Judges 3:19-22: Ehud, Part 2

Verse 19:[1] But he himself turned again (Josh. 4:20) from the quarries (or, graven images[2]) that were by Gilgal, and said, I have a secret errand unto thee, O king: who said, Keep silence. And all that stood by him went out from him.

[And having returned from Gilgal, where the idols were,מִן־הַפְּסִילִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶת־הַגִּלְגָּ֔ל[3]] From the stone-quarries that are near Gilgal, or, in Gilgal (Junius and Tremellius, Pagnine, English, Drusius, Vatablus, Kimchi in Drusius). Perhaps he understands those stones that Joshua set up in Gilgal, Joshua 4:20. But it is not said that those stones were hewn, neither was there any reason why they might carve them. And it is more probable that unpolished stones, of which sort had been removed from Jordan, were set up, because that was more serviceable for the renewal of the memory of the crossing of Jordan (Piscator). From the hewers that were with Gilgal (Montanus). With is often put in the place of in the presence of; There is abundance of joy with thy face, Psalm 16:11, that is, before thy face[4] (Drusius). Others: from the images, or sculptures (the place of sculptures [Munster]) before, or in, Gilgal (Septuagint, Jonathan, Tigurinus, Castlio, Dutch, Piscator). Now, idols were able to have been set up there, either, in contempt of the Hebrews, because the Ark has remained there, and circumcision was celebrated (Martyr); therefore, they wished to profane this place: or, so that there they might invoke their gods to subjugate the land to them; for at Gilgal they were at its entry point (Lapide). Now, he is turned back, as if he had forgotten something, or something unexpected had happened in the way (Menochius).

He turned again, as if he had forgot and neglected some important business. From the quarries; either, first, Whence they hewed stones. Or, secondly, The twelve stones which Joshua set up there; by the sight whereof he was animated to his work. Or, thirdly, The idols, as the word also signifies, which that heathen king might place there, either in spite and contempt to the Israelites, who had that place in great veneration; or that he might ascribe his conquest of the land to his idols, as the Israelites did to the true God, by setting up this monument in the entrance or beginning of it.

[He commanded silence] He said, הָס, Be silent (Montanus, Vatablus, Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator), while those that attend me depart (Junius, Piscator, Vatablus). He was unwilling that the secrets be shared with others standing by. He is speaking to Ehud, not to his courtiers (Bonfrerius). Come up (Jonathan). He says to those that were belonging to him, Go out (Arabic, similarly the Syriac).

Keep silence till my servants be gone; whom he would not have acquainted with a business which he supposed to be of great and close importance.

 

Verse 20:[5] And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour (Heb. a parlour of cooling;[6] see Amos 3:15), which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat.

[In a summer upper chamber (thus the Septuagint, Junius and Tremellius, Jonathan, Drusius), בַּעֲלִיַּ֙ת הַמְּקֵרָ֤ה] In an upper chamber of cooling (Junius, Piscator, Munster, Montanus, Drusius), מְקֵרָה/cooling, from קָרַר, to be cold (Munster, Drusius). Just like מְגִלָּה/scroll, from גָּלַל, to roll; and מְחִתָּה/ruin, from חָתַת, to be shattered (Drusius). Others: in an upper roomed furnished with a ceiling, from קוֹרָה/rafter (certain interpreters in Munster). In an upper chamber that had been prepared for him[7] (Syriac, Arabic).

A summer parlour: They had divers houses and chambers, some for winter, others for summer. See Jeremiah 36:22; Amos 3:15. Which he had for himself alone; into which he used to retire himself from company; which is mentioned as the reason why his servants waited so long ere they went in to him, Judges 3:25.

[I have a word of God for thee[8]] He says this, so that so might compel the man to be moved, stricken either with religion or fear, or roused with admiration and joy. Now, with deliberation he makes use, not of that name of God that was peculiarly sacred to the Israelites [that is, Jehovah], but that which all nations were venerating, namely, Elohim (Montanus’ Commentary). Which is a general name, and also attributed to idols. So that he might deceive the King, he spoke in this way (Martyr). Eglon was able to persuade himself that Ehud had received an oracle from his frenzied gods (Bonfrerius). Question: Whether Ehud lied here? Response: Not at all; but by a word he understands a deed, in the Hebrew manner of speech: which is to say, I have something to say to thee, that is, to do, namely, that I might kill thee; for God suggests and commands this to me (Lapide on verse 19 out of Augustine). Moreover, although he does not depart from the signification of the words, nevertheless he lies, since he said so that he might deceive him (Martyr in this place and on verse 19). It is not the case that the things anxiously done and said by the Saints in Scripture might be excused from officious and venial lying (Bonfrerius on verse 19), because both Philosophers and Theologians have thought this to be allowed to them in such a case and necessity (Lapide on verse 19).

I have a message, to be delivered not in words, but by actions; Hebrew, a word, or thing, or business.[9] So that there is no need to charge Ehud with a lie, as some do. From God: this he saith to amuse him, by raising his expectation and wonder, to divert him from any apprehension of his danger, and to oblige him to rise out of his seat, which he knew he would do from the common practice of the heathens in their intercourses with God. And he designedly useth the name Elohim, which was common to the true God and false ones, and not Jehovah, which was peculiar to the true God, because Eglon not knowing whether the message came not from his own false god, he would more certainly rise, and thereby give Ehud more advantage for his blow; whereas he would possibly show his contempt of the God of Israel by sitting still to hear his message.

[He arose from the throne] Having a regard, either for the Prophet (Grotius), or the word of God. See Numbers 23:18; 2 Kings 23:3 (Piscator out of Junius, Malvenda).

He arose out of his seat, in token of humble subjection and reverence to God; see Numbers 23:18; 2 Kings 23:3; which condemns those Christians that behave themselves irreverently in the presence and service of the true God.

 

Verse 21:[10] And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly…

 

Verse 22:[11] And the haft also went in after the blade; and the fat closed upon the blade, so that he could not draw the dagger out of his belly; and the dirt came out (or, it came out at the fundament[12]).

[That the handle followed the sword (similarly Pagnine, Tigurinus, Vatablus), וַיָּבֹ֙א גַֽם־הַנִּצָּ֜ב אַחַ֣ר הַלַּ֗הַב] And the handle (haft [Munster]) also went in after the blade (Montanus, Munster, Tigurinus), after the point (Junius and Tremellius), after the flame (Septuagint). לַהַב signifies this, and thence whatever gleams/shines and strikes the eyes after the manner of a flame, of which sort is the well polished blade of a sword (Bonfrerius, similarly Munster). לַהַב is the blade of a sword. The point is called the flame, either, because of its fiery brightness, or, because it narrows like a flame and ends in a point (Bochart’s Sacred Catalogue of Animals 1:2:8:135). Now, he novelly calls the handle נִצָּב.[13] The Hebrews call it יַד הַחֶרֶב, the hand of the sword, that is, the haft (Drusius).

