Judges 5:19
The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.
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(19) The kings.—Comp. Joshua 11:1. Jabin did not stand alone.

In Taanach.—See Judges 1:27. The word means “sandy soil.”

By the waters of Megiddo.—The affluents of the Kishon, or the swollen waves of the river itself. There is a copious spring at Lejjûn, the ancient Megiddo, which in rainy seasons rapidly turns the plain into a morass (Thomson’s Land and Book. ch. 29).

They took no gain of money.—Literally, fragment of silver they did not take. They had doubtless hoped, if not for much actual spoil, at least for ransom from the numerous captives which they expected to win, or from the gain derived by selling them into slavery.

Jdg 5:19. The kings came and fought — There were divers petty kings in those parts who were subject to Jabin. Taanach and Megiddo were two eminent cities not far from mount Tabor, nor from the river Kishon. They took no gain of money — Some interpret this as meaning they fought without pay, whether from mere hatred of the Israelites, and a desire to be revenged on them, or from a full hope and confidence of paying themselves abundantly out of Israel’s spoils. But it may be intended as a sarcasm upon the kings of Canaan for their lucrative views in fighting against Israel. They came to the help of Jabin for lucre’s sake; namely, to enrich themselves with the spoils; but the Israelites fought for liberty.

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.The Canaanite hosts are now described, led to battle by their numerous kings. (Compare Joshua 12:21.)

They took no gain of money - i. e. either they got no booty, as they expected, or, they did not fight for plunder, but for life and victory (compare Judges 4:16 and Judges 5:30).

19-22. describes the scene of battle and the issue. It would seem (Jud 5:19) that Jabin was reinforced by the troops of other Canaanite princes. The battlefield was near Taanach (now Ta'annuk), on a tell or mound in the level plain of Megiddo (now Leijun), on its southwestern extremity, by the left bank of the Kishon.

they took no gain of money—They obtained no plunder.

The kings; either confederate with him, or subject to him: for it is known that there were divers petty kings in those parts; which also ofttimes were subject to one greater and more potent king; and particularly this Hazor, where this Jabin now reigned, Judges 4:2, was beforetime the head of divers petty kingdoms, Joshua 11:10. Taanach and Megiddo were two eminent cities, belonging indeed to Manasseh, Judges 1:27, but seated in the tribe of Issachar, Joshua 17:11, not far from Mount Tabor, Joshua 17:10 Judges 1:27, nor from the river Kishon.

They took no gain of money; either, first, From Sisera. They fought without pay, whether from mere hatred of the Israelites, and a desire to be revenged upon them; or from a full hope and confidence of paying themselves abundantly out of Israel’s spoils. Or, secondly, From the Israelites; so the sense is, They fell, lost all their hopes of money, and rich spoils, and booty, which they assured themselves of; instead of gaining a prey, they lost themselves.

The kings came,.... Who were with Sisera, as the Targum adds; unless Deborah can be thought to refer to the battle, supposed to be fought about the same place, between Joshua and the kings in confederacy with Jabin, Joshua 10:1.

then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; the other kings of Canaan, which came into the assistance of Jabin, either in the times of Joshua; or rather which now joined Sisera's army, in those places, which both belonged to Manasseh, but were in the tribe of Issachar, of which See Gill on Joshua 17:11 and were at some distance from each other, as appears by the villages and country around, and belonging to each; and such was the largeness of Sisera's army, reinforced by those kings, that according to the Targum it reached from Taanach to Megiddo; the same is observed by the Jewish commentators; the waters of Megiddo are the same with the river Kishon, which ran near the city:

they took no gain of money; that is, either of Jabin king of Canaan, whom they came to serve; but freely engaged with him, and maintained their own troops, which they brought into the field, and had raised at their own expense; but according to Kimchi the sense is, they took no money of the Israelites that fell into their hands, but slew them, would not save their lives, though they offered them money, being like the merciless Medes, Isaiah 13:17 but rather the meaning is, that whereas they came big with expectation of a large booty among the Israelites, they were disappointed, and obliged to flee without any.

The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of {p} money.

(p) They won nothing, but lost all.

19. the kings of Canaan] the chiefs of the principal Canaanite cities in the Plain and neighbourhood; Sisera, if not their overlord, was their leader. The kings of Canaan are mentioned in the Amarna letters, e.g. 101, 13; cf. Joshua 5:1, and contrast the unhistorical term king of C. in ch. Jdg 4:2 n.

Taanach … Megiddo
] See on Jdg 1:27; the waters of M. are the Kishon. The two towns are on the left bank of the river; ch. 4 rather implies that the battle took place at the foot of Tabor, which is about 15 m. from Taanach, cf. Jdg 4:14.

They took no gain of money] They expected spoil (Jdg 5:30, cf. Exodus 15:9), but their expectations were disappointed.

19–22. The battle.

Verse 19. - The kings came and fought (cf. Joshua 11:1, 2, 5). They took no gain of money. These words may mean,

(1) they did not stop to plunder, they were intent only upon slaughter; or,

(2) they took no ransom for their enemies' lives; or,

(3) they got nothing by their fighting, for they were all killed themselves. Judges 5:1919 Kings came, ... they fought;

The kings of Canaan fought At Taanach, at the waters of Megiddo.

A piece of silver they did not take.

20 From heaven they fought,

The stars from their courses fought against Sisera.

21 The brook of Kishon swept them away,

The brook of the olden time, the brook Kishon.

Go on, my soul, in strength!

The advance of the foe is described in few words. Kings came on and fought. They were the kings of Canaan, since Jabin, like his ancestor (Joshua 11:1.), had formed an alliance with other kings of northern Canaan, who went to the battle under the command of Sisera. The battle took place at Taanach (see at Joshua 12:21), by the water of Megiddo, the present Lejun (see at Joshua 12:21), i.e., by the brook Kishon (cf. Judges 4:7). Taanach and Megiddo were not quite five miles apart, and beside and between them there were several brooks which ran into the southern arm of the Kishon, that flowed through the plain to the north of both these towns. The hostile kings went into the battle with the hope of slaying the Israelites and making a rich capture of booty. But their hopes were disappointed. They could not take with them a piece of silver as booty. בּצע, which generally signifies booty or gain, is probably to be taken here in its primary sense of frustum, from בּצע, to cut off or cut in pieces, a "piece of silver," equivalent to a single piece of valuable booty.

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