Judges 5:16
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Why did you stay among the sheep pens to hear the whistling for the flocks? In the districts of Reuben there was much searching of heart.

King James Bible
Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, to hear the bleatings of the flocks? For the divisions of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.

Darby Bible Translation
Why abodest thou among the sheepfolds, To hear the bleating of the flocks? In the divisions of Reuben there were great deliberations of heart!

World English Bible
Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the whistling for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben There were great searchings of heart.

Young's Literal Translation
Why hast thou abode between the boundaries, To hear lowings of herds? For the divisions of Reuben, Great are the searchings of heart!

Judges 5:16 Parallel
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

The princes of Issachar - They were at hand and came willingly forth, at the call of Deborah, to this important war. Barak - was sent on foot - I have no doubt that ברגלין, without regarding the points, should be translated with his footmen or infantry. Thus the Alexandrian Septuagint understood it, rendering the clause thus: Οὑτω Βαρακ εξαπεστειλεν πεζους αυτου εις την κοιλαδα, "Barak also sent forth his footmen into the valley." Luther has perfectly hit the meaning, Barak mit seinen fussvoleke, "Barak with his footmen."

For the divisions of Reuben - Either the Reubenites were divided among themselves into factions, which prevented their co-operation with their brethren, or they were divided in their judgment concerning the measures now to be pursued, which prevented them from joining with the other tribes till the business was entirely settled. The thoughts of heart, and searchings of heart, might refer to the doubts and uneasiness felt by the other tribes, when they found the Reubenites did not join them; for they might have conjectured that they were either unconcerned about their liberty, or were meditating a coalition with the Canaanites.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge


Numbers 32:1-5,24 Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer...

Philippians 2:21 For all seek their own, not the things which are Jesus Christ's.

Philippians 3:19 Whose end is destruction, whose God is their belly, and whose glory is in their shame, who mind earthly things.)

for, or in

Judges 5:15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley...


Psalm 4:4 Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart on your bed, and be still. Selah.

Psalm 77:6 I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with my own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

Lamentations 3:40,41 Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the LORD...

Recreant Reuben
Why satest then among the sheepfolds, to hear the pipings for the flocks? At the watercourses of Reuben there were great searchings of heart.'--JUDGES v. 16 (R.V.). I. The fight. The warfare is ever repeated, though in new forms. In the highest form it is Christ versus the World, And that conflict must be fought out in our own souls first. Our religion should lead not only to accept and rely on what Christ does for us, but to do and dare for Christ. He has given Himself for us, and has thereby
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Songs of Deliverance
The results which accrued from the conquest achieved by Barak, are upon a small scale similar to those which come to us through the deliverance wrought out by the Lord Jesus Christ. I shall take our text and spiritualize it, viewing its joyous details as emblematic of the blessings granted to us through our Redeemer. Those who went to draw water at the wells after Barak's victory, were no longer disturbed by the robbers who lurked at the fountains for purposes of plunder; and instead of drawing the
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 13: 1867

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

For the understanding of the early history and religion of Israel, the book of Judges, which covers the period from the death of Joshua to the beginning of the struggle with the Philistines, is of inestimable importance; and it is very fortunate that the elements contributed by the later editors are so easily separated from the ancient stories whose moral they seek to point. That moral is most elaborately stated in ii. 6-iii. 6, which is a sort of programme or preface to iii. 7-xvi. 31, which constitutes
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

Cross References
Genesis 49:14
"Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down among the sheep pens.

Numbers 32:1
The Reubenites and Gadites, who had very large herds and flocks, saw that the lands of Jazer and Gilead were suitable for livestock.

Numbers 32:2
So they came to Moses and Eleazar the priest and to the leaders of the community, and said,

Psalm 68:13
Even while you sleep among the sheep pens, the wings of my dove are sheathed with silver, its feathers with shining gold."

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