Judges 4:16
But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, to Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell on the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.
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(16) There was not a man left.—The massacre in all battles in which the fugitives have to escape over a river and contend with a storm is always specially fatal. The memory of this terrible carnage was preserved for years, together with the circumstance that the soil was enriched by the dead bodies (Psalm 83:10). Similarly at Waterloo, the year after the battle a blaze of crimson poppies burst out over the plain, and the harvests of the subsequent years were specially rich.

“The earth is covered thick with other clay,

Which her own clay shall cover.”

The scene of the battle of Marius at Aquæ Sextiæ was long called Fourrières (a corruption of Campi Putridi) for the same reason; and the site of Cannæ is still known as Pezzo di Sangue.

Jdg 4:16-17. There was not a man left — In the field; for there were some who fled away, as Sisera did. The tent of Jael — For women had their tents apart from their husbands. And here he probably thought he would be more secret and secure than in her husband’s tent, or in any other place in that encampment, as it would have been a much greater insult to Heber for any Israelite to search for him there than in any other of his tents. For there was peace between Jabin and the house of Heber — Not a covenant of friendship, which they were forbidden to make with the Canaanites, but a cessation of hostilities, which Jabin granted them, because they were peaceable people, abhorring war, and wholly minding pasturage, and were not Israelites, with whom his principal quarrel was. Add to this, that God disposed his heart to favour those who were careful to shun idolatry, and other sins wherewith Israel had corrupted themselves.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.What with the overflowing of the Kishon Judges 5:21, by which numbers were drowned, and the panic which had seized the defeated army, and made them an easy prey to the sword of the pursuing Israelites, Sisera's whole force was cut to pieces and broken up. 16. But Barak pursued … unto Harosheth—Broken and routed, the main body of Sisera's army fled northward; others were forced into the Kishon and drowned (see on [218]Jud 5:21). To wit, in the field; for there were some who fled away, as Sisera did. But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles,.... The place from whence they came, and to which they endeavoured to escape: but he followed them, so close all that way, and made such havoc of them, that

all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword, and there was not a man left; no, not one, excepting Sisera, as in Judges 4:17; or "even to one" (l), as in the original text; not one escaped to Hazor to acquaint Jabin of the loss of his army. Philo Byblius says, that nine hundred and ninety seven thousand of Sisera's army were slain.

(l) "usque ad unum", Montanus.

But Barak pursued after the chariots, and after the host, unto Harosheth of the Gentiles: and all the host of Sisera fell upon the edge of the sword; and there was not a man left.
16. The Canaanites fled in a westerly direction to their base, pursued by Barak, and not one escaped; cf. Exodus 14:28.Verse 16. - Barak pursued after the chariots. Barak, supposing Sisera still to be with the chariots, pursued after them, and seems to have overtaken them, as they were embarrassed in the rotten, boggy ground which had been suddenly overflowed by the swollen waters of Kishon. Many were swept away by the flood and drowned, the rest put to the sword while their horses were floundering in the bog (Judges 5:21, 22). But Sisera had meanwhile escaped on foot unnoticed, and fled to the tents of the friendly Kenites. Barak 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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