Deuteronomy is a warning that possession of the promised land is absolutely dependent on people continuing to live by every Word of God, while Joshua is a lesson that it is only through faith and a diligent living by every Word of God that Satan and sin can be conquered.
The books of Judges, Samuel, Kings and Chronicles are a history of what happens when we are zealous to live by every Word of God; and what happens when we fall into idolatry, exalting anyone or anything above the Word of Almighty God.
The first king of Israel, Saul, was the people’s choice: God gave them the kind of king they wanted; a worldly kind of political king who catered to the whims of the people and did what he thought was right instead of living by every Word of God.
King Saul was then contrasted by king David who was the real choice of Almighty God, because he tried to live by every Word of God in spite of making occasional errors. The book of Ruth is an introduction to this godly king called David.
The first two chapters of Judges are largely a recap and expansion on the last few chapters of Joshua, explaining the situation in Palestine around the time of the death of Joshua and the transition into the period of the Judges.
During all the days of the leadership of Joshua and the days of those that he had taught; the people followed and lived by every Word of God as Joshua did. Joshua was a godly man and after he and the men he had taught had died, many ungodly men began to lead people away from God in this history, as is also the case in today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
The Canaanites were a type of sin and when Israel failed to drive them out Israel fell into the wicked ways of the Canaanites. This was recorded for our instruction, to teach us to work diligently to drive all sin out of our lives and to follow the whole Word of God, never compromising with or tolerating any sin.
Leaders make a profound impression on the people, and people will largely follow their physical leaders for good or evil. Remember this natural tendency and prove the words of all men by the whole Word of God and follow men only as they follow God (1 Thess 5:21)!
Judges is an historical lesson for us, that when we are zealous for God he will be zealous to deliver us; and when we are lax to follow God and to keep his Word; God will turn away from us.
The tribes of Judah and Simeon go up to occupy the land given to them.
Judges 1:1 Now after the death of Joshua it came to pass, that the children of Israel asked the LORD, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites first, to fight against them? 1:2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. 1:3 And Judah said unto Simeon his brother, Come up with me into my lot, that we may fight against the Canaanites; and I likewise will go with thee into thy lot. So Simeon went with him.
The Canaanites who lived in the land had become extremely wicked, and were used by God as a type of sin.
Many have said that Egypt was a type of sin and that idea is wrong. Egypt was a type of BONDAGE to Satan and sin. All of the Egyptians were not destroyed; only their first born, their god-king and his army were destroyed as an instructional allegory that Satan himself, the god king of this world and his army of spirits will ultimately be destroyed.
All of the Canaanites were to be utterly destroyed as types of sin and as an example that we, spiritually and physically, must also destroy all sin out of our lives.
1:4 And Judah went up; and the LORD delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men. 1:5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. 1:6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes.
Judah and Simeon then did to Adonibezek what he had himself done to seventy kings. This word kings might be better understood today as rulers or leaders, since they ruled over cities and not great nations.
1:7 And Adonibezek said, Threescore and ten kings, having their thumbs and their great toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table: as I have done, so God hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem, and there he died.
Jerusalem was defeated but not occupied.
1:8 Now 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.
Judah and Simeon then went south to attack Hebron.
1:9 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. 1:10 And Judah went against the Canaanites that dwelt in Hebron: (now the name of Hebron before was Kirjatharba:) and they slew Sheshai, and Ahiman, and Talmai.
1:11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher: 1:12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife.
Kenaz was Caleb’s younger brother and his son took the city and was given his cousin Achsah in marriage.
1:13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb’s younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife.
1:14 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? 1:15 And she said unto him, 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.
The Kenites who were in-laws of Moses [today called Bedouin] then came and dwelt with Judah in the Negev.
1:16 And the children [descendants, family of] of the Kenite, Moses’ father in law, went up out of the city of palm trees with the children of Judah into the wilderness of Judah, which lieth in the south of Arad; and they went and dwelt among the people.
Judah and Simeon conquered the Negev and all the lands of the Philistines.
1:17 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 Hormah. 1:18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. 1:19 And the LORD was with Judah; and he drave out the inhabitants of the mountain; but could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley, because they had chariots of iron.
If we are zealous to follow and keep the whole Word of God sin will not have dominion over us; but we shall conquer sin through the Might of the God that we follow as he fights for us and gives us the victory through his mighty deliverance!