[And it was drawn tight by the fat, וַיִּסְגֹּ֤ר הַחֵ֙לֶב֙ בְּעַ֣ד הַלַּ֔הַב] And the fat enclosed the blade (Munster) (the point [Junius and Tremellius]), or, closed around the blade (Dutch), or, upon the blade (English), closed itself because of the blade (Montanus). Others: and it, understanding, the wound, or the mouth of the wound, closed with the sword driven in, that is, it drew tight (Vatablus). So that the fat might stop up the wound (Syriac).

[He did not draw out, כִּ֣י לֹ֥א שָׁלַ֛ף] Because he did not extract, or had not extracted (Montanus and a great many interpreters): and he did not extract (Tigurinus), unsheathe (Vatablus), was not able to extract (Pagnine, similarly Munster, Dutch, English). It was not necessary, or worth the labor, to draw into this matter delay with danger (Bonfrerius).

[The excrement rushed out, וַיֵּצֵ֖א הַֽפַּרְשְׁדֹֽנָה׃] This word occurs only once in the Sacred Books (Montanus’ Commentary). The translate it, an effusion of excrement went forth (Montanus). And his food of expulsion went out (Jonathan), in which by food he undoubtedly takes that excrement and refuse of the food (Bonfrerius). And his filth went out (Munster, Tigurinus, Pagnine, Castalio, Dutch, Martyr), which is wont to happen to those that perish by a violent death (Martyr, similarly Lapide, Bonfrerius). This word is a compound of פֶּרֶשׁ/ excrement, and שדה, or שדא, which in Chaldean is to send out (Bonfrerius out of Pagnine, Munster). And it went out, that is, it immediately began to go out, understanding, through the wound (Vatablus). With blood excrement also went out through that wound (certain interpreters in Munster). But it does not appear that this signifies excrement simply (because פֶּרֶשׁ signifies this, without the added דֺנָה-), but the very intestines; and thence it happened that, deprived of all sense, he perished quickly (Tirinus). [Junius and Tremellius thus translate this place, so that the fat enclosed the very blade (for he did not extract his sword from his belly), and it went out at his anus.] Others: and it, namely, the point of the sword, went out from his fundament (Dutch, English). In vain would this example of Ehud be alleged on behalf of tyrannicide, since it is evident that he was not a private individual, but established as a Prince by God, and commanded to kill this public enemy (Tirinus).

The dirt came out: that is, His excrements came forth, not at the wound, which closed up, but at the fundament, as is usual when persons die either a natural or violent death.

[1] Hebrew: וְה֣וּא שָׁ֗ב מִן־הַפְּסִילִים֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר אֶת־הַגִּלְגָּ֔ל וַיֹּ֕אמֶר דְּבַר־סֵ֥תֶר לִ֛י אֵלֶ֖יךָ הַמֶּ֑לֶךְ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר הָ֔ס וַיֵּֽצְאוּ֙ מֵֽעָלָ֔יו כָּל־הָעֹמְדִ֖ים עָלָֽיו׃

[2] Hebrew: הַפְּסִילִים.

[3] פָּסַל signifies to hew.

[4] Hebrew: שֹׂ֣בַע שְׂ֭מָחוֹת אֶת־פָּנֶ֑יךָ.

[5] Hebrew: וְאֵה֣וּד׀ בָּ֣א אֵלָ֗יו וְהֽוּא־יֹ֠שֵׁב בַּעֲלִיַּ֙ת הַמְּקֵרָ֤ה אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ֙ לְבַדּ֔וֹ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֵה֔וּד דְּבַר־אֱלֹהִ֥ים לִ֖י אֵלֶ֑יךָ וַיָּ֖קָם מֵעַ֥ל הַכִּסֵּֽא׃

[6] Hebrew: בַּעֲלִיַּ֙ת הַמְּקֵרָ֤ה.

[7] קָרָה can signify to meet, encounter, or befall.

[8] Hebrew: דְּבַר־אֱלֹהִ֥ים לִ֖י אֵלֶ֑יךָ.

[9] Hebrew: דְּבַר.

[10] Hebrew: וַיִּשְׁלַ֤ח אֵהוּד֙ אֶת־יַ֣ד שְׂמֹאל֔וֹ וַיִּקַּח֙ אֶת־הַחֶ֔רֶב מֵעַ֖ל יֶ֣רֶךְ יְמִינ֑וֹ וַיִּתְקָעֶ֖הָ בְּבִטְנֽוֹ׃

[11] Hebrew: וַיָּבֹ֙א גַֽם־הַנִּצָּ֜ב אַחַ֣ר הַלַּ֗הַב וַיִּסְגֹּ֤ר הַחֵ֙לֶב֙ בְּעַ֣ד הַלַּ֔הַב כִּ֣י לֹ֥א שָׁלַ֛ף הַחֶ֖רֶב מִבִּטְנ֑וֹ וַיֵּצֵ֖א הַֽפַּרְשְׁדֹֽנָה׃

[12] Hebrew: וַיֵּצֵ֖א הַֽפַּרְשְׁדֹֽנָה׃.

[13] Perhaps related to נָצַב, to stand firm, or even to be in charge.

Judges 3:12-18: Ehud, Part 1

[circa 1354 BC] Verse 12:[1] (Judg. 2:19) And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened (1 Sam. 12:9) Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD.

[Evil in the sight of the Lord] A thing ungrateful to God, who sees all things (Vatablus).

[Who strengthened Eglon against them] That is, by adding courage and strength, by furnishing occasions (Martyr, Lapide, Bonfrerius), by removing impediments, and by weakening the strength of the Hebrews (Lapide).

Strengthened Eglon, by giving him courage, and power, and success against them.

 

Verse 13:[2] And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and (Judg. 5:14) Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed (Judg. 1:16) the city of palm trees.

[He gathered unto him[3]] Who? Either, God (Cajetan in Bonfrerius, Martyr); or, King Eglon gathered to himself (thus Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Martyr, Septuagint). Both are true, for, with God helping, Eglon joined to himself (Menochius). The Hebrew words are able to be rendered in either way (Bonfrerius).

[Ammon and Amalek] It was an easy thing to join these to himself as allies in war. 1. He was in the middle between them. 2. The Ammonites were almost always confederate with the Moabites.[4] 3. He added the Amalekites, etc.; they had an old hatred against the Israelites[5] (Bonfrerius).

[He possessed the city of palm trees] That is, Jericho (Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius, Piscator, Lapide, Bonfrerius), as it is evident out of Judges 1:16, and out of Deuteronomy 34:3 (Junius) and 2 Chronicles 28:15. Not that the city of Jericho was standing at that time, but that they were fortifying that territory and the neighboring places around with garrisons (Bonfrerius). The city of Jericho was inhabited by the Israelites before this time, and yet the curse of Joshua had not touched them.[6] Evidently that had regard to the family and kin of Rahab, lest they should restore it as a Canaanite city: And Hiel, who, undertaking this in the time of Ahab, was punished, was of her stock (Lightfoot). Now, the reasons why he was possessing those places rather than others were various (Bonfrerius). For this was a most fertile and wealthy region, and was near Jordan, so that from Moab, situated on the other side of Jordan, it was an easy passage to Jericho; and so that, with the fords of Jordan occupied, he might separate the Trans-Jordanian Israelites from the Cis-Jordanian Israelites, lest they should be able to help each other (Lapide, Bonfrerius).

