Judges 1:6


1. The desire for retribution is instinctive. It is one of the elementary ideas of justice. To those who have no vision of a higher law, the execution of this is not a cruel crime of vengeance, but a righteous exercise of justice.

2. The fitness of retribution is not affected by the motive of those who accomplish it. It is possible that the Israelites were ignorant of the old crimes of Adoni-bezek, and may have been guilty of wanton cruelty in treating him as they did. If so, his wickedness was no excuse for their barbarity. But then their harsh intentions did not affect the justice of the king's sufferings. God often uses the crime of one man as a means of punishing the crime of another. He does not originate or sanction the retributive crime, but he overrules it, and so turns the wrath of man to the praise of his righteous government. Thus Nebuchadnezzar was no better than an ambitious tyrant in his conquest of Jerusalem; yet he was the unconscious agent of a Divine decree of justice.

3. Sin will surely bring retribution.

(1) No rank will secure us against this. The sufferer in this case was a king.

(2) No time will wear out guilt. It is likely that Adoni-bezek had committed his crimes in bygone years, as he referred to them in a way which suggests that the memory of them was suddenly aroused by his own experience.

4. Retribution often bears a resemblance to the crimes it follows. The lex talionis seems to be mysteriously embedded in the very constitution of nature. The intemperate slave of bodily pleasures brings on himself bodily disease; cruelty provokes cruelty; suspicion arouses distrust. As a man sows so will be reap (Galatians 6:7, 8).

5. One of the most fearful elements of future retribution will be found in an evil memory. Men bury their old sins out of sight. They will be exhumed in all their corruption. The justice of the retribution will then increase the sting of it (Luke 16:25).

II. THE HIGHER CHRISTIAN LAW OF LOVE. Christianity does not abolish the terrible natural laws of retributive justice, but it reveals higher principles which can counteract the disastrous effects of 'those stern laws, and a more excellent way than that of zealously advocating the execution of them.

1. The Christian is bound not to desire vengeance. He is called to forgive his enemies (Matthew 5:38, 39). If retribution must fall, let us leave it to the supreme Judge (Romans 12:19).

2. The highest purpose of punishment is seen to consist in the preservation and the restoration of righteousness - not in the mere balancing of sin with pain. Punishment is not an end in itself. The vengeance which seeks satisfaction to outraged honour in the humiliation of its victim is as unworthy of the character of God as it is foreign to the principles of Christian duty. Punishment is a means to an end, and that end is not mere revenge, but the deterring of others from evil, and, where possible, the restoration of the fallen (Hebrews 12:5, 6, 11).

3. In the gospel forgiveness is offered for all sin. The law is not evaded; it is honoured in the sacrifice of Christ. Now he has borne the sin of the world he can also release the world from its fatal effects. Therefore, though the thunder-cloud of retribution may seem as dark as ever, if we only look high enough we shall see the rainbow of God's mercy above it promising peace and forgiveness to all who repent and trust in his grace (Acts 13:38, 39). - A.

The Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain.
So that we see that the negligence of the other tribes in suffering the forbidden nations to remain and wax strong caused these their brethren to be wronged, and to go without their due which God had allotted them. For if they had kept their enemies out they might have been able now to help this tribe of Dan: who, if the house of Joseph had not done more than the rest, they had been left almost without habitation. And by this way we may see that men's sins do not only redound to their own hurt, but also to the hurt of others. Whereas none are hurt, neither themselves, by those that fear to offend God, and be careful to do their duties, but they may receive great benefit thereby. But the other hurt many as well as themselves. As we see bad parents, what woe they hoard up for their unhappy children, as Ahab and the like. As also, how many souls doth an ignorant, idle, or scandalous minister destroy and cause to perish.

(R. Rogers.).

Abednego, Achsah, Adonibezek, Ahiman, Amalekites, Amorites, Anak, Anath, Arad, Arba, Asher, Asherites, Benjamin, Benjamites, Caleb, Canaanites, Dan, Danites, Debir, Edomites, Hittites, Hobab, Israelites, Jebusites, Joseph, Joshua, Kenaz, Manasseh, Naphtali, Naphtalites, Othniel, Perizzites, Rehob, Sheshai, Simeon, Simeonites, Talmai, Zebulun, Zidon
Acco, Achzib, Ahlab, Aijalon, Akrabbim, Aphik, Arad, Ashkelon, Beth-anath, Bethel, Beth-shan, Beth-shemesh, Bezek, Debir, Dor, Ekron, Gaza, Gezer, Gibeah, Hebron, Helbah, Hormah, Ibleam, Jerusalem, Kiriath-arba, Kiriath-sepher, Kitron, Luz, Megiddo, Mount Heres, Nahalol, Negeb, Rehob, Sela, Shaalbim, Sidon, Taanach, Zephath
Adonibezek, Adoni-bezek, Ado'ni-be'zek, Adoni-zedek, Big, Caught, Chased, Cut, Fled, Fleeth, Flight, Overtook, Pursue, Pursued, Seize, Thumbs, Toes
1. The acts of Judah and Simeon
4. Adonibezek justly requited
8. Jerusalem taken
10. Hebron taken
11. Othniel has Achsah to wife for taking of Debir
16. The Kenites dwell in Judah
17. Hormah, Gaza, Askelon, and Ekron taken
21. The acts of Benjamin
22. Of the house of Joseph, who take Bethel
30. Of Zebulun
31. Of Asher
33. Of Naphtali
34. Of Dan

