And she sent and called Barak the son of Abinoam out of
So called to distinguish it from other places of the same name, this being in the tribe of Naphtali, and a city of refuge, ( Joshua 20:7 ) ; of which tribe and place Barak was, but who he and his father Abinoam were we have no other account; it seems clear from hence that he was not the husband of Deborah, as the Jews say, or they would have lived together; though, according to Ben Gersom, she lived separate from him, because of the spirit of prophecy that was upon her; however, in this mission and message to Barak she acted not as a private person, but as a judge in Israel, and as having and exercising public power and authority:
and said unto him;
when come to her upon her summons:
hath not the Lord God of Israel commanded:
can any doubt be made of it? can Barak in the least question it, as if she should say? the interrogation carries in it a strong affirmation, that the Lord had commanded, and that he had commanded by her mouth:
[saying], go and draw toward Mount Tabor;
a mountain on the border of Zebulun, and between the tribes of Issachar and Naphtali, and so lay very convenient for the inhabitants of these tribes to meet here; of which (See Gill on Joshua 19:22); here Balak is directed to steer his course, and betake himself, and draw others with him by persuasive motives and arguments, urging the command of God by Deborah the prophetess, and the assurance given from the Lord by her of victory over their enemies, and deliverance from them; for otherwise the children of Israel were in great fear of Jabin, because of his large army, and iron chariots:
and take with thee ten thousand men of the children of Naphtali, and
of the children of Zebulun?
which were near at hand, and were the tribes which perhaps were most oppressed, and therefore more easily to be persuaded to engage in this expedition; and the number of them is fixed, as being sufficient for this service, and whose hearts the Lord would engage in it, so that Barak would have little to do but to move it to them, and enforce it with proper arguments; and as they would willingly offer themselves, as it appears afterwards they did, he was at once to take them with him to Mount Tabor, on the top of which was a plain of twenty six furlongs or about three miles, as Josephus F2 says, surrounded by a wall; though modern travellers make it much less, on which, however, he might draw up his army of ten thousand men, and muster and exercise them.
F2 De Bello Jud. l. 4. c. 1. sect. 8.