Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary on the Whole Bible
back to: Judges
Book: Judges
Chapter: 2

The Angel of the Lord rebukes the people. (1-5) The wickedness
of the new Generation after Joshua. (6-23)

1-5 It was the great Angel of the Covenant, the Word, the Son
of God, who spake with Divine authority as Jehovah, and now
called them to account for their disobedience. God sets forth
what he had done for Israel, and what he had promised. Those who
throw off Communion with God, and have Fellowship with the
unfruitful Works of Darkness, know not what they do now, and
will have nothing to say for themselves in the Day of account
shortly. They must expect to suffer for this their folly. Those
deceive themselves who expect advantages from friendship with
God's enemies. God often makes men's Sin their Punishment; and
thorns and snares are in the way of the froward, who will walk
contrary to God. The people wept, crying out against their own
folly and ingratitude. They trembled at the Word, and not
without cause. It is a wonder sinners can ever read the Bible
with dry eyes. Had they kept close to God and their duty, No
voice but that of singing had been heard in their Congregation;
but By their Sin and folly they made other work for themselves,
and nothing is to be heard but the voice of weeping. The Worship
of God, in its own nature, is joy, praise, and thanksgiving; our
sins alone render weeping needful. It is pleasing to see men
weep for their sins; but our tears, prayers, and even amendment,
cannot atone for Sin.

6-23 We have a general idea of the course of things in Israel,
during the time of the Judges. The nation made themselves as
mean and miserable By forsaking God, as they would have been
great and happy if they had continued Faithful to him. Their
Punishment answered to the evil they had done. They served the
gods of the nations round about them, even the meanest, and God
made them serve the princes of the nations round about them,
even the meanest. Those who have found God true to his promises,
may be sure that he will be as true to his threatenings. He
might in Justice have abandoned them, but he could not for pity
do it. The Lord was with the Judges when he raised them up, and
So they became saviours. In the days of the greatest distress of
the Church, there shall be some whom God will find or make fit
to help it. The Israelites were not thoroughly reformed; So mad
were they upon their idols, and So obstinately bent to
Backslide. Thus those who have forsaken the good ways of God,
which they have once known and professed, commonly grow most
daring and desperate in Sin, and have their hearts hardened.
Their Punishment was, that the Canaanites were spared, and So
they were beaten with their own rod. Men cherish and indulge
their corrupt appetites and passions; therefore God justly
leaves them to themselves, under the power of their sins, which
will be their ruin. God has told us how deceitful and
desperately wicked our hearts are, but we are not willing to
believe it, until By making bold with Temptation we find it true
By sad experience. We need to examine how matters stand with
ourselves, and to pray without ceasing, that we may be rooted
and grounded in Love, and that Christ may Dwell in our hearts By
Faith. Let us declare War against every Sin, and follow after
Holiness all our days.