[Shofetim 1 Orthodox Jewish Bible (OJB)]

Yahweh's judges (450 years)

1 Now after the death of Joshua [mot Yehoshua] it came to pass, that the children of Israel [Bnei Yisroel] asked Yahweh, saying, Who shall go up for us against the Canaanites [Kena'ani] first, to fight against them?

Our notes arising from a study series by Bro Jim Cowie 

[Tempting Yahweh in their unbelief : Where was their faith after all the great wonders and signs committed on their behalf!

'For us' - they wanted someone else to do the work - which Yahweh had substantially already completed before their eyes by destroying many enemies and strong peoples.

'first, to fight against them' - as though Yahweh had not already destroyed the greatest obstacles (the surrounding strong nations) preventing them attaining their inheritance.

The faithless children of Israel should not be asking this question. They had forgotten the often repeated promise of Yahweh 'I will send an angel before thee' - emphatic and repeated promises of deliverance see Ex 23. Nothing failed that he said he would do - yet here they demonstrated their lack of trust after all the great wonders He had done on their behalf including so recently under Joshua].

The Canaanites were fearful and disorganised. They were all that stood between Israel and the consolidation of their inheritance.

What is the Canaanite that could prevent us obtaining our promised inheritance. We as individuals must kill our own Canaanites in order to enter that future rest. Canaan means to bow the knee ie humiliation. The body of our humiliation UNGOVERNED stands between us and salvation (Phill 3:21)

Yahweh has done everything he can for our salvation through the work of his son.

Yahoshua - the numerical value of this name is 888. Eight being the number of salvation. Excluding the apocalypse, the name Yahoshua (Yahweh's salvation) occurs 888 times in the New Testament.

(The apocalypse is omitted because it was given personally to John and the enlightened ecclesia)

5 And they found Adoni-Bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites [struck down the Kena'ani and the Perizzi.].

Adonibezek means lord of lightning. As a chief Canaanite he stood for the sophistry of the serpent thinking - one thing is quicker than lightning - the thought to sin!

6 [But Adoni-Bezek fled; and they pursued after him, and caught him, and cut off his thumbs and his big toes]. 

Didn't kill him, as commanded. Apostacy by Judah forshadowed Judaism (Judah-ism) which centuries later corrupted the early apostolic community.

7 And Adoni-Bezek said, 70 kings [melachim], having their thumbs and their great [big] toes cut off, gathered their meat under my table [picked up their scraps under my shulchan]: as I have done, so Elohim hath requited me. And they brought him to Jerusalem [Yerushalayim], and there he died.

Adonibezek had mutilated 70 kings and now believed Elohim was punishing him according to his own deeds. This was not the case. It was, rather, Judah's apostacy allowin him to live.

See Lev 8:23,24. The priests were consecrated - thumb indicating work, toe indicating walk. The ear for the mind. For Adonibezek, the great toes and thumbs were cut off but the carnal mind was left intact - a fatal flaw in Judah's judgement...failing to slay every breathing thing lying in the way to the promised kingdom.

The carnal mind must be suppressed by the power of the word. Judaism looked to external compliance while failing to purify the heart within. This is analogous to performing ecclesial functions in a perfunctory manner while the heart remains uncircumcised.

10 And Judah [Yehudah] went against the Canaanites [Kena'ani] that dwelt in Hebron [Chevron]: (now the name of [Chevron] before was Kirjatharba [Kiryat-Arba]:) and they slew [struck down] Sheshai, and Ahiman [Achiman], and Talmai.

Kirjatharba means The city of the Four (giants). Arba the father was already dead. These three giants slain (by Caleb v20 of the tribe of Judah) were descendents of Anakim (Josh 14:12-15).

There are 3 giants to be overcome in our lives - the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. These stand in the way of our inheritance. Caleb slew the 3 giants of sinful flesh with the sword of the spirit in obedience to Yahweh.

The name Kirjatharba answering to four giants of the flesh was changed to Hebron meaning fellowship. Caleb found fellowship with Yahweh in his faithful actions to destroy sin that Yahweh's law might live among his people.

19 And Yahweh 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.

...how was it that Judah, having Yahweh with them, was unable to cope with the Canaanitish charioteers?

The answer is to be drawn from the fact illustrated at every stage of Israel's history, that though God was in their midst, His co operation was dependent upon their compliance with His pleasure.

When they lacked faith, doubted His word, or neglected His commandments, evil befel them, although He was in their midst. Thus, the first invasion of the Land of Promise was a failure, though Yahweh was in the camp (Num. 14: 40-45), because the congregation had not believed His word in the first instance, but had refused to go up to possess the land on account of the discouraging report of the spies, and now went up in opposition to instructions.

Again, Israel's attack upon Ai was repulsed, though God was with Israel, because there had been secret trespass in the congregation. The cause of Judah's powerlessness against the chariots of iron probably lay in his fright thereat; faith in Yahweh quailing in the presence of the ironclads. But, independently of this, of which there may be some doubt, a distinct cause of weakness appears in the incompleteness with which Judah and the other tribes carried out the divine instructions as to how they were to treat the subject nations. We learn from the very same chapter (verse 21) that

"the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem."

"Neither (verse 27) did Manasseh drive out the inhabitants of Bethshean and her towns, nor Zanach and her towns, nor the inhabitants of Dor and her towns. . . It came to pass that when Israel was strong that they put the Canaanites to tribute, and did not drive them out."

So also we read of Ephraim (verse 29), Zebulon (30), Asher (31), Naphtali (33), &c. God's displeasure at this is thus declared in the next chapter: I have made you to go up out of Egypt, and have brought you into the land which I sware unto your fathers, and said,

"I will never break my covenant with you. 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? 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" (Jud 2:1-3).

Herein we perceive the cause of Judah's powerlessness, though Yahweh was with them. They were not working out the subjugation of the land in accordance with the commandments, and therefore Judah, though wishful, "could not drive out the inhabitants of the valley," who defended themselves in chariots of iron. These inhabitants were left as a thorn.

The Christadelphian, Jan 1898