Judges 13:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Judges 13:1, NIV: Again the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD, so the LORD delivered them into the hands of the Philistines for forty years.

Judges 13:1, ESV: And the people of Israel again did what was evil in the sight of the LORD, so the LORD gave them into the hand of the Philistines for forty years.

Judges 13:1, KJV: And the children of Israel did evil again in the sight of the LORD; and the LORD delivered them into the hand of the Philistines forty years.

Judges 13:1, NASB: Now the sons of Israel again did evil in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD handed them over to the Philistines for forty years.

Judges 13:1, NLT: Again the Israelites did evil in the LORD's sight, so the LORD handed them over to the Philistines, who oppressed them for forty years.

Judges 13:1, CSB: The Israelites again did what was evil in the Lord's sight, so the Lord handed them over to the Philistines forty years.

What does Judges 13:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Chapter 13 begins with an all-too-familiar statement. Yet another generation of Israelites descends into moral evil (Judges 2:16–19). Based on previous chapters, the nature of this evil at a minimum includes worship of false gods: the idols and deities of the Canaanites and other surrounding nations. This idolatry would be evil in and of itself (Exodus 20:1–6). Further, worship practices of the Canaanites often involved sexual immorality and violence such as human sacrifice (Deuteronomy 12:31; 18:9–14).

The Lord's response is also familiar. He allows this new generation of unfaithful people to be defeated and enslaved by their enemies. This time, it's the Philistines once again. God will break their stranglehold on Israel in a startling way that demonstrates His grace and mercy.

The Philistine people were part of a large migration of tribes known as the Sea Peoples. They arrived in considerable numbers from the Aegean regions around 1200 BC. Known for violence and destruction, the Sea Peoples attacked Egypt and were pushed back by Rameses III. They settled along the southern coast of Canaan, where they built up five major fortified cities: Ashdod, Ashkelon, Ekron, Gath, and Gaza. From that base, they pushed eastward into Canaan to dominate Israel and the other peoples of the region.

The Philistines will continue to be a major enemy of Israel until the time of King David; however, God limits their active oppression of His people to four decades. During this era, He raised up another judge to begin to save Israel.