And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man to his place.
Nothing is more striking than the contrast between the conduct of mercenary or coerced soldiers in such circumstances and that of men inspired by noble enthusiasm and great principles.
I. THERE ARE TIMES WHEN THE DEATH OF SOVEREIGNS, etc. APPEAR AS NATIONAL JUDGMENTS, OVERAWING MEN'S HEARTS AND SEARCHING THEIR CONSCIENCES. Did rot Israel feel now what a fool's errand it had been going? What better could it do in its irresolution and dismay than retire into privacy, and there in penitence and prayer await the new unfoldings of God's purpose?
II. ONLY A GREAT CAUSE CAN KEEP TOGETHER THOSE WHO HAVE LOST THEIR NATURAL BOND AND AUTHORITY. Self-interest, fear, absence of common enthusiasm, scattered the army of the dead Abimelech. So shall misfortune and Divine judgments break up the confederacies of the wicked. "The stars in their courses fought against Sisera." But the Church of Christ can never be leaderless. "Lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world."
III. THE INFLUENCE OF THE WICKED SOON PERISHES. There is no talisman in the name of the son of Shechem now that he is dead. His body is left to the wolves and vultures. Only "the memory of the just smells sweet, and blossoms in the dust." The saintly departed rule us from their graves. The name of the Crucified an eternal, infinite power. - M.
Parallel VersesKJV: And when the men of Israel saw that Abimelech was dead, they departed every man unto his place.