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Treasury of Scripture Knowledge: Judges 5

Chapter 5

Then sang Deborah and Barak the son of Abinoam on that day, saying,

Sang Deborah

This verse briefly recites the subject of this inspired song, which consists of eight stanzas: The first opens with a devout thanksgiving. The second describes the magnificent scenes at Mount Sinai, etc. The third states the apostasy and consequent punishment of the Israelites. The fourth contrasts their present happy state. The fifth censures the recreant tribes of Reuben, Gad, etc. The sixth records the defeat of the confederate kings of Canaan. The seventh contains a panegyric on Jael. And the eight describes the fond anticipations and disappointment of the mother of Sisera.

Exodus 15:1,21 Numbers 21:17 1 Samuel 2:1 2 Chronicles 20:21,27 Job 38:7 Psalms 18:1 *title; Isaiah 12:1-6 25:1 26:1 Luke 1:46,67,68 Revelation 15:3,4 19:1-3

Praise ye the LORD for the avenging of Israel, when the people willingly offered themselves.

for the avenging

Deuteronomy 32:43 2 Samuel 22:47,48 Psalms 18:47 48:11 94:1 97:8 136:15,19,20 Psalms 149:6-9 Revelation 16:5,6 18:20 19:2


9 2 Chronicles 17:16 Nehemiah 11:2 Psalms 110:3 1 Corinthians 9:17 2 Corinthians 8:12 9:7 Philippians 2:13 Philemon 1:14

Hear, O ye kings; give ear, O ye princes; I, even I, will sing unto the LORD; I will sing praise to the LORD God of Israel.

O ye kings

Deuteronomy 32:1,3 Psalms 2:10-12 49:1,2 119:46 138:4,5

I, even I

7 Genesis 6:17 9:9 Exodus 31:6 Leviticus 26:28 1 Kings 18:22 19:10,14 Ezra 7:21

LORD, when thou wentest out of Seir, when thou marchedst out of the field of Edom, the earth trembled, and the heavens dropped, the clouds also dropped water.


Deuteronomy 33:2 Psalms 68:7,8 Habakkuk 3:3-6

the earth

2 Samuel 22:8 Job 9:6 Psalms 18:7-15


Psalms 77:17

The mountains melted from before the LORD, even that Sinai from before the LORD God of Israel.


Deuteronomy 4:11 Psalms 97:5 114:4 Isaiah 64:1-3 Nahum 1:5 Habakkuk 3:10


Heb. flowed. that Sinai.

Exodus 19:18 20:18 Deuteronomy 4:11,12 5:22-25 Hebrews 12:18

In the days of Shamgar the son of Anath, in the days of Jael, the highways were unoccupied, and the travellers walked through byways.





the highways

Leviticus 26:22 2 Chronicles 15:5 Isaiah 33:8 Lamentations 1:4 4:18 Micah 3:12


Heb. walkers of paths. by-ways. Heb. crooked ways.

Psalms 125:5

The inhabitants of the villages ceased, they ceased in Israel, until that I Deborah arose, that I arose a mother in Israel.

the villages

Esther 9:19

a mother

4:4-6 2 Samuel 20:19 Isaiah 49:23 Romans 16:13

They chose new gods; then was war in the gates: was there a shield or spear seen among forty thousand in Israel?

new gods

2:12,17 Deuteronomy 32:16,17

was there

4:3 1 Samuel 13:19-22

My heart is toward the governors of Israel, that offered themselves willingly among the people. Bless ye the LORD.


2 1 Chronicles 29:9 2 Corinthians 8:3,4,12,17 9:5

Speak, ye that ride on white asses, ye that sit in judgment, and walk by the way.


or, Meditate.

