Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after you, Benjamin, among your people; out of Machir came down governors…
We have here an interesting glimpse of the behaviour of the various tribes in the war of freedom. Not all were summoned to battle; but of these only two answered to the call.
I. WHO ARE SUMMONED TO THE GREAT WAR? All the tribes whose interests were threatened in the first place; but the others might have come from a feeling of brotherhood. Through Christ the solidarity of the race is revealed. We have nearer and further claims, a more and a less imperative call, yet the interest of each is involved in that of the whole. The debt we all owe to Christ binds us henceforth "not to live to ourselves." c, Am I my brother's keeper?"
II. WHO RESPOND? Two tribes and a friendly alien. This showed a lack of public spirit, and of a true national conception. The Captain of our salvation calls. Who are willing? "Will ye also go away?" A few, all over. In every Church one or two have to bear the burden and heat of the day. Is this right?
III. THE EXCUSES AND OCCUPATIONS OF THOSE WHO HOLD BACK. Very picturesque is the description - not a little satirical. How sorry the figure cut by those who tarry at home when the battle rages I the excuses of those who were asked to follow Christ!
IV. STRICT ACCOUNT WILL BE TAKEN OF THE CONDUCT OF EACH, AND THE REWARD WILL BE GIVEN ACCORDINGLY. The sharp eye of the prophetess scanned the host she accompanied. To each is apportioned the praise or blame. God sees the heart. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: Out of Ephraim was there a root of them against Amalek; after thee, Benjamin, among thy people; out of Machir came down governors, and out of Zebulun they that handle the pen of the writer.