New Defender's Study Bible Notes
2:1 my covenant. It is obvious that God is speaking here, although the text attributes the statement to “an angel of the LORD.” This angel is actually the pre-incarnate Christ.
2:3 their gods shall be a snare. It was for this very reason that God had commanded the destruction of the Canaanites. The failure of the children of Israel to do this did, indeed, quickly and repeatedly result in their descent into the polytheistic nature worship and associated evil practices of these people.
2:7 all the days of Joshua. This passage (Judges 2:6-10) is very much like Joshua 24:28-30. It was evidently inserted at this point as a flashback, explaining why the new generation, which did not really know Joshua, or Joshua’s God, could so quickly forget God’s promises and warnings.
2:8 hundred and ten years old. The chronology of the period of judges is uncertain. If Josephus, the Jewish historian, was right when he estimated that Joshua was eighty-five years old when Moses gave him charge over Israel, then the period began about twenty-five years after they crossed Jordan and began the conquest of Canaan. In view of the forty years in the wilderness, this would mean Joshua had been forty-five years old when he served as one of the twelve spies.
2:13 Baal and Ashtaroth. Baal and Ashtaroth were the principal god and goddess, respectively, of the Canaanite nations (Baalim and Ashtaroth were the plural forms of these names, referring to the many shrines and images in their honor). Baal was essentially associated with the sun and storms, Ashtaroth with sex and fertility. As nature gods, energized by demonic spirits, they claimed to have “evolved” out of the primeval watery chaos. The worship of both was both grossly licentious and extremely cruel. They were essentially equivalent to similar gods in other countries, all having originated at the first Babylon under Nimrod and then spread throughout the ancient world with the dispersion.
2:16 LORD raised up judges. Despite the repeated periods of backsliding and apostasy, God manifested both His grace and the certainty of His original covenant with Abraham by just as repeatedly raising up judges to lead the people in revival and restoration. Altogether, fourteen such judges are named in the book of Judges–Othniel, Ehud, Shamgar, Deborah and Barak, Gideon, Abimelech, Tola, Jair, Jephthah, Ibzan, Elon, Abdon, and Samson. These were followed by Samuel, the last of the judges (Eli was priest, rather than a judge). Othniel, the first judge, was of the tribe of Judah, but the others came from a total of at least six other tribes.