Judges 5:9
My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) My heart is toward the governors of Israel.—The fact that even in this extremity Israel had men (literally, law-givers) who were willing to brave any danger to rescue their people fills Deborah with gratitude to them and to God.

Among the people.—When the leaders moved, the people moved with them.

Jdg 5:9. My heart is toward the governors — I honour and love those, who, being the chief of the people in wealth and dignity, did not withdraw themselves from the work, as such usually do; but exposed themselves to the same hazards, and joined with their brethren in this noble but dangerous attempt. It seems by this that there were some of the greatest men in the tribes of Naphtali and Zebulun, who, of their own accord, hazarded their lives among the common people in this service. And toward these Deborah expresses singular affection; and with the praises of God intermixes the commendation of those who were his instruments in this deliverance. Bless ye the Lord — Who inclined their hearts to this undertaking, and gave them success in it. This she adds like a prophetess of the Lord, who, when she commends the most deserving of men, would not fail to raise their thoughts to God, the original source of all that is excellent and praiseworthy.

5:6-11. Deborah describes the distressed state of Israel under the tyranny of Jabin, that their salvation might appear more gracious. She shows what brought this misery upon them. It was their idolatry. They chose new gods, with new names. But under all these images, Satan was worshipped. Deborah was a mother to Israel, by diligently promoting the salvation of their souls. She calls on those who shared the advantages of this great salvation, to offer up thanks to God for it. Let such as are restored, not only to their liberty as other Israelites, but to their rank, speak God's praises. This is the Lord's doing. In these acts of his, justice was executed on his enemies. In times of persecution, God's ordinances, the walls of salvation, whence the waters of life are drawn, are resorted to at the hazard of the lives of those who attend them. At all times Satan will endeavour to hinder the believer from drawing near to the throne of grace. Notice God's kindness to his trembling people. It is the glory of God to protect those who are most exposed, and to help the weakest. Let us notice the benefit we have from the public peace, the inhabitants of villages especially, and give God the praise.My heart ... - In this deplorable weakness of Israel how noble was the conduct of the governors who volunteered to lead the people against their oppressors. Deborah's heart was filled with admiration as she thought of their patriotic devotion, and broke out into thanksgiving to Yahweh. 9. expresses gratitude to the respective leaders of the tribes which participated in the contest; but, above all, to God, who inspired both the patriotic disposition and the strength. I greatly honour and love those, who being the chief of the people in wealth and dignity, did not withdraw themselves from the work, as such usually do; but did expose themselves to the same hazards, and joined with their meaner brethren in this noble but dangerous attempt, and by their examples and countenance engaged others in it.

Bless ye the Lord; who inclined their hearts to this undertaking, and gave them success in it. As she gives instruments their due, so she is careful the sovereign Cause and Lord of all lose not his glory.

My heart is towards the governors of Israel,.... Most of the Jewish commentators interpret this of their wise men and Scribes, who were willing to teach the people the law and the commandments, even in times of trouble, and did not cease from doing it on that account, and therefore Deborah praises them for it; so the Targum; but Kimchi and Ben Melech understand by them the great men of the nation, their nobles and rulers, who enacted good laws and statutes; or at least took care to see that the good laws they had were put in execution; and these had a share in the affections and good wishes of Deborah, and that chiefly for the following reason:

that offered themselves willingly among the people; to go along with them, and march at the head of them, to fight Sisera and his army; thereby setting a good example, and animating the people to battle, and inspiring them with courage and intrepidity; when they saw their chiefs and the heads of them exposing their lives with them in defence of their country, and the rights of it:

bless ye the Lord; for giving them such spirits, to engage so willingly in this service, and for giving them success in it.

My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. governors] Apparently the same word as in Jdg 5:14, though the form is slightly different, lit. lawgivers, Isaiah 10:1; but in a primitive community the lawgivers would be the military leaders (Jdg 5:14), hence tr. commanders, cf. Deuteronomy 33:21, Isaiah 33:22; Vulgate principes.

That offered themselves willingly] See on Jdg 5:2. The verse seems to repeat the thought of Jdg 5:2, though the meaning of the latter is doubtful.

9–11. The celebration of Jehovah’s acts. This seems to be the meaning of Jdg 5:11; Jdg 5:9-10 are exceedingly obscure, owing to the condition of the text. After dwelling upon Israel’s sufferings, the poet, so far as we understand him, turns with thankful emotion to those who helped to put an end to them.

Verse 9. - What a contrast with that fainthearted submission was the recent triumphant rising! Exultation and thanksgiving for the devotion of the people break out again, as in ver. 2. Judges 5:9 9 My heart inclines to the leaders of Israel;

To those who offered themselves willingly in the nation. Praise ye the Lord!

10 Ye that ride upon white asses;

Ye that sit upon covering,

And that walk in the way, reflect!

11 With the voice of the archers among drawers (of water),

There praise ye the righteous acts of the Lord,

The righteous acts of His villages in Israel.

Then the people of the Lord went down to the gates!

We must supply the subst. verb in connection with ל לבּי, "My heart is (sc., inclined) towards the leaders of Israel," i.e., feels itself drawn towards them. הוקק for מהוקק (Judges 5:14), the determining one, i.e., the commander or leader in war: as in Deuteronomy 33:21. The leaders and willing ones are first of all to praise the Lord for having crowned their willingness with victory.

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