The Book of Judges 1-14

Judges is the seventh book of the Hebrew and Christian Bible. It contains the history of Biblical judges who were divinely inspired leaders whose knowledge of Yahveh allows them to act as champions for the Israelites from oppression by foreign rulers. The story follows a pattern that the people were unfaithful to Yahveh and He therefore delivers them into the hands of their enemies; the people repent to Yahveh and plead for mercy, which He then sends in the form of a leader or champion, a judge. The judge delivers the Israelites from oppression and they prosper, only to fall again into unfaithfulness and the cycle is repeated. (This goes on for around 400 years). By the end of judges the Israelites are in worse condition than they were at the beginning. They used God's treasures to make idolatrous images, the priesthood became corrupted, the tribe of Dan conquering a remote village instead of the Canaanite cities, and the tribes of Israel making war on the Benjamites, their own brothers. Many scholars believe that judges was written between 1045 - 1000 B.C. (Some of the events recorded in Judges are not in chronological order).

Judges 1

Jdg 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? The Israelites lost their leader Joshua; they asked the Lord who should be the tribe to go first and attack the Canaanites?

Jdg 1:2 And the LORD said, Judah shall go up: behold, I have delivered the land into his hand. Judah was the one selected by the Lord because He gave then victory over the land.

Jdg 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. Simeon joined Judah to fight against the Canaanites. 

Jdg 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. The Lord gave them victory over the Canaanites and Perizzites and they killed 10,000 enemy warriors.

Jdg 1:5 And they found Adonibezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. They fought against Adonibezek who was a Canaanitish king. (Adoni-bezek). 

Jdg 1:6 But Adonibezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his great toes. During the attack Adoni-bezek escaped, but he didn't get far before they caught him. Now he is going to lose his thumbs and big toes. Something he was know to do to others. (Not going to be such a good fighter now).

Jdg 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. This king Adoni-bezek was responsible for seventy kings having their thumbs and big toes cut off. (What goes around comes around). He knew that God was paying him back for what he done to others. He was taken to Jerusalem and died there.

Jdg 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 took the city killing all the people and set it on fire. 

Jdg 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. Now Judah went to fight the Canaanites living in the hill country.

Jdg 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. 

Jdg 1:11 And from thence he went against the inhabitants of Debir: and the name of Debir before was Kirjathsepher: 

Jdg 1:12 And Caleb said, He that smiteth Kirjathsepher, and taketh it, to him will I give Achsah my daughter to wife. To him: In ancient times fathers assumed an absolute right over their children, especially in disposing of them in marriage; and it was customary for a king or great man to promise his daughter in marriage to him who should take a city, etc.

Jdg 1:13 And Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother, took it: and he gave him Achsah his daughter to wife. Othniel was the one who conquered it, so he was the one who married Achsah.

Jdg 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? As she lighted: "She hastily or suddenly alighted," as if she had forgotten something, or was about to return. Her father asked, "is there something wrong?"

Jdg 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. Achsah wanted another gift. (Springs of water). Caleb gives her the upper and lower springs.

Jdg 1:16 And the children 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. Now here we have the kenites who settled among the people near the town of Arad.

Jdg 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. Judah joined with Simeon to fight against the Canaanites living in Zephath and destroyed it.

Jdg 1:18 Also Judah took Gaza with the coast thereof, and Askelon with the coast thereof, and Ekron with the coast thereof. These were wholly or partially retaken by the enemy.

Jdg 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. Now Judah took possession of the hill country, but failed to drive out the people living in the plains. Why? They had iron chariots. Was this a problem for God? Not at all... It was the problem of the people because their courage failed when they saw the chariots. "They didn't trust God and were afraid." 

Jdg 1:20 And they gave Hebron unto Caleb, as Moses said: and he expelled thence the three sons of Anak. 

Jdg 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. 

Jdg 1:22 And the house of Joseph, they also went up against Bethel: and the LORD was with them. Here we see how the tribe of Joseph conquered the city of Bethel. (Versus 22-26).

Jdg 1:23 And the house of Joseph sent to descry Bethel. (Now the name of the city before was Luz.)

Jdg 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.

Jdg 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.

Jdg 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.

Jdg 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. Manasseh failed to drive out the people living in these areas because the Canaanites were determined to stay in that region.

Jdg 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. Now the Israelites grew stronger, but still could not drive the Canaanites out of the land, so they forced them to be taxed in the form of labor. (i.e. to work as slaves).

Jdg 1:29 Neither did Ephraim drive out the Canaanites that dwelt in Gezer; but the Canaanites dwelt in Gezer among them. 

Jdg 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.

Jdg 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:

Jdg 1:32 But the Asherites dwelt among the Canaanites, the inhabitants of the land: for they did not drive them out.

Jdg 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.

Jdg 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:

Jdg 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.

Jdg 1:36 And the coast of the Amorites was from the going up to Akrabbim, from the rock, and upward. Versus 29-36 were places that the tribes of Israel did not fully conquer. However, they were forced to work as slaves.

Judges 2

Jdg 2:1 And an angel of the LORD came up from Gilgal to Bochim, and said, 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. The angel of the Lord: We are speaking of Joshua's time when the same angel of the Lord spoke to him. And he said, Nay; but as captain of the host of the LORD am I now come. And Joshua fell on his face to the earth, and did worship, and said unto him, What saith my lord unto his servant? (Joshua 5:14). Commander of the Lord's army. (This is an angel of the Lord). Was this "Jesus Christ" in His "preincarnate" state? Many believe it is.  

Jdg 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? The Israelites were to destroy the altars of the Canaanites, but they disobeyed God's command. Instead they made covenants with the people. Mingled in with their ways and partied on with the enemy. Kind of like some churches today who always give in to political correctness. (2 Thessalonians 1:8, 1 Peter 4:17).

Jdg 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. These people will be thorns in the sides of the Israelites and their false gods a constant temptation. (Joshua 23:13, Psalm 106:36).

Jdg 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. Sad day for the children of Israel.

Jdg 2:5 And they called the name of that place Bochim: and they sacrificed there unto the LORD. Bochim: Meaning the weepers.

Jdg 2:6 And when Joshua had let the people go, the children of Israel went every man unto his inheritance to possess the land. Reference to (Joshua 24:28-31).

Jdg 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. Also a reference to (Joshua 24:31).

Jdg 2:8 And Joshua the son of Nun, the servant of the LORD, died, being an hundred and ten years old. 

Jdg 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. Timnathheres: This was his own inheritance; and Eusebius says it was celebrated in his time for the tomb of Joshua. (Joshua 19:50, 24:30), Timnath-serah.

Jdg 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. Joshua's generation gone and a new generation grew up who did not acknowledge the Lord. Sounds like generations of today. Many claim they know God, but in their works they deny Him. (Titus 1:16).

Jdg 2:11 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim: Going after false gods and false teachings. Sound familiar?

Jdg 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. They went after the gods of the people around them and angered the Lord. (Just like many are chasing after new doctrines of men today).

Jdg 2:13 And they forsook the LORD, and served Baal and Ashtaroth. Abandoned the Lord and went for the gods of the Canaanites. "Baal and Ashtoreth."

Jdg 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. God will let trouble come upon you if you ask for it. He turned them over to their enemies and they could not resist them.

Jdg 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. Every time Israel went out to battle, the Lord fought against them, causing them to be defeated. "They were in great distress." (2 Corinthians 4:8).

Jdg 2:16 Nevertheless the LORD raised up judges, which delivered them out of the hand of those that spoiled them. Judges: Given to the name of the book. (One who would make right what was wrong; hence, a ruler or leader of the people).

Jdg 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. Well, the people of Israel did not listen to the judges, but rather prostituted themselves by worshipping other gods. (How quick people can turn from the Lord).

Jdg 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. God was with every judge that He raised up over Israel. He would rescue the people from the enemy throughout the judges lifetime.

Jdg 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 problem was that when the appointed judge died, the people returned to their corrupt ways again. It only got worse, as they went after other false gods and refused to give up their evil practices and stubborn ways. "Its going on today and people are more hardheaded than ever." They say still unto them that despise me, The LORD hath said, Ye shall have peace; and they say unto every one that walketh after the imagination of his own heart, No evil shall come upon you. (Jeremiah 23:17). They tell the people who do not pay attention to God; don't worry, the Lord says you will have peace. And to those who follow their own way and ways of the world; don't worry, no harm will come to you. (i.e. they lie to you, to get into your pockets). 

Jdg 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; People: Nation.

Jdg 2:21 I also will not henceforth drive out any from before them of the nations which Joshua left when he died: The nations Joshua left unconquered would no longer be driven out for a reason.

Jdg 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. A test for Israel to see if they would follow the ways of the Lord as their ancestors did.

Jdg 2:23 Therefore the LORD left those nations, without driving them out hastily; neither delivered he them into the hand of Joshua. These nations are left in place to be a thorn in Israel's side. One generation follows the Lord and the next falls away and serves other gods. "They became a backsliding nation."

Judges 3

Jdg 3:1 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; The Israelites will be tested who had not experienced wars of Canaan.

Jdg 3:2 Only that the generations of the children of Israel might know, to teach them war, at the least such as before knew nothing thereof; He did this to teach them warfare who never had experience in battle. Their fathers fought by a divine power. God taught their hands to war and their fingers to fight, that they might be the instruments of destruction to the wicked nations on whom the curse rested; but now that they had forfeited His favor, they must learn what it is to fight like other men. God wants us all to be prepared for battle in the end times. Our battle will be against principalities, powers, rulers of the darkness, and spiritual wickedness in high places. "To do this we need to put on the whole armor of God." (Ephesians 6:11-18).

Jdg 3:3 Namely, five lords of the Philistines, and all the Canaanites, and the Sidonians, and the Hivites that dwelt in mount Lebanon, from mount Baalhermon unto the entering in of Hamath. Five Lords of the Philistines (Joshua 13:3), Canaanites (scattered in the land), Sidonians and Hivites (living in the mountains of Lebanon).

Jdg 3:4 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. All these people were left to test the Israelites to see if they will obey the commands of the Lord. What happens when we don't care or follow the ways of the Lord and receive His truth? Read (2 Thessalonians 2:9-12). 

Jdg 3:5 And the children of Israel dwelt among the Canaanites, Hittites, and Amorites, and Perizzites, and Hivites, and Jebusites: Dwelt among: We don't have the Canaanites dwelling in Israel, but Israel dwelling among the Canaanites, who were to be exterminated. (Exodus 3:8, Deuteronomy 7:1). Keep in mind that the kenites (sons of Cain), lived among the Canaanites.

Jdg 3:6 And they took their daughters to be their wives, and gave their daughters to their sons, and served their gods. Now the Israelites intermarried with them, contrary to God's express command. (Exodus 34:16, Deuteronomy 7:3-4).

Jdg 3:7 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD, and forgat the LORD their God, and served Baalim and the groves. Just as the Lord said, they forgot about the Lord their God, and they served others gods (male and female), the images of Baal and the groves. (Ashera, a Phoenician goddess).

Jdg 3:8 Therefore the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hand of Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia: and the children of Israel served Chushanrishathaim eight years. Chushanrishathaim: Meaning "double wickedness."

Jdg 3:9 And when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised up a deliverer to the children of Israel, who delivered them, even Othniel the son of Kenaz, Caleb's younger brother. The people of Israel cried for the Lord to help them, and He raised up a rescuer to deliver them. His name was Othniel. (The force of God).