[He possessed] Hebrew: they possessed.[7] He possessed, not by himself, but by his men, who he sent to occupy those places (Bonfrerius). Others understand a certain city in the territory of Jericho possessed by him (Vatablus).

The city of palm trees: that is, Jericho, as may be gathered from Deuteronomy 34:3; Judges 1:16; 2 Chronicles 28:15. Not the city, which was demolished, but the territory belonging to it. Here he fixed his camp, partly for the admirable fertility of that soil; and partly because of its nearness to the passage over Jordan, which was most commodious, both for the conjunction of his own forces, which lay on both sides of Jordan; and to prevent the conjunction of the Israelites in Canaan with their brethren beyond Jordan; and to secure his retreat into his own country, which therefore the Israelites prevented, Judges 3:28.

 

Verse 14:[8] So the children of Israel (Deut. 28:49) served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years.

 

[circa 1336 BC] Verse 15:[9] But when the children of Israel (Judg. 3:9; Ps. 78:34) cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite (or, the son of Gemini[10]), a man lefthanded (Heb. shut of his right hand;[11] Judg. 20:16): and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab.

[Son of Gemini] That is, of the tribe of Benjamin (Lapide, Bonfrerius, Menochius, Tirinus). For Shimei was also a son Gimini of the tribe of Benjamin, 2 Samuel 16:5;[12] 19:18; 1 Kings 2:8[13] (Lapide). בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי, Ben-jemini, which is often rendered son of Jemini, is able to be a patronymic name, and to signify the same thing as a Benjamite. Where the oppression of the tyrant was greater, thence the Savior comes forth (Bonfrerius).

A Benjamite; Hebrew, the son of Gemini, who was of the tribe of Benjamin, 2 Samuel 16:11; 19:17; 1 Kings 2:8. This tribe was next to him and doubtless most afflicted by him; and hence God raiseth a deliverer.

[Who was making use of both hands as a right hand] But no one makes use of the right hand as a right hand, since it is the right hand itself; nor the lest hand as a right hand, for it is the left (Montanus’ Commentary).

[אִ֥ישׁ אִטֵּ֖ר יַד־יְמִינ֑וֹ] A man stopped up, or, shut up, or closed (contracted [Munster], seized [Pagnine], impeded [Jonathan], impotent [Syriac], withered [Arabic]) in his right hand (Montanus, Tigurinus, Piscator, Osiander, Junius and Tremellius). Thus a great many of the Hebrews; likewise Cajetan, Forster,[14] Mercerus, Buxtorf,[15] Schindler,[16] and a great many others (Malvenda). Lefthanded, or a lefthanded man, who was making use only of his left hand, and whose right hand was contracted, and he was not able to make use of it (Vatablus, similarly Castalio, Piscator, Drusius, Montanus’ Commentary). Which Scripture here commemorates, whereby it might commend that deed and work of God as all the more extraordinary (Munster). God is wont generally to use the infirm and inept to accomplish illustrious deeds (Martyr). The verb אָטַר/atar is found only once in Scripture, Psalm 69:15 (Malvenda), where they translate it, let not the pit shut, etc.[17] (Bonfrerius). But אִטֵּר/itter occurs only twice, here, and in Judges 20:16[18] (Malvenda). [This translation is not satisfying to others, namely, to the patrons of the Vulgate version.] One Jerome is worth more to me than all the Rabbis (Bonfrerius). But the Septuagint also has ἀμφοτεροδέξιον/ambidextrous. This is of great advantage and glory to a soldier, Homer’s Iliad 2 concerning Asteropaios.[19] Hipponactes in Galen,[20] I am ambidextrous, and in striking I do not miss (Lapide). Moreover, those Benjamites in Judges 20 are commended because they are אִטֵּרִים/itterim. But what is the commendation to be lefthanded, since the use of the righthand is better? And who would believe that so many warriors of one city would be lefthanded? but all were able to be ambidexterous, since by use and frequence exercise this is able to be acquired (Bonfrerius). With respect to the verb אָטַר, 1. It is able to be translated otherwise in Psalm 69:15, let it not encircle/crown over me (Jerome), for the mouth of a round pit, while it is covered with a circular lid, is crowned, as it were, by it; so that אָטַר is related to עָטַר, to crown, to encircle. Let not the pit open its mouth upon me, in the Chaldean and Marinus,[21] that is, that it might devour me. Thus in this place, according to them, he is said to be open in his right hand, who on either side has a right hand open and unencumbered to fight (Lapide). 2. But let us grant that אָטַר signifies this (Bonfrerius): Then the ambidexterous man is said to be closed, that is, shut up, restricted, enclosed in his right hand, because he, making use of either hand as a right hand, is surrounded and protected on both sides completely by a right hand as a defender (Lapide): or because, although he is able to make use of the right hand, nevertheless, when he pleases and wishes to make use of the left, he closes and restrains the right (Bonfrerius). I rather believe that he was lefthanded, from verse 21. That sort of man is wont to be strenuous, active, and daring (Malvenda).

Lefthanded; which is here noted, partly as a mark of his courage, and strength, and activity; see Judges 20:16; and principally as a considerable circumstance in the following story, whereby he might more advantageously and unsuspectedly give the deadly blow.

 

Verse 16:[22] But Ehud made him a dagger which had two edges, of a cubit length; and he did gird it under his raiment upon his right thigh.

[A two edged sword, וְלָ֛הּ שְׁנֵ֥י פֵי֖וֹת] And to it two mouths[23] (Montanus, similarly the Septuagint), that is, it had two edges (Lapide, Junius, Piscator, Vatablus); it was cutting from either direction (Vatablus).

[Of the length of the palm[24]] Or, of a span (Septuagint), of the length that can be held in the hand (Syriac). Now, understand palm here, not the lesser, or of four fingers, but the greater, or a spithama, which is of twelve fingers, or half a cubit (Bonfrerius out of Lapide). Moreover, the lesser cubit is equal to the spithama (Lapide).

[גֹּ֣מֶד אָרְכָּ֑הּ] A cubit the length of it (Montanus, Jonathan, similarly Munster, Pagnine, Tigurinus, Junius and Tremellius, Arabic, Drusius, Hebrews in Munster). גֺּמֶד is found only once in Scripture, and that is here; and and all interpret it as cubit, from the other word גַּמָּדִים/Gammadim, Ezekiel 27:11, which they render Pygmies, that is, of a cubit in height (Malvenda). [Concerning which see the things to be noted on that place, σὺν θεῷ, Lord willing.] He chose one of a cubit in length, so that it might be more easily hidden (Martyr).

