Judges 10:18
And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
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(18) The people and princes.—There is no “and” in the original; but it cannot be a case of apposition, because the term “people” is never applied to “princes.”

Head.—Comp. Judges 11:11.

10:10-18 God is able to multiply men's punishments according to the numbers of their sins and idols. But there is hope when sinners cry to the Lord for help, and lament their ungodliness as well as their more open transgressions. It is necessary, in true repentance, that there be a full conviction that those things cannot help us which we have set in competition with God. They acknowledged what they deserved, yet prayed to God not to deal with them according to their deserts. We must submit to God's justice, with a hope in his mercy. True repentance is not only for sin, but from sin. As the disobedience and misery of a child are a grief to a tender father, so the provocations of God's people are a grief to him. From him mercy never can be sought in vain. Let then the trembling sinner, and the almost despairing backslider, cease from debating about God's secret purposes, or from expecting to find hope from former experiences. Let them cast themselves on the mercy of God our Saviour, humble themselves under his hand, seek deliverance from the powers of darkness, separate themselves from sin, and from occasions of it, use the means of grace diligently, and wait the Lord's time, and so they shall certainly rejoice in his mercy.And the people and princes ... - The inhabitants of Gilead appear as a separate and independent community, electing their own chief, without any reference to the West-Jordanic tribes. 17, 18. the children of Ammon were gathered together—From carrying on guerrilla warfare, the Ammonites proceeded to a continued campaign. Their settled aim was to wrest the whole of the trans-jordanic territory from its actual occupiers. In this great crisis, a general meeting of the Israelitish tribes was held at Mizpeh. This Mizpeh was in eastern Manasseh (Jos 11:3). No text from Poole on this verse.

And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another,.... Being thus assembled and encamped:

what man is he that will begin to fight with the children of Ammon? for though the forces were assembled together for battle, yet it seems they had no general to command them, and lead them on to it:

he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead, this they ordered to be proclaimed, to encourage some person to take the command of them, and go before them to battle, promising him that he should be judge or governor over all the tribes on that side Jordan.

And the people and princes of Gilead said one to another, What man is he that will begin to fight against the children of Ammon? he shall be head over all the inhabitants of Gilead.
18. the people, the princes of Gilead, said] The apposition is unusually harsh; perhaps the princes of Gilead was inserted on the strength of Jdg 11:5-11, where the elders of G. are the persons concerned with looking out for a leader.

Verse 18. - Gilead. See note to ver. 8. The people and princes. There is no and in the Hebrew. It is perhaps better, therefore, to take the words in apposition, as meaning, And the assembly of the chiefs of Gilead. The first step was to find a competent leader, and they agreed to appoint such an one, if he could be found, as their permanent head and captain.

Judges 10:18These verses form the introduction to the account of the help and deliverance sent by God, and describe the preparation made by Israel to fight against its oppressors. The Ammonites "let themselves be called together," i.e., assembled together (הצּעק, as in Judges 7:23), and encamped in Gilead, i.e., in that portion of Gilead of which they had taken possession. For the Israelites, i.e., the tribes to the east of the Jordan (according to Judges 10:18 and Judges 11:29), also assembled together in Gilead and encamped at mizpeh, i.e., Ramath-mizpeh or Ramoth in Gilead (Joshua 13:26; Joshua 20:8), probably on the site of the present Szalt (see at Deuteronomy 4:43, and the remarks in the Commentary on the Pentateuch, pp. 180f.), and resolved to look round for a man who could begin the war, and to make him the head over all the inhabitants of Gilead (the tribes of Israel dwelling in Perea). The "princes of Gilead" are in apposition to "the people." "The people, namely, the princes of Gilead," i.e., the heads of tribes and families of the Israelites to the east of the Jordan. "Head" is still further defined in Judges 11:6, Judges 11:11, as "captain," or "head and captain."
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