For there fell down many slain
Many were killed in the battle, besides the great number of prisoners made, so that the army the Ishmaelites brought into the field was very great:
because the war was of God;
or from the Word of the Lord, as the Targum; he stirred up the Israelites to it, directed, assisted, and succeeded them, that vengeance might be taken on this wicked and idolatrous people:
and they dwelt in their stead until the captivity;
the Targum adds, of Sennacherib king of Assyria; but this captivity of the tribes referred to was not by him, but by Tilgathpilneser king of Assyria, ( 1 Chronicles 5:26 ) and they dwelt not in the country of the Arab-hagarites, or Ishmaelites in their stead there, but in Gilead, as in ( 1 Chronicles 5:10 ) which belonged to the Gadites and Reubenites originally, but had been dispossessed of it, or however distressed in it by these Hagarites, which they now drove out, and dwelt in their stead; for as for the Scenite-arabs or Ishmaelites, they never were conquered and brought into subjection by any people, but always maintained their independency F4; and lived upon the plunder of their neighbours, pitching their tents here and there for their convenience, which in these parts were at this time spoiled.
F4 See the notes on Gen. xvi. 12. and Dan. xi. 41. and a dissertation upon the independency of the Arabs, at the end of the Universal History, vol. 20. (See Gill on Genesis 16:12). (See Gill on Daniel 11:41).