A cubit length; long enough for his design, and not too long for carriage and concealment.

[On his right thigh] Either, 1. after the manner of Easterners; Lipsius on Tacitus.[25] The Barbarians were bearing their swords on the right side: the Gauls in Diodorus’ Historical Library[26] 5; the Germans in Strabo;[27] the Parthians in Valerius Flaccus’ Argonautica[28] 6, distinguished for his gauntlets, distinguished for the scimitar on his right side. So also the Romans, as some maintain from Polybius;[29] but they err. The contrary is evident from Josephus’ Jewish War 3:3, and Cæsar’s Commentary 5 “concerning a Repulse” (Lipsius in Gataker[30]). Or, 2. so that the thing might be less liable to suspicion; for strikes that proceed from the left hand are wont hardly to be feared and to be guarded against (Bonfrerius). Or, 3. so that with the left hand, in which alone he was strong, he might be able to draw it conveniently (Martyr).

Upon his right thigh; which was most convenient, both for the use of his left hand, and for the avoiding of suspicion.

 

Verse 17:[31] And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man.

The present was to be paid to him as a part of his tribute.

[Exceedingly thick, בָּרִ֖יא מְאֹֽד׃] Very fat (Jonathan, Pagnine, Montanus, Junius and Tremellius, Tigurinus), or, thick (Munster). They that live in pleasures, and eat and drink in great abundance, are wont to be such (Martyr).

A very fat man, and therefore more unwieldy and unable to ward off Ehud’s blow.

 

Verse 18:[32] And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present.

[He followed his companions] Hebrew: and he sent away the people,[33] so that he might be the less encumbered for the deed, and lest he should bring danger to others, should he fail to succeed (Menochius, similarly Bonfrerius). It was easier to snatch one from danger than many, and a crowd is often wont to be an impediment in conducting a matter, especially when it is secret (Bonfrerius). Conspiracies communicated to many rarely succeed (Martyr).

He sent away the people that bare the present: He accompanied them part of the way, and then dismissed them, and returned to Eglon alone, that so he might have more easy access to him, and privacy with him; and that he might the better make his escape.

[1] Hebrew: וַיֹּסִ֙פוּ֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לַעֲשׂ֥וֹת הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֑ה וַיְחַזֵּ֙ק יְהוָ֜ה אֶת־עֶגְל֤וֹן מֶֽלֶךְ־מוֹאָב֙ עַל־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל עַ֛ל כִּֽי־עָשׂ֥וּ אֶת־הָרַ֖ע בְּעֵינֵ֥י יְהוָֽה׃

[2] Hebrew: וַיֶּאֱסֹ֣ף אֵלָ֔יו אֶת־בְּנֵ֥י עַמּ֖וֹן וַעֲמָלֵ֑ק וַיֵּ֗לֶךְ וַיַּךְ֙ אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיִּֽירְשׁ֖וּ אֶת־עִ֥יר הַתְּמָרִֽים׃

[3] Hebrew: וַיֶּאֱסֹ֣ף אֵלָ֔יו.

[4] See Genesis 19:37, 38.

[5] See Exodus 17:8-16.

[6] See Joshua 6:26.

[7] Hebrew: וַיִּירְשׁוּ.

[8] Hebrew: וַיַּעַבְד֤וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶת־עֶגְל֣וֹן מֶֽלֶךְ־מוֹאָ֔ב שְׁמוֹנֶ֥ה עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה שָׁנָֽה׃

[9] Hebrew: וַיִּזְעֲק֣וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֮ אֶל־יְהוָה֒ וַיָּקֶם֩ יְהוָ֙ה לָהֶ֜ם מוֹשִׁ֗יעַ אֶת־אֵה֤וּד בֶּן־גֵּרָא֙ בֶּן־הַיְמִינִ֔י אִ֥ישׁ אִטֵּ֖ר יַד־יְמִינ֑וֹ וַיִּשְׁלְח֙וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל בְּיָדוֹ֙ מִנְחָ֔ה לְעֶגְל֖וֹן מֶ֥לֶךְ מוֹאָֽב׃

[10] Hebrew: בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי.

[11] Hebrew: אִטֵּ֖ר יַד־יְמִינ֑וֹ.

[12] 2 Samuel 16:5, 11:  “And when king David came to Bahurim, behold, thence came out a man of the family of the house of Saul, whose name was Shimei, the son of Gera:  he came forth, and cursed still as he came….  And David said to Abishai, and to all his servants, Behold, my son, which came forth of my bowels, seeketh my life:  how much more now may this Benjamite (בֶּן־הַיְמִינִי, or, son of Gemini) do it? let him alone, and let him curse; for the Lord hath bidden him.”

[13] 1 Kings 2:8:  “And, behold, thou hast with thee Shimei the son of Gera, a Benjamite (בֶן־הַיְמִינִי, or, son of Gemini) of Bahurim, which cursed me with a grievous curse in the day when I went to Mahanaim:  but he came down to meet me at Jordan, and I sware to him by the Lord, saying, I will not put thee to death with the sword.”

[14] Johann Forster (1495-1556) was a German Hebraist, author of Dictionarium Hebraicum.

[15] John Buxtorf (1599-1664) labored as Professor of Oriental languages at Calvinistic Basel.  His scholarship in Hebrew and Rabbinic learning was such that he was known as “Master of the Rabbis.”  He produced an important Lexicon Hebraicum et Chaldaicum.

[16] Valentine Schindler (died 1604) was a Lutheran Hebraist.  He was Professor of Oriental Languages at Wittenberg and at Helmstadt, and he published Lexicon Pentaglotton: Hebraicum, Chaldicum, Syriacum, Talmudico-Rabbinicum, et Arabicum.

[17] Psalm 69:15:  “Let not the waterflood overflow me, neither let the deep swallow me up, and let not the pit shut (תֶּאְטַר) her mouth upon me.”

[18] Judges 20:16:  “Among all this people there were seven hundred chosen men lefthanded (אִטֵּ֖ר יַד־יְמִינ֑וֹ); every one could sling stones at an hair breadth, and not miss.”

[19] Asteropaios was an ambidexterous leader of the Pæonians, allied to the Trojans, in the Trojan War.  He engaged in one-on-one combat with Achilles; although Asteropaios was defeated by Achilles and killed, he was the only Trojan to have the distinction of drawing Achilles’ blood.

[20] Claudius Galenus of Pergamum (129-200 AD) was an innovative Greek physician.

[21] Marcus Marinus was a sixteenth century Hebrew scholar and papal inquisitor/ censor.  He deleted from the Basel Talmud five chapters, which reflected negatively upon Christianity.

