in the lot of Judah, the other in the lot of Benjamin in common with Judah, but the citadel belonged to Benjamin alone (Junius). The Southern Part belonged to Judah, but the Northern to Benjamin (Menochius). Therefore, the Judahites, even with the Benjamites being reluctant, were able to contend for their own portion, and to seize the entire lower city, since one part was not able to be assaulted without the other; especially since the enjoyment of the possession of that would come to the Benjamites. It is added that the entire force of the war presses toward the obtaining of the citadel, although at this time they were not able to get possession of it (Bonfrerius).

The children of Judah had fought against Jerusalem: To wit, in Joshua’s time; which though done before, may be here repeated, to show why they brought Adoni-bezek to Jerusalem, because that city was in their hands, having been taken before, as may be gathered from Joshua 15:63. And the taking of this city may be ascribed to the children of Judah rather than to Joshua, because the city was not taken by Joshua and the whole body of the army in that time when so many kings were destroyed, Joshua 10; 12, (for there is mention made of the destroying of the king of Jerusalem, Joshua 10:23; 12:10; but not a word of the taking of Jerusalem, as there is of the taking of Makkedah, and Libnah, and other cities belonging to the kings there mentioned, Joshua 10:28, etc.,) but by the children of Judah after they had received their lot, when at the desire and with the consent of the Benjamites, in whose lot Jerusalem fell, Joshua 18:28, they assaulted and took it, and thereby, as it seems, acquired the right of co-partnership with the Benjamites in the possession of that city. Though some think Jerusalem was twice taken; once in Joshua’s lifetime; and being afterwards recovered by the Canaanites, was now retaken by the children of Judah.

[Delivering to the flames] Hebrew: and the city they sent unto fire,[4] in the place of, and they sent fire into the city: It is a Hypallage (Vatablus, Drusius, Bonfrerius, Piscator, Glassius), or an inversion and transposition of the words, whereby it is said of the one thing what was to be said concerning the other (Glassius’ “Grammar” 738). Thus, in Psalm 74:7, they sent into fire the sanctuary;[5] in Leviticus 17:14, the blood of it is in its life,[6] in the place of, its life is in its blood. Similarly in Leviticus 7:21; 5:15; Job 17:4; Joel 3:18, the hills shall flow with milk, in the place of, milk shall flow through the hills. Thus Virgil, …dare classibus Austros, to give the South Winds to the fleet[7] (Drusius). Question: But why do they burn the city, which they were desiring soon to inhabit? Responses: Either, 1. in order to purify the more grievous abominations allowed in that city (just as it happened to Jericho,[8] Ai,[9] and Hazor,[10] as leaders in impiety). Or, 2. because God was gradually preparing that city, in which He had decided to locate His Temple and the capital of the Republic, by restoring it to that splendor (Bonfrerius out of Lapide). 3. It is hyperbolic speech, for part of it remained burned: Thus we say, the whole city goes to the spectacle, although the greater part stays behind (Lyra). It is evident that the entire city was not burnd, because in this book and in the Book of Joshua it is said to be inhabited by Judah, Benjamin, and the Jebusites (Martyr).

[1] Hebrew: וַיִּלָּחֲמ֤וּ בְנֵֽי־יְהוּדָה֙ בִּיר֣וּשָׁלִַ֔ם וַיִּלְכְּד֣וּ אוֹתָ֔הּ וַיַּכּ֖וּהָ לְפִי־חָ֑רֶב וְאֶת־הָעִ֖יר שִׁלְּח֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ׃

[2] Solomon Glassius (1593-1656) was a German Lutheran divine and critic.  He was Professor of Divinity at the University of Jena.  His Philologia Sacra was a groundbreaking work in Biblical Hebrew.

[3] John Lightfoot (1602-1675) was an English churchman and divine of such distinction and learning that he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster.  He specialized in Rabbinic learning and lore.  He brought that learning to bear in his defense of Erastianism in the Assembly and in his comments upon Holy Scripture.  He had a long and distinguished career at Cambridge, serving as Master of Catharine Hall, and later as Vice-chancellor of the University.

[4] Hebrew: וְאֶת־הָעִ֖יר שִׁלְּח֥וּ בָאֵֽשׁ׃.

[5] Hebrew: שִׁלְח֣וּ בָ֭אֵשׁ מִקְדָּשֶׁ֑ךָ.

[6] Hebrew: דָּמ֣וֹ בְנַפְשׁוֹ֮ הוּא֒.

[7] Æneid 3:61.

[8] Joshua 2; 5-7.

[9] Joshua 7; 8.

[10] Joshua 11.

Rutherford Reading Group: Lex Rex

Interested in working your way through Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex?  Let’s do it together!

Given the current political context, climate, and crisis, it has never been more important for Christians to come to sound, Biblical notions concerning public and political matters.  We have endeavored to master some of the basics together.

In order to develop and mature in this regard, to go beyond the basics, some serious study of the best literature on the subject is going to be necessary.  And certainly Samuel Rutherford’s Lex Rex is among the best and most advanced works on Christian Political Theory.

However, Lex Rex is also famously difficult; so, I am proposing that we form a reading group, so that we might work our way through it together, as a community of disciples, with all of the mutual help and enrichment of thought that community-life affords.

Basic structure of the Reading Group:  Lex Rex is divided in forty-four questions.  If we handle a question roughly a question per week, we should finish in about a year.  I will set up and moderate a discussion board, so that we can discuss in writing the ideas presented; but we can also schedule live discussion time (through gotomeeting.com) to work on the more difficult chapters (which will be most of them) together.  Let’s set a start date of January 8, 2018.

Currently, I am trying to gauge the interest in the reading group, so, if you are interested, please let me know right away (visit the page, and drop me an email at dildaysc@aol.com).