Judges 4:14
And Deborah said unto Barak, Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.
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(14) This is the day.—See the addition of the LXX. to Judges 4:8. The ancients attached the utmost importance to fortunate and unfortunate days, and Barak was guided by a prophetess, not by idle auguries.

Is not the Lord gone out before thee?—“Then shall the Lord go forth and fight against those nations, as when He fought in the day of battle” (Zechariah 14:3; comp. Deuteronomy 9:3).

Went down from mount Tabor.—As he had neither cavalry nor chariots it required no little faith in Barak to abandon his strong post and assume the aggressive against the kind of forces which struck most terror into the Israelites (Hebrews 11:32). Hence the emphatic addition, “at his feet” (Heb., and see Judges 4:10). If the beginning of the battle was at Taanach, the Israelites had to march thirteen miles along the caravan road. Probably the Canaanites watched this bold and unexpected movement with as much astonishment as the huge Persian host saw the handful of Athenians charge down from the hill-sides into the plain of Marathon.

Jdg 4:14. Deborah said unto Barak, Up — Hebrew, Arise, Delay not. If we have ground to believe that God goes before us, we may well go on with courage and cheerfulness. Is not the Lord gone before thee? — Namely, as general of thine army, to fight for thee. So Barak went down — He did not make use of the advantage which he had of the hill, where he might have been out of the reach of Sisera’s iron chariots, but boldly marched down into the valley, to give him the opportunity of using all his horses and chariots, that so the victory might be more glorious. Jdg 4:15. The Lord discomfited Sisera — The particulars of the battle are not recorded in the sacred text; but it evidently appears from thence that there was something extraordinary and miraculous in this defeat of Jabin’s host. The Hebrew word יהם, jaham, imports that they were discomfited with great terror and noise, probably with thunder, lightning, and hail- stones, poured upon them from heaven, as is implied Jdg 5:20; and as the same word is used Joshua 10:10; and 1 Samuel 7:10. Josephus confirms this opinion, assuring us that “as soon as the armies were engaged, there arose a prodigious tempest of hail and rain, which drove in the faces of the Canaanites, and occasioned a total rout of them.” — Antiq., lib. 5. cap. 5. The heavens, therefore, had the principal share in this great overthrow. With the edge of the sword — That is, by the sword of Barak and his army, whose ministry God used; but so, it seems, that they had little else to do but to kill those whom God, by more powerful arms, had put to flight. And fled away on his feet — He thought his chariot not swift enough to carry him out of danger, and imagined he should be less exposed to observation, and less liable to be discovered, when he fled like a common soldier. To which we may add, that in ancient times valiant men were wonderfully swift of foot; as is observed of Asahel, 2 Samuel 2:18; and every one knows it was the character of Achilles among the Greeks.

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.Read, "Heber the Kenitc had severed himself from the Kenites which were of the children of Hobab," etc., "unto the oak (or terebinth tree) in Zaanaim" (or Bitzaanaim, which Conder identifies with Bessum, twelve miles southeast of Tabor, and near Kedesh on the Sea of Galilee). This migration of Heber the Kenite, with a portion of his tribe, from the south of Judah to the north of Naphtali, perhaps caused by Philistine oppression, had clearly taken place recently. It is mentioned here to account for the subsequent narrative, but possibly also because the news of the great muster of the Israelites at Kedesh had been carried to Sisera by some of the tribe Judges 4:12, whose tents we are here informed were in the immediate neighborhood of Kedesh. 14. Barak went down from mount Tabor—It is a striking proof of the full confidence Barak and his troops reposed in Deborah's assurance of victory, that they relinquished their advantageous position on the hill and rushed into the plain in face of the iron chariots they so much dreaded. Up, Heb. arise, delay not, fall to thy work. Gone out before thee, to wit, as General of thine army, to fight for thee: see Judges 5:20 2 Samuel 5:24.

Barak went down from Mount Tabor he doth not make use of the advantage which he had of the hill, where he might have been out of the reach of his iron chariots, Joshua 17:16, but boldly marcheth down into the valley, to give Sisera the opportunity of using all his horses and chariots, that so the victory might be more glorious and wonderful.

And Deborah said unto Barak, up,.... Not go up higher for they were upon the top of a mountain; but rise, bestir thyself, prepare for battle, put the army in rank and file, and march and meet the enemy without delay:

for this is the day in which the Lord hath delivered Sisera into thine hand; by a spirit of prophecy she knew this was the precise day, the exact time in which it was the will of God this deliverance should be wrought; and she speaks of it as if it was past, because of the certainty of it, and the full assurance she had of it, and Barak might have; nor is what she says any contradiction to what she had said before, that Sisera should be sold or delivered into the hands of a woman, Judges 4:9; for both were true, Sisera first fell into the hands of Jael, a woman, and then into the hands of Barak, and into the hands of both on the same day:

is not the Lord gone out before thee? it was manifest he was, at least to Deborah, who was fully assured of it, and therefore it became Barak and his men, and great encouragement they had, to follow, since as the Lord went before them as their Generalissimo, they might be sure of victory: perhaps there might be some visible appearance, some shining lustre and splendour of the Shekinah, or divine Majesty; the Targum is,"is not the angel of the Lord gone out before thee, to prosper thee?"

so Barak went from Mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him; no mention is made of Deborah's coming down with them, perhaps she stayed on the mountain till the battle was over: nor might Barak be urgent upon her now to go with him, being confident of success, and having all the ends answered by her presence he could wish for.

And Deborah said unto Barak, {g} Up; for this is the day in which the LORD hath delivered Sisera into thine hand: is not the LORD gone out before thee? So Barak went down from mount Tabor, and ten thousand men after him.

(g) She still encourages him to this enterprise by assuring him of God's favour and aid.

14. is not the Lord gone out before thee?] i.e. to battle. Jehovah was believed to ‘come forth’ from His place on Sinai to fight for Israel (Jdg 5:4 f.), or to march against Israel’s enemies with the ark as His symbol (Numbers 10:35), or to be Israel’s leader in battle (2 Samuel 5:24; cf. Habakkuk 3:13; Zechariah 14:3; Psalm 44:9). The belief in Jehovah as ‘a man of war’ was characteristic of this period, Exodus 15:3; cf. Psalm 24:8.

went down front mount Tabor] The sudden rush down the hill threw Sisera’s forces into confusion and rendered his chariots useless. The Jews of a later day (a.d. 67) attempted by the same means to overwhelm the Roman cavalry dispatched by Vespasian, but without success; Jos., War iv. 1, 8. In the Song, the river Kishon plays a part in the tragedy not mentioned in the tradition as given here.

Verse 14. - And Deborah, etc. Observe how throughout Deborah takes the lead as the inspired prophetess. Judges 4:14As soon as Sisera received tidings of the march of Barak to Mount Tabor, he brought together all his chariots and all his men of war from Harosheth of the Goyim into the brook-valley of the Kishon. Then Deborah said to Barak, "Up; for this is the day in which Jehovah hath given Sisera into thy hand. Yea (הלא, nonne, as an expression indicating lively assurance), the Lord goeth out before thee," sc., to the battle, to smite the foe; whereupon Barak went down from Tabor with his 10,000 men to attack the enemy, according to Judges 5:19, at Taanach by the water of Megiddo.
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