Jdg 3:10 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he judged Israel, and went out to war: and the LORD delivered Chushanrishathaim king of Mesopotamia into his hand; and his hand prevailed against Chushanrishathaim. The Spirit of the Lord (the Holy Spirit), came upon Othniel and he became Israel's judge. "The Lord gave him victory over the king of Chushanrishathaim.

Jdg 3:11 And the land had rest forty years. And Othniel the son of Kenaz died. The Israelites had peace for 40 years. (40 meaning testing or probation). Then Othniel the judge died.

Jdg 3:12 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD strengthened Eglon the king of Moab against Israel, because they had done evil in the sight of the LORD. Here we go, Israel backsliding again. More evil in the Lord's sight. 

Jdg 3:13 And he gathered unto him the children of Ammon and Amalek, and went and smote Israel, and possessed the city of palm trees. This would be Jericho.

Jdg 3:14 So the children of Israel served Eglon the king of Moab eighteen years. 

Jdg 3:15 But when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, the LORD raised them up a deliverer, Ehud the son of Gera, a Benjamite, a man lefthanded: and by him the children of Israel sent a present unto Eglon the king of Moab. The people cried out again to the Lord, and He raised up another judge named Ehud (a left handed man), to rescue the Israelites. Left handed: Heb. shut of his right hand, This Hebrew phrase intimates that, either through disease or disuse, he made little or no use of the right hand, but of his left only, and so was the less fit for war, because he would most likely wield a dagger awkwardly. Yet God chose this left-handed man to be the minister of his retributive justice. It was God's right hand that gained Israel the victory, (Psalm 44:3); not the right hand of the instruments he employed. (Judges 20:16, 1 Chronicles 12:2).  

Jdg 3:16 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. Double edged dagger: Reference to the double edge sword of the Lord. (Hebrews 4:12, Revelation 1:16). "The double edge sword of the Lord is the Word of God."

Jdg 3:17 And he brought the present unto Eglon king of Moab: and Eglon was a very fat man. Here we have a porky fellow.

Jdg 3:18 And when he had made an end to offer the present, he sent away the people that bare the present. Ethud delivered the payment to Eglon and then headed home.

Jdg 3:19 But he himself turned again from the quarries 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. Once they were near the stone idols near Gilgal, Ehud decides to turn back. (He was on a secret mission). He tells king Eglon that he had a secret message for him. Eglon was kind of excited and curious, so he sends everyone out of the room.

Jdg 3:20 And Ehud came unto him; and he was sitting in a summer parlour, which he had for himself alone. And Ehud said, I have a message from God unto thee. And he arose out of his seat. Eglon was laying back in a cool upstairs room when Ehud approached him with the secret.

Jdg 3:21 And Ehud put forth his left hand, and took the dagger from his right thigh, and thrust it into his belly: Covertly Ehud reached for his dagger with his left hand and plunged it into the king's belly.

Jdg 3:22 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. Ehud plunged the dagger in so far that the handle disappeared beneath all the kings fat. He left the dagger in his belly and all his bowels began to empty.

Jdg 3:23 Then Ehud went forth through the porch, and shut the doors of the parlour upon him, and locked them. Ehud locked all the doors of the room and escaped.

Jdg 3:24 When he was gone out, his servants came; and when they saw that, behold, the doors of the parlour were locked, they said, Surely he covereth his feet in his summer chamber. The king's servants returned and found the doors locked. They thought the king was using the latrine and didn't want to bother him. (This gave time for Ehud to escape).

Jdg 3:25 And they tarried till they were ashamed: and, behold, he opened not the doors of the parlour; therefore they took a key, and opened them: and, behold, their lord was fallen down dead on the earth. After a while the servants became concerned, opened the door and found their king dead. 

Jdg 3:26 And Ehud escaped while they tarried, and passed beyond the quarries, and escaped unto Seirath. Ehud escaped while the servants were waiting to see what happened. Quite the covert action that was guided by God. (He always gets the job done).

Jdg 3:27 And it came to pass, when he was come, that he blew a trumpet in the mountain of Ephraim, and the children of Israel went down with him from the mount, and he before them. When Ehud arrived back to the hill country, he sounded the call to arms and led a band of Israelites down from the hills.

Jdg 3:28 And he said unto them, Follow after me: for the LORD hath delivered your enemies the Moabites into your hand. And they went down after him, and took the fords of Jordan toward Moab, and suffered not a man to pass over.

Jdg 3:29 And they slew of Moab at that time about ten thousand men, all lusty, and all men of valour; and there escaped not a man.

Jdg 3:30 So Moab was subdued that day under the hand of Israel. And the land had rest fourscore years. After Ehud's victory over the Moabites, they had peace for another eighty years. (It was really God's victory).

Jdg 3:31 And after him was Shamgar the son of Anath, which slew of the Philistines six hundred men with an ox goad: and he also delivered Israel. Shamgar (son of Anath), was another judge that rescued Israel. He was like a martial arts master with a staff. He killed 600 Philistines with an ox goad.   

Judges 4

Jdg 4:1 And the children of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, when Ehud was dead. 

Jdg 4:2 And the LORD sold them into the hand of Jabin king of Canaan, that reigned in Hazor; the captain of whose host was Sisera, which dwelt in Harosheth of the Gentiles. Here we have another Jabin, not the same as in (Joshua 11:1-11). Jabin: (Strong's H2958 "yabiyn" meaning intelligent; jabin, the name of two Canaanitish kings).

Jdg 4:3 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD: for he had nine hundred chariots of iron; and twenty years he mightily oppressed the children of Israel. The captain had a mighty army of 900 chariots and oppressed the Israelites for twenty years.

Jdg 4:4 And Deborah, a prophetess, the wife of Lapidoth, she judged Israel at that time. Deborah was an inspired woman of God. 

Jdg 4:5 And she dwelt under the palm tree of Deborah between Ramah and Bethel in mount Ephraim: and the children of Israel came up to her for judgment. She would conduct her affairs in the outdoors with the Israelites.

Jdg 4:6 And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of Kedeshnaphtali, and said unto him, Hath not the LORD God of Israel commanded, saying, Go and draw toward mount Tabor, and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali and of the children of Zebulun? Deborah sends for Barak and gives him a message from the Lord to get 10,000 warriors ready for battle. (Some scholars say that Barak may have been the husband of Debra).

Jdg 4:7 And I will draw unto thee to the river Kishon Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army, with his chariots and his multitude; and I will deliver him into thine hand. God is going to draw out Jabin's army and deliver them right into the hands of the Israelites. (God is in control here).

Jdg 4:8 And Barak said unto her, If thou wilt go with me, then I will go: but if thou wilt not go with me, then I will not go. Barak knew that Debra was inspired of God and knew what she was talking about. But, apparently he did not have the faith that Debra did. If he was going to lead the army into battle, he wanted Debra there by his side. (Some men can lead without a woman, some men can't). Debra was going to give him the confidence he needed (that God would lead and give the victory). Remember when Jesus called out to Peter on the waters, but he began to sink because he lacked faith? (Matthew 14:30-31). i.e. Debra had her faith in God and Barak had his faith in Debra. 

Jdg 4:9 And she said, I will surely go with thee: notwithstanding the journey that thou takest shall not be for thine honour; for the LORD shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman. And Deborah arose, and went with Barak to Kedesh. Debra agreed and said, "I will surely go with thee." Don't take this word "surely" lightly. She was firm and confident in agreeing to go with Barak. "No problem for Debra." However, Debra does tell Barak that even if he leads the army into victory, he would not get the credit or honor in this venture. "The Lord's victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman."    

Jdg 4:10 And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him. Called: By proclamation.

Jdg 4:11 Now Heber the Kenite, which was of the children of Hobab the father in law of Moses, had severed himself from the Kenites, and pitched his tent unto the plain of Zaanaim, which is by Kedesh. Heber the kenite, has a tent pitched by the oak of Zaanannim, near kedesh. (Here we have a little set up coming by divine intervention).

Jdg 4:12 And they shewed Sisera that Barak the son of Abinoam was gone up to mount Tabor. Sisera was told that Barak might be making a move against them and went to Mount Tabor. 

Jdg 4:13 And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon. Sisera gathers his army of chariots and heads to the Kishon river. These were some bad "chariots of iron." Probably chariots armed with iron scythes, projecting from the axle on each side, by which the infantry might be easily cut down or thrown into confusion. The ancient Britons are said to have had such chariots.

Jdg 4:14 And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him. Debra tells Barak, Get ready! This is the day: This is exactly the purpose for which the Septuagint states (Judges 4:8), that Barak wished Deborah to accompany him: "Because I know not the day in which God will send his angel to give me prosperity." Lord gone out: "The Lord and His angels are marching before you." Debra knew God was with them but still had to encourage Barak to make the move. "Barak leads the army of ten thousand into battle." Mount Tabor: This is a strategic area that God chose.

Very fertile ground: Mount Tabor, called by the Arabs Djebel Tour, is almost entirely insulated, and rises up in the plain of Esdraelon, about six miles from Nazareth, in a conical form, somewhat like a sugar-loaf. Josephus states its height to be thirty stadia, with a plain of 26 stadia in circumference on its top, on which was formerly a city, which was used as a military post. It is described as an exceedingly beautiful mountain, having a rich soil, producing excellent herbage, and adorned with groves and clumps of trees.

Jdg 4:15 And the LORD discomfited Sisera, and all his chariots, and all his host, with the edge of the sword before Barak; so that Sisera lighted down off his chariot, and fled away on his feet. When Barak attacked, "the Lord disrupted the chariots and threw their warriors into a panic." Keep in mind that the soil was very soft and fertile in the area of the Kishon river. I believe that the chariots began to sink into the soil rendering them useless. Possibly even a little flooding of the Kishon river as in (Judges 5:20-21). However, Sisera gets off his chariot and escaped on foot. 

Jdg 4:16 But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left. Barak led the army after the enemy killing all of Sisera's warriors.

Jdg 4:17 Howbeit Sisera fled away on his feet to the tent of Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite: for there was peace between Jabin the king of Hazor and the house of Heber the Kenite. Now we come to Jael again, the wife of Heber the kenite. (Remember her from back in verse 4:11). The family was on good terms with King Jabin, so Sisera runs to their tent to hide out.

Jdg 4:18 And Jael went out to meet Sisera, and said unto him, Turn in, my lord, turn in to me; fear not. And when he had turned in unto her into the tent, she covered him with a mantle. Jael greets Sisera, invites him in and covers him with a blanket. 

Jdg 4:19 And he said unto her, Give me, I pray thee, a little water to drink; for I am thirsty. And she opened a bottle of milk, and gave him drink, and covered him. Jael gives him a drink of milk to comfort him making him feel right at home.

Jdg 4:20 Again he said unto her, Stand in the door of the tent, and it shall be, when any man doth come and enquire of thee, and say, Is there any man here? that thou shalt say, No. If anyone knocks, "I'm not here." He just wanted to rest a while before he took off again. "Big mistake!"

Jdg 4:21 Then Jael Heber's wife took a nail of the tent, and took an hammer in her hand, and went softly unto him, and smote the nail into his temples, and fastened it into the ground: for he was fast asleep and weary. So he died. When Sisera fell asleep from exhaustion, Jael crept up to him real quietly with a hammer and a tent peg in her hand. "Lights out!" Jael took the tent peg to his temple and drove the peg right through his head and into the ground. Of course he died. As was prophesied by Debra in verse 4:9. "The Lord's victory over Sisera will be at the hands of a woman." That woman was Sisera. (God uses whom ever He wills and is always in control).

