Judges 4:10
And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
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(10) Called.—The word used is the technical word for summoning an army (2Samuel 20:4-5). Naturally Zebulun and Naphtali would be more difficult to arouse than the central tribes, because, though they felt the oppression most, they would have to bear the brunt of the vengeance in case of defeat. Ephraim and Benjamin (Judges 5:14), being more strong and secure, could raise their contingents without the personal help of Deborah, especially if that view of the chronology be admissible which avoids other difficulties by the difficult supposition that this event took place before the death of Joshua.

Zebulun and Naphtali.—(See Judges 5:18.) Of course it is only meant that in the first instance the leaders of those tribes were invited to a conference, like those of the Swiss on the Rütli in 1307.

At his feet.—That is simply “after him,” as it is rendered in Judges 4:14. (Comp. Judges 5:15; Judges 8:5; Exodus 11:8; 1Kings 20:10.)

Deborah went up with him.—A trace of this fact may yet be preserved in the name Debarieh, given to a village at the foot of Tabor.

Jdg 4:10. With ten thousand men at his feet — That is, following him as their leader. Possibly it also intimates that they were all footmen, there being no horses in Judea but what were brought out of other countries. This made the victory the more glorious, by the overthrow of a vast number of chariots and horses in the opposite army.

4:10-16. Siser's confidence was chiefly in his chariots. But if we have ground to hope that God goes before us, we may go on with courage and cheerfulness. Be not dismayed at the difficulties thou meetest with in resisting Satan, in serving God, or suffering for him; for is not the Lord gone before thee? Follow him then fully. Barak went down, though upon the plain the iron chariots would have advantage against him: he quitted the mountain in dependence on the Divine power; for in the Lord alone is the salvation of his people, Jer 3:23. He was not deceived in his confidence. When God goes before us in our spiritual conflicts, we must bestir ourselves; and when, by his grace, he gives us some success against the enemies of our souls, we must improve it by watchfulness and resolution.Rather, "and ten thousand men went up (to Tabor) at his feet;" i. e. as his followers ("after him," Judges 4:14). 9. the Lord shall sell Sisera into the hand of a woman—This was a prediction which Barak could not understand at the time; but the strain of it conveyed a rebuke of his unmanly fears. At his feet, i.e. who followed him or his footsteps; possibly he intimates that they were all footmen, the Israelites neither now having, nor otherwise allowed to have, a multitude of horses; and so this is emphatically added, to signify by what contemptible means God overthrew Sisera’s great host, wherein there were ten thousand horses, as Josephus reports.

And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh,.... This he did either by the sound of a trumpet, as Ehud did, or by sending messengers to them to collect ten thousand men from among them, which they accordingly did, and came to him in Kedesh:

and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet; they following him up to Mount Tabor cheerfully and readily, being all footmen; for the Israelites had no cavalry, and yet got the victory over Sisera's army, which, according to Josephus (g), had ten thousand horses in it:

and Deborah went up with him; and his ten thousand footmen, to the top of Mount Tabor, to encourage him and them with her presence, and give her best advice when to descend and engage the enemy.

(g) Antiqu. l. 5. c. 5. sect. 1.

And Barak called Zebulun and Naphtali to Kedesh; and he went up with ten thousand men at his feet: and Deborah went up with him.
10. See notes on Jdg 4:6.

and Deboṛah went up with him] i.e. to mount Tabor, Jdg 4:12; the clause seems to belong to the story of Sisera. at his feet means following him, cf. Jdg 8:5, 1 Samuel 25:27, 1 Kings 20:10.

Verse 10. - Called, or rather gathered together, as the same word is rendered in ver. 13. Went up, viz., to Mount Tabor, as in vers. 6 and 12. Translate the verse. There went up ten thousand men at his feet, i.e. following him. Judges 4:10Barak replied that he would not go unless she would go with him - certainly not for the reason suggested by Bertheau, viz., that he distrusted the divine promise given to him by Deborah, but because his mistrust of his own strength was such that he felt too weak to carry out the command of God. He wanted divine enthusiasm for the conflict, and this the presence of the prophetess was to infuse into both Barak and the army that was to be gathered round him. Deborah promised to accompany him, but announced to him as the punishment for this want of confidence in the success of his undertaking, that the prize of victory - namely, the defeat of the hostile general - should be taken out of his hand; for Jehovah would sell (i.e., deliver up) Sisera into the hand of a woman, viz., according to Judges 4:17., into the hand of Jael. She then went with him to Kedesh, where Barak summoned together Zebulun and Naphtali, i.e., the fighting men of those tribes, and went up with 10,000 men in his train ("at his feet," i.e., after him, Judges 4:14; cf. Exodus 11:8 and Deuteronomy 11:6) to Tabor ("went up:" the expression is used here to denote the advance of an army against a place). Kedesh, where the army assembled, was higher than Tabor. זעק, Hiphil with acc., to call together (cf. 2 Samuel 20:4-5). Before the engagement with the foe is described, there follows in Judges 4:11 a statement that Heber the Kenite had separated himself from his tribe, the children of Hobab, who led a nomad life in the desert of Judah (Judges 1:16), and had pitched his tents as far as the oak forest at Zaanannim (see at Joshua 19:33) near Kedesh. This is introduced because of its importance in relation to the issue of the conflict which ensued (Judges 4:17 ff). נפרד with Kametz is a participle, which is used in the place of the perfect, to indicate that the separation was a permanent one.
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