[22] Hebrew: וַיַּעַשׂ֩ ל֙וֹ אֵה֜וּד חֶ֗רֶב וְלָ֛הּ שְׁנֵ֥י פֵי֖וֹת גֹּ֣מֶד אָרְכָּ֑הּ וַיַּחְגֹּ֤ר אוֹתָהּ֙ מִתַּ֣חַת לְמַדָּ֔יו עַ֖ל יֶ֥רֶךְ יְמִינֽוֹ׃

[23] A woodenly literalistic rendering.

[24] Thus the Vulgate.

[25] Justus Lipsius (1547-1606) was a Flemish philologist and historian.  He produced an edition of Tacitus.

[26] Diodorus Siculus (c. 90-c. 30 BC), a Greek historian, wrote the massive Bibliotheca Historica in forty books.  Unhappily, only fifteen books have survived.

[27] Geography 4:4.

[28] Gaius Valerius Flaccus was a first century Roman poet.  Only his Argonautica, a poetic account of Jason’s quest for the Golden Fleece, survives.

[29] Polybius (c. 203-120 BC) was a Greek historian, remembered for his The Rise of the Roman Empire, or The Histories.

[30] Thomas Gataker (1574-1654) was an English churchman, theologian, and critic, of great reputation in his own day.  On account of his great learning, he was invited to sit as a member of the Assembly of Divines at Westminster.  His abilities as a critic are on display in his commentaries on Isaiah, Jeremiah, and Lamentation, found in the English Annotations.

[31] Hebrew: וַיַּקְרֵב֙ אֶת־הַמִּנְחָ֔ה לְעֶגְל֖וֹן מֶ֣לֶךְ מוֹאָ֑ב וְעֶגְל֕וֹן אִ֥ישׁ בָּרִ֖יא מְאֹֽד׃

[32] Hebrew: וַֽיְהִי֙ כַּאֲשֶׁ֣ר כִּלָּ֔ה לְהַקְרִ֖יב אֶת־הַמִּנְחָ֑ה וַיְשַׁלַּח֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם נֹשְׂאֵ֖י הַמִּנְחָֽה׃

[33] Hebrew: וַיְשַׁלַּח֙ אֶת־הָעָ֔ם.

Judges 3:1-11

The nations left to prove Israel mentioned, 1-4. The Israelites marrying their daughters, and serving their gods, they are delivered up to the king of Mesopotamia; are rescued by Othniel, 5-11. Continuing to do evil, they are again punished and oppressed by the king of the Moabites; are rescued by Ehud: ten thousand Moabites are slain, 12-30. They are afterwards delivered from the Philistines by Shamgar, 31.

 

Verse 1:[1] Now these are (Judg. 2:21, 22) the nations which the LORD left, to prove Israel by them, even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan…

[So that He might instruct] So that He might teach them, 1. to handle arms, 2. to serve God (Lapide). The same reason for the remaining nations is assigned in view of the sin of the Israelites, Judges 2:22 (Bonfrerius).

[That had not known the wars of the Canaanites] That is, That had taken no part in those wars (Bonfrerius): that had not known in what manner those battles against the Canaanites had been conducted (Vatablus): that had not been tested (Menochius). They retained the history in part, but were not attending to the singular judgments of God in those things (Junius).

As many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan: that is, Such who had no experience of those wars, nor of God’s extraordinary power and providence manifested in them.

 

Verse 2:[2] Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof…

[So that they might learn, etc.,רַ֗ק לְמַ֙עַן֙ דַּ֚עַת—לְלַמְּדָ֖ם מִלְחָמָ֑ה] [They render it variously.] Only that (or, that at least [Munster]) the generation of the children of Israel might know, and that He might teach them war (Pagnine, similarly Tigurinus, Munster). Only that they might know, to teach them war (English, similarly Jonathan, Junius and Tremellius). Only that they might know those (that is, the wars of Canaan), that He (that is, the Lord) might teach them war (Dutch). Only that they might become acquainted with…the wars, as He was teaching them war (Pisctor). Only, understand, Jehovah left those nations, that He might teach, etc., that is, so that they might learn in what manner wars were to be conducted (Vatablus); so that in this way they might be exercised in the military art (Menochius); so that the arts of war might be taught, which were previously unknown to them. For their fathers had routed the enemy, not by arms, and bows, etc., but only by the help, counsel, and command of God. But thereafter they set for themselves the business of learning military discipline, and from what preceptors it is immediately declared. And I think that this verse is to be read κατὰ σαρκασμὸν, in a manner in keeping with sarcasm (Montanus’ Commentary). So that they might become acquainted with how evil war is, as He was leaving them without His help (Piscator). So that they might learn what it is to do battle with the Canaanites, that is, how noxious wars are (Rabbis in Lapide). While they were undertaking the wars by their own military prowess, they were learning what it is to do battle, of which they were previously ignorant, since God did battle for them (Kimchi, Rabbi Salomon and Rabbi Levi[3] in Martyr). Thus Adam by eating learned good and evil (Lapide). Now ye shall feel what it is to fight with those that are stronger (Martyr). God willed that they learn by their disadvantage, how perilously they that have God as an enemy wage war, since the wars of their fathers were waged by Divine, not human, power (Munster).

Might know, to teach them war; that by the neighbourhood of such warlike potent enemies, they might be purged from sloth and security, and obliged to inure themselves to martial exercises, and to stand continually upon their guard, and consequently to keep close to that God whose assistance they had so great and constant need of.

[רַ֥ק אֲשֶׁר־לְפָנִ֖ים לֹ֥א יְדָעֽוּם׃] Only those that previously had not known them (Pagnine, Montanus, Piscator, similarly Drusius); at least those that previously knew nothing of them (Dutch, English, similarly Junius and Tremellius); since their ancestors (those that were before them [Munster]) had not known (Arabic, similarly Munster, Syriac). Truly those that, understanding, had been, previously, had not learned them, that is, had not known that art of war, because [thus it is to be read, not whereby, which begets an unsuitable sense] the Lord was fighting for them (Vatablus).

 

Verse 3:[4] Namely, (Josh. 13:3) five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.

[Five satraps[5]] See Joshua 13:3 (Grotius). Five satrapies (Septuagint), prefectures (Castalio), over which Satraps were put in charge (Martyr).

Five lords of the Philistines; whereof three had been in some sort subdued, Judges 1:18, but afterwards rescued themselves, and recovered their former strength. See on Judges 1:18.

[And every Canaanite] That is, scattered and remaining here and there (Bonfrerius). Joshua had destroyed a great many of the Canaanites (Lapide). These Canaanites, as they designate a particular/specific people, appear to have been more numerous than the others, and more widely dispersed, so that hence the remaining Canaanites might be named after these (Bonfrerius). The Canaanites here are the Phœnicians, who are often called Canaanites, as I said, in Joshua,[6] and Proverbs 31:24,[7] whence the Canaanite woman in Matthew 15:22 is called a Syrophenician by Mark.[8] For the Phœnicians were never conquered by the Hebrews; whence by way of explanation he subjoins, and the Sidonian. For Sidon was the capital of Phœnicia, so called after Sidon, son of Canaan, Genesis 10:15 (Lapide).