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Judges 1:6

     5346   injury
     5372   knife
     5824   cruelty, examples

Judges 1:1-20

     7266   tribes of Israel

Judges 1:4-7

     5568   suffering, causes

Judges 1:4-8

     7240   Jerusalem, history

Judges 1:6-7

     5192   thumbs
     5296   disabilities
     5571   surgery

The Historical Books.
1. In the Pentateuch we have the establishment of the Theocracy, with the preparatory and accompanying history pertaining to it. The province of the historical books is to unfold its practiced working, and to show how, under the divine superintendence and guidance, it accomplished the end for which it was given. They contain, therefore, primarily, a history of God's dealings with the covenant people under the economy which he had imposed upon them. They look at the course of human events on the
E. P. Barrows—Companion to the Bible

The Coast of the Asphaltites, the Essenes. En-Gedi.
"On the western shore" (of the Asphaltites) "dwell the Essenes; whom persons, guilty of any crimes, fly from on every side. A nation it is that lives alone, and of all other nations in the whole world, most to be admired; they are without any woman; all lust banished, &c. Below these, was the town Engadda, the next to Jerusalem for fruitfulness, and groves of palm-trees, now another burying-place. From thence stands Massada, a castle in a rock, and this castle not far from the Asphaltites." Solinus,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

Beth-El. Beth-Aven.
Josephus thus describes the land of Benjamin; "The Benjamites' portion of land was from the river Jordan to the sea, in length: in breadth, it was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." Let these last words be marked, "The breadth of the land of Benjamin was bounded by Jerusalem and Beth-el." May we not justly conclude, from these words, that Jerusalem and Beth-el were opposite, as it were, in a right line? But if you look upon the maps, there are some that separate these by a very large tract of land,
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

"Tsippor is the greatest city of Galilee, and built in a very strong place." "Kitron (Judg 1:29,30) is Tsippor: and why is it called Tsippor? Because it is seated upon a mountain as Tsippor, a bird." "Sixteen miles on all sides from Tsippor was a land flowing with milk and honey." This city is noted in Josephus for its warlike affairs; but most noted in the Talmudists for the university fixed there, and for the learning, which Rabbi Judah the Holy brought hither, as we have said before. He sat in
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

A Nation's Struggle for a Home and Freedom.
ISRAEL'S VICTORIES OVER THE CANAANITES.--Josh. 2-9; Judg. 1, 4, 5. Parallel Readings. Hist. Bible II,1-4.1. Prin. of Politics X. That the leaders took the lead in Israel, That the people volunteered readily, Bless Jehovah! Zebulun was a people who exposed themselves to deadly peril, And Naphtali on the heights of the open field. Kings came, they fought; They fought, the kings of Canaan, At Taanach by the Waters of Megiddo, They took no booty of silver. Prom heaven fought the stars, From their
Charles Foster Kent—The Making of a Nation

The Place of the Old Testament in Divine Revelation
[Sidenote: Advent of the Hebrews] Modern discovery and research have demonstrated that the truth revealed through the Babylonians and with less definiteness through the people of the Nile was never entirely lost. Such a sad waste was out of accord with the obvious principles of divine economy. As the icy chill of ceremonialism seized decadent Babylonia and Egypt, there emerged from the steppes south and east of Palestine a virile, ambitious group of nomads, who not only fell heir to that which
Charles Foster Kent—The Origin & Permanent Value of the Old Testament

The Prophet Jonah.
It has been asserted without any sufficient reason, that Jonah is older than Hosea, Joel, Amos, and Obadiah,--that he is the oldest among the prophets whose written monuments have been preserved to us. The passage in 2 Kings xiv. 25, where it is said, that Jonah, the son of Amittai the prophet, prophesied to Jeroboam the happy success of his arms, and the restoration of the ancient boundaries of Israel, and that this prophecy was confirmed by the event, cannot decide in favour of this assertion,
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

Scythopolis. Beth-Shean, the Beginning of Galilee.
The bonds of Galilee were, "on the south, Samaris and Scythopolis, unto the flood of Jordan." Scythopolis is the same with Beth-shean, of which is no seldom mention in the Holy Scriptures, Joshua 17:11; Judges 1:27; 1 Samuel 31:10. "Bethsaine (saith Josephus), called by the Greeks Scythopolis." It was distant but a little way from Jordan, seated in the entrance to a great valley: for so the same author writes, "Having passed Jordan, they came to a great plain, where lies before you the city Bethsane,"
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Country of Jericho, and the Situation of the City.
Here we will borrow Josephus' pencil, "Jericho is seated in a plain, yet a certain barren mountain hangs over it, narrow, indeed, but long; for it runs out northward to the country of Scythopolis,--and southward, to the country of Sodom, and the utmost coast of the Asphaltites." Of this mountain mention is made, Joshua 2:22, where the two spies, sent by Joshua, and received by Rahab, are said to "conceal themselves." "Opposite against this, lies a mountain on the other side Jordan, beginning from
John Lightfoot—From the Talmud and Hebraica

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

Jews and Gentiles in "The Land"
Coming down from Syria, it would have been difficult to fix the exact spot where, in the view of the Rabbis, "the land" itself began. The boundary lines, though mentioned in four different documents, are not marked in anything like geographical order, but as ritual questions connected with them came up for theological discussion. For, to the Rabbis the precise limits of Palestine were chiefly interesting so far as they affected the religious obligations or privileges of a district. And in this respect
Alfred Edersheim—Sketches of Jewish Social Life

For the understanding of the early history and religion of Israel, the book of Judges, which covers the period from the death of Joshua to the beginning of the struggle with the Philistines, is of inestimable importance; and it is very fortunate that the elements contributed by the later editors are so easily separated from the ancient stories whose moral they seek to point. That moral is most elaborately stated in ii. 6-iii. 6, which is a sort of programme or preface to iii. 7-xvi. 31, which constitutes
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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