Psalms 105:2 145:5,11


10:4 12:14

ye that sit

Psalms 107:32 Isaiah 28:6 Joel 3:12

They that are delivered from the noise of archers in the places of drawing water, there shall they rehearse the righteous acts of the LORD, even the righteous acts toward the inhabitants of his villages in Israel: then shall the people of the LORD go down to the gates.

the noise

Lamentations 5:4,9

in the places

Dr. Shaw mentions a beautiful rill of water in Barbary, which runs into a large bason, called shrub we krub, "drink and be off," because of the danger of meeting with robbers and assassins in this place, who fall upon those who come to drink.

Genesis 26:20-22 Exodus 2:17-19 Isaiah 12:3

righteous acts

Heb. righteousnesses.

1 Samuel 12:7 Psalms 145:7 Micah 6:5


go down

Deuteronomy 22:24 Job 29:7 Isaiah 28:6 Jeremiah 7:2

Awake, awake, Deborah: awake, awake, utter a song: arise, Barak, and lead thy captivity captive, thou son of Abinoam.

awake, Deborah

Psalms 57:8 103:1,2 108:2 Isaiah 51:9,17 52:1,2 60:1 Jeremiah 31:26 1 Corinthians 15:34 Ephesians 5:14


Psalms 68:18 Isaiah 14:2 33:1 49:24-26 Ephesians 4:8 2 Timothy 2:26

Then he made him that remaineth have dominion over the nobles among the people: the LORD made me have dominion over the mighty.

he made

Psalms 49:14 Isaiah 41:15,16 Ezekiel 17:24 Daniel 7:18-27 Romans 8:37 Revelation 2:26,27 Revelation 3:9

the Lord

Psalms 75:7

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.

of Ephraim

3:27 4:5,6


3:13 Exodus 17:8-16




Numbers 32:39,40

handle the pen

Heb. draw with the pen.

And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and also Barak: he was sent on foot into the valley. For the divisions of Reuben there were great thoughts of heart.

the princes

1 Chronicles 12:32




Heb. his feet. Beraglaiv, rather, "with his footmen:" so LXX. Alex. [pkzous autou] and Luther, mit feinem Fubvolt.

Acts 20:13

For the

or, In the divisions, etc.

Acts 15:39


Heb. impressions.

Proverbs 22:13 2 Corinthians 11:2

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


Numbers 32:1-5,24 Philippians 2:21 3:19


or, In.

15 *marg:


Psalms 4:4 77:6 Lamentations 3:40,41

Gilead abode beyond Jordan: and why did Dan remain in ships? Asher continued on the sea shore, and abode in his breaches.


Joshua 13:25,31


Joshua 19:24-31

sea shore

or, sea-port. breaches. or, creeks.

Zebulun and Naphtali were a people that jeoparded their lives unto the death in the high places of the field.




Heb. exposed to reproach. their lives.

Esther 4:16 Acts 20:24 1 John 3:16 Revelation 12:11

in the high


The kings came and fought, then fought the kings of Canaan in Taanach by the waters of Megiddo; they took no gain of money.


Joshua 10:22-27 11:1-15 Psalms 48:4-6 68:12-14 118:8-12 Revelation 17:12-14 Revelation 19:19


1:27 1 Kings 4:12

they took

30 Genesis 14:22 4:16 Psalms 44:12

They fought from heaven; the stars in their courses fought against Sisera.


Joshua 10:11 1 Samuel 7:10 Psalms 77:17,18

the stars



Heb. paths.

The river of Kishon swept them away, that ancient river, the river Kishon. O my soul, thou hast trodden down strength.


4:7,13 1 Kings 18:40 Psalms 83:9,10

O my soul

Genesis 49:18 Psalms 44:5 Isaiah 25:10 Micah 7:10

Then were the horsehoofs broken by the means of the pransings, the pransings of their mighty ones.


Anciently, horses were not shod; nor are they at the present day in some parts of the East. The flight was so rapid that the hoofs of their horses were splintered and broken by the roughness of the roads; in consequence of which they became lame, and could not carry off their riders.

