Judges 5:5
The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(5) Melted.—Literally, flowed away—a powerful poetic image. (Comp. Isaiah 63:19; Isaiah 64:3; Psalm 97:5—“melted like wax.”)

Even that Sinai.—Rather, even this Sinai, as though Deborah actually saw the sacred mountain before her. The boldness of the expression leaves no difficulty in supposing the meaning to be that “even as Sinai was moved” (Psalm 68:8), so the mountains of Edom seemed to melt away before the march of Jehovah and the banners of Israel.

Jdg 5:5. The mountains melted — Or flowed with floods of water, poured out of the clouds upon them, and from them flowing down in mighty streams upon the lower grounds, and carrying down part of the mountains with them. Even that Sinai — Or rather, As did Sinai itself. The whole verse might be better translated, The mountains flowed down at the presence of Jehovah; as did Sinai itself at the presence of Jehovah, the God of Israel. And Dr. Kennicott supposes that, when the ode was sung, the first clause was uttered by Deborah, the second by Barak, and that they both joined in the third. The prophetess here slides into the mention of a more ancient appearance of God for his people at Sinai, it being usual with the inspired writers, in repeating former actions, to put divers together in a narrow compass. The sense is, No wonder that the mountains of the Amorites and Canaanites melted and trembled, when thou didst lead thy people toward them; for even Sinai itself could not bear thy presence, but melted in like manner before thee.

5:1-5. No time should be lost in returning thanks to the Lord for his mercies; for our praises are most acceptable, pleasant, and profitable, when they flow from a full heart. By this, love and gratitude would be more excited and more deeply fixed in the hearts of believers; the events would be more known and longer remembered. Whatever Deborah, Barak, or the army had done, the Lord must have all the praise. The will, the power, and the success were all from Him.Compare Psalm 68:7-9, and Habakkuk 3:3-16. The three passages relate to the same events, and mutually explain each other. The subject of them is the triumphant march of Israel, with the Lord at their head, to take possession of Canaan, and the overthrow of Sihon, Og, and the Midianites. This march commenced from Kadesh, in the immediate neighborhood of Self, and the victories which followed were an exact parallel to the victory of Deborah and Barak, accompanied as it had been with the storm which made Kishon to overflow his banks. 4, 5. Allusion is here made, in general terms, to God's interposition on behalf of His people.

Seir … the field of Edom—represent the mountain range and plain extending along the south from the Dead Sea to the Elanitic Gulf.

thou wentest out—indicates the storm to have proceeded from the south or southeast.

Melted, or flowed, with floods of water poured out of the clouds upon them, and from them flowing down in a mighty stream upon the lower grounds, and carrying down some part of the mountain with it, as is usual in excessive showers.

She slides into the mention of another and a more ancient appearance of God for his people, to wit, in Sinai; it being usual in Scripture repetitions of former actions to put divers together into a narrow compass, and in few words. The sense is, No wonder that the mountains of the Amorites and Canaanites melted and trembled when thou didst lead thy people towards them; for even Sinai itself could not bear thy presence, but melted in like manner before thee. Or, as that Sinai did upon a like manifestation of thyself; so there is only a defect of the particle as, which I have showed to be frequent.

The mountains melted from before the Lord,.... The inhabitants of them, through fear, the Lord going before Israel in a pillar of cloud and fire, and delivering mighty kings and their kingdoms into their hand:

even that Sinai from before the Lord God of Israel; or, "as that Sinai", the note of similitude being wanting; and the sense is, the mountains melted, just as the famous mountain Sinai in a literal sense did, when it trembled and quaked at the presence of God on it; the tokens of it, the fire and smoke, thunders, lightnings, and tempests there seen and heard; and which being observed, would call to mind the benefit Israel then received, which required praise and thankfulness, as well as would serve to express the awe and reverence of God due unto him.

The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
5. flowed down] streamed, Isaiah 64:1; the verb as in Isaiah 45:8, Job 36:28. The Hebr. form also allows the rendering quaked marg., LXX, from a different root.

Even yon Sinai at the presence of the Lord, the God of Israel] yon Sinai, pointing to the mountain, which however is not visible from the Great Plain. The mention of Sinai after the Theophany has advanced from Edom northwards introduces confusion, and the words lit. mean this is Sinai. They are probably a marginal gloss made by some early reader to whom the expressions in Jdg 5:4-5 suggested the descent of Jehovah upon Sinai for the giving of the law, Exodus 19:18 ff., which is not referred to here. From the margin the words found their way into the text. They spoil the rhythm of the line.

Judges 5:5To give the Lord the glory for the victory which had been gained through His omnipotent help over the powerful army of Sisera, and to fill the heathen with fear of Jehovah, and the Israelites with love and confidence towards Him, the singer reverts to the terribly glorious manifestation of Jehovah in the olden time, when Israel was accepted as the nation of God (Exodus 19). Just as Moses in his blessing (Deuteronomy 33:2) referred the tribes of Israel to this mighty act, as the source of all salvation and blessing for Israel, so the prophetess Deborah makes the praise of this glorious manifestation of God the starting-point of her praise of the great grace, which Jehovah as the faithful covenant God had displayed to His people in her own days. The tacit allusion to Moses' blessing is very unmistakeable. But whereas Moses describes the descent of the Lord upon Sinai (Exodus 19), according to its gracious significance in relation to the tribes of Israel, as an objective fact (Jehovah came from Sinai, Deuteronomy 33:2), Deborah clothes the remembrance of it in the form of an address to God, to bring out the thought that the help which Israel had just experienced was a renewal of the coming of the Lord to His people. Jehovah's going out of Seir, and marching out of the fields of Edom, is to be interpreted in the same sense as His rising up from Seir (Deuteronomy 33:2). As the descent of the Lord upon Sinai is depicted there as a rising of the sun from the east, so the same descent in a black cloud amidst thunder, lightning, fire, and vapour of smoke (Exodus 19:16, Exodus 19:18), is represented here with direct allusion to these phenomena as a storm rising up from Seir in the east, in which the Lord advanced to meet His people as they came from the west to Sinai. Before the Lord, who came down upon Sinai in the storm and darkness of the cloud, the earth shook and the heaven dropped, or, as it is afterwards more definitely explained, the clouds dropped with water, emptied themselves of their abundance of water as they do in the case of a storm. The mountains shook (נזלוּ, Niphal of זלל, dropping the reduplication of the ל equals נזלּוּ, Isaiah 63:19; Isaiah 64:2), even the strong rocky mountain of Sinai, which stood out so distinctly before the eyes of the singer, that she speaks of it as "this Sinai," pointing to it as though it were locally near. David's description of the miraculous guidance of Israel through the desert in Psalm 68:8-9, is evidently founded upon this passage, though it by no means follows from this that the passage before us also treats of the journey through the desert, as Clericus supposes, or even of the presence of the Lord in the battle with Sisera, and the victory which it secured. But greatly as Israel had been exalted at Sinai by the Lord its God, it had fallen just as deeply into bondage to its oppressors through its own sins, until Deborah arose to help it (Judges 5:6-8).
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