Quest. How could this be, when among the people left to try Israel, are the five lords of the Philistines, Jud_3:3.
Answ. It is only said that they took the cities, and probably contented themselves with making them tributary; but it is not said that they slew the people, as they ought to have done, and as it is said of the other cities here, Jud_1:5,8,17,25. And the people being thus spared, did by God’s just judgement recover their strength, and expel the Jews out of their cities, as we find afterwards. It is further observable, that Ekron here taken was one of Dan’s cities, Jos_19:43, and it was attempted and taken here by Judah and Simeon, partly out of love to their brother Dan, and partly to secure their new conquests, and other adjoining territories, from such potent neighbours.