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)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.
Me, though but a weak woman.
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.
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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