And the Lord had another reason for letting these enemies stay. The Israelites needed to learn how to fight in war, just as their ancestors had done. Each new generation would have to learn by fighting
The Lord did not force all the other nations to leave Israel’s land. He wanted to test the Israelites. None of the Israelites living at this time had fought in the wars to take the land of Canaan. So he let those other nations stay in their country. (He did this to teach the Israelites who had not fought in those wars.) These are the nations the Lord left in the land:
1 The Canaanites were left to try Israel. 9 Othniel delivereth Israel. 21 Ehud killeth King Eglon. 31 Shamgar killeth the Philistines. These now are the nations which the Lord left, that he might prove Israel by them (even as many of Israel as had not known all the wars of Canaan,
Here is a list of the nations the Lord left in the land to test the new generation of Israel who had not experienced the wars of Canaan. For God wanted to give opportunity to the youth of Israel to exercise faith and obedience in conquering their enemies:* the Philistines (five cities), the Canaanites, the Sidonians, the Hivites living in Mount Lebanon, from Baal-hermon to the entrance of Hamath.
These are the nations that God left there, using them to test the Israelites who had no experience in the Canaanite wars. He did it to train the descendants of Israel, the ones who had no battle experience, in the art of war. He left the five Philistine tyrants, all the Canaanites, the Sidonians, and the Hivites living on Mount Lebanon from Mount Baal Hermon to Hamath’s Pass. They were there to test Israel and see whether they would obey God’s commands that were given to their parents through Moses.
These be the folks which the Lord left alive, that in them he should teach Israel, and all men that knew not the battles of Canaanites; (These be the nations which the Lord left alive, so that through them he would teach the Israelites, all those who had not been part of the battles for Canaan;)
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