Jdg 4:22 And, behold, as Barak pursued Sisera, Jael came out to meet him, and said unto him, Come, and I will shew thee the man whom thou seekest. And when he came into her tent, behold, Sisera lay dead, and the nail was in his temples. Barak came pursuing Sisera but Jael met him and showed him what she had done. 

Jdg 4:23 So God subdued on that day Jabin the king of Canaan before the children of Israel. Israel saw another great defeat by the hand of God.

Jdg 4:24 And the hand of the children of Israel prospered, and prevailed against Jabin the king of Canaan, until they had destroyed Jabin king of Canaan. From that time on, Israel became stronger and stronger. (We need to learn that it is God who deserves all the credit, not man or woman). Again, it is God who is in control, and He uses who ever He wants to further His overall plan).  

Judges 5

Jdg 5:1 Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying, Debra and Barak sing their victory song.

Jdg 5:2 Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves. The victory for Deborah and Barak followed when the leaders of the people took charge, then the people gladly followed.

Jdg 5:3 Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel. Warning to the kings and mighty rulers that God leads Israel.

Jdg 5:4 LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water. 

Jdg 5:5 The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel. Referring back to the time of Moses. (Exodus 19:18).

Jdg 5:6 In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways. A time when people avoided the main roads because they were afraid to travel.

Jdg 5:7 The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel. Deborah arose to the occasion.

Jdg 5:8 They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel? Israel chose new Gods (Deuteronomy 32:16-17), and they were not equipped for war. (1 Samuel 13:19-22).

Jdg 5:9 My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD. Those who volunteered for war.

Jdg 5:10 Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way. Those who ride the white donkeys were the wealthy.

Jdg 5:11 They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates. Place of drawing waters: This is where the women hung out and could be found. Get the water and be gone, because of the danger of meeting robbers and assassins.

Jdg 5:12 Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam. Deborah encourages and Barak leads the captives.

Jdg 5:13 Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty. The people of Israel marched against the mighty warriors. (With the help of the Lord).

Jdg 5:14 Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer. 

Jdg 5:15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart. These were the groups of people that were with Deborah and Barak in battle. The tribe of Reuben, not so much.

Jdg 5:16 Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart. The tribe of Reuben decided to sit back and watch, tending to their flocks.

Jdg 5:17 Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches. These were the other groups that did not join in on the battle.

Jdg 5:18 Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field. These tribes joined in to fight the battle.

Jdg 5:19 The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money. They all fought but took no treasures.

Jdg 5:20 They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera. Divine intervention from heaven. Remember (Joshua 10:11).

Jdg 5:21 The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength. Remember back in (Judges 4:15), that the river of Kishon may have flooded causing the chariots to get stuck in the mud.

Jdg 5:22 Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones. Anciently, horses were not shod; nor are they at the present day in some parts of the East. The flight was so rapid that the hoofs of their horses were splintered and broken by the roughness of the roads; in consequence of which they became lame, and could not carry off their riders.

Jdg 5:23 Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty. These people were right near the trouble but offered no assistance. This city of Meroz seems to have been, at this time, a place of considerable importance, since something great was expected from it; but probably, after the angel of the Lord had pronounced this curse, it dwindled and like the fig-tree which Christ cursed, withered away; so that we never read of it after this in Scripture.

Jdg 5:24 Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent. Jael, blessed above all women who live in tents.

Jdg 5:25 He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.

Jdg 5:26 She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

Jdg 5:27 At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead. Sisera died at the hand of Jael. She would be blessed because she allowed herself to be used by the Lord.

Jdg 5:28 The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots? A mother looking out for her child, "good or bad." (Everybody gets one).

Jdg 5:29 Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,

Jdg 5:30 Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil? The mother of Sisera is thinking that her son was busy dividing the treasure and women that they captured. Wrong!

Jdg 5:31 So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years. Deborah ends her song with "may all your enemies die, and your allies rise like the sun." There would be peace in the land for another 40 years. (Still more probation).  

Judges 6

Jdg 6:1 And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the LORD: and the LORD delivered them into the hand of Midian seven years. Well, here we go again. The Israelites backslid and the Lord handed them over to the Midianites, but this time it only takes seven years before they cry out to the Lord.

Jdg 6:2 And the hand of Midian prevailed against Israel: and because of the Midianites the children of Israel made them the dens which are in the mountains, and caves, and strong holds. Hiding places among the mountains and caves. These were retreats for the distressed Israelites. (1 Samuel 13:6).

Jdg 6:3 And so it was, when Israel had sown, that the Midianites came up, and the Amalekites, and the children of the east, even they came up against them; The Israelites planted crops only to be raided by the marauders from Midian.

Jdg 6:4 And they encamped against them, and destroyed the increase of the earth, till thou come unto Gaza, and left no sustenance for Israel, neither sheep, nor ox, nor ass. They took everything, leaving the Israelites nothing to eat. 

Jdg 6:5 For they came up with their cattle and their tents, and they came as grasshoppers for multitude; for both they and their camels were without number: and they entered into the land to destroy it. The enemy came in hordes with their livestock and tents. They were thick as locust and arrived on droves of camels. They stripped the land bare. (Similar to the locust army of Revelation 9).

Jdg 6:6 And Israel was greatly impoverished because of the Midianites; and the children of Israel cried unto the LORD. After the Israelites were reduced to starvation by the Medianites, "they cried out to the Lord once again for help.

Jdg 6:7 And it came to pass, when the children of Israel cried unto the LORD because of the Midianites, When the children cry the Lord listens. 

Jdg 6:8 That the LORD sent a prophet unto the children of Israel, which said unto them, Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I brought you up from Egypt, and brought you forth out of the house of bondage; The Lord sends them a prophet. 

Jdg 6:9 And I delivered you out of the hand of the Egyptians, and out of the hand of all that oppressed you, and drave them out from before you, and gave you their land; 

Jdg 6:10 And I said unto you, I am the LORD your God; fear not the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but ye have not obeyed my voice. 

Jdg 6:11 And there came an angel of the LORD, and sat under an oak which was in Ophrah, that pertained unto Joash the Abiezrite: and his son Gideon threshed wheat by the winepress, to hide it from the Midianites. Here we have the deliverer Gideon, son of Joash. He was threshing wheat at the bottom of a wine press that was sunk in the ground to hide it from the Midianites.

Jdg 6:12 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. The angel of the Lord appears to him and tells Gideon that the Lord was with him.

Jdg 6:13 And Gideon said unto him, Oh my Lord, if the LORD be with us, why then is all this befallen us? and where be all his miracles which our fathers told us of, saying, Did not the LORD bring us up from Egypt? but now the LORD hath forsaken us, and delivered us into the hands of the Midianites. Gideon questions the angel of the Lord about why the Lord has abandoned them, handing them over to the Midianites.

Jdg 6:14 And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have not I sent thee? Go with the strength you have (knowledge of the Lord and your own weakness), and rescue Israel from the Midianites. It will be by faith that Gideon leads the people. And what shall I more say? for the time would fail me to tell of Gedeon, and of Barak, and of Samson, and of Jephthae; of David also, and Samuel, and of the prophets. (Hebrews 11:32). How much more do I have to tell you about these people of faith? Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel, and all the prophets. Who through faith subdued kingdoms, wrought righteousness, obtained promises, stopped the mouths of lions. (Hebrews 11:33). They did all these things by their faith. Quenched the violence of fire, escaped the edge of the sword, out of weakness were made strong, waxed valiant in fight, turned to flight the armies of the aliens. (Hebrews 11:34). They quenched flames of fire, escaped death by the sword. Their weakness was turned to strength and they became strong in battle against armies they fought.

Jdg 6:15 And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father's house. Its not always about the richest, most talented, and best looking. "Sometimes God uses the weakest and least popular." (1 Corinthians 1:27-29, 15:9, Ephesians 3:8). Everyone is important to God, and He uses whom ever He wills. (Good or bad, weak or strong). 

Jdg 6:16 And the LORD said unto him, Surely I will be with thee, and thou shalt smite the Midianites as one man. The Lord tells Gideon, "I will be with you." You will destroy the Midianites as if you were fighting one man. (It will be a piece of cake). 

Jdg 6:17 And he said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, then shew me a sign that thou talkest with me. Gideon losing a little faith and wants a sign from the Lord.

Jdg 6:18 Depart not hence, I pray thee, until I come unto thee, and bring forth my present, and set it before thee. And he said, I will tarry until thou come again. Gideon wants the angel of the Lord to hang out till he returns with a offering.

Jdg 6:19 And Gideon went in, and made ready a kid, and unleavened cakes of an ephah of flour: the flesh he put in a basket, and he put the broth in a pot, and brought it out unto him under the oak, and presented it. He prepares the sacrifice.  

Jdg 6:20 And the angel of God said unto him, Take the flesh and the unleavened cakes, and lay them upon this rock, and pour out the broth. And he did so. Gideon follows the instructions from the angel of the Lord.

Jdg 6:21 Then the angel of the LORD put forth the end of the staff that was in his hand, and touched the flesh and the unleavened cakes; and there rose up fire out of the rock, and consumed the flesh and the unleavened cakes. Then the angel of the LORD departed out of his sight. The fire was a token of Yahveh's acceptance. 

Jdg 6:22 And when Gideon perceived that he was an angel of the LORD, Gideon said, Alas, O Lord GOD! for because I have seen an angel of the LORD face to face. Something Gideon never had seen before. Would this convince him?

Jdg 6:23 And the LORD said unto him, Peace be unto thee; fear not: thou shalt not die. The Lord tells him not to be afraid.

Jdg 6:24 Then Gideon built an altar there unto the LORD, and called it Jehovahshalom: unto this day it is yet in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. Yahveh Shalom, "the Lord is peace."

Jdg 6:25 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Take thy father's young bullock, even the second bullock of seven years old, and throw down the altar of Baal that thy father hath, and cut down the grove that is by it: Gideon gets his first orders from the Lord. Take the seven year old bull from your father's herd. (Seven meaning spiritual completeness). Pull down the altar to Baal, and cut down the Asherah pole beside it. (i.e. get rid of the false idols). 

Jdg 6:26 And build an altar unto the LORD thy God upon the top of this rock, in the ordered place, and take the second bullock, and offer a burnt sacrifice with the wood of the grove which thou shalt cut down. Sacrifice the bull and use the idols as fuel for the fire. (To show how worthless these idols were).

Jdg 6:27 Then Gideon took ten men of his servants, and did as the LORD had said unto him: and so it was, because he feared his father's household, and the men of the city, that he could not do it by day, that he did it by night. Gideon did as the Lord commanded. He did it at night so the other members of his household would not see him.

Jdg 6:28 And when the men of the city arose early in the morning, behold, the altar of Baal was cast down, and the grove was cut down that was by it, and the second bullock was offered upon the altar that was built. In the morning, the people discovered what happened during the night, and in there place was a new altar and the remains of the bull that had been sacrificed.

Jdg 6:29 And they said one to another, Who hath done this thing? And when they enquired and asked, they said, Gideon the son of Joash hath done this thing. The people figured out that it was Gideon who did this.

Jdg 6:30 Then the men of the city said unto Joash, Bring out thy son, that he may die: because he hath cast down the altar of Baal, and because he hath cut down the grove that was by it. These people were angry and wanted to kill Gedeon.