The Canaanites; properly so called, who were very numerous, and dispersed through several parts of the land whence they gave denomination to all the rest of the people. The Sidonians; the people living near Sidon, and subject to its jurisdiction.

[The Hivite…in Libanus[9]] The seat of the Hivites was in that place, as I said on Joshua 11:3 (Bonfrerius).

[From mount Baal-hermon] This region is described in a similar manner in Joshua 13:5 (Bonfrerius).

Mount Baal-hermon was the eastern part of Mount Lebanon: see Deuteronomy 3:8, 9.

 

Verse 4:[10] (Judg. 2:22) And they were to prove Israel by them, to know whether they would hearken unto the commandments of the LORD, which he commanded their fathers by the hand of Moses.

[So that in them He might try Israel] So that, if the Israelites would not imitate their manners, the uprightness of the Israelites might appear; but if they should imitate them, their wickedness (Grotius).

To know, that is, that they and others might know by experience.

 

Verse 5:[11] (Ps. 106:35) And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites…

 

Verse 6:[12] And (Ex. 34:16; Deut. 7:3) they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods.

And served their gods: Were drawn to idolatry by the persuasions and examples of their yoke-fellows, through the just judgment of God, punishing their sinful marriages by giving them up to idolatry.

 

[circa 1406 BC] Verse 7:[13] (Judg. 2:11) And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, (Judg. 2:13) and served Baalim and (Ex. 34:13; Deut. 16:21; Judg. 6:25) the groves.

[Serving the Baalim and Ashtaroth (thus Jonathan, Syriac, Castalio), הָאֲשֵׁרוֹת] It is the proper name Ashtaroth (Munster, Tigurinus). Others translate it, the Groves (Pagnine, Osiander, Piscator, Septuagint, Montanus). It signifies the trees that are worshipped, or are planted unto the honor of an idol (Menochius). The Groves, that is, the idols of the groves, by Metonymy (Lapide, Piscator, Vatablus). The Pagans were wont to worship their gods in forests; Jove in oak forests (whence the oak of Dodona[14]); Apollo among the laurel trees (thence the temple of Apollo in Daphne[15]) (Martyr). Hence God commanded that the groves be destroyed[16] (Bonfrerius).

The groves; that is, In the groves, in which the heathens usually worshipped their Baalims or idols. Or, the groves are here put metonymically for the idols of the groves, which are distinguished here from their Baalim, which seem to have been worshipped in other places, as the prophets of Baal are distinguished from the prophets of the groves, 1 Kings 18:19.

 

[circa 1402 BC] Verse 8:[17] Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he (Judg. 2:14) sold them into the hand of (Hab. 3:7) Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia (Heb. Aram-naharaim[18]): and the children of Israel served Chushan-rishathaim eight years.

[King of Mesopotamia] The same is called the king of Syria in verse 10,[19] that is, Aram-Naharaim, that is, Syria of the two rivers,[20] or Mesopotamia[21] (Bonfrerius).

[And they served him] They were compelled to buy peace with oppressive tribute; yet not so that they might receive protection from that King. A similar thing soon in verses 12-14. And so it was an easy thing for them, with their courage recovered, to cast off such a burden, as the following things show (Grotius). It is likely that he first made an assault upon the Trans-jordanian Israelites, as closer to his own territory, and finally he penetrated beyond Jordan. The first oppressor was a Mesopotamian, which recalls Laban’s injustices toward Jacob into mind[22] (Lightfoot).

Served Chushan-rishathaim: that is, Were made subject and tributary to him.

 

[circa 1394 BC] Verse 9:[23] And when the children of Israel (Judg. 3:15; 4:3; 6:7; 10:10; 1 Sam. 12:10; Neh. 9:27; Ps. 22:5; 106:44; 107:13, 19) cried unto the LORD, the LORD (Judg. 2:16) raised up a deliverer (Heb. saviour[24]) to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even (Judg. 1:13) Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother.

Cried unto the Lord, that is, prayed fervently for deliverance.

[Caleb’s younger brother] Concerning which see on Judges 1:13 (Bonfrerius).

Caleb’s younger brother; of which see on Judges 1:13.

 

Verse 10:[25] And (see Num. 27:18; Judg. 6:34; 11:29; 13:25; 14:6, 19; 1 Sam. 11:6; 2 Chron. 15:1) the Spirit of the LORD came (Heb. was[26]) upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia (Heb. Aram[27]) into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.

[And the Spirit of the Lord was on him] That is, he began to be urged by the Lord’s spirit of valor (Vatablus, Munster). Strength, prudence, etc., were instilled in him by the Lord. That a manifest revelation was made to him by God, that he should undertake this war, Josephus[28] and the Chaldean maintain: but I rather think that it was an internal inspiration (Bonfrerius).

The Spirit of the Lord came upon him, with extraordinary influences, endowing him with singular wisdom, and courage, and resolution; and stirring him up to this great undertaking. Compare Judges 6:34; 11:29. He judged Israel, that is, pleaded and avenged the cause of Israel against their oppressors; as that phrase is oft used, as Deuteronomy 32:36; Psalm 10:18; 43:1.

 

Verse 11:[29] And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died.

