And when he numbered them at Bezek
Which was the place appointed to meet at, the same with that in ( Judges 1:4 ) , (See Gill on Judges 1:4) though some take the word to be an appellative, and not, the proper name of a place, and render it, "with a stone"; with which he numbered, taking a stone from each, and laying them on a heap, and then telling them F21; so Bizakion signifies little stones F23 with the Greeks: or "with a fragment"; either of an earthen vessel, or of a stone, or of the branch of a tree they carried in their hands, and so the king's servants numbered not the men, but the branches F24:
and the children of Israel were three hundred thousand men;
who came together on this occasion; these were of the eight tribes and a half on this side Jordan:
and the men of Judah thirty thousand;
which tribe is mentioned distinctly, because a noble and warlike tribe, which usually first went up to battle; and though the number of them at this time assembled may seem comparatively small, yet this may easily be accounted for; because they bordered upon the Philistines, who watched every opportunity to take an advantage of them, and therefore could not leave their tribe destitute, but reserved a sufficient number to guard their coasts, and yet were desirous to testify their obedience to Saul, though chosen king out of another tribe, when they might have expected from prophecy that the dominion belonged to them. Josephus
F25 has made a gross mistake in the numbers here, he makes the men of Israel to be 700,000, and the men of Judah 70,000, contrary to the text, the Targum, Syriac and Arabic versions; but the Septuagint comes pretty near him, which has 600,000 of the men of Israel, 70,000 of the men of Judah.