Judges 3:3 MEANING

Judges 3:3
(3) Five lords of the Philistines.--The princes of the Pentapolis, Gaza, Ashdod, Askelon, Gath, Ekron. The word rendered "lords" is evidently a technical or local title--Seranim. It is rendered by the LXX. "satrapies," and by the Vulgate, "satraps." It is variously derived from seren, "a hinge" (comp. "cardinal" from "cardo"); from sar, "a prince," being interchanged with sarim, in 1 Sam. 13:30; 1 Samuel 29:6 (Ewald, i. 332); and from some Ph?nician root. For the Philistines, see Judges 13:1.

All the Canaanites.--Of the sheph?lah or maritime plain.

The Sidonians.--In Genesis 10:15 "Sidon" is the eldest son of Canaan. They maintained their complete independence to the last.

The Hivites that dwelt in Mount Lebanon.--In Joshua 11:3 they are described as living "under Hermon, in the land at Mizpeh," whence Mizpeh has been identified with "el-Mutalleh," which also means "the look-out" or "watch-tower." The name has been derived from Havvah, a circular encampment or village, because they lived (as they do to this day in northern Syria) in circular villages, with enclosures for cattle in the centre. Ewald ( i. 318) supposes that the word means "midlanders," and Gesenius "villagers." The Hivite is the sixth son of Canaan, in Genesis 10:17.

Mount Baal-hermon unto the entering in of Hamath.--In Joshua 13:5 we have "from Baal-gad under mount Hermon unto," &c. Baal-gad is also mentioned in Joshua 12:7; Joshua 11:17, and is usually supposed to be Paneas or Cesarea Philippi. It was probably a temple of Baal, but must be farther south than Baalbek. The hill of Paneas is therefore, in all probability, " Mount Baal-hermon," and Baal-hermon may be only another name for Baal-gad. Frst supposes that both Gad and Gedi (in Engedi) are names of Astarte.

The entering in of Hamath.--This is the usual phrase to describe the northern boundary of Canaan. The LXX. take it as a proper name, Labo emath.

Verse 3. - The five lords, etc. The title seren, here rendered "lord," is one exclusively applied to the lords of the five Philistine cities enumerated in Joshua 13:3; 1 Samuel 6:17, 18, viz., Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron. It occurs repeatedly in ch. 16; 1 Samuel 5, 6, 29, etc. The word means an axle-tree. The entering in of Hamath. There are two theories in regard to Hamath. Some, as Professor Rawlinson in the 'Dictionary of the Bible,' identify it with Hamah, a large and important city on the Orontes in Upper Syria, and consider that the kingdom of Hamath, which was overthrown by the king of Assyria (2 Kings 18:34; 2 Kings 19:13), and of which Hamath was the capital, was for the most part an independent Hamitic or Canaanite kingdom (Genesis 10:18), but occasionally, as in the days of Solomon and Jeroboam (1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:28; 2 Chronicles 8:4), subject to Israel Others, however, justly considering the great improbability of the Israelite dominion having ever extended so far north as the valley of the Orontes, and observing how it is spoken of as an integral part of Israel (1 Kings 8:65), look for Hamath much further south, in the neighbourhood of Beth-rehob (see Judges 18:28, note). As regards the phrase "the entering in of Hamath," the identical Hebrew words occur seven times, viz., Numbers 13:21; Numbers 34:8; Joshua 13:5; in this passage; 1 Kings 8:65; 2 Kings 14:25; 2 Chronicles 7:8, and are variously rendered in the A.V.: "as men come to Hamath;" "unto the entrance of Hamath;" "the entering into Hamath;" "the entering in of Hamath (three times); and the entering of Hamath." The exact meaning of the phrase seems to be "the approach to Hamath," some particular spot in the valley from whence the direct road to Hamath begins; very much like the railway term for certain stations which are the nearest to, though at some little distance from, the place from which they are named, as, e.g., Shapwick Road, Mildenhall Road, etc. The latter words of the verse describe the territory of the Hivites, which reached from Mount Baal-hermon in the Lebanon range as far as the point where the road leads to Hamath.

3:1-7 As the Israelites were a type of the church on earth, they were not to be idle and slothful. The Lord was pleased to try them by the remains of the devoted nations they spared. Temptations and trials detect the wickedness of the hearts of sinners; and strengthen he graces of believers in their daily conflict with Satan, sin, and this evil world. They must live in this world, but they are not of it, and are forbidden to conform to it. This marks the difference between the followers of Christ and mere professors. The friendship of the world is more fatal than its enmity; the latter can only kill the body, but the former murders many precious souls.Namely, five lords of the Philistines,.... The places they were lords of were Gaza, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Gath, and Ekron; see Joshua 13:3; three of these, Gaza, Ashkelon, and Ekron, had been taken from them by Judah, since the death of Joshua, Judges 1:18; but they soon recovered them again, perhaps by the help of the other two. The Philistines were a people originally of Egypt, but came from thence and settled in these parts, and were here as early as in the times of Abraham, and were very troublesome neighbours to the Israelites in later times; see Genesis 10:14,

and all the Canaanites; these were a particular tribe or nation in the land so called, which inhabited by the sea, and by the coast of Jordan, Numbers 13:29; otherwise this is the general name for the seven nations:

and the Sidonians; the inhabitants of the famous city of Sidon, which had its name from the firstborn of Canaan, Genesis 10:15,

and the Hivites that dwelt in Mount Lebanon; on the north of the land of Canaan:

from Mount Baalhermon; the eastern part of Lebanon, the same with Baalgad, where Baal was worshipped:

unto the entering in of Hamath; the boundary of the northern part of the land, which entrance led into the valley between Libanus and Antilibanus; see Numbers 34:8.

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