Judges 5:13
Then he made him that remains have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(13) Then he made him that remaineth have dominion.—The translation, reading, and punctuation of this verse is uncertain. The MSS. of the LXX. vary, and the Vulgate merely gives a paraphrase. The Alexandrine MS. of the LXX. may be correct: “Then descended a remnant against the mighty.” Ewald renders it, “Then descended a remnant of the nobles of the people.” They were only “a remnant,” because at least six of the tribes—Judah, Simeon, Dan, Asher, Reuben, Gad—held aloof.

The Lord made me have dominion over the mighty.—Rather, Jehovah descended to me among the heroes. The LXX. (Cod. B) and others connect “people” with this clause: “The people of Jehovah descended,” &c., and perhaps correctly.

Jdg 5:13. Then he made him that remaineth have dominion, &c. — This verse is very obscure, nor is it easy to fix the sense of the original, the principal verb in the sentence, ירד, jerad, which occurs in both clauses of it, meaning both to have, or to cause to have dominion, and also to descend, or come down. According to our translation, which seems as accurate as any proposed, the sense is, that God had not only preserved a remnant of his people from the fury of the oppressor, and from the destruction which Sisera designed, but also now gave them the victory, and thereby the dominion over the nobles of Canaan, who had been combined against them. The Lord made me have dominion — Though but a weak woman. But Dr. Kennicott’s translation of the verse, which is countenanced by the Seventy, is,

“Then, when the remainder descended after their chiefs,

Jehovah’s people descended after me against the mighty:”


which interpretation agrees in substance with that of the ingenious Mr. Green and some others.5:12-23 Deborah called on her own soul to be in earnest. He that will set the hearts of other men on fire with the love of Christ, must himself burn with love. Praising God is a work we should awake to, and awake ourselves unto. She notices who fought against Israel, who fought for them, and who kept away. Who fought against them. They were obstinate enemies to God's people, therefore the more dangerous. Who fought for them. The several tribes that helped are here spoken of with honour; for though God is above all to be glorified, those who are employed must have their due praise, to encourage others. But the whole creation is at war with those to whom God is an enemy. The river of Kishon fought against their enemies. At most times it was shallow, yet now, probably by the great rain that fell, it was so swelled, and the stream so deep and strong, that those who attempted to pass, were drowned. Deborah's own soul fought against them. When the soul is employed in holy exercises, and heart-work is made of them, through the grace of God, the strength of our spiritual enemies will be trodden down, and will fall before us. She observes who kept away, and did not side with Israel, as might have been expected. Thus many are kept from doing their duty by the fear of trouble, the love of ease, and undue affection to their worldly business and advantage. Narrow, selfish spirits care not what becomes of God's church, so that they can but get, keep, and save money. All seek their own, Php 2:21. A little will serve those for a pretence to stay at home, who have no mind to engage in needful services, because there is difficulty and danger in them. But we cannot keep away from the contest between the Lord and his enemies; and if we do not actively endeavour to promote his cause in this wicked world, we shall fall under the curse against the workers of iniquity. Though He needs no human help, yet he is pleased to accept the services of those who improve their talents to advance his cause. He requires every man to do so.This verse is otherwise rendered: "then a remnant of the nobles came down; the people of the Lord came down for me against the mighty." The following verses mention in detail who this "remnant" were. 11-14. The wells which are at a little distance from towns in the East, are, in unsettled times, places of danger. But in peace they are scenes of pleasant and joyous resort. The poetess anticipates that this song may be sung, and the righteous acts of the Lord rehearsed at these now tranquil "places of drawing water." Deborah now rouses herself to describe, in terms suitable to the occasion, the preparation and the contest, and calls in a flight of poetic enthusiasm on Barak to parade his prisoners in triumphal procession. Then follows a eulogistic enumeration of the tribes which raised the commanded levy, or volunteered their services—the soldiers of Ephraim who dwelt near the mount of the Amalekites, the small quota of Benjamin; "the governors," valiant leaders "out of Machir," the western Manasseh; out of Zebulun. Thus God did not only preserve the poor and despised remnant of his people from the fury of the oppressor before this war, and from the destruction which Sisera designed and promised himself to bring upon them by this war; but also gave them the victory, and thereby the dominion over the princes and nobles of Canaan, who were combined against them.

Me, though but a weak woman. Then he made him that remaineth,.... The people of Israel that remained, who had been under the yoke of Jabin king of Canaan, under which many of the Israelites very probably died; but now the few mean and miserable that remained were raised to an high estate, and made to

have dominion over the nobles among the people; that is, over the Canaanitish nobility, that were among the people under Jabin; but he being conquered by the Israelites, his people and even his nobles became subject to them; and this was the Lord's doing, as the following words show:

the Lord made me have dominion over the mighty; that is, Deborah, to whom God gave dominion either over the mighty ones of Israel, being raised up to be their judge; or over the mighty Canaanites, she having a concern in the conquest of them and triumph over them, through her direction, advice, command, and presence, though a woman.

Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
13. Then came down a remnant] The Massoretic scribes intended the verb to mean ‘then may the remnant (i.e. of Israel) rule over the noble ones,’ a prayer; but the noble ones like the mighty are most naturally Israelites, and after then the LXX and other Verss. give a perfect. With a slight change of pronunciation the RV. renders ‘Then came down a remnant of the nobles and the people,’ inserting and without any right. The word for remnant means, not ‘a mere handful,’ but survivors from a battle, a sense unsuitable here; we may perhaps correct the form to Israel (Budde, Moore), and thus obtain a good parallelism to the people of the Lord, as the words are to be read (LXX. B). The whole verse may be restored:

Then came down Israel like noble ones,

The people of the Lord came down for Him as heroes.

For Him (LXX) is preferable to for me in the text.Verse 13. - Then he gave dominion to a mere remnant of Israel over the powerful among the people of Canaan, the Lord gave me dominion over the mighty men of Jabin. 6 In the days of Shamgar, the son of Anath,

In the days of Jael, the paths kept holiday,

And the wanderers of the paths went crooked ways.

7 The towns in Israel kept holiday, they kept holiday,

Until that I, Deborah, arose,

That I arose a mother in Israel

8 They chose new gods;

Then was war at the gates:

Was there a shield seen and a spear

Among forty thousand in Israel?

The deep degradation and disgrace into which Israel had sunk before the appearance of Deborah, through its falling away from the Lord into idolatry, forms the dark reverse of that glorification at Sinai. Although, after Ehud, Shamgar had also brought help to the people against their enemies by a victory over the Philistines (Judges 3:31), and although Jael, who proved herself a heroine by slaying the fugitive Sisera, was then alive, things had got to such a pitch with Israel, that no one would venture upon the public high roads. There are no good grounds for the conjecture that Jael was a different person from the Jael mentioned in Judges 4:17., whether a judge who is not further known, as Ewald supposes, or a female judge who stood at the head of the nation in these unhappy times (Bertheau). ארחות חדלוּ, lit., "the paths ceased," sc., to be paths, or to be trodden by men. נתיבות הלכי, "those who went upon paths," or beaten ways, i.e., those who were obliged to undertake journeys for the purpose of friendly intercourse or trade, notwithstanding the burden of foreign rule which pressed upon the land; such persons went by "twisted paths," i.e., by roads and circuitous routes which turned away from the high roads. And the פּרזון, i.e., the cultivated land, with its open towns and villages, and with their inhabitants, was as forsaken and desolate as the public highways. The word perazon has been rendered judge or guidance by modern expositors, after the example of Teller and Gesenius; and in Judges 5:11 decision or guidance. But this meaning, which has been adopted into all the more recent lexicons, has nothing really to support it, and does not even suit our verse, into which it would introduce the strange contradiction, that at the time when Shamgar and Jael were judges, there were no judges in Israel. In addition to the Septuagint version, which renders the word δυνατοὶ in this verse (i.e., according to the Cod. Vat., for the Col. Al. has φράζων), and then in the most unmeaning way adopts the rendering αὔξησον in Judges 5:11, from which we may clearly see that the translators did not know the meaning of the word, it is common to adduce an Arabic word which signifies segregavit, discrevit rem ab aliis, though it is impossible to prove that the Arabic word ever had the meaning to judge or to lead. All the old translators, as well as the Rabbins, have based their rendering of the word upon פּרזי, inhabitant of the flat country (Deuteronomy 3:5, and 1 Samuel 6:18), and פּרזות, the open flat country, as distinguished from the towns surrounded by walls (Ezekiel 38:11; Zechariah 2:8), according to which פּרזון, as the place of meeting, would denote both the cultivated land with its unenclosed towns and villages, and also the population that was settled in the open country in unfortified places-a meaning which also lies at the foundation of the word in Habakkuk 3:14. Accordingly, Luther has rendered the word Bauern (peasants). שׁקּמתּי עד for קמתּי אשׁר עד. The contraction of אשׁר into שׁ, with Dagesh following, and generally pointed with Seghol, but here with Patach on account of the ק, which is closely related to the gutturals, belongs to the popular character of the song, and is therefore also found in the Song of Solomon (Judges 1:12; Judges 2:7, Judges 2:17; Judges 4:6). It is also met with here and there in simple prose (Judges 6:17; Judges 7:12; Judges 8:26); but it was only in the literature of the time of the captivity and a still later date, that it found its way more and more from the language of ordinary conversation into that of the Scriptures. Deborah describes herself as "a mother in Israel," on account of her having watched over her people with maternal care, just as Job calls himself a father to the poor who had been supported by him (Job 29:16; cf. Isaiah 22:21).

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