[And the land rested forty years] Question: How are these years to be reckoned? It is to be said by way of prefact that from the exodus out of Egypt to the beginning of the building of the Temple only four hundred and eighty years are numbered, which is affirmed by 1 Kings 6:1 (Bonfrerius, Tostatus, Ussher[30]). Those that affirm this with Scripture are compelled to assert that within the times of quiet mentioned here, and in verse 30, and in Judges 5:31, and in Judges 8:28, are included the years of war and servitude. Thus nearly all whom I have read (Bonfererius, thus Lightfoot). Objection: But how is the land able to be said to rest in the midst of such grievous calamities? Response: 1. It is no new thing, that to some whole number is ascribed what only agrees with part (especially if it is the greater part). Thus the sons of Jacob are said to have been born in Mesopotamia, Genesis 35:26, although Benjamin was born in Canaan.[31] Thus seventy came out of the loins of Jacob, Exodus 1:5, in which number Jacob himself is included. Thus there are seventy souls, Genesis 46:27, and seventy-five, Acts 7:14, which are said to have entered into Egypt with Jacob: yet in which number is comprehended Joseph with his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus, in Judges 8:30, Gideon had seventy sons, and, in Judges 9:5, these seventy are said to have been killed; yet from this number Jotham is to be removed. Thus, in Exodus 12:40, the dwelling of Israel in Egypt was four hundred and thirty years: but it is certain that they were in Egypt only for two hundred and ten or two hundred and fifteen years. [Concerning which see wht things we have noted on Exodus 12.] Therefore, it is not strange, if Scripture in this place should include within the forty years, thirty-two of which were characterized by quiet, which partly preceded the servitude, under the Elders [who are said to have survived Joshua, Judges 2] and the time of idolatry, and partly followed, with the King of Mesopotamia decisively defeated, the eight year of servitude in the midst; neither is it strange, if within the eighty year mentioned in verse 30, sixty-two of which were characterized by quiet, the eighteen years of servitude are inserted (Bonfrerius). In the same sense it is said in Numbers 14:33, your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and there bear your iniquities; not indeed in such a way that they might fulfill these forty years from the time when He spoke these things, but from the time of the exodus from Egypt. Thus in this passage the years of oppression are included in the forty years of quiet. It is indeed true that Paul reckons the years of the Judges in such a way that he distinguishes the years of oppression from the rest, Acts 13:20, where he speaks of the Judges through four hundred and fifty years unto Samuel; but he expresses himself with the particle ὡς/as/about, or a loose manner of reckoning, but not strictly and properly (Lightfoot). 2. That quiet, of which mention is made here, is not necessarily to be reckoned a quiet from servitude and battles, but it is able to signify a cessation from acting, that is, from new scandals, and the perpetration of idolatry, which would furnish for God occasion for a new calamity. The שָׁקַט often signifies whatever cessation and quiet from acting, as it is manifestly taken in Ruth 3:18;[32] Isaiah 18:4;[33] 62:1;[34] Jeremiah 47:6;[35] 48:11;[36] Ezekiel 16:42[37] (Bonfrerius). [But the Most Illustrious Ussher evades this inconvenience differently.] Willingly (says he) do we acknowledge that the times of war and servitude are to be distinguished from the time of quiet, but, with the notation of the years applied to the quiet of the land, we think that the beginning of that quiet, but not the duration either of that quiet or of the prefecture of the Judges, is designated. And so that וַתִּשְׁקֹט, and it rested, I translate, it began to rest; just as וַיּוֹלֶד, and he begat, in Genesis 5:32 and 11:26, is to be translated, he began to beget; and וַיִּבֶן, and he built, in 1 Kings 6:1,[38] is, he began to build: but when so many time in Scripture some King is said to be of so many or so many years בְמָלְכוֹ, in his reign, no one is able to doubt that that signifies when he began to reign.[39] And while in the notation of times this is the explanation of the numbers, that sometimes he indicates when some matter happened, sometimes how long it lasted; which two things the Greeks and the Latins often distinguish by varying the cases (which the Hebrews lack): in the years of oppression I accept the latter explanation, in the years of quiet the former; so that under Othniel, for example, the land rested, not for forty years, but in forty years, that is, in the fortieth year from some preceding epoch. Now, this epoch was that most celebrated rest established by Joshua, with the Canaanites subdued, etc., and mentioned in Joshua 11:23 and 14:15. Therefore, with the Mesopotamians conquered (in forty years after the beginning of that former quiet), quiet began to be restored, after the victory of Othniel unto his death (Ussher’s Sacred Chronology 197). The first forty years following the death of Joshua are ascribed here to the principate of Othniel: not because Othniel was the sole Ruler or Monarch in the land, for the Sanhedrin ruled in their places, and inferior Magistrates in theirs; but because Othniel was a powerful and successfor General in war (Lightfoot).

The land had rest; either, first, It rested about forty years, or the greatest part of forty years; it being most frequent in Scripture to use numbers in such a latitude. Thus the Israelites are said to bear their iniquities forty years in the wilderness, Numbers 14:34, when there wanted near two years of that number; and to dwell in Egypt four hundred and thirty years, when there wanted many years of that number.[40] Thus Joseph’s kindred, sent for and called by him into Egypt, are numbered seventy-five souls, Acts 7:14, although they were but seventy, as is affirmed, Genesis 46:27; Exodus 1:5. So here the land is said to rest forty years, although they were in servitude eight of those years, Judges 3:8. And in like manner the land is said to have rest eighty years, though eighteen of them they served the king of Moab, Judges 3:14. And so in some other instances. Nor is it strange and unusual, either in Scripture or in other authors, for things to be denominated from the greater part, as here it was; especially when they did enjoy some degrees of rest and peace, even in their times of slavery, which here they did. Or, secondly, It rested, that is, began to rest, or recovered its interrupted rest, in the fortieth year, either after Joshua’s death, or after the first and famous rest procured for them by Joshua, as is noted, Hebrews 4:9, when he destroyed and subdued the Canaanites, and gave them quiet possession of the land; and the land had rest from war, as is said, Joshua 11:23; 14:15. So there is this difference between the years of servitude and oppression, and those of rest, that in the former he tells us how long it lasted; in the latter, when it began; by which, compared with the other years, it was easy also to know how long the rest lasted. To strengthen this interpretation, two things must be noted. 1. That resting is here put for beginning to rest, as to beget is put for beginning to beget, Genesis 5:32; 11:26; and to reign, for to begin to reign, 2 Samuel 2:10; and to build, 1 Kings 6:15, 36, for to begin to build, 2 Chronicles 3:1. 2. That forty years is put for the fortieth year; the cardinal number for the ordinal, which is common both in the Holy Scripture, as Genesis 1:5; 2:11; Exodus 12:2; Haggai 1:1; Mark 16:2, and in other authors.

[1] Hebrew: וְאֵ֤לֶּה הַגּוֹיִם֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר הִנִּ֣יחַ יְהוָ֔ה לְנַסּ֥וֹת בָּ֖ם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל אֵ֚ת כָּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר לֹֽא־יָדְע֔וּ אֵ֖ת כָּל־מִלְחֲמ֥וֹת כְּנָֽעַן׃

[2] Hebrew: רַ֗ק לְמַ֙עַן֙ דַּ֚עַת דֹּר֣וֹת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל לְלַמְּדָ֖ם מִלְחָמָ֑ה רַ֥ק אֲשֶׁר־לְפָנִ֖ים לֹ֥א יְדָעֽוּם׃

[3] Although little is known about the life of Levi ben Gershon, also known as Gersonides and Ralbag (1288-1344), his interests included, not only Biblical and Talmudic interpretation, but also philosophy, science, and mathematics.  His commentary on Judges is extant.

[4] Hebrew: חֲמֵ֣שֶׁת׀ סַרְנֵ֣י פְלִשְׁתִּ֗ים וְכָל־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִי֙ וְהַצִּ֣ידֹנִ֔י וְהַ֣חִוִּ֔י יֹשֵׁ֖ב הַ֣ר הַלְּבָנ֑וֹן מֵהַר֙ בַּ֣עַל חֶרְמ֔וֹן עַ֖ד לְב֥וֹא חֲמָֽת׃

[5] That is, provincial governors.

[6] See, for example, Joshua 5:1.

[7] Proverbs 31:24:  “She maketh fine linen, and selleth it; and delivereth girdles unto the merchant (לַכְּנַעֲנִי, to the Canaanite).”  The Phœnicians were famous the world over for trade.

