An angel of the Lord - In the preceding chapter we have a summary of several things which took place shortly after the death of Joshua; especially during the time in which the elders lived (that is, the men who were contemporary with Joshua, but survived him), and while the people continued faithful to the Lord. In this chapter, and some parts of the following, we have an account of the same people abandoned by their God and reduced to the heaviest calamities, because they had broken their covenant with their Maker. This chapter, and the first eight verses of the next, may be considered as an epitome of the whole book, in which we see, on one hand, the crimes of the Israelites; and on the other, the punishments inflicted on them by the Lord; their repentance, and return to their allegiance; and the long-suffering and mercy of God, shown in pardoning their backslidings, and delivering them out of the hands of their enemies. The angel of the Lord, mentioned here, is variously interpreted; some think it was Phinehas, the high priest, which is possible; others, that it was a prophet, sent to the place where they were now assembled, with an extraordinary commission from God, to reprove them for their sins, and to show them the reason why God had not rooted out their enemies from the land; this is the opinion of the Chaldee paraphrast, consequently of the ancient Jews; others think that an angel, properly such, is intended; and several are of opinion that it was the Angel of the Covenant, the Captain of the Lord's host, which had appeared unto Joshua, Judges 5:14, and no less than the Lord Jesus Christ himself. I think it more probable that some extraordinary human messenger is meant, as such messengers, and indeed prophets, apostles, etc., are frequently termed angels, that is, messengers of the Lord. The person here mentioned appears to have been a resident at Gilgal, and to have come to Bochim on this express errand.
I will never break my covenant - Nor did God ever break it. A covenant is never broken but by him who violates the conditions of it: when any of the contracting parties violates any of the conditions, the covenant is then broken, and by that party alone; and the conditions on the other side are null and void.