Caleb the faithful, receives his promised inheritance
1:20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak.
Jerusalem which was given to Benjamin remained inhabited by the Jebusites to the day that this was written. Later the city was taken by David the king and made the royal capital city of Israel and the place of the Temple of God.
Events AFTER the death of Joshua and those whom he had taught
1:21 And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day [the day this was written].
Judah and Simeon and Joseph and all Israel were victorious as long as they remained faithful to live by every Word of God; it was when they began to turn away from zeal for the Eternal that they ran into trouble.
The same is true of the spiritually called out; as long as we are turned away from the Eternal to do as we think is right in our own eyes we cannot overcome sin; it is only when we are zealous to follow the Eternal and to learn and to live by every Word of God that we will be victorious over sin through the power of our Mighty Deliverer!
1:22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them. 1:23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)
A man and his family who helped the tribe of Joseph were saved alive and let go.
1:24 And the spies saw a man come forth out of the city, and they said unto him, Shew us, we pray thee, the entrance into the city, and we will shew thee mercy. 1:25 And when he shewed them the entrance into the city, they smote the city with the edge of the sword; but they let go the man and all his family. 1:26 And the man went into the land of the Hittites, and built a city, and called the name thereof Luz: which is the name thereof unto this day [the day that this was written].
After the death of Joshua when Israel had became strong, they began to be filled with pride in their own greatness and began to defy God and they did not drive out the Canaanites but put them under tribute. They did not drive the wicked out as a type of spiritually removing all sin, but began to try to gain advantage from sin.
Jesus Christ then used the Canaanites [a type of sin], to test, try and prove Israel as to their zeal for God. Even so; today, we are also being tested as to our zeal to put out all sin and passionately live by every Word of God!
Just like ancient Israel who did not drive the wicked out of the land, today’s Spiritual Ekklesia has not utterly driven out all sin by teaching the brethren to live by every Word of God but has compromised with and allowing unrebuked sin in order to gain members and lucre.
1:27 Neither did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Taanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Ibleam and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Megiddo and her towns: but the Canaanites would dwell in that land. 1:28 And it came to pass, when Israel was strong, that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not utterly drive them out.
1:29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them.
1:30 Neither did Zebulun drive out the inhabitants of Kitron, nor the inhabitants of Nahalol; but the Canaanites dwelt among them, and became tributaries.
1:31 Neither did Asher drive out the inhabitants of Accho, nor the inhabitants of Zidon, nor of Ahlab, nor of Achzib, nor of Helbah, nor of Aphik, nor of Rehob: 1:32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.
1:33 Neither did Naphtali drive out the inhabitants of Bethshemesh, nor the inhabitants of Bethanath; but he dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: nevertheless the inhabitants of Bethshemesh and of Bethanath became tributaries unto them.
1:34 And the Amorites forced the children of Dan into the mountain: for they would not suffer them to come down to the valley: 1:35 But the Amorites would dwell in mount Heres in Aijalon, and in Shaalbim: yet the hand of the house of Joseph prevailed, so that they became tributaries. 1:36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward.
Because of the wickedness of the people after the death of Joshua, the messenger of God then pronounced sentence on Israel for breaking their covenant to zealously live by every Word of God.
Today’s Spiritual Ekklesia as corporate groups have also broken their baptismal covenant and turned away from any zeal for the practical application of the Word of God, into a zeal for their idols of men who teach them contrary to the Word of God. God asks us: Luke 6:46 And why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the things which I say?
Judges 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said,
The question being asked of physical Israel here is also being asked of the latter day Spiritual Israel: WHY are you zealous for your idols of men, and WHY are you not zealous to destroy all sin out of your midst to live by every Word of God, asks the Eternal?
. . . I made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you unto the land which I sware unto your fathers; and I said, I will never break my covenant with you. 2:2 And ye shall make no league with the inhabitants of this land; ye shall throw down their altars: but ye have not obeyed my voice: why have ye done this?
Therefore the Canaanites would remain and would be as thorns among Israel to tempt them away from the Eternal.
Today the spiritual Ekklesia commit the same sin by tolerating unrebuked and unrepentant sins in the congregations.
2:3 Wherefore I also said, I will not drive them out from before you; but they shall be as thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare unto you.
Israel’s exclusive right to the land was lost through unbelief and rejecting the theocratic rule of God and not keeping the law that God gave them.