[8] Mark 7:26.

[9] The Libanus and Antilibanus are parallel mountain ranges, running north-south through Syria.

[10] Hebrew: וַֽיִּהְי֕וּ לְנַסּ֥וֹת בָּ֖ם אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֑ל לָדַ֗עַת הֲיִשְׁמְעוּ֙ אֶת־מִצְוֹ֣ת יְהוָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־צִוָּ֥ה אֶת־אֲבוֹתָ֖ם בְּיַד־מֹשֶֽׁה׃

[11] Hebrew: וּבְנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל יָשְׁב֖וּ בְּקֶ֣רֶב הַֽכְּנַעֲנִ֑י הַחִתִּ֤י וְהָֽאֱמֹרִי֙ וְהַפְּרִזִּ֔י וְהַחִוִּ֖י וְהַיְבוּסִֽי׃

[12] Hebrew: וַיִּקְח֙וּ אֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶ֤ם לָהֶם֙ לְנָשִׁ֔ים וְאֶת־בְּנוֹתֵיהֶ֖ם נָתְנ֣וּ לִבְנֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּעַבְד֖וּ אֶת־אֱלֹהֵיהֶֽם׃

[13] Hebrew: וַיַּעֲשׂ֙וּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֤ל אֶת־הָרַע֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י יְהוָ֔ה וַֽיִּשְׁכְּח֖וּ אֶת־יְהוָ֣ה אֱלֹֽהֵיהֶ֑ם וַיַּעַבְד֥וּ אֶת־הַבְּעָלִ֖ים וְאֶת־הָאֲשֵׁרֽוֹת׃

[14] The oak of Dodona was a sacred site dedicated to Zeus.  The priests of that place, even before the establishment of a sanctuary, would interpret the voice of the deity in the rustling of the branches and leaves.  It is said that a black dove landed upon the tree and spoke to the locals in human speech, declaring that an oracle should be established in that place.

[15] According to myth, Apollo became enamored with Daphne, a beautiful water-nymph.  She appealed to her father, the river-god Ladon, and to Gaia for help, and they transformed her into a laurel tree.  The laurel has ever been sacred in the worship of Apollo.  It is said that the first temple of Apollo in Delphi was made of Daphne/ laurel.

[16] Exodus 34:13; Deuteronomy 7:5; 12:3.

[17] Hebrew: וַיִּֽחַר־אַ֤ף יְהוָה֙ בְּיִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַֽיִּמְכְּרֵ֗ם בְּיַד֙ כּוּשַׁ֣ן רִשְׁעָתַ֔יִם מֶ֖לֶךְ אֲרַ֣ם נַהֲרָ֑יִם וַיַּעַבְד֧וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶת־כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתַ֖יִם שְׁמֹנֶ֥ה שָׁנִֽים׃

[18] Hebrew: אֲרַ֣ם נַהֲרָ֑יִם.

[19] Judges 3:10b:  “…and the Lord delivered Chushan-rishathaim king of Mesopotamia (מֶ֣לֶךְ אֲרָ֑ם, King of Aram; regem Syriæ, in the Vulgate) into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushan-rishathaim.”

[20] נָהָר signifies river; נַהֲרָיִם has the dual termination.

[21] Mesopotamia is a compound of μέσος/mesos/between and ποταμὸς/potamos/river.

[22] See Genesis 29-31.

[23] Hebrew: וַיִּזְעֲק֤וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ אֶל־יְהוָ֔ה וַיָּ֙קֶם יְהוָ֥ה מוֹשִׁ֛יעַ לִבְנֵ֥י יִשְׂרָאֵ֖ל וַיּֽוֹשִׁיעֵ֑ם אֵ֚ת עָתְנִיאֵ֣ל בֶּן־קְנַ֔ז אֲחִ֥י כָלֵ֖ב הַקָּטֹ֥ן מִמֶּֽנּוּ׃

[24] Hebrew: מוֹשִׁיעַ.

[25] Hebrew: וַתְּהִ֙י עָלָ֥יו רֽוּחַ־יְהוָה֮ וַיִּשְׁפֹּ֣ט אֶת־יִשְׂרָאֵל֒ וַיֵּצֵא֙ לַמִּלְחָמָ֔ה וַיִּתֵּ֤ן יְהוָה֙ בְּיָד֔וֹ אֶת־כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתַ֖יִם מֶ֣לֶךְ אֲרָ֑ם וַתָּ֣עָז יָד֔וֹ עַ֖ל כּוּשַׁ֥ן רִשְׁעָתָֽיִם׃

[26] Hebrew: וַתְּהִי.

[27] Hebrew: אֲרָם.

[28] Antiquities 5:3.

[29] Hebrew: וַתִּשְׁקֹ֥ט הָאָ֖רֶץ אַרְבָּעִ֣ים שָׁנָ֑ה וַיָּ֖מָת עָתְנִיאֵ֥ל בֶּן־קְנַֽז׃

[30] James Ussher (1580-1655) was an Irish churchman and scholar of the first rank, who eventually rose to the office of Archbishop of Ireland.  He is most remembered for his Annals of the World.

[31] Genesis 35:16-19.

[32] Ruth 3:18:  “Then said she, Sit still, my daughter, until thou know how the matter will fall:  for the man will not be in rest (לֹ֤א יִשְׁקֹט֙), until he have finished the thing this day.”

[33] Isaiah 18:4:  “For so the Lord said unto me, I will take my rest (אֶשְׁקוֹטָה), and I will consider in my dwelling place like a clear heat upon herbs, and like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest.”

[34] Isaiah 62:1:  “For Zion’s sake will I not hold my peace, and for Jerusalem’s sake I will not rest (לֹ֣א אֶשְׁק֑וֹט), until the righteousness thereof go forth as brightness, and the salvation thereof as a lamp that burneth.”

[35] Jeremiah 47:6:  “O thou sword of the Lord, how long will it be ere thou be quiet (תִשְׁקֹטִי)? put up thyself into thy scabbard, rest, and be still.”

[36] Jeremiah 48:11:  “Moab hath been at ease from his youth, and he hath settled (וְשֹׁקֵט) on his lees, and hath not been emptied from vessel to vessel, neither hath he gone into captivity:  therefore his taste remained in him, and his scent is not changed.”

[37] Ezekiel 16:42:  “So will I make my fury toward thee to rest, and my jealousy shall depart from thee, and I will be quiet (וְשָׁקַטְתִּי), and will be no more angry.”

[38] 1 Kings 6:1:  “And it came to pass in the four hundred and eightieth year after the children of Israel were come out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the month Zif, which is the second month, that he built (וַיִּבֶן) the house of the Lord.”

[39] For example, 2 Kings 8:17:  “Thirty and two years old was he when he began to reign (בְמָלְכוֹ); and he reigned eight years in Jerusalem.”

[40] See Exodus 12:40, 41; Galatians 3:17.