Jdg 6:31 And Joash said unto all that stood against him, Will ye plead for Baal? will ye save him? he that will plead for him, let him be put to death whilst it is yet morning: if he be a god, let him plead for himself, because one hath cast down his altar. Joash defends Gedeon. He tells the people, "if Baal is truly a god, let him defend himself and destroy the one who broke down his altar! (Joash calls him out). However, we all know that Baal can do nothing. Totally worthless!

Jdg 6:32 Therefore on that day he called him Jerubbaal, saying, Let Baal plead against him, because he hath thrown down his altar. Jerubbaal: Meaning "Let Baal defend himself." 

Jdg 6:33 Then all the Midianites and the Amalekites and the children of the east were gathered together, and went over, and pitched in the valley of Jezreel. Soon afterward the armies of the Medianites, the Amalekites and the people of the east formed an alliance against Israel, crossing the Jordan, getting ready to attack. 

Jdg 6:34 But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon, and he blew a trumpet; and Abiezer was gathered after him. The Spirit came upon Gedeon and he sounds trumpet, a call to arms.

Jdg 6:35 And he sent messengers throughout all Manasseh; who also was gathered after him: and he sent messengers unto Asher, and unto Zebulun, and unto Naphtali; and they came up to meet them. Gedeon sends for warriors in the surrounding area and they all respond. (Devine intervention here).

Jdg 6:36 And Gideon said unto God, If thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said,

Jdg 6:37 Behold, I will put a fleece of wool in the floor; and if the dew be on the fleece only, and it be dry upon all the earth beside, then shall I know that thou wilt save Israel by mine hand, as thou hast said. Gedeon showing a little lack of faith again, but God goes along with it.

Jdg 6:38 And it was so: for he rose up early on the morrow, and thrust the fleece together, and wringed the dew out of the fleece, a bowl full of water. It happened just as Gedeon asked.

Jdg 6:39 And Gideon said unto God, Let not thine anger be hot against me, and I will speak but this once: let me prove, I pray thee, but this once with the fleece; let it now be dry only upon the fleece, and upon all the ground let there be dew. Still not satisfied, Gedeon wants more proof from the Lord.

Jdg 6:40 And God did so that night: for it was dry upon the fleece only, and there was dew on all the ground. God did what Gedeon asked again to give him confidence that he was truly instructed by the Lord. Gedeon is now ready for battle against the Medianites. 

Judges 7

Jdg 7:1 Then Jerubbaal, who is Gideon, and all the people that were with him, rose up early, and pitched beside the well of Harod: so that the host of the Midianites were on the north side of them, by the hill of Moreh, in the valley. Jerubbaal had now become the surname of Gideon. Gedeon and his army headed out early in the morning and went as far as the spring of Harod.

Jdg 7:2 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people that are with thee are too many for me to give the Midianites into their hands, lest Israel vaunt themselves against me, saying, Mine own hand hath saved me. Even though Gedeon and his army were facing a much larger army Midianites, God tells him that he has to many men. Why? Because if they defeat the Midianites, the people of Israel will say they defeated the Midianites on their own without the help of God. God don't need a large number of humans to fight his wars, he knows spiritual warfare and has a band of fighting angels to back Him up.

Jdg 7:3 Now therefore go to, proclaim in the ears of the people, saying, Whosoever is fearful and afraid, let him return and depart early from mount Gilead. And there returned of the people twenty and two thousand; and there remained ten thousand. Israel started with 32,000 men, but 22,000 went home. Good thing they did, because these men were a little afraid. This left only 10,000 men to fight against an army of Midianites 135,000 strong.

Jdg 7:4 And the LORD said unto Gideon, The people are yet too many; bring them down unto the water, and I will try them for thee there: and it shall be, that of whom I say unto thee, This shall go with thee, the same shall go with thee; and of whomsoever I say unto thee, This shall not go with thee, the same shall not go. The Lord tells Gideon he still has to many men and that He would test the ones He wants to remain and fight.

Jdg 7:5 So he brought down the people unto the water: and the LORD said unto Gideon, Every one that lappeth of the water with his tongue, as a dog lappeth, him shalt thou set by himself; likewise every one that boweth down upon his knees to drink. Lappeth: i.e. without kneeling down as idolaters were accustomed to do. (1 Kings 19:18).

Jdg 7:6 And the number of them that lapped, putting their hand to their mouth, were three hundred men: but all the rest of the people bowed down upon their knees to drink water. Only 300 of the men drank with their hands.

Jdg 7:7 And the LORD said unto Gideon, By the three hundred men that lapped will I save you, and deliver the Midianites into thine hand: and let all the other people go every man unto his place. 300 men were called to give Gideon victory over the Midianites. (With the help of God).

Jdg 7:8 So the people took victuals in their hand, and their trumpets: and he sent all the rest of Israel every man unto his tent, and retained those three hundred men: and the host of Midian was beneath him in the valley. 

Jdg 7:9 And it came to pass the same night, that the LORD said unto him, Arise, get thee down unto the host; for I have delivered it into thine hand. 

Jdg 7:10 But if thou fear to go down, go thou with Phurah thy servant down to the host: If you are not sure of yourself Gideon, take your servant Phurah and scout out the camp of the Midianites.

Jdg 7:11 And thou shalt hear what they say; and afterward shall thine hands be strengthened to go down unto the host. Then went he down with Phurah his servant unto the outside of the armed men that were in the host. They went down to the camp and heard some encouraging words. (Gideon needed a little push).

Jdg 7:12 And the Midianites and the Amalekites and all the children of the east lay along in the valley like grasshoppers for multitude; and their camels were without number, as the sand by the sea side for multitude. The Midianite army looked like a swarm of locust because their was so many. (Just as the locust army of the end times). "The kings of the east will return!" 

Jdg 7:13 And when Gideon was come, behold, there was a man that told a dream unto his fellow, and said, Behold, I dreamed a dream, and, lo, a cake of barley bread tumbled into the host of Midian, and came unto a tent, and smote it that it fell, and overturned it, that the tent lay along. This man was telling a story about his dream. It was about a runaway loaf of barley bread that tumbled into the Midianite camp and knocked a tent flat! Here's the deal... Barley is a poor mans grain. This would represent Israel as poor and weak, hiding up in the hills. However, when they hit, it will be like a runaway bolder rather than a loaf of bread. (Only because God is with them).

Jdg 7:14 And his fellow answered and said, This is nothing else save the sword of Gideon the son of Joash, a man of Israel: for into his hand hath God delivered Midian, and all the host. These guys just sealed their own fate by interpreting the dream.

Jdg 7:15 And it was so, when Gideon heard the telling of the dream, and the interpretation thereof, that he worshipped, and returned into the host of Israel, and said, Arise; for the LORD hath delivered into your hand the host of Midian. Gideon heard the interpretation of the dream and was full of encouragement then. He thanked the Lord and returned to the Israelites. "Get up guys!" Its time for our victory over the Midianites, "the Lord is with us!"

Jdg 7:16 And he divided the three hundred men into three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man's hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers. He divided the men into three groups with a trumpet and signal torches in every mans hand.

Jdg 7:17 And he said unto them, Look on me, and do likewise: and, behold, when I come to the outside of the camp, it shall be that, as I do, so shall ye do. Follow my signal.

Jdg 7:18 When I blow with a trumpet, I and all that are with me, then blow ye the trumpets also on every side of all the camp, and say, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. Follow my lead.

Jdg 7:19 So Gideon, and the hundred men that were with him, came unto the outside of the camp in the beginning of the middle watch; and they had but newly set the watch: and they blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers that were in their hands. 

Jdg 7:20 And the three companies blew the trumpets, and brake the pitchers, and held the lamps in their left hands, and the trumpets in their right hands to blow withal: and they cried, The sword of the LORD, and of Gideon. The idea here was every man blow the the trumpet and wave the torch (sound and sight of a charging army), that would seem much larger than it really was. 

Jdg 7:21 And they stood every man in his place round about the camp: and all the host ran, and cried, and fled. The Midianites rushed around in panic shouting as they ran to escape. They thought a huge army was about to attack.

Jdg 7:22 And the three hundred blew the trumpets, and the LORD set every man's sword against his fellow, even throughout all the host: and the host fled to Bethshittah in Zererath, and to the border of Abelmeholah, unto Tabbath. They were so confused that they began to fight against each other. Those who were not killed fled to the hills. (Divine intervention).

Jdg 7:23 And the men of Israel gathered themselves together out of Naphtali, and out of Asher, and out of all Manasseh, and pursued after the Midianites. The Israelites chased after them.

Jdg 7:24 And Gideon sent messengers throughout all mount Ephraim, saying, Come down against the Midianites, and take before them the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. Then all the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and took the waters unto Bethbarah and Jordan. While the men of Ephraim cut them off at the shallow crossing of the Jordan river.

Jdg 7:25 And they took two princes of the Midianites, Oreb and Zeeb; and they slew Oreb upon the rock Oreb, and Zeeb they slew at the winepress of Zeeb, and pursued Midian, and brought the heads of Oreb and Zeeb to Gideon on the other side Jordan. The Israelites get the victory over the Midianites that would be remembered forever. (God is always in control).

Judges 8

Jdg 8:1 And the men of Ephraim said unto him, Why hast thou served us thus, that thou calledst us not, when thou wentest to fight with the Midianites? And they did chide with him sharply. The people of Ephraim asked Gideon why he didn't inform them of the battle and began to argue. The  beginning of conflict that caused division of the kingdoms.

Jdg 8:2 And he said unto them, What have I done now in comparison of you? Is not the gleaning of the grapes of Ephraim better than the vintage of Abiezer? What are you complaining about?

Jdg 8:3 God hath delivered into your hands the princes of Midian, Oreb and Zeeb: and what was I able to do in comparison of you? Then their anger was abated toward him, when he had said that. God gave you the victory over the enemy. What have I accomplished compared to that?

Jdg 8:4 And Gideon came to Jordan, and passed over, he, and the three hundred men that were with him, faint, yet pursuing them. Note that Gideon still has the 300 men he started with as he continues to pursue the enemy. (When God is on your side there is nothing to worry about).

Jdg 8:5 And he said unto the men of Succoth, Give, I pray you, loaves of bread unto the people that follow me; for they be faint, and I am pursuing after Zebah and Zalmunna, kings of Midian. Needs a little nourishment and rest for his men.

Jdg 8:6 And the princes of Succoth said, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thine army? The officials of Succoth were not going to help until Gideon catches Zebah and Zalmunna first. They still felt threatened by these guys.

Jdg 8:7 And Gideon said, Therefore when the LORD hath delivered Zebah and Zalmunna into mine hand, then I will tear your flesh with the thorns of the wilderness and with briers. "Don't cross a man of God." You might not like the outcome.

Jdg 8:8 And he went up thence to Penuel, and spake unto them likewise: and the men of Penuel answered him as the men of Succoth had answered him. Same answer form these guys. "No help from us."

Jdg 8:9 And he spake also unto the men of Penuel, saying, When I come again in peace, I will break down this tower. A little threat on their tower.

Jdg 8:10 Now Zebah and Zalmunna were in Karkor, and their hosts with them, about fifteen thousand men, all that were left of all the hosts of the children of the east: for there fell an hundred and twenty thousand men that drew sword. 15,000 men left of the enemy.