The first verses of Judges 3 detail the Canaanite peoples who would remain. “Now these are 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. Namely, five lords of the Philistines [the Philistines are not Canaanites], and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon [Mount Hermon] unto the entering in of Hamath.”
Others like the Hittites also remained in the land for a time. Heth the second son of Canaan was the father of the Hittites. The Hittites lived in Hebron (Gen 23:18-20) until most of whom were driven out of Canaan by invading Assyrians and Babylonians and eventually migrated to Asia Minor, finally founding an empire with the capital city of Troy.
Defeated by the Greeks at Troy they then migrated to northern France, so named because they were called Franks by the Romans; and called their capital city after their king Paris.
Israel repented in words only and not in deeds: Even so we today pay lip service to keeping the Word of God, while in actual deeds we are doing our own ways.
2:4 And it came to pass, when the angel of the LORD spake these words unto all the children of Israel, that the people lifted up their voice, and wept. 2:5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD.
The brief inset about the death of Joshua
Joshua lets the people go and prepares to die
2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land.
2:7 And the people served the LORD all the days of Joshua, and all the days of the elders that outlived Joshua, who had seen all the great works of the LORD, that he did for Israel.
2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 2:9 And they buried him in the border of his inheritance in Timnathheres, in the mount of Ephraim, on the north side of the hill Gaash.
The next generation turned from the Eternal into the sins of the Canaanites. The Canaanites had been left in the land with their gods and sins, becoming a temptation to Israel to turn to their sins.
2:10 And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the LORD, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: 2:12 And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served [the sun god] Baal and Ashtaroth [Easter (Semiramis), the consort of Baal].
The God Being who later gave up his God-hood to be made flesh as Jesus Christ then corrected the people who had turned away from him; just as he will correct today’s Spiritual Israel for our idols of men and corporate entities, for our tolerating of sin in our midst and for our lack of zeal to learn and live by every Word of God.
Just as Jesus Christ corrected physical Israel, he will also correct spiritual Israel.
2:14 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he delivered them into the hands of spoilers that spoiled them, and he sold them into the hands of their enemies round about, so that they could not any longer stand before their enemies. 2:15 Whithersoever they went out, the hand of the LORD was against them for evil, as the LORD had said, and as the LORD had sworn unto them: and they were greatly distressed.
When they cried out for deliverance Jesus Christ gave them judges [champions] from time to time, who would deliver the people and teach them the Word of God; and yet they continued in their sins, repenting in name and appearance only, while continuing their wicked deeds: Claiming to be righteous while continuing in rebellion against any practical zeal for keeping the whole Word of God.
They proclaimed themselves the people of God, while in their deeds they rebelled against God; just like today’s Spiritual Ekklesia.
2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. 2:17 And yet they would not hearken unto their judges, but they went a whoring after other gods, and bowed themselves unto them: they turned quickly out of the way which their fathers walked in, obeying the commandments of the LORD; but they did not so.
From time to time Jesus Christ did raise up champions in response to the cries of the people, but the people quickly returned to their sins after the judges were gone.
2:18 And when the LORD raised them up judges, then the LORD was with the judge, and delivered them out of the hand of their enemies all the days of the judge: for it repented the LORD because of their groanings by reason of them that oppressed them and vexed them.
Each time a judge died the people corrupted themselves; just as today most of the Spiritual Ekklesia is largely morally corrupt, rejecting any zeal to live by every Word of God and tolerating sin within their assemblies.
2:19 And it came to pass, when the judge was dead, that they returned, and corrupted themselves more than their fathers, in following other gods to serve them, and to bow down unto them; they ceased not from their own doings, nor from their stubborn way.
The anger of Jesus Christ was hot against the rebellious and lukewarm of ancient Israel; just as it is hot against the spiritually lax latter day Spiritual Ekklesia, which he will cast out into the correction of great tribulation (Rev 3:16).
2:20 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel; and he said, Because that this people hath transgressed my covenant which I commanded their fathers, and have not hearkened unto my voice; 2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died:
Christ used the Canaanites to prove and test the zeal and loyalty of Israel to God the Father and their covenant with him. Jesus Christ is TESTING US TODAY, to prove us, as to whether we will be zealous for our covenant with him to replace the old sinful man with zeal for the righteousness of the whole Word of God!
2:22 That through them I may prove Israel, whether they will keep the way of the LORD to walk therein, as their fathers did keep it, or not.
2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them [every Canaanite] into the hand of Joshua.