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Then his master shall bring him unto the judges; he shall also bring him to the door, or unto the door post; and his master shall bore his ear through with an awl; and he shall serve him for ever.

If men strive, and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, and yet no mischief follow: he shall be surely punished, according as the woman's husband will lay upon him; and he shall pay as the judges determine.

If the thief be not found, then the master of the house shall be brought unto the judges, to see whether he have put his hand unto his neighbour's goods.

For all manner of trespass, whether it be for ox, for ass, for sheep, for raiment, or for any manner of lost thing, which another challengeth to be his, the cause of both parties shall come before the judges; and whom the judges shall condemn, he shall pay double unto his neighbour.

And Moses said unto the judges of Israel, Slay ye every one his men that were joined unto Baalpeor.

And I charged your judges at that time, saying, Hear the causes between your brethren, and judge righteously between every man and his brother, and the stranger that is with him.

Judges and officers shalt thou make thee in all thy gates, which the LORD thy God giveth thee, throughout thy tribes: and they shall judge the people with just judgment.

Then both the men, between whom the controversy is, shall stand before the LORD, before the priests and the judges, which shall be in those days;

And the judges shall make diligent inquisition: and, behold, if the witness be a false witness, and hath testified falsely against his brother;

Then thy elders and thy judges shall come forth, and they shall measure unto the cities which are round about him that is slain:

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

19:24 brimstone and fire. The precise nature of the physical agents used by God in the destruction of the five cities of the plain is uncertain. “Brimstone” is usually associated with sulfur, but the word may be used for any inflammable substance. The word “fire” is also used here for the first time in the Bible and could be understood either as a divine fire (as in Judges 6:21; I Kings 18:38; etc.) or as gases and other combustibles ignited in a volcanic explosion falling to earth after their eruption. The entire region gives abundant evidence of tremendous volcanic activity in the past, although most of this probably antedated Abraham, occurring in the later stages of the Flood and in the early decades following the Flood. The area is still very active tectonically, lying astride the “Great Rift Valley,” extending all the way from the Jordan River Valley into southern Africa. Unless the judgment was entirely miraculous, in its physical nature as well as its timing, the most likely explanation seems to be the sudden release, by an earthquake and volcanic explosion of great quantities of gas, sulfur and bituminous materials that had accumulated from materials entrapped beneath the valley floor during the Flood. These were ignited by a simultaneous electrical storm, so that it appeared to Abraham, watching from afar, that “the smoke of the country went up as the smoke of a furnace” (Genesis 19:28).

49:18 thy salvation. This is the first mention of the word “salvation” in the Bible. The Hebrew word, yeshua, is actually the same as the name “Jesus.” In the context, Jacob, in giving his prophetic comments concerning Dan, called the tribe “a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward” (Genesis 49:17). The prophecy probably had reference to the fact that it would be the Danites who first introduced the Satanic practice of idolatry into Israel on a regular official basis (Judges 18:30,31). As he uttered the prophecy, Jacob surely would have recalled the primeval promise of the coming Seed of the woman, whose heel would be bitten by the Serpent (Satan), but who would in turn finally crush the Serpent’s head and bring eternal salvation (Genesis 3:15). It was in reference to this Messianic promise that he had just spoken to Judah. It is natural, therefore, that right at this point, he would cry out: “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD!” It might not be out of line to suggest that he was even personifying God’s coming salvation and saying: I have waited for Jesus, O LORD!”

49:21 Naphtali. Barak was probably the greatest leader from the tribe of Naphtali (Judges 4:6), but the tribe as a whole was characterized by both courage and eloquence. Note the song of Deborah and Barak (Judges 5).

49:27 Benjamin. The future Benjamites would be like a ravenous and successful wolf. In terms of success, such men as King Saul and the Apostle Paul were from Benjamin’s tribe. In terms of uncaring rapacity the deplorable actions described in Judges 19 and 20 almost resulted in the destruction of the whole tribe.

19:24 the priests. This is the only mention of priests in Israel prior to God’s instructions for ordaining Aaron and his sons to the priesthood. Possibly this is a reference to the judges (Exodus 18:25-27) serving as a temporary body of priests along with Aaron until the more formal investiture of Aaron and his sons.

26:33 scatter you. There are at least seven recorded instances in the Old Testament when one or more of Israel’s tribes were ruled by other nations: (1) capture by the king of Mesopotamia (Judges 3:8); (2) capture by the Moabites (Judges 3:14); (3) capture by the king of Canaan (Judges 4:2); (4) control by Midianites (Judges 6:1); (5) capture by the Philistines (Judges 10:7; 13:1); (6) captivity and exile of the northern tribes into Assyria (II Kings 17:6) and (7) the Babylonian exile of Judah (II Chronicles 36:17-21). The ultimate captivity and exile, of course, was by the Romans, when the Jews were finally scattered into all the nations of the world (Luke 21:24) because of their rejection of Christ.

6:2 Nazarite. The Nazarite (meaning “set apart”) vow is described in this chapter, as a voluntary act to testify of one’s dedication and separation to God. Samson (Judges 13:5) and Samuel (I Samuel 1:11) were Nazarites, and possibly John the Baptist as well (Luke 1:15).

6:13 law of the Nazarite. The best-known Nazarite of the Bible was Samson (Judges 13:7). It is possible that the vow taken by the Apostle Paul (Act 21:26) was a Nazarite vow.

30:2 If a man vow. These statutes concerning vows were possibly given at this time because it had only recently become a problem in the camp. Perhaps the imminence of the long-awaited Canaanite campaign had stimulated numerous rash vows which would be difficult to fulfill. Such vows usually were accompanied by a sort of bargain with God, expecting Him to do something in return (e.g., Jephthah’s vow, Judges 11:30, 31). Such bargains made with God or promises made in God’s name became blasphemies if made lightly and tentatively, and these statutes were intended to stress their gravity. Although vows were never commanded, once made they must be fulfilled, since God’s name had been involved.

12:8 right in his own eyes. This behavior became the chief characteristic of the people during their later periods of apostasy (Judges 17:6; 21:25). It also has come to characterize the majority of people in professedly Christian nations today.

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