Jdg 8:11 And Gideon went up by the way of them that dwelt in tents on the east of Nobah and Jogbehah, and smote the host: for the host was secure. Gideon caught up to them by surprise. As we would say today, "caught them with their pants down."

Jdg 8:12 And when Zebah and Zalmunna fled, he pursued after them, and took the two kings of Midian, Zebah and Zalmunna, and discomfited all the host. They tried to flee again, but Gideon chased them down and captured all their warriors. "300 men take on 15,000 and get the victory." You can't do that without God on your side.

Jdg 8:13 And Gideon the son of Joash returned from battle before the sun was up,

Jdg 8:14 And caught a young man of the men of Succoth, and enquired of him: and he described unto him the princes of Succoth, and the elders thereof, even threescore and seventeen men.

Jdg 8:15 And he came unto the men of Succoth, and said, Behold Zebah and Zalmunna, with whom ye did upbraid me, saying, Are the hands of Zebah and Zalmunna now in thine hand, that we should give bread unto thy men that are weary? Payback time!

Jdg 8:16 And he took the elders of the city, and thorns of the wilderness and briers, and with them he taught the men of Succoth. Gave them a little harsh lesson. (Sometimes people need a wake up call).

Jdg 8:17 And he beat down the tower of Penuel, and slew the men of the city. Down with their tower just as Gideon said.

Jdg 8:18 Then said he unto Zebah and Zalmunna, What manner of men were they whom ye slew at Tabor? And they answered, As thou art, so were they; each one resembled the children of a king. Gideon was looking for the ones who killed part of his family.

Jdg 8:19 And he said, They were my brethren, even the sons of my mother: as the LORD liveth, if ye had saved them alive, I would not slay you. Gideon might have spared their lives if they didn't kill his brothers.

Jdg 8:20 And he said unto Jether his firstborn, Up, and slay them. But the youth drew not his sword: for he feared, because he was yet a youth. Sometimes they just don't have the killer instinct. Jether was still a boy and afraid to kill the men.

Jdg 8:21 Then Zebah and Zalmunna said, Rise thou, and fall upon us: for as the man is, so is his strength. And Gideon arose, and slew Zebah and Zalmunna, and took away the ornaments that were on their camels' necks. I think they thought Gideon would not kill them. Wrong! "Gideon kills them both." 

Jdg 8:22 Then the men of Israel said unto Gideon, Rule thou over us, both thou, and thy son, and thy son's son also: for thou hast delivered us from the hand of Midian. The Israelites think they found their new leader.

Jdg 8:23 And Gideon said unto them, I will not rule over you, neither shall my son rule over you: the LORD shall rule over you. Gideon refuses the offer and tells them that God will rule over you. (God didn't call Gideon to rule, He called him to lead in battle).

Jdg 8:24 And Gideon said unto them, I would desire a request of you, that ye would give me every man the earrings of his prey. (For they had golden earrings, because they were Ishmaelites.) Gideon did request part of the plunder.

Jdg 8:25 And they answered, We will willingly give them. And they spread a garment, and did cast therein every man the earrings of his prey. Dividing up part of the gold.

Jdg 8:26 And the weight of the golden earrings that he requested was a thousand and seven hundred shekels of gold; beside ornaments, and collars, and purple raiment that was on the kings of Midian, and beside the chains that were about their camels' necks. Taking the shekel at half an ounce, the sum of the gold earrings was around 625 troy ounces, about 43 pounds of gold. (Close to $750,000 today's value).

Jdg 8:27 And Gideon made an ephod thereof, and put it in his city, even in Ophrah: and all Israel went thither a whoring after it: which thing became a snare unto Gideon, and to his house. An "ephod" is a high priest shoulder piece. (Generally an image). I believe Gideon made the piece in honor and memory of Gods victory over the enemy. But, the people of Israel began to worship the ephod, and that became a trap for Gideon and his family. (Psalm 106:39).

Jdg 8:28 Thus was Midian subdued before the children of Israel, so that they lifted up their heads no more. And the country was in quietness forty years in the days of Gideon. The story of how Israel defeated Midian. (With God's help). Another 40 years of peace for Israel in the days of Gideon.

Jdg 8:29 And Jerubbaal the son of Joash went and dwelt in his own house.

Jdg 8:30 And Gideon had threescore and ten sons of his body begotten: for he had many wives. Gideon had many wives and 70 sons.

Jdg 8:31 And his concubine that was in Shechem, she also bare him a son, whose name he called Abimelech. Apparently he also had a mistress in Shechem. 

Jdg 8:32 And Gideon the son of Joash died in a good old age, and was buried in the sepulchre of Joash his father, in Ophrah of the Abiezrites. 

Jdg 8:33 And it came to pass, as soon as Gideon was dead, that the children of Israel turned again, and went a whoring after Baalim, and made Baalberith their god. Soon as Gideon died, the Israelites began to worship the images of Baal. Making Baal-berith their god: (a special deity of the Shechemites).  

Jdg 8:34 And the children of Israel remembered not the LORD their God, who had delivered them out of the hands of all their enemies on every side: Once again the children of Israel backslid and forget about the one true God who rescued them from all their enemies.

Jdg 8:35 Neither shewed they kindness to the house of Jerubbaal, namely, Gideon, according to all the goodness which he had shewed unto Israel. Gideon and his family get no respect, despite all the good Gideon had done (with the help of the Lord) for Israel.

Judges 9

Jdg 9:1 And Abimelech the son of Jerubbaal went to Shechem unto his mother's brethren, and communed with them, and with all the family of the house of his mother's father, saying, Jerubbaal: Symbolic name of Gideon (meaning Baal will contend). Abimelech his son went to visit his mothers side of the family.

Jdg 9:2 Speak, I pray you, in the ears of all the men of Shechem, Whether is better for you, either that all the sons of Jerubbaal, which are threescore and ten persons, reign over you, or that one reign over you? remember also that I am your bone and your flesh. Men of Shechem: Masters, lords, or owners. Abimelech is campaigning for the position of leadership.

Jdg 9:3 And his mother's brethren spake of him in the ears of all the men of Shechem all these words: and their hearts inclined to follow Abimelech; for they said, He is our brother. Sounds good to the people of Shechem, they agree to let Abimelech take the leadership of the nation.

Jdg 9:4 And they gave him threescore and ten pieces of silver out of the house of Baalberith, wherewith Abimelech hired vain and light persons, which followed him. They give Abimelech money from the temple of Baal. Trouble coming! He used the money to hire troublemakers who agreed to follow him.

Jdg 9:5 And he went unto his father's house at Ophrah, and slew his brethren the sons of Jerubbaal, being threescore and ten persons, upon one stone: notwithstanding yet Jotham the youngest son of Jerubbaal was left; for he hid himself. Abimelech has these fools kill all his brothers to eliminate any competition, but the younger brother Jotham escaped and hid. (Talk about a family feud).

Jdg 9:6 And all the men of Shechem gathered together, and all the house of Millo, and went, and made Abimelech king, by the plain of the pillar that was in Shechem. These leaders of Shechem gather together and make Abimelech their so called first king. (You could call this a king from Baal, he was not chosen by God).

Jdg 9:7 And when they told it to Jotham, he went and stood in the top of mount Gerizim, and lifted up his voice, and cried, and said unto them, Hearken unto me, ye men of Shechem, that God may hearken unto you. Jotham comes forth and warns the people with a parable.

Jdg 9:8 The trees went forth on a time to anoint a king over them; and they said unto the olive tree, Reign thou over us. Olive tree: The zayith, or olive tree, in the Linnean system, is a genus of the diandra monogynia class of plants. It is of a moderate height, and grows best in sunny places. Its trunk is knotty; bark smooth, of an ash color. Wood solid and yellowish; leaves oblong, almost like those of the willow, of a dark green color on the upper side, and whitish below. In June it puts forth white flowers, growing in bunches, each of one piece, widening towards the top, and dividing into four parts. After this succeeds the fruit, which is oblong and plump; first green, then pale, and when quite ripe, black. Within it is enclosed a hard stone, filled with oblong seeds. It was the most useful of all trees in the forest; as the bramble was the meanest and most worthless. Reign: Remember (Judges 8:22-23), Gideon tells the men of Israel that he, or his sons would not rule over Israel, but that only God would rule over them.

Jdg 9:9 But the olive tree said unto them, Should I leave my fatness, wherewith by me they honour God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? Gideon refused the position, and so did the olive tree in the parable.

Jdg 9:10 And the trees said to the fig tree, Come thou, and reign over us. 

Jdg 9:11 But the fig tree said unto them, Should I forsake my sweetness, and my good fruit, and go to be promoted over the trees? The fig tree refuses. 

Jdg 9:12 Then said the trees unto the vine, Come thou, and reign over us.

Jdg 9:13 And the vine said unto them, Should I leave my wine, which cheereth God and man, and go to be promoted over the trees? The vine refuses.

Jdg 9:14 Then said all the trees unto the bramble, Come thou, and reign over us. Prophetic of the false nation under the rule of antichrist, which will devour the nation as foreshown in verse 20. (When good people refuse to lead, evil people will try to take control).

Jdg 9:15 And the bramble said unto the trees, If in truth ye anoint me king over you, then come and put your trust in my shadow: and if not, let fire come out of the bramble, and devour the cedars of Lebanon. Put your trust in me or be devoured by fire.

Jdg 9:16 Now therefore, if ye have done truly and sincerely, in that ye have made Abimelech king, and if ye have dealt well with Jerubbaal and his house, and have done unto him according to the deserving of his hands; 

Jdg 9:17 (For my father fought for you, and adventured his life far, and delivered you out of the hand of Midian:

Jdg 9:18 And ye are risen up against my father's house this day, and have slain his sons, threescore and ten persons, upon one stone, and have made Abimelech, the son of his maidservant, king over the men of Shechem, because he is your brother;). They have revolted against Gideon by killing his sons.

Jdg 9:19 If ye then have dealt truly and sincerely with Jerubbaal and with his house this day, then rejoice ye in Abimelech, and let him also rejoice in you: They didn't.

Jdg 9:20 But if not, let fire come out from Abimelech, and devour the men of Shechem, and the house of Millo; and let fire come out from the men of Shechem, and from the house of Millo, and devour Abimelech. They disrespected Gideon and did not act in good faith. Because of this, Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem would turn on each other.

Jdg 9:21 And Jotham ran away, and fled, and went to Beer, and dwelt there, for fear of Abimelech his brother. Jotham hides out for a while.

Jdg 9:22 When Abimelech had reigned three years over Israel, After three years of Abimelech's rule trouble begins. 

Jdg 9:23 Then God sent an evil spirit between Abimelech and the men of Shechem; and the men of Shechem dealt treacherously with Abimelech: With the help of God (the evil spirit of jealousy, treachery, and discord), break out between the leaders of Shechem and Abimelech.

Jdg 9:24 That the cruelty done to the threescore and ten sons of Jerubbaal might come, and their blood be laid upon Abimelech their brother, which slew them; and upon the men of Shechem, which aided him in the killing of his brethren. God would clean up the mess started by Abimelech and the citizens of Shechem. He would punish Abimelech for murdering Gideon's sons, and the Shechemites for supporting him.

Jdg 9:25 And the men of Shechem set liers in wait for him in the top of the mountains, and they robbed all that came along that way by them: and it was told Abimelech. The citizens set an ambush for Abimelech, all while robbing the people of Israel on the trade routes.

