J. N. Darby.
(Notes and Comments Vol. 2.)
- 4. Note there is nothing here as to his conquering them, or them being called so after him.
- 25. "At times" is added to avoid the idea of permanent action in "move." It began to strike him, but it was by impulses, as pa-am (to move) implies.
Judges 17, 18
The land was the land in connection with Dan, and especially of Zorah and Eshtaol. Now this was the very part of the land that was captive to the Philistines. There Samson was born and there his doings. The Northern Danites came thence, and set up their teraphim before Samson. It continued as long as the House of God was in Shiloh, a few years after this. Samson judged Israel twenty years. Then there was Eli still in the time of the Philistines; he judged Israel forty years. This image of Micah was there all the time the house of God was in Shiloh; this gives a date. The captivity of the land was the Philistine captivity. There being no king shows nothing but that there were kings elsewhere, compare Psalm 78:58-61. And note, they were priests to the tribe of Dan, not to the northern part of it; so the men said "To a tribe in Israel." Were it not for verse 31 (Judges 18), one might well suppose verse 30 to be a prophetic, later addition; in this case, "the captivity of the land" might mean the Assyrian. But Jonathan is none the less a near descendant of Moses, and the question is one of interpretation, whether the captivity refers to the Philistines or a later one; if a later, then verse 30 is a prophetic addition. This I think very probable. The Judges, written in Samuel's time or thereabouts, go down to Shiloh. The prophetic addition shows the idolatry to have continued till the captivity. But this in no way affects the question as to Jonathan, or the date of his name.