And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles to the river of Kishon.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)All his chariots.—He saw at once that this very sudden revolt had assumed formidable proportions, and he would need all his forces to dislodge Barak from his strongly entrenched position on Tabor.
Harosheth of the Gentiles.—This is simply the name of the town Harosheth-haggoîm. (See Judges 4:2.)Judges 4:12, whose tents we are here informed were in the immediate neighborhood of Kedesh.
even nine hundred chariots of iron; and which, as before observed, are magnified by Josephus, and made to be three thousand:
and all the people that were with him; his soldiers, Jabin's army, of which he was captain, and are called a multitude, Judges 4:7; and which, the above writer says (h), consisted of three hundred thousand foot, and ten thousand horse, besides the iron chariots: these he collected together, and brought with him:
from Harosheth of the Gentiles; the place where he resided with his army, Judges 4:2,
unto the river of Kishon; which was near Mount Tabor, the rendezvous of Barak and his men, see Judges 4:6.And Sisera gathered together all his chariots, even nine hundred chariots of iron, and all the people that were with him, from Harosheth of the Gentiles unto the river of Kishon.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)13. Harosheth of the Gentiles] See on Jdg 4:2; of the Gentiles (goyim) perhaps on account of the non-Jewish population in the district, cf. Gělîl hag-goyim, ‘the Circle’ or ‘District of the Gentiles’ in N. Palestine, Isaiah 9:1.Verse 13. - Unto the river (or brook) of Kishon, now the Nahr Mukutta. In the plain of Esdraelon, through which the Kishon flowed into the Mediterranean, there would be room for all his chariots to come into action. Joshua 12:22), and made known to him the commands of the Lord: "Up and draw to Mount Tabor, and take with thee 10,000 men of the children of Naphtali and Zebulun; and I will draw to thee into the brook-valley of Kishon, Sisera the captain of Jabin's army, and his chariots, and his multitude (his men of war), and give him into thy hand." משׁכתּ has been explained in different ways. Seb. Schmidt, Clericus, and others supply הקּרן or השּׁופר, draw with the trumpet (cf. Exodus 19:13; Joshua 6:5), i.e., blow the trumpet in long-drawn tones, upon Mount Tabor, and regard this as the signal for convening people; whilst Hengstenberg (Diss. ii. pp. 76, 77) refers to Numbers 10:9, and understands the blowing of the horn as the signal by which the congregation of the Lord made known its need to Him, and appealed to Him to come to its help. It cannot indeed be proved that the blowing of the trumpet was merely the means adopted for convening the people together; in fact, the use of the following משׁכתּי, in the sense of draw, is to be explained on the supposition that משׁכתּ is used in a double sense. "The long-drawn notes were to draw the Lord to them, and then the Lord would draw to them Sisera, the captain of Jabin's army. Barak first calls the helper from heaven, and then the Lord calls the enemy upon earth." Nevertheless we cannot subscribe to this explanation, first of all because the supposed ellipsis cannot be sustained in this connection, when nothing is said about the blowing of a trumpet either in what precedes or in what follows; and secondly, because Numbers 10:9 cannot be appealed to in explanation, for the simple reason that it treats of the blowing of the silver trumpets on the part of the priests, and they must not be confounded with the shopharoth. And the use made of the trumpets at Jericho cannot be transferred to the passage before us without some further ground. We are disposed therefore to take the word משׁך in the sense of draw (intransitive), i.e., proceed one after another in a long-drawn train (as in Judges 20:37 and Exodus 12:21), referring to the captain and the warriors drawing after him; whilst in Judges 4:7 it is to be translated in the same way, though with a transitive signification. Mount Tabor, called Ἰταβύριον by the Greeks (see lxx Hosea 5:1), the mountain of Christ's transfiguration according to an early tradition of the church, the present Jebel et Tur, is a large truncated cone of limestone, which is almost perfectly insulated, and rises to the height of about a thousand feet, on the north-eastern border of the plain of Jezreel. The sides of the mountain are covered with a forest of oaks and wild pistachios, and upon its flat summit, which is about half an hour in circumference, there are the remains of ancient fortifications (see Robinson, Pal. iii. pp. 211ff., and v. Raumer, Pal. pp. 37, 38). The words "and take with thee 10,000 men" are not to be understood as signifying that Barak was to summon the people together upon the top of Mount Tabor, but the assembling of the people is presupposed; and all that is commanded is, that he was to proceed to Mount Tabor with the assembled army, and make his attack upon the enemy, who were encamped in the valley of Kishon, from that point. According to Judges 4:10, the army was collected at Kedesh in Naphtali. Nachal Kishon is not only the brook Kishon, which is formed by streams that take their rise from springs upon Tabor and the mountains of Gilboa, flows in a north-westerly direction through the plain of Jezreel to the Mediterranean, and empties itself into the bay of Acca, and which is called Mukatta by the natives (see Rob. iii. pp. 472ff., and v. Raumer, pp. 39, 50), but the valley on both sides of the brook, i.e., the plain of Jezreel (see at Joshua 17:16), where the greatest battles have been fought for the possession of Palestine from time immemorial down to the most recent times (see v. Raumer, pp. 40ff.).
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