Jdg 9:26 And Gaal the son of Ebed came with his brethren, and went over to Shechem: and the men of Shechem put their confidence in him. Gaal: (meaning loathing), gains the confidence of the Shechemites.

Jdg 9:27 And they went out into the fields, and gathered their vineyards, and trode the grapes, and made merry, and went into the house of their god, and did eat and drink, and cursed Abimelech. The guys of Shechem were getting drunk at harvest and began to conspire against Abimelech.

Jdg 9:28 And Gaal the son of Ebed said, Who is Abimelech, and who is Shechem, that we should serve him? is not he the son of Jerubbaal? and Zebul his officer? serve the men of Hamor the father of Shechem: for why should we serve him? Gaal stirs up the people against Abimelech.

Jdg 9:29 And would to God this people were under my hand! then would I remove Abimelech. And he said to Abimelech, Increase thine army, and come out. Gaal tells the people of Shechem, if he was their leader, he would call out Abimelech.

Jdg 9:30 And when Zebul the ruler of the city heard the words of Gaal the son of Ebed, his anger was kindled. This didn't set well with Zebul, the leader of the city.

Jdg 9:31 And he sent messengers unto Abimelech privily, saying, Behold, Gaal the son of Ebed and his brethren be come to Shechem; and, behold, they fortify the city against thee. Zebul send a warning to Abimelech about the conspiracy.

Jdg 9:32 Now therefore up by night, thou and the people that is with thee, and lie in wait in the field: Little covert activity planning here. 

Jdg 9:33 And it shall be, that in the morning, as soon as the sun is up, thou shalt rise early, and set upon the city: and, behold, when he and the people that is with him come out against thee, then mayest thou do to them as thou shalt find occasion. Zebul tells Abimelech how to do it.

Jdg 9:34 And Abimelech rose up, and all the people that were with him, by night, and they laid wait against Shechem in four companies.

Jdg 9:35 And Gaal the son of Ebed went out, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and Abimelech rose up, and the people that were with him, from lying in wait.

Jdg 9:36 And when Gaal saw the people, he said to Zebul, Behold, there come people down from the top of the mountains. And Zebul said unto him, Thou seest the shadow of the mountains as if they were men. Zebul slowing up the process to help out Abimelech.

Jdg 9:37 And Gaal spake again and said, See there come people down by the middle of the land, and another company come along by the plain of Meonenim. 

Jdg 9:38 Then said Zebul unto him, Where is now thy mouth, wherewith thou saidst, Who is Abimelech, that we should serve him? is not this the people that thou hast despised? go out, I pray now, and fight with them. Zebul says to Gaal, where is your big mouth now? The men you mocked are right outside the city! "Go out and fight!"

Jdg 9:39 And Gaal went out before the men of Shechem, and fought with Abimelech. The battle begins.

Jdg 9:40 And Abimelech chased him, and he fled before him, and many were overthrown and wounded, even unto the entering of the gate. Gaal and his big mouth ran. 

Jdg 9:41 And Abimelech dwelt at Arumah: and Zebul thrust out Gaal and his brethren, that they should not dwell in Shechem. Zebul drove Gaal and his brothers out of Shechem.

Jdg 9:42 And it came to pass on the morrow, that the people went out into the field; and they told Abimelech.

Jdg 9:43 And he took the people, and divided them into three companies, and laid wait in the field, and looked, and, behold, the people were come forth out of the city; and he rose up against them, and smote them. Abimelech was waiting with his men to ambush the people in the fields.

Jdg 9:44 And Abimelech, and the company that was with him, rushed forward, and stood in the entering of the gate of the city: and the two other companies ran upon all the people that were in the fields, and slew them. 

Jdg 9:45 And Abimelech fought against the city all that day; and he took the city, and slew the people that was therein, and beat down the city, and sowed it with salt. Animelech captured the city, killed the people, and scattered salt over the ground making it useless for grownig.

Jdg 9:46 And when all the men of the tower of Shechem heard that, they entered into an hold of the house of the god Berith. Some of the survivors hid in the temple of Baal. (Not a good hiding place).

Jdg 9:47 And it was told Abimelech, that all the men of the tower of Shechem were gathered together. 

Jdg 9:48 And Abimelech gat him up to mount Zalmon, he and all the people that were with him; and Abimelech took an axe in his hand, and cut down a bough from the trees, and took it, and laid it on his shoulder, and said unto the people that were with him, What ye have seen me do, make haste, and do as I have done. Sounds like a bond fire coming.

Jdg 9:49 And all the people likewise cut down every man his bough, and followed Abimelech, and put them to the hold, and set the hold on fire upon them; so that all the men of the tower of Shechem died also, about a thousand men and women. Set the tower on fire and killed all who were in it. Remember verse 20. (let fire come out from Abimelech).

Jdg 9:50 Then went Abimelech to Thebez, and encamped against Thebez, and took it. Abimelech goes on to capture the town of Thebez.

Jdg 9:51 But there was a strong tower within the city, and thither fled all the men and women, and all they of the city, and shut it to them, and gat them up to the top of the tower. They climbed to the roof of the tower.

Jdg 9:52 And Abimelech came unto the tower, and fought against it, and went hard unto the door of the tower to burn it with fire. Abimelech gets ready for another bond fire. 

Jdg 9:53 And a certain woman cast a piece of a millstone upon Abimelech's head, and all to brake his skull. oops! Didn't see that one coming!

Jdg 9:54 Then he called hastily unto the young man his armourbearer, and said unto him, Draw thy sword, and slay me, that men say not of me, A woman slew him. And his young man thrust him through, and he died. Didn't want to be defeated by a woman. "God works in mysterious ways."

Jdg 9:55 And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place. 

Jdg 9:56 Thus God rendered the wickedness of Abimelech, which he did unto his father, in slaying his seventy brethren: God is always in control, and when one gets out of control, they will be eliminated.

Jdg 9:57 And all the evil of the men of Shechem did God render upon their heads: and upon them came the curse of Jotham the son of Jerubbaal. God also punished the men of Shechem for following Abimelech and the evil they had done. "The curse of Jotham son of Gideon was fulfilled."

Judges 10

Jdg 10:1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of Puah, the son of Dodo, a man of Issachar; and he dwelt in Shamir in mount Ephraim. Tola (meaning worm), arose to rescue Israel after the death of Abimelech.

Jdg 10:2 And he judged Israel twenty and three years, and died, and was buried in Shamir. Tola hung in there and judged Israel for twenty three years. 

Jdg 10:3 And after him arose Jair, a Gileadite, and judged Israel twenty and two years. Then comes Jair (the enlightener), who judged Israel for twenty two years.

Jdg 10:4 And he had thirty sons that rode on thirty ass colts, and they had thirty cities, which are called Havothjair unto this day, which are in the land of Gilead. His thirty sons ran the towns of Jair, in the land of Gilead. 

Jdg 10:5 And Jair died, and was buried in Camon. Jair dies and the people of Israel have no judge again.

Jdg 10:6 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD, and served Baalim, and Ashtaroth, and the gods of Syria, and the gods of Zidon, and the gods of Moab, and the gods of the children of Ammon, and the gods of the Philistines, and forsook the LORD, and served not him. Israel once again began to serve the image gods from all around the area. (They abandoned the Lord again, and no longer served Him at all). Even today, when some people don't have a church they attend, or a pastor to guide them, they stray away from God. Is it because they always need someone to lean on, or are they just to lazy to study God's Word on their own? Remember, "God is always there for us." You don't need someone to lean on, "you have Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit." 

Jdg 10:7 And the anger of the LORD was hot against Israel, and he sold them into the hands of the Philistines, and into the hands of the children of Ammon. They just didn't get it and messed up again, making God angry.

Jdg 10:8 And that year they vexed and oppressed the children of Israel: eighteen years, all the children of Israel that were on the other side Jordan in the land of the Amorites, which is in Gilead. For eighteen years they were being oppresses by the Philistines and Amorites.

Jdg 10:9 Moreover the children of Ammon passed over Jordan to fight also against Judah, and against Benjamin, and against the house of Ephraim; so that Israel was sore distressed. The Amorites crossed the Jordan and attacked Judah, Benjamin, Ephraim, and Israel was in great distress.

Jdg 10:10 And the children of Israel cried unto the LORD, saying, We have sinned against thee, both because we have forsaken our God, and also served Baalim. Once again they cried to the Lord, "we have sinned against you and served the images of Baal." They said they sinned, but I didn't here them ask for forgiveness. Will they take action to change their ways?

Jdg 10:11 And the LORD said unto the children of Israel, Did not I deliver you from the Egyptians, and from the Amorites, from the children of Ammon, and from the Philistines? 

Jdg 10:12 The Zidonians also, and the Amalekites, and the Maonites, did oppress you; and ye cried to me, and I delivered you out of their hand. 

Jdg 10:13 Yet ye have forsaken me, and served other gods: wherefore I will deliver you no more. Done with you hypocrites who serve other gods.

Jdg 10:14 Go and cry unto the gods which ye have chosen; let them deliver you in the time of your tribulation. Let your other gods you have chosen rescue you in your distress!

Jdg 10:15 And the children of Israel said unto the LORD, We have sinned: do thou unto us whatsoever seemeth good unto thee; deliver us only, we pray thee, this day. Were sorry, please rescue us from our enemies. (Kind of like crying wolf to many times).

Jdg 10:16 And they put away the strange gods from among them, and served the LORD: and his soul was grieved for the misery of Israel. They stopped with the foreign gods and the Lord was grieved by their misery. (Sometimes you need to take action before you get God's attention).

Jdg 10:17 Then the children of Ammon were gathered together, and encamped in Gilead. And the children of Israel assembled themselves together, and encamped in Mizpeh. The armies of Ammon are ready for war, and the people of Israel assembled together.

Jdg 10:18 And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. Who will be the man who will lead us to fight against the Ammonites? Will God raise up another judge? (Their prayers will be answered). 

Judges 11

Jdg 11:1 Now Jephthah the Gileadite was a mighty man of valour, and he was the son of an harlot: and Gilead begat Jephthah. Jephthah: (Meaning he will open, or he will deliver). Jephthah was a great warrior and son of Gilead. (Hebrew H1368, a "gibbor," or giant man). However, his mother was a harlot, a tavern keeper, and some say of another race. (a Canaanite woman).

Jdg 11:2 And Gilead's wife bare him sons; and his wife's sons grew up, and they thrust out Jephthah, and said unto him, Thou shalt not inherit in our father's house; for thou art the son of a strange woman. Half brothers of Jephthah. (Japhthah was considered a bastard child, or son of a prostitute). Because of this, Jephthah's brethren drove him from the family, as not having a full right to the inheritance. 

Jdg 11:3 Then Jephthah fled from his brethren, and dwelt in the land of Tob: and there were gathered vain men to Jephthah, and went out with him. Tob: (fruitful, or good land). Jephthah put together a band of warriors from a bunch of unemployed broke rebels.

Jdg 11:4 And it came to pass in process of time, that the children of Ammon made war against Israel. The Ammonites began their war against Israel. 

Jdg 11:5 And it was so, that when the children of Ammon made war against Israel, the elders of Gilead went to fetch Jephthah out of the land of Tob: Now the elders of Gilead (some of Jephthah's step brothers), need a champion to lead them since war is at hand.

Jdg 11:6 And they said unto Jephthah, Come, and be our captain, that we may fight with the children of Ammon. Who you gonna call? (Not ghost busters). "They call for Jephthah."  

