Judges 3:1
(1) To prove Israel.--The verb here used is the same as in Judges 2:22 and Judges 3:4, but, as R. Tanchum observes, it is used in a slightly different sense, meaning "to train them." Symmachus renders it ask?sai.

As many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan.--This expression clearly implies the generation after that of Joshua. "The wars of Canaan" are equivalent to "the wars of the Lord," and refer to the struggles of the actual conquest.

Verse 1. - Now these are the nations, etc. We are now told in detail what was stated in general in Judges 2:22, 23, after the common method of Hebrew narrative. To prove Israel. This word to prove is used here in a somewhat different sense from that which it bears in ver. 4 and in Judges 2:22. In those passages it is used of their moral probation, of proving or testing their faith and obedience; but here it is rather in the sense of "to exercise" or "to accustom them," to train them to war. A considerable period of rest had followed Joshua's conquest, during which the younger Israelites had no experience of war; but if they were to keep their hold of Canaan, it was needful that the warlike spirit should be kept up in their breasts.

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.Now these are the nations which the Lord left to prove Israel by them,.... Which are later mentioned, Judges 3:3,

even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan; those that Joshua, and the people of Israel under him, had with the Canaanites, when they first entered the land and subdued it; being then not born, or so young as not to have knowledge of them, at least not able to bear arms at that time.

Judges 2:23
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