Psalms 20:7 33:17 147:10,11 Isaiah 5:28 Jeremiah 47:4 Micah 4:13


or, tramplings, or, plungings. mighty ones. Or, as Dr. Waterland renders, "mighty horses," or "strong steeds," as Dr. Kennicott, i.e., their war-horses, which gives great energy to the text, and renders it perfectly intelligible.

Curse ye Meroz, said the angel of the LORD, curse ye bitterly the inhabitants thereof; because they came not to the help of the LORD, to the help of the LORD against the mighty.

Curse ye

1 Samuel 26:19 Jeremiah 48:10 1 Corinthians 16:22


This city of Meroz seems to have been, at this time, a place of considerable importance, since something great was expected from it; but probably, after the angel of the Lord had pronounced this curse, it dwindled and like the fig-tree which Christ cursed, withered away; so that we never read of it after this in Scripture.

the angel

2:1 4:6 6:11 13:3 Matthew 25:41

they came

21:9,10 Nehemiah 3:5

to the help

1 Samuel 17:47 18:17 25:28 Romans 15:18 1 Corinthians 3:9 2 Corinthians 6:1

Blessed above women shall Jael the wife of Heber the Kenite be, blessed shall she be above women in the tent.

4:17 Genesis 14:19 Proverbs 31:31 Luke 1:28,42

He asked water, and she gave him milk; she brought forth butter in a lordly dish.




Chemah, may signify buttermilk, which is made by the Arabs by agitating the milk in a leathern bag; and is highly esteemed because of its refreshing and cooling qualities.

She put her hand to the nail, and her right hand to the workmen's hammer; and with the hammer she smote Sisera, she smote off his head, when she had pierced and stricken through his temples.

with the

Heb. She hammered. she smote off. Or rather, "she smote his head, then she struck through and pierced his temples:" which is more consonant to the original, and to fact, as it does not appear that she smote off his head.

1 Samuel 17:49-51 2 Samuel 20:22

At her feet he bowed, he fell, he lay down: at her feet he bowed, he fell: where he bowed, there he fell down dead.


Heb. Between. where.

Psalms 52:7 Matthew 7:2 James 2:13


Heb. destroyed.

The mother of Sisera looked out at a window, and cried through the lattice, Why is his chariot so long in coming? why tarry the wheels of his chariots?


2 Kings 1:2 Song of Solomon 2:9

Why is

4:15 Song of Solomon 8:14 James 5:7

Her wise ladies answered her, yea, she returned answer to herself,


Heb. her words.

Have they not sped? have they not divided the prey; to every man a damsel or two; to Sisera a prey of divers colours, a prey of divers colours of needlework, of divers colours of needlework on both sides, meet for the necks of them that take the spoil?

Have they not sped

Exodus 15:9 Job 20:5

every man

Heb. the head of a man. of divers.

Genesis 37:3 2 Samuel 13:18 Psalms 45:14

So let all thine enemies perish, O LORD: but let them that love him be as the sun when he goeth forth in his might. And the land had rest forty years.

So let

Psalms 48:4,5 58:10,11 68:1-3 83:9-18 92:9 97:8 Revelation 6:10 18:20 Revelation 19:2,3

them that

Exodus 20:6 Deuteronomy 6:5 Psalms 91:14 97:10 Romans 8:28 1 Corinthians 8:3 Ephesians 6:24 James 1:12 2:5 1 Peter 1:8 1 John 4:19-21 5:2,3

the sun

2 Samuel 23:4 Psalms 19:4,5 37:6 Proverbs 4:18 Daniel 12:3 Hosea 6:3 Matthew 13:43

And the land

The victory here celebrated in this song, was of such happy consequence to Israel, that for the principal part of one age, they enjoyed the peace to which it had been the means of opening the way. The land had rest forty years, that is, so long it was from this victory to the raising up of Gideon. And well would it have been for the Israelites, if while the tribes had rest, they had taken advantage of the cessation from war, and had walked in the fear of the Lord.