Jdg 11:7 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, Did not ye hate me, and expel me out of my father's house? and why are ye come unto me now when ye are in distress? You drive me from my home, but when your in trouble, you call on me for help. Sound familiar? 

Jdg 11:8 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, Therefore we turn again to thee now, that thou mayest go with us, and fight against the children of Ammon, and be our head over all the inhabitants of Gilead. They make him an offer he can't refuse.

Jdg 11:9 And Jephthah said unto the elders of Gilead, If ye bring me home again to fight against the children of Ammon, and the LORD deliver them before me, shall I be your head? Notice that Jephthah says, "if the Lord gives me victory over the Ammonites." (He was a believer and man of faith). But, he questions their intentions. 

Jdg 11:10 And the elders of Gilead said unto Jephthah, The LORD be witness between us, if we do not so according to thy words. The Lord is our witness, we promise to do what you say.

Jdg 11:11 Then Jephthah went with the elders of Gilead, and the people made him head and captain over them: and Jephthah uttered all his words before the LORD in Mizpeh. At Mizpeh, Jephthah uttered his words to the Lord. (Prayed to or consulted with the Lord).

Jdg 11:12 And Jephthah sent messengers unto the king of the children of Ammon, saying, What hast thou to do with me, that thou art come against me to fight in my land? Jephthah tries a little negotiating with the king of Ammon first. (He wants a reason for their attack on Israel).

Jdg 11:13 And the king of the children of Ammon answered unto the messengers of Jephthah, Because Israel took away my land, when they came up out of Egypt, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and unto Jordan: now therefore restore those lands again peaceably. The king of Ammon says Israel stole some of their land. Its always about the land. (Still today).

Jdg 11:14 And Jephthah sent messengers again unto the king of the children of Ammon: 

Jdg 11:15 And said unto him, Thus saith Jephthah, Israel took not away the land of Moab, nor the land of the children of Ammon: Jephthah tells the king that Israel stole no land from them.

Jdg 11:16 But when Israel came up from Egypt, and walked through the wilderness unto the Red sea, and came to Kadesh; 

Jdg 11:17 Then Israel sent messengers unto the king of Edom, saying, Let me, I pray thee, pass through thy land: but the king of Edom would not hearken thereto. And in like manner they sent unto the king of Moab: but he would not consent: and Israel abode in Kadesh. Reference: (Numbers 20:14-21, Deuteronomy 2:4-8, 2:29).

Jdg 11:18 Then they went along through the wilderness, and compassed the land of Edom, and the land of Moab, and came by the east side of the land of Moab, and pitched on the other side of Arnon, but came not within the border of Moab: for Arnon was the border of Moab. They camped on the border of the Arnon river, but never crossed the river into Moab. (Numbers 21:10-13).

Jdg 11:19 And Israel sent messengers unto Sihon king of the Amorites, the king of Heshbon; and Israel said unto him, Let us pass, we pray thee, through thy land into my place. Reference: (Numbers 21:21-35, Deuteronomy 2:26-34). 

Jdg 11:20 But Sihon trusted not Israel to pass through his coast: but Sihon gathered all his people together, and pitched in Jahaz, and fought against Israel.

Jdg 11:21 And the LORD God of Israel delivered Sihon and all his people into the hand of Israel, and they smote them: so Israel possessed all the land of the Amorites, the inhabitants of that country.

Jdg 11:22 And they possessed all the coasts of the Amorites, from Arnon even unto Jabbok, and from the wilderness even unto Jordan.

Jdg 11:23 So now the LORD God of Israel hath dispossessed the Amorites from before his people Israel, and shouldest thou possess it? Jephthah shows that the Israelites did not take the land of the Moabites or Ammonites, but that of the Amorites, which they had conquered from Sihon their king; and although the Amorites had taken the lands in question from the Ammonites, yet the title by which Israel held them was good, because they took them, not from the Ammonites, but from the Amorites. (i.e. it was God's doing).

Jdg 11:24 Wilt not thou possess that which Chemosh thy god giveth thee to possess? So whomsoever the LORD our God shall drive out from before us, them will we possess. Jephthah argues on the principle recognized by the king of Ammon. As if he had said, "You suppose that the land which you possess was given you by your god Chemosh; and therefore will not relinquish what you believe you hold by a divine right. Now we know that Yahveh, our God, has given us the land of the Israelites; and therefore we will not give it up."

Jdg 11:25 And now art thou any thing better than Balak the son of Zippor, king of Moab? did he ever strive against Israel, or did he ever fight against them,

Jdg 11:26 While Israel dwelt in Heshbon and her towns, and in Aroer and her towns, and in all the cities that be along by the coasts of Arnon, three hundred years? why therefore did ye not recover them within that time? Israel has been here 300 years, why have you made no effort to recover it before now?

Jdg 11:27 Wherefore I have not sinned against thee, but thou doest me wrong to war against me: the LORD the Judge be judge this day between the children of Israel and the children of Ammon. Let the Lord decide who is right.

Jdg 11:28 Howbeit the king of the children of Ammon hearkened not unto the words of Jephthah which he sent him. The king of Ammon just shrugs it off and pays no attention to Jephthah's message.

Jdg 11:29 Then the Spirit of the LORD came upon Jephthah, and he passed over Gilead, and Manasseh, and passed over Mizpeh of Gilead, and from Mizpeh of Gilead he passed over unto the children of Ammon. The "Holy Spirit" will be with Jephthah as he leads an army against the Ammonites.

Jdg 11:30 And Jephthah vowed a vow unto the LORD, and said, If thou shalt without fail deliver the children of Ammon into mine hands, Jephthah makes a solemn vow to the Lord.

Jdg 11:31 Then it shall be, that whatsoever cometh forth of the doors of my house to meet me, when I return in peace from the children of Ammon, shall surely be the LORD'S, and I will offer it up for a burnt offering. Watch what promise you make to the Lord. "Sometimes we cannot fulfill our promise, or it might not be acceptable in the Lord's eyes."

Jdg 11:32 So Jephthah passed over unto the children of Ammon to fight against them; and the LORD delivered them into his hands. Jephthah gets his victory over the Ammonites. (With the help of the Lord). 

Jdg 11:33 And he smote them from Aroer, even till thou come to Minnith, even twenty cities, and unto the plain of the vineyards, with a very great slaughter. Thus the children of Ammon were subdued before the children of Israel. God always keeps His promise. What about Jephthah?

Jdg 11:34 And Jephthah came to Mizpeh unto his house, and, behold, his daughter came out to meet him with timbrels and with dances: and she was his only child; beside her he had neither son nor daughter. Look who comes out of the house to greet Jephthah. "His only daughter." Remember the promise he made to the Lord in verse 31 (a burnt offering).

Jdg 11:35 And it came to pass, when he saw her, that he rent his clothes, and said, Alas, my daughter! thou hast brought me very low, and thou art one of them that trouble me: for I have opened my mouth unto the LORD, and I cannot go back. He must have been devastated. Will he sacrifice his only daughter?

Jdg 11:36 And she said unto him, My father, if thou hast opened thy mouth unto the LORD, do to me according to that which hath proceeded out of thy mouth; forasmuch as the LORD hath taken vengeance for thee of thine enemies, even of the children of Ammon. This girl stands right up and agrees to the vow that Jephthah has made to the Lord. (Does she really know what it was)?

Jdg 11:37 And she said unto her father, Let this thing be done for me: let me alone two months, that I may go up and down upon the mountains, and bewail my virginity, I and my fellows. She wanted a little time alone to take it all in with her friends.

Jdg 11:38 And he said, Go. And he sent her away for two months: and she went with her companions, and bewailed her virginity upon the mountains. She went to the hills and wept, because she would never have children.

Jdg 11:39 And it came to pass at the end of two months, that she returned unto her father, who did with her according to his vow which he had vowed: and she knew no man. And it was a custom in Israel, Jephthah kept his vow, but he did not offer his daughter as a burnt offering. Yahveh could not accept that. (Human sacrifices were ever an abomination to Yahveh). Therefore Jephthah must have dedicated her to the Lord by a perpetual virginity. Such a vow was provided for in (Leviticus 27). This had nothing to do with a sacrificial death, but it has to do with a dedicated life to the Lord. "Thus was Jephthah's vow fulfilled.

Jdg 11:40 That the daughters of Israel went yearly to lament the daughter of Jephthah the Gileadite four days in a year. To celebrate (her dedication), in praises. (Her great event in life, not in her death).

Judges 12

Jdg 12:1 And the men of Ephraim gathered themselves together, and went northward, and said unto Jephthah, Wherefore passedst thou over to fight against the children of Ammon, and didst not call us to go with thee? we will burn thine house upon thee with fire. Sound familiar? The same happened with Gideon back in (Judges 8:1).

Jdg 12:2 And Jephthah said unto them, I and my people were at great strife with the children of Ammon; and when I called you, ye delivered me not out of their hands. You guys were called, but you did not respond.

Jdg 12:3 And when I saw that ye delivered me not, I put my life in my hands, and passed over against the children of Ammon, and the LORD delivered them into my hand: wherefore then are ye come up unto me this day, to fight against me? Always wanting to show up when it is to late. (Maybe they just coward out).

Jdg 12:4 Then Jephthah gathered together all the men of Gilead, and fought with Ephraim: and the men of Gilead smote Ephraim, because they said, Ye Gileadites are fugitives of Ephraim among the Ephraimites, and among the Manassites. Throwing some words at the people of Gilead, calling them outcasts. 

Jdg 12:5 And the Gileadites took the passages of Jordan before the Ephraimites: and it was so, that when those Ephraimites which were escaped said, Let me go over; that the men of Gilead said unto him, Art thou an Ephraimite? If he said, Nay; 

Jdg 12:6 Then said they unto him, Say now Shibboleth: and he said Sibboleth: for he could not frame to pronounce it right. Then they took him, and slew him at the passages of Jordan: and there fell at that time of the Ephraimites forty and two thousand. Shibboleth: (Stream or flood). Also means an ear of corn. 

Jdg 12:7 And Jephthah judged Israel six years. Then died Jephthah the Gileadite, and was buried in one of the cities of Gilead. 

Jdg 12:8 And after him Ibzan of Bethlehem judged Israel. A new judge for Israel called Ibzan. (Meaning splendid).

Jdg 12:9 And he had thirty sons, and thirty daughters, whom he sent abroad, and took in thirty daughters from abroad for his sons. And he judged Israel seven years. Ibzan had thirty sons and thirty daughters. He judged Israel for seven years with no recorded accomplishments. Well, he did have an active sex life.

Jdg 12:10 Then died Ibzan, and was buried at Bethlehem.

Jdg 12:11 And after him Elon, a Zebulonite, judged Israel; and he judged Israel ten years. Then we have Elon, who judged Israel for ten years. (Another judge with no major accomplishments).

Jdg 12:12 And Elon the Zebulonite died, and was buried in Aijalon in the country of Zebulun. 

Jdg 12:13 And after him Abdon the son of Hillel, a Pirathonite, judged Israel. After Elon we have Abdon (meaning servitude), who judged Israel.

Jdg 12:14 And he had forty sons and thirty nephews, that rode on threescore and ten ass colts: and he judged Israel eight years. He had 40 sons and 30 grandsons who all rode on donkeys. (He judged Israel for eight years).

Jdg 12:15 And Abdon the son of Hillel the Pirathonite died, and was buried in Pirathon in the land of Ephraim, in the mount of the Amalekites. These last three judges did nothing great, but they didn't do anything bad either. (Kind of just existed to get by like many people today). Now the children of Israel will backslide again.

