|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
17:7-13 Micah thought it was a sign of God's favour to him and his images, that a Levite should come to his door. Thus those who please themselves with their own delusions, if Providence unexpectedly bring any thing to their hands that further them in their evil way, are apt from thence to think that God is pleased with them.
Verse 43. - Thus they inclosed, etc. Another difficult passage, having all the appearance of being a quotation from some poetical description of the battle. The tenses of the verbs and the absence of any conjunctions in the Hebrew makes the diction like that of Judges 5:19. The italic words thus and the two ands ought to be omitted, to give the stately march of the original. "They inclosed, etc.; they chased them; they trod them down," etc. They inclosed seems to refer to the stratagem by which the Benjamites were surrounded by the ambush in their rear and the Israelites in front. Then came the pursuit - "they chased them;" then the massacre - "they trod them down." The three verbs describe the three stages of the battle. With ease. It does not seem possible that the Hebrew word menuchah can have this meaning. It means sometimes a place of rest, and sometimes a state of rest. Taking the latter meaning, the words they trod them into rest may mean they quieted them by crushing them to death under their feet, or in rest may mean unresisting. Some render it unto Menuchah, as if Menuchah was the name of a place, or from Nochah, as the Septuagint does. Others, at the place of rest, i.e. at every place where they halted to rest the enemy was upon them.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Thus they enclosed the Benjaminites round about,.... Surrounded them on all sides, the army of Israel being posted in different places, and people coming out of all the cities to their assistance. Josephus (a) says, they were forced into, and cooped up, in a hollow place in a valley, so that they could not escape:
and chased them; or "caused to pursue" (b); calling after them a pursuit, crying to one another as they went along, saying, pursue them, pursue them; so Jarchi and Kimchi; which cry, as it inspired the pursuers with zeal, so they pursued with terror:
and trod them down with ease; they making no resistance, being quite dispirited; the Targrim is,"from the house of their rest,''where they took up their rest, and designed to rest that night, but could not, being so closely pursued, and diligently sought after. Some take "menuchah", rendered "ease", to be the name of a place, from or unto which they were pursued and trodden down, see 1 Chronicles 2:52 and so the Septuagint seems to take it for the name of a place, rendering it, "from Noua":
over against Gibeah, towards the sunrising; that is, as Jarchi interprets it, to the east of Gibeah, there was this overthrow and slaughter made.
(a) Ut supra. (Antiqu. l. 5. c. 2. sect. 10.) (b) "persequi fecerunt eum", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "vel eos", Vatablus.
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