Judges 13

Jdg 13:1 And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years. Another 40 years of oppression under the Philistines because of the evil they did in the sight of the Lord. Every time they mess up, God corrects them by handing them over to the enemy.

Jdg 13:2 And there was a certain man of Zorah, of the family of the Danites, whose name was Manoah; and his wife was barren, and bare not. Manoah: (rest), a Danite from the time of Dan.

Jdg 13:3 And the angel of the LORD appeared unto the woman, and said unto her, Behold now, thou art barren, and bearest not: but thou shalt conceive, and bear a son. A messenger of the Lord tells the barren wife of Manoah that she will have a child.

Jdg 13:4 Now therefore beware, I pray thee, and drink not wine nor strong drink, and eat not any unclean thing: Stay clean from alcohol and forbidden foods.

Jdg 13:5 For, lo, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and no razor shall come on his head: for the child shall be a Nazarite unto God from the womb: and he shall begin to deliver Israel out of the hand of the Philistines. She is about to give birth to a son who would rescue Israel from the Philistines. He would be a Nazarite unto God: One consecrated or separate unto Elohim. One who would serve God (one who never cuts his hair or drinks alcohol), "his name would be Samson."

Jdg 13:6 Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance was like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he was, neither told he me his name: She quickly tells her husband about the angel of the Lord.

Jdg 13:7 But he said unto me, Behold, thou shalt conceive, and bear a son; and now drink no wine nor strong drink, neither eat any unclean thing: for the child shall be a Nazarite to God from the womb to the day of his death. She would have a child and he would be dedicated to God as a Nazirite. 

Jdg 13:8 Then Manoah intreated the LORD, and said, O my Lord, let the man of God which thou didst send come again unto us, and teach us what we shall do unto the child that shall be born. Manoah wants to know a little more about his wife's encounter.

Jdg 13:9 And God hearkened to the voice of Manoah; and the angel of God came again unto the woman as she sat in the field: but Manoah her husband was not with her. The angel of the Lord shows up again, but only to his wife.

Jdg 13:10 And the woman made haste, and ran, and shewed her husband, and said unto him, Behold, the man hath appeared unto me, that came unto me the other day. 

Jdg 13:11 And Manoah arose, and went after his wife, and came to the man, and said unto him, Art thou the man that spakest unto the woman? And he said, I am. Manoah finally meets the messenger.

Jdg 13:12 And Manoah said, Now let thy words come to pass. How shall we order the child, and how shall we do unto him? What are the rules to raise him and what shall the child be?

Jdg 13:13 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Of all that I said unto the woman let her beware. Follow the instructions I gave your wife.

Jdg 13:14 She may not eat of any thing that cometh of the vine, neither let her drink wine or strong drink, nor eat any unclean thing: all that I commanded her let her observe. Again, no alcohol or forbidden foods.

Jdg 13:15 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, I pray thee, let us detain thee, until we shall have made ready a kid for thee. Manoah, not knowing the quality of his guest, wished to do this as act of hospitality. 

Jdg 13:16 And the angel of the LORD said unto Manoah, Though thou detain me, I will not eat of thy bread: and if thou wilt offer a burnt offering, thou must offer it unto the LORD. For Manoah knew not that he was an angel of the LORD. Manoah was to prepare a burnt offering to sacrifice to the Lord. He didn't know the man was an angel of the Lord.

Jdg 13:17 And Manoah said unto the angel of the LORD, What is thy name, that when thy sayings come to pass we may do thee honour? Manoah wants to know his name.

Jdg 13:18 And the angel of the LORD said unto him, Why askest thou thus after my name, seeing it is secret? This word secret here is Strong's H6383 "piliy paliy," meaning remarkable, secret, "wonderful." The very character given to the Messiah: His name shall be called "pailai," "Wonderful," (Isaiah 9:6).

Jdg 13:19 So Manoah took a kid with a meat offering, and offered it upon a rock unto the LORD: and the angel did wondrously; and Manoah and his wife looked on. As Manoah offered his sacrifice to the Lord, the Lord did a "Wonderful" thing. He acted according to His Name: He, being wonderful, performed wonders; probably causing fire to arise out of the rock and consume the sacrifice, and then ascended in the flame.   

Jdg 13:20 For it came to pass, when the flame went up toward heaven from off the altar, that the angel of the LORD ascended in the flame of the altar. And Manoah and his wife looked on it, and fell on their faces to the ground. As the angel of the Lord ascended in the fire, Manoah and his wife fell with their faces to the ground in worship. It was Christ appearing to them, and it was a "remarkable and wonderful thing."

Jdg 13:21 But the angel of the LORD did no more appear to Manoah and to his wife. Then Manoah knew that he was an angel of the LORD. 

Jdg 13:22 And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, because we have seen God. Manoah is a little scared here because of what he had seen. (John 1:18, 5:37).

Jdg 13:23 But his wife said unto him, If the LORD were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt offering and a meat offering at our hands, neither would he have shewed us all these things, nor would as at this time have told us such things as these. Manoah is thinking by law and fear, his wife reasons things out. The Lord made all this happen, why would He want to kill us.

Jdg 13:24 And the woman bare a son, and called his name Samson: and the child grew, and the LORD blessed him. They called him Samson (sunlight), and the Lord was with him as he grew up strong in strength and spirit. Samson (a type of savior for Israel), just as the Messiah would be the Savior of the world. (Luke 1:80, 2:52).

Jdg 13:25 And the Spirit of the LORD began to move him at times in the camp of Dan between Zorah and Eshtaol. Move: Hebrew H6470 "paam" to impel or agitate, move, trouble. The spirit (Holy Spirit), began to grow very strong in Samson, he would go on to do mighty deeds for the Lord. However, sometimes the spirit can be a little troubling. (1 Samuel 11:6, Daniel 2:1, 2:3, Matthew 4:1). Would the spirit trouble Samson?

Judges 14

Jdg 14:1 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines. Samson was down in Timnah and one of the Philistine women caught his eye. Samson had a little trouble with lust of the flesh. (1 John 2:16).

Jdg 14:2 And he came up, and told his father and his mother, and said, I have seen a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines: now therefore get her for me to wife. Samson thinking with the wrong head, wants to marry the young women.

Jdg 14:3 Then his father and his mother said unto him, Is there never a woman among the daughters of thy brethren, or among all my people, that thou goest to take a wife of the uncircumcised Philistines? And Samson said unto his father, Get her for me; for she pleaseth me well. Usually the parents would arrange the marriage, but Samson sees this young Philistine and he was hooked.

Jdg 14:4 But his father and his mother knew not that it was of the LORD, that he sought an occasion against the Philistines: for at that time the Philistines had dominion over Israel. God in control of matching these two together.

Jdg 14:5 Then went Samson down, and his father and his mother, to Timnath, and came to the vineyards of Timnath: and, behold, a young lion roared against him. In his travel down to Timnah, a lion attacks Samson.

Jdg 14:6 And the Spirit of the LORD came mightily upon him, and he rent him as he would have rent a kid, and he had nothing in his hand: but he told not his father or his mother what he had done. One of Samsons first mighty feats of strength when he kills the lion with his bare hands. Note: The spirit of the Lord came upon Samson to give him his strength. (Remember it was by the will of God that Samson got his strength attached to his long hair and being a Nazirite).

Jdg 14:7 And he went down, and talked with the woman; and she pleased Samson well. Their first date together.

Jdg 14:8 And after a time he returned to take her, and he turned aside to see the carcase of the lion: and, behold, there was a swarm of bees and honey in the carcase of the lion. Swarm: It is probable, that the flesh had been entirely consumed off the bones, which had become dry; and the body having been throw into some private place (for Samson turned aside to visit it), a swarm of bees had formed their combs in the cavity of the dry ribs, or region of the thorax; nor was it a more improper place than a hollow rock.

Jdg 14:9 And he took thereof in his hands, and went on eating, and came to his father and mother, and he gave them, and they did eat: but he told not them that he had taken the honey out of the carcase of the lion. This would have been against the laws of a Nazirite. (To touch any kind of a dead carcass).

Jdg 14:10 So his father went down unto the woman: and Samson made there a feast; for so used the young men to do. Was this a bachelor party or wedding feast? Wedding feasts were know to last seven days back then. One thing we know, "it was a drinking feast." (A Nazirite was not to drink wine, or strong drink, or eat anything from a vine like grapes). I think Samson was tipping a few. 

Jdg 14:11 And it came to pass, when they saw him, that they brought thirty companions to be with him. When the brides parents saw what kind of man Samson was, they selected 30 young men to be his friends.

Jdg 14:12 And Samson said unto them, I will now put forth a riddle unto you: if ye can certainly declare it me within the seven days of the feast, and find it out, then I will give you thirty sheets and thirty change of garments: Samson is going to play a little riddle game with his new friends.

Jdg 14:13 But if ye cannot declare it me, then shall ye give me thirty sheets and thirty change of garments. And they said unto him, Put forth thy riddle, that we may hear it. The bets are on. Sheets: These would be like shirts or tops. Garments: Types of robes. Now, here comes the riddle.  

Jdg 14:14 And he said unto them, Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness. And they could not in three days expound the riddle. The riddle was put forth but the 30 men could not figure it out.

Jdg 14:15 And it came to pass on the seventh day, that they said unto Samson's wife, Entice thy husband, that he may declare unto us the riddle, lest we burn thee and thy father's house with fire: have ye called us to take that we have? is it not so? Nice guys! They can't figure out the riddle and they don't want to go home empty handed, so they threaten Samson's wife to be, saying they will burn down her fathers with her in it if she didn't find out the answer from the riddle for them. "Time to lose these friends."

Jdg 14:16 And Samson's wife wept before him, and said, Thou dost but hate me, and lovest me not: thou hast put forth a riddle unto the children of my people, and hast not told it me. And he said unto her, Behold, I have not told it my father nor my mother, and shall I tell it thee? Here comes the tears of a young women. "Samson don't stand a chance."

Jdg 14:17 And she wept before him the seven days, while their feast lasted: and it came to pass on the seventh day, that he told her, because she lay sore upon him: and she told the riddle to the children of her people. After nagging Samson for the rest of the celebration, he finally gave in and told her the answer. (Proverbs 2:16, 7:21). Face it guys, if you want a happy marriage, you are going to give in a little more.  

Jdg 14:18 And the men of the city said unto him on the seventh day before the sun went down, What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion? And he said unto them, If ye had not plowed with my heifer, ye had not found out my riddle. The men had the answer and gave t to Samson. However, Samson tells them that if they would not have weaseled the answer out of his wife, they would not have solved the riddle.

Jdg 14:19 And the Spirit of the LORD came upon him, and he went down to Ashkelon, and slew thirty men of them, and took their spoil, and gave change of garments unto them which expounded the riddle. And his anger was kindled, and he went up to his father's house. Samson kept his promise and the spirit of the Lord came upon him to kill thirty Philistine men in Ashkelon, took their belongings and gave the clothing to the men who solved the riddle. Samson wasn't to happy with what just happened. (All part of God's plan).

Jdg 14:20 But Samson's wife was given to his companion, whom he had used as his friend. Samson was a little upset with his young Philistine bride and she was given to his best man. (This was strictly in accordance with the laws of Khammurabi, 159, 163, 164).

